Weekend Thoughts - 5.30.15

Image by  theclevelandkid24 , courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

Image by theclevelandkid24, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

Happy Saturday y'all. Below, I have rounded up some things for you to think about this weekend:

1. Fortune published a piece that explores the jobs that automation will kill next. Careers such as commercial airline pilots, journalists, lawyers, managers, and financial advisors are considered to be in the middle of the difficulty range compared to other jobs. The latest theories about automation predict that middle-skill jobs will be hit the hardest, because employees at the upper-end (engineers and scientists) and lower-end (plumbers and electricians) will be less threatened by automation practices. This article comes at an interesting time for me, as I recently reviewed Marshall Brain's Manna: Two Visions of Humanity's Future, which describes a future where automated robots eliminate half of the jobs on the market.

2. An excellent article from The Age that starts with the powerful lede, "It would be nice to say that the war on drugs had achieved nothing. The truth is far worse." Author Michael Coulter goes on to explain the current state of the drug war by highlighting the damage the war has done to the world's citizenry and pointing out that the damage from the war is far greater than any potential damage from the drugs themselves.

3. This week, I stumbled across this interesting idea: a chat room for psychedelics. The tagline is "Join psychedelic researchers, therapists, explorers and advocates to discuss...". It hasn't launched yet, and it only taking names and email addresses now, so I can't predict how it will turn out. But I wanted to share it with the Think Wilder audience nonetheless!

4. VICE UK has an in-depth article about synthetic cannabinoids (sometimes referred to as "Spice" or "K2"). Well worth a read for someone interested in the topic, concerned friends or family members, people in the medical profession, and psychonauts.

5. For those of us following the news of US Border Patrol's illegal detainment, search and assault of criminal justice student Jessica Cooke, this article from Reason dives a bit deeper and discusses how the organization is actually used (illegally) as an extension of the country's war on drugs.

6. Maj. Neill Franklin, a 34-year veteran with the Maryland State Police and Baltimore Police Departments, wrote a short piece explaining how the drug war has created more violence and made neighborhoods more dangerous. Franklin is also the executive director of LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition), an organization consisting of current and former members of the law enforcement and criminal justice communities who speak out against the failures of our existing drug policies.

That's all for this edition of Weekend Thoughts. Until next week, keep thinking wilder.