July 8th: Language

The topic for our next discussion group is 'language.' It can be interpreted broadly! Please bring a piece of writing (creative or informational), music, art, a video clip or podcast episode to spark conversation. Email us at honeypowercollective@gmail.com if you'd like more information! 

Meeting July 8th 11am-2pm in Echo Park 

June 17th: Prisons

We host a discussion club every few weeks where we choose a thought-provoking subject to come together to share and discuss articles and other forms of writing about.  This week's topic: Prisons

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Hello Theo / The Flower’s or the Tree’s - Unknown Authors, Found Magazine - Found by Nicole / Shorty Smooth Dawson

Submitted by Jessica Perelman

http://foundmagazine.com/find/hello-theo/ / Flower’s or the Tree’s

Super short summary: There is so much to delve into around prisons and the prison industrial complex, but I happened upon some beautiful notes I felt compelled to share. One to a prisoner. One from a prisoner. Both exploring more the emotional realities of imprisonment, centered around loss of freedom and connection to the outside world.

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A Peek at the Golden Age of Prison Radio - Maurice Chammah for the Marshall Project

Submitted by Mukta Mohan

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2016/05/16/a-peek-at-the-golden-age-of-prison-radio#.edDZ9Sw6F

Super short summary: In the 1930s, there was a very popular radio show called “Thirty Minutes Behind the Walls” that featured prisoners singing, dancing, and acting. It was so popular that at one point it had 5 million listeners! It was a platform used to promote prisoner rehabilitation and inmates also gave interviews about life behind bars. I’m interested in the idea of using music and art for rehabilitation but also is it ethical to broadcast to the public? How does spectatorship change this? How does this tie into the popularity of crime shows now like Serial?

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Fog Count - Leslie Jamison “The Empathy Exams” / Oxford American

Submitted by Maggie Boles

http://www.oxfordamerican.org/magazine/item/466-fog-count

 

Super short summary: A really beautifully written look at confinement. Charlie Engle was an ultra-marathon runner who was imprisoned after an IRS agent saw a documentary about him and wondered how he financed his lifestyle. He is out now and running again!

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Inside a Bolivian Jail - BBC

Submitted by: Olive Kimoto

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/picture_gallery/06/americas_inside_a_bolivian_jail/html/1.stm

Super short summary: Within these Bolivian jails, inmates are given “freedom” and are left to their own devices with no guards, and no official laws. They must pay for their stay within the jail: meaning they must create their own miniature self-sustaining, self-contained society, complete with their own political system, laws, and capitalism-- it is probably the closest example of anarcho-capitalism we have.

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Final Truth: The Autobiography of a Serial Killer - Donald Gaskins / Wilton Earle

Submitted by: Olive Kimoto

Super short summary: With new advancements in our understanding of neurobiology and psychology, we increasingly learn that the idea of “free will” is becoming more and more distant. This presents a moral dilemma. What does justice mean when the cause of someone’s sadistic and criminal behavior is biological?

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The New Abolitionists & Prison Enslavement Complex - Dr. Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Michelle Alexander, and Angela Davis

Submitted by Matthew Donovan

Super short summary: As Michelle Alexander proclaims “More Black Men Are In Prison Today Than Were Enslaved In 1850,” Ruth Gilmore responds with explaining “Since 1980, the number of people in U.S. prisons has increased more than 450%”.

Why? The War on Drugs for instance was exclusively waged in poor communities of color, leading to the disintegration of the black family structure, increase in this populations high school dropout rates, addiction, mental illness, and being in the pipeline to the prison industrial complex. Others in the new abolitionist movement comment like the founders of Critical Resistance believe that the abolition of slavery is like the abolition of the prison system. Critical Resistance as founded by Ruth Wilson Gilmore and Angela Davis both feel they are part of a history of black radical visionaries who want to disrupt the systemic inequality that is grounded in certain social practices such as the prison industrial complex and The War On Drugs. The PIC existence remains as a symbolic institution giving legitimacy to how our society is structured to oppress specifically homeless, gender non-conforming, low-income, migrants and disportionately people of color. The belief of the new abolitionists is that we should move past our structures by dissolving these structures, their associated social practices of racism, and their implicit impact on society by rehabilitating criminal behavior through liberatory and democratic justice. Here is an interactive chart that may help understand how the Prison Industrial Prison sustains or works as a phenomenon if you want want to learn more. Otherwise, here are the facts on race and prison.

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Restorative Justice: The World I Want - Jo Bauen for Stanford Social Innovation Review

Submitted by Jack Sample

https://ssir.org/articles/entry/restorative_justice_the_world_i_want

Super short summary: Bauen challenges our society’s insistence on a justice system predicated on punishing criminal “others” and proposes a shift towards “Restorative Justice”. Her practical reconsideration of how inmates may be supported to relate with one another, their families, and themselves with compassionate awareness addresses the American prison system’s explicit goal of rehabilitation while eschewing its implicit intention of dehumanization. The Prison Mindfulness Institute (http://www.prisonmindfulness.org) has many programs that address how prisons can function more like monasteries, and how we outside the system may foster greater “solidarity across differences” through a renewed perspective on justice and punishment.

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Life After Life Without Parole - The Marshall Project

Submitted by Paige Emery

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2017/06/13/life-after-life-without-parole?ref=hp-4-121#.TzLCV9xAk

Super short summary: After being released from over 30 years in prison, Ronal Elston finds that being outside bars doesn’t feel any more freeing.  

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EXTRA EXTRA

Bonus links:

The Radical Humaneness of Norway’s Halden Prison - Jessica Benko for NYT Mag

Because I love reading about how Norway is doing everything right:

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/29/magazine/the-radical-humaneness-of-norways-halden-prison.html

The Nation’s Shame: The Injustice of Mandatory Minimums - Andrea Jones for Rolling Stone

Just another enraging article about victims of this stupid rule and how even reforms are never retroactive.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-nations-shame-the-injustice-of-mandatory-minimums-20141007

This American Life did a segment on how interrogation can be akin to brainwashing sometimes, causing people to believe they committed crimes they did not comit: https://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/507/confessions

Implicit Bail Bias study

http://www.prisonexp.org/

 

 

 

May 21st, 2017: The Brain

We host a discussion club every few weeks where we choose a thought-provoking subject to come together to share and discuss articles and other forms of writing about.  This week's topic: The Brain (science, philosophy, or abstract interpretation of). 

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1) The Caretaker  - An Empty Bliss Beyond This World

Submitted by Gabby Costa

Description from the composer, Leyland Kirby:

"The Caretaker conjures a quieter, more introspective spirit, lost in his own mind amidst
a low-lit labyrinth of ever-decaying and antediluvian shellac phrases. Sourced from a
mysterious collection of 78s, these vague snippets of archaic sonics reflect the ability of
Alzheimers patients to recall the songs of their past, and with them recollections of
places, people, moods and sensations"

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 How Hazardous is Cell Phone Radiation for Your Brain? – Be Brain Fit

Submitted by Paige Emery

https://bebrainfit.com/cell-phone- radiation-brain/

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Walden by Henry David Thoreau (excerpt)

submitted by Jenna Goodman

"Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy
bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains. I
would drink deeper fish in the sky, whose bottom is pebbly with stars. I cannot count
one. I know not the first letter of the alphabet. I have always been regretting that I was
not as wise as the day I was born. The intellect is a cleaver; it discerns and rifts its way
into the secret of things. I do not wish to be any more busy with my hands than is
necessary. My head is hands and feet. I feel all my best faculties concentrated in it. My
instinct tells me that my head is an organ for burrowing, as some creatures use their
snout and fore-paws, and with it I would mine and burrow my way through these hills. I
think that the richest vein is somewhere hereabouts; so by the divining rod and thin
rising vapors I judge; and here I will begin to mine."

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The Meme Machine by Susan Blackmore (excerpt)

submitted by Sabeeha Mirza

"Consciousness itself is something we value highly and tend to think of as uniquely
human and special, but whether it provides any selective advantage is a fiercely debated
issue (e.g. Blakemore and Greenfield 1987; Chalmers 1996; Dennett 1991). Some argue
that consciousness could not have evolved unless it had a function, while others
maintain that consciousness is not the sort of thing that could have a function. For
example, if consciousness is an epiphenomenon of attention or language or intelligence,
then the selective advantage would be for hose capabilities, not for consciousness itself.
More radically, some believe that consciousness is an illusion, or that the whole idea of
consciousness will ultimately be dropped, just as het idea of the ‘life force; was dropped
when we began to understand the mechanisms of life. Clearly, consciousness cannot
help us explain the big brain; you cannot solve one mystery by invoking another."

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Who's Minding the Mind? - New York Times

Submitted by Taylor Boylston

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2007/07/31/health/psychology/31subl.html

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The Buddhist and the Neuroscientist - the Atlantic

Submitted by Mukta Mohan

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/07/dalai-lama- neuroscience-compassion/397706/

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The Brain on Trial – the Atlantic

Submitted by Olive Kimoto

 https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/07/the-brain- on-trial/308520/

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May 7th, 2017: Intro

We host a discussion club every few weeks where we choose a thought-provoking subject to come together to share and discuss articles and other forms of writing about.  For the first discussion group, everyone 

                                                                                      

To the Harbormaster by Frank O’Hara

submitted by Beth B

“I wanted to be sure to reach you;
though my ship was on the way it got caught
in some moorings. I am always tying up
and then deciding to depart. In storms and
at sunset, with the metallic coils of the tide
around my fathomless arms, I am unable
to understand the forms of my vanity
or I am hard alee with my Polish rudder
in my hand and the sun sinking. To
you I offer my hull and the tattered cordage
of my will. The terrible channels where
the wind drives me against the brown lips
of the reeds are not all behind me. Yet
I trust the sanity of my vessel; and
if it sinks, it may well be in answer
to the reasoning of the eternal voices,
the waves which have kept me from reaching you." _____________________________________________________________________________

My Father Spent 30 Years in Prison. Now He’s Out. By Ashley C. Ford (originally published by

Refinery29)

submitted by Maggie Bolles

http://www.refinery29.com/2017/04/152179/my-father-spent-30-years-in-prison-i-dont-want-him-to-text-me

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 No Labels, No Drama, Right? By Jordana Narin (originally published by The New York Times)

submitted by Marisol Samayoa

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/03/style/modern-love-college-essay-winner.html?_r=0

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One Day, a Machine Will Smell Whether You’re Sick by Kate Murphy (originally published by The New York Times)

submitted by Dana Bodourov

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/01/health/artificial-nose-scent-disease.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fhealth&action=click&contentCollection=health&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=19&pgtype=sectionfront

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America’s Most Political Food by Lauren Collins (originally published by The New Yorker)

submitted by Mary Knauf

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/04/24/americas-most-political-food

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Daniel Dennett’s Science of the Soul by Joshua Rothman (originally published in The New Yorker)

submitted by Gabrielle Costa

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/03/27/daniel-dennetts-science-of-the-soul

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Existential Riddles by Ethan Kuperberg (originally published in The New Yorker)

submitted by Mukta Mohan

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/12/14/existential-riddles

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Chris Kraus on the Ambiguous Virtues of Art School (originally published by Artspace)

submitted by Gabriella Sanchez

http://www.artspace.com/magazine/news_events/book_report/chris-kraus-akademie-x-52660