Every fortnight I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds.
“It is sobering to realize that words written long ago in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, based on opinion, intuition, and prejudice, can so overwhelmingly outweigh scientific observational evidence and the logic and language of mathematics.” —Geoffrey West
‘My father always told me, “Son, make sure you always align on what buzzwords the high level thought leaders are utilizing to operationalize excellence throughout the organization.”‘ —@MeetingBoy
‘My old man (84) is coming down from Scotland by train — he can get a deal in 1st class, cheaper than 2nd Class — but says “You never meet anyone interesting in First Class …” He has a point.‘ —@DonaldClark
Critical Thinking: “Misology is the fear or hatred of knowledge, rational thought and argumentation. Agnotology is the cultural production of ignorance. Both problems seem to be getting worse.” —via @telliowkuwp
But Germany offers a counterpoint. For a variety of complex reasons, including the legacy of the Second World War, the country has one of the lowest home-ownership rates in the Western world at just more than 51 per cent in 2017. But it also has one of the highest rates of satisfaction with housing, at 93 per cent. That’s because of a significant part of the German experiment: Most people live in rental housing, and it has been purpose-built as rental housing: high-quality, well-designed and well-maintained housing in excellent neighbourhoods that you can rent for your lifetime, and without a huge impetus to move unless you choose to do so, including limits on unreasonable rent increases. In the Canadian context, the lack of such purpose-built rental has allowed condos owned by investors to fill the rental-housing gap, which is fundamentally unstable.
Purser argues that mindfulness has become the perfect coping mechanism for neoliberal capitalism: it privatises stress and encourages people to locate the root of mental ailments in their own work ethic. As a psychological strategy it promotes a particular form of revolution, one that takes place within the heads of individuals fixated on self-transformation, rather than as a struggle to overcome collective suffering.