Largely absent from the debate about democracy’s detachment from liberalism is whether we ought to consider changes to the democratic process that 1) give citizens more input into defining the rights of citizens and the responsibilities of government and 2) creates a healthy buffer between our commitment to democracy and the contentious debates over social values. Are we trying to do too much with a single constitution?
Why are children are still dying of hunger in Turkana when Kenya’s GDP per capita has quadrupled over the last twenty years and new SUVs search for parking in Nairobi‘s many shopping malls?
Cyclists often complain about Strava’s downsides even as they are unable to resist its addictive appeal. The constant feedback of performance data and social comparison encourages users to constantly strive harder without taking pleasure in the more enjoyable parts of the sport.
The Internet is so saturated with unsolicited life advice; why would I ever share my midlife self-absorption publicly? In case it serves someone else, as Steven Johnson’s birthday reflection from 12 years ago served me then, and served me again today.
How were these writers able to endow their characters with such sentimentality while totally cutting themselves off from the emotional lives of their loved ones in real life? Or is it the inverse? Perhaps the well-adjusted person, who shares his vulnerabilities honestly in the social world, lacks the burning impulse to produce great writing.