The Week’s End // A Thought-Provoking Round-Up

Happy Saturday everyone! If you’re looking for some interesting things to read or watch while you kick back and relax, look no further, here are my favorite things from around the web this week:

1. “Thunberg is 16 but looks 12. She usually wears her light brown hair pulled into two braids, parted in the middle. She has Asperger’s syndrome, which means she doesn’t operate on the same emotional register as many of the people she meets. She dislikes crowds; ignores small talk; and speaks in direct, uncomplicated sentences. She cannot be flattered or distracted. She is not impressed by other people’s celebrity, nor does she seem to have interest in her own growing fame. But these very qualities have helped make her a global sensation. Where others smile to cut the tension, Thunberg is withering. Where others speak the language of hope, Thunberg repeats the unassailable science: Oceans will rise. Cities will flood. Millions of people will suffer.” — TIME 2019 Person of the Year | Greta Thunberg

2. “Our long, sometimes tumultuous relationship with octopuses…has settled into something nearing reverence. We once called them ugly monsters. Now we plaster their likeness on our restaurants and tattoo it onto our arms. We once bludgeoned them with oars and brawled with them for sport. Now we’ve elevated octopuses to what in this secular era passes for gods: extraterrestrials.” — The Octopus from Outer Space // Seattle Met

3. “Half of employees don’t take paid time off due to high workloads or worries about job security, and 49% don’t take their allotted vacation days, yet nearly three-quarters agree that paid time off makes them feel more productive and healthier at work, and a quarter of employees would be willing to take a pay cut to get more of it. In other words: desire to do it more, guilt for doing it, guilt for not doing it, repeat. Hmm.” — Americans have a psychologically twisted relationship with paid time off // Fast Company

4. “Demonstrators hold placards during a protest against Chile’s government, in Santiago, Chile, on December 10, 2019. ” — Photos of the Week // The Atlantic

5. “Individuals commonly have to decide what they absolutely swear they will do and what they promise with equal sincerity they will never do. Whatever activity it covers, that covenant beckons to hypocrisy. And then cheating.” — Why Do People Cheat? (Because They Often Win) // Literary Hub

6. “We have words to describe the flu, or depression, or the common cold. We know the contours and symptoms of these illnesses. But when it comes to climate grief, the experience can be hard to define, and thus harder to understand and demonstrate. If climate sickness exists in the overlap of the physical and the emotional, we need words for those feelings, a dictionary of sorts that allows us to see patterns in the experiences of individual people. Fortunately, that’s exactly what a group of motley philosophers, artists, and doctors are currently working to devise. ” — Under the Weather // Believer Magazine

7. “Lately, I think I’m experiencing democracy grief. For anyone who was, like me, born after the civil rights movement finally made democracy in America real, liberal democracy has always been part of the climate, as easy to take for granted as clean air or the changing of the seasons. When I contemplate the sort of illiberal oligarchy that would await my children should Donald Trump win another term, the scale of the loss feels so vast that I can barely process it.” — Democracy Grief is Real // The New York Times

8. “I think it’s complicated. There seems to have developed in the last 20 years these public conceptions of sex work and trafficking as being dichotomous…and there were arguments there between the various groups about whether trading sex was something that could be done consensually or whether it was always coerced.” — Sex Work // Call Your Girlfriend

9. “For the most part, my questioners have already presupposed a fairly limited set of acceptable answers to the question of what’s worth doing—answers that generally bottom out in the material wellbeing of oneself and others. But those answers, innocuous as they might seem to the speaker, are philosophical answers to a philosophical question.” — Is there anything especially expert about being a philosopher? // Aeon

10. “Everybody is familiar with the feeling that things are not as they should be. That you are not successful enough, your relationships not satisfying enough. That you don’t have the things you crave. In this video we want to talk about one of the strongest predictors of how happy people are, how easily they make friends and how good they are at dealing with hardship. An antidote against dissatisfaction so to speak: Gratitude.” — An Antidote to Dissatisfaction // Kurzgesagt—In a Nutshell

Have you read, watched, written, or posted an interesting or inspiring thing this week? Has something on the internet made you feel strongly, think deeply, or see the world in a new light? If so, drop a link in the comments, we’d love to check it out!


Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

Published by

Lisa Marie Blair

Hello! I'm an aspiring writer fascinated by the human condition. You can find much of my work on my personal blog and at Zen and Pi. I also tweet as @lisamarieblair_ and share pictures and poetry on Instagram. Please consider signing up for my newsletter or supporting what I do by sharing a cup of virtual coffee. Thank you!

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