My apologies for not having a post last week. My job is very busy these days, and on top of that I was on the road last week. I've got some good ideas to write about before the end of the year—hopefully I can find the time. This week's post, however, is just a topical article I wanted to share.
The US election is mercifully over (although of course many people are displeased with the outcome). As a result, much of what has been written on the internet over the past 6+ months is now of rapidly-fading relevance. It makes me glad that this isn't a political blog.
A while back I shared this article on Facebook from FEE.org; I think it's worth re-sharing here and now. Hopefully, as people dial back the intense level of attention to politics that many get into during election campaigns and try to resume their regular interests*, this is a helpful reminder that there is more to life than politics and more to society than government.
Here are a couple of excerpts:
The message that politics beats into our heads hourly is that your neighbor might be your enemy, and that the realization of your values requires the crushing of someone else’s.
That’s a terrible model of human engagement to accept as the only reality. It is demoralizing, and I’ve felt it this year more than ever. But everyone I know says the same thing, even those who are trying their best to tune it out.
A slogan passed around some years ago in academic circles was that “the personal is the political.” That sounds like hell on earth. The slogan should be flipped and serve as a warning to all of us: whatever you politicize will eventually invade your personal life. We should not allow this to happen. The less that life is mediated by political institutions, the more the spontaneous and value-creating impulses in our nature come to the fore.
While I am on the topic of the US election, here are some interesting maps of states where third party candidates performed the strongest, and of the strong urban–rural political divide (because maps!).
*If your interests include anything from mathematical models, to ethics, to ships, to travel, to water quality & treatment, to video games, etc. then stay tuned as I hope to continue writing about these types of things.