TIL: SLS, aka the Shit Life Syndrome

In recent years, many of Britain’s coastal communities have slipped behind the rest of the country in measures of income, education, and health, giving rise to an over-all feeling of depression and ill health which is recognized informally by doctors as S.L.S., or Shit Life Syndrome.

—From the New Yorker

Britain – a small, uncomfortable nation

“There are two kinds of European nations,” Kristian Jensen, the Danish Finance Minister, said last year, referring to Britain’s situation. “There are small nations and there are countries that have not yet realized they are small nations.”

—From the New Yorker

Friendship, intimacy, commerce, and the West

In the East, I’ve heard it said, there’s intimacy without friendship; in the West, there’s friendship without intimacy.

Karan Mahajan, in The New Yorker

Continue reading Friendship, intimacy, commerce, and the West

Sympathy, Schadenfreude, and Mockery

Affleck’s was the kind of middle-aged-white-male sadness that the Internet loves to mock—a mocking that depends, simultaneously, on a complete rejection of this sadness, as well as a hedging identification with it. These depressed-Affleck images can arouse both amusement and a sense of poignancy, a touch of Schadenfreude as well as something like sympathy.

The New Yorker: The Great Sadness of Ben Affleck

TIL: Dialectic vs Eristic

In the original “Republic”—the one by Plato—a distinction is made between dialectic and eristic. The former is argument made in good faith, with the goal of apprehending the truth; the latter is argument as performance, with the goal of tearing down one’s opponent.

How a Liberal Scholar of Conspiracy Theories Became the Subject of a Right-Wing Conspiracy Theory