Tag Archives | Culture

The ‘Commodification’ of Sleep

Adam Goode (CC BY 2.0)

Adam Goode (CC BY 2.0)

Via 21st Century Wire:

In the 21st century, like every other thing in our lives, something as fundamental as sleep has surprisingly become a ‘commodity’ – to be rationed – rather than an essential human need.

Can man really ration sleep and then medicate for the side-effects with pills, energy drinks, drugs and binge sleeping on the weekends?

The side-effects of this personal policy can be devastating to your health and well-being. According to Web MD, other conditions that might interfere with your day-to-day tasks include sleep deprivation can cause car accidents, drops in IQ, memory loss, increased aging of skin, and loss of sex drive. Aside from these, a chronic lack of sleep can either lead to, or exacerbate the following health conditions:

  • Heart disease
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes

Clearly, there are some serious risks associated with our 24/7, wireless, ‘smart’ culture.

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4 Perspectives On Jesus That Might Surprise You

via All That is Interesting:

If you’re a follower of Jesus’ teachings, or if you’re one of the literally billions of people who doesn’t so much follow as much as admire from a distance while still sinning all the time, you probably have a clear idea of who we’re talking about. Mellow hippie. Long, forgiving beard. Dreamy (blue) eyes. Swimmer’s build.

Yeah, that’s the Guy. But what if you were walking down a dark alley in first-century Jerusalem and you were suddenly confronted with this right here:

People who have grown up in the (equally weird when you think about it) tradition that Jesus was basically a WASPy lifeguard you might have met on your last trip to the Hamptons usually don’t think too much about all of the different possible Jesii* out there. He’s out there, though, and even people from cultures that don’t have a problem with diabetes venerate—and even worship—Jesus in their own way.

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Turn On, Tune In, Rise Up: DMT, Globalization, and Radical Psychedelic Engagement

This presentation was given by David Nickles at Liminal Village at the 2014 Boom Festival in Idanha-a-Nova, Portugal. David is a moderator on the DMT-Nexus forum and contributing editor with The Nexian:

Forty-three years after the UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances imposed global prohibition on psychedelic compounds, demarcating governmental efforts to end the first psychedelic revolution, a second major psychedelic awakening is underway. Set amidst the landscape of late capitalism, this resurgence is unfolding in the forms of renewed focus on sanctioned psychedelic research, the emergence of significant underground psychedelic research, and the rhizomorphic spread of global festival cultures.

The role of DMT in this “archaic revival” is impossible to ignore. From Nick Sands’ discovery that DMT freebase could be smoked in the early 60’s, to Terence McKenna’s discussions of the vaporized DMT experience sowing seeds in countless imaginations during the 80’s and 90’s, to the rise of internet forums and the DMT-Nexus in the 21st century, distributing information rendering the molecule accessible worldwide, DMT has manifested itself into popular consciousness at a truly astonishing rate.… Read the rest

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Humans, Baboons Share Cumulative Culture Ability

Gelada Baboon  A.Davey (CC BY 2.0)

Gelada Baboon
A.Davey (CC BY 2.0)

Via ScienceDaily:

The ability to build up knowledge over generations, called cumulative culture, has given mankind language and technology. While it was thought to be limited to humans until now, researchers from the Laboratoire de psychologie cognitive (CNRS/AMU), working in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Edinburgh (UK), have recently found that baboons are also capable of cumulative culture. Their findings are published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B on 5 November 2014.

Humankind is capable of great accomplishments, such as sending probes into space and eradicating diseases; these achievements have been made possible because humans learn from their elders and enrich this knowledge over generations. It was previously thought that this cumulative aspect of culture — whereby small changes build up, are transmitted, used and enriched by others — was limited to humans, but it has now been observed in another primate, the baboon.

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Festivals, Politics, and Change

Some enlightening words by David Nickles, of the DMT-Nexus’ magazine – The Nexian:

We can collectively dream of worlds that surpass our wildest individual imaginings and bring them into being year-after-year—and we do. Is it really less conceivable that we could take actions in our daily lives to challenge the systems and structures that seek to deny us access to that which we need to survive? By all means, change yourself and your festival culture, but don’t stop there. Unless we act to dismantle the destructive cultural constraints that hold us hostage, our change will never manifest beyond personal revelations and state-sanctioned temporary autonomous zones. We know we are capable of incredible actions; now is the time to focus on ways to break free of the culturally-prescribed containers of festival settings and to build new worlds that truly realize our fundamental needs as human beings.

Humberto Braga recently wrote an article entitled “How and Why ‘Conscious’ Festivals Need to Change,” where he argued forgoing one year of Burning Man in order to buy our way out of dominant culture by building a techno-utopic retreat.

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The Boom Festival: Awakening to Our Psychedelic Futures

Via David Nickles of The Nexian (The DMT-Nexus’ E-zine).

David Nickles will be giving a talk entitled “Turn On, Tune In, Rise Up: DMT, Globalization, and Radical Psychedelic Engagement” in Liminal Village at Boom 2014.

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BOOM Festival

Boom is a shining example of the thriving psychedelic resurgence. The very notion of coming together in an autonomous space specifically designed to facilitate transformative experiences reflects a contemporary psychedelic ethos that is spreading worldwide and taking shape in exciting ways. A rich modern history—as well as deep ties to prehistoric practices—has brought this unprecedented resurgence to its thrilling present position, and the potential futures on the horizon are the stuff of dreams.

Humans have been surrounded by psychoactive plants and have explored altered states of consciousness since the dawn of history. The rediscovery and popularization of some of these plants, alongside modern synthesized compounds, played a significant role, both as cause and effect, in the social turmoil of the ‘60s and ‘70s, with governments, militaries, and countercultural psychonauts exploring the depth and breadth of psychedelic experiences.… Read the rest

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The Oxymoron of Peace

500px-Peace_sign.svg

“Five centuries of European colonialism and global culture-trashing, and the remaking of the world in the economic interests of competing empires, cannot be undone by a single institution and a cluster of lofty ideals.”

Robert C. Koehler writes at Common Dreams:

“At the same time, values and ideas which were considered universal, such as cooperation, mutual aid, international social justice and peace as an encompassing paradigm are also becoming irrelevant.”

Maybe this piercing observation by Roberto Savio, founder of the news agency Inter Press Service, is the cruelest cut of all. Geopolitically speaking, hope — the official kind, represented, say, by the United Nations in 1945 — feels fainter than I can remember. “We the peoples of the United Nations, determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war . . .”

I mean, it was never real. Five centuries of European colonialism and global culture-trashing, and the remaking of the world in the economic interests of competing empires, cannot be undone by a single institution and a cluster of lofty ideals.

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Kenneth Smith: Self-Knowing

KenIn my archives, I have a large amount of terrific Kenneth Smith emails. This one is an exhilarating journey through the psycho-therapeutic idea of “knowing yourself.” (Smith’s paragraphs are in maroon.)

———-
From: Kenneth R. Smith <kensmith@——.net>
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2005 15:34:40 -0500
To: cbelan <c——@——.com>
Subject: Re: kernel of thought

on 1/6/05 11:54 PM, c—— at c——@——.com wrote:

Hi Kenneth:

Okay, there is a small rumbling deep in the dark recesses of my mind.   I’ll toss it and trust you to run with it.

Rumblings do set me to running.  Never mind to where or with what.  If it’s not an earthquake then it’s something visceral.

After years of therapy I thought that the goal in knowing oneself well was to apply that knowledge and awareness to a range of life experiences.   But looking back at my life I wonder if there are parts of it (namely that faith issue combined with work life) that one should just barrel through in trust of their principals and not analyze or try to make it match that “logic” side of me.

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African-American Fire Marshal Under Fire After Using N-word To Describe Concert-Goers

PIC: Coyau (CC)

PIC: Coyau (CC)

An African-American fire marshal is in trouble after using the “n-word” to refer to another group of people in an email to a colleague. They’re trying to decide whether or not he was just using it as part of street slang, or if he used it maliciously.

via Fire marshal accused of using N-word to refer to concert attendees | members.jacksonville.com.

A fire division chief used a racial slur in a staff meeting, an email complaint alleges.

While discussing plans about Jacksonville’s Welcome to Rockville concert festival, Fire Marshal Kevin Jones used the N-word to refer to concert attendees, saying “if those [expletive] try to put more than that in the park, they will have to deal with me,” according to a written complaint.

News4Jax obtained an email from the city that detailed the complaint against Jones by a fellow firefighter.

“This was very offensive to me as a black man because of all the racial issues going on within the JFRD,” wrote engineer Stephen A.

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