Fish can’t explain to you what water’s like because he’s never been out of water. And I don’t think you can really understand where you’re from until you go somewhere else and see a different form of social organization.
.. I think it was Twain, I can’t remember for certain, but I think it was Twain who said, “The man who chooses not to read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” And right now, we live in a society of people who are decreasingly, appetitively literate. The average American reads 19 minutes a day, and it’s age correlated. Older folks are reading quite a bit more than 19 minutes and younger folks much less than 19 minutes. I think Gutenberg is the true father of America. I think the sine qua non of America is mass literacy, which led to competitive ideas, healthy challenges to authority, a plural marketplace after the printing press, that then creates a First Amendment culture of free speech, press, assembly, etc.
.. Ken Burns has the great phrase that right now we have a whole lot of pluribus and very, very little unum.
SASSE: And if you think of what Ken Burns’s work is about: Jazz, and baseball, and Civil War, and Lewis and Clark, and the Dust Bowl, and his new project about to come out on Vietnam — one of the things that he’s trying to do is give us a common canon.
.. There are basically three purposes to sex. Sex is a covenant, initiation, and renewal ceremony. Sex gives you a different kind of knowledge of someone. You form a kind of bond with someone that’s different than just a random person on the street. Sex matters. Sex is for procreation and sex is for pleasure.
There really isn’t much more to it than that. And yet those three things should be differentiated because it’s not just another contact sport. I don’t think it’s helpful to have teenagers not know that sex matters, and yet you can understand it. When you’re old and you look back on your sexuality, I bet most people are going to think it was basically reducible to those three kinds of categories. So I felt like I had to talk about it a little bit, but I wanted to duck the culture wars as much as possible.
.. I think that you can’t possibly become a really good parent without developing empathy. I don’t know that you have to have clear, cognitive categories to do it. There are lots and lots of people who are good parents who are empathetic who maybe couldn’t reflect on it. But since you’re asking the question for people who are advice-seeking, I think you need to self-consciously think about the cultivation of empathy.
And the travel point that you asked is another way of thinking about why it’s important to become well read. Because when you go into books, and you go to different kinds of stories, and obviously, you’ve just written a really important nonfiction book, and this this a nonfiction book, but one of the reasons why it’s critically important for our teens to read fiction is, they need to be transported to other times and places. They need to actually be able to see through the lenses of other protagonists.
.. One of the fundamental challenges of the moment we’re at is that we believe that the digital moment will necessarily expose us to more and more diverse things, and I think what’s actually going to happen is that we’re going to become more and more siloed. And there’s a real danger of tribalism and being able to at the moment that media is going to disintermediate. We’re not going to have big common channels anymore. We’re going to have more and more niche channels. It will be possible to surround yourself only with people who already believe what you believe.
In that world where you can create echo chambers and when advertisers and marketers and Russians are going to try to surround you with echo chambers to only believe what you already believe, it’s not going to be easy to develop empathy. It’s going to be really easy to demonize the other and come to believe that the deep problems of my soul and the deep problems of my mortality could maybe just be solved if I could vanquish those other really bad people from the field.
The government ends up paying for about 70 percent of health care spending in all.
.. Britain has truly socialized medicine
.. Coverage is broad, and most services are free to citizens, with the system financed by taxes, though there is a private system that runs alongside the public one. About 10 percent buy private insurance. Government spending accounts for more than 80 percent of all health care spending.
.. Singapore’s system costs far less than America’s (4.9 percent of G.D.P. versus 17.2 percent).
.. Everyone in France must buy health insurance, sold by a small number of nonprofit funds, which are largely financed through taxes. Public insurance covers between 70 percent and 80 percent of costs.
.. The Ministry of Health sets funds and budgets; it also regulates the number of hospital beds, what equipment is purchased and how many medical students are trained. The ministry sets prices for procedures and drugs.
The French health system is relatively expensive at 11.8 percent of G.D.P., while Australia’s is at 9 percent. Access and quality are excellent in both systems.
.. A majority of Germans (86 percent) get their coverage primarily though the national public system, with others choosing voluntary private health insurance. Most premiums for the public system are based on income and paid for by employers and employees, with subsidies available but capped at earnings of about $65,000.
.. There are no subsidies for private health insurance, but the government regulates premiums, which can be higher for people with pre-existing conditions
.. Switzerland. It has superior outcomes. It’s worth noting that its system is very similar to the Obamacare exchanges.
.. The Swiss system looks a lot like a better-functioning version of the Affordable Care Act. There’s heavy, but quite regulated, competition among insurers and an individual mandate.
AWS was the first generation of cloud, Google is the second. The second generation is always better because it can learn from the mistakes of the first and it doesn’t have the old legacy to support.
2016 should be remembered as the year Google became a better choice than AWS. If 50% cheaper is not a solid argument, I don’t know what is.
The video, with Spanish subtitles, comes from the Democratic National Committee and is aimed at a particular group of Latino voters: those who fled Mr. Chávez’s Venezuela and other authoritarian countries, like Cuba. It has a particular resonance in Florida, a battleground state and home to an increasing numbers of Venezuelans, especially in Doral, west of Miami, where Senator Marco Rubio has an office.
.. The debate has spread to Mexico, where politicians are comparing Mr. Trump to the leftist presidential hopeful Andrés Manuel López Obrador. As Mr. Trump has suggested he might do, Mr. López Obrador rejected the results of Mexico’s last two presidential elections, claiming he was robbed by fraud, and leading protests.
.. “It is not an ideology,” he writes, “but a political logic.” It pitches the idea of a noble section of the people against the idea of an utterly corrupt elite. The populist political strategy centers on this conflict in an emotive way, adapting to fit different contexts — anti-immigrant in the United States, anti-American in Venezuela.
.. While they have wildly different backgrounds and advocate different policies, they are united in posing as the enemy of the entrenched, corrupt elite, who make possible whatever ails the people, be it Muslim refugees or global capital.
.. As the establishment is held as corrupt, today’s populists blame it and its institutions — government, the media — for anything that goes wrong, even when it’s the populists themselves who are to blame. When newspapers report accusations of sexual assault by Mr. Trump, he blames a media conspiracy. When Venezuelans march to complain they have no food, the government denounces a plot by oligarchs and the media. Mr. Trump assailed a judge overseeing a lawsuit against him as being biased. Mr. Chávez jailed a judge who made a ruling he disagreed with.