January 31 , 2019

January weather is January weather. 93 Main was closed the first two weeks of the month as we replaced the old drop-in 3 bay sink with a new stand alone one. Then we cleaned the bejesus out of everything and entertained a couple of new ideas. These grain bowls in three versions are selling well. The grain is equal parts brown rice, wild rice, and quinoa. Smoothies will happen when the weather is warmer.

Winter is the killer of small businesses in Maine. And the corollary: all Maine businesses are seasonal. All around I see other places closing for part of the week or just closing until spring. It's important for us to stay open in the winter; this is when you really need a place to hang out and meet new people. So 93 is hanging in at its usual days and time.

We are reading these two books for our book discussion in February. Twenty Thirty was written in 2011 and shows in cheap novel form some of the problems predicted in Homo Deus. Harari's books cannot be hurried through and they are full of fresh ways to look at our crazy world and pithy quotes.

There are no longer natural famines in the world; there are only political famines. If people in Syria, Sudan or Somalia starve to death, it is because some politician wants them to.
Previous generations thought about peace as the temporary absence of war. Today we think about peace as the implausibility of war.
No clear line separates healing from upgrading... Healing is the initial justification for every upgrade.
The Turing Test is simply a replication of a mundane test every gay man had to undergo in 1950s Britain: can you pass for a straight man? Turing knew from personal experience that it didn’t matter who you really were – it mattered only what others thought about you. According to Turing, in the future computers would be just like gay men in the 1950s. It won’t matter whether computers will actually be conscious or not. It will matter only what people think about it.
All large-scale human cooperation is ultimately based on our belief in imagined orders. These are sets of rules that, despite existing only in our imagination, we believe to be as real and inviolable as gravity.
Meaning is created when many people weave together a common network of stories.
Sapiens rule the world because only they can weave an intersubjective web of meaning: a web of laws, forces, entities and places that exist purely in their common imagination. This web allows humans alone to organise crusades, socialist revolutions and human rights movements.
During the twenty-first century the border between history and biology is likely to blur not because we will discover biological explanations for historical events, but rather because ideological fictions will rewrite DNA strands; political and economic interests will redesign the climate; and the geography of mountains and rivers will give way to cyberspace. As human fictions are translated into genetic and electronic codes, the intersubjective reality will swallow up the objective reality and biology will merge with history.
Religion is any all-encompassing story that confers superhuman legitimacy on human laws, norms and values.
Religion is a deal, whereas spirituality is a journey.
Yet in fact modernity is a surprisingly simple deal. The entire contract can be summarized in a single phrase: humans agree to give up meaning in exchange for power.