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Grieving could offer a pathway out of a destructive economic system

Grieving could offer a pathway out of a destructive economic system
Is it possible to hold all the grief in the world and not get crushed by it? I ask this question because our failure to deal with the collective and individual pain generated as a result of our destructive economic system is blocking us from reaching out for the solutions that can help us to find another direction. Our decision to value above all else comfort, convenience and a superficial view of happiness, has led to feelings of disassociation and numbness and as a result we bury our grief deep within our subconscious. The consequence is not only a compulsion to consume even more in an attempt to hide our guilt but also a projection of our hidden pain onto the world around us and at the deepest level, the Earth itself. Just take the recent news from WWF and the Zoological Society of London that we have decimated half of all creatures across land, rivers and the seas over the past 40 years. We read this and perhaps shake our heads in dismay, and then consume the next news story.

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5 Superhuman Ways to Crush Anxiety. There is something to be said for letting go, beyond its obvious necessity in our lives so that we don’t carry around everything we’ve ever accumulated like manic hoarders, and its capacity to fill us up with exactly what we need. It is counterintuitive to our conditioned thinking of more, more, more to believe that the most important gift we can give ourselves is to kick some things to the MF curb. What does this have to do with anxiety?

Centrelink is designed to fail the most vulnerable Julia Glichrist: Difficulty keeping a job due to deafness, but “not disabled enough" to qualify for disability support. Photo: Brendan Esposito The emails are heart-breaking. People, young and old, responding to the story of Julia Gilchrist, a successful young woman who has had trouble holding down a job because she is profoundly deaf, but has been told she is “not disabled enough” by Centrelink to qualify for disability support. The Silver Lining of Stigmas — I'm Proud of My Anxiety. By Brittney Van Matre The name Stigma was originally used in ancient Greek language as a noun meaning “a mark, dot, or puncture.” It was used to communicate separateness, separating one thing from another. The word began to convey a negative connotation after dignified Greeks used a stigma, or a physical mark, to brand their slaves — the mark indicating the right to less privileges than other citizens. If perceived today in the same historical context from which the term was derived, it’s clear that the majority of us would not associate a stigma with the human worth and dignity of those to whom it was unfairly applied. However, stigmas are alive and well, and operating with the same level of potency to this very day, but even worse, have become vastly widespread.

What L.A. can learn from a Portland homeless encampment My hometown, Portland, Ore., has a serious homelessness problem. Portland is often called the City of Bridges — more than a dozen cross the Willamette and Columbia rivers — and beneath almost all, at one time or another, one sees miserable-looking camps constructed of tents, plastic tarps, and shopping carts. It's impossible to avoid running into homeless people downtown, where ragged people sleep on park benches and in doorways. Some activists believe there's an easy solution: All the city needs to do is fund social services generously enough to treat the root causes — such as addiction and mental illness, get the homeless some job training and move them into affordable housing. But what if a significant portion of Portland's homeless people won't accept that kind of assistance?

A way to get power to the world’s poor without making climate change worse Back on October, I did a couple of posts — one, two — on the Scylla and Charybdis of modern times: energy poverty and climate change. On one hand, nearly a third of the human family lacks access to basic energy services like light, refrigeration, and charging for cell phones (which have become a necessity almost everywhere). On the other hand, lifting all of those people up to the level of energy access enjoyed by wealthy Westerners, even the least wealthy and most thrifty of wealthy Westerners, would produce enough carbon pollution to fry the planet. Debate around this issue has been somewhat polarized, since the gloomy assumption shared by both sides is that if you avoid one danger, you run headlong into the other. More energy for the poor means more climate pollution — it’s a choice of what (or who) to sacrifice.

Scientists Sign Declaration That Animals Have Conscious Awareness, Just Like Humans Photo: National Geographic An international group of prominent scientists has signed The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness in which they are proclaiming their support for the idea that animals are conscious and aware to the degree that humans are — a list of animals that includes all mammals, birds, and even the octopus. But will this make us stop treating these animals in totally inhumane ways? While it might not sound like much for scientists to declare that many nonhuman animals possess conscious states, it’s the open acknowledgement that’s the big news here.

7 Paths to Development That Bring Neighborhoods Wealth, Not Gentrification by Marjorie Kelly and Sarah McKinley This article was adapted from Cities Building Community Wealth, a project of The Democracy Collaborative, for New Economy Week. In cities across the nation, a few enjoy rising affluence while many struggle to get by. An August 2015 study by The Century Foundation reported that—after a dramatic decline in concentrated poverty between 1990 and 2000—poverty has since reconcentrated. Nationwide, the number of people living in high-poverty ghettos and slums has nearly doubled since 2000. Flycatcher empathy / ecology / belonging Through writing and visual art, Flycatcher strives to explore what it means—or what it might mean—to be native to this earth and its particular places. To that end, we are interested in work that engages the themes of empathy, ecology, and belonging, or that struggles with a lack of the same. We live in an uprooted time—a time of fragmentation, of hurry, of dissonance—and so truly belonging to a given place, or even to the world as a whole, might seem impractical if not impossible.

Zygmunt Bauman interview: Zygmunt Bauman: “Social media are a trap” Zygmunt Bauman has just celebrated his 90th birthday and taken two flights from his home in the northern British city of Leeds to get to an event in Burgos, northern Spain. He admits to being tired as we begin the interview, but he still manages to express his ideas calmly and clearly, taking his time with each response because he hates giving simple answers to complex questions. Since developing his theory of liquid modernity in the late 1990s – which describes our age as one in which “all agreements are temporary, fleeting, and valid only until further notice” – he has become a leading figure in the field of sociology. His work on inequality and his critique of what he sees as the failure of politics to meet people’s expectations, along with a highly pessimistic view of the future of society, have been picked up by the so-called May 15 “Indignant” movement in Spain – although he has repeatedly highlighted its weaknesses. QUESTION.

The World Becomes the Self's Body: James, Merleau-Ponty, and Nishida In this essay we aim to explore the significance of the striking convergence between the central ideas of the later Merleau-Ponty and those of Kitaro Nishida, a modern Japanese philosopher, against the background of William James' radical empiricism. After providing for some preliminary explanation with regard to Kitaro Nishida, whose name might be still new to most Western readers, we shall first establish a scene of philosophic encounter between James and Merleau-Ponty so as to better situate Nishida's ideas in contemporary philosophy. Kitaro Nishida was born in 1870, two years after the collapse of the feudal regime, and died in 1945, the year World War II ended. Thus, Nishida belongs to the second generation of Japanese intellectuals who struggled to steer an autonomous course in the face of the overwhelming influx of Western thought, and is generally regarded as the most significant philosopher of modern Japan.