Re: How will this age be remembered?

When I try to look forward, say, 50 years and look back at how will people consider this moment, I think that the . . . you know the early part of the 21st century is going to be dominated, in retrospect, in part by the overreaction to terrorism. You know terrorism is certainly a real threat, but it is a threat that, you know, pales compared to other huge threats that face humankind – ranging from . . . from global warming, to medical threats, to . . . to developmental threats and the like. And I . . . I think that people are gonna look back and say that we lost our soul in a certain respect in this overreaction. I don’t think that that’s inevitable. I think that we can regain the values on which our civilization has been built. But it is going to take some time. It’s gonna take different leadership from the leadership we’ve had in the United States for the . . . the first part of the 21st century. And it’s gonna take not simply sort of a change in practice, but a real act of repudiation – a real effort to regain those values and to display them visibly in . . . in the conduct of this government to say that rights are something that are not just for other people, but that bind the United States. That’s something that the U.S. government is not used to saying. It’s not something that even the American people are used to thinking about, because most Americans think of human rights as foreign. You know Americans have constitutional rights. Americans have civil rights. But human rights, those are for other people. And . . . and I think it’s only dawning on people that human rights are important because it’s one way to constrain the U.S. government from some of its worst instincts – many of which we’ve seen over the last several years.

Recorded on: 8/14/07

By the overreaction to terrorism.

Car culture and suburban sprawl create rifts in society, claims study

New research links urban planning and political polarization.

Pixabay
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
  • Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
  • People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller on ​the multiple dimensions of space and human sexuality

Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.

Flickr / 13winds
Think Again Podcasts
  • Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
  • What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
  • Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
Keep reading Show less