Interesting Stuff Of The Week #3

#Procrastination #Productivity. Two good pieces on procrastination: The first is a funny and accurate comic from Wait But Why (a newsletter I recommend–link on the left). The other is an old essay on a tactic called “structured procrastination”, from John Perry, a philosophy professor at Stanford.

#Exorcism #Religion #TheSupernatural #Psychology. The Atlantic has a fascinating and bizarre longread on the surge of demands for exorcisms facing the American Catholic church. As a non-religious, science-loving, skeptical, agnostic philosopher, people inevitably express surprise when I mention my scepticism toward purely naturalistic worldviews, but I feel no shame in admitting that there’s enough evidence for supernatural possession cases to freak me out a little. I’d also preface the article by saying that the Catholic Church’s standards for testing for “genuine” possession cases are impressively rigorous (and psychologically well-informed.

#Music #Videos #Covers. The greatest band in the world is Tool and if you disagree or if their music makes you uncomfortable it’s probably because you can’t count higher than four without feeling like a toddler lost in a department store. For the enlightened, here’s two delightful covers of Tool’s songs “Lateralus“, and “The Pot,” by the political music collective Brass Against, and a cover of “46 and 2”, by a bunch of kids who are better on their instruments than your kids are ever going to be so just deal with it.


#Cats #Veganism #FoodEthics. Just because you’re confused about the ethics of consuming animal-based foods doesn’t mean your cat can be a vegan.

Cats are obligate carnivores. A cat body can’t synthesize the amino acids and other nutrients it needs to stay alive, so they have to eat food that contains them, and those particular nutrients are found in other animals’ bodies. It’s only a technical oversimplification to say that they have to eat meat, or they will die.

Sure it’s probably possible to cobble together a nutritionally adequate cat diet from the 391,000 species of plants that grow all over the world, but that would require a lot of scientific study, a very expensive supply chain, and so the end product would be so expensive no one would buy it.

Important quote from the article: “Under the Animal Welfare Act, the law requires an owner to take reasonable steps to ensure that all the pet’s needs are met…This includes a healthy diet, as well as providing suitable living conditions, ability to behave normally, appropriate company and protection from pain, suffering, injury and disease.”

#ClimateChange. The New York Times is reporting an Insect Apocalypse is upon us. It’s both the exact opposite of, and worse than it sounds. And WaPo has a beautiful, interactive graphical report on how the expansion of sail-able (there has to be a better word) Arctic sea is creating a New Arctic Frontier, which is set to become the stage for new tensions between China, America, and Russia.

#PoliceBrutality. Evidently, police departments have gotten in the habit of planting undercover cops in the midst of groups of protesters, probably not for the purpose of calming the crowds down and keeping them level-headed. So, predicably, it wasn’t long before one of these undercover riot-mongering cops got the shit beaten out of him…by the cops. Four have been indicted.


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Michael Glawson

Ethics, policy, & ideas geek. Alt-Ac Ph.D. Épater la bourgeoisie. ⛎

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