There is no such thing as political neutrality
Being evenhanded with evil ideas is "ridiculous," argues Martin Amis.
MARTIN AMIS: Salman Rushdie has argued that you can't be—you know, it's idiotic to say you're above politics, because politics is all around you and above you and beneath you. I was resistant to that idea, but it's clearly true, isn't it, that it's very hard to imagine a piece of writing or a longish speech that doesn't have political bearing on us all. So I think neutrality is a chimera. It's not there. It's a mythical creature.
And evenhandedness is its own trap as well. I mean if the press had not been so "evenhanded" we would have President Clinton and not President Trump. Some things are so clearly wrong, so unshirkably ill-advised that I think being evenhanded about it is ridiculous. What do you do with Alex Jones and those people who harass the bereaved parents of Sandy Hook or Parkland, Florida, and say – and threaten them with death and say they're worthless—what is the phrase – emergency actors, crisis actors. Now I'm not going to sit down and say well let's go through your points one after the other. And we hear a great deal about being respectful to white supremacists. I'm not going to be respectful. I haven't got it in me to be respectful of that. Some things are malum per se, evil in themselves and the crisis actor business is one of them.
- Every piece of writing has a political bent, says Amis. Thus, in his view, neutrality is a chimera — a "mythical creature."
- Some things are so "unshirkably ill-advised" — such as white supremacy — that Amis believes treating such views "evenhandedly," as an alternative perspective of equal moral standing to others, is ridiculous.
- Amis says that he doesn't have it in him to be respectful toward people who harass the bereaved parents of Sandy Hook or Parkland, Florida.
By working together, and learning from one another, we can build better systems.
- Many of the things that we experience, are our imagination manifesting into this physical realm, avers artist Dustin Yellin.
- People need to completely rethink the way they work together, and learn from one another, that they they can build better systems. If not, things may get "really dark" soon.
- The first step to enabling cooperation is figuring out where the common ground is. Through this method, despite contrary beliefs, we may be able to find some degree of peace.
Great ideas in philosophy often come in dense packages. Then there is where the work of Marcus Aurelius.
- Meditations is a collection of the philosophical ideas of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
- Written as a series of notes to himself, the book is much more readable than the dry philosophy most people are used to.
- The advice he gave to himself 2,000 years ago is increasingly applicable in our hectic, stressed-out lives.
The periodic table was a lot simpler at the beginning of the universe.
- Michelle Thaller's "absolute favorite fact in the universe" is that we are made of dead stars.
- The Big Bang, when it went off, produced basically three elements: hydrogen, helium, and lithium. Every atom more complex had to be formed inside a star. Over time, stars such as the sun produce things like carbon and oxygen.
- They don't really get much more far off the periodic table than that. If you want to go any farther than the element iron, then you actually need a very violent explosion, a supernova explosion.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.