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I didn’t know then that the walls of silence and shame were part of my inheritance.
On a video chat shortly after these incidents, my dad warned me, “Be careful. You look Asian.” I scoffed. He said it like I had forgotten. As if I could ever forget.
Moving and poignant writing. So much resonates…
Really enjoyed the ending of this interview.
I’m wondering because being religious or not strikes me as a big part of how people experience hope. Some religious outlooks involve a notion of hope, or even of salvation, that comes from beyond just our life on Earth. And I think that creates a definitive divide in terms of how people view the future and how they experience moral demands on their lives.
I think for me, being alive is a practice of faith. Getting up and doing my work for the day and seeking out work that needs doing—these are the most holy things that I experience. But it’s not framed as a religious undertaking in my head.
Rebecca Solnit has a definition of hope as living in the unstuck place between optimism and pessimism where action is possible. Optimists think everything’s going to be fine, no matter what happens, and they excuse themselves from action. And pessimists think we’re fucked no matter what happens, and they excuse themselves from action. But hope lives in the unstuck middle place where agency is possible. I believe that what I do matters. So, by that definition, yes, I feel hopeful.
- AOTD on 8/23/21 - Scout: KapteinB
I feel a need to re-read this piece to process the emotions that overtook me throughout each passage. The overwhelming grief and evolution of Bobby Sr., Helen, Jen, and Jeff took my entire being to so many places.
There are people that need me. And that, in itself, is life. There are people I do not know yet that need me. That is life.
- AOTD on 8/25/21 - Scout: gorillasaurus
Really enjoyed this article and all the links to what may be additional thought-provoking reads! I always appreciate a dose of Viktor Frankl.
Part of being human is that we will forget our past suffering and start to take our current life for granted. But as Nelson notes, “The work is to remember more often than we forget.”
- AOTD on 8/21/21 - Scout: Jessica
So I think the reason that we seek distraction is that working on stuff that we care about is often scary. It brings us into contact with all the ways in which we’re limited—our talents might not be up to what we’re trying to do, and we can’t control how things will unfold.
This is a refreshing perspective on fear. “Working on stuff we care about is often scary”—so much resonance in that phrase for me. A great short read.
"To me, defending Hong Kong's democracy is the same as defending my own democracy. I can't just stand by and watch everything happen."
Nancy embodied so many of Taiwan's unique contradictions. Her grandmother identified as Japanese, her father identified as Chinese and Nancy identified as Taiwanese. Yet they all shared the same apartments and rights to a ballot box.
Taiwan's democracy is still so young. Nancy's story stirred something within me... a mixture of grief and hope. An important read.
- AOTD on 8/8/21 - Scout: Jessica
Love love love Yoga with Adriene and all that Adriene has given to the world with her gentleness. Benji is an absolutely precious down dog.
Benji was born on November 5, 2014 (a Scorpio: intense, mysterious). His likes, according to Mishler: tennis balls; carrots; a bagel-shaped toy he was recently gifted; his dog friends Panda and Willa. Dislikes: fart noises, which he finds scary; plastic bags on the side of the road, which he also finds scary.
Fascinating look at the development of electric cars! Those first batteries sound cumbersome, and how frustrating it must be to just go a smidge further from your original starting point.
Imagination is so powerful... I swear I could smell the horse manure in real-time, overtaking my nostrils.
As I read about the internet of motion, my mind immediately strayed to data ownership and privacy; low and behold, the article ends discussing those concerns.
Yet it should instead be seen as a cautionary tale in the other direction: that what looks like a quick fix today may well end up having far-reaching and unintended consequences tomorrow.
No global problem ever has a quick fix, eh? Seems like we as a society don't ever quite learn that lesson.
- AOTD on 8/7/21 - Scout: Jessica
They are living women with interior lives so rich, we would weep if we knew them. Moreover, they are young women, still years away from the greatest adventures of their lives. If stepping away from the stage—and our ever-encroaching spotlight—is what they need to do to live another day, how can we possibly argue for anything else?
Watching the Olympics from a screen at home helped me forget about the chaos in the world for a bit. Something I enjoy about the Olympics is learning more about the complexity of cultures and geographies. 1964 was a couple decades before I was born. Interesting to see the themes of rebirth and resilience, then and now.
Ultimately, even in the most clear-cut of cases, if a patient dies in the ambulance, an emergency medic may not learn the cause of death, or whether there was anything they could have done differently to change the outcome.
What if a chef never tasted a final dish? What if a teacher wasn’t allowed to grade tests? Would a lawyer be okay with never hearing a verdict? “If you don’t know if you’re bettering patients,” Kaczmarek said, “how do you keep coming to work?”
This is very saddening but also important to understand. It is somewhat bizarre to me that the Department of Transportation designated the EMS system. These roots must deeply contribute to how undervalued EMS work is in the healthcare industry.
- AOTD on 7/25/21 - Scout: thorgalle
“The urban impact of such an on-land solution is huge,” Coenen says. “Imagine seven-metre-high sea walls on the coastline. It’s like a reversed aquarium. The water’s outside, the people are inside. It’s a scary thought.”
The image of a reversed aquarium is frightening. And I have to pinch myself and remember that this was actually a potential solution which was considered and cost-estimated.
- AOTD on 7/26/21 - Scout: KapteinB
Reading this gave me the chills. I appreciate the author closing with something more uplifting about the kindness and respect for different cultures that transcend country borders… it does exist!
Years after that, when I started working in journalism, I met some wonderful American men who came to Ukraine for the country, not for the women, and ended up finding true love. Unlike Tom, they fell in love with our nation first. They studied the culture, learned the language. I am rooting for men like my foreign friends, who see their Ukrainian spouses as partners worthy of their own careers and lives, not young sex dolls.
- AOTD on 7/24/21 - Scout: Pegeen
One day as I unsuccessfully tried to keep a production day “on schedule,” I finally realized that my best bet was simply to turn the cameras off and go see whether anyone needed help in the camp kitchen. Those hours of carrot-peeling and potato-chopping with the community helped me get into a much more fruitful rhythm of friendship-building and did more for “allyship” than any filmmaking skill I could have offered that day.
Really love this snippet on how community and relationships are formed through the [small] choices we make in each moment, perhaps stepping outside of our usual habit or role.
This article strongly reminds me of Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass. That book is a gem, and I think you would enjoy it if you resonate with this article.
My heart sinks. It’s been nearly six hours and she still hasn’t given up on her cub. I can just imagine how many times she darted back and forth on that road in attempts to wake it. It's extremely lucky that she wasn't hit as well. The calls to the cub continue, sounding more pained each time. I glance back finding myself hoping it would respond to her call too, but of course, nothing. Now here I am, standing between a grieving mother and her child. I feel like a monster.
A painful story and it breaks my heart. National Parks have been flooded with visitors recently. I'm not sure if I will ever come to peace with the "humans versus the rest of nature" debacles... this is one of the things that keeps me awake at night.
- -0 pts - Scout: thorgalle
I appreciated this article! Great advice here. There are so many reasons to prioritize our emotional health. Happiness and unhappiness are both contagious.
In a 2019 study, researchers found that anger spreading around a workplace was correlated with more mistakes and accidents on the job.
- -0 pts - Scout: KapteinB
Fascinating! The first thing I thought of was the high cost, which the article touches on at the end. I also wonder what materials would be used to support the platform… those which could be environmentally friendly yet not easily degradable while submerged in water 100% of the time. Those two characteristics tend to clash.
Ava expresses this from the perspective of writing, though I feel that she’s describing a similar feeling that comes up when verbally sharing thoughts to others (especially those I don’t know that well). Of course the scale of the audience is completely different; yet, they both are forms of sharing, which in and of itself can make the sharer feel very exposed.
And yet: sharing is sometimes the only way to illustrate your point.
I find the brain-body relationship fascinating. Whether or not the electrotherapy techniques described here become implemented widely, studying their effectiveness certainly advances our understanding of the brain's complexity regarding stimulus and response, especially those that can be life-threatening or disruptive to someone's ability to go about their day-to-day activities.
This kind of electrotherapy will be reserved for the most intractable patients, for whom traditional interventions have failed. But what will be its limits? What if we could wipe atrocities from our collective remembrance? Or scrub guilt from a soldier’s conscience? Like any medicine, forgetting is both a poison and a cure.
I've been feeling very morbid about the climate crisis lately. There's the depressing climate-drought relationship near where I live, and then these climate-related disasters.
“If you issue a weather warning which says there’s going to be 200 millimeters of rain tomorrow, that doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t mean a lot to me — and that’s my area of specialism, so I doubt it means very much to the general public,” Speight said. “We need to change how we communicate warnings. For example, instead of saying, ‘There will be 200 millimeters of rain,’ we need to say, ‘There will be rapidly rising water levels, damage to properties, a risk to life.’”
Science communication is just as important as the science itself. I think we often do ourselves a disservice when we fail to communicate the real-time effect of situations such as this one (200 mm of rain) or the alarmingly high temperatures in my geographic area (fire danger associated with certain activities, power shutdowns).
- AOTD on 7/18/21 - Scout: jeff
Interesting read on Emre's experience at the certification program. I've been skeptical of putting labels on people, especially defining them into four-letter categories. It can be illuminating in some ways, but also limiting in that MBTI can serve as an excuse for our actions rather than us trying to make room for improvement.
I've recently realized that I'm probably much more extroverted than I think I am. (I always typed as introverted.)
This article reminded me of a job application process several years ago where I was asked to take a "Predictive Index Assessment" prior to my interview. The assessment included a section on level of extroversion. I have no doubt that my assessment results influenced the way that they steered my interview and perceived me before they met me. Either way, I don't work there ...
- AOTD on 7/16/21 - Scout: Pegeen
This article reminds me of Bonnie Tsui's Why We Swim. Tsui explores the human relationship with water from anthropological, scientific, and community-based points of view which certainly bring to light many themes in this article!
In this study, Emoto played music, displayed words, and prayed to water while it was freezing, and when the water was frozen it created crystal shapes distinct to each stimuli. When the words and music were positive and loving, intricate crystal shapes appeared, and on the contrary, when sounds and words were negative and harsh, chaotic, incoherent shapes formed.
Wow, I have to look into this study more. This is so fascinating. I have Emoto's The Hidden Messages in Water on my list of books to mull over.
Research shows that floating helps lower cortisol levels, which relaxes the nervous system, alleviates pain, and reduces negative effects of stress in the body.
I haven't swam much since I was a teenager, mostly due to lack of pool access. But I distinctly remember that my favorite moments in the pool were when I was floating. There's something about the weightlessness that just quieted down all the noise around me, and I loved how floating allowed me to only look in one direction: up, and often at the sky.
Aquacycling is a relatively new type of group cycling done in a pool with bikes that uses water as resistance.
Aquacycling sounds like a great challenge for me to ease back into the water again. I've heard that water aerobics in general are enjoyable and challenging. I'm curious to see if aquacycling classes are near me!
- -0 pts - Scout: thorgalle
- AOTD on 7/14/21 - Scout: SEnkey
I often think about the study on loneliness being as lethal as smoking cigarettes. I appreciate reading about another aspect of loneliness, and how it can so painfully damage communities and sow extremism. Moments of exceptional loneliness tend to be paired with a desire for intense belonging.
- -0 pts - Scout: chronotope
Not sure how I feel about digital nomads in the context of this specific article. However, this is certainly a worthy read and provides lots to think about. It seems to me like there is unnecessary problem-creation, and amplifies challenges we are already battling every day as a society.
As with many digital nomads, they stress how much they care about the environment. In Tulum, they promote their values by sharing Instagrams of themselves picking up trash on the beach. "We take our eco-conscious ideals with us wherever we go," Mackley says.
I’m glad they pick up trash on the beach. But read down a few paragraphs, and trash pick-up efforts are far outweighed by more devastating, large-scale effects that aren’t immediately recognizable:
But many nomads don't stay around long enough to reckon with the long-term effects of their lifestyle. Along the main road in Tulum, construction crews are tearing down row after row of mangroves to make way for hotels and restaurants. Without mangroves, which act as a natural filtration system, all the contamination created by visitors — sewage, bacteria, chemicals — flows right into the waterways.
Additionally, this is very strange for me to picture in the Himalayas of all places, and made me rather uncomfortable:
For digital nomads, there's already a new coworking, co-living space dedicated to Musk in one of the most remote locales, the Himalayas. The destination, WorkationX, overlooks the mountains of the Kangra District at Rajgundha and can be reached only by a four-hour hike. It features six suites, yoga classes, and a large mural of Musk and Iron Man, with Musk's hands clasped in prayer.
I’ve been wanting to read Oliver Sack’s books! Feels great to begin reading his writing in essay form.
While some see art as a bulwark of our collective memory, I see science, with its depth of thought, its palpable achievements and potentials, as equally important; and science, good science, is flourishing as never before, though it moves cautiously and slowly, its insights checked by continual self-testing and experimentation. I revere good writing and art and music, but it seems to me that only science, aided by human decency, common sense, farsightedness, and concern for the unfortunate and the poor, offers the world any hope in its present morass.
Interesting perspective I’d like to read more about. I think the answer is that some fusion of both art and science will be preventative medicine for “Humean casualties.”