There are similarities between absolute power and absolute faith: a demand for absolute obedience, a readiness to attempt the impossible, a bias for simple solutions to cut the knot rather than unravel it, the viewing of compromise as surrender. Both absolute power and absolute faith are instruments of dehumanization. Hence, absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power. […]
For long-term thinkers, the most alarming part of our failure to have the right conversation about the causes of predatory mass killings is that our civil liberties are put at risk. The seductive anodynes put forth by short-term thinkers require that law-abiding citizens sacrifice their own freedoms in a well-meaning but clearly improbable effort to stuff the predator genie back into the bottle.
I see a bad moon rising I see trouble on the way I see earthquakes and lightning I see bad times today — John Fogerty The “bad moon” Creedence Clearwater Revival songwriter and frontman John Fogerty saw on the rise in the fall of 1969 would become an eerie, unsettling Blood Moon as the tumultuous ’60s […]
At the current pace of development and disenfranchisement of the human mind, one might be forgiven for wondering at what point a modern version of the Luddites packs a van full of explosives and attempts to drive it through the gates of Google, or Apple, or Intel.
This proclivity to study drama rather than its origins — prevalent I think — is one result of our metamorphosis from a nation of can-do optimists with a healthy suspicion of government into a nation of miserable cynics who ironically embrace the influence and beneficence of government no matter the cost.
I went home with a waitress The way I always do How was I to know She was with the Russians, too? — Warren Zevon, “Lawyers, Guns, and Money” During one of the 2012 presidential debates, incumbent president Barak Obama shanked his opponent Mitt Romney with a well-prepared and well-deployed line: “Gov. Romney, I’m glad that you recognize that […]
Rome was not built in a day, nor did it fall suddenly to a horde of screaming, blue-painted savages. Some scholars argue that Rome never really “fell” at all, at least as we imagine the “Fall of Rome.” Instead, the Empire slowly succumbed to its own weight and rot, like an old drunk with a three-pack habit and […]
Those of us making a deliberate choice to resist these pernicious influences in our lives had better accept that we will, eventually, be made into outlaws and Indians. Our insistence on remaining reasonably self-reliant—and vigorously defending the benefits of independence–is ultimately threatening to those who would exploit us for profit and notions of progress.
We have so much, we are so virtually surrounded by the abundance of our success, and yet we are among the least satisfied, ardently unhappy, and in some ways spiritually destitute people on the planet. Since 1957, the median income of Americans has risen some 85%, while the average assessment of our own happiness has decreased by 5%. That’s no accident.