Saturday, December 8, 2018
Friday, December 7, 2018
Thursday, December 6, 2018
The right level of analysis on Trump isn't Trump at all, but the public that endowed him with a radical direction and temper, and the decadent institutions that proved too week to stand in his way.
The US public, like the public everywhere, is engaged in a long migration away from the structures of representative democracy to more sectarian arrangements. The public craves meaning and identity. From its perspective, late modern society, including government, exists to frustrate this desire. Caught in the collision between extraordinary personal expectations and feeble but intrusive political institutions, the nation-state, here and elsewhere, is splintering into sociopolitical shards that grow less intelligible to one another by the moment. To a Hillary Clinton, peering down from the heights of a very steep pyramid, the distant mass of Trump supporters could only look like a "basket of deplorables." Otherwise they were impossible to explain.
-Martin Gurri, The Revolt Of The Public
Reading this book made me realize that democratized information poses a dilemma for modern society. If the public loses patience and respect for government, the result would be disintegration. If elites choose to dig in, they are likely to resort to repression.
To avoid these extreme outcomes, both elites and the public will have to change. Elites will have to cede authority and permit more local variation and experimentation. The public will have to be more tolerant. Imperfections and bad outcomes should not be taken as proof of conspiracy or evil intent. We should pay less heed to those who can only pour out condemnation and blame. We should show greater appreciation for those who make constructive attempts to experiment and fix.
-Arnold Kling, from his Foreword to Gurri's The Revolt Of The Public
Wednesday, December 5, 2018
……………….....reading Martin Gurri's new book, The Revolt Of The Public: And The Crisis Of Authority In The New Millennium.
From page 1:
"Should anyone care about this tangle of bizarre connections? Only if you care how you are governed: the story I am about to tell concerns above all a crisis of that monstrous messianic machine, the modern government."
"The moment tomorrow no longer resembles yesterday, we are startled and confused. The compass cracks, by which we navigate. We are lost at sea."
56. Take it that you have died today, and your life's story is ended; and henceforth regard what further time may be given you as an uncovenanted surplus, and live it out in harmony with nature.
57. Love nothing but that which comes to you woven in the pattern of your destiny. For what could more aptly fit your needs?
-Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, from Book Seven
Tuesday, December 4, 2018
At the dawn of the third millennium, humanity wakes up, stretching its limbs and rubbing its eyes. Remnants of some awful nightmare are still drifting across its mind. 'There was something with barbed wire, and huge mushroom clouds. Oh well, it was just a bad dream.' Going to bathroom, humanity washes its face, examines its wrinkles in the mirror, makes a cup of coffee and opens the diary. 'Let's see what's on the agenda today.'
For thousands of years the answer to this question remained unchanged. The same three problems preoccupied the people of twentieth-century China, of medieval India and of ancient Egypt. Famine, plague and war were always at the top of the list. For generation after generation humans have prayed to every god, angel and saint, and have invented countless tools, institutions and social systems - but they continued to die in their millions from starvation, epidemic and violence. Many thinkers and prophets concluded that famine, plague and war must be an integral part of God's cosmic plan or of our imperfect nature, and nothing short of the end of time would free us from them.
Yet at the dawn of the third millennium, humanity wakes up to an amazing realization. Most people rarely think about it, but in the past few decades we have managed to rein in famine, plague and war. Of course, these problems have not been completely solved, but they have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges. ...
-Yuval Noah Harari, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow
"Life is so simple, really. Think through what people want, watch what others fail to give them, and provide it. Then bill 'em."
-Stuart Wilde, The Trick to Money Is Having Some
Monday, December 3, 2018
Because in deed and in truth we are all one, component parts of the living garment of God, you yourself will ultimately receive the same treatment that you mete out to others; you will receive the same merciful help in your own hour of need from those who are farther along the path than you are. Above all it is true that, in freeing others from the weight of your condemnation, you make it possible to absolve yourself from self-condemnation.
-Emmet Fox, The Sermon On The Mount: The Key To Success In Life
Preoccupation with self is always a major component of unhealthy guilt and recrimination. It stirs our emotions, churning in self-destructive ways, closes us in upon the mighty citadel of self, leads to depression and despair, and preempts the presence of a compassionate God.
-Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel
No matter what is happening in our lives, we choose how we wish to think about it. And the greatest gift we give ourselves is often our willingness to change our minds. Despite what might seem to be the saddest and most intractable situation, we have the power to believe that something else is possible, that things can change, that a miracle can happen.
-Marianne Williamson, The Law of Divine Compensation