We can’t be anti-everything – we need an energy plan that adds up. But there’s a lack of numeracy in the public discussion of energy. Where people do use numbers, they select them to sound big and score points in arguments, rather than to aid thoughtful discussion.
When it comes to poetry, I think partly the numbers of people attempting to write poems is probably a result or the reaction to technology.
What I think is different today is the lack of political connection between the black middle class and the increasing numbers of black people who are more impoverished than ever before.
Data allow your political judgments to be based on fact, to the extent that numbers describe realities.
If the black vote does not come out in big numbers in the age of Ferguson and voter ID, it will empower our adversaries and enhance our marginalization.
The proud depend upon the world to tell them whether they have value or not. Their self-esteem is determined by where they are judged to be on the ladders of worldly success. They feel worthwhile as individuals if the numbers beneath them in achievement, talent, beauty, or intellect are large enough.
We have to keep in mind that it’s not just about the numbers of people who died; it’s also the manner which many of these victims met their deaths.
We have no desire to permanently rule over millions of Palestinians, who double their numbers every generation. Israel, which wishes to be an exemplary democracy, will not be able to bear such a reality over time. The Disengagement Plan presents the possibility of opening a gate to a different reality.
The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not ‘insurgents’ or ‘terrorists’ or ‘The Enemy.’ They are the revolution, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow – and they will win.
I think poetry always lives its life, and people come to it and people go away from it, ‘people’ in the sense of larger numbers of people. It’s as though you begin to think that poetry is a resource, and that at certain times people seem to need it or want it or can find sustenance in it, and at other times they can’t.