I think Jon Stewart is the most astute political analyst working today. He has more moments of “Eureka” in a single broadcast than a month of editorials. Who else sets off laughter and light bulbs in your head at the same time? If I believed in reincarnation, I would believe Mark Twain alive and well.
To be a good human being is to have a kind of openness to the world, an ability to trust uncertain things beyond your own control, that can lead you to be shattered in very extreme circumstances for which you were not to blame. That says something very important about the human condition of the ethical life: that it is based on a trust in the uncertain and on a willingness to be exposed; it’s based on being more like a plant than like a jewel, something rather fragile, but whose very particular beauty is inseparable from its fragility.
What happens to me when I learn something new, and it happens every day, is that I just feel a little more at home in this universe, a little more comfortable in the nest. I’m afraid that just about the time I begin to feel really at home, it’ll be over.
Bill Moyers, talking to Isaac Asimov in 1988 about the transformation of learning in the then-new digital age.
Watch the whole interview, in two parts, below. It’s really fantastic. Not only does Asimov basically predict YouTube, social networks, and online education in part 2, in part 1 he discusses how writing down his ideas, in the form of stories, ensures that his mind will live on after his body has ceased to function. Isn’t that what we’re all doing, here, in some way?
Working hard or working harder may give you esteem, but the system is built to reward and protect the wealthy, and give them specific privileges and situations only the super-rich can take advantage of.
Who else can leverage their assets by 30 times, then get bailed out when all the decisions and investments bankrupt their entire industries?