“The Greeks understood the mysterious power of the hidden side of things. They bequeathed to us one of the most beautiful words in our language—the word ‘enthusiasm’—en theos—a god within. The grandeur of human actions is measured by the inspiration from which they spring. Happy is he who bears a god within, and who obeys it.”Louis Pasteur. (via jaded-mandarin)
The trite explanation for that is, when you see Earth from space, the borders disappear. You’ll be looking at Africa or Europe, and thinking back to what happened there 60 or 70 years ago, and you’ll be wondering: How could that little line right there have meant anything to anybody? You can’t even see it from a million feet away. But more important is that you can see that people all around the planet live more or less the same way. One of the guys on the crew put it best. He said we look like bacteria in a kitchen—we’re living in these sheltered little warm spots that have a nice supply of moisture. You can look down on a city and think, hey, I know that place. But then you wait half an hour, and you’re on the other side of the world, looking at a place you’ve never even heard of and, wow, it looks exactly the same.
So you make this link. You realize, “Those people are the same. They’re trying to solve the same problems the same way. They just have their own particular set of barriers and circumstances.” So it affects your response, when you hear about some idiot doing something stupid that has a negative effect on it all. You have to accept it; there are good dogs and bad dogs in life. You just wish that people could get a little more of that million-feet-away perspective.” Astronaut Chris Hadfield on global politics and how it all looks from space (via crookedindifference)
Diane Ravitch on The Daily Show.
Ravitch is the queen. If only the government would listen…
We would also address poverty directly. We would increase the minimum wage and make post-secondary education cheap or free, and we’d improve improve unemployment benefits and offer free job-training to the unemployed.
Poverty is one of the few social ills where throwing money at the problem really does seem to work.
These are not radical, liberal ideas. In fact, in Europe most of them are associated with the more conservative parties, and many of them were associated with the American Republican party in the 80s. But the United States’s political climate is so different from anywhere else in the industrialized world that I fear we will just continue to get farther behind in education (and in % of people living in poverty) until we decide to make some big domestic investments.
You know, I’m amazed how we don’t judge the choices that rich white men make. Look at how we don’t prosecute bank executives who illegally foreclosed on middle class families and rigged international lending rates. Look at how we defend mutli-million dollar pay packages for CEOs running their companies into the ground and yet scrutinize even a 10-cent increase in the minimum wage. Look at how we make excuses for male politician after politician who drop their pants and then make comebacks (pun intended!).
But poor women, especially poor women of color, immigrant women—we judge every choice they make. We judge them if they have children. We judge them if they get abortions and don’t have children. We don’t care that General Electric doesn’t pay any taxes— but we care that poor women of color collect public assistance AND have too nice of a cell phone.” Sally Kohn, “Abortion Access for All Our Daughters” (via lalondes)
“According to a study from the University of Washington, the rift between healthy grub and junk food is wider than it’s ever been. Researchers were able to buy 2,000 calories of junk food for $3.52 — that’s an entire day’s caloric intake — where nutritious foods cost them a whopping $36 for the same 2,000 calories.”
I cringe when I hear privileged people lament the poor for buying unhealthy food with government assistance. Here, as is so often the case, education and real data are needed to offset anecdotal myths of the “unhealthy, lazy poor.” If it weren’t already obvious enough to the rest of us, unhealthy food is cheaper, duh.