The Wastelanders is a story about three siblings who discover that the adults in their lives have been lying about the nature of the world around them.
An Election Day Rant
Donald Drumpf: a man without any political experience, endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan, a man without any coherent strategy [“it’s the Muslims’ fault!” isn’t a strategy], a man who raped a child and who makes crude sexual comments about his own daughter and whose own ex-wife characterized an event between them as “rape,” a man without morals, a man who made fun of a disabled reporter and attacked a dead soldier’s family, a pathological liar, a man with numerous failed business ventures and lawsuits.
Donald Drumpf is the embodiment of privilege. And now he is president, defeating a competent and capable woman. Hillary wasn’t perfect, but guess what? She’s a human being in a flawed system – of course she wasn’t perfect.
Third party voters are partially to blame. On Twitter, rumors are spreading that several thousand idiots “voted” for Harambe, a dead gorilla. Voting isn’t about your pure, personal views; it’s about what is best for the country. It’s certainly not a time for pointless jokes. From the torture of Sufragettes to the tribulations of the Civil Rights Era, people suffered and died to secure your right to vote.
Voting is a pragmatic action that takes our country one step closer to something better. I wonder if any 3rd party voters have second thoughts now that a meme has become president.
Of course, third party liberals are not the only reason why this election was a disaster. Florida has a long history of voter suppression, for example. This was the first presidential election in 50 years that did not have the protections of the Voting Rights Act.
This country has changed, and not for the better. What we are witnessing is backlash to years of social progress: marriage equality, better protections for minorities, women visible in all areas of life.
It just goes to show how hate will always be more powerful than hope.
The legend goes like this:
Sometimes, a fairy will steal away a human infant and replace it with a creature that has the superficial appearance of a human – a changeling whose fey behavior and uncanny knowledge alert the parents that something was amiss.
This pattern of a “normal” child taken by fairies reflects the development of autistic children: typical, then suddenly strange. To this day “autism parents” talk about autism stealing their children.
Could it be that autism itself isn’t actually increasing? We live in a world of crowded subways, constant noise, bright lights, and sensory discomfort around every corner. But in past centuries, none of that existed. I’m not saying it was perfect back then, but someone who today would be diagnosed with autism might find a place on a farm and seem very normal as they go about their days doing repetitive tasks others might find boring.
Autism has always existed, probably in the same numbers it does today, but disability only exists in the context of society. And look at how our modern day societies are hostile to neurodiversity. No wonder there are millions of new autism diagnoses.
Solarpunk is an aesthetic inspired by Art Nouveau, a literary genre, and a social movement. At its core it is a vision of a future that embodies the best of what humanity can achieve: a post-scarcity, post-hierarchy world where humanity and nature co-exist, and clean energy replaces fossil fuels.
The community that has sprung up around Solarpunk has created a lot of beautiful ideas. Here’s why the world needs Solarpunk. Continue Reading
This is an essay I wrote for one of my classes about software piracy. This issue is a lot more nuanced than many people realize.
World Rhino Day
Today is World Rhino Day. This is a day meant to raise awareness about the struggles faced by rhinos everywhere. There are five subspecies of rhinos and all of them are in danger. But the situation is the most dire for the northern white subspecies, the most endangered animal on the planet.
Only three northern white rhinos are left in the entire world. The picture below shows Sudan, a 40+ year old elderly rhino and the only remaining male. The other two, Najin and Fatu, are his daughter and granddaughter. All three rhinos have armed guards who stand vigil over them 24/7. These brave individuals are risking their lives to protect these gentle giants.
Just what are they protecting these beasts from? Poachers – cruel people who track rhinos by helicopters and attack them mercilessly.
Northern white rhinos used to roam Kenya in the thousands. Because of the relentless actions of poachers, Sudan, Najin, and Fatu are the last – their species is extinct in the wild. As you can see in the photo, Sudan’s horn was removed to make him a less desirable target to poachers.
How did it come to this?
Rhino horn is worth more than gold and cocaine on the black market. Among Chinese and Vietnamese buyers, rhino horn is a coveted remedy for many ailments, including cancer and hangovers. But rhino horn is no more a remedy than hair or fingernails – all three substances are made of keratin. Facts don’t deter poachers, however: they mutilate rhinos with chainsaws, either killing them outright or leaving them to an agonizing death.
Although efforts to rehabilitate the northern white rhino are underway, with only three closely-related individuals left I can’t help but be skeptical. When Twinkies were threatened with extinction in 2012, the media circus couldn’t stop covering it. People were outraged and saddened. But around that same time a white rhino died, bringing the species one step closer to today’s tragedy. Just a few years prior, Vietnam’s last Javan rhino was murdered by poachers who removed the creature’s head. Vietnam’s Javan rhinos were confirmed extinct in 2011, but in our money-sick society Twinkies are worth more than the natural world.
There is very little that greed has not decimated. Unless a drastic shift in consciousness occurs, the world will be silent except for the noise of cities. Earth isn’t for humans. Animals aren’t for humans. They exist for their own reasons, for their own purposes, and they have a value that money can’t define.
When the last tree is cut, the last fish is caught, and the last river is polluted; when to breathe the air is sickening, you will realize, too late, that wealth is not in bank accounts and that you can’t eat money.
Sisyphus47's writing blog
Site for the book The Perspective Essays
Goddesses of the Ancient World
Gathering a Community of Worldbuilders
A journey through film photography
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