Leisure, the Basis of Culture: An Obscure German Philosopher’s Timely 1948 Manifesto for Reclaiming Our Human Dignity in a Culture of Workaholism 

We get such a kick out of looking forward to pleasures and rushing ahead to meet them that we can’t slow down enough to enjoy them when they come,” Alan Watts observed in 1970, aptly declaring us “a civilization which suffers from chronic disappointment.” Two millennia earlier, Aristotle asserted: “This is the main question, with what activity one’s leisure is filled.”

Today, in our culture of productivity-fetishism, we have succumbed to the tyrannical notion of “work/life balance” and have come to see the very notion of “leisure” not as essential to the human spirit but as self-indulgent luxury reserved for the privileged or deplorable idleness reserved for the lazy. And yet the most significant human achievements between Aristotle’s time and our own — our greatest art, the most enduring ideas of philosophy, the spark for every technological breakthrough — originated in leisure, in moments of unburdened contemplation, of absolute presence with the universe within one’s own mind and absolute attentiveness to life without,

Source: Leisure, the Basis of Culture: An Obscure German Philosopher’s Timely 1948 Manifesto for Reclaiming Our Human Dignity in a Culture of Workaholism | Brain Pickings

A Draft for Asinabka 

Language is the hand of resistance or compromise. Memory is given shape and appropriated through the amplified narratives. Multiplicity and intersection of event reveals dominant form.

Language poet and political scientist Bruce Andrews described editing as the reading moment – editorial composition serving as method by which it is possible to reveal, according to Boston Review critic, Brian Kim Stefans, “the complex social vectors underlying even our most mundane activities and assumptions”. Sequence is recreated through antichronology: a fragmentation that isolates an immediate response to facts, that is unlike the interpretation of linear, chronological narrative. Assemblage involves this instant reading of the deep structures of events – the architectures of media representation, the absurd rhetoric of political process and interests.

Source: A Draft for Asinabka | Khaikin | continent.

Stunning, Historic, Mind-Boggling, and Catastrophic: Hurricane Patricia Hits 200 mph 

Stunning, historic, mind-boggling, and catastrophic: that sums up Hurricane Patricia, which intensified to an incredible-strength Category 5 storm with 200 mph winds overnight. At 2:46 am EDT October 23, 2015 an Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft measured a central pressure of 880 mb in Patricia, making it the most intense hurricane ever observed in the Western Hemisphere.

Source: Dr. Jeff Masters’ WunderBlog : Stunning, Historic, Mind-Boggling, and Catastrophic: Hurricane Patricia Hits 200 mph | Weather Underground

The metropolis and mental health: are big cities making us sick?

It is often said that we are living through another period of mass urbanisation – an age in which more and more people, in all regions of the world, are moving from rural towns and villages and trying to make their lives in cities – often megacities with upwards of 25m inhabitants. Indeed, the United Nations now predicts that by 2050 two-thirds of the global population will live in cities.

Policymakers have tended to concentrate on the economic and environmental consequences of this development. But there has been less attention to the effects that such a movement might have on mental health. Given that many experience urban stresses and strains – the hubbub, the noise, the competition, the density, the unnatural and frenzied atmosphere, the enforced proximity to strangers, the frequent combination of crowds and isolation – should we not be paying closer attention to the mental, and sometimes pathological, experience of city living itself?

Source: The metropolis and mental health: are big cities making us sick?

Police Leaders Join Call to Cut Prison Rosters 

More than 130 police chiefs, prosecutors and sheriffs — including some of the most prominent law enforcement officials in the country — are adding their clout to the movement to reduce the nation’s incarceration rate.

Asserting that “too many people are behind bars that don’t belong there,” the officials plan to announce on Wednesday that they have formed a group to push for alternatives to arrests, reducing the number of criminal laws and ending mandatory minimum prison sentences. Members of the group are scheduled to meet Thursday with President Obama.

The group includes the police chiefs of the nation’s largest cities, including William J. Bratton of New York, Charlie Beck of Los Angeles and Garry F. McCarthy of Chicago, as well as prosecutors from around the country, including Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney.

Source: Police Leaders Join Call to Cut Prison Rosters – The New York Times