Hippies, Noneism, Paris, Carbon, Lobbying

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Hawai‘i’s Outlaw Hippies

Brendan Borrell | Hakai | 14th February 2018

Report from the Kalalau Valley on Kaua‘i, where Hawaiian authorities are trying to evict hippy communards to make way for high-priced tourism. “The valley is one of the most desirable places in the world to take a break from the rules and rituals of modern life and eke out a simpler existence. Living here is like popping a Prozac each morning but without all the bad juju. A fruit smoothie for your soul—or something like that. All I know is I want to experience it before it’s gone” (5,600 words)


Tom Graham | TLS | 20th February 2018

The philosophy of noneism. What does it mean to be something, as opposed to nothing? Do fictional things exist? They do not, almost by definition, but if they do not exist, how can we speak of them? How can we distinguish Sherlock Holmes from Zeus, if neither of them exists? Does it make a difference that they could have existed? “According to the theory, what we are doing when we think about Sherlock, for instance, is thinking about an object that exists in other possible worlds” (1,800 words)

The Architectural Sacking Of Paris

Claire Berlinski | City Journal | 23rd February 2018

Should Paris allow more skyscrapers? A proposed high-rise by Herzog and de Meuron, the Triangle Tower, has reopened the debate, and the answer is: No. Modernist experiments in Paris have been uniformly disastrous — the Tour Montparnasse, the Zamansky Tower, the Beaubourg, the Grand Arche. Better to raze these existing monstrosities than add to their number. “French architects are awful, and French leaders have no taste. This is a dangerous combination” (4,100 words)

Burying Carbon, A Primer

James Wimberley | Reality-Based Community | 25th February 2018

Estimating the carbon sequestration needed to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees centigrade. “Suppose we allow ourselves 50 years for the task. Assuming that 1.5 degrees becomes the policy goal, we will have to bury two to six gigatonnes a year. Ouch. A tonne of carbon in coal is typically 1.2 cubic metres. Using my proposed journalistic unit of the Cheops (the volume of the Great Pyramid at Giza), the sequestration effort will be from 1,000 to 3,000 pyramids’ worth, every year” (2,200 words)

The Power Of Marion Hammer

Mike Spies | The Trace | 23rd February 2018

Profile of NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer, who, by this account, writes the gun laws for Florida and tells legislators how to vote on them. Stand Your Ground, authorising lethal force in response to a perceived threat, was her creation. “At 78 years old, she is nearing four decades as the most influential gun lobbyist in the United States. Her policies have elevated Florida’s gun owners to a uniquely privileged status, and made the public carrying of firearms a fact of daily life in the state” (7,740 words)

Video of the day You Gotta Believe

What to expect:

If all the statues in the Bode Museum danced to the music of the Pointer Sisters (2’50”)

Thought for the day

Be confident, not certain
Eleanor Roosevelt

Podcast of the day Filthy Rich | The Hidden Brain

Interview with Brooke Harrington, wealth manager, about the lives of billionaires
(22m 06s)

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