The Myth of Codependency [...]

From a Vice article:

Indeed, there is no reliable research support for codependence and related concepts. Although there have been a few attempts to measure it, they fizzled out as it proved as slippery as a horoscope—and a search of PubMed reveals little further research interest in it since the turn of the century. "There is no disease of codependence," adds Wilkens. "It's not in the DSM [psychiatry's diagnostic manual], you can't diagnose and get reimbursed for it. It doesn't exist." She adds, "If you line up ten people who some treatment provider has given the disease of codependence, all ten have something profoundly different going on in terms of how they work, how they see the world, where they are in terms of what's going on with their loved ones, and their compensatory strategies to deal with what is happening in the home."

Not Even Wrong [...]

From the Wikipedia entry:

The phrase is generally attributed to theoretical physicist Wolfgang Pauli, who was known for his colorful objections to incorrect or sloppy thinking. Rudolf Peierls documents an instance in which "a friend showed Pauli the paper of a young physicist which he suspected was not of great value but on which he wanted Pauli's views. Pauli remarked sadly, 'It is not even wrong'." This is also often quoted as "That is not only not right, it is not even wrong."

See also Scientific American's article "Wronger than Wrong."

This is not the Crusades [...]

David Perry, a medievalist, writing on CNN:

The idea that contemporary military and terrorist activities in the Middle East embody a new Crusade isn't exactly new. What's startling is that today both supporters of ISIS and radical Christian terrorists have adopted the same language. Both sides are using medieval history to justify their violent intentions. ...But one thing from the history is very clear to me. The modern use of the Crusades to justify violence by either Muslims or Christians is, in fact, modern. The claim that there's an inexorable conflict between Islam and "The West" is not based on history, but rhetoric used by extremists to promote their causes.

The People Derek Black Knew [...]

Derek Black, rising white nationalist star, came around to realizing the error of his beliefs not through argumentation with the enemy, but through dinners with diverse friends.

On the rare occasions when Derek directed conversation during those dinners, it was about the particulars of Arabic grammar, or marine aquatics, or the roots of Christianity in medieval times. He came across as smart and curious, and mostly he listened. He heard a Peruvian immigrant tell stories about attending a high school that was 90 percent Hispanic. He asked Matthew about his opinions on Israel and Palestine. They were both still wary of each other: Derek wondered whether Matthew was trying to get him drunk so he would say offensive things that would appear on the forum; Matthew wondered whether Derek was trying to cultivate a Jewish friend to protect himself against charges of anti-Semitism. But they also liked each other, and they started playing pool at a bar near campus. Some members of the Shabbat group gradually began to ask Derek about his views, and he occasionally clarified them in conversations and emails throughout 2011 and 2012. He said he was pro-choice on abortion. He said he was against the death penalty. He said he didn’t believe in violence or the KKK or Nazism or even white supremacy, which he insisted was different from white nationalism. He wrote in an email that his only concern was that “massive immigration and forced integration” was going to result in a white genocide. He said he believed in the rights of all races but thought each was better off in its own homeland, living separately. “You have never clarified, Derek,” one of his Shabbat friends wrote to him. “You’ve never said, ‘Hey all, this is what I do believe and this is what I don’t.’ It’s not the job of someone who’s potentially scared/intimidated by someone else to approach that person to see if they are in fact scary/intimidating.” “I guess I only value the opinions of people I know,” Derek wrote back, and now he was beginning to count his Shabbat friends among those he knew and respected. “You’re naturally right that I deemphasize my own role,” he wrote to them.

(Source)


Find out Why Shame Doesn't Work

Face-to-Face Social Exposure is how people change opinions.

What truth "is" is a bit of a puzzle itself. See Life As It Feels To Them

Robot Professionals [...]

We believe these are but a few early indicators of a fundamental shift in professional service. Within professional organizations (firms, schools, hospitals), we are seeing a move away from tailored, unique solutions for each client or patient towards the standardization of service. Increasingly, doctors are using checklists, lawyers rely on precedents, and consultants work with methodologies. More recently, there has been a shift to systematization, the use of technology to automate and sometimes transform the way that professional work is done — from workflow systems through to AI-based problem-solving. More fundamentally, once professional knowledge and expertise is systematized, it will then be made available online, often as a chargeable service, sometimes at no cost, and occasionally but increasingly on a commons basis, in the spirit of the open source movement. There are already many examples of online professional service.

(Source)

Techno-Pastoralism [...]

Brautigan's Machines of Loving Grace imagines a world made more pastoral, quiet, and contemplative by computers:

The text was printed over an image of electric schematics and it set out a utopian vision of a techno-pastoralism, where new digital machines could return us to a prelapsarian state, at one with nature in an electric Eden.

(Source)

The poem, in part:

loudspeaker

I like to think
(it has to be!)
of a cybernetic ecology
where we are free of our labors
and joined back to nature,
returned to our mammal
brothers and sisters,
and all watched over
by machines of loving grace.

Historian Fred Turner believes the poem profoundly influenced the way people thought about tech:

As I sat with Fred Turner on a shady bench in one of Stanford's many tree-Lined quadrangles, he mused about Richard Brautigan's cybernetic meadow. 'I think there was a deep hope here to fuse the natural and the technological in a way that creates a kind of benevolent cradle for making the self,' he told me.

(Source)

From the Houseboat Summit:

Timothy Leary: Now, we cannot say to this society, "Go back to a simple, tribal, pastoral existence." That's romantic. Gary Snyder: You can say "Go FORWARD to a simple, pastoral existence."

(Source)

and, later:

Gary Snyder: So what I visualize is a very complex and sophisticated cybernetic technology surrounded by thick hedges of trees...Somewhere, say around Chicago. And the rest of the nation a buffalo pasture... Leary: That's very close to what I think. Snyder: ...with a large number of people going around making their own arrowheads because it's fun, but they know better ...(laughter) They know they don't have to make them. (more laughter)

Tea Kettle Tech imagines a world of peaceful technology.

Community Technology Centers’ Network [...]

From the Wikipedia entry for Antonia Stone:

Antonia "Toni" Stone (1930-2002) created the United States' first community technology centers. In 1980, Toni Stone set up Playing to Win (PTW). Playing to Win, a nonprofit organization dedicated to countering inequities in computer access. PTW looked to serve inmates and ex-offenders by teaching them computer skills and offering technical assistance to prisons and rehabilitation agencies. In 1983, Stone and PTW Corporation opened the Harlem Community Computing Center. This center was located in the basement of a Harlem housing project it provided the neighborhood with public access to personal computers. Taking advantage of the success of PTW, Stone created a network of centers known as the PTWNet. Playing to Win Network went on to form alliances with six other technology access programs in Harlem, some parts of Boston, Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh, by 1990. In 1992, Playing To Win was given a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation in order to provide neighborhood technology access to the northeastern United States. Three years later Stone changed the PTWNet name to the Community Technology Centers’ Network.[1] The newly named network was a national membership organization of community technology centers. Today, the CTCNet includes more than 600 member sites connected by the Internet. The network is an independent organization that provides services to 1,000 community technology centers on the country. PTW is still working to provide computer literacy programs in Harlem.

CTCNet website

Prime Vietnam Directive [...]

The Prime Directive of Star Trek (or at least the embrace of it) may have evolved out of U.S. ambivalence about Vietnam. It was part of Rodenberry's vision of "progressive humanity".

The Prime Directive of "Star Trek: TOS" is primarily a way to process America's 1960s misadventure in Vietnam. Would that more generals and chickenhawks dreamed dreams that taught them of the limits of foresight and calculation, the surprising nature of war, and the unlikelihood of success if you start by breaking things. I first recognized that "Star Trek" was a very different kind of show back in the 1960s, when at the end of "Arena" Kirk neither kills nor civilizes the Gorn, but lets him go to make his own destiny. Gene Roddenberry mostly wanted to find a way to get people to pay him to make up stories, so that we wouldn't have to take a job that required a lot of heavy lifting. But he also wanted to tell particular stories. The stories he wanted to tell were those that would be the dreamwork for a better future. He wanted to tell stories of a progressive humanity. He wanted to tell stories about people in a better future in which governmental institutions were smart enough to stay out of Vietnam and people weren't obsessed with leaky roofs and food shortages. He wanted to tell stories in which racial prejudice was as silly and stupid as it, in fact, is. He wanted to tell stories in which it would be normal for a woman to be if not #1 at least #2 as first officer of a starship. He wanted to tell stories in which everyone--even the Red Shirts--was an officer, a trained and well-educated professional treated with dignity and respect by their peers and superiors. (Source)

Sci-fi For/Against Vietnam [...]

A breakdown of science fiction writers for and against the Vietnam War from June 1968 Galaxy Magazine:

Commentary on the differences:

Looking backward at the rival camps, we may be puzzled by Pohl's inability to distinguish between either their ideologies or their conflicting roles in modern SF. For the pro-war list reads like a roll call of champions of super-science and supermen, of manly and military virtue, while the anti-war list includes almost the entire vanguard of "New Wave'' SF, profoundly hostile to technocracy, militarism, and imperialism. Yet Pohl's yearning for the vanished if not mythical community of SF also represented a wider national nostalgia. For the apparently unified, content, smiling-faced nation of the late 1950s, product of the post-war repression that had stifled almost all dissent, seemed in the process of being torn asunder by America's war in Vietnam.

Indeed, when Kate Wilhelm and Judith Merril began soliciting signatures for the anti-war statement, they had assumed that "95 percent'' of the writers would sign because of the "global and anti-racist view'' that supposedly guided SF. Surprisingly, Merril was shocked to discover that Robert Heinlein was among those who responded with vociferous declarations of "America first'' and the "US must win.''


Prime Vietnam Directive describes how the Prime Directive of Star Trek may have evolved out of American ambivalence about Vietnam.

Alibi of Photocopies [...]

Via @RoxanneShirazi, a quote from Eco: “There are many things I do not know because I photocopied a text and then relaxed as if I had read it” (Eco 1977). He calls this the "alibi of photocopies"


On social media, people are often More Willing to Share Than Read what they share.