Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for July 28th, 2014

“The Injustice of Marijuana Arrests”

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Strong column in the NY Times by Jesse Wegman:

America’s four-decade war on drugs is responsible for many casualties, but the criminalization of marijuana has been perhaps the most destructive part of that war. The toll can be measured in dollars — billions of which are thrown away each year in the aggressive enforcement of pointless laws. It can be measured in years — whether wasted behind bars or stolen from a child who grows up fatherless. And it can be measured in lives — those damaged if not destroyed by the shockingly harsh consequences that can follow even the most minor offenses.

In October 2010, Bernard Noble, a 45-year-old trucker and father of seven with two previous nonviolent offenses, was stopped on a New Orleans street with a small amount of marijuana in his pocket. His sentence: more than 13 years.

Outrageously long sentences are only part of the story. The hundreds of thousands of people who are arrested each year but do not go to jail also suffer; their arrests stay on their records for years, crippling their prospects for jobs, loans, housing and benefits. These are disproportionately people of color, with marijuana criminalization hitting black communities the hardest.

Meanwhile, police departments that presumably have far more important things to do waste an enormous amount of time and taxpayer money chasing a drug that two states have already legalized and that a majority of Americans believe should be legal everywhere.

A Costly, Futile Strategy

The absurdity starts on the street, with a cop and a pair of handcuffs. . .

Continue reading.

It’s an amazing series—both in how it’s being done (the presentation), in the fact that the NY Times is doing it, and in the content. Quite amazing. Talk about memetic evolution!

Written by LeisureGuy

28 July 2014 at 2:55 pm

Posted in Drug laws

Self-reflexive metapost on why we’re here (on-line)

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Interesting. In my meme-oriented view, the internet would be an emergent phenomenon of memes, drawing in more and speeding up their evolution. And, of course, the most successful of those memes would (by definition) capture the attention of the greatest number of people. That’s quite a fertile environment for meme evolution—and of course it’s attractive by (more or less) necessity/definition: the most successful memes are the most attractive, so the Internet, which allows more or less free evolution, would quickly (in human terms) evolve to a high level of addictiveness.

Or maybe not. But it’s clear that the entire Internet is a creation built of memes. That’s what the whole thing is—nothing but memes (in the Richard Dawkins sense). And it’s clear that the Internet (i.e., the memes that comprise it) is evolving rapidly—just look at the Internet’s underlying technology as one group of its memes and see the rapid advance there—and that’s mainly, I would think, because the environment is uncontrolled. That is, it’s not a medium where the big content makers totally predominate: we are all on-line, and networks have developed that quickly draw the attention of the Internet denizens  to things of greater interest (thus the origins of its addictive nature). Those networks are all the various link-exchange sites of whatever level—even news stories now include many hyperlinks. So this network of connections surfaces things more quickly, thus allowing more rapid memetic evolution.

It all sort of hangs together, doesn’t it? What we’re seeing and a part of (and a part of us if I’m right that one’s identity is constructed from memes) is a meme Cambrian Explosion.

Written by LeisureGuy

28 July 2014 at 2:16 pm

On the (often difficult and dangerous) public service of the police

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Here is a tough story. There are indeed some very bad and dangerous people around, and the police are our protection from this kind of day-to-day threat (as opposed to a war, when the military is our protection, though lately more used in aggression). It’s not an easy job, I would think.

Written by LeisureGuy

28 July 2014 at 1:44 pm

Interesting as a take on Israel

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That parents can transmit their own trauma to their offspring. Article here. If true, one can see both some potential contributors to Israel’s use of arms and occupation, and also how this generation’s conflicts will similarly shape the Palestinians, who pretty clearly on the suffering side of this war, in loss of family members as a rough metric. Their next generation will show the trauma.

Written by LeisureGuy

28 July 2014 at 1:34 pm

Expendables 3: Persuasive

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Very interesting take. Convinced me. Even if it’s sponsored content, which certainly seems possible if not likely, it’s worth trying: experience, expectations, et cetera.

Written by LeisureGuy

28 July 2014 at 1:29 pm

Posted in Movies & TV

BBS with Stealth, Morris & Forndran

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28 July 2014

Quite a wonderful shave today. I really like the Wilkinson shave stick, which is much better than their rather mediocre tub shaving soap. With the Morris & Forndran brush I got a very nice lather, working in water until it was right.

The Stealth, with a SuperMax Titanium blade, easily delivered BBS smoothness in three passes, with no nicks, no razor burn, and no residual roughness: a very easy shave.

A splash of Irisch Moos, and the week begins.

Written by LeisureGuy

28 July 2014 at 7:41 am

Posted in Shaving

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