Cauză şi efect

How voters’ personal suffering overtook reason — and brought us Donald Trump By

On a sleepless night last winter — insomnia being an intelligent response to the condition of our country — I turned on the television and found “The Deer Hunter.” As I watched the extraordinary first hour of the film — the steel mill and its fiery floor; the homely tavern with its clinking beer bottles and its crooning jukebox; the VFW hall festooned for a wedding with a banner that proclaimed “serving God and country”; the Russian Orthodox church, its onion domes reaching stubbornly for the heavens past a bleak industrial sky; the hunting party in the Allegheny Mountains, in which a crude, even revolting masculinity somehow collides with the sublime — the elegiac tale suddenly acquired a sharp political point. The film is the great cinematic poem to the world of what we have come to call, as a consequence of the current presidential campaign, “the white working class.” “The whole thing,” Christopher Walken says lovingly about his Pennsylvania town on the night before he and his friends are to deploy to Vietnam. “It’s right here.”


The Surprising History of the Infographic By Clive Thompson

As the 2016 election approaches, we’re hearing a lot about “red states” and “blue states.” That idiom has become so ingrained that we’ve almost forgotten where it originally came from: a data visualization.

In the 2000 presidential election, the race between Al Gore and George W. Bush was so razor close that broadcasters pored over electoral college maps—which they typically colored red and blue. What’s more, they talked about those shadings. NBC’s Tim Russert wondered aloud how George Bush would “get those remaining 61 electoral red states, if you will,” and that language became lodged in the popular imagination. America became divided into two colors—data spun into pure metaphor. Now Americans even talk routinely about “purple” states, a mental visualization of political information.


PowerPoint Makes Us Stupid- How PowerPoint has killed the art of rhetoric By Michael Lind

Hello, everyone. My presentation today is about the harm that PowerPoint presentations are doing to the way we think and speak. To illustrate the danger, this warning is in the form of a PowerPoint presentation.

Next slide, please.

For nearly two millennia, from Isocrates and Cicero to the 19th century, the art of rhetoric was at the center of the Western tradition of liberal education. The liberally educated citizen was taught to reason logically and to express thoughts in a way calculated to inform and, when necessary, to motivate an audience.

Next slide, please.

Robert Gaskins and Dennis Austin, who developed a program originally called Presenter for the software company Forethought, Inc., did not realize, when Microsoft purchased the rights to PowerPoint in 1987, that they were inadvertently bringing about the collapse of Western civilization.

Next slide, please.


Lettre à nos amis européens. Pour tourner la page du Brexit (EuroDéfense)

Le résultat d’une perte de confiance

Nous prenons acte du vote des électeurs britanniques en faveur de la sortie de l’Union européenne (UE). Ce résultat marque la perte de confiance d’une majorité de citoyens britanniques dans le projet européen et leur réticence à considérer l’UE comme un projet politique, préférant en rester à celui d’un grand marché. EuroDéfense-France regrette le départ d’un grand pays membre, qui constitue un choc politique et psychologique pour l’Europe qu’il ne faut pas minorer. Cependant, il faut en évaluer les conséquences avec réalisme.

Développer un esprit nouveau de coopération avec le Royaume-Uni

La sortie de l’UE du Royaume-Uni entame la crédibilité du projet européen en en réduisant la surface géographique et les données statistiques, mais elle peut aussi libérer la construction d’une Europe plus intégrée, plus politique, et donc plus puissante, en particulier autour de la zone Euro. Et cette Europe-là sera un partenaire incontournable du Royaume-Uni. Sans oublier que les négociations inévitables et complexes qui vont s’engager ont pour origine une initiative britannique, EuroDéfense-France considère qu’il convient d’aborder la nouvelle coopération entre l’Union européenne et le Royaume-Uni dans un esprit gagnant- gagnant, en respectant les intérêts de chacun et en ménageant l’avenir, autant qu’il est possible.