When soldiers talk about being "in the shit," they sometimes mean it literally. This week Iraq veteran Jason Christopher Hartley, author of "Just Another Soldier: A Year on the Ground in Iraq," reveals the grungy, scary, and often darkly funny reality behind a war most Americans know only through television packaging. A Utah native who joined the Army National Guard at 17, he guarded the fallen Twin Towers on 9/11 before being shipped overseas for a tour of duty. There he began his dual career as soldier-blogger, posting candid on-the-ground stories and photos until he was forced to stop, having been accused of running afoul of the Geneva Convention.
In his interview with Big Think, Hartley discusses the sobering calculus of death in modern warfare, the relative difficulty of writing versus soldiering, and why the play ("Surrender") he's based on his war experiences has been as confusing to his sense of identity as it has been terrifying for New York audiences. As a bonus, he names his personal heroes--and they're not the ones you might expect from a trained warrior.
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Is it "perverseness," the "death drive," or something else?
Eight-dimensional octonions may hold the clues to solve fundamental mysteries.
- Physicists discover complex numbers called octonions that work in 8 dimensions.
- The numbers have been found linked to fundamental forces of reality.
- Understanding octonions can lead to a new model of physics.
It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.
- It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
- Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
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