Do we need *more* radical Islam? – Marginal REVOLUTION

In general, I am suspicious when someone dismisses a view for being “radical” or “extreme.”  There is usually sloppy thinking behind that designation.  Why not just say what is wrong with the view?  How for instance are we supposed to feel about “radical Christianity”?  Good or bad?  Does it mean Origen or Ted Cruz or something altogether different?  Can’t we just debate the question itself?

The same is true in politics.  Let’s say someone favors free trade and the First Amendment.  Is that “radical”?  Or is it mainstream and thus non-radical?  Does labeling it radical further the debate on whether or not those are the correct positions?

Do we need *more* radical Islam? – Marginal REVOLUTION

We make ourselves lists in order to know if we think what we think.

Sasha Frere-Jones.

There is no finality in a list, just a promise that we will argue about everything listed, adjust our thoughts, and watch our feelings change over time.

One of my general rules is, if you’re on the fence about a movie/TV show/etc and you mull it over for a week, you liked it.

Matt Zoller Seitz. Also applies to books, concerts, paintings…. people?

It seems to me that if a work has something remarkable to say, then someone who wants to whistle it will find something in it to whistle.

Elliott Carter. RIP. Cf. Will Oldham:

It seems to me that the ears that are listening make more difference than the way the music sounds.

It seems to me that the ears that are listening make more difference than the way the music sounds.

Will Oldham aka Bonnie “Prince” Billy. This notion applies outside of music, too. Also? He put on one of my favorite concerts of all time a few years ago here in Atlanta. Brilliant dude. Excited to read this new book. (via Austin Kleon)

Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.

Ralph Waldo Emerson. (via). Cf. Victor Hugo:

Let’s not bring flame where light is enough.

And Jay-Z:

It’s hard to beat the entertainment value of people who deliberately misunderstand the world, people dying to be insulted, running around looking for a bullet to get in front of.

Forms, styles, structures–whatever word you prefer–should change like skirt lengths. They have to; otherwise we make a rule, a religion of one form; we say, “This form here, this is what reality is like,” and it pleases us to say that (…) because it means we don’t have to read anymore, or think, or feel.

Zadie Smith, in an essay on George Eliot and the Victorians and the evolution of the novel and such.