I Didn't Say That #18
Grief Made Me a Person
Dr. Sam Harris: Using Meditation to Focus, View Consciousness & Expand Your Mind
The Year the West Erased Women
Male Inequality, Explained by an Expert
Who Gives Men Money?
Actually, Color-Blindness Isn’t Racist
There Is No Right Side of History
Vulnerability is essential to spiritual and creative growth
Grief can be seen as a kind of exalted state where the person who is grieving is the closest they will ever be to the fundamental essence of things. You either go under, or it changes you, or, worse, you become a small, hard thing that has contracted around an absence. Sometimes you find a grieving person constricted around the thing they have lost; they’ve become ossified and impossible to penetrate, and, well, other people go the other way, and grow open and expansive.
Arthur’s death literally changed everything for me. Absolutely everything. It made me a religious person. I am not talking about being a traditional Christian. I am not even talking about a belief in God, necessarily. It made me a religious person in the sense that I felt, on a profound level, a deep inclusion in the human predicament, and an understanding of our vulnerability and the sense that, as individuals, we are, each of us, imperiled. Each life is precarious, and some of us understand it and some don’t. I became a person after my son died.
The rigid and self-righteous certainty of some religious people—and some atheists, for that matter—is something I find disagreeable. The hubris of it. The sanctimoniousness. It leaves me cold. The more overtly unshakeable someone’s beliefs are, the more diminished they seem to become, because they have stopped questioning, and the not-questioning can sometimes be accompanied by an attitude of moral superiority. The belligerent dogmatism of the current cultural moment is a case in point. A bit of humility wouldn’t go astray.
I love this world—with all its joys and its vast goodness, its civility and complete and utter lack of it, its brilliance and its absurdity. I love it all, and the people in it, all of them. I feel nothing but deep gratitude to be a part of this whole cosmic mess. I have no time for negativity, cynicism or blame.
Nick Cave & Seán O’Hagan, UnHerd
Sam Harris & Andrew Huberman, Huberman Lab
00:00:00 Dr. Sam Harris
00:08:54 Sense of Self & Meditation, Dualism of Self
00:18:07 Sense of Self in Brain & Body
00:25:28 Consciousness vs. Contents, Meditation
00:28:25 Interrupting Sense of Self & Attentional Focus, Visual Saccade
00:33:30 Observer & Actor, Default Mode Network & Meditation, Blind Spot
00:41:57 Mediation & Paths to Understanding Consciousness, Non-Dualistic Experience
00:57:32 Sense of Self throughout Evolution
01:07:40 Sense of Self from Human Development, Language
01:19:46 Internal Dialogue, Distractibility & Mindfulness
01:26:27 Time Perception & Mindfulness, Vipassana Meditation, Resistance & Pain
01:37:13 Consciousness & Sense of Control, Free Will
01:43:14 Authoring Thoughts: Storytelling & Ideas, Free Will
01:52:11 Meditation & the Paradoxical Search for Self
02:06:44 Meditation & Concentration Practice
02:11:58 Mindfulness, “Skylike Mind” & Thoughts
02:15:11 States of Self & Context, Dualistic Experiences
02:32:39 Distraction & Identification of Thoughts, Meditation & “Flow” States
02:42:58 Eyes-Open Meditations, Sense of Self, Visual Cues & Social Interactions
02:54:59 Paths to Meditation, Mindfulness Meditation Step-Functions
03:05:58 Psychedelics, MDMA & Experiences in Consciousness, Religion
03:21:11 Meditation, Psychedelic Journeys & Inner Truths
03:29:48 Psilocybin, Ego-Dissolution & Thought Expansion
03:40:09 Process vs. Achievement of Goals, Fulfillment in Present
03:54:29 Leaving Twitter; Conflict, Life Interruption & Politics
04:06:14 Social Media, Attentional Disruption & Deep Work
04:15:39 Meditation & Sense of Self
Progressives care more about semantics than emancipation
If 2022 has been the year of the “woman,” it is a tale with two different final chapters: one hopeful, one less so. The first is set in a distant country, where an archaic, theocratic regime threatens to be toppled by women throwing down their hijabs and demanding their emancipation. The second plays out in a more familiar setting but in an unfamiliar language; a Western nation where the word “woman” itself no longer has any meaning, its definition rewritten to include “an adult who lives and identifies as female though they may have been said to have a different sex at birth.”
This is the paradox of the past 12 months: the existence of women is being questioned in the very place where female emancipation has come furthest, while in places where women remain shackled to medieval notions of honor and chastity, true feminism is at its strongest.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, UnHerd
Richard Reeves, Big Think
A look into scholarships
As far as I can tell, “Male” is the only noticeably underrepresented demographic in college that is also highly underrepresented in the scholarship world.
In fact, it is the only demographic where the majority receives many more exclusive scholarship opportunities than the minority. According to a study by the SAVE Title IX Equity Project analyzing scholarships exclusive to one sex in 115 universities, “among 1,161 sex-specific scholarships, 91.6% were reserved for female students, with only 8.4% designated for male students.”
Not surprising, exactly. Perhaps a bit more surprising: Despite a lot of crowing about how few men go into female dominated fields, as far as I could find, there is little money offered to encourage them. Women who wish to “break barriers” in STEM can look forward to diving into a mountain of money, but men who wish to do the same in a profession like Speech-Language Pathology (90%+ female) can look forward to nothing of the sort.
Sarah Haider, Hold That Thought
Why have today's most celebrated intellectuals ignored the historical record to recast it as a reactionary idea?
Eliminating race-based policies does not mean eliminating all policies aimed at reducing the gap between the haves and the have-nots. It simply means that such policies should be executed on the basis of class, not race. Not only is class a better proxy for true disadvantage, but class-based policies also avoid the core problem with race-based ones: to discriminate in favor of some races, you must discriminate against others. This discrimination creates an endless cycle of racial grievance and resentment in every direction. Income-based policies—such as progressive taxation, earned-income tax credit, and need-based financial aid—tend to be more popular and less controversial than race-based policies, in part, because they do not penalize anyone for immutable, biological traits.
Coleman Hughes, Coleman's Corner
I’m a political progressive. The idea that “history” is on our side—which we’re sure to hear during this 118th Congress—is a dangerous myth.
The progressive myth of history also makes for arrogance and condescension. I said that the notion of history as a kind of force that blows through human affairs is like something out of physics—but really, it’s like something out of Christianity. It is a secularized version of the Holy Spirit. “History is on our side” is a secularized version of “God is on our side.” “History will judge them” is an update of “God will judge them.” To believe in the Holy Spirit is to believe that it acts through—that it fills—some people but not others. To believe in “history,” in progress as a metaphysical principle, is to believe in the existence of a progressive class: the ones who push history forward, the ones who are filled with the future.
In other words, us. “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” Which means that we have the right—the duty—to teach others how to live. How to speak, think, eat, spend, make love, raise their children, vote. You know how enraging evangelical preachers can be, how insulting it is to hear them talk about how sinful and benighted the secular are? That is how most people, including a lot of rank-and-file Democrats, feel about the self-anointed progressive class.
William Deresiewicz, The Free Press
Nick Cave & Seán O’Hagan
If you’re not familiar with The Red Hand Files that Cave refers to in this clip—and that I’ve mentioned many times here before—I encourage you to spend some time reading them. I’ve made it no secret that my darker instincts sometimes overtake me, and Cave’s words at The Red Hand Files frequently guide me back to the light. Not only that, but they remind me of the utility, and maybe even necessity, of those dark instincts. They are, I think, like vessels that we must inhabit in voyage to the light. Without them, we would have no mode of transport or reference point.