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It's a fine line between living for the moment and being a sociopath.

Patricia B McConnell: For The Love Of A Dog.

Pema Chodron: The Places That Scare You

Daniel Wallace: Mr Sebastian & the Negro Magician

All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. --Pablo Neruda

Thursday, August 17, 2006

We are all Santayana's offspring

Tonight, I finally got 'round to reading "The Profits of Fear", by Charles Platt, over at BoingBoing. (A pdf is available here.)

I highly recommend it. It profiles of Sam Cohen, the inventor of the neutron bomb, and goes on to discuss the policy-making behaviour that goes along with fear. The history is fascinating and the analysis chilling. Although I think the politics over-reach some, it's an extraordinary piece.

Of course, my embrace of the article isn't surprising given its alignment with my views on the implications of fear, which I've recently expressed at some length here and here.

From the article:

George Orwell suggested in his novel 1984 that a totalitarian state would benefit most from a war which seems threatening yet is never sufficiently dangerous to defeat the nation and can be prolonged almost indefinitely. An ongoing conflict of this type provides an outlet for destructive energy and justifies material sacrifices while discouraging dissent.


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