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Culture Politics & Society

Cultivating disparate views

Cultivating disparate views #gif

Two America’s, two different realities. If you can shape your own feeds and build an arsenal of self-confirming information, why do you ever have to see the other side?

But that’s precisely the problem. Inundated with reassurances and accelerated culture, people promptly ignore what they disagree with. Technology is not neutral; instead, it is weaponized to meet group ends.

Democracies thrive in open environments. They need proper dissent and discourse. Above all, a healthy system of government needs a continuity of ideas.

Secondly, democracies need your own thoughts and reflections. If your first opinion is usually someone else’s, the latter should be based on your aggregate experiences and education.

Listen to your views like you listen to your life. Is your interpretation still accurate? Challenge yourself, and read this book for extra credit — you’ll thank me later. 

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Culture Politics & Society Tech

Relic of the past

Some carry on, clinging to the optimism of 1994. For many others, 1984 is just getting started.

A combination of elements, a mere idea transforms into something new.

From Polaroid to Instagram, railroad to internet, snail mail to email, what is the future but a remix of stems mashed up and built on top of extant systems.

We introduce new things and promptly forget that they already existed, in the guise of an outdated format.

What is new are the experiences and artifacts. We cultivate a new culture from upgrades in medium. But novelty is not always benevolent.

For instance, once a beacon of hope, the internet went from green fields of opportunity to havens of extreme darkness.

But just as trying to escape demons gives them power, finding little pockets of light sprinkle elements of hope.

Some carry on, clinging to the optimism of 1994. For many others, 1984 is just getting started.

gif via jamopi

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Culture Life & Philosophy Politics & Society

Regression in time

Society happens to progress, but if it gives up the ideal efforts it withers. The epidemic of distraction caused by pervasive connectivity only drives the insouciance./ Regression in time

You’re part of an idea. So is every variety of human.

One idea is that democracy is the best form of government. But we can’t hide its flaws. It still allows for bombastic celebrities to take charge.

Humans are also part of nature. We are to climate change what the asteroid was to the dinosaur.

Society happens to progress, but if it gives up the ideal efforts it withers. The epidemic of distraction caused by pervasive connectivity only drives the insouciance.

gif via annasalmi

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Books Culture Politics & Society Quotes

America, the paperback version 🔖

“I think of Europe as a hardcover book, America as the paperback version”

Don DeLillo, The Names (Amazon)

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Life & Philosophy Politics & Society

Embrace the void

Most people can’t stand to be left out the loop.

The urge to know is what keeps them on their feet, building a knowledge base of facts that usually amounts to gossip.

Ignorance is therefore a discipline.

Just as we can’t do everything, we can’t stay totally informed either. Ambient awareness already cultivates more information than we can handle.

Reasons why things happen will always outpace the reasoners. There is such thing in the perfection of anything, no reason to grapple with issues out of your control.

Embrace the gaping void.

Gif via akaidaia

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Politics & Society

The rebel. RIP John McCain, ‘McNasty’

Whipsawed by family relocations, young John attended some 20 schools before finally settling into Episcopal High School, an all-white, all-boys boarding school in Alexandria, Va., in the fall of 1951 for his last three years of secondary education. The school, with an all-male faculty and enrollments drawn mostly from upper-crust families of the Old South, required jackets and ties for classes.

But the scion of one of the Navy’s most illustrious families was defiant and unruly. He mocked the dress code by wearing dirty bluejeans. His shoes were held together with tape, and his coat looked like a reject from the Salvation Army. He was cocky and combative, easily provoked and ready to fight anyone. Classmates called him McNasty. Most gave him a wide berth.

“He cultivated the image,” Robert Timberg wrote in a biography, “John McCain: An American Odyssey” (1995). “The Episcopal yearbook pictures him in a trench coat, collar up, cigarette dangling Bogey-style from his lips. That pose, if hardly the impression Episcopal sought to project, at least had a fashionable world-weary style to it.”

RIP John McCain

https://twitter.com/ezraklein/status/1033524743469772800

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