Christopher Hitchens's Best Arguments
Writers loathe using cliches like "Orwellian" and "Kafkaesque." But sometimes, it can't be helped, especially when you're Christopher Hitchens getting arrested in communist Czechoslovakia.
He tells a very "Hitchensian" story of trying to avoid referencing Kafka in an article while covering an underground movement in Prague. When the police break up the gathering, and refuse to tell Hitchens why he's being arrested, the first thing that comes to mind, according to his retelling, is that he now has no choice but to reference Kafka in his article. Orwell and Kafka may be cliches, argues Hitchens, because the Soviet Union and other totalitarian states are cliches. It's as though they used 1984 as an instruction manual.
To hear this and other classic Hitchens stories in his own words, listen to this collection of some of his best quotes and arguments.
Our experience of time may be blinding us to its true nature, say scientists.
- Time may not be passing at all, says the Block Universe Theory.
- Time travel may be possible.
- Your perception of time is likely relative to you and limited.
From questionable shipwrecks to outright attacks, they clearly don't want to be bothered.
- Many have tried to contact the Sentinelese, to write about them, or otherwise.
- But the inhabitants of the 23 square mile island in the Bay of Bengal don't want anything to do with the outside world.
- Their numbers are unknown, but either 40 or 500 remain.
At least he wasn't burned at the stake, right?
- The letter suggests Galileo censored himself a bit in order to fly more under the radar. It didn't work, though.
- The Royal Society Journal will publish the variants of the letters shortly, and scholars will begin to analyze the results.
- The letter was in obscurity for hundreds of years in Royal Society Library in London.
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