- Nov 2021
Anyone who accidentally creates discomfort—whether through their teaching methods, their editorial standards, their opinions, or their personality—may suddenly find themselves on the wrong side of not just a student or a colleague but an entire bureaucracy, one dedicated to weeding out people who make other people uncomfortable. And these bureaucracies are illiberal. They do not necessarily follow rules of fact-based investigation, rational argument, or due process. Instead, the formal and informal administrative bodies that judge the fate of people who have broken social codes are very much part of a swirling, emotive public conversation, one governed not by the rules of the courtroom or logic or the Enlightenment but by social-media algorithms that encourage anger and emotion, and by the economy of likes and shares that pushes people to feel—and to perform—outrage. The interaction between the angry mob and the illiberal bureaucracy engenders a thirst for blood, for sacrifices to be offered up to the pious and unforgiving gods of outrage—a story we see in other eras of history, from the Inquisition to the more recent past.
Certainly this modern inquisition is a more gentle one than the original Inquisition of the Catholic Church.
Is this a supporting data point on the continuum of decreasing violence for Steven Pinker's decline of violence thesis?
Is the totality of what we may be giving up worth it for the greater overall comfort for society?
- Oct 2018
for Lima, her destined port.
Map of Lima, cir. 1750
Lima was "founded)" by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro, who assassinated the Inca ruler Atahualpa in his effort to claim Peru for the Spanish crown.
As the seat of the Viceroyalty of Peru, Lima was also the center of the brutal Peruvian Inquisition, which ended for good in 1820.
Painting of a victim of the Inquisition paraded through streets by afro-Peruvian painter Acuarela de Pancho Fierro (1807-1879).