"Have you ever lost the hunger? You seem like someone who consumes everything and delights in it all. But have you ever lost it, for even a period of time? If so, how did you get it back? Is the hunger of discovery and experience something that can be taught or practiced without being born with it?"
"I lose the hunger all the time. Right now, for instance. August left my body sore and my soul polluted. I’m spiritually exhausted, and the strength it takes to recover borrows from the hunger.
It’s not all that unpleasant. It’s not much of anything really, a sort of constant state of anhedonia. Nothing tastes. Nothing touches. Words come out of me, but I don’t recognize them. I’m just here, making a bunch of gestures and signs, interacting with a world I can’t feel.
It’s okay, though. I’ve done this many times. I’m comfortable with the ebb and flow of my emotional well-being. It’s a delicate sine wave, the amplitude and frequency of which I’ve learned to observe from a distance without needing to control it in the moment.
I have enough perspective to recognize the balance. I know better than to course correct with chemicals or consumerism. I don’t wanna fuck up my curve, because I know the hunger comes back.
It’s not up to me, but it always comes back. The trick is in giving up that control, in fully accepting that it’s not up to me, in knowing that nothing is or ever was up to me in the first place, and that it’s all gonna be okay, even if it’s not.
"Colorado recreational pot shops sold $29.7 million dollars of product in July. That’s just one little orange hair more than the med-dudes across town, who puffed in at $28.9 million. That’s—we’re just gonna put the whole number there—$58,600,000.00. Or, roughly the amount of money the White House is looking to spend fighting the Ebola outbreak across this little continent called Africa.
Which means that, according to this tax receipt, the State of Colorado raked in nearly $7.5 million in taxes and fees in July alone. Year-to-date is a coffer-filling $13,027,709. This is a nice twist from the reported $20 billion our government spends on marijuana prohibition.”
“Apple, Google and the other big tech companies should acknowledge that millions of their customers regularly use their products to engage in sensitive, intimate activities. These companies can and should offer a “private photo” option for sensitive photos that prevents them from being uploaded to the cloud.”—Lessons From the Celebrity iCloud Photo Breach
"There is an extremely high level of organization in ISIS operations and ISIS-controlled territory, almost reminiscent of a military dictatorship. ISIS controls extensive resources, military vehicles, heavy weapons and border crossings between Iraq and Syria. It has become a de facto terrorist state. Experts estimate that ISIS now has cash and assets worth $2 billion. ISIS adds as much as $1 million per day through extortion, crime, ransom and even the sale of oil on the black market from the several oil fields it controls. …
I understand that many Americans don’t want to become mired in another war. The conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq have claimed thousands of American lives and cost more than $1 trillion. But Americans need to understand ISIS’ degree of viciousness as well as what will happen in the absence of U.S. leadership and action.
If the United States fails to unite and lead the world against ISIS’ horrific goals, we could suffer the consequences for decades to come.”
“In 2002, having spent more than three years in one residence for the first time in my life, I got called for jury duty. I show up on time, ready to serve. When we get to the voir dire, the lawyer says to me, “I see you’re an astrophysicist. What’s that?” I answer, “Astrophysics is the laws of physics, applied to the universe—the Big Bang, black holes, that sort of thing.” Then he asks, “What do you teach at Princeton?” and I say, “I teach a class on the evaluation of evidence and the relative unreliability of eyewitness testimony.” Five minutes later, I’m on the street.
A few years later, jury duty again. The judge states that the defendant is charged with possession of 1,700 milligrams of cocaine. It was found on his body, he was arrested, and he is now on trial. This time, after the Q&A is over, the judge asks us whether there are any questions we’d like to ask the court, and I say, “Yes, Your Honor. Why did you say he was in possession of 1,700 milligrams of cocaine? That equals 1.7 grams. The ‘thousand’ cancels with the ‘milli-’ and you get 1.7 grams, which is less than the weight of a dime.” Again I’m out on the street.”—Neil deGrasse Tyson
“You know what this summer was? This summer was ISIS, beheadings, missing airplanes, airplanes shot down, religious minorities being persecuted, black Americans being persecuted, militarized police, Iggy Azalea having the “song of the summer,” Robin Williams hanging himself, and finding out Hello Kitty isn’t even a fucking cat.
2014 was the summer of existentialism, and it’s the kind of summer and cultural climate during which we should all discuss the matter of dying sad, scared, confused, and alone more often.”—WE ARE YOUR FEK
"The New York Times has a feature today [8/25] looking at the brief life of Michael Brown, informing us that he was “no angel.” The reasons for this are many. Brown smoked marijuana. He lived in a community that “had rough patches.” He wrote rap songs that were “by turns contemplative and vulgar.” He shoplifted and pushed a store clerk who tried to stop him. These details certainly paint a portrait of a young man who failed to be angelic. That is because no person is angelic—least of all teenagers—and there is very little in this piece that distinguishes Brown from any other kid his age.
What horrifies a lot of us beholding the spectacle of Ferguson, beholding the spectacle of Sanford, of Jacksonville, is how easily we could see ourselves in these kids. I shudder to think of my reaction, at 17, to some strange dude following me through my own housing development. I shudder to think of my reaction, at 17, to some other strange dude pulling up next to me and telling me to turn down my music.
And if Michael Brown was not angelic, I was practically demonic. I had my first drink when I was 11. I once brawled in the cafeteria after getting hit in the head with a steel trash can. In my junior year I failed five out of seven classes. By the time I graduated from high school, I had been arrested for assaulting a teacher and been kicked out of school (twice.) And yet no one who knew me thought I had the least bit of thug in me. That is because I also read a lot of books, loved my Commodore 64, and ghostwrote love notes for my friends. In other words, I was a human being. A large number of American teenagers live exactly like Michael Brown. Very few of them are shot in the head and left to bake on the pavement.
The “angelic” standard was not one created by the reporter. It was created by a society that cannot face itself, and thus must employ a dubious “morality” to hide its sins. It is reinforced by people who have embraced the notion of “twice as good” while avoiding the circumstances which gave that notion birth. Consider how easily living in a community “with rough patches” becomes part of a list of ostensible sins. Consider how easily “black-on-black crime” becomes not a marker of a shameful legacy of segregation but a moral failing.
“It took 13 years for the United States to come to its senses and end Prohibition, 13 years in which people kept drinking, otherwise law-abiding citizens became criminals and crime syndicates arose and flourished. It has been more than 40 years since Congress passed the current ban on marijuana, inflicting great harm on society just to prohibit a substance far less dangerous than alcohol.
The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana.
We reached that conclusion after a great deal of discussion among the members of The Times’s Editorial Board, inspired by a rapidly growing movement among the states to reform marijuana laws.
There are no perfect answers to people’s legitimate concerns about marijuana use. But neither are there such answers about tobacco or alcohol, and we believe that on every level — health effects, the impact on society and law-and-order issues — the balance falls squarely on the side of national legalization. That will put decisions on whether to allow recreational or medicinal production and use where it belongs — at the state level. …
We recognize that this Congress is as unlikely to take action on marijuana as it has been on other big issues. But it is long past time to repeal this version of Prohibition.”—New York Times: Legalize IT