Lebanon's governance crisis demonstrates that even people enured to dysfunction, are limited in what they can tolerate.
Also on governance: pair what's going right in Guatemala with the article I linked to earlier about how Brazil's instutions are keeping the country together.
Professor Barbara Geddes, a prominent researcher of authoritarian regimes, classifies Russia as a "personalist autocracy," as distinct from a single-party or military autocracy that exists elsewhere in the world...
Most personalist regimes are less durable than single-party dictatorships and more susceptible to economic and exogenous shocks, because a “heaven-sent leader" must continuously prove his ability to turn water into wine and multiply loaves of bread or fish. Any difficulties must be temporary in nature. Also, personalist regimes need to continually buy off their elites: when the rewards for loyalty run out, the ranks of supporters suddenly evaporate.
I rarely agree with Gary Taubes, but it is a no-brainer that starvation is unsustainable. This is behind the misconceived interpretation of research--that weight loss doesn't work because people gain it back; they only gain it back if they were starved, because of course few people will starve themselves in the long run. This is not to say that sustainable, long-term lifestyle changes won't help people drop pounds.
Pair Dr. Nerdlove's wise words about boundaries--
- People who assume (or try to take) a greater level of intimacy than they actually have are creepy because they’re ignoring your boundaries.
- Respecting somebody’s boundaries, on the other hand, is a mark of respect as well as social calibration. It shows you that you value their comfort and respect their social, emotional and physical safety.
- Once again, this is boundary-pushing behavior; by insisting that you are somehow “owed” something, you are saying that the other person does not have the right to decide their own actions or responses. If you already are demanding things of strangers – even something as relatively innocuous as a smile or a “hi” back – you’re establishing a precedent where you expect more of your desires to be reciprocated, regardless of whether the other person is interested or not.
Also on boundaries--in the sense that some people like to deliberately flout them as a power move--as well as other essential relationship skills that we value: you can bypass the need for them by going the sugar route. [This is an exceptionally well-written piece and I highly recommend that you read it in its entirety.] Some excerpts:
Drama, according to Thurston, includes taking your time to decide whether you want to have sex, having any motive beyond the one you stipulated up front (which was greed), and a presumption that you will be courted. No, sir, Thurston's courting days are over.and
“A lot of them are very lonely and they don't have time to go through traditional dating because they're so successful. And they really don't have time to woo a woman or to like, you know, answer your phone calls.”
The other interesting thing about the article is the equivalence with housewife-ism (to counter the default equivalence with prostitution)--isn't it all on the same spectrum? I'd argue--without judging either of the three--that there is a difference: spouses with unequal incomes are each contributing in different ways to a shared goal; there's a relationship there, and the health of the relationship is something both parties have committed to sustaining. It's not transactional. This article makes it clear that, in sugar relationships, each party is in it for him/herself and wants no part in the work it would take to have a relationship. And there's nothing wrong with that, since the terms are clear; everyone knows what to reasonably expect.
Serena Williams is amazing, but we knew that.
Mostly agree with the inadvertent coiner of 'Manic Pixie Dream Girl,' except I'd argue that Zoe Kazan brings it on herself (I've had the misfortune of watching two of her films--which she herself wrote--on planes). She revels in the MPDG, and thus is part of the problem.
Great video about actual vs. stereotypical vegans.
Meditation is good.
Stunning photos of bark.
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