Today’s food activists think that “sustainable farming” and “eating local” are the way to solve a host of perceived problems with our modern food supply system. But after a thorough review of the evidence, Pierre Desrochers and Hiroko Shimizu have concluded that these claims are mistaken.
In The Locavore’s Dilemma they explain the history, science, and economics of food supply to reveal what locavores miss or misunderstand: the real environmental impacts of agricultural production; the drudgery of subsistence farming; and the essential role large-scale, industrial producers play in making food more available, varied, affordable, and nutritionally rich than ever before in history.
They show how eliminating agriculture subsidies and opening up international trade, not reducing food miles, is the real route to sustainability; and why eating globally, not only locally, is the way to save the planet.
Self-interest and self-concern are the focal points of the false. Your daily life vibrates between desire and fear. Watch it intently and you will see how the mind assumes innumerable names and shapes, like a river foaming between the boulders. Trace every action to its selfish motive and look at the motive intently till it dissolves. Discard every self-seeking motive as soon as it is seen and you need not look for truth; truth will find you.
— Nisargadatta Maharaj (via lazyyogi)
We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills, critical thinking skills and similar programs … which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.
The Texas Republican 2012 platform, which officially opposes teaching students “critical thinking skills.”
Read 4 more of the Texas GOP’s craziest policies.
Creativity is, in a nutshell, a bit crazy - and most crazy people are too disorganized to do much. But geniuses require to be a bit crazy, yet also do prolonged focused work - and this is a reason why there are so few of them.
So - high intelligence is very rare (and some societies have too low an average intelligence to generate more than a tiny proportion of very intelligent people).
Within this tiny group of highly intelligent people, on top of all this, to get the coincidence of a creative way of thinking with a sufficiently persevering personality type is very rare.
And among this small percentage of a small percentage, there are the workings of sheer luck, there is the higher than normal risk of (self) sabotage by mental illness and addiction, there are the problems of a higher than usual probability of an abrasive or antisocial personality - and (as Murray identifies) the likelihood that for a person to aim very high requires a belief in transcendental values (the beautiful, the truth, virtue) - and that some societies (such as our own) lack this belief.
Put all these together and it is clear why in all societies genius is rare; and why genius is completely absent from most societies.
- Bruce Charlton, Why Genius Is So Rare
(Source: nextbigfuture.com, via emergentfutures)
And all this madness, all this rage, all this flaming death of our civilization and our hopes, has been brought about because a set of official gentlemen, living luxurious lives, mostly stupid, and all without imagination or heart, have chosen that it should occur rather than that any one of them should suffer some infinitesimal rebuff to his country’s pride.
— Bertrand Russell in “The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell
Adulthood, Delayed: What Has the Recession Done to Millennials?
Generations are social constructs. There is no chemical or biological difference between Gen-Xers and Millennials, but we talk about them as if they were different species. That Gen-Xers grew up “independent” and Millennials grew up “entitled” aren’t anthropological observations. Rather, they’re marginally useful stereotypes. If it’s true that members of a certain age group have commonalities that they don’t fully share with older or younger groups, this isn’t the result of generational determinism. It’s just circumstance.
The circumstances surrounding the Millennial generation are particularly strange. Many came of age in the longest economic expansion of the 20th century and graduated into the worst recession since the 1930s. The abrupt contraction of opportunity has left a mark. Unemployment among 18- to 24-year-olds was 16% in 2011, twice as high as the national average. Median earnings fell more for the young than any other cohort, and college debt, most of which is held by 20-somethings, is at an all-time high.
With education comes opportunity. That’s the deal, as this generation understood it. Now, they’re the highest-educated generation in American history, and they’ve graduated into … this.
When adults wonder what’s the matter with the Millennial generation that has increasingly chosen to live with their parents and put off marriage and homeownership, the first thing to say is that they’re using the word “chosen” wrong. Nobody chose this. The economy chose for them.
Read more. [Image: Scarleth White/Flickr]
Stat of the Day: 20 percent of South Carolina Republicans think interracial marriage should be illegal. Maybe they should watch this.
thanks again, south carolina.
Read. Re-read. Understand.
Take a few moments each day to get lost in the wonder of it all.
(Source: kluverkamp, via thomaswoodson)
To me Facebook already feels over. I really don’t feel like I’m missing anything. Look at it this way. There’s lots of stuff going on right now that I’m not part of. That’s the way it goes. Me and Facebook are over. It’s going to stay that way. And if I’m on a ship that’s sinking, well I’ve had a good run, and I can afford to go down with the ship, along with people who share my values. It’s a cause, I’ve discovered, that’s worth giving something up for. #
- Dave Winer, Scoble: I’ll go down with the ship via Scripting News
Facebook is the new AOL, despite the market cap. But it’s headed for a hard landing for other reasons that Winer is pushing. Facebook will fail because of the imminent rise of social operating systems — future versions of iOS, Mac OS X, and Android — which will break the Facebook monolith to bits.
The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will.
— Vince Lombardi (via creatingaquietmind)
Republicans have created this completely fictional President: his name is Barack X, and he’s an Islamo-socialist revolutionary who’s coming for your guns, raising your taxes, slashing the military, apologizing to other countries, and taking his cues from Europe — or worse yet, Saul Alinsky!
And this is how politics has changed: you used to have to run against an actual candidate. But now, you just recreate him inside the bubble and run against your new fictional candidate. That’s how Bush won in 2004 — by running against John Kerry, a French war criminal.
And speaking of Bush, I know conservatives are saying ‘Oh Bill, come on — Democrats did the same thing to him.’ No. Say what you will about the left’s hating of Bush, (but) at least we were hating on the real guy. We didn’t invent a boogeyman who tanked the economy, took us to war on false pretenses, and tortured prisoners — that was the actual guy.
But run down the list of complaints about ‘Fantasy Obama’. He ‘wants to raise your taxes,’ even though he’s lowered them; ‘confiscate your guns,’ even though he’s never mentioned it; and ‘read terrorists their rights’ — yeah, like he did Tuesday in Somalia.
…You see, the difference is the Republicans’ hatred of Obama is based on a paranoid feeling on what he might do; what he’s thinking; what he secretly wants to change. Anger with Bush was based on what he actually did. What Bush was thinking didn’t matter — because he wasn’t.
— BILL MAHER, Real Time (via inothernews)