Welcome to a new edition...of new addition 😉 I can't believe its already February.
On this week's episode:
This salon examines what systems can we build that would allow people to coordinate effectively, achieve shared goals, and hold societies together.
What are social technologies?
This salon is the first of a four-part series on the nature of addiction and new approaches to treatment and care.
These salons aim to challenge the dominant but misguided disease model of addiction, one that tends put the blame and onus on the individual, which in turn labels their suffering as irrational and unnecessary, stigmatizing them and robbing them of hope.
I retook the Strengths Finder last week, and I'm processing and sorting the takeaways from it. I'm hoping to share those with you all in the next newsletter.
This week's drawing is inspired by the religious experience that is the morning's first cup of coffee.
A staggering 90% of the world's adults consume some form of caffeine every day, making it the most widely used [and socially acceptable] psychoactive drug on earth.
Caffeine contributed to the Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, and the rise of Capitalism. Before coffee came to Europe, people were drunk most of the day (as the fermentation process would kill the microbes that made water so contaminated during those times).
Caffeine has allowed us to break our rhythms with the sun...it seems to defy the laws of thermodynamics — borrowing energy from our future and giving it to us in the present.
Related: One of the most powerful (and psychedelic) drug experiences that author Michael Pollan ever had in his life was the first cup of coffee after three months off. (Source)
Matt is one of my favorite youtubers, with consistently authentic, relatable, and useful videos. If you are looking for actionable advice to use in your life going forward, this video is for you.
Some of my favorite takeaways:
Related to my above mention of alternative models for viewing addiction, this example seeks to try to help others understand struggles with mental health through the lens of a sports injury metaphor.
It aims to explain mental health issues by treating them as responses to a stimulus (overexertion) that can be expected, and more importantly alleviated, through preventative measures and on-going maintenance.
Related: In my essay The Right Amount of Stress Is Called Stimulation, I wrote about the importance of removing the shame and stigma behind mental illness, so that those who struggle with it can start feeling like courageous survivors, and not damaged invalids.
In light of the the recent inclement weather across the world, both of this week's visualizations highlight the increasingly frequent world temperature anomalies in recent years (yay capitalism!).
Last week was the two year anniversary of passing of Kobe Bean Bryant, an athlete that inspired a generation to pursue what they love and to give everything they can towards what they're doing — to always do their best.
The day after his accident, I came across this makeshift memorial near my home. I felt like the quote written on a piece of cardboard in the picture was particularly poignant.
The most important thing is to try and inspire people, so that they can be great in whatever they want to do - Kobe