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Student of life, the universe, and everything.
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23 Mar
Some reflections on neurodiversity.
What can look like a world of nice people and less-nice people is sometimes not. Some people just get you, others don't. It's often because the people who get you are neurodivergent in ways similar to you, the one's who don't are differently neurodivergent, or more neurotypical.
Sometimes you do things your whole life and only later learn why, and learn others do those things as well.
Read 26 tweets
17 Feb
"The first cases of COVID-19 were detected in New Zealand in February 2020. The World Health Organization declared the pandemic a humanitarian emergency, which posed a critical threat to the health and safety of the global community in general, and disabled people in particular."
"The Disability Convention requires signatory govs to protect and promote rights of disabled people... Article 11 requires governments to uphold disability rights in situations of risk and emergency, and put in place measures to protect and ensure the safety of disabled people."
"At the centre of Making Disability Rights Real in a Pandemic are the real experiences of disabled New Zealanders during the COVID-19 emergency. These stories have shown resilience, strength, and commitment."
Read 11 tweets
16 Feb
Sometimes people confuse a COVID-19 elimination strategy with "eradication." An elimination strategy, or Zero COVID, means eliminating community transmission while we vaccinate.

It does not mean zero cases, just zero mystery cases.
People also confuse an "elimination" or "Zero COVID" strategy with the future of the virus.

We can use a Zero COVID strategy now to stop infections and reduce deaths and protect people, while acknowledging that the future remains uncertain.
Experts writing about the elimination strategy suggest that in the future COVID-19 might become endemic, like the flu, and we will continue to vaccinate for it every year.

Alternatively, if we use a Zero COVID strategy globally, we could aim for eradication in the future.
Read 5 tweets
16 Feb
New today:

"Aiming for zero Covid-19: Europe needs to take action"

A letter signed by scientists and public health experts from Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, UK, and USA.

List of signatories:
"Vaccination is a critical element for our way out of the pandemic. But the hope to reach herd immunity in Europe by the end of the summer is fading, as the roll-out of vaccines proves to be a major challenge."
"In addition, the emergence of new variants from Brazil, the UK, and South Africa is a warning signal that we may be confronted with lower protection from vaccines."
Read 27 tweets
16 Feb
"Time and again have we seen countries reopen too fast and lose hard-earned gains."

@hans_kluge, Regional Director, WHO Europe
"I must reiterate that decisions to lift public health and social measures need to be underpinned with data, based on epidemiological assessment and health system capacity. Criteria need to be evidence-based – and not based on observations of relative progress."

"At this point, the overwhelming majority of European countries remain vulnerable. Right now, it’s a thin line between the hope of a vaccine and a false sense of security."

Read 4 tweets
15 Feb
"Richer countries such as New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Japan, the UK and those in Europe have the option to pursue an elimination strategy through a mix of test, trace and isolate programmes; short and sharp lockdown restrictions... and, crucially, border measures..."
" stop reimportation of new chains and variants. This would help end each country’s epidemic and be a step, country by country, towards better control and an end to the global pandemic."
"If these countries are able to roll out vaccines quickly to the majority of their populations (including for children, given the need for a large part of the population to be immunised to achieve “herd” immunity)..."
Read 9 tweets
14 Feb
"Despite what the name would suggest, Zero Covid does not necessarily mean getting and staying at zero daily cases of the virus per day.

Simply put, it means "crushing the curve" of the virus to the lowest possible level and implementing a range of measures to keep it there."
"This would include:

- dramatically beefed-up public health departments
- expansive testing and tracing capabilities
- mandatory quarantine for everyone coming into the country
- restrictions around the border
- making quarantining or isolating easier and cheaper"
"The biggest and most well-known success story is New Zealand. In early June, the country declared itself Covid-free and rugby fans who get up early on weekends will see their games going ahead with thousands of fans in attendance as life returned to some level of normality."
Read 5 tweets
12 Feb
"In 2014, Trân Tô Nga filed a complaint in France against more than 20 firms involved in the production of Agent Orange for the US military, including Monsanto (now Bayer-Monsanto) and Dow Chemical."
"The purpose of the lawsuit is to establish the direct relationship between Agent Orange and the deaths and diseases developed by those Vietnamese, like herself, who were exposed to the chemicals."
"Finally, six years after filing her complaint, and following around 20 preliminary hearings, a court in the southern Paris suburb of Evry heard the case on January 25.

For Trân Tô Nga and her fellow campaigners, it was a historic occasion."…
Read 4 tweets
10 Feb
How could Congress actually hold Trump accountable?

What actions could they take to undo the harm Trump caused and build something better in its place?

What would real justice look like beyond an impeachment trial?
For real justice Congress could actually cancel the contracts for building Trump's wall. The wall could be torn down, the land could be restored, and returned to the care of its rightful stewards and protectors for the benefit of all life, land, water, and culture. #LandBack
For real justice Congress could dismantle ICE and DHS. Congress could cancel private prison contracts and shut down all ICE facilities, detention centers, and concentration camps. Free all those imprisoned, and provide reparations for all those harmed. #AbolishICE #FreeThemAll
Read 12 tweets
8 Feb
"Light and Night in the Ancient Maya World of Mesoamerica" from @GoArchaeo1, a colloquium lecture @UVicAnthro.

This looks fascinating, it's today: February 8th 11:30am–12:30pm Pacific time.…
Lecture abstract: "The modern desire for abundant nocturnal lighting is often presumed to be a cultural universal that transcends time, and most modern humans take light at night for granted."
"These reasons may account for the lack of investigation by archaeologists who study the Late Classic Lowland Mayas (600-900 CE) of Mesoamerica."
Read 8 tweets
7 Feb
"The catastrophic failure of many Western democracies such as the US, UK and many European countries to control COVID-19 has been shocking."…
"The state of the pandemic in the US, UK and Europe shows that money, technical know-how and scientific knowledge do not guarantee good pandemic control."
"Culture, leadership, appropriate experts informing policy decisions and the willingness of the public to follow expert advice matters too."
Read 5 tweets
7 Feb
This excellent article is a good way of understanding #ZeroCovid, it just calls for zero occupationally acquired covid infections for healthcare workers, but why shouldn't we have that expectation of our whole society during a pandemic?
"Governments must immediately proclaim a target of zero occupationally acquired covid infections in health and social care workers. To meet this entirely achievable goal requires us to shed the nihilism that has bedevilled the matter so far."
"It is not 'inevitable' that a healthcare worker should routinely catch covid at work, as it is not 'inevitable' that a construction worker should fall from a scaffold, or that a miner should be crushed by a rockfall."
Read 6 tweets
3 Feb
"If the rose is on its way to becoming garbage, then the garbage is also on its way to becoming a rose."

— Thich Nhat Hanh
"She who observes discerningly will see the nondual character of the rose and the garbage. She will be able to see that there is garbage in the rose and that there are roses in the garbage." —TNH
"She will know that the rose needs the garbage for its existence, and the garbage needs the rose, because it is the rose that becomes garbage." —TNH
Read 4 tweets
3 Feb
Nick Walser on the paradoxical nature of loneliness:

"Our culture can sometimes give us the impression that we are contained little blobs of stuff, and that within our carefully maintained home environment our needs will be totally satisfied."
"All our necessities are to be found within our respective four walls. We can have food delivered and films downloaded, and work can be done from home. Our home becomes some sort of delivery-unit, and we become mere open mouths, gobbling up whatever comes our way."
"Then it becomes easy to convince ourselves that we are singular indeed: self-sufficient and able to fulfill our every whim, because all roads seem to lead to us, and there is nothing like this kind of one-way traffic for reinforcing a strong idea of self."
Read 6 tweets
3 Feb
Saying there's no hope of demilitarizing space exploration because it has always been part of the US military is an ahistorical self-fulfilling prophecy.

Humans have engaged with space in many ways for tens of thousands of years and the US isn't the only country on Earth.
"To grasp our relationship with the non-human world here on Earth, we must also extend our understanding of how Earth relates to the entirety of the cosmos."…
Queer folk, of all kinds, are united by our skills in imagining every possible future, bright and abysmal, and we do it because it’s something we learned as a survival tactic and later honed as an art form.…
Read 14 tweets
2 Feb
In 2017 @DrJonathanRosa and @yarimarbonilla published an article that is one of the most clearly articulated visions of what it would actually mean to resist before, during, and after Trump.

This is "why anthropology [really] matters" for our politics.…
Rosa and Bonilla ask:

“On what grounds [was the election of Trump] a breach of justice versus a logical outcome of the forms of racial democracy and racial capitalism that are fundamental to the US nation‐state project?”
In their article Rosa and Bonilla want to: “locate [Trump's] election within broader historical, political, and economic assemblages of which it is but one part.”

In other words, Trump wasn't really a break from the status quo, it was part of it.
Read 16 tweets
2 Feb
"We have been practicing 'engaged Buddhism' in Vietnam for the last thirty years. During the war, we could not just sit in the meditation hall. We had to practice mindfulness everywhere, especially where the worst suffering was going on."

— Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step
"Being in touch with the kind of suffering we encountered during the war can heal us of some of the suffering we experience when our lives are not very meaningful or useful." — TNH
"When you confront the kinds of difficulties we faced during the war, you see that you can be a source of compassion and a great help to many suffering people." —TNH
Read 11 tweets
2 Feb
"In pandemic times, the world on high alert turns everyday challenges into startling, complex, and potentially life-threatening events.

So give yourself some slack. Slow down. Take care of your health. Remember that everything passes."…
"Everything that arises passes away."
"Here is a helpful practice for when we have a beleaguered mind, as so many of us do now."

1. Tell yourself, preferably out loud, what is happening: “I am fraught.” “I am frightened.” “I am angry.” “I am so disappointed," etc.
Read 6 tweets
2 Feb
"The American Negro has the great advantage of having never believed that collection of myths to which white Americans cling: that their ancestors were all freedom-loving heroes, that they were born in the greatest country the world has ever seen..."

— James Baldwin
"Negroes know far more about white Americans than that; it can almost be said, in fact, that they know about white Americans what parents—or, anyway, mothers—know about their children, and that they very often regard white Americans that way."

— James Baldwin
"One watched the lives they led. One could not be fooled about that; one watched the things they did and the excuses that they gave themselves, and if a white man was really in trouble, deep trouble, it was to the Negro’s door that he came."

— James Baldwin
Read 4 tweets
26 Jan
We think of this planet, the sun, our solar system, all of this around us as a somewhat stable even static background against which we live.

But our star and solar system have a temporary impermanent existence just like we do. The sun is about half-way through its lifespan...
After about 4.5 billion years of life so far, our sun is living through a relatively stable part of its life in middle-age.

But in about 5 billion years it will run out of hydrogen. It will expand to become so large that it will envelope the Earth.
After enveloping Mercury, Venus, and perhaps even Earth our sun will burn as a Red Giant in its final phases of life.

Over millions of years, a blink of an eye relative to its lifespan, our sun will flash and shrink and grow and shrink again and change our entire solar system.
Read 10 tweets
26 Jan
Memories from my ancestor of growing up in Kansas 100 years ago: "The only thing I remember while living there was that my father, Milt, was using an ax one day and it slipped and went through his boot and cut his foot. Probably not badly, but it made an impression on me."
"Also, he always wore a handlebar mustache, and it was coal black. One day he went to town and had that black moustache cut off, and when he came home I didn’t know who he was." (photos of Milton circa 1902, with Belle) Man and woman around 1900.Portrait of a man around 1900.
"When Levi died, we moved down the road a couple of miles to the Oman homestead, which was near the Greenfield School. I was four years old – 1909. It was about six miles from town."
Read 23 tweets