An Afghan Village on the English Channel
In some erudite, parallel-universe version of our world, no earthlings ever form opinions about America's next invasion or diplomatic overture without scrutinizing their atlases, poring over press accounts in seven languages, and re-familiarizing themselves with the passages they underlined in their dog-eared volumes of Thucydides, Talleyrand, Kennan, Kissinger, Clausewitz, and Sun Tzu. But in our own world, opinions get shaped by messy local events such as France's decision to bulldoze a makeshift refugee camp last Tuesday.
French police razed the encampment and arrested nearly 300 "undocumented migrants" -- most of them from Afghanistan and many of them not yet adults.
These migrants don't even want to be in France. They are in Calais to try and fail and try again, as often as might be necessary, to sneak across the English Channel.
One British newspaper quoted a 26-year-old man from Kandahar: "Every night I try to get to Britain. It's dangerous — of course it's dangerous — but I'm never going to stop trying ..."
NPR summed up Britain's hold on the migrants:
"Some already speak a little English. Many have family or friends there in large Pashtun communities and nearly all believe there are better asylum and job prospects in Britain."
One British commentator complained:
"A migrant camp is demolished in Calais and guess what? Yes, we are expected to wrestle with remorse. If you show concern over the number of asylum seekers in Britain, you are 'anti-poor'."
The UNHCR's representative to the United Kingdom countered that of the "42 million uprooted people in the world last year, only some 0.7 per cent entered Europe and 0.074 per cent reached the UK. The UK is not in danger of being 'swamped' by asylum claimants ..."
The hundreds of Calais migrants vex France and Britain. But George Rupp, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, can put those hundreds in context. Speaking with Big Think in April, Rupp said as many as 8 million Afghans were refugees when troubles peaked.
Giving our solar system a "slap in the face"
- A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
- It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
- Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
Bernardo Kastrup proposes a new ontology he calls “idealism” built on panpsychism, the idea that everything in the universe contains consciousness. He solves problems with this philosophy by adding a new suggestion: The universal mind has dissociative identity disorder.
There’s a reason they call it the “hard problem.” Consciousness: Where is it? What is it? No one single perspective seems to be able to answer all the questions we have about consciousness. Now Bernardo Kastrup thinks he’s found one. He calls his ontology idealism, and according to idealism, all of us and all we perceive are manifestations of something very much like a cosmic-scale dissociative identity disorder (DID). He suggests there’s an all-encompassing universe-wide consciousness, it has multiple personalities, and we’re them.
Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.
- Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
- While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
- Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
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