What did Hannah Arendt really mean by the banality of evil? | Aeon Ideas


he banality-of-evil thesis was a flashpoint for controversy. To Arendt’s critics, it seemed absolutely inexplicable that Eichmann could have played a key role in the Nazi genocide yet have no evil intentions. Gershom Scholem, a fellow philosopher (and theologian), wrote to Arendt in 1963 that her banality-of-evil thesis was merely a slogan that ‘does not impress me, certainly, as the product of profound analysis’. Mary McCarthy, a novelist and good friend of Arendt, voiced sheer incomprehension: ‘[I]t seems to me that what you are saying is that Eichmann lacks an inherent human quality: the capacity for thought, consciousness – conscience. But then isn’t he a monster simply?’

In Search of Distraction by Matthew Bevis | Poetry Magazine

I believe this is a very important topic and that if you have time to read the article I think you’ll find it beneficial. I think artists already know about this sometimes expressed as seeing things in a wider focus or daydreaming or reverie.


Distraction need not simply be another name for attention shifted (“I was looking at this, then I looked at that”). Attention is a form of “tension,” but the relaxation here — both that which creates the condition for the new perception and that which follows from it — is primarily conceived as passive (objects fall “upon the eye, are “carried to the heart”). The sense of one’s capacity of apprehension being “penetrated” is also strange; it’s as though, in a certain state of distractedness, our capacities are not our own. Yet this state isn’t conceived as deficit or disorder; although it arrives as Wordsworth has undertaken “final abandonment of hope,” it signals an advent. And even as he becomes distractedly absorbed by the bright star, the star itself is already luring him into a feeling for something other than itself, igniting “a sense of the Infinite.” The numinous turns nebulous. The unfocused seems to include — or to inspire — a new sense of freedom.


Never ask a Viking for advice


Yes, climatic deterioration probably helped destroy Norse Greenland. But the Vikings also damned themselves. ‘The Inuit survived,’ he points out. ‘The Vikings’ disappearance was not inevitable.’

And hereby hangs our tale. Throughout the 500-plus pages of this densely argued, yet riveting treatise, Diamond, a geographer at University of California in Los Angeles and a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, outlines the interrelated ecological reasons and economic causes for the disintegration, and survival, of societies throughout history.

Examples include the Mayans who stripped their land of trees (deforestation figures in just about all collapses, it transpires), triggering widespread soil erosion and starvation, and the Easter Islanders who destroyed their society in a fever of religious statue building and cannibalism. (‘The flesh of your mother sticks between my teeth,’ is still a popular island insul

Brexit too complicated for referendum, says Jared Diamond


Brexit was too complex to be decided by referendum and should have been left in the hands of elected representatives, not voters, Jared Diamond has said.

Speaking at the Hay festival on Saturday about his latest book, Upheaval, an analysis of world crises, the US historian said both individuals and nations could solve crises by “having a model of someone or a country who had a similar problem and solved it successfully”.

Britain had “little experience” with national referendums before the 2016 vote, he said, having only held two: the 1975 vote to remain in the European common market, and the 2011 vote on the UK’s parliamentary voting system. However, he said, in 2016 Britain could have looked overseas for examples of best practice, including Wisconsin and California in the US, two states that regularly hold referendums, and Italy, which has held more than 70 national referendums since 1946. S

Another way of looking at the world

I thought of my blog friends when I read this quote from “The Path: A New Way to Think About Everything” by Michael Puett, Christine Gross-Loh –

“From roughly 600 to 200 BC, an explosion of philosophical and religious movements throughout Eurasia gave rise to a wide variety of visions for human flourishing. During this period, which has come to be called the Axial Age, many of the ideas that developed in Greece also emerged in China and vice versa. In fact, in China, as we will see, certain beliefs arose that were very similar to those common in the West today. But in China, such views lost the day, while other ideas emerged in opposition, arguing for a very different path to a good life.”

Start reading this book for free: https://amzn.eu/4OnMiJB

Perhaps it was King David

Cats on the hill

Mary had been reading a new book called,” The Path” by Michael Puett and Christine Gross-Loh.To her surprise, she saw it reviewed on her phone where she read the guardian news

.She had decided to get out of bed on the other side
When she awoke the next day, she remembered her vow.Unfortunately, she forgot she was inside a fleece sleeping bag with a zip on one side only.Should she get some scissors and cut her way out on the other side?Or was that a foolish idea since nobody but she would know she had failed her to keep her first new promise.
She heard a noise and them her friend Annie came in wearing a long satin nightgown and a green velvet trench coat.
How do you like this, she asked Mary?
Mary was very red yet silent
What is wrong, with you Mary?
I need to pee but I can’t get out of bed on the wrong side.
You have no choice, said Annie.You must not wet the bed or die from a burst bladder. Get out on the right side

But I feel a failure on my first day.
Maybe that is your lesson.Accept you can’t do it and get on with your day.
Mary ran to the bathroom.What a relief passing water can be to poor ladies who suffer afflictions in these regions.
Annie went down to the bijou yet complex kitchen and began to make some toast and boil some eggs.She gazed at the peach walls and melon cupboard doors unable to decide if she liked them.Maybe kingfisher blue might have been better.Too late now.Mary could not afford a new kitchen even if this one was really old.At least it was not orange as was common in the 70’s.
Mary came in with her golden hair standing up on end like candlesticks from the Synagogue.
I just got a shock, she said
I can see your hair is standing on end.Was it the electric socket?
No, there was a man looking into the window and I was naked in the bath.
Perhaps it was King David, Annie joked.Why don’t you have frosted glass?
Stan said it would frost itself in the winter.He was the least practical man in the world.
Maybe we could glue artificial frost onto it?
Who was the man, asked Annie her cheeks pinker than her perky pink lipstick by Licumb ; those lips which were so thick and sensual with a lovely curve.
Mary tore her eyes away from these lips.I didn’t have my glasses on, she said.Maybe it was a man from a hot air balloon?
Maybe someone fancies you at last,saidAnnie.
Do you think I’d go out with a man who does things like that?
No, you could stay in with him, Annie joked, as tears of mirth made her green eyeshadow and red mascara stream down her cheeks like rain after a nuclear explosion.No wonder men ran after her in the street.
You could succumb to his charms,Annie whispered.
I think I’d like a man more sensitive than that, Mary screeched.
Well, Mary, you are so lacking in knowledge the art of flirting you only notice men when they do something really wild or unusual
Like what, asked Emile who had just munched up a bowl of dried cat food and was full of energy.
Well, Stan kept pretending he loved reading Newton’s original writings which he bought from some unusual website thinking it would impress Mary. However as he failed O leve; maths 5 times he could not understand it.He sobbed and cried in the public library and Mary was moved by his grief.Later on, though, he became angry at her intellectual talent and took me as his mistress to get back at her.She never even noticed!
I don’t see how having a mistress is a revenge on poor woman who was given her genes by God, said Emile.
Don’t be daft, she buys her jeans from TK Maxx, Annie answered.
And so do all of us.

I can’t write any more right now!

In the land that dreams dwell in

In the land that dreams dwell in

where love and hate and life begin;

where swiftly the deep rivers flow

from those lost lands of long ago.

I wander through wild poppy fields

Underfoot the dark earth yields….

I see the flowering fruit trees start

Their blossoms gather round my heart…

I hear the sparrows sing with joy

And bees their busy wings employ.

In those lost lands I saw your face

And now I long for your embrace.

Are you real,am I deceived?

From this earth  we  all must leave.

Earth to earth and ash to ash

Glory,pride and boasting pass.

You have left me, dearest one

Soon I too will be called on.

Nothing lasts but truth is real

Keep your heart and your ideals..

Earth to earth, we rest in clay

We must give all self away

Yet softly on this earth I roam

Seeking still new love and home,

for until the very end

Love and kindnss may descend.

Soft as wings of butterflies

Tears well up and wet my eyes.

My heart has melted into yours

Thus we grow and die like flowers

Is Ambivalence Healthy? Researchers Have Mixed Feelings | Stanford Graduate School of Business


Whether we’re aware of it or not, most of us view ambivalence as a mindset to be avoided. Decades of research have shown that holding both negative and positive attitudes about something makes us uncomfortable and anxious. More often than not, ambivalence is regarded as a weakness that causes unnecessary conflict.

That’s why most people are motivated to resolve their ambivalent feelings and take a stand one way or another. This is especially true when it comes to emotionally charged issues like abortion and the death penalty — we have a natural tendency to steer away from counter arguments.

There are times,

How To Deal With People Who Hate You | BetterHelp


It is important to understand that not everyone will like you. If everyone you encountered liked you, it would probably mean you were not being your true, genuine self; because there are things in all of our personalities that will not appeal to some people, a natural predilection toward dislike is inevitable. Just as you probably do not like everyone you know, it’s okay if some people don’t like you.

Furthermore, some people will seem to dislike you even though it’s not personal. Sometimes, we have to perform necessary roles in the world, and people dislike their relationships within those roles. As a result, it’s important to understand why people seem to dislike us, so we can fix what we can and cope with what we can’t.

The Language of Hate and Acceptance

It’s much healthier to use the word dislike as opposed to hate, because hate implies that people hate intentionally, and purposely go out of their way to harm you or make your life worse. While this may be true in rare cases, more often than not, these people simply don’t want you to be part of their lives. Therefore, dislike is a much more accurate term.