estuary sunset wallpaper, a healthy dose of arendt, the russians will save us

estuary at sunset larger 

I like estuaries and salt marshes and since we’ve had the classic fall photos I thought this made for a good break in the visual cliche of what autumn looks like.

Ever heard or read the quote “The banality of evil”? Did you know that it was written by political theorist Hannah Arendt? It has come to define what she is and as succinct as the thoughts are expressed in that phrase there was more to her then that. So much more that it is something of a crime that if people can remember who to attribute the quote to they cannot remember the writer’s contribution to American political thought or feminism. A Healthy Dose of Heroine

Still, Young-Bruehl repeatedly and successfully unpacks Arendt’s views of such concepts as action, power, forgiveness, judgment, radical evil, revolution, and the human condition itself. Arendt’s phrasemaking and popularization of notions such as “totalitarianism” developed because she “wanted thoughts and words adequate to the new world and able to dissolve clichés, reject thoughtlessly received ideas, break down hackneyed analyses, expose lies and bureaucratic double talk, help people withdraw from their addiction to propagandistic images.” She persuasively suggests that Arendt’s ideas informed such modern political phenomena as Poland’s Solidarity movement and South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and credits her with being ahead of the curve on globalization.

If Young-Bruehl veers toward the reverential and Schor toward the empathetic, both authors take strength and intellectual confidence from their encounters. Emerson hovered over Lazarus, and Heidegger loomed over Arendt. Lazarus shoots darts of inspiration at Schor, and Arendt’s distinctions suffuse Young-Bruehl’s thought. Two ladies with lamps illuminating predecessors so they don’t become mere statues. That’s progress.

From a review of a new book called Why Arendt Matters  (Yale University Press, 2006).

Russia can repel asteroids to save Earth: official

The institute’s specialists are particularly concerned about an asteroid known as Number 2907, a kilometer-wide chunk of space rock that they believe “with a large degree of certainty” will strike the Earth on December 16, 2880.

The entire Soviet empire couldn’t manage to make a good watch for fifty years, but they have the whole asteroid thing under control.