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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