In that case, your own body–your own unmediated, direct experience–would (could?) become “present at hand”: a control surface, an object, not-you, “in between” your intent and your action. You’d be “operating” aspects of your own embodied experience as if it were a technology: think of John Cusack’s character “driving” John Malkovich from the inside. If you ever saw that movie, you may remember that John Cusack’s character got pretty messed up by that experience. But this inner-homunculus-like dissociation of the self from the body, by turning it into a technological interface, is exactly what the designers at Fjord think would feel totally “natural”:A book:
“Think about this scenario: You see someone at a party you like; his social profile is immediately projected onto your retina–great, a 92% match. By staring at him for two seconds, you trigger a pairing protocol. He knows you want to pair, because you are now glowing slightly red in his retina screen. Then you slide your tongue over your left incisor and press gently. This makes his left incisor tingle slightly. He responds by touching it. The pairing protocol is completed.”Are they serious?
One of the pleasures of Josh Hanagarne’s new memoir, “The World’s Strongest Librarian,” is the way it destroys this stereotype. Hanagarne, who works at the Salt Lake City Public Library, is six-feet-seven-inches tall and weighs two hundred and sixty pounds. He was raised as a Mormon, has extreme Tourette’s Syndrome (or Tourette Syndrome, as he calls it), and in his spare time trains for strongman competitions. The author photo in the back of his book indicates that his hair is too short to fit in a bun. Perhaps the only trait he shares with the received idea of his chosen profession is a love of reading and knowledge. “Like most librarians, I’m not well suited to anything else,” he writes. “As a breed, we’re the ultimate generalists. I’ll never know everything about anything, but I’ll know something about almost everything.”Does this differ from regular Peanuts merch?
Lindsay Beyerstein reads the Times:
An art exhibition called “Snoopy Japanesque” is now being held until May 6 in the Matsuya Ginza department store in Tokyo. It was planned by Japanese painter, Yoshiteru Otani, who used to be called a genius by “Peanuts” creator, Charles Schulz, and was a good friend of his.
Christina Loccke can no longer bring herself to support her friends who are having abortions because she wants another baby:It seems to me that the engine driving all politics right now is the sense that someone has something that a complainer should have.But something changed once I became a mother. Pregnancy went from Scarlet Letter to Holy Grail — something deeply desired and no longer feared. Abortions seemed more something in a campaign platform. What felt most real was the fact that my husband and I wanted another child.This is a total non sequitur. If she's pro-choice, she should understand the choice part. She wants another baby, and some of her friends don't. It's all good. I'm sure she expects her her friends who are terminating to be happy for her when she gets pregnant. No doubt they will be, because they're her friends and they want her to have what she wants, not necessarily what they want for themselves.
A brief section of a long Mother Jones article, both personal and political:
"This is not a ghetto," says Cindy Gyori, executive director of Hyde Street Community Services, one of the city's underfunded community mental-health centers. "Nobody is born here. They're looking for the end of the rainbow," and they end up here because San Francisco has "a reputation for being open." Of the 1,000 individuals the clinic sees per year, 44 percent walk in the door homeless. Fifty percent admit to substance abuse. From wherever they came, "they bring their problems with them."
Gyori, a petite white-haired lady with an exuberance you wouldn't expect to last 20 minutes, much less 40 years, in this neighborhood—its 35 square blocks host 6,000 homeless people and 72 crimes on any given day—joined the civil and patients' rights movement that had helped a cost-cutting Gov. Reagan pass Lanterman-Petris-Short. As a social worker, she experienced deinstitutionalization shake out; she's had to call the police, invoking LPS's Section 5150, on "lots of people" who "didn't know how to take care of themselves" and were a threat to their own or others' safety. But she still disagrees with those who think it should be easier to get people committed, medicated, or treated against their will. Whether they're in their "right mind" or not, she says, mentally ill people should be able to do whatever they choose until they're a danger—just like non-mentally-ill people. That violence has often already occurred by the time someone gets 5150'd is, Gyori says, a necessary "complication of our rights in America."
What of the studies that show that involuntary-treatment laws decrease rates of violence and hospitalization and incarceration among severely mentally ill patients? Such laws are "stupid," Gyori says. If your concern is public safety and crime prevention, she adds, "it's the funding that matters." Funding for school screening programs that could catch signs of severe mental illness. Funding for early treatment to keep the moderately mentally ill from becoming a lot sicker, and funding for rehab programs for those who didn't get treatment and started self-medicating. Funding for intensive case management, subsidized housing for people who are functionally disabled. All things that combat the isolation and desperation and hopelessness that can help cause and exacerbate mental illness—schizophrenia included. The majority of Gyori's clients are suffering afflictions like PTSD, anxiety, depression, and the associated addiction issues. That is: With treatment, they're theoretically capable of recovery and (nonsubsidized) functioning. But Gyori's staff is short, underpaid. New clients can't be seen for initial risk assessment for a month. The city's public-housing shortage is so severe that it closed the list to new applicants. "This society is set up to create Tenderloins," she says.