Technology and Modern Life
- Apparently smartphone users don’t download health-related apps. Wait, actually, I don’t have a health-related app on my smartphone! Does this mean that smartphone users don’t care about their health? In my case, it just means that I prefer to handle my health in the real world, where, you know, my body lives.
- Pen and Ink bloggers were spreading this article a few weeks ago: How Twitter made handwriting cool. But the article doesn’t actually answer the question in the title (good lesson for article-writing, kids!). Instead, the article pits “notebookers and stationary fetishists” and “social networking, commenting and blogging” on opposite sides of “a modern social divide.” And frankly, this is just incorrect– but that will have to wait for its own post.
- Apparently men with liberal arts degrees are fairly screwed, professionally speaking. This is a good example of how sexism affects both women and men. Those poor artsy boys…
- So smart people are more likely to use drugs. Despite the titillating headline, the real point of the article is that in terms of evolution, intelligence doesn’t lead to healthy choices; it leads to innovative ones. Setting evolution aside for a moment, I think there’s a more important social meaning to this, in terms of today’s society. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the War on Drugs tends to punish drug users more than drug lords. Despite the inspirational posters in elementary schools, our society does not reward thinking outside the box (of capitalism, of a two-party political system, etc). When it comes to drugs, drug lords are thinking inside the box: they’re making money through exploitation and dependence. (Capitalism at its finest!) Drug users, on the other hand, are a problem because they reveal deep vulnerabilities in the United States: racial oppression, and the threat of innovative intelligence.
Rurality and Urbanism
- Cities may not matter as much as we think. (I mean, duh, from a personal perspective). It’s that damn suburban sprawl again…
- Transportation Secretary talks about liveable communities, but the recent election shows that public transportation might be down the drain.
- How the places we live make us sick, and how they could heal us instead.
- In my last link collection I included a Grist post about the lack of racial diversity in the sustainable agriculture movement. Now Tom Philpot calls our attention to women’s role in the sustainable food movement.
- Serious gift-economy inspiration: this guy lived a year without money. A lot of people say that it’s impossible to step outside the economic system we’ve set up now in the U.S. But frankly, that system isn’t exactly doing well, and this guy earns brownie points for provoking thought.
- Navajo nation talks about moving away from coal. On my recent road trip, we spent most of South Dakota driving through reservations; at one point we stopped to refill on gas and nearly got swept off our feet by the wind… which led to a conversation about how reservations could make bank if they started selling wind power to the US. Looks like the Navajo nation was a few steps ahead of us.
- On another note, I’m getting over my first horrendous cold of the season, so here are 12 DIY home remedies for a cold.