ISSUE 1.34

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The Heat Death

The heat death of the world, the source of self, Donald Trump Jr. (HA!), teleportation, lethal lakes, and more.


The Uninhabitable Earth

All right, all right. You've probably already read this one. (If not, do it. It is horrifying, but important.) One scientist recommends dispersing sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere to turn into sulfuric acid so that it'll reflect 2% of the sun's rays back, buying the planet "wiggle room" for more heat. "Of course, that would make our sunsets very red, would bleach the sky, would make more acid rain," he adds. Which I find hilarious, in the darkest of ways. It makes me think of White Noise by Don DeLillo, where nuclear radiation has irradiated the sky, turning sunsets intensely red yet somehow dramatic and beautiful. There is a beauty to something in flames, isn't there? And we would novel at the sky turning vivid purple and green with poisonous gases before it murdered us.

OK, but, breathe. There are plenty of people saying that alarmism won't help us fight climate change, and one of the scientists who was interviewed (but not cited) in the article reminds us that "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". But here's the thing--I don't think the populace (that is, everyday people like you and me) need to hear that. I don't think it's good for me to hear that we still need more evidence, that things might not be as bad as people say it is, because frankly, that enables my awful habits, my carbon footprint, my laziness and irresponsibility. Sometimes, there should be terror. Sometimes, there should be a very serious, grave reaction. Sometimes, we should allow ourselves to get very, very scared; so that we can change. (It's how I kept from becoming a total loser after college--I scared the shit out of myself with the existential dread of ending up at 40, having done nothing but played a lot of video games most my life.) Besides--climate reporting's facts make it extremely hard to give it proper attention. Frankly, whether or not the world is going to actually burn, I sure as hell don't want to die of heat stroke at 60, thinking about all of the tiny differences I could have made.

Oh, you know what's the worst though? 71% of global emissions are caused by 100 companies (and 50% by 25). So if you want to make a fundamental change--give lawyers your money, put on a suit, and take those companies down from the inside. Use mind control to convince the second-in-commands to convince the first-in-commands to change. OK, OK--I'm getting a little crazy here. But good god, is this really all (mostly) happening because of a bunch of hyper-rich assholes who are going to be dead before I'm going to be dead? Shit like this makes me miss the days of monarchal philosopher kings. Except maybe all the cutting babies in half and stuff. And probably the rampant sexism and forced hierarchical class system. And also poor plumbing. And--OK, moving on...


I attend, therefore I am

In this climate climate (heh), I've found meditation to be incredibly useful. Seriously, it's so useful, let's sidebar real quick.

(Short exercise: take 5m at the top of your day and at the evening to close your eyes in a relaxed position sitting or lying down and just listen to your thoughts actively. If your thoughts become "vivid", as in you can no longer feel your consciousness paying attention and you've become enraptured by your thoughts, you should pull yourself back and continue watching. Every day, increase this by 1m and stop at 10m (or at an hour or whatever you want, you meditation sicko). I've found my consciousness to be wholly and entirely changed after just roughly 2 months of this.)

All right, back to reality. Where am I, exactly? At the moment I write this, I'm in the words. My orientation is... forwards, I don't know how else to describe it. My mind leans into the page. I'm there with you; imagining you reading it. You're probably imagining me imagining you. Maybe you feel close to me. (I hope so. We're in this together.) And at other times, when I'm lost in thought, I'm nowhere but in that thought. I've realized that when I get really lost in thought, I literally go blind. OK, maybe not LITERALLY, but I'm not paying attention to my ocular input. I'm not using my eyes. And when I come back, I have to "remember" what I saw, because I was so far away. This is a particularly bad thing while driving. And if I drink (NOT while driving) and get wasted, get blasted, get obliterated (there's a theme to these words), at some of these moments I'm disappeared, too. Disappeared into emotion, into a dance, into music, into thinking about a woman. Where have I gone? Where am I? And then in the meditation I'm so here. But the body, in extreme feeling, or panic, or lethargy, can augment or ravage the mind as well. What am I now? In my opinion, not just what I pay attention to, but the way in which I pay it.

Hmm... I didn't mean to give you my whole psyche-story there. But anyway, that article is about that stuff.


AHAHAHAH--I mean, Russian Dirt on Clinton? ‘I Love It,’ Donald Trump Jr. Said

I can't believe this shit. Did the son of the President of the United States seriously just incriminate himself and his father in tweet form by sharing extremely sensitive emails? It seems that's exactly what happened, even as some people argue that it's not collusion if you do it badly. This is a fairly political link, but in my opinion, the extreme incompetency of the U.S. administration is extremely on the Glitchet theme. (What the fuck is the Glitchet theme, anyway?)


First Object Teleported from Earth to Orbit

OK, don't get too excited--it's a photon. But still. This is sick. The crazy thing is that scientists envisioned this in the nineties, and now we're (finally) using the tech to do teleportation. I don't totally understand the science here, but basically they make two photons be one photon and check that the two-one-photon(s) moved between space and the earth. There's a five-year-old's explanation for quantum physics. Eat me, scientists. (Kidding. I have the utmost respect for scientists, especially the quantum ones. Especially because they can travel through spacetime and beat me up for being rude.)


Ravens have paranoid, abstract thoughts about other minds

To quoth a tweet: oh, so when a bird does it it's news

But seriously, this is pretty wild because it further challenges our anthrocentric (humans being the center of reality) view of the world and the universe and really shakes it up. Maybe we're not the point. Maybe the point is ravens. Maybe the point is dolphins--or elephants--or octopuses. Maybe all of consciousness is a farce created by an alien ravolephapus to see whether or not we'd treat their individuated animal buddies with kindness or not. (OK. Back away from the edge, Way.) And if there's anything you need to know here, it's to not be a dick to ravens (or crows, for that matter). They're really smart, can remember your face, and hold a grudge. Seriously, they did studies.


The Potential Death of SoundCloud Should Scare Music Lovers

Never forget that the platform or service you use and don't pay for is merely the land of a feudal lord in an extremely violent and erratic feudalworld where all the other feudlords are fighting and killing each other constantly (I don't know feudalism that well, leave me alone). More seriously though, I've always found myself avoiding SoundCloud subconsciously specifically because it's special. I know they have tons of original work by obscure artists and fantastic work, but that's part of the problem. What if it all goes away? What's their monetization model? Are they big enough to succeed? It's a lot to put my effort and trust into a service and then see it be torn from my hands and forced to convert to the new imperialist's religion. And frankly, I already pay Lord Spotify taxes to the tune of $10 a month (and I get the title Peasant Ofe The Premiume) and I know Lord Spotify is the greatest lord in all of Musicvalley and unlikely to go anywhere any time soon.


The Selfie Monkey Goes to the Ninth Circuit

PETA is taking a monkey to court. OK, specifically, PETA is taking a monkey to court then representing that monkey in that same court. In case you're not caught up--a monkey took a selfie and then Wikimedia was like "yo photographer man you don't own the copyright to this, the monkey owns the copyright" and then the photographer was like "what that makes no god damn sense monkeys can't own copyrights" and then published a book with it even though the US Copyright Office was like "yo you don't have copyright on that" and PETA was like "yo we're gonna sue you" AND ALSO DID I MENTION THE MONKEY IS NAMED "NARUTO"? and then there's another monkey in there and PETA might not even be representing the right monkey????????

Oh also apparently the US Copyright Office will not register "work purportedly created by divine or supernatural" beings, which I did not know. That really throws a wrench into all of my plans.