“I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.” ~Edgar Allan Poe
Don’t worry. It’s not all doom and gloom. The glass is three quarters full. There are more insanely good things happening right now than insanely bad. And they are certainly not limited to this short article. There is hope despite the fact that things seem to be falling apart. Take the good with the bad, but place more energy into the good so that it can subsume the bad and eventually make it irrelevant.
Don’t be scared. Dive on in. The water is warm, with only the occasional bone-chilling current…
1.) Nate Boyer gives us some perspective on why Colin Kaepernick took a knee (insanely inspiring)
“Understand that we’re really not that different. We probably want the same things at the end of the day.” ~Nate Boyer
If you look past Trump’s divisive smoke-and-mirror highfalutin doublespeak, there is a sensible conversation being had between two very real and courageous individuals. Regardless of the fact that kneeling is actually more of a sacred reverence for something than standing is, the fact that an ex-Marine was the one who suggested kneeling to Kaepernick, makes it both about respect for the military and about solidarity against police brutality, at the same time. Here’s an inspiring video that puts it all together nicely (make it go viral!).
This is the power of sensible, across-the-aisle, discussion. The fact that two men, as different as Nate Boyer and Colin Kaepernick are, can come together as a team and reasonably and respectfully solve a complicated issue, is exactly what that idiot you all call president doesn’t want. The Powers That Be want the people divided, because divided people are easier to corral and control. But not even the Powers That Be “can stop an idea whose time has come.” Case in point: Nate Boyers idea carried out by the courageous Colin Kaepernick.
2.) Spain used police to prevent Catalans from voting (insanely tyrannical)
“Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.” ~H. L. Mencken
Independence is hard to come by these days. State-driven oppressive politics is hell bent on keeping people codependent on the state. Statists in power that don’t get their way tend to lean on the hired thugs of their nation state, the police, to do their dirty work for them. That was the case in Europe when Spanish riot police violently blocked voters from voting on the Catalan referendum. And their state of independence is still in limbo right now.
For far too long the people have been afraid of the governments of the world. It’s high time the governments were afraid of the people again. For, as Meister Eckhart said, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Only the people in solidarity can prevent the few people who are in power from becoming entrenched in their power and corrupting the rest of the world.
3.) Rob Greenfield’s Guerilla gardening green riders (insanely heartwarming)
“As soon as enough people in contemporary societies progress beyond adolescence, the entire consumer-driven economy and egocentric lifestyle will implode. The adolescent society is actually quite unstable due to its incongruence with the primary patterns of living systems. The industrial growth society is simply incompatible with collective human maturity. No true adult wants to be a consumer, worker bee, or tycoon, or a soldier in an imperial war, and none would go through these motions if there were other options at hand. The enlivened soul and wild nature are deadly to industrial growth economies – and vice versa.” ~Bill Plotkin
Rob Greenfield, adventurer, activist, humanitarian, and dude making a difference, is at it again. He, and many others, are riding their bikes across the US planting trees, guerilla gardening, and lending a helping hand toward a more sustainable and just world. Here’s a heartwarming video showcases their humanitarian adventure.
This is eco-consciousness in action. This is the hands-on personification of eco-centrism trumping ego-centrism. In a world of mass pollution and waste, people like Rob are changing the cultural dynamic. And though they are but blips on the radar screen of our ecocidal compost-heap of a culture, they are seeds, proving that human flourishing is possible despite the wasteland that surrounds us.
4.) EPA to kill off Obama’s signature plan to fight climate change (insanely ecocidal)
“Donald Trump is a fucking moron!” ~Rex Tillerson, United States Secretary of State
On the douchier end of the environmental spectrum we have the EPA, headed by Scott Pruitt – the most anti-scientific, coal-friendly EPA chief in American history, backed by the election of the climate-denying Trumpocalypse – who is ignorantly setting us back in our goal toward reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.
But, and here’s the ironic rub: despite the efforts of these two anti-intellectual nut-jobs, we are actually ahead of schedule in meeting the goals stated in the Paris agreement (Which, irony on top of irony, the Trump administration said it was withdrawing from in 2020). Which goes to show you that healthy, progressive evolution will continue to evolve despite the unhealthy conservative efforts to stagnate it.
5.) Current genetic engineering through CRISPR will change everything (insanely ambiguous)
“Designer babies, the end of diseases, genetically modified humans that never age. Outrageous things that used to be science fiction are suddenly becoming reality. The only thing we know for sure is that things will change irreversibly.” ~Kurzgesagt
The golden age of gene editing is currently in full swing. The technology is still in its early stages, but scientists are working on improving it. Our current CRISPR knowledge is like the first computer –it will get better. Here’s an incredibly informative video by Kurzgesagt –In a Nutshell on the subject.
There are doubts, sure, but eventually these doubts will be smoothed out. Again, progressive technology cannot be stopped. The question of ethics is certainly relevant, but this uncertainty will not stop the scientific progress. The knowledge will progress no matter what we do about it. Either we suppress it and send it underground where it cannot be regulated in a healthy way, or we use caution, reason, oversight and transparency to advance it further into a healthier future for our species.
6.) We’re about to cross the quantum supremacy limit in computing (insanely awesome)
“Quantum computation is nothing less than a distinctly new way of harnessing nature. It will be the first technology that allows useful tasks to be performed in collaboration between parallel universes, and then sharing the results.” ~David Deutsch
The laptop I’m currently writing this article on might as well be a dinosaur. Quantum computing has just taken another monumental step toward solving problems that classical computers cannot. Since Richard Feynman’s 1981 proposal of quantum computing, things have come a long way.
At the 4th International Conference on Quantum Technologies, Mikhail Lukin’s Harvard team announced that they have successfully tested a 51-qubit device, thus setting a landmark in the quest for quantum supremacy. Which is a far-cry from the monumental goal of 100,000 qubits, but it is still a huge step in the right direction.
Where classical computers rely on an increasingly outdated binary method of 1’s and 0’s, Quantum computing gives us a third kind of in between bit that’s in a state of quantum superposition: “that odd cloud of ‘maybes’ that a particle occupies before we observe its existence cemented as one of two different states” (Mike McRae). This means that decision problems that normally require a “yes” or “no” answer can instead “ask” for samples from a probability distribution, which will speed up computation beyond our wildest imaginations. Here’s a video that explains quantum computing in an entertaining way.
It’s a lot of complicated hyper-math and hyper-physics, but it’s groundbreaking and further research will literally change everything we know about computing power.
7.) Eminem’s Trump smack-down (insanely ballsy)
“We better give Obama props ’cause what we got in office now is a kamikaze that will probably cause a nuclear holocaust while the drama pops, and he waits for shit to quiet down, he’ll just gas his plane up and fly around till the bombing stops.” ~Eminem
The God of Rap himself, Eminem, dropped a bomb on the greedy, orange-headed, bigoted, narcissistic, golden-spoon-fed baby of a man, Franken-Trump, that some people (definitely not me) call president. Here’s the video. Meanwhile, the nation is on pins and needles waiting for a Trump Twitter response.
This one, as quoted from a LeBron James tweet, was a particularly juicy gem from Eminem’s freestyle tirade: “Racism is the only thing he’s Fantastic 4 (fantastic for), cause that’s how he gets his rocks off, he’s orange.” And Colin Kaepernick tweeted: “I appreciate you @Eminem.” While hip-hop artist J. Cole tweeted: “Woah! Rap God @Eminem. Thank you. Potenttt!” Even Kieth Olbermann got in on the action, tweeting: “After 27 years of doubts about rap, I am now an @Eminem fan. Best political writing of the year, period.”
This is a case of power speaking truth to power. Very rare indeed. You know things are going bad when even the shady bad-boy of rap has to come out of hiding and take a bite out of some of that orange-flavored-ass that is your delicate little snowflake of a POTUS.
(Featured image: Shuttershock)