What I learned last week (#132): no beef

Learned last week: great firewall, ideas from the trash, doing drugs differently, and more!

A weekly selection of what I explored last week.


Quote I enjoyed this week:

Happy is what you realise you are a fraction of a second before it’s too late.

Ali Smith

Why I never have beef:

This track made me laugh.

I had psoriasis all over my body. It was driving me crazy. I asked the doctor, “Could it be something I’m eating?” She looked me dead in the eye, straight faced, “Food has nothing to do with it.” Thank God for the intuition to disregard her “treatment plan” intended to make me a lifetime customer of the medical industry. Year and a half after removing all meat and dairy from my diet, my skin is completely clear. I met a dude who told me he cured his diabetes eating plants. I talked to a guy just the other day who told me he cured his mother’s cancer. It’s all in The China Study; you should read that. I’m not saying everybody is the same. I’m just saying my doctor straight lied to me. Now that’s true, that’s why I never have no beef.

Homeboy Sandman – “No Beef” (Feat. Aesop Rock): https://www.stereogum.com/2153474/homeboy-sandman-no-beef-feat-aesop-rock/music/


Overly sarcastic funny-and-scary history of Chinese internet censorship and the future:

Give this a bit to get going, it’s really good.


Exploring our relationship with fear:

I like the idea of this approach to taking things you threw away:

“For the first three months, I place each student at a table with a thousand pieces of white paper and a trash can underneath. Every day they have to sit at the table for several hours and write ideas. They put the ideas they like on the right side of the table; the ones they don’t like, they put in the trash. But we don’t throw out the trash. After three months, I only take the ideas from the trash can. I don’t even look at the ideas they liked. Because the trash can is a treasure trove of things they’re afraid to do.”

Also, this “performance art” sounds like a wild experience:

In one of her pieces, people entered the gallery while she stood completely still, dressed in a blouse and pants. On a table in front of her were dozens of objects—things like cards, lipstick, pins, and even a gun. Over the next hours, the audience was invited to use any object to do whatever they wanted to Abramovic. Slowly at first, but with increasing momentum, they began to interact with her body. They moved her arms, put lipstick on her, put cards in her hand. One person stuck a pin into her. Only at the end of the night did security intervene when someone picked up the gun and prepared to shoot her.

Mirror Your Audience: Four Life Lessons From Performance Artist Marina Abramović: https://fs.blog/2021/07/lessons-marina-abromovic


Why is it so hard to be wrong, and talk about it?

Humans have an instinctive aversion to the possibility of being wrong. Armed with a hypothesis, we bend reality around it, clinging to our opinions even in the face of evidence to the contrary. If I believe that the world is going to hell in a handcart, I’ll notice only bad news and screen out the good. Once I’ve decided that the Moon landings were a hoax, I’ll watch YouTube videos that agree with me and reason away any counter­evidence that might cross my path. Intelligence is no protection from confirmation bias, nor is knowledge. In fact, clever and knowledgeable individuals have been shown to be more prone to it, since they’re better at finding reasons to support what they already believe, and more confident in their own mistaken views.

Why disagreement is vital to advancing human understanding: https://aeon.co/essays/why-disagreement-is-vital-to-advancing-human-understanding


On going beyond the black-and-white notions of the war on drugs:

There are numerous examples of Indigenous peoples that have successfully incorporated psychedelic compounds into their cultures as a sacrament, medicine or medium of communication. Surveying these cultures, you find a few common denominators. People seldom, if ever, use a psychedelic alone and never casually: They are taken for a specific reason, with an intention. There is almost always an elder presiding, someone who knows the psychic terrain and can create a suitable container for the experience. And invariably the experience takes place within a structure of ritual.

How Should We Do Drugs Now? https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/09/opinion/sunday/drug-legalization-mdma-psilocybin.html


The dark side of chess:

It is an open secret in chess that many players cut side deals with tournament organizers and other top competitors that help them achieve norms they might have struggled to get legitimately.

The Dark Side of Chess: Payoffs, Points and 12-Year-Old Grandmasters: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/13/sports/chess-karjakin-mishra-grandmasters.html


Just for fun: Michael Jordan’s Legendary Fakes


What I wrote and drew about this week:


What I did, was reminded of, or was thankful for last week:

  • I started to get some more mileage into my runs as it was only the second week for me back running since my injury.
  • Finished watching Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood. What a weird and wild ride of a movie. My favorite scene is where DiCaprio is forgetting his lines and losing his shit while filming the scene in the tavern. Loved it.
  • Kav and I finally made it out for a night out this past weekend and enjoyed a meal cooked at an actual restaurant, in the restaurant it was cooked in. It was all veggie (eggplant cassoulet!) and all super good.
Sam dancing on the table. Animated GIF.

Last but not least, check out what I’m up to now.

Comments welcome!