Weekend Thoughts - 9.26.15

Image by  Ron Shoshani , courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

Image by Ron Shoshani, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

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

1. This may be a long shot, but the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead coincides with the NFL's 50th Super Bowl, and a petition has been created asking for the band to play the halftime event. Please consider signing to show your support for the band!

2. An argument that Western universities do not adequately cover Chinese (and other non-Western) philosophers in their philosophy programs. I'm of the opinion that the issue extends outside of universities and into the realm of everyday life. The average person I run across is not well-versed in schools of thought external to the Western tradition, and ought to peruse some of the highly-influential and important works penned by Eastern philosophers.

3. Musicians (and advertisers, I suppose), rejoice! At last, the "Happy Birthday" song is finally in the public domain. In one of the most stunning reversals of copyright claims, presiding Judge George H. King ruled that the original copyright filing only pertained to specific arrangements of the music, not the actual song. "Because Sunny Co. never acquired the rights to the Happy Birthday lyrics," he wrote, "Defendants, as Sunny Co.'s purported successors-in-interest, do not own a valid copyright in the Happy Birthday lyrics."

4. E-book sales have taken a dip, leading many to believe that print is far from dead. As someone who much prefers to read books on paper rather than digitally, I breathed a sigh of relief after reading this article. Although I consume large amounts of digital content, I firmly believe that long-form books are best read on paper, with the ability to notate by hand if desired. I have gotten rid of many other forms of physical media—CDs, DVDs, magazines, etc.—but I don't plan to get rid of my print book collection anytime soon, if ever.

5. A Michigan man died in jail after 17 days of disregard and lack of care from the officers on staff. He was brought to jail for a 30-day sentence after neglecting to pay a traffic ticket, and was forced to suffer in a brightly lit cell. Although he was a drug addict, he was misdiagnosed as mentally unstable and his withdrawal symptoms were not addressed. He was denied clothing, lost 50 pounds, and suffered convulsions and hallucinations from his lack of treatment. The entire experience was caught on jail surveillance footage, and he was supposed to be under self-harm watch. Either the jail officials weren't watching him or they simply didn't care. His family is suing the county, but a lawyer for the county said that the suit "lacks legal merit". This is both an example of the broken "justice" system and pure evil.

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