In spite of “endless talk of difference,” American society is an amazing machine for homogenizing people.
Immigrants are quickly fitting into this common culture, which may not be altogether elevating but is hardly poisonous.
But somewhere in the 19th century onward, more artists began seeing happiness as meaningless, phony or, worst of all, boring, as we went from Wordsworth’s daffodils to Baudelaire’s flowers of evil.
The things that bring the greatest joy carry the greatest potential for loss and disappointment.
Instead of a plan of action, they continue to press for more research a classic case of “paralysis by analysis.”
Mr. McWhorter acknowledges that formal language is not strictly necessary, and proposes no radical education reforms—he is really grieving over the loss of something beautiful more than useful.
Intellect, according to Hofstadter, is different from native intelligence, a quality we reluctantly admire. Intellect is the critical, creative, and contemplative side of the mind. Intelligence seeks to grasp, manipulate, reorder, and adjust, while intellect examines, ponders, wonders, theorizes, criticizes and imagines.
To paraphrase 18th-century statesman Edmund Burke, “all that is needed for the triumph of a misguided cause is that good people do nothing.”
To those who are unaware that animal research was needed to produce these treatments, as well as new treatments and vaccines, animal research seems wasteful at best and cruel at worst.
If good people do nothing, there is a real possibility that an uninformed citizenry will extinguish the precious embers of medical progress.
Railroads justify rate discrimination against captive shippers on the grounds that in the long run it reduces everyone’s cost.
It is said that in England death is pressing, in Canada inevitable and in California optional.
As a nation, we may be overfunding the quest for unlikely cures while underfunding research on humbler therapies that could improve people’s lives.
You will be on safer ground if you stick to scapegoats like the Post Office or the telephone clude a few casual and apparently off-the-cuff remarks which you can deliver in a relaxed and unforced manner.
Since the dawn of human ingenuity, people have devised ever more cunning tools to cope with work that is dangerous, boring, burdensome, or just plain nasty.
So where are the headlines warning of gloom and doom this time?
Strengthening economic growth, at the same time as winter grips the northern hemisphere, could push the price higher still in the short term.
One more reason not to lose sleep over the rise in oil prices is that, unlike the rises in the 1970s, it has not occurred against the background of general commodity-price inflation and global excess demand.
On another level, many in the medical community acknowledge that the assisted-suicide debate has been fueled in part by the despair of patients for whom modern medicine has prolonged the physical agony of dying.