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minimus  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: What Are Your Bedside Books?

Thumbs up for One Hundred Years of Solitude. I have that along with Rabbit Run, GEB, and a physical chemistry textbook on my bedside (or, more accurately, behind bed) table. I also tend to keep the latest issue of Nature there.

minimus  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Zimmerman found not guilty

Two thoughts: I don't mind living in a society where Zimmerman isn't convicted, but that society better also afford that not guilty vote in similar cases involving any combination of race/ethnicity/money/whatever. I know we don't have that, so the real focus should be on making sure every black guy who tells a story the prosecution can't disprove gets the same trust. And that relates to my second point: our legal system can't cover everything without creepy 1984 stuff. It's absolutely possible to do fucked up things and get away with it. Don't do bad things and work toward a society where no one wants/needs to.

I realize this is taking it in a completely different direction but here goes: I was driving back to Ohio from spring break in Florida, and I ended up getting off the highway in rural Georgia due to bad traffic. I'm not completely blind to American rural poverty, but for some reason this particular time as I was thrust into the midst of it, I became extremely disoriented. Like the bubble I spend all my time in had been popped and I was falling. I have no idea why I reacted the way I did, but I remember people in the car talking to me, and I was so wrapped up in my own shock that I couldn't process what was being said. It's not like my surroundings were depraved or anything; they were just suddenly very strange compared to what I'm used to. I've done a fair amount of international travel, too, to places rich and poor, bustling metropolises and wilderness many miles from civilization. I don't know what happened to me or why, but it's by far the most other-worldly my surroundings have ever felt.

As for the natural beauty side of the question, I'd have to second the person who said Central American cloud forests. They're beautiful, disorienting, and unlike anything I've ever seen.