Thursday September 5, 2019

I think about the practice of “time-sharing” from the early history of computing, when students gathered ’round campus labs, multi-programming and multi-tasking at terminals connected to a shared system. Machines are in our lives, buzzing all around us, as are people, plants, and animals. With them, we communicate, we interact. Perhaps because of all of that buzzing, I find myself reconsidering the value of the Christmas tree as ritual and pagan act of worship. A celebration of life, death, rebirth. Time spent in homes with family. This year will be a special one, a year of loving reinvention and change. New responsibilities, girl drummer. Life’s about to get really groovy. Sweet states of being. New friends, a new relation. A new mood to support learning and growth, bookmarks synced to devices, heads working in harmony. To prepare, I read about the launch of a new Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research at Johns Hopkins Medicine. Psychedelics are interesting well beyond the Center’s medical framework. If faculty connected with the Center are not yet collaborating with faculty in the Humanities, they should. Time to help bridge former disciplinary divides. (Judging from how it’s funded, however, the Center at Johns Hopkins isn’t likely to bridge these divides — so the work will have to happen elsewhere.) “Blue skies with pink clouds,” notes a neighbor. She and her brother circumnavigate and watch the sunset, riding their bikes in wobbly circles up and down the street.

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