Ram Dass is ready to die.


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Insightful interview of Ram Dass – a spiritual guru who has been relevant for quite some time in the US.

Ever want to take acid for old times’ sake? Yeah. I think I want to delve into planes of consciousness. I gave my guru in India LSD, and he said that plants with similar effects were around in the olden times and that by taking them you could stay in the room with Christ for only a few hours instead of living with the Lord. That’s why I went to the east. They had methods for living with the Lord.

The complete article

David Marchese — The New York Times Magazine

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The #MeToo Backlash


An article on the unintended consequences and backlash after the #MeToo gained momentum.

Because the data was collected soon after the #MeToo movement gained momentum, and because much of it focused on expectations, the researchers conducted a follow-up survey (with different people) in early 2019. This revealed a bigger backlash than respondents had anticipated. For instance, 19% of men said they were reluctant to hire attractive women, 21% said they were reluctant to hire women for jobs involving close interpersonal interactions with men (jobs involving travel, say), and 27% said they avoided one-on-one meetings with female colleagues; only one of those numbers was lower in 2019 than the numbers projected the year before. The researchers say that some of the behaviors are manifestations of what is sometimes called the Mike Pence rule—a reference to the U.S. vice president’s refusal to dine with female colleagues unless his wife is present. “I’m not sure we were surprised by the numbers, but we were disappointed,” says Rachel Sturm, a professor at Wright State University who worked on the project. “When men say, ‘I’m not going to hire you, I’m not going to send you traveling, I’m going to exclude you from outings’—those are steps backward.”

The complete article

Leanne E. Atwater, Allison M. Tringale, Rachel E. Sturm, Scott N. Taylor, and Phillip W. Braddy — Harvard Business Review

Silicon Valley’s Crisis of Conscience


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Esalen is the place.

Esalen is one such place. Another is 1440 Multiversity, a sleek campus in Santa Cruz County—the boutique hotel to Esalen’s summer camp. Spirit Rock, a meditation center in Marin County, recently held a gathering to discuss “technology as an existential threat to mindfulness.” There are invitation-only dinners, private cuddle parties, conferences called Responsible Tech and Wisdom 2.0. “There’s a lot of debate about what to call it,” Paula Goldman, who runs a new department at the software company Salesforce called the Office of Ethical and Humane Use, said. “Ethical tech? Responsible tech?” If the name is one source of confusion, the substance is another. Is it a movement, or the stirrings of what might become a movement? Is it evidence of canny P.R., or of deep introspection?

The complete article

Andrew Marantz — The New Yorker

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An UnbeLIEvable Story


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This Pulitzer winning article about a serial rapist is more than just an account of crime and investigation, but an insight into our very own stereotypical mindset.

But her misdemeanor had made the news, and made her an object of curiosity or, worse, scorn. It had cost her the newfound independence she was savoring after a life in foster homes. It had cost her sense of worth. Each ring of the phone seemed to announce another friendship, lost. A friend from 10th grade called to ask: How could you lie about something like that? Marie — that’s her middle name, Marie — didn’t say anything. She just listened, then hung up. Even her foster parents now doubted her. She doubted herself, wondering if there was something in her that needed to be fixed.

The complete article

T. Christian Miller, ProPublica and Ken Armstrong, The Marshall Project

Trailer of Unbelievable (Netflix Series)

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The Antidote to Prejudice


There has been a lot of debate happening on the Kashmir issue. Friendship tested over political views.

Yet a people without prejudices, a people with altogether neutral vision, is so unthinkable in any civilization of which it is useful to think, that no scheme of education could be based upon that ideal. Prejudice can be detected, discounted, and refined, but so long as finite men must compress into a short schooling preparation for dealing with a vast civilization, they must carry pictures of it around with them, and have prejudices. The quality of their thinking and doing will depend on whether those prejudices are friendly, friendly to other people, to other ideas, whether they evoke love of what is felt to be positively good, rather than hatred of what is not contained in their version of the good.

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Maria Popova — Brain Pickings

Tarantino’s Most Transgressive Film


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As usual, you can’t ignore a Tarantino movie.

We can’t have a movie like this. It affirms things the culture wants killed. If men aren’t encouraged to cry in public, where will we end up? And the bottom line is the bottom line: Audiences don’t want to see this kind of thing anymore. The audience wants the kind of movies the justice critics want. But the audience gave Once Upon a Time in Hollywood the biggest opening of Tarantino’s career. The critics may not get it, but the public does. Is Tarantino making a reactionary statement at a dangerous time? Or does the title tell the truth, that the whole thing—including those old masculine values—was always just a fairy tale, a world “that never really existed, but feels like a memory”?

The complete article

Caitlin Flanagan — The Atlantic

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Lion King 2019 vs. the original: what’s better and worse about the remake


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Now that most of you are planning to watch The Lion King, this is good to know.

But on the whole, it seems clear that the 1994 version still stands head and shoulders above its younger cousin. It’s inventive and imaginative. The songs were written for that film, and the animations that accompany them are often whimsical and visually inventive in the way that only hand-drawn animation, which lets the imagination of the audience fly free, can do. And that’s especially important in a movie about talking, singing wild animals.

There’s little doubt that many audiences, especially hardcore Lion King fans, will find the new version charming, like a really faithful cover album of a beloved record. But in the end, it’s sad to see Disney shed the hand-drawn glory of its former days. Nobody, after all, really needs a documentary about lions, but with lip-syncing.

The complete article

Alex Abad-Santos & Alissa WilkinsonVox

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