Wes Moore Interview, Fresh Air

Moore says the deaths of Freddie Gray and George Floyd highlight injustices that go beyond police brutality.

“The justice that’s also being sought must be an economic justice. It must be health justice. It must be housing justice,” Moore says. “If we permit these tragedies to recede from our memory, we will risk the opportunity to change the systems that are ultimately responsible for all of these injustices.”


Fresh Air

What Went Well – Three Blessings Exercise

Every night for the next week, set aside ten minutes before you go to sleep. Write down three things that went well today and why they went well. You may use a journal or your computer to write about the events, but it is important that you have a physical record of what you wrote. The three things need not be earthshaking in importance (“My husband picked up my favorite ice cream for dessert on the way home from work today”), but they can be important (“My sister just gave birth to a healthy baby boy”).

https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/02/18/martin-seligman-gratitude-visit-three-blessings/

Questionable Value of Authenticity

In the 1970s, the cultural critic Lionel Trilling encouraged us to take seriously the distinction between sincerity and authenticity. Sincerity, he said, requires us to act and really be the way that we present ourselves to others. Authenticity involves finding and expressing the true inner self and judging all relationships in terms of it.

Authenticity now dominates our way of viewing ourselves and our relationships, with baleful consequences. Within sensitive individuals it breeds doubt; between people it promotes distrust; within groups it enhances group-think in the endless quest to be one with the group’s true soul; and between groups it is the inner source of identity politics.

It also undermines good government. James Nolan, in his book “The Therapeutic State,” has shown how the emphasis on the primacy of the self has penetrated major areas of government: emotivist arguments trump reasoned discourse in Congressional hearings and criminal justice; and in public education, self-esteem vies with basic literacy in evaluating students. The cult of authenticity partly accounts for our poor choice of leaders. We prefer leaders who feel our pain, or born-again frat boys who claim that they can stare into the empty eyes of an ex-K.G.B. agent and see inside his soul.

Our Overrated Inner Self
Orlando Patterson, Dec. 26, 2006
NYTIMES

Dan Harris Interview – Fresh Air

Having this self-awareness — otherwise known as mindfulness — which is what’s developed through the process of seeing your distractions and then beginning again (gently over and over and over again), that is a game-changing skill. Because … this nonstop conversation … is a central feature of your life — whether you know it or not, we’re all walking around with this inner narrator that if we broadcast loud, you would be locked up. And when you’re unaware of this cacophony internally, it’s owning you all the time. And what we’re doing in meditation is dragging all of this nonsense out of the shadows and into the light.

Fresh Air

Former Parole Officer Reflects On His Time Supervising ‘The Second Chance Club’

Four and a half million Americans are on probation or parole — more than twice the nation’s jail population. Parolees and probationers are required to check in regularly with officials, who are charged with helping them rebuild their lives.

I got the book after hearing this interview. It was quite good.
The Second Chance Club: Hardship and Hope After Prison
Jason Hardy
Amazon

Snippets of life living alone during Coronavirus – NY TIMES

Claire Manship belted songs out the window. Ketaki Chowkhani began barking at a stray puppy. Blake Mitchell performed in drag.

As millions of people grapple with isolation in a pandemic, those who live alone face a particular kind of solitude.

More people live alone now than at any other time in history, a seismic shift from even a half-century ago, and one fueled largely by women’s economic rise.

Being alone and being lonely are not the same thing, of course, and many people who live by themselves spend little time alone.

Until, perhaps, a pandemic hits.

Weeks or months into the stay-at-home orders worldwide, we wanted to know how solo dwellers were faring. What were they doing to keep themselves occupied? What did they most long for? What did they feel liberated to live without?

More than 2,000 readers shared their stories and their photos. Here are some of them.

Jessica Bennett, Daniel Jones and Anya Strzemien
Alone.

It’s a relief or a nightmare, irritating and liberating, and already, for many, interminable. This is living alone in a pandemic.

Renewable Energy Poised to Overtake Coal in US – NY TIMES

WASHINGTON — The United States is on track to produce more electricity this year from renewable power than from coal for the first time on record, new government projections show, a transformation partly driven by the coronavirus pandemic, with profound implications in the fight against climate change.

It is a milestone that seemed all but unthinkable a decade ago, when coal was so dominant that it provided nearly half the nation’s electricity. And it comes despite the Trump administration’s three-year push to try to revive the ailing industry by weakening pollution rules on coal-burning power plants.

Brad Plumer
NY TIMES
In a First, Renewable Energy Is Poised to Eclipse Coal in U.S.

Things They Should Bring Back …

If you could bring back one discontinued item, what would it be? from r/AskReddit

7 Up Gold would be my vote. Good stuff.

mattreyu
McCormick used to sell a pizza seasoning in their grinder bottles that was delicious and could make any pizza better. I went so far as contacting them about it, and they told me they don’t even sell a comparable herb mix anymore.

shirobearr
Tangerine Altoids

omglolnub
The headphone jack on cell phones. Thank you, Apple, for your “bravery” that slimmed down the phone 0.0 nanometers.

TutumTeRebore
Not an item exactly, but IMDB discussion boards.

Some were toxic and all were difficult to moderate but, damn, was it excellent for analyzing and discussing films, and getting others’ takes and interpretations.

How to Handle Coronavirus Isolation and Anxiety – WebMD

Take a break from news.
The 24-hour news cycle can make anxiety spike. Give yourself a limit. Stick with what you need to know and what’s happening in your community.

Change your mindset.
Avoid thinking too much about the future or worst-case scenarios. Forecasting can trigger anxiety. Instead of saying, “I’ll never recover,” tell yourself, “I’ll make it through this.”

https://www.webmd.com/lung/handle-isolation-and-anxiety#1

Los Angeles County Unemployment, Coronavirus effect on

Because of the colossal impact that the coronavirus outbreak has had on the U.S. economy, less than half of Los Angeles County residents — 45% compared with 61% in mid-March — still hold a job, a decline of 16 percentage points, or an estimated 1.3 million jobs, according to findings from a national survey released Friday.

Jaclyn Cosgrove
Los Angeles Times, April 17, 2020
Less than half of L.A. County residents still have jobs amid coronavirus crisis

Keeping Your Mental Health Up in Hard Times

“One of the keys to becoming more resilient is to practice compassion both toward ourselves as well as toward others,” Ms. Marston said. “One of the keys to doing so is to interrupt recurring cycles of negative inner dialogue.”

When we find ourselves cycling through negative thoughts that don’t go anywhere, it’s important to take a step back to disrupt the cycle of anxiety, Ms. Marston said. “This can include stopping and focusing on our breath rather than on our thoughts, changing our physical environment to help create distance from our initial mental space, or having a conversation with someone we trust to get a fresh perspective.

Dr. Sarah Kate McGowan, an assistant clinical professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, suggested coming up with coping statements to help you get through dark moments. This might be something like, “I can take this one day at a time” or “This is frightening, and I can handle it.” You can even write these statements on index cards to refer to when you find yourself back in the negativity loop, she said.”

Kristin Wong, NY TIMES
How to Stay Optimistic When Everything Seems Wrong

Coronavirus Pandemic and Unemployment – Theatrical Workers

Brown is a 33-year film veteran. He has seen many ups and downs in the industry, from the Writers Guild strike in 2007 to 2008 to the global financial crisis to natural disasters. This one is different. “Our income currently is zero dollars with no end in sight. It’s frightening,” he told CNN Business, “I am going to deplete all my savings.”

Brown is a member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), which represents roughly 145,000 entertainment workers working behind the scenes. In March, IATSE announced that more than 90% of its members are out of a job due to the pandemic — that’s roughly 120,000 craftspeople, technicians, and artisans.

Anna-Maja Rappard, CNN Business.
Hollywood Has Gone Dark, And It’s Crushing Thousands

For Many, Getting By Was Difficult Before Coronavirus

In less than two decades, the share of income paid out in wages and benefits in the private sector shrank by 5.4 percentage points, a McKinsey Global Institute study found last year, reducing compensation on average by $3,000 a year, adjusted for inflation.

The result is that a job — once the guarantor of income security — no longer reliably plays that role.

“For many working families, wage growth has not been strong enough to allow them to meet their basic needs on their own,” the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston concluded in a report last year.

“Straggling In A Good Economy, And Now Struggling In A Crisis”
Patricia Cohen
 https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/16/business/economy/coronavirus-economy.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage.