I do not flatter myself into thinking that, when the great revolution comes, my name will still survive…. This feeble work [the History of the Two Indies], whose sole merit will be to have inspired better books, will undoubtedly be forgotten. But at least I will be able to tell myself that I contributed as much as possible to the happiness of my fellow men, and prepared, perhaps from afar, the improvement of their lot. This sweet thought will for me take the place of glory. It will be the charm of my old age and the consolation of my final moment.
From Diderot and the Art of Thinking Freely, by Andrew S. Curran
From the wikipedia:
Diderot’s contemporary, and rival, Jean Jacques Rousseau wrote in his Confessions that after a few centuries Diderot would be accorded as much respect by posterity as was given to Plato and Aristotle. In Germany, Goethe, Schiller, and Lessing expressed admiration for Diderot’s writings, Goethe pronouncing Diderot’s Rameau’s Nephew to be “the classical work of an outstanding man” and that “Diderot is Diderot, a unique individual; whoever carps at him and his affairs is a philistine.”
In the next century, Diderot was admired by Balzac, Delacroix, Stendhal, Zola, and Schopenhauer. According to Comte, Diderot was the foremost intellectual in an exciting age. Historian Michelet described him as “the true Prometheus” and stated that Diderot’s ideas would continue to remain influential long into the future. Marx chose Diderot as his “favourite prose-writer.”
I just sent the following email to Ezra Klein, founder of Vox.com and host of The Ezra Klein Show podcast.
SUBJECT: Critique the “Political Spectrum”
Ezra, I love the show, the format, and how you conduct it. I especially like the concluding three-book question.
I suggest you engage with a guest who challenges the left-right spectrum. I have not heard you adequately explain that frame. Please explore:
What is “liberalism” and “conservatism”?
Why do you want to defeat conservatism?
Does “conservatism” affirm some, or many, valuable principles?
Do we need another worldview that integrates legitimate elements from each ideology?
I suspect you could consider these issues in a way that would help me and other listeners clarify our thinking on this important issue.
Harry Boyte [“Populism and John Dewey: Convergences and Contradictions”) is one possible guest. Ken Wilber, Trump and a Post-Truth World, (good summary here) might be another.
With great respect,
Wade’s Wire (daily)
includes 32 songs
Alejandro Escovedo (born January 10, 1951, in San Antonio, Texas) is a Mexican-American rock musician, songwriter, and singer, who has been recording and touring since the late 1970s. His primary instrument is the guitar. He has played in various rock genres, including punk rock, roots rock and alternative country, and is most closely associated with the music scene in Austin, Texas. He comes from a well-known family of musicians.
Any discussion of reparations must include how this happened, who did it, and the laws, policies and practices that allowed it.
By Andrew W. Kahrl
Do you believe in the left-right political spectrum? If so, how do you describe it? If not, what is your alternative?
By RICK KLEINandMARYALICE PARKS Jun 12, 2019, 5:59 AM ET
…Former Vice President Joe Biden has now unleashed a torrent of criticism at President Donald Trump. In an Iowa trip that wraps up on Wednesday, Biden has called the president an “existential threat to America” who is “shredding” the nation’s values and “damaging” the country.
But he was virtually silent on the Republican Party at large. Earlier in the week, Biden expressed confidence that “you’re going to begin to see things change” with Republicans when Trump is off the national stage.
“These folks know better,” he said at a fundraiser.
And on Tuesday, he pushed back at the notion that you need wholesale change in the type of people who lead.
“Guess what?” he told reporters after a campaign event in Iowa. “The system worked pretty damn well. It’s called the Constitution. It says you have to get a consensus to get anything done.”
Suffice it to say that such confidence in the GOP reverting to pre-Trump form is not shared widely among Biden’s rivals. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee tweeted, “What’s next? Expecting Toronto fans to cheer for the Warriors in Game 6?”
This may be an example of Biden, with his proud history of cutting bipartisan deals, staying true to himself. …
A Netflix Film
An amazing previously untold story about Clarence Avant: “Mover and shaker. Kingmaker and guru.”
Includes this great quote from Barack Obama: “Economic progress, cultural progress, social progress, political progress are all tied together.”
Five teens from Harlem become trapped in a nightmare when they’re falsely accused of a brutal attack in Central Park. … Academy Award nominee Ava DuVernay (“Selma,” “13th”) directs this powerful retelling of a case that gripped the nation. … In the spring of 1989, five boys of color …
Excellent, timely, extremely important. Highly rated by audiences.
The Ezra Klein Show
Alison Gopnik is a professor of psychology and philosophy at the University of California Berkeley. She’s published more than 100 journal articles and half a dozen books. She runs a cognitive development and learning lab where she studies how young children come to understand the world around them, and she’s built on that research to do work in AI, to understand how adults form bonds with both children and each other, and to examine what creativity is and how we can nurture it in ourselves and — more importantly — each other.I worry when I post these podcasts with experts in child development that people without children will pass them by. So let me be direct: Listen to this one. I didn’t have Gopnik on the show to talk about children; I had her on the show to talk about human beings. What makes us feel love for each other. How we can best care for each other. How our minds really work in the formative, earliest days, and what we lose as we get older. The role community is meant to play in our lives.There is more great stuff in this conversation than I can write in an intro. She’s changed my thinking on not just parenting but friendships, marriage, and schooling. Some of these are ideas you could build a life around. This is worth your time.Book recommendations:A Treatise of Human Natureby David HumeAlice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis CarrollThe works of Jean Piaget
Students, teachers and reformers are pushing back against the failures of mainstream higher education.