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“It is worth expanding on the difference between empathy and compassion, because some of empathy’s biggest fans are confused on this point and think that the only force that can motivate kindness is empathetic arousal. But this is mistaken. Imagine that the child of a close friend has drowned. A highly empathetic response would be to feel what your friend feels, to experience, as much as you can, the terrible sorrow and pain. In contrast, compassion involves concern and love for your friend, and the desire and motivation to help, but it need not involve mirroring your friend’s anguish.”

Against Empathy | Boston Review

“It’s tempting to try to find a moral dimension to newspapers’ collapse, but there isn’t one. All that’s happened is advertisers are leaving,”

Last Call

“The future of print remains what? Try to imagine a world where the future of print is unclear: Maybe 25 year olds will start demanding news from yesterday, delivered in an unshareable format once a day. Perhaps advertisers will decide “Click to buy” is for wimps. Mobile phones: could be a fad. After all, anything could happen with print. Hard to tell, really.”

Last Call

Saint vs. saint: things are either priceless or free

Saint vs. trader: things are reluctantly acknowledged as having a price

Saint vs. anti-saint: people differ on what is priceless

Trader vs. trader: everything has a price

We’ll ignore the last category here, except to note that the ones who most fiercely defend it are often closet saints creating a cargo cult around a religious (rather than mathematical) understanding of the efficient market hypothesis. But the story of the Libertarian Emhites is a story for another day.

The Economics of Pricelessness

“To resolve this paradox, we agree to pretend that soldiers fight directly for the proclaimed values of a nation, rather than the lived values of its actual people. This is why soldiers’ families in movies are always archetypal, sometimes even cartoonish, models of perfect virtue. They are never the messed-up rolling train-wrecks that are the families of most real people.”

The Economics of Pricelessness

SciFi Dune: Dune Genesis by Frank Herbert »

This, then, was one of my themes for Dune: Don’t give over all of your critical faculties to people in power, no matter how admirable those people may appear to be. Beneath the hero’s facade you will find a human being who makes human mistakes. Enormous problems arise when human mistakes are made on the grand scale available to a superhero. And sometimes you run into another problem.

“It is the systems themselves that I see as dangerous Systematic is a deadly word. Systems originate with human creators, with people who employ them. Systems take over and grind on and on. They are like a flood tide that picks up everything in its path.”

SciFi Dune: Dune Genesis by Frank Herbert