Nietzsche wrote that it is meaningless to say this life is good or bad, because we have nothing to compare it to. I feel the same way about people. It seems like the general run of them is infuriatingly stupid and awful, plus proud, and this feeling only intensifies when you get the internet. But to whom are we comparing them? The dead people we know from history are instances of selection bias, and our selves are not exactly paragons. It’s possible that all men are fools, as Boileau says, and with every effort they differ only in degree. You have to love them, though, because your alternative is to be miserable. Today is Friday, and other people pit our honesty against our happiness. Won’t you try to broker a settlement with me?
My first thought when I woke up this morning was that I would find out who bombed the Boston Marathon, and maybe why. As of this writing, no explanation is available. From a practical standpoint, that should not bother me so much; it pales in comparison to knowing that, say, an eight year-old boy was among those killed, or that several people who had just finished running 26 miles suddenly had their legs blown off. That is catastrophe, right there. It is disaster, in the same sense as a tornado or an earthquake, which also happened yesterday. The difference is that in nature, a bunch of screws and BB’s and nitrates do not spontaneously fly together and make a bomb. Somebody had to do that, and I would like to know who it was so that this disaster can become a tragedy.