Back in the city and I’m spent, even with that strong full moon pulling the sea and the seedlings up from Earth. This should inspire the usual sympathetic placebo effect, but I’m still in a Pacific Northwest Winter body: a little damp and torpid. I’m contemplating the possibility of an espresso, after a long hip stretch and a load of laundry. First, though, the multi-slacking (thanks, N) of downloads, email backlog and a blogroll. Some highlights below.
The NYT profiles visionary Stewart Brand. Stay with it through the dull beginning.
He notes: I get bored easily — on purpose…. [Look for] young scientists with low thresholds of boredom, because otherwise you get researchers who just keep on gilding their own lilies. You have to keep on trying new things. Well… I do like this positive spin on hungry-mind syndrome.
Driving around the Willamette Valley yesterday, Lindsay and I did spontaneous comparative sociology of the astanga and the triathlon subcultures. Shored up many amusing similarities. Here’s a nice background piece on my side of the phenomenon, by a great teacher and writer I met last year on retreat.
Also for driving in the rain/ driving rain, Modest Mouse (note guitarist Johnny Marr of the Smiths).
So the lead article in the new American Journal of Sociology is full-on qualitative, historical analysis—no stats? And it’s by some grad student? And he gets a veiled hagiography of theosophist guerrilla-messiah A.C. Sandino past the censors? (See those gorgeous old photos.)
Wait. And the author is also a singer-poet? (I wonder if he’s seeing anyone.)
For subscribers, the new AJS also reviews work by Eviatar Zerubavel, the sociologist of cognition.The book is The Elephant in the Room: Silence and Denial in Everyday Life. There isn’t yet a subfield yet called The Sociology of Self-Deception, but in some ways this elegant picture of conspiracies of silence and collective forgetting would fit. Thus the plug.
Also flirting with the censors, Alan Wallace and Shauna Shapiro have a new article in the American Psychologist. They draw on Buddhist “experiential inquiry” to render four keys to general well-being. And, Wallace recently presented at Google, in their Tech Talk series.
Finally, a little more Ira Glass. It’s just that his current radio-TV arbitrage experience has him saying interesting things.