‘There is no such thing as past or future’: physicist Carlo Rovelli on changing how we think about day

3 days ago

Carlo Rovelli tells Charlotte Higgins about his days as a student revolutionary and how his quantum leap began with an acid trip

What do we are all familiar with hour? Language tells us that it ” passes”, it moves like a great river, inexorably dragging us with it, and, in the end, cleans us up on its shore while it continues, unstoppable. Day flows. It moves ever forwards. Or does it? Poets also tell us that time stumbles or sneaks or slackens or even, at times, seems to stop. They tell us that the past might be inescapable, immanent in objects or people or sceneries. When Juliet is waiting for Romeo, day passes sluggishly: she longs for Phaethon to take the reins of the Sun’s chariot, since he would whip up the horses and” bring in cloudy night immediately “. When we wake from a vivid dreaming we are dimly recognizing also that the feeling of day we have just experienced is illusory.

Carlo Rovelli is an Italian theoretical physicist who wants to make the uninitiated grasp the excitement of his field. His volume Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, with its concise, sparkling essays on topics such as black holes and quantum, has sold 1.3 m copies worldwide. Now arrives The Order of Time, a dizzying, poetic work in which I received myself abandoning everything I believed I knew about time- surely the idea that it “flows”, and even that it exists at all, in any profound sense.

We meet outside the church of San Petronio in Bologna, where Rovelli studied. (” I like to say that, just like Copernicus, I was an undergraduate at Bologna and a graduate at Padua ,” he jokes .) A cheery, compact fellow in his early 60 s, Rovelli is in nostalgic mood. He lives in Marseille, where, since 2010, he has run the quantum gravitation group at the Centre de physique theorique. Before that, he was in the US, at the University of Pittsburgh, for a decade.

Carlo Carlo Rovelli in Bologna. Photo: Roberto Serra/ Iguana Press/ G/ Iguana Press/ Getty Images

He rarely visits Bologna, and “hes having” been catching up with old friends. We wander towards the university area. Piazza Verdi is flocked with a lively mob of students. There are flags and graffiti and banners, too- anti-fascist slogans, something in support of the Kurds, a sign enjoining passers-by not to forget Giulio Regeni, the Cambridge PhD student killed in Egypt in 2016.

” In my day it was roadblocks and police ,” he tells. He was a passionate student activist, back then. What did he and his pals want?” Small things! We wanted a world without borders, without nation, without war, without religion, without family, without school, without private property .”

He was, he says now, too radical, and it was hard, trying to share possessions, trying to live without resentment. And then there was the LSD. He took it a few times. And it turned out to be the seed of his interest in physics generally, and in the question of day specifically.” It was an extraordinarily strong experience that touched me also intellectually ,” he recollects.” Among the strange phenomena was the sense of hour stopping. Things were happening in my intellect but the clock was not plan ahead; the flow of time was not passing any more. It was a total subversion of the structure of reality. He had hallucinations of misshapen objects, of bright and dazzling colours- but also remembers supposing during the experience, actually asking himself what was going on.

” And I supposed:’ Well, it’s a chemical that is changing things in my brain. But how do I know that the usual perception is right, and this is wrong? If these two ways of perceiving are so different, what does it mean that one is the correct one ?'” The way he talks about LSD is, in fact, quite similar to his description of reading Einstein as a student, on a sun-baked Calabrian beach, and appearing up from his volume imagining the world not as it appeared to him every day, but as the wild and undulating spacetime that the great physicist described. Reality, to quote the title of one of his volumes, is not what it seems.

He dedicated his conservative, Veronese parents a bit of a fright, he tells. His father , now in his 90 s, was surprised when young Carlo’s lecturers said he was actually doing all right, despite the long hair and revolutionary politics and the occasional brush with the police. It was after the optimistic sense of student revolution in Italy came to an abrupt end with the kidnapping and murder of the former prime minister, Aldo Moro, in 1978 that Rovelli began to take physics severely. But his route to his big academic career was circuitous and unconventional.” Nowadays everyone is worried because there is no work. When I was young, the problem was how to avoid work. I did not want to become part of the’ productive system ‘,” he says.

Academia, then, seemed like a way of avoiding the world of a conventional undertaking, and for some years he followed his curiosity without a sense of careerist aspiration. He went to Trento in northern Italy to join a research group he was interested in, sleeping in his auto for a few months (” I’d get a rain in government departments to be decent “). He went to London, because he was interested in the work of Chris Isham, and then to the US, to be near physicists such as Abhay Ashtekar and Lee Smolin.” My first paper was horrendously late compared to what a young person would have to do now. And this was a privilege- I knew more things, there was more day .”

Albert Albert Einstein ran at the Swiss patent office for seven years:’ That worldly cloister where I hatched my most wonderful ideas .’ Photograph: Keystone/ Getty Images

The popular volumes, too, have come relatively late, after his academic analyze of quantum gravitation, published in 2004. If Seven Brief Lessons was a lucid primer, The Order of Time takes things further; it deals with” what I really do in science, what I really think in depth, what is important for me “.

Rovelli’s work as a physicist, in crude terms, occupies the large space left by Einstein on the one hand, and the development of quantum theory on the other. If the theory of general relativity describes a world of curved spacetime where everything is continuous, quantum theory describes a world in which discrete quantities of energy interact. In Rovelli’s words,” quantum mechanics cannot deal with the curvature of spacetime, and general relativity cannot account for quantum “.

Both theories are successful; but their apparent incompatibility is an open problem, and one of the current tasks of theoretical physics is to attempt to construct a conceptual framework in which they both work. Rovelli’s field of loop hypothesi, or loop quantum gravitation, offers a possible answer to the problem, in which spacetime itself is understood to be granular, a fine structure woven from loops.

String theory offers another, different road towards is solved. When I ask him what he thinks about the possibility that his loop quantum gravitation work may be wrong, he gently explains that being wrong isn’t the phase; being part of the conversation is the purpose. And anyway,” If you ask who had the longest and most striking list of results it’s Einstein without any doubt. But if you ask who is the scientist who constructed most mistakes, it’s still Einstein .”

How does hour fit in to his work? Time, Einstein long ago depicted, is relative- hour passes more slowly for an object moving faster than another object, for example. In this relative world, an absolute “now” is more or less meaningless. Time, then, is not some separate quality that impassively flows around us. Time is, in Rovelli’s terms,” part of a complicated geometry woven together with the geometry of space “.

For Rovelli, there is more: according to his theorising, time itself disappears at the most fundamental level. His theories ask us to accept the notion that time is merely a function of our “blurred” human perception. We see the world only through a glass, darkly; we are watching Plato’s shadow-play in the cave. According to Rovelli, our undeniable experience of hour is inextricably linked to the way hot behaves. In The Order of Time, he asks why can we know merely the past, and not the future? The key, he suggests, is the one-directional flowing of heat from warmer objects to colder ones. An ice cube dropped into a hot cup of coffee cools the coffee. But the process is not reversible: it is a one-way street, as demonstrated by the second law of thermodynamics.

String String theory offers an alternative to Rovelli’s work in loop quantum gravity.

Time is also, as we experience it, a one-way street. He explains it in relation to the concept of entropy- the measure of the disordering of things. Entropy was lower in the past. Entropy is higher in the future- there is more ailment, there are more potentials. The pack of cards of the future is shuffled and uncertain, unlike the ordered and neatly arranged pack of cards of the past. But entropy, hot, past and future are qualities that belong not to the fundamental grammar of the world but to our superficial observation of it.” If I find the microscopic nation of things ,” writes Rovelli,” then the difference between past and future vanishes … in the elementary grammar of things, there is no distinction between’ cause’ and’ effect ‘.”

To understand this properly, I can indicate merely that you read Rovelli’s books, and pass swiftly over this approximation by someone who gave up school physics lessons joyfully at the first possible possibility. However, it turns out that I am precisely Rovelli’s perfect reader, or one of them, and he seems quite delighted when I check my freshly acquired understanding of the concept of entropy with him. (” You passed the quiz ,” he tells .)

” I try to write at several levels ,” he explains.” I think about the person who not only doesn’t know anything about physics but is also not interested. So I guess I am talking to my grandmother, who was a housekeeper. I also think some young students of physics are reading it, and I also think some of my colleagues are reading it. So I try to talk at different levels, but I keep the person who knows nothing in my mind .”

His biggest fans are the blank slates, like me, and his colleagues at universities- he gets most criticism from people in the middle,” those who know a bit of physics “. He is also pretty down on school physics. (” Calculating the speed at which a ball falls- who cares? In another life, I’d like to write a school physics volume ,” he tells .) And he believes the division of the world into the” two cultures” of natural sciences and human sciences is” stupid. It’s like taking England and dividing the children into groups, and you tell one group about music, and one group about literature, and the one who gets music is not allowed to read novels and the one who does literature is not allowed to listen to music .”

The joy of his writing is its broad culture compass. Historicism dedicates an initial hand-hold on the material.( He teaches a course on history of science, where he likes to bring science and humanities students together .) And then there’s the fact that alongside Einstein, Ludwig Boltzmann and Roger Penrose appear figures such as Proust, Dante, Beethoven, and, especially, Horace– each chapter begins with an epigraph from the Roman poet- as if to ground us in human sentiment and feeling before departing for the vertiginous world of black holes and spinfoam and cloud of probabilities.

” He has a side that is intimate, lyrical and highly intense; and he is the great singer of the pas of hour ,” Rovelli says.” There’s a feeling of nostalgia – it’s not anguish, it’s not regret – it’s a feeling of’ Let’s live life intensely ‘. A good friend of mine, Ernesto, who died quite young, gave me a little volume of Horace, and I have carried it around with me all my life .”

Rovelli’s view is that there is no contradiction between a vision of the universe that builds human life seem small and irrelevant, and our everyday regrets and elations. Or indeed between” cold science” and our inner, spiritual lives.” We are part of nature, and so joy and sorrow are aspects of nature itself- nature is much richer than just decides of atoms ,” he tells me. There’s a moment in Seven Lessons when he compares physics and poetry: both try to describe the unseen. It might be added that physics, when departing from its native language of mathematical equations, relies strongly on metaphor and analogy. Rovelli has a gift for memorable comparings. He tells us, for example, when explaining that the smooth “flow” of day is an illusion, that” The events of the world do not form an orderly queue like the English, they crowd around chaotically like the Italians .” The conception of period, he tells,” has lost layers one after another, piece by piece “. We are left with” an empty windswept scenery virtually devoid of all trace of temporality … a world stripped to its essence, glittering with an arid and troubling beauty “.

More than anything else I’ve ever read, Rovelli reminds me of Lucretius, the first-century BCE Roman author of the epic-length poem, On the Nature of Things. Perhaps not so odd, since Rovelli is a fan. Lucretius correctly hypothesised the existence of atoms, a hypothesi that would remain unproven until Einstein demonstrated it in 1905, and even as late as the 1890 s was being written off as absurd.

What Rovelli shares with Lucretius is not only a magnificence of language, but also a sense of humankind’s place in nature- at once a part of the fabric of the universe, and in a specific position to marvel at its great beauty. It’s a rationalist opinion: one that holds that by better understanding the universe, by disposing false belief and superstition, one might be able to enjoy a kind of serenity. Though Rovelli the man also acknowledges that the stuff of humanity is love, and dread, and desire, and passion: all made meaningful by our brief lives; our tiny span of allotted time.

The Order of Time is published by Allen Lane. To order a copy for PS9. 75( RRP PS1 2.99) go to guardianbookshop.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p& p over PS10, online orders merely. Telephone orders min p& p of PS1. 99.

Selfies at the Broad: edgy art provides the perfect background- in paintings

One week ago

The Broad in Los Angeles has become popular with millennials who flock there to snap themselves and the photos are often clever, sweet and funny

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Familiar review- African wedding in the midwest prompts trouble and discord

9 days ago

The tensions between assimilation and honoring ancestry and tradition provide the subject for Danai Guriras inconsistent but engaging play

Danai Guriras often absorbing, uneven Familiar at Playwrights Horizons is a story about Americans, about immigrants, about assimilation and its discontents. Set on the eve of a wedding, it has something old, something new, something borrowed, and in some enjoyably coarse speech and a brief topless scene, something blue.

The play opens in the Chinyaramwira home, a well-appointed midwestern dwelling, where mother Marvelous( Tamara Tunie) and father Donald( Harold Surratt) are preparing for the nuptials of their older daughter, Tendi( Roslyn Ruff ), a successful lawyer. The Chinyaramwiras are American citizens, originally from Zimbabwe. If there are a few Africanesque sculptures adorning the mantle, they are dwarfed by a massive flatscreen depicting American football.

Marvelous hopes that the bridal is likely to be classy, civilized and modern. Its bad enough that Tendi is involving her evangelical church. But Tendi and her fiance Chris( Joby Earle) have decided to honor Tendis heritage by partaking in a ritual called a roora, in which a groom pays a price for his bride. Traditionally, that price involves livestock. Chris is, as Marvelous says, a the little white boy from Minnetonka, so this ritual is foreign to him. Aunt Anne( Myra Lucretia Taylor ), just off the plane from Zim, has prepared a list of items that the bridegroom should properly provide, frightening her younger sister, Aunt Margaret( Melanie Nicholls-King ). Where do you expect this boy to get cows? Margaret wails.

Familiar is very much a clash of cultures, notions and traditions, centered on a matrimony a common trope of the theater, from Medea to You Cant Take it With You. But existing conflicts is not between Chris and Tendi. Chris is only too ready to accede to Tendis wishings. The conflict is among Tendis family, with Marvelous taking an absolutist line on the benefits of assimilation and her sister Anne arguing just as vehemently for the necessity of honoring ancestry and tradition. Tendi feels caught between these impulses.( The late revelation of a melodramatic secret merely complicates her impressions .)

Gurira, who was born in the midwest and raised during Zimbabwe, clearly shares some of Tendis feelings and under Rebecca Taichmans direction, these elements of the play are finely wrought and personal. Elsewhere the tone is patchier, as is the acting, which shifts between naturalism and comic caricature. Some scenes are written perhaps too broadly( particularly those involving Tendis younger sister and Chriss younger brother) and others too portentously, as when Chris tells Tendi that she is an African woman. And maybe today is the day that you that you face what that really means. There is also a fair-minded, though stagey, determination to give each character his or her own big speech.

Ultimately a much more conventional play than Eclipsed, Guriras other drama already running, Familiar continues her perceptive interest in the shaping forces-out of character, situation and family. Even in its incompatibilities, it suggests that she is a playwright to honor and cherish.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Facebook on Defensive as Cambridge Case Exposes Data Flaw

11 days ago

Facebook on Defensive as Cambridge Case Exposes Data Flaw

Updated on

Facebook Inc . wants you to know: this wasn’t a breach.

Yes, Cambridge Analytica, the data-analysis firm that helped U.S. President Donald Trump win the 2016 election, infringed rules when it obtained information from some 50 million Facebook profiles, the social-media company recognise late Friday. But the data received from someone who didn’t hacker the organizations of the system: a professor who originally told Facebook he wanted it for academic purposes.

He set up a personality quiz use tools that let people log in with their Facebook accounts, then asked them to sign over access to their friend lists and likes before using the app. The 270,000 users of that app and their friend networks opened up private data on 50 million people, according to the New York Times. All of that was allowed under Facebook’s rules, until the professor handed the information off to a third party.

Facebook said it found out about Cambridge Analytica’s access in 2015, after which it had the firm certify that it deleted the data. On Friday, Facebook said it now knows Cambridge actually maintained it — an infraction that got Cambridge suspended from the social network. Once that was announced, executives promptly moved on to defending Facebook’s security.

” This was unequivocally not a data breach ,” longtime Facebook executive Andrew Bosworth said on Twitter.” People chose to share their data with third-party apps and if those third-party apps did not follow the agreements with us/ users it is a violation .” Alex Stamos, Facebook’s head of security, echoed the same arguments. Cambridge denied doing anything illegal or employing the information contained in the 2016 presidential election; Facebook tells it has no way of knowing how or whether the data was used for targeting in the Trump campaign.

Facebook’s advertising business depends on users sharing their most personal data via its social network. But the company’s” not a violate” argument isn’t likely to make users feel any safer or more comfy doing so — especially given that it’s already under fire for missing that Russian actors were purchasing U.S. election ads on the site to sway voter sentiments, as well as operating fake accounts disguised as real Americans. The company has also been fending off accusations that it’s too slow to notice or react to harmful content.

U.K. Inquiry

The latest incident has raised new the issue of what technological guardrails Facebook has in place to prevent approved users from sharing sensitive datum, and how much visibility the company has into how outsiders use the data.

Facebook wouldn’t comment on those questions, saying only that it has made significant improvements in its they are able to” see and avoid violations” by app developers, such as random audits of applications use its tools to make sure they’re following the rules. And it’s no longer let developers who use Facebook’s login tools see information on their users’ friends.

The disclosure of Facebook’s actions also underscores it’s continuing struggle to anticipate negative consequences of its lack of oversight- in some cases taking action only after things go wrong. The company in the past two years has worked to understand and counteract the spread of misinformation on its site, the use of its automated ad system for racist targeting, the spread of fake user accounts, the spread of violent video, and more.

But when the company tries to explain what it’s doing, it grapples with the perception that it’s shirking responsibility for its problems, treating them as public-relations snafus instead of serious product flaws.

Stamos, the Facebook security executive, deleted his original tweets on Cambridge Analytica, saying he wasn’t so good at” talking about these things in the reality of 2018 .” Specifically, he said he didn’t know how to balance his personal notions with its own responsibility to Facebook and his co-workers, amid all the criticism.

” We have collectively been too optimistic about what we build and our impact on the world ,” Stamos wrote Saturday on Twitter.” Believe it or not, a lot of the people at these companies, from the interns to the CEOs, agree .”

Lawmakers in the U.S. and U.K. aren’t persuaded Facebook has its users’ own best interest in mind. Over the weekend the company faced criticisms from members of the Senate intelligence committee, and in London, the head of a parliamentary committee called on CEO Mark Zuckerberg to have a senior executive answer those questions.

” We have repeatedly asked Facebook about how companies acquire and hold on to user data from their site, and including with regard to whether data had been taken from people without their permission ,” Damian Collins, chair of the U.K. Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Committee, said in a statement.” Their answers have consistently understated the health risks, and have also been misleading to the committee .”

Read more: www.bloomberg.com

‘No Fascist USA! ‘: how hardcore punk gas the Antifa movement

13 days ago

The anti-fascist motion describe on punks political awareness and network for activism and right now may be its most crucial moment

” No Trump! No KKK! No Fascist USA !”

When Green Day chanted the repurposed lyrics from Texan punk trailblazers MDC’s 1981 sung Born to Die during the 2016 American Music Awards, it dedicated the burgeoning anti-Trump, anti-fascist motion the slogan it needed- and it would soon appear on placards, T-shirts and be chanted by protesters in their thousands in months to arrived.

It was a tiny piece of punk history writ big on American cultural life- but it only devoted the merest hint of US hardcore punk’s influence on the current political landscape.

As political commentators struggle to nail down the exact nature of Antifa‘s masked legions, they’ve overlooked one thing: Antifa has been critically influenced by hardcore punk for nearly four decades.

From on the collectivist principles of anarchist punk bands such as Crass and Conflict, the political outrage of groups such as the Dead Kennedys, MDC and Discharge, Antifa depicts on decades of protest, self-protection and informal networks under the auspices of a musical motion.

Mark Bray, author of The Antifa Handbook, says that” in many cases, the North American modern Antifa movement grew up as a route to defend the punk scene from the neo-Nazi skinhead movement, and the founding fathers of the original Anti-Racist Action network in North America were anti-racist skinheads. The fascist/ anti-fascist struggle was essentially a fight for control of the punk scene[ during the 1980 s ], and that was true across of much of north America and in parts of Europe in this epoch .”

” There’s a huge overlap between revolutionary left politics and the punk scene, and there’s a stereotype about dirty anarchists and punks, which is an oversimplification but grounded in a certain amount of truth .”

Drawing influence from anti-fascist groups in 1930 s Germany, the UK-based Anti-Fascist Action formed in the late 70 s in reaction the growing popularity of rightwing political parties such as the National Front and the British Movement. They would shut down extreme-right meetings at every opportunity, whether it be a procession or a gathering in a room above a pub. Inspired by this, anti-racist skinheads in Minneapolis formed Anti-Racist Action, which soon gained traction in punk scenes across the US. Meanwhile, in New York, a movement called Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice jumped up.

The term ” Antifa” was adopted by German antifascists in the 80 s, accompanied by the twin-flag logo, which then spread around Europe, and finally pitched up in the US after being adopted by an anarchist collective in Portland, Oregon.

Singer
Singer Thomas Barnett of Strike Anywhere during a 2009 concert in Berlin. Composite: Jakubaszek/ Getty Images

For Thomas Barnett, vocalist with popular hardcore punk band Strike Anywhere, his punk ethics and the direct-action doctrine of Antifa go hand in hand, and, with Trump’s presidency emboldening the extreme right, the stakes couldn’t be higher:” This isn’t just a raft of right-wing notions- this is actual loathe and violence, and the demolition of entire sections of humanity. Of course, I don’t believe in the false equivalence[ between Antifa and the alt-right ]. I guess anti-fascists’ pre-emptive street violence against Nazis is righteous and important .”

Many adopt direct-action tactics, whether it be the recent Antifa protests across the US, the black-block tactics employed during the WTO and G7 protests around the world, or even the decision make use of Brace Belden to leave California to join the YPG, the far-left Kurdish guerrilla group battling Isis.

” Punk itself wasn’t a direct influence on my joining a guerrilla group, of course, but punk did help to cement my revolutionary politics. Being in their home communities with a certain degree of consciousness and solidarity between people helped vastly in that regard ,” tells Belden.

Bands, record labels, zine writers and venues around the world have co-operated to create a network that exists altogether outside of the mainstream, an off-grid template for Antifa activists to draw from. In America, there is Appalachian Terror Unit, a young band with heavy Antifa leanings from the Trump heartland of West Virginia. In Oakland, Antifa-related punk/ oi! band Hard Left have taken part in benefit shows for protesters involved in the events at Charlottesville. In Texas, Antifa are organizing community relief efforts for victims of the Houston inundations.

” There’s definitely an overlap between the leaderless politics and the DIY ethos and the notion that’ if there’s a problem in our punk scene, we’re not going to be able to count on the mainstream to necessarily give a shit ,'” explains Bray.

Strike Anywhere vocalist Barnett says:” It’s also about community self-defence. The punk experience is like the flow of water. You can put up dams, you can run it underground- it will still get through. It also carries on the folk tradition that was speaking truth to power before there was even electric power .”

If there was ever a person unafraid to speak truth to power, it would be Jello Biafra, former singer of the Dead Kennedys and the man responsible for their 1981 call-to-arms Nazi Punks Fuck Off. So it might come as a surprise that he is withering in his criticism of Antifa’s actions in recent months.

” I’m not down with confronting[ the extreme right’s] provocations of violence with actual violence. I entail, self-defence is one thing, but going to a Trumpist rally with the express purpose of beating up fascists- what does that accomplish? Who’s the fascist now? It plays right into their hands ,” he says.

” More than ever, we have to keep our heads right now. And I am all about freedom of speech, but I believe protesting these people non-violently is the way to go, because it lets the targets of the fascist speakers know they’re not alone and lets the fascists who show up know that there’s an nasty plenty of people who are not down with them, and a chorus of raised middle fingers is better than presenting up with some kind of a weapon. Intensifying the violence is not the way to go .”

With his current band, the Guantanamo School of Medicine, he has updated his 1981 ballad and called it Nazi Trumps Fuck Off, but it comes with a caveat: Trump is the target , not his supporters.

” I usually talk about the anthem on stage for a while before we play it, pointing out that almost everybody in the audience, especially if we’re playing in Texas or Southern California, know people in their family, close friends, at school or run, whatever, who think that Trump is really cool. And I point out that the last thing we should do is to dismiss these people as rednecks or stupid or’ I’m not running being your friend anymore, fuck you’- that’s not going to persuade anybody of anything and it helps Trump divide the country. My phase is that you don’t do that, you sit down and talk to somebody , not blog in an echo chamber. It might be stomach-churning, but you might plant a seed, and if anyone wakes up three weeks, three months, three years later and thinks,’ Wow, that person that called me on my bigotry was right .’ All this racist, anti-immigrant fascism isn’t getting us anywhere. I don’t want any part of it anymore .”

Author and punk historian Jon Savage, a champ of the Dead Kennedys during his stint as a music journalist in the 70 s, isn’t so sure:” It’s very idealistic and very laudable, but it’s like arguing with Brexiters over here( in the UK ). You’re not going to get any change out of that. There is a proportion of people who can discuss things in a rational way, but here you’re talking about core beliefs and wishes and feelings, and these are irrational, and they are even less rational when they are tested against reality .”

For Savage, Antifa’s direct action tactics are as legitimate a tool as Biafra’s more measured approach:” If you don’t protest the way the situation is, then nothing is going to change. You’re reacting to fascism and entropy. You need a variety of approaches, and in politics I wouldn’t discount any approach. It’s probably useful to have sensible people because they can say,’ Well, look what happens when you don’t listen to me and consider what the nutters are going to do.’

Klaus
Klaus Fluoride and Jello Biafra of The Dead Kennedys perform at The People’s Temple in 1978 in San Francisco, California. Composite: Richard McCaffrey/ Michael Ochs Archive/ Getty Images

For Barnett, even the present nomenclature is under debate.” Calling it’ Antifa’ is like calling it this weird exotic cult, instead of calling it’ everyday life ‘. Every aspect of media coverage of it is insidious, turning public opinion against us, inducing us a violent sight that’s both something terrible and un-American, when this is the fucking Boston Tea Party ,” he tells.” If people want to talk about how the heritage of American culture and our patriotic fate fits in[ to anti-fascism] – it’s basic math to me, and to many, many others .”

Biafra and Strike Anywhere’s Thomas Barnett at least find some accord on the rebranding of the right, however.” You know what they called the alt-right two years ago? Neo-fucking-Nazis !” says Biafra.” Now it’s alt-right, like alt-country or alternative pop music .”

Barnett concurs:” They don’t get to be alt-right. They just get to be digital-age Nazis, or white supremacists or terrorists. And that’s what[ the media] are doing to anti-fascist action .”

Regardless, Barnett says the antifascist motion isn’t taking anything for granted.” These rallies, whatever the next one is, whatever form it takes, are Trojan-horse events to invite and welcome white terrorist groups, and are just platforms for them to go into communities to hurt and intimidate people. And that’s what anti-fascist action has always known, and that’s what the punks have always known .”

Or, in the bald words of someone who set his teenage years in a punk band called Warkrime behind him to go and fighting in an actual war, former YPG militia member Belden tells:” When I was younger my friends and I used to beat the shit out Nazis that would roll out to punk demonstrates[ in California ]. And guess what? They’d leave and never come back. Violence runs .”

Read more: www.theguardian.com

11 Things Highly Creative People Sacrifice For Their Art

18 days ago

To be a creative were generally feel like a selection that is both insane and thrilling in equal measure. There are thousands of jobs that are far more certain and stable than an artists run, yet true creatives know that there really is not a selection to be made. The artist must art . Therefore, the artist must find a way to live in the uncertain, wild space between what success looks like to others and what success feels like to themselves. Choice a creative career is not something for the weak-willed, the comfort-chasers, the ones who need to know how their life will splay out ahead of them for years and years to go. Those are noble endeavorsto value convenience and securitybut a creative sacrifices almost all convention in the name of art .

I doubt any of us regret it. We know that life is impermanent and we never know when our last day will be. Wed rather create the work that inspires us most and let it kill us .


1. Highly creative people sacrifice a comfy life for a big, messy, weird, interesting life

Most creatives learn quickly that convenience and inspiration do not live harmoniously. You can have one, but not the other. Inspiration comes from action, from experimentation, from the chaos, the flame, the big wins and the big fails. In order to art and art well, you must live and live well. And, to live well is to constantly be pushing yourself out of whats comfy and into whats unknown. This is the source of inspiration: whatever lay on the outer edges of comfort.

2. They sacrifice certainty for a big question mark about the future

Creatives have mastered the art of the unknown. Most of them wear this as a badge of honor, because they have learned the hard way that the best laid plans are the easiest sources of letdown. Nothing about a creative life exists on a straight line. Its like a squiggly line that are typically goes backward and then propels forward then stays in one place for an unnervingly long sum of day. There is no plan. The future is a shrug of the shoulders. The words I dont know are the artists anthem. To not know is to be open to knowing, to be led, and the creative thrives there.

3. They sacrifice a stable life for the freedom to say yes at any moment

While creatives might have a yearning to build a life and put down roots, they know that theres always a chance that their lives could be uprooted at any moment. Because an artist does not follow a define route, they have to be consistently open to saying YES quickly and without reservation. They have to be willing to uproot their lives in order to follow the inspiration or the opportunity whenever it comes up. Freedom is the artists currency.

4. They sacrifice acceptance from others for approval of themselves

Most art is created alone in a dark room. Its thankless work. Its like doing spec work constantly with the hope that, one day, it will pay off. If creatives required acceptance from others to begin, they would never start( and some brilliant creatives never do start, sadly ). Instead, artists know that its a necessity to approve of themselves , to believe in their work and, as equally important, to believe in the process. Creatives know that chasing approving will always prolong the work from ever leaving their intellects, so they simply learn to give themselves the authorisations they may passion from others.

5. They sacrifice being accepted and understood by the world for being a visionary who may or may not be ever understood

Creatives know that any visionary work will not always be immediately understood or accepted. They accept that they may not ever be accepted or understoodyet making such a art any style. They dont look outside of themselves for the answers, for permission. They simply make whether anyone appreciates it or not.

6. They sacrifice all the shoulds for what their heart leads them to generate

Creatives know that they can easily should their way into a miserable, uninspired life. They know that the world is built on shouldswhat this person should or shouldnt do, how others should or shouldnt live. Artists know that conventions and traditions hardly inspire creative work, that the only way to listen to what their heart hankers to build is to shut out the shoulds of the world and find their own style. This is an arduous process, to empty out themselves from all the beliefs of who they should be and, instead, to allow themselves to simply be who they are now and create what they need to create now.

7. They sacrifice constant happiness for the emotional spectrum of self-growth

Artists know that seeking self-growth entails letting run of the desire to be in a constant nation of happiness. To grow is to shed old versions of ego, which is to also say to grow is to be able to create new versions of art. The only way the art grows and evolves is when the artist grows and evolves. Every creative soon realizes that self-growth is a state of being and that means to be in almost constant flux. The process of evolvement has no room for holding tight to only one emotionsay, happinessand needs to endure the entire spectrum of feelings to truly evolve. To face who they are as angry, sad, grief-stricken, resentful, bored is to allow themselves to evolve.

8. They sacrifice superficial relationships and work for vulnerable relationships and run

While creating uninspired art is something all creatives are most likely had to do in their pastbills are hardhighly creative people feel even more strongly about making art from a vulnerable, real place. They know that at the heart of artistic genius is vulnerability, a brave person who is willing to be rejected, who is willing to share their spirit with a world who may not be very kind to it. While creatives know that superficial work and relationships are oftentimes easier to maintainand success is often easier to come by for the superficialthey know that art is a option and a privilege and they always want to create from the deepest parts of themselves.

9. They sacrifice their pride for empathy and compassion

The best various kinds of art comes from a place of empathy and compassion, from an inherent curiosity around the human experience. Highly creative people understand that their curiosity around humanity is what brings them to the page, the instrument, the canvas, the laptop, the camera, the drawing board. Empathy does not exist with pride. It takes a certain degree of humility to have an empathic opinion of the world and artists understand that at the core of their work is a desire to move people with their art. This means they have a high level of respect for whoever will come into contact with their work. Creatives know that their tender heart, their empathy, their compassion is at the heart of their grandeur and they will eschew pride and arrogance in order to step deeper into that brilliance.

10. They sacrifice the perception of success for their own definition of success

From the outside, a creatives life may not seem very successful if success is defined by culture expectations. An artist learns speedily that they must define success for themselves otherwise they will drown underneath other peoples expectations. In their conviction of self, they are free to create and build their life however they desire. Not having to measure up or prove anything to others is one of the most important things a creative must learn for themselvesbecause they could expend their entire artistic life trying to prove themselves and always come up short.

11. They sacrifice the life people told them they should have for a life they love, a life that is inspiring and fucking thrilling

Because thats the whole phase. To create is a privilege, one that artists know not to take for granted. To deny a conventional life is a risk, but not as great a risk as to deny their heart.

Read more:

Kate Beckinsale:’ Austen’s Lady Susan is like Emma on steroids’

19 days ago

Her second partnerships with Whit Stillman in Love& amp; Friendship has brought her the best reviews of her career

Kate Beckinsale has earned the best its further consideration of her career for Love& Friendship, an adaptation of Lady Susan, the remarkably wry and worldly novella Jane Austen wrote as a teen. The cinema, Beckinsales second collaboration with director Whit Stillman and co-star Chlo Sevigny, 18 years after The Last Days of Disco, is a comedy about a brilliant widow hoping to secure a moneyed future for herself and her daughter. Beckinsale, 43, spoke to the Guardian before picking up the Evening Standard best actress award this month.

Did the cinema change your feelings about people becoming ever more cynical as they get older?

We always think of Austen as so poised and elegant; there is a sort of rage underneath that lives in this character, which I really liked find. Its almost like she had to purge that in order to be able to write everything else. She was such a smart female facing all those social constraints, this is why it felt a bit like her running: Right, this is my darknes having a screaming. And then she went: Oh, I shouldnt do that. And set[ the manuscript] in a drawer. There is something more raw about it, which are likely is to do with being younger.

Lady Susan is said to have an uncanny understanding of mens natures. Is that still the key to social success ?

Yes, except that I believe the advent of constantly available porn, which would have frightened Austen, has changed things instead. Its simply more apparent now: mens natures had to be covered up a little more, just as womens did. I would never be able to go on a dating site, ever. I would just be expecting a murderer and a psychotic rapist. However, I do have friends that are on it, and it does seem like there is a sort of loophole for free prostitution that seems to be beneficial to the bloke. Im kind of aware thats happened.

Do women today still have to do a lot of what Lady Susan calls suffering ridiculous manhood?

No. I mean, one of the things the movie does induce you think is: my God, we have come an awfully long way. Plainly, in the light of certain political events this year, one worries those things are a bit more under threat. But “if thats” transposed to a modern define there would be no story. This is a bright woman who would probably be the CEO of a company with a ton of boyfriends. She has operate in that somewhat machiavellian style because society doesnt give her intelligence enough of an outlet.

Why are audiences so drew attention to bitches and bullies?

When we were building it, Whit referenced Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and its a very similar thing: you dont necessarily want to go on holiday with these people, or have them in your family, but its quite thrilling watching them at work.

Is the key to Lady Susans success her absolute confidence?

I think so. I think shes got an perfectly iron-clad self-belief, which I deeply envy. Her nature is unbelievably practical; theres nothing practical about self-doubt and self-loathing and self-torture. She doesnt waste any time doing anything like that. That would be fiction for me. I think we all spend far too much hour doing that.

Why do we?

Partly because were not working in a potato field and worrying our children are going to die of leprosy. Its the luxury of the middle class to have those kinds of things going on, I suppose. And also, we have so much info arriving at us now. Lady Susan would hear what was happening one county over, perhaps, but were panicking about air crashes all over the world and what kind of mosquito might bite us. Our general level of nervousnes is related to how much is going into our little brains.

Which freaks you out most?

Climate change truly bothers me, and it doesnt seem to be quite as pressing to certain politicians as it think it ought to be its pretty terrifying.

Is the real love the friendship?

I think so. The love in the title, which is not the title of the novella, is between Chlos character and mine. It was a really nice thing to revisit that. I was so rotten to her in our earlier movie, whereas this is girls complicit and battling against everything.

Do you think such bonds can be more enduring than romantic love?

I know that my oldest friends are from primary and secondary school and I dont know if I will have a relationship that has lasted or will last as long as that. Im not pressured to find friends physically attractive over several hundred decades, which is a slightly easier thing to sustain. Female friendship in movies is something that you jump at because its not every day that a director, especially a male director, wants to write a movie about pretty complicated women with the kind of love that Whit has. Ive had two characters with him who you wouldnt want to go on a mini-break with, but its so delicious to insure his real pleasure of a prickly female. And its bear out: people have loved this movie and gone to see it a lot. So, there is a place for not just the prostitute , not just the madonna, but this kind of difficult woman. Shes like Emma on steroids.

Is it rare to have a female leading who is older, cleverer and better-looking than the men shes paired opposite?

Not inevitably. I know that it exists, receiving components harder to come by but it hasnt[ happened] so far to me. Im having a wonderful time being the age I am being an actress. Its partly Whit having had the idea for me to do this when I was 22 and doing Last Disco, and him waiting for me to ripen. I didnt know that until recently and I supposed: God, thats genuinely playing the long game. You dont usually find directors patiently waiting for you to age.

Is he waiting for you to ripen further?

Im hoping. Perhaps hes got Miss Havisham in mind.

Did you find the reviews saying you were a revelation and amazingly funny patronising?

I wouldnt tell patronising. I guess people tend to remember the last couple of movies they were aware of your doing. And it depends on whats more important to you: how youre perceived or your experience of your career. Ive done a lot of films that a lot of people havent considered, coupled with films that are a bit outside my convenience zone, actually, which a lot of people have watched or certainly been aware of. And, for me, the ability to be able to kind of flit between genres that shouldnt go together and generally dont has been an incredible privilege. I dont mind pockets of day where people go: Oh, maybe shes a bimbo, because I know Im not.

It genuinely depends how much meaning exists for you in your own experience of it and what youre doing it for. If you were doing it to hear marvellous things about yourself all the time then you would stop immediately when you had a horrible review likely aged about 19. I think its important as relevant actors to have periods where youre not flavour of the month or rewarded every single period you leave your house, because it actually does build you question if its what you really want to do and how you can get better.

Beckinsale
Beckinsale with Chlo Sevigny in The Last day of Disco. Photo: Moviestore/ REX/ Shutterstock

Do you agree with Lady Susan that facts are horrid things?

Sometimes. I generally want to get to them, but Im not inevitably pleased when I do. My favourite thing is transparency and honesty, but that can be a bit of a brutal life, it is feasible to perhaps easier to get in a little bit of a bubble. But its generally better to know what ones dealing with, I suspect.

Particularly in 2016 ?

It is a bit tricky. Both countries that I am part of are so divided, and that is a really scary thing in itself. Thats just a sign of restlessness and trouble, and its a really new and strange position to be in, to be so aware of it. I think everybody found that out twice this year, and those facts were quite horrid things.

How does Britain appear from LA?

Well, I come back eight or nine hours a year and my mums here and my best friends are here. But its weird that a country and a city moves on and grows up independently. You do have it in your intellect as staying the same and youre homesick for something that is different when you come back. That can be a little bit jarring. It seems different. The skyline is completely different. I maintain wondering where the old dames in John Lewis went.

They all had to be killed did you not hear about that ?

Yes, I knew something must have happened. The high street where I grew up seems a bit more fancy and worldly. I recollect when you spent a whole afternoon gluing a 50 p to the pavement and hiding. Children dont do that sort of thing any more. I would still blithely do it. In fact, I might my mum has got a brilliant front gate for that sort of thing.

Love& Friendship is available now on DVD and Blu-ray

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Kanye West may have transgressed the law by recording Taylor Swift call

20 days ago

Kim Kardashian Wests posting of an audio recording of her husbands call with Swift discussing his song Famous may violate California wiretapping law

Kanye West could face legal action and even criminal prosecution as a result of his conflict with Taylor Swift if it turns out he secretly recorded telephone calls with her in California, according to legal experts.

Kim Kardashian West launched a media firestorm after she posted an audio recording of her husbands phone call with Swift discussing Kanye Wests new song Famous, which includes a line about the pop star.

In the song, Kanye raps: I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/ Why? I constructed that bitch famous.

Kanye faced intense backlash for the lyric, prompting him to defend the anthem on Twitter in February, saying: I called Taylor and had a hour long convo with her about the line and she thought it was funny and dedicated her blessings.

Swift appeared to address the line in a Grammys acceptance speech in February, when she told, I want to say to the young women out there, there are going to be people along the way who try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame.

Now, Kanye and his reality Tv superstar wife are attacking Swift with the release of highly edited excerpts of a phone call recording on Kardashians Snapchat account. The audio includes Kanye citing an excerpt of a lyric and Swift saying, I truly appreciate you telling me about it, thats really nice.

Swift has since responded on Twitter , saying that Kanye secretly recorded the phone call.

Taylor Swift (@ taylorswift1 3) July 18, 2016

That moment when Kanye West secretly records your phone call, then Kim posts it on the Internet. pic.twitter.com/ 4GJqdyykQu

If Kanye recorded the correspondence in California, where he and Kim Kardashian live, and failed to get Swifts consent, then he would have violated country statute, experts say.

In California, the wiretapping statute dictates two-party permission, which means its a crime to record or eavesdrop on all communications including a private conversation or phone call without the consent of all parties involved.

The law stipulates a possible punishment of a $2,500 fine or a year in district jail.

Outside of statutory injuries, Swift could seek civil damages through a lawsuit, which experts said is a more likely course of action.

California is an all-party consent wiretapping nation. What that means is, even on things like a conference call, before you record it, youre supposed to announce to everyone, Im going to record this bellow, told Chris Hoofnagle, prof of law at the University of California and an expert on privacy.

Theres civil and criminal liability, he said, adding that criminal prosecution would be unlikely in this kind of example, but that Swift could allege damages to her reputation.

Paul Schwartz, co-director of the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, said Swift could also bringing a tort assert alleging public disclosure of private facts.

Representatives for Swift and Kanye West did not respond to requests for comment on Monday.

People and TMZ have reported that Kanye West recorded the audio while in Los Angeles.

The recording of the conversation does not feature Kanye reading out the line I built that bitch famous, but he did read the rest of the lyric and asked for Swifts approval.
Go with whatever line you think is better, Swift responded. Its patently truly tongue in cheek, either way.

Wests video for Famous also triggered widespread criticisms, including from actor and novelist Lena Dunham, a friend of Swift, who said it was emblematic of rape culture. The video depicts Swift and other celebrities appearing to be naked next to West in bed.

Swifts statement released Sunday told, You dont get to control people emotional response to being called that bitch in front of the entire world.

She added, Of course I wanted to like the sung. I wanted to believe Kanye when he told me I would love the anthem. I wanted us to have a friendly relationship.

Kanyes I built that bitch famous line is a reference to the 2009 MTV VMAs, when Kanye infamously interrupted Swifts acceptance speech, saying, Taylor, Im really happy for you and Imma let you finish, but Beyonc had one of the best videos of all time. One of the best videos of all time.

At that time, Swift was already a hugely successful and critically acclaimed singer-songwriter.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Jonathan Safran Foer: technology is decreasing us

21 days ago

Have you procured yourself checking email at dinner, or skipping from book to screen, unable to focus? The closer the world gets to our fingertips, the more we stand to lose

The first time my father looked at me was on a screen, utilizing technology developed to detect flaws in the hulls of ships. His father, my grandfather, could only remainder his hand on my grandmothers belly and imagine his infant in his intellect. But by the time I was conceived, my fathers imagination was provide guidance to technology that dedicated shape to sound waves rippling off my body.

The Glasgow-based Anglican obstetrician Ian Donald, who in the 1950 s helped bring ultrasound technology from shipyard to doctors office, had devoted himself to the task out of a belief that the images would increase empathy for the unborn, and attain girls less likely to choose abortions. The technology has furthermore been used, though, to make the decision to terminate a pregnancy because of deformity, because the mother wants a child of a certain sexuality. Whatever the intended and actual effects, it is clear that the now iconic black and white images of our bodies before we are born mediate life and death. But what prepares us to stimulate life-and-death decisions?

My wife and I debated learning the sex of our first infant before birth. I created the questions with my uncle, a gynaecologist “whos been” delivered more than 5,000 babies. He was prone neither to giving advice nor anything whiffing of spirituality, but he urged me, strongly , not to find out. He said, If a doctor looks at a screen and tells you, you will have information. If you find out in the moment of birth, you will have a miracle.

I dont believe in miracles, but I followed his advice, and he was right. One neednt believes in miracles to experience them. But one must be present for them.

Jonathan
One neednt believe in miracles to experience them. But one must be present for them Jonathan Safran Foer Photograph: Emily Berl/ Getty Images Portrait

Psychologists who examine empathy and compassion are finding that, unlike our almost instantaneous responses to physical pain, it takes time for the brain to see the psychological and moral dimensions of a situation. Simply put, the more distracted we become, and the more emphasis we place on speed at the cost of depth redefining text from what fills the hundreds of pages of a fiction, to a line of words and emoticons on a phones screen the less likely and able we are to care. Thats not even a statement about the relative worth of the contents of a fiction and a text, only about the time we spend with each.

We know that texting while driving is more dangerous than driving drunk. You wont risk killing anyone if you use your phone while eating a snack, or having a dialogue, or waiting on a bench, which means you will allow yourself to be distracted. Everyone wants his parents, or friends, or partners undivided attention even if many of us , especially children, are get are applied to far less. Simone Weil wrote that attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity. By this definition, our relationships to the world, and to one another, and to ourselves, are becoming increasingly miserly.

Novels demand many things of readers, but the most obvious is attention. I can do any number of other activities while watching a TV reveal or listening to music, and I can carry on a conversation with a friend while at an art gallery, but reading a novel demands putting everything else aside. To read a book is to devote oneself to the book. Novels always trafficking in human empathy, always bringing the other closer, always ask us to transcend our perspectives, but isnt that attention, itself, a generous act? Generous toward ourselves?

*

My father was not present for his childrens births it was customary, then, for men to be in the waiting room. I witnessed my sons being born. My experience was richer, deeper, more memorable and fulfilling than my fathers. Being physically present allowed me to be emotionally present.

We think of technologies as wielders of information and manipulators of matter. Google, we all know, is in the business as they put it of organising and making accessible the worlds info. Other technologies are more earthy the car propels us over land at speeds our legs cannot reach, and the bomb allows us to kill many adversaries in ways our bare hands cannot.

But technologies are not only effective at attaining or thwarting the aims of those who encounter them, but are affective. Technology is not strictly technological. I love you the same I love you issuing from the same person with the same honesty and depth will resonate differently over the phone than in a handwritten letter, than in a text message. The tone and rhythm of voice craft the words, as does the texture and colour of stationery, as does the glowing typeface of the text chosen by our mobile phone manufacturer. We love our Macs more than our PCs because Apple was more interested in harnessing and inflecting the affective resonances of its technology and in restricting a smaller coterie of upper-class to guard and guide these affects so as to create a distinctive ecosystem. We find ourselves played with smartphones in a manner that is we never did with the functional handle of a traditional landline phone because, whereas the first telephone devised by engineers supposing in functional terms, the phones in our pockets nowadays are always built in dialogue with marketers who have carefully noted how colour and curve, brightness and texture, heft and size make us feel.

We consumers forget that technology always plugs into and creates certain affects, the building blocks of emotions, as well as full-blown emotional experiences. We forget this, but successful companies do not. They remember and profit staggeringly. We forget at the expense of who we are.

Most of our communication technologies began as substitutes for an impossible activity. We couldnt always watch one another face to face, so the phone made it possible to keep in touch at a distance. One is not always home, so the answering machine made a message possible without the person or persons being near their phone. Online communication originated as a substitute for telephonic communication, which was considered, for whatever reasons, too burdensome or inconvenient. And then texting, which facilitated yet faster and more mobile messaging. These inventions were not created to be improvements on face-to-face communication, but a declension of acceptable, if lessened, substitutes for it.

But then a funny thing happened: we began to opt the diminished replaces. Its easier to make a phone call than to stimulate the effort to see someone in person. Leaving a message on someones machine is easier than having a phone conversation you can say what you need to say without a answer; its easier to check in without becoming entangled. So we began calling when we knew no one would pick up. Shooting off an email is easier still, because one can further conceal behind the is a lack of vocal intonation, and of course theres no chance of accidentally catching person. With texting, the high expectations for articulateness is further reduced, and the other shell is offered to hide in. Each step forward has constructed it easier simply a little to avoid the emotional work of being present, to convey datum rather than humanity.

The problem with accepting with preferring lessened replaces is that, over day, we too become diminished replaces. People who become used to saying little become used to feeling little. Or simply feeling whats been designed and sold to us to feel.

The novel has never stood in such stark opposition to the culture that surrounds it. A book is the opposite of Facebook: it requires us to be less connected. It is the opposite of Google: not only inefficient, but at its best, useless. Screens offer a apparently endless supply of information, but the true value of the page is not what it allows us to know, but how it allows us to be known.

*

Like so many people I know, Ive been concerned that telephones and the internet have, in subtle ways, attained life less rich, provided bright pleasures at the expense of deep ones, have distracted me, made concentration more difficult, led me to be elsewhere far too often. Ive received myself checking email while giving my children a bath, jumping over to the internet when a sentence or notion doesnt gone effortlessly in my write, searching for tint on a beautiful springtime day so I can see the screen of my phone. Have you?

Have you found yourself putting loved ones on hold so you could click over to a call from an unidentified number? Have you found yourself conflating aloneness with loneliness? Have you find your relationship to distraction reversing: what was once a annoyance is now attempted?

Do you want to click over to the other call, want to have an email to have to respond to, want even crave the ping of an incoming, inconsequential message?

Isnt it possible that technology, in the forms in which it has entered our everyday lives, has decreased us? And isnt it possible that its getting worse? Almost all new technology causes alarm in its early days, and humen generally adapt to it. So perhaps no resistance is necessary. But if it were, where would it come from, and what would it look like?

With each generation, it becomes harder to imagine a future that resembles the present. My grandparents hoped I would have a better life than they did: free of war and starvation, comfortably situated in a place that felt like home. But what futures would I dismiss out of hand for my grandchildren? That their clothes will be fabricated every morning on 3D printers? That they will communicate without speaking or moving? Merely someone with no imagination, and no anchor in reality, would deny the possibility that they will live forever. Its possible that many reading these terms will never die.

Lets assume, though, that we all have a defined number of days to indent the world with our faiths, to find and generate the beauty that merely a finite existence allows for, to wrestle with the question of purpose and wrestle with our answers. We often use technology to save period, but increasingly, it either takes the saved time along with it, or builds the saved period less present, intimate and rich. I worry that the closer the world gets to our fingertips, the further it gets from our hearts. Its not an either/ or situation being anti-technology is perhaps the only thing more foolish than being unquestioningly pro-technology but a question of balance that our lives hang upon.

One day, nanomachines will see weaknesses in our hearts long before any symptoms would bring us to a doctor. And other nanomachines will repair our hearts without our feeling any pain, losing any time or spending any fund. But it will only feel like a miracle if we are still capable of feeling miracles which is to say, if our hearts are worth saving.

Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer is published by Hamish Hamilton. To order a copy for 16( RRP 20) go to bookshop.theguardian.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p& p over 10, online orders merely. Phone orders min p& p of 1.99.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

When A Photographer Combines Dogs And Peanut Butter, The Outcomes Are Adorable

30 days ago

There’s something truly … special about watching a puppy try to remove peanut butter from the roof of his or her mouth. On the one hand, the dog is enjoying in the savor, but he or she probably also feels a little betrayed that there’s so much work involved with get all of that goodness.

Thankfully, though, that sloppy determination always prevails, and in the end, they WILL lick up all that peanut butter…even if it means looking like a dummy while doing it. One photographer, in particular, shot a series of tongue-smacking photographs and compiled them into an adorable new book.

Greg Murray is a Cleveland-based photographer who works with local animal shelters and specializes in taking photos of pets.

His most famous work in so far might be “For The Love Of Peanut Butter, ” a series which captures puppies thoroughly enjoying a spoonful of the delicious nut-based paste.

Murray told ViralNova that he got the idea where reference is and his fiancee Kristin rescued a mastiff named Bailey. Murray loved get Bailey all drooly( as they are generally do) and take pictures.

He found the best way to do this was to feed her a little peanut butter!

“So. Good.”

Inspired by Bailey, he began photographing his clients’ pooches feeing peanut butter too!

As part of Murray’s process, the dogs are only devoted one or two spoonfuls — too much peanut butter isn’t good for dogs.

He then takes 25 -7 5 photos of the dog’s desperate attempts to lap up all that deliciousness.

He says that some of the dogs have a hard time sitting still, but the majority of members of the time, “they’re so focused on the peanut butter, that even the most fidgety dogs stay put until they’re finished.”

Murray stresses that he only lets puppies consume peanut butter that doesn’t contain Xylitol, which is harmful to pups.

As of Friday, Murray will have photographed over 125 puppies for this project. All these photos and others can be found in his upcoming book For the Love of Peanut Butter: A Photo Booth . To check out more of Murray’s work, visit his website. There, you can even committee him to photograph your pets, weddings, and events! You should also follow him on Instagram.

Read more: