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The human being differs from all other animals in being unable to live well as an isolated individual [...] with no partner to help him satisfy his needs. He must be supported by another of his kind, who, in turn, must also be supported by him and by his like, so that, for instance, one will provide vegetables for another, while the other makes bread; one will sew when the other provides the needle. When they join forces they are complementary. This is why human beings are compelled to found societies.
–Ab? ‘Al? al-Husayn ibn ‘Abd All?h ibn S?n? (??? ????) (Avicenna), Kitab al-Najat (Book of Salvation), p. 303 (U. Cairo ed. 1936)(ca. 1030)
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — August 5, 2016, 12:08 pm
Sidney Blumenthal on the origins of the Republican Party, the fallout from Clinton’s emails, and his new biography of Abraham Lincoln
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Years ago, I lived in Montana, a land of purple sunsets, clear streams, and snowflakes the size of silver dollars drifting through the cold air. There were no speed limits and you could legally drive drunk. My small apartment in Missoula had little privacy. In order to write, I rented an off-season fishing cabin on Rock Creek, a one-room place with a bed and a bureau. I lacked the budget for a desk. My idea was to remove a sliding door from a closet in my apartment and place it over a couple of hastily cobbled-together sawhorses.
Amount the inventor of the yellow “smiley face” had received for it by the time of his death in April:
An astrophysicist observed that the early universe looked like vegetable soup.
In North Korea, a missile capable of striking U.S. bases overseas blew up immediately after a test launch, and in North Carolina, a G.O.P. headquarters was firebombed.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”