Interesting Things – Tuesday (11/12/13)

Here is today’s collection of things I found interesting online. I often get Facebook messages from friends and strangers that say they enjoy the variety of things I post so I figured I would share it with the few people who follow me on here as well. As you probably expect it will lean pretty heavily towards science, sex, and anarchy.

Cute: Here is a link to something adorable (http://www.sanger.dk/)

Students For Liberty: This last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Students For Liberty Southern California Regional Conference. One of the speakers was Conor Friersdorff from The Atlantic. Here is his talk (http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/11/how-to-safeguard-liberty-through-discourse/281376/).

War On Drugs: The War on (Some) Drugs has devastated countless lives through death and incarceration. It has also had an incredibly high economic impact by preventing collection of taxes on the nation’s largest cash crop, marijuana. (http://www.policymic.com/articles/72497/this-is-the-first-map-to-prove-how-valuable-legalizing-marijuana-would-be-for-america)

Social Norms: When you are done with a party to you just jet or do you make it a point to say good-bye to everyone? I am someone who just leaves (or ghosts). I wonder if there is a Myers-Briggs correlation between those who leave and those who hang around to formally say good-bye. (http://www.slate.com/articles/life/a_fine_whine/2013/07/ghosting_the_irish_goodbye_the_french_leave_stop_saying_goodbye_at_parties.html)

LGBT Rights: I don’t think the government should be involved permitting or licensing businesses at all, all that does is prohibit people from freely working and contracting and it disproportionately harms the poorest and least educated in our communities; but, if licensing must happen governments shouldn’t discriminate based on sexual orientation like this town in Mississippi. (http://thoughtsonliberty.com/mississippi-woman-sues-town-for-refusing-to-allow-gay-bar)

PTSD: As a veteran and open user of MDMA I hope people will recognize this as legitimate and effective medicine that has huge potential. Check out this video if you have a chance (http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/healing-trauma-in-veterans-with-mdma-assisted-psychotherapy)

Police Brutality: There have been several high-profile cases lately of police officers forcing anal searches and probes on people without any real justification (thank you Drug War), but as this article points out it is unlikely that any individuals will face any consequences. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/11/anal-probes-and-the-drug-_n_4254600.html)

Best Thing I Read Today: “Rarely has man been more cruel against man than in the condemnation and punishment of those accused of so-called sexual perversions. The penalties have included imprisonment, torture, the loss of life or limb, banishment, blackmail, social ostracism, the loss of social prestige, renunciation by friends and families, the loss of position in a school or business, severe penalties meted out for conviction of men serving in the armed forces, public condemnation by emotionally insecure and vindictive judges on the bench and the torture endured by those who live in fear that their nonconformist sexual behavior will be exposed to public view. These are the penalties which have been imposed on and against persons who have done no damage to the property or physical odies of others, but who have failed to adhere to the mandated custom. Such cruelties have not often been matched, except in religious or racial persecutions.” – Alfred Kinsey

Photo Of My Day:
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On Suicide

A facebook friend of mine posted the following status:

“I am committed to talking to my friends, even my Facebook friends, if they are contemplating dying. I am not committed to doing that for strangers.”

I’m not going to assume what he meant by that exactly but it did get me thinking again about my personal brush with suicide a few years ago.

I was living in DC and incredibly depressed, though I didn’t realize it at the time. I had a lot of people in my life but few that I could call friends, it seems hard to make real friends in a city like DC where even the libertarians are so entrenched in political activities that they can’t relate to people on a personal level very easily. I had friends from back home but “home” was the west coast and I was not making enough money to visit as often as I liked. I also had no idea what I wanted to do with my life but was surrounded by people who seemed to have it all figured out.

So, one evening I found myself in my bedroom a little drunk and watching something shitty on Netflix. A depressive cloud started to come over me and I felt the reoccurring feeling of my PTSD (this was before I discovered the healing power of MDMA)… I started weeping in my bed as images of friends I lost and regrets over surviving took over my mind. This had happened to me before but I had always had a trusted friend or a girlfriend who would hold me, comfort me, and help me in these times. I look back now and realize that there were many people who would have helped me if I asked but my depressive state left me unable to recognize that.

With no friends that I felt I could turn to I posted something on Tumblr about my current state. Within a few quick seconds I received a supportive message from a complete stranger. Her and I talked back and forth for about an hour online until I drifted off to sleep. Later I found out her name is Molly and she is a libertarian. We have actually become Facebook friends as well now, though we have not yet crossed paths in real life. I truly thank her for helping save my life. There is no way to know what would have happened without her but the kindness she showed me (a stranger) helped get me safely through the night.

My bike trip reinforced the kindness of strangers and that kindness can be found anywhere. Not only do I think we should be nice to strangers but it may just save a life to go out of your way and show love and support to one. So I guess what I’m saying is that if I am aware that a stranger is contemplating dying I am committed to doing what I can to help.