Dance! Do not stifle that which is innate

Dance seems to be the ultimate frivolity. How did it become a human necessity? Every culture dances. Moving our bodies to music is ubiquitous throughout human history and across the globe. So why is this ostensibly frivolous act so fundamental to being human? The answer, it seems, is in our need for social cohesion – that vital glue that keeps societies from breaking apart despite interpersonal differences. The French sociologist Émile Durkheim (1858-1917) theorised that ‘collective effervescence’ – moments in which people come together in some form of unifying, excitement-inducing activity – is at the root of what holds groups together. More recently, Bronwyn Tarr, an evolutionary biologist and psychologist at the University of Oxford who is also a dancer, has researched the evolutionary and neurological underpinnings of our innate tendency to bust a move. Drawing on the work of both Durkheim and Tarr, this Aeon Original video explores that unifying feeling of group ‘electricity’ that lifts us up when we’re enthralled by our favourite sports teams, participating in religious rituals, entranced by music – and, yes, dancing the night away. Directors and Animators: Rosanna Wan, Andrew Khosravani Producer: Kellen Quinn #dance #animation #culture Writer: Sam Dresser Associate producer: Adam D’Arpino Sound designers: Eli Cohn, Ben Chesneau, Maya Peart Narrator: Simon Mattacks

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Conway: “If the charge were unfitness for office, the verdict would already be in: guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Mr. George Conway, my favorite republican, wrote the following:

But whether the Mueller report ever sees the light of day, there is one charge that can be resolved now. Americans should expect far more from a president than merely that he not be provably a criminal. They should expect a president to comport himself in accordance with the high duties of his office. As all presidents must, Trump swore an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, and to faithfully execute his office and the laws in accordance with the Constitution. That oath requires putting the national interests above his personal interests.

Yet virtually from the moment he took office, in his response to the Russia investigation, Trump has done precisely the opposite: Relentlessly attacked an attorney general, Mueller, the Justice Department — including suggesting that his own deputy attorney general should go to jail. Lied, to the point that his own lawyers wouldn’t dare let him speak to Mueller, lest he commit a crime. Been more concerned about touting his supposedly historic election victory than confronting an attack on our democracy by a hostile foreign power.

If the charge were unfitness for office, the verdict would already be in: guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Read the rest. 

88 truths learned about life

At this blog Raptitude, David, writes about getting better at being human. I like it. A lot. It’s a great place to spend some time.

In one post, he writes 88 truths he’s found to be true for him. I agree with almost all.

Here’s a taste. Read the whole thing here.

1. You can’t change other people, and it’s rude to try.

2. It is a hundred times more difficult to burn calories than to refrain from consuming them in the first place.

3. If you’re talking to someone you don’t know well, you may be talking to someone who knows way more about whatever you’re talking about than you do.

4. The cheapest and most expensive models are usually both bad deals.

5. Everyone likes somebody who gets to the point quickly.

6. Bad moods will come and go your whole life, and trying to force them away makes them run deeper and last longer.

7. Children are remarkably honest creatures until we teach them not to be.

8. If everyone in the TV show you’re watching is good-looking, it’s not worth watching.

9. Yelling always makes things worse.

10. Whenever you’re worried about what others will think of you, you’re really just worried about what you’ll think of you.

11. Every problem you have is your responsibility, regardless of who caused it.

 

Let’s raise some dead bodies! There are hoaxes a plenty.

The other day I posted about the rise in people claiming “no religion” in America. Reader perdebytjie commented about gullibility in South Africa and how pastors left and right are doing outrageous things to claim a magical superiority in order to gain followers. He  cited a few stories about pastors claiming to raise the dead, encouraging their congregations to eat grass to cure disease or to get closer to god, and even feeding them crazy things like dog meat and blood …

I think any religious person in America would agree that these pastors are grifters. They are false prophets. They are preying on the gullible, the weak, and the ignorant.

This is where talking about “those pastors” gets tricky. I remember these kinds of stories from as far back as I can remember. I remember being told that people who speak in tongues aren’t “real” believers. Or that TV pastors claiming to faith heal their congregants … those are false.

But that area is quickly grayed when believers of all ilk claim to have a direct line to the creator of the universe, who can somehow defy science and reality by issuing prayers in exchange for earlier healing, or respite from cancers or disease. I’ve been in many situations where someone asks to pray, calls out to God for early healing, and it’s viewed as completely fine. It’s not like those faith healers on TV. It’s different somehow. It’s “realer”. It’s more legit.

It can’t be questioned. It can’t be scrutinized. And if you doubt it, one would be asked to be quiet. Or expected to remain quiet.

I remember being told clearly that healing from God is not magic. Magic is reserved for trickery. Magic is reserved for something that’s not real. But what happens when a person is mysteriously cured of something, that’s providential. It’s supernatural. If it cannot be directly explained, it must be a power invisible to the natural world.

It’s like being told what’s written in a report without reading the actual report. It’s like thinking something is completely true, because, say, a book makes a claim that it was written by an eye witness, but you never met the eye witness or cannot verity the veracity of that claim … yet one would believe the eye witness claim without question.

These topics are difficult to approach. Because most people are skeptical enough of almost everything, except when it comes to their own deeply held beliefs. Then it’s full-on belief train and there’s no inkling of skeptical prowess.

Here are a few links to more of what perdebytjie is talking about: here. here. here.

Thanks for reading. I know there aren’t too many readers right now, but drop a link in the comments for your favorite hoax-y, miracle, bullshit-y articles … would love to read them.