I wish smart phones were smarter

“I wish smart phones were smarter, more intuitive. If you open your browser or platform or email it can sense your emotional and psychological state and deny you access with screens like, ‘Maybe give it an hour,’ ‘its not a good time to see this,’ or ‘okay, that’s enough.’” – Marc Maron

Stereotypes are subject to history

Certainly the kind of groupings and stereotypes are so subject to history — that really interests me. For instance, if you’d asked the kids in my school when they were all about 12 what one could expect of, say, a Pakistani-Muslim boy in our class, our go-to image of that young man would’ve been of a rather tedious math or biology student heading for one of the better universities.

It’s funny, isn’t it? So these kind of racial stereotypes of groups, they have the ability to transform. I guess when I’m writing, part of what I’m insisting on is that whatever we’re living in at the moment is not, in some way, fundamental. Things are constantly open to change. And part of the thing which I find dangerous about some of the thought right now is exactly the suggestion of eternal states; so, that things have always been this way, they never could be any other way. Part of historical writing is to remind oneself … things were different, and therefore can be different again. – Zadie Smith on Fresh Air

Radical Desire for Time Travel

“I would say we’re in the process of radical desire for time travel, which is something different. There was a survey – really fascinating to me – done of Republican voters in this last election by the Times. Seven out of ten of them wishing America could go back to how it was in the 1950s. This is very interesting point for me because that kind of historical nostalgia is only available to a certain kind of person. ”

Gross: “A white person.”

“Mainly. I can’t go back to the 50s. Life in the 50s for me is not pretty. Nor is it pretty in 1320, 1460, 1580, 1820, or even 1960 in this country frankly. That is interesting to me. The historical nostalgia that is available to some but not to others. And I am also historically nostalgic. The left is also nostalgic. As tempting as it would be to apply the solutions of the past to 1970s semi-socialist England to the present problems, I don’t think that is possible either. I think the idea is that you find some way to restate the thinks that you find valuable in the past – if you find them valuable – in a way that people live with – in a way that is livable in this contemporary moment.”

“That interests me. how to deal with nostalgia, which is a total human train on the right and the left – but in a way that is clear-eyed and factual. ”

-Zadie Smith and Terry Gross on Fresh Air

We learn so little from peace

“It’s so hard to forget pain, but it’s even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Diary

The Politics of Fear

“Never feel afraid, never feel disheartened,” Khan said in an hourlong talk at the annual conference of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, a Highland Park-based civic organization. He urged the crowd of high schoolers, recent college graduates, nonprofit workers and budding activists to “stand up” against the “politics of fear.”

“Whenever in the life of decent people throughout the history of mankind, whenever there have been difficult times, there have been times when their values were tested. That is why we we are here, that is why I am here, that is why you are here,” Khan said. “To make sure the goodness of this country [lasts], the goodness that we cherish when we call ourselves proud Americans.” – Khizr Khan

Social Media Trolls

“‘Why don’t you kill yourself’ is code for ‘No one is listening to me. Do you know I exist.’ No I don’t know you exist, and I don’t care.” – Jerry Seinfeld on social media trolls

More than righteous anger

“You have to go through life with more than just passion for change; you need a strategy. I’ll repeat that. I want you to have passion, but you have to have a strategy. Not just awareness, but action. Not just hashtags, but votes.