November 8th, 2018

Random thoughts

1) Yesterday night, the BBC were broadcasting live commentary on the results of the US midterm elections for the better part of the night. It’s so charming to see how engrossed the Brits are in another country’s politics (just as us Russkies).

2) The night before the elections, John Oliver ran an episode on family separation at the US borders (obviously a part of the general anti-Trump, pro-Democratic effort). Not to complain about Oliver in particular (he is a comedian, after all), what I find discouraging is that heated discussions of certain emotional facets of the problem (the "caravan", or this family separation) are not accompanied by any general reviews of the basic principles, such as what the purpose of borders is, and how — or whether — borders should be protected.

3) Listened to Sam Harris’ conversation with Rebecca Traister, a feminist journalist. I think the end, with them talking past each other, was the most interesting. It’s curious that she does not seem to recognize that voicing a dissenting opinion (e.g. regarding the metoo-related discussions) may be tantamount to a career suicide. It's also interesting that while recognizing, the feminist that she is, the "power" of, say, white male celebrities (because "they have a platform" — that’s what annoys me so much about people giving a rat’s ass about what some celebrity says), she ignores the power the like-minded masses wield — or in any case, her analysis does not involve the dynamics of these opposing foci of power. Another funny detail — how she reacts to Harris’ use of the word "mob" applied to a backlash on social media (at 1h 40min) — "Man, that use of the word 'mob'! The 'mob' was people who were voicing their objections..." As if "people who are voicing their objections" cannot be a mob (Harris did not object to her rebuke).