Piracy is robbery with violence, often segueing into murder, rape and kidnapping. It is one of the most frightening crimes in the world. Using the same term to describe a twelve-year-old swapping music with friends, even thousands of songs, is evidence of a loss of perspective so astounding that it invites and deserves the derision it receives.
A cherry pie is . . . ephemeral. From the moment it emerges from the oven it begins a steep decline: from too hot to edible to cold to stale to mouldy, and finally to a post-pie state where only history can tell you that it was once considered food. The pie is a parable of human life.
There is a sense that everything should be easy, but easy decisions are the ones we should be scared of because if they're easy then we're probably being sold something. This is why I'm worried about "nudge" - it's pushing people in the direction of what you think they should be doing. Easy decisions are dangerous ones.
A woman who can eat a real bruschetta is a woman you can love and who can love you. Someone who pushes the thing away because it's messy is never going to cackle at you toothlessly across the living room of your retirement cottage or drag you back from your sixth heart attack by sheer furious affection. Never happen. You need a woman who isn't afraid of a faceful of olive oil for that.
A desire for privacy does not imply shameful secrets; Moglen argues, again and again, that without anonymity in discourse, free speech is impossible, and hence also democracy. The right to speak the truth to power does not shield the speaker from the consequences of doing so; only comparable power or anonymity can do that.
I hover over the expensive Scotch and then the Armagnac, but finally settle on a glass of rich red claret. I put it near my nose and nearly pass out. It smells of old houses and aged wood and dark secrets, but also of hard, hot sunshine through ancient shutters and long, wicked afternoons in a four-poster bed. It's not a wine, it's a life, right there in the glass.
Newton's work on gravity led to the discovery of the Lagrange point, a place where opposing forces cancel one another out, and a body may remain at relative rest. This is where I am right now; the forces in my life confound one another. Better, for the moment, to be here and now, without history or future.
The problem isn't who is in charge. It's what is in charge. The problem is that people are encouraged to function as machines. Or, actually, as mechanisms. Human emotion and sympathy are unprofessional. They are inappropriate to the exercise of reason. Everything which makes people good - makes them human - is ruled out. The system doesn't care about people, but we treat it as if it were one of us, as if it were the sum of our goods and not the product of our least admirable compromises.
People don't want children to know what they need to know. They want their kids to know what they ought to need to know. If you're a teacher you're in a constant battle with mildly deluded adults who think the world will get better if you imagine it is better. You want to teach about sex? Fine, but only when they're old enough to do it. You want to talk politics? Sure, but nothing modern. Religion? So long as you don't actually think about it. Otherwise some furious mob will come to your house and burn you for a witch.