Beta Culture: Sometimes It’s You

car alarm 1

Outside my bedroom window, three floors down and about 50 yards away, a car alarm began going off. At about 10 p.m. Sunday night.Thirty blasts of the horn, then silence. For about 30 seconds. Then another 30 blasts. Silence. Again. And again. And again. For more than two hours.I was reading in bed, as I always do, and I’m able to ignore a lot when I’m caught up in a book, so it wasn’t a big problem. But it was annoying. And it went on. And on. And on.I finally looked out the window, a … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: More About the Nexus

Nexus-2

One of my central ideas about Beta Culture, about creating it, is that every culture on Earth, past and present, is potential source material for designing our own unique cultural environment. We can borrow, copy, or just outright steal ideas and ways of doing from any and every culture.Borrow cultural goodies from the Mormons. Steal from the Catholics. Copy good stuff from the Romans, the Shakers, the Japanese, the Italians, the Navajo. Borrow, copy, steal ... and make it ours.If you've … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: The Necessity of Change

fire

This is a bit more heated than I'd say the thing ...Burn the Fucking System to the Ground... but there's one quote I view as absolutely accurate: The system is not fixable because it is not broken. It is working, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to give the insiders their royal prerogatives, and to shove the regulations, the laws, and the debt up the asses of everyone else. I don't see "burn it to the ground" as a workable solution. This is more a cry of impotent rage -- the same thing … [Read more...]

Yeah, About That “Atheism as Intellectual Luxury” Thing

rich

So ... THIS got written: Atheism is an intellectual luxury for the wealthyIt starts with the writer's Reasoning Guy bona fides. An atheist at 16, Chris Arnade sneered at religion, even later becoming an actual scientist. Three years later I did escape my town, eventually receiving a PhD in physics, and then working on Wall Street for 20 years. A life devoted to rational thought, a life devoted to numbers and clever arguments.During that time I counted myself an atheist and nodded in … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: Self Defense in the Medical Arena

Catholic Hospitals

So you go into a hospital and it looks like every other, right? Doctors, nurses, beeping monitors, an overall air of concern for patient well-being. And for most of us, it's probably even true.But for one targeted class, women in need of emergency, or sometimes even routine, reproductive care, one in ten hospitals in the U.S. take a radically different approach to medicine.Read this paragraph from Miscarriage of Medicine – The Growth of Catholic Hospitals and the Threat to Reproductive H … [Read more...]

Things I’d Like to Take Home on the Eve of Christmas

Claus

The impulse, I suspect, is in all of us.Put a 5-year-old on a beach with his mother, and he will spend some large part of his time picking up shells, one by one, over and over, running them back to her, proclaiming in awe and delight, “Mommy, look at THIS one!”You find a great new eating place, you go back and TELL everybody. You discover a beautiful little waterfall on a hike, you take pictures and go back and SHOW people. You hear some juicy, or sad, or amazing, bit of news, your first … [Read more...]


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