This week’s selected media: March 10, 2024: The Wise Men Know What Wicked Things Are Written on the Sky; Rat Park and more by and about Bruce K. Alexander

March 10, 2024 by Joshua
in Tips

This week I finished:

The Wise Men Know What Wicked Things Are Written on the Sky, by Russell Kirk: Before diving into the twenty hours of Kirk’s The Conservative Mind, the library had this shorter book. I’ve since started The Conservative Mind, learning his views about Edmund Burke, John Adams, and the development of conservatism in America.

This book is a collection of essays with a conservative view of education, character, hierarchy, and more. Following on Hayek, Friedman, and other conservative luminaries, I’m learning more depth about a view I haven’t studied much but have seen around me my whole life.

Many pieces and videos by and about Bruce K. Alexander: I linked to all the pieces and videos in yesterday’s post, Read about and Watch Bruce K. Alexander and Rat Park. There I wrote:

Regular readers know I write about addiction here a lot, especially the heavy addiction in Washington Square Park, where I see syringes all the time, as well as people smoking rocks in those small glass pipes. I guess it could be crack, meth, or other stuff.

As you might expect, addiction features heavily in my upcoming book. I sent a part to podcast guest and bestselling author of The Urge, Carl Erik Fisher, about the history of addiction and his personal experience with it. I hoped for his views on what I wrote, corrections if I got anything wrong, and advice in general.

A big part of his advice was to read several links by and about Bruce K. Alexander’s work. If you’ve heard of Rat Park, Alexander is the man behind it. I’d heard of it but wasn’t thinking about it while writing my book.

I read all the links Carl sent, plus more, plus watched a bunch of videos. It’s been less than a week, so I haven’t read Alexander’s book, The Globalization of Addiction: A Study in Poverty of the Spirit, but it’s on the list. His references to it in the links below suggest overlap with my views, though he published it fifteen years ago.

I recommend his work. It will change your view of addiction. You will see our isolation from each other and nature and how addiction is one of our responses to it.

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