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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:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
From the June 2014 issue
Percentage increase in the annual number of polio cases in Pakistan since 2005:
A bowl of 4,000-year-old noodles was found in northwestern China; and a spokesman for the Chinese Academy of Sciences said that “this is the earliest empirical evidence of noodles ever found.”
A federal judge sentenced the journalist Barrett Brown to 63 months in prison for sharing a link to information stolen from the private-intelligence firm Stratfor by a hacker in 2011. “Good news!” Brown said in a statement. “They’re now going to send me to investigate the prison-industrial complex.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”