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How Burrowing Owls Lead To Vomiting Anarchists (Or SF’s Housing Crisis Explained)


Most thoughtful & thorough article written about the SF housing crisis out there!

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

[tc_dropcap]The Santa Clara Valley was some of the most valuable agricultural land in the entire world, but it was paved over to create today’s Silicon Valley. This was simply the result of bad planning and layers of leadership failure — nobody thinks farms literally needed to be destroyed to create the technology industry’s success.[/tc_dropcap]

Today, the tech industry is apparently on track to destroy one of the world’s most valuable cultural treasures, San Francisco, by pushing out the diverse people who have helped create it. At least that’s the story you’ve read in hundreds of articles lately.

It doesn’t have to be this way. But everyone who lives in the Bay Area today needs to accept responsibility for making changes where they live so that everyone who wants to be here, can.

The alternative — inaction and self-absorption — very well could create the cynical elite paradise and middle-class dystopia…

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Class, Gender, Intersectionality, Race, Social Justice

The Culture of Campus Social Justice Elitism by Amer F. Ahmed

Originally posted on Commission for Social Justice Educators Blog:

In recent years, I’ve increasingly been noticing a dynamic that I’ve been coming across more and more often on college campuses.  More specifically, it is something I’ve observed amongst the social justice communities within campuses (the groups/offices, etc. that use the language of social justice).  It’s a dynamic that I believe is even more acute in the more competitive campus cultures in higher education.  Am I the only one who has noticed that there is a culture of ‘out-social-justicing’ others? (Yes I’m aware that I completely made up that word/phrase; be warned this will be the last time)

I increasingly have been hearing conversations, particularly amongst students, who seem to duel each other with language that proves that they’re more social justice-ey than someone else.  It might involve someone who might say something to the effect of, “Like, he’s such a Cis-gendered, white, straight male who is obviously transphobic without…

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Gender, Intersectionality, Psychology, Self-Care, Social Justice

“The Collective Pain Body of Women”

“…identification prevents you from dealing with the pain-body. Some women who are already conscious enough to have relinquished their victim identity on the personal level are still holding on to a collective victim identity. “what men did to women.” They are right – and they are also wrong. They are right inasmuch as the collective female painbody is in large part due to male violence inflicted on women and repression of the female principle throughout the planet over millennia

This may give her a comforting sense of identity, of solidarity with other women, but it is keeping her in bondage to the past and blocking full access to her essence and true power. If women exclude themselves from men, that fosters a sense of separation and therefore a strengthening of the ego. And the stronger the ego, the more distant you are from your true nature.” (The Power of Now by Eckart Tolle)

Identifying with the collective pain body of women is another way of continuing to use a victimhood framework to view one’s own experiences. The ego loves to feel a part of something and to clearly define itself as against something – and identifying with the collective pain body of women is another way of strengthening the ego, but also an excellent way to trap yourself in psychological time (always looking to the future for things to get better) and preventing yourself from accepting and loving yourself for who you are in the now – who you truly are. You are not your mind, thoughts, or pain body, you are simply yourself – who and what you are in the present, in the now, in the silence…

So how can I be a feminist and also be at peace and live in the now? How can I be empowered by social justice movements and hopeful for change in civil and social rights and yet still accept the world for what it is and be in the present moment?


Miscellaneous, Psychology


I’m making my way through the audiobook of The Power of Now and at chapter seven Eckhart Tolle discusses ‘the unmanifested’. To be honest I don’t completely understand what the unmanifested is but if I had to guess – I would describe it as the ultimate state of being, stillness, enlightenment, and the purest essence of spirituality (you can insert a kind of god or whatever you believe in here). Tolle describes that silence is the best way to observe and experience the unmanifested – an idea that I find really fascinating since humans in our current society pretty much avoid silence at all costs.

Whether through continued conversation, listening to music in earphones while on a silent bus, talking to oneself, keeping the tv on in an empty house, or the radio on in a quiet car – we avoid silence. Silence makes us uncomfortable, silence is awkward, silence is a lack of interesting activity. Silence is life in its most bare shape – it reminds us that we are here, on this earth, and in these bodies…and Tolle argues that silence should comfort us and make us feel at peace, rather than squirmy and uncomfortable, and constantly thinking about the future or what interesting thing can or will happen next.