Quickies

Quickies: Picking Kale for Rich People, Black People Being Shut Out of the Weed Industry, and Nina Simone’s Face

  • All the Things the Bible Wants to Execute You For – “These regulations are just those warranting the capital punishment. There are many others—sporting tattoos, wearing blended fabrics, and cooking steak in butter—that are also forbidden, but carry lesser penalties.”
  • Is Sam Harris Really a White Supremacist? – “Harris is making a three-step move here, which he uses so often that we ought to name it after him: the Sam Harris Shuffle. First, postulate a highly artificial example or thought experiment, like a supposedly hypothetical description of a suicide bomber that is carefully constructed to evoke a specific religious group. Second, affirm the intuitions and stereotypes that inevitably come to the reader’s mind. (It isn’t that you’ve primed the pump, it’s that they are onto something!) Third, inoculate against nuance. Promise that there is one magic explanation, which P.C. culture doesn’t want you to know about.” From Alex.
  • Two College Degrees Later, I Was Still Picking Kale For Rich People – “While buying groceries for rich people, I realized upward mobility in America is largely a myth.”
  • 5 Ancient Sites Built to Align with the Spring Equinox – “The quirks of measuring time are also why astronomical events such as the equinoxes were so important in ancient cultures. Equinoxes and solstices are a reliable way to mark seasons, and human civilizations throughout history have monitored such astronomical phenomena, incorporating these events into their cultural and religious practices. Today, evidence of these practices can be observed through the buildings and structures our ancestors left behind. To celebrate today’s equinox, we’ve compiled a list of ancient structures designed to interact with the astronomical arrival of spring.”
  • Dear J.K. Rowling: Wakanyeja Video Response to History of #MagicinNorthAmerica – “Mimi has some truly fantastic ideas on how to incorporate Native characters into magic (historical AND contemporary) and I’m working with some great (and busy) minds to try and recreate Rowling’s HOMINA into something both entertaining and respectful.” From Radium.
  • The 15-Year-Old Schoolgirl Who Paved the Way for Rosa Parks – “Most likely when you hear the name Rosa Parks, you think about the first brave African-American woman who refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Little do most of us know, there was a young girl who came first (nine months before Rosa Parks), her name is Claudette Colvin and she was a 15-year-old schoolgirl at the time.”
  • The Black Spies in a Confederate White House – “How a secret intelligence network successfully spied on Confederate leader Jefferson Davis in his own home.”
  • How Black People Are Being Shut Out of America’s Weed Boom – “For most jobs, experience will help you get ahead. In the marijuana industry, it’s not that simple. Yes, investors and state governments are eager to hire and license people with expertise in how to cultivate, cure, trim, and process cannabis. But it can’t be someone who got caught. Which for the most part means it can’t be someone who is black.”
  • Nina Simone’s Face – Ta-Nehisi Coates writes, “There is something deeply shameful in the fact that even today a young Nina Simone would have a hard time being cast in her own biopic.”

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Mary

Mary

Mary Brock is a scientist who works on drugs you've hopefully never heard of. She enjoys cooking to Blue Grass music, messing with her cats, and hosting the Boston Skeptics' Book Club. She was born in the South but loves living in New England (despite the lack of chocolate chip pizza). Mary does not use Twitter and don't even try to follow her, because she is always looking over her shoulder.

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2 Comments

  1. March 21, 2016 at 9:38 am —

    Goodness, the Harris apologists are out in force over on religiousdispatches.org.

    Sam Harris has shown himself to be an unrelenting bigot when it comes to Islam, and when called on it he likes to point out the two or three Muslims who happen to agree with him (the “I have a black friend argument) and then sic the dogs of war.

    I do like the term the Harris Shuffle though, it explains exactly the tactic he likes to employ.

  2. March 21, 2016 at 2:06 pm —

    Regarding Sam Harris, I’ll simply refer to the quote attributed to William James: “A difference which makes no difference is no difference at all.” He makes racist statements, makes racist arguments, all wrapped in the guise of religious criticism… he’s racist. He is indeed a white supremacist, whether he acknowledges it or not.

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