Excerpt: “Setting the Bar”

I pedal away with an all-too-familiar question bouncing around my head: ‘What are we doing to these kids?'”

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“Is Nothing Sacred?”

(Canadian Press/Rex/Shutterstock)

And this is exacerbated by a situatedness in a contemporary culture that has removed the sort of guardrails that would tell a would-be troublemaker that to defile something like a grave or a tribute to those lost in a mass casualty terrorist attack is unacceptable…”

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Libya, Syria, and the Future of Intervention

(AP)

No country, even the most powerful, can save lives in every conflict, but if it judges itself to be able to and its conscience is sufficiently moved by the killing, it should step in.”

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My Generation Is Afraid to Live

“We are inheritors of incredible cultures, yet we have no appreciation or understanding of them. We have more informational resources than any generation prior, yet we are as ignorant as ever.”

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A Question for Frances Haugen: Who Decides?

(Jabin Botsford/Pool via AP)

“The question, however, remains: Would politically motivated government officials make better decisions than executives at these companies, and would these decisions be fairly applied to all users?”

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What Punk Rock Has Taught Me about the Radical Left

(Lindsay Beaumont)

The question, of course, is why an underground counterculture known for its outspoken, contrarian, and anti-authoritarian attitude would toe the woke party line, disavow empiricism, and do the bidding of elite ideologues rather than admit that the emperor is naked.”

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“Heroism” and the “World Soul” at Jena

(Horace Vernet’s “Battle of Jena-Auerstedt”)

“The flattering portrait Hegel wrote of Napoleon to his friend has subsequently spiraled into mythic legend. Why did Hegel have this seemingly lofty view of Napoleon?”

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Roberto Calasso: A Man Possessed

(Rachel Cobb)

“Roberto Calasso passed away this year at the age of 80. There is no one quite like Roberto Calasso; perhaps there is no one remotely like Roberto Calasso.”

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The Mirage of Media Objectivity

(Getty Images)

“Writing becomes a contest between mutually incompatible conceptions of public life. We do not simply have varying prescriptions for social ills; the afflictions we observe are fundamentally different.”

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It’s Time to Move Away from Outward Markers of Jewish Belonging 

(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

“One thing I chose not to do was circumcise my child. While many of my secular compatriots still feel an affinity for this practice as a ‘tribal marking,’ I find it intellectually and ethically difficult to defend.”

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Andrew Sullivan Invites Us All Out Onto the Limb

(Photo: Channel 4 / Screenshot)

“That commitment to truth seeking made Sullivan one of the earliest advocates for gay marriage and one of the most potent and consistent critics of ‘wokeness’ today.”

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If Anything Is Sacred, the Human Body Is Not It

(Stephen Sweet/Shutterstock)

“The body is certainly something we should appreciate, but it is not the most obvious thing to be considered sacred. A far better candidate would be consciousness.”

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The Political Import of Jonathan Rauch’s “The Constitution of Knowledge”

Rauch takes as his subject how we know what we know in public life, and what the greatest contemporary threats to our shared public knowledge are.”

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A Culture War Worth the Fight

The predictable consequence is that instead of striving together toward the ethereal glow at the top of the highest peak, we are coming apart and stomping each other and ourselves further down into the abyss…”

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Why We Should Love Democracy, with a Few Caveats

(Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

“But even if we should accept and defend democracy as an ideal, we should not make the mistake of forgetting that anti-democratic—or, at least, non-democratic—procedures and institutions are necessary for sustaining a liberal democratic society like our own.”

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