I Didn't Say That #15
Why Everyone Wants the Same Things
Why Is Thinking Clearly So Difficult?
The Art of Consolation
Psalm 16 (Song of Forgiveness)
What Kind of Man Was Anthony Bourdain?
This one idea explains bubbles in the stock market, cancel culture and why everyone binged 'Tiger King' at the same time.
We are social creatures. Yet even acknowledging that there are social forces at play within us when it comes to our take on any number of social and political issues has become taboo. Taboos always protect something fragile—in this case, the false idea that our desires, indeed our very identity, is the product of our autonomous, “authentic,” independent Self.
Luke Burgis, Common Sense
Tim Harford interviewed by Chris Williamson, Modern Wisdom Podcast
How to find solace in dark times.
We might suppose that religious texts—Job, the Psalms, Paul’s Epistles, Dante’s “Paradiso”—are closed to us if we don’t happen to share the faith that inspired them. But why should we be required to pass a test of belief before we can derive consolation from religious texts? The promise of salvation and redemption might be closed to us, but not the consolation that comes from the understanding that religious texts can offer for our moments of despair. The Psalms are among the most eloquent documents in any language of what it is to feel bereft, alone and lost. They contain unforgettable descriptions of despair as well as exalted visions of hope. We can still respond to their promise of hope because the Psalms recognize what we need hope for.
This is how the language of consolation endures—human beings in extremity drawing inspiration from each other across a millennium. Consolation is an act of solidarity in space—keeping company with the bereaved, helping a friend through a difficult moment; but it is also an act of solidarity in time—reaching back to the dead and drawing meaning from the words they left behind. To feel kinship with the psalmists, with Job, with Saint Paul, with Boethius, Dante, and Montaigne, to feel our emotions expressed in the music of Mahler, is to feel that we are not marooned in the present. These works help us find words for what is wordless, for experiences of isolation that imprison us in silence.
Michael Ignatieff, Persuasion
whoever seeks me finds me
whoever finds me knows me
whoever knows me loves me
whoever loves me I love
whomever I love I kill
Hubert Selby Jr.
He was so damaged, and yet he showed us so much of the world.
“Travel isn’t always pretty,” Anthony Bourdain once said, wrapping up an episode of one of his shows in his distinct staccato voice-over. “It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts; it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you.” Over his 15 or so years on television, Bourdain took Americans to places they were unlikely to go and introduced them to people they were unlikely to meet. At his best, he stripped away the filters that a superpower imposes on the world—good and evil, victor and victim—and found an essential humanity that we all share. In a time when social media elevates bombastic voices certain of their righteousness, Bourdain offered ambiguity that was somehow reassuring: It’s possible, his shows suggested, to look honestly at the world’s diversity, complexity, and occasional depravity, and be better for it.
Ben Rhodes, The Atlantic
This first one is paywalled. If you want to read the full thing, reply to let me know, and I’ll send it to you.