Monday, August 5, 2019
The Best of Times
Friends, I recommend to you this great article that parallels what I've been saying for a long time: in an objective sense, there has never been a better time to be human than right now. War, hunger, disease, and tyranny are all at a low ebb. Life expectancies have surged. Life in the developing world has made huge strides in the last few decades. None of this is in dispute. And yet we feel sorrier for ourselves than ever before, and we overwhelmingly seem to believe that civilization is going off the rails. Why? This article gets to the heart of it: the media misleads us, and, to an extent, we mislead ourselves. Give it a read and see if you agree.
In other news, I naturally condemn the horrific mass shootings that occurred recently in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. Nonetheless, I believe that Americans' Second Amendment rights are inviolable, and we must resist the urge to solve every problem by granting even more authority to the federal government. Better law enforcement at the local, state, and federal levels, and better detection and treatment of extreme mental illness, are the best solutions to the problem of mass shootings. We should not lose sight of the fact, moreover, that such shootings are rare, and far more Americans are killed by the drug-related and gang-related violence that plagues many inner city neighborhoods. The media may not care about this kind of violence, because it can't be weaponized against Trump, Republicans, or whites, but it is infinitely more prevalent than anything that white supremacists inflict on innocent Americans. We should keep a sense of proportion, therefore, and attack the problem of violence rationally rather than hysterically. Easier said than done, perhaps.