May 13, 2013

The case against empathy (and Walters)

  • As rumored, Barbara Walters announced today she will retire from journalism in the summer of 2014. Kevin Fallon of The Daily Beast calls the fifteen-minute segment in which Walters addressed the viewers as classy as ever”, while Alex Pareene of Salon bids the first news anchorwoman in America a very different farewell:
    When she’s not interviewing famous people, Walters is partying and vacationing with and occasionally dating them. Former relationships (dutifully recounted in her boldfaced-name-heavy memoir) include Sen. Edward Brooke, former Bear Stearns head Alan Greenberg, and Alan Greenspan, who I guess has a type. She’s buddies with war criminal and society fixture Henry Kissinger. She’s old friends with make-believe TV tycoon Donald Trump. She testified at the Brooke Astor trial, because Astor was, of course, a close friend.
  • Writing for The New Yorker, Paul Bloom starkly highlights the sore evils of Empathy and argues it has some unfortunate features—it is parochial, narrow-minded, and innumerate. We’re often at our best when we’re smart enough not to rely on it.
  • Genís Carreras makes it easier to explain complicated philosophies by using short à la-Twitter definitions and beautifully-simplistic yet telling designs. 48 of Carreras’ postcards are available for exploration on his website (in two parts), and the entire collection can be ordered on Kickstarter.
    Eudaimonism: A system of ethics that evaluates actions in terms of their capacity to produce happiness.
  • Courtesy of The Week: 7 curious currencies from around the world.
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