In June of this year, during the conclusions of landmark Supreme Court case Riley v. California, Chief Justice John Roberts, who’d written for all eight justices of the Supreme Court, noted that modern cellphones were “such a pervasive and insistent part of daily life that the proverbial visitor from Mars might conclude they were an important feature of human anatomy.
”What an amazing, thought provoking thing to say! Is Chief Justice John Roberts correct, however? Are our cellphones such an important facet of our daily lives that we might as well consider them extensions of our biological selves? If techno-philosopher Jason Silva has anything to say about it, it’s a big, fat “HELL YES!”
The central arguments of the book are that for “outside the box” thinking and creativity, and for your health in general, long periods of idleness are necessary. The book is intended as an antidote to “effectiveness” and “time-management” books currently on the market. Drawing on recent neuroscience research, I argue that while it is important to engage the brain in complicated tasks, it may be equally important for learning and memory to let your brain rest. I outline the history of idleness using thinkers such as Newton and poets like Rilke. I also address current management fads such as “Six-Sigma” and argue that these ways of thinking actually destroy creativity because they are the equivalent of an organizational seizure. This book will be of interest to anyone fed-up with trying to “streamline” or “optimize” his or her time and productivity according to the latest fad in extreme productivity. The book is intended to be for a popular audience; however it goes into some detail about the recent neuroscience on the brain’s resting state.
Originally posted on Longreads Blog:
Get a free trial issue
[ 1. ]
The word “journey” used to mean a single day’s travels, and the French word for day, jour, is packed neatly inside it, like a single pair of shoes in a very small case. Maybe all journeys should be imagined as a single day, short as a trip to the corner or long as a life in its ninth decade. This way of thinking about it is a;rmed by the t-shirts made for African-American funerals in New Orleans and other places that describe the birth date and death date of the person being commemorated as sunrise and sunset. One…
View original 4,793 more words
We can’t undo hundreds of years of cultural programing in a stroke, but the principles of black liberation begin to point a way out of all this for everyone, not just blacks. There are many great lessons to pick up from movements against the status quo across the 20th century and even before, but none in my study so singularly covers the issues that plague both white people and even the existence of our speck of a planet so much as black liberation. Black liberation is comprehensive — it touches on economics, social values, mutual care, environmental systems and problems of pollution, and even the availability and quality of food.
White exceptionalism, and even the elitism of old, finds their end in this age of global troubles. The is no sanity in maintaining these standards of difference. All our children share one destiny — to live their lives at the bottom of the same polluted gravity well, trying, and usually failing, to get their needs met as the acid seas encroach the land and the great variety of life dies before us.
With US politicians and the American media engaged in an increasingly acrimonious debate over the strategy guiding the latest US war in the Middle East, the United States Army has unveiled a new document entitled the Army Operating Concept AOC, which provides a “vision of future armed conflict” that has the most ominous implications. It is the latest in a series of documents in which the Pentagon has elaborated the underlying strategy of preventive war that was unveiled in 1992—that is, the use of war as a means of destroying potential geopolitical and economic rivals before they acquire sufficient power to block American domination of the globe.