Friday, September 21, 2018

Quote of the Day

Your reputation is more important than your paycheck, and your integrity is worth more than your career.

- Ryan Freitas

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Quote of the Day

He knew now that it was his own will to happiness which must make the next move. But if he was to do so, he realized that he must come to terms with time, that to have time was at once the most magnificent and the most dangerous of experiments. Idleness is fatal only to the mediocre.

- Albert Camus, A Happy Death

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Quote of the Day

There is no point in using the word 'impossible' to describe something that has clearly happened.

- Douglas Adams

Monday, September 17, 2018

Quote of the Day

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.

- Buddha

Sunday, September 16, 2018

On a Walk Through Busy India, a Nature Photographer Discovers a Craving for Silence

Noise is often termed the “ignored pollutant,” one that can lead to hypertension, anxiety, heart disease, and depression.

Nature can be noisy too. The blue whale and the sperm whale are noisier than jet planes at take-off. A snapping shrimp lives up to its moniker of a pistol shrimp, producing a shock wave that measures 200 decibels underwater which, outside water, is as loud as gunfire. The greengrocer cicada stridulates at 120 decibels.

On our walk, the “noise” of the desert does not grate on my nerves the way a car roaring past on baked asphalt at 60 miles an hour can. The car is not only eight times louder than the sound of crickets in a national park, but also a zillion times more repulsive. I shudder at the sound of a revving motorbike but revel in the trumpeting of an elephant. The horn of a truck sets my teeth on edge, but I can listen to an orchestra of Pompona imperatoria, a  cicada in the old forests of Borneo, which sounds just like a truck horn, for hours.

Studies have found that natural sounds do not have the same effect on us as artificial sounds. For example, in a 2017 study that used brain scans and heart rate monitors, along with behavioral experiments, people showed a higher level of stress when exposed to artificial noise than when exposed to natural sounds. The latter helped the body relax and function better, while the former exacerbated the body’s “fight or flight” response.

On the Out of Eden Walk, we have a rich complement of both kinds of sounds. Of all the things I expected to take away from the walk, I did not expect this: a craving for silence, a keener appreciation for the nature of sound, a heightened sensitivity to metal striking metal, motors, beeps. A sentiment bordering on misophonia.

- More Here

What Does The End of the World Sound Like? Listen to This

There is, of course, a western privilege at play with the extent to which climate issues affect more vulnerable groups disproportionately — often within the Pacific and South America — than others around the globe. It is, all too often, a deficiency in our understanding of ecological crisis, too — the fact that others are already living with its real, often destructive consequences. Anja Kanngieser, a sound artist and academic, is exploring climate justice issues in the Pacific through the Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research at the University of Wollongong. Speaking to me from Australia, they described a formerly colonized region, many countries within it having only gained their independence in the 1970s and 80s. The area lives with the effects of extractive industries such as mining and deep seabed exploration, alongside the nuclear testing legacies of the France, Britain and USA throughout the Marshall Islands.

Kanngieser’s sound art encompasses oral testimony, field recording and data sonification to amplify climate justice issues, weaving a narrative around the people and soundscapes of the Pacific. Their work consciously diverges from the pristine natural soundscapes feeding into conservation practices, which are founded on a western idea of nature at odds with the outlook and needs of communities in the Pacific. “There's not much discussion about how that particular idea can be really damaging for different kinds of people," they said. “There are Indigenous communities who rely on their environment for natural resources.”

- More Here

Quote of the Day

Liberalism has developed an impressive arsenal of arguments and institutions to defend individual freedoms against external attacks from oppressive governments and bigoted religions, but it is unprepared for a situation when individual freedom is subverted from within, and when the very concepts of “individual” and “freedom” no longer make much sense. In order to survive and prosper in the 21st century, we need to leave behind the naive view of humans as free individuals – a view inherited from Christian theology as much as from the modern Enlightenment – and come to terms with what humans really are: hackable animals. We need to know ourselves better.

Of course, this is hardly new advice. From ancient times, sages and saints repeatedly advised people to “know thyself”. Yet in the days of Socrates, the Buddha and Confucius, you didn’t have real competition. If you neglected to know yourself, you were still a black box to the rest of humanity. In contrast, you now have competition. As you read these lines, governments and corporations are striving to hack you. If they get to know you better than you know yourself, they can then sell you anything they want – be it a product or a politician.

It is particularly important to get to know your weaknesses. They are the main tools of those who try to hack you. Computers are hacked through pre-existing faulty code lines. Humans are hacked through pre-existing fears, hatreds, biases and cravings. Hackers cannot create fear or hatred out of nothing. But when they discover what people already fear and hate it is easy to push the relevant emotional buttons and provoke even greater fury.

- Yuval Noah Harari

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Wisdom Of The Week

Stop Factory Farming !
 The second big priority is factory farming. This is superneglected. There are 50 billion land animals used every year for food, and the vast majority of them are factory farmed, living in conditions of horrific suffering. They're probably among the worst-off creatures on this planet, and in many cases, we could significantly improve their lives for just pennies per animal. Yet this is hugely neglected. 

Quote of the Day

Maybe life is a process of trading hopes for memories.

- William T. Vollmann, The Rifles