Friday, March 03, 2023

Second Sleep

The most beautiful, relaxing, restful sleep I ever get is what I call "second sleep."*

My basic definition of "second sleep" is that you go to bed, fall fully asleep, awake fully to the extent that it would be plausible to just begin your day at that point (so excluding, e.g., waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom), but volitionally electing to go back to sleep anyway. That latter phase is "second sleep".

To take a recent example, I went to bed at a normal time for me (about 1 AM), but woke up at 8:30 AM because I had a morning Zoom call. After the call was over (around 9:30 AM), I realized I had nothing else scheduled for the day, so I affirmatively crawled back to bed and went back to sleep ... and stayed asleep until 2:30 PM. And it was glorious.

Do others relate to this? Sometimes I think I like it so much I actually don't mind if I accidentally leave on my alarm and wake myself earlier than I have to, because the joy of falling back asleep is so nice. Same when I'm sick -- a fitful night of sleep where I find myself lying awake at 6 AM can be entirely salvaged if I can fall asleep then, because at that point I'll get a full "night" of second sleep and feel great about it.

* This seems potentially related to but also distinct from the pre-modern practice of biphasic sleep, mostly because for me it's typically time-shifted much later. As it happens, if I do go to bed around 10 PM I do exhibit a "biphasic" pattern -- I typically wake around 2 AM, and can't fall back asleep for a few hours -- but for me that is a miserable experience rather than a restful one.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Israeli Government Coalition's Base Implements Coalition Values

Israeli settlers went on a rampage earlier today in the Palestinian town of Huwara, setting fires to homes and cars and killing at least one civilian. The vicious mayhem followed a shooting attack by Palestinian militants which killed two Israelis, and settler rhetoric quickly took on a terrifying tone calling for ethnic cleansing.

The deputy head of the Samaria Regional Council, Davidi Ben Zion, called for Huwara to be “wiped out” in response to the attack.

“Here in Huwara the blood of our children was spilled on the road… Huwara needs to be wiped out today. Enough talk about building and strengthening the settlements. The deterrence that was lost must return now, there’s no room for mercy,” he said in a post on Twitter.

That "wiped out" tweet, incidentally, was "liked" by far-right Israeli minister Bezalel Smotrich, who recently announced a deal with the Defense Ministry that would render him effective Governor of the West Bank and formalize an apartheid policy in the West Bank territories.

The scale of the violence, which occurred directly under the nose of area IDF forces who were reportedly less-than-interested in intervening or responding, appears to be qualitatively different in scale than previous incidents of settler violence, underscoring the complete breakdown of order ushered in by the new Israeli government as the settler thugs who comprise its base are allowed to run wild.

In many ways, though, this spurt of street violence is the dark parallel of the street protests that have gripped Israel for the past few days -- hundreds of thousands gathering to decry the new government's efforts to undermine an independent judiciary and the country's basic status as a liberal democracy. Those protesters are living out their values on the street. And, in their own perverse way, so are the settlers -- it's just that their "values" are apartheid and violent ethnic suppression of the Palestinian people. Both segments of the population are putting their values into practice in the most visceral way possible.

The difference is that the latter segment is the support base for the current Israeli government, and the latter values are the ones held by the current Israeli government coalition. Settler violence to enforce apartheid is little more than a (very) slightly-too-enthusiastic application of what figures like Smotrich, Ben-Gvir, and yes, Netanyahu too, have long promoted as their explicit West Bank policy. The base is merely carrying out to the wishes of the government.