Is It Wrong To Tell Others To “Do What They Love”?

Do What You Love

The Article: In the Name of Love by Miya Tokumitsu in Jacobin.

The Text: “Do what you love. Love what you do.”

The commands are framed and perched in a living room that can only be described as “well-curated.” A picture of this room appeared first on a popular design blog, but has been pinned, tumbl’d, and liked thousands of times by now.

Lovingly lit and photographed, this room is styled to inspire Sehnsucht, roughly translatable from German as a pleasurable yearning for some utopian thing or place. Despite the fact that it introduces exhortations to labor into a space of leisure, the “do what you love” living room?— where artful tchotchkes abound and work is not drudgery but love?— is precisely the place all those pinners and likers long to be. The diptych arrangement suggests a secular version of a medieval house altar.

There’s little doubt that “do what you love” (DWYL) is now the unofficial work mantra for our time. The problem is that it leads not to salvation, but to the devaluation of actual work, including the very work it pretends to elevate?— and more importantly, the dehumanization of the vast majority of laborers.

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Obama On Pot Legalization

Obama Pot

The Article: Obama on Pot Legalization: ‘It’s Important for It to Go Forward’ by Conor Friedersdorf in The Atlantic.

The Text: In the course of being profiled for an article in The New Yorker, President Obama told the magazine’s editor, David Remnick, the following things about smoking marijuana:

“I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person.”

“I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.” In fact, it is less dangerous than alcohol “in terms of its impact on the individual consumer.”

“Middle-class kids don’t get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do. And African-American kids and Latino kids are more likely to be poor and less likely to have the resources and the support to avoid unduly harsh penalties.”

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The Rise Of College Grads In Dead-End Jobs

Dead End Jobs

The Article: The Growth of College Grads in Dead-End Jobs (in 2 Graphs) by Jordan Weissmann in The Atlantic.

The Text: These post-recession years have not been gentle on young college grads, and by now, you’ve heard plenty of stories about students matriculating from campus to life as a barista. But how many B.A.’s are really out there toiling in dead-end jobs? A new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York offers us an answer this week, which I think can be summed up as: Fewer than you probably think, but definitely more than we’re used to.

Using Census data, the bank’s researchers found that, through 2012, roughly 44 percent of working, young college graduates were “underemployed,” meaning they were in a job that did not require their degree. While the number sounds pretty daunting, it’s not actually without precedent. It’s about the same rate as in 1994.

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Why It’s Not That Lucrative To Sell Weed In Colorado

Weed Sales

The Article: Dime Store by Sam Kamin and Joel Warner in Slate.

The Text: On Jan. 1, Colorado’s recreational marijuana shops opened for business. It was quite the party. As politicians and marijuana activists jockeyed for the attention of the horde of reporters on the scene, the world’s first legal pot shops opened for business. Most soon had lines stretching around the block. People had come from all over the country, all over the world, and they happily waited hours in the wintry morning chill just to set foot in a store. Everyone wanted to be part of history, and for that they were willing to pay a premium: Recreational pot prices, including hefty new state and local marijuana taxes that in Denver equal nearly a nearly 29 percent tax rate on all pot sales, are currently going for $50 to $60 an eighth, nearly double the price for medical pot in Colorado. When business ended that first day, the 37 pot shops open statewide had reportedly racked up $1 million in sales.

It seems like a perfect situation for someone to make a lot of money. But is the legal weed market really as lucrative as it appears?

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The ‘Best Arguments For God’s Existence’ Are Actually Terrible

Cross

The Article: The ‘Best Arguments for God’s Existence’ Are Actually Terrible by Jerry Coyne in The New Republic.

The Text: he most common critique leveled at New Atheists is that we attack only puerile, fundamentalist forms of religion, and never engage with the “best” arguments of the faithful: those adumbrated by Sophisticated Theologians™. Never mind that most believers accept a view of God far more anthropomorphic than a simple “ground of being” or a deistic entity that made the world and then refused to engage with it further. If you want data to support this, at least for U.S. Christians, go here. Polls consistently show that around 70-80% of Americans believe in the existence of Heaven, Hell, Satan, and angels. And let’s not even discuss whether the majority of Muslims think of Allah as a “ground of being” rather than as a disembodied ruler who tells them how to behave. Anyone who claims that regular monotheists view God like Karen Armstrong’s Apophatic Entity or Tillich’s Ground of Being simply hasn’t gotten out enough.

Further, it’s obvious that the bulk of harm committed in the name of religion is done by those not who see god as a Ground of Being, but rather as an anthropomorphic entity who has a personal relationship with his minions and supplies them with a moral system. For it is the belief that God has wishes for humanity, and a code of right and wrong, that drives people to do things like oppose abortion and stem cell research, deny rights to women and gays, burn “witches,” throw acid in the faces of schoolgirls, and torture Catholics with guilt about masturbation and divorce.

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