One Day at a Time

by Tedra Osell on October 10, 2012

So homeschooling is turning out to be kind of like sobriety? Which started as a joke–and no, I am not an alcoholic or addict, except for being a former smoker, which does, actually, count–but on thinking about it, I wonder if there might, actually, be a more than casual relationship between addiction and “giftedness” that’s like the one between “giftedness” and depression. Or for that matter, addiction and mental illness. At least, in my experience of the latter, a big part of the problem is the gap between conception and reality. One sees problems globally and is overwhelmed by realizing that you can only chip away at them in tiny increments, or imagines a fabulous project or goal but is frozen with anxiety by not knowing how to start, or by perceiving the enormous gap between starting and actually achieving the thing. [click to continue…]

Alex Gourevitch on environmentalism: some pushback

by Chris Bertram on October 10, 2012

Alex Gourevitch, with whom I’m collaborated in the past, has [a piece at Jacobin]( that’s somewhat hostile to environmentalism. The piece is written as a provocation, and, indeed, it has successfully provoked at least one person: me. Alex argues that greens substitute science for politics, neglect the social determinants of well-being, would deprive the global poor of technological benefits that could protect them from natural disasters and risk condemning people to lives wasted in drudgery.

No doubt Alex can find plenty of instances of people mouthing the sentiments and opinions he condemns. But the trouble with this sort of writing is exemplified by the endless right-wing blogs that go on about “the left” and then attribute to everyone from Alinsky to the Zapatistas a sympathy for Stalinist labour camps. Just like “the left”, people who care about the environment and consider themselves greens come in a variety of shapes, sizes and flavours. Taking as typical what some random said at some meeting about the virtues of Palestinians generating electricity with bicycles is inherently problematic.
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