Partisans fight on familiar territory with professed political objectives to conquer power. This is what distinguishes them from terrorists.
I cannot imagine a context that would some day, in some manner, make the monstrous crime of September 11 an understandable or comprehensible political act.
Thumbs up or thumbs down on a website is not a conversation. The danger is you get into a habit of mind where politics means giving a thumbs up or thumbs down to a website. The world is a much more complex place.
We are inhibited from aggression by the presence of another face, another person. We’re aware that we’re with a human being. On the Internet, we are disinhibited from taking into full account that we are in the presence of another human being.
Since our complex societies are highly susceptible to interferences and accidents, they certainly offer ideal opportunities for a prompt disruption of normal activities.
From a moral point of view, there is no excuse for terrorist acts, regardless of the motive or the situation under which they are carried out.
It used to be that people had a way of dealing with the world that was basically, ‘I have a feeling, I want to make a call.’ Now I would capture a way of dealing with the world, which is: ‘I want to have a feeling, I need to send a text.’
Teenagers talk about the idea of having each other’s ‘full attention.’ They grew up in a culture of distraction. They remember their parents were on cell phones when they were pushed on swings as toddlers. Now, their parents text at the dinner table and don’t look up from their BlackBerry when they come for end-of-school day pickup.
What is so seductive about texting, about keeping that phone on, about that little red light on the BlackBerry, is you want to know who wants you.
I’ve lived in Los Angeles for at least 24 years.