I got an early hint of that when I was touring the United States for my book “Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin”. This was in 2011 and I realized that Americans had really forgotten about the crimes of Stalin – which is strange because we were educated, during the Cold War about Stalinist terror.

Timothy Snyder | SZ International

Make the world your university.

Lolly Daskal | Inc.com

Khazan: You mentioned things that don’t work, like highlighting a lot, or skimming your notes before a meeting. Why don’t those work?

Boser: Re-reading and highlighting are particularly ineffective. They’re just passive, and you are just kind of skimming that material. It makes you feel better. You feel comfortable with the material, but you don’t really know the material. Doing things that are a little bit more difficult, that require you to really make connections, is a better way to learn. [You might] explain things to yourself, [or] simply quiz yourself. If you’re preparing for a meeting, you’d be much better off just putting the material away and just asking yourself questions. It gives you a false sense of security, that kind of re-reading.

Interview to Ulrich Bolser by Olga Khazan | The Atlantic

In recent months, I’ve frequently found myself in places hit hard by manufacturing job losses, speaking to people affected in various ways. Sometimes, the conversation turns to the conflict people feel between the love of their home and the desire to leave in search of better work.

J. D. Vance | New York Times

On a plate, a single banana seems whimsical—yellow and sweet, contained in its own easy-to-open peel. It is a charming breakfast luxury as silly as it is delicious and ever-present. Yet when you eat a banana the flavor on your tongue has complex roots, equal parts sweetness and tragedy.

Rob Dunn | Wired

Every Arctic winter is an Ice Age in miniature.

Ross Andersen | The Atlantic

It seems many people aim to practice mindfulness so they can dissociate from their thoughts. Whilst this is generally what the practice of mindfulness is about, and it can lead to great insight (realising the self you think is suffering only suffers by identifying with the though “i am suffering etc”) I feel it may be missing the point a bit.

If we perminantly was not attached to our thoughts and impulses, what would we be. How would we have motivations and desires, a drive to act and do? How would we want to help others if we just see it as an illusion to some degree?

Is it not ironic that the cause of suffering is desire and aversion, yet to end suffering we must try avoid our desires so greatly. I always thought buddha understood the cause of his suffering because he was so attached to finding the cause that his desire for it made him suffer, and that woke him up. I have come to see meditation as a way of making people desire not to desire until they are thrown so far into their own minds in this way that they wake up in a similar way he did.

I just think letting go of all thought, for some more truthful way of living is missing the point. We are meant to be individuals who identify with their thoughts for a reason, it’s just if your attached to them and have negative and harmful thoughts you may harm yourself and others. It’s a process of change but not into a blank state, hence why the chinese incorporated emotions and experience back into meditation more. A stone buddha already exists as a stone, why should people want to be stones?

Dreago12e | Reddit.com

Almost two centuries ago an idea was born with such explanatory power that it created shock waves across all of human society and whose aftershocks we’re still feeling to this day. It’s so simple and yet so powerful, that after all these years, it remains capable of making people question their very faith.

Scott Santens | Evonomics

Evolution has nothing to do with progress.

Paul Braterman | 3QuarksDaily

1. Don’t expect anything. Just sit back and see what happens. Treat the whole thing as an experiment. Take an active interest in the test itself. But don’t get distracted by your expectations about results. For that matter, don’t be anxious for any result whatsoever. Let the meditation move along at its own speed and in its own direction. Let the meditation teach you what it wants you to learn. Meditative awareness seeks to see reality exactly as it is. Whether that corresponds to our expectations or not, it requires a temporary suspension of all our preconceptions and ideas. We must store away our images, opinions and interpretations someplace out of the way for the duration. Otherwise we will stumble over them.

Sleipnor | Reddit.com

Radical aliveness

Early on in my career as a consciousness teacher, I learned that it was relatively easy to bring people to a state of what I call “radical aliveness,” where the mind is silent, the body is filled with presence, and a new enthusiasm for living is born. The secret, I realized, lay not in deliberately invoking a particular state of consciousness but in creating activities that require the body and the mind to be in the same place — in the Now.

Richard Moss | The Mandala of Being: Discovering the Power of Awareness


Random, please

The findings also suggest a disconnect between evolution at the genetic level and at the level of the whole organism. Genetic mutations occur mostly at random, yet the sum of these aimless changes somehow creates a predictable pattern. The distinction could prove valuable, as much genetics research has focused on the impact of mutations in individual genes. For example, researchers often ask how a single mutation might affect a microbe’s tolerance for toxins, or a human’s risk for a disease. But if Desai’s findings hold true in other organisms, they could suggest that it’s equally important to examine how large numbers of individual genetic changes work in concert over time.

Emily Singer

 randomSnake Mandala by EBalance at DeviantArt


Much of the cult of mindfulness is a reaction to technology. It speaks the language of detox, of decluttering. There is too much information. We need to clear our minds. Be and not do. The new ascetic is someone who goes for a walk without their phone or takes a week off Twitter to cleanse themselves. This version of meditation requires no more than the faith that we can all be self-improving part-time gurus. It requires no commitment to a community, and it’s cheap.

Suzanne Moore


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