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Favourites:

June 2021


by Liero Plantir
06/08/2021


Here’s some albums, mixes, articles and books I enjoyed in the month of June. 


These are my five favourite albums I’ve listened to in June. I wrote some initial thoughts on each one if you’re interested.

BLACK METAL 2
Dean Blunt
Reflection
Loraine James
Electric Hush
Heights of Abraham
Spiritual Malware
Lockbox
Limitless Frame
Ulla


Mixes


I didn’t listen to that many mixes in June so I thought I’d pick out my three favourites instead of the usual five.



Connan Mockasin - Boiler Room in Stereo

This is one from the archives and never fails to put me in a better mood. How can you not be in love with this?
Ben UFO At Friendly Potential, Wellington - May 2021

This set is actually insane, the things I would do to have been there. A 3 hour set full of all sorts. It has new tracks, old hitters and everything in between and if there’s a man to do it it would be Ben UFO. Hopefully I’ll be seeing him at some point in the near future.

Awe w/ Laurel Halo 31.05.2021 - NTS

This mix is full of unreleased original music and is something to be felt deeply wherever you are. It’s a spiritual journey through a surreal dreamworld, you’ve just got to sit back and let it guide you.

‘Awe is something you feel when confronted with forces beyond your control: nature, the cosmos, chaos, human error, hallucinations’


Articles


I also have a reduced version of my favourite articles this month, hope you enjoy.

1.
The Economics of Social Status

Social status is a fascinating topic in the sense that a lot of the time people feel it’s a taboo subject and would rather not talk about it, but I think there’s a lot of value in dissecting the way it works and there’s no one better than Kevin Simler to do that. Status is influential in all areas of our lives, yet it tends to be neglected and sometimes dismissed.

Viewing status as an economic good serves to create a fascinating perspective on the ways in which it infiltrates every aspect of society. Simler outlines the idea of status being something that can be transacted and compares it to health in the sense that they’re both intangible and highly personal. However, the difference is that social status is very liquid which is why it plays a fundamental economic role in our day-to-day lives. It can be sourced in our biology from hormones, prestige, fitness displays and body language to name a few. He defines status as the total amount of social influence a person has over the other members of his or her community and he unpacks this definition into its implications narrowing down its scope.

We transact status so much in our daily lives, mostly unconsciously. Examples of this include the simple act of saying please and thankyou, apologising, information, sex, money and work. Every request for a favour is a complex bidding process framed implicitly in terms of status. This can be related to a lot of things including friendships which is a contract whose terms specify that the two friends are roughly equal in status.

Social status also extends into communities which Simler defines as a group of people who agree on how to measure status among their members. For example the effectiveness of status in different environments such as Hollywood or Silicon Valley or simply your class in school.

Towards the end Simler talks about the efficiencies of social status and some ‘disease states’ which damage the efficiency, such as gossip and politics. It’s full of much more detail about the economic properties of status among other things so I’d highly recommend you take a read.
2.
The Tyranny of Time

I’ve always been fascinated with the ways in which our concept of time shapes our reality and perspective. This essay is one of the best pieces I’ve read on the topic, taking you through the history of modern time-keeping, how we’ve had to adapt and the implications. Here’s some notable quotes:

‘We usually eat our meals at appropriate clock times as opposed to whenever we are hungry, go to sleep at appropriate clock times as opposed to whenever we are tired and attribute more significance to the arresting tones of a clock alarm than the apparent rising of the sun at the center of our solar system. The fact that there is a strange shame in eating lunch before noon is a testament to the ways in which we have internalized the logic of the clock.’

‘The Earth is not a perfect sphere with perfect movement; it’s a lumpy round mass that is squashed at both poles and wobbles. It does not rotate in exactly 24 hours each day or orbit the sun in exactly 365 days each year. It just kinda does. Perfection is a manmade concept; nature is irregular.’

‘Every city, town and village in Britain used to set its clocks to its own local solar time, which gave each locale a palpable sense of identity, time and place. If you lived in Newcastle, noon was when the sun was highest, no matter what the time in London was. But as the railways brought standardized timetables, local times were demonized and swept aside. By 1855, nearly all public clocks were set to GMT, or “London time,” and the country became one time zone.’

‘Capitalism did not create clock time or vice versa, but the scientific and religious division of time into identical units established a useful infrastructure for capitalism to coordinate the exploitation and conversion of bodies, labor and goods into value. Clock time, the British sociologist Barbara Adam has argued, connected time to money. “Time could become commodified, compressed and controlled,” she wrote in her book “Time.” “These economic practices could then be globalized and imposed as the norm the world over.”’

“The clock does not measure time; it produces it.”

3.
Drug Users Use A Lot Of Drugs

The resurgence in the last half decade or so into research about the medical benefits of drugs has been very interesting. Especially given that many illegal drugs such as MDMA and psilocybin are currently being used to treat mental disorders such as depression and PTSD. There are clearly many benefits and I’d recommend Michael Pollen’s How To Change Your Mind if you want to explore the topic a bit further.

This post focuses on the use of ketamine to treat depression. It assesses the potential side effects, comparing medical use against those of recreational users who have been represented in certain studies. These studies found that recreational users take about 3g daily which is pretty insane given that the medical dose is about 280 mg over the course of a month.

I guess the lesson is that most studies are overstating the side effects of drugs when they use recreational users as the test subjects which has also become an issue with some Adderall studies. The medical use of illicit drugs is a fascinating one and it’ll be interesting to see in decades to come whether the taboo nature of some drugs will change and become beneficial to those who suffer from mental health problems.  


Moby Dick
Herman Melville