February 05, 2014

Christopher Hitchens - "I feel very envious of someone who is young and active and starting out" (2011)

In the video above and here and here, Christopher Hitchens made his last public appearance at the Texas Freethought Convention (October 30 2011) and made a petition and entreaty for the new and emerging generation of writers, thinkers and creators:
"At this present moment I have to say I feel very envious of someone who is young and active and starting out on this argument. Just think of the extraordinary things that are happening to us. Go, for example, to the Smithsonian Museum, to the new hall of Human Origins, a magnificently curated new exhibition... What a wonderful thing to be starting out in this tremendous new field of endeavour. How fabulous it would be if you had a gift for physics, to get a job as an intern with Laurence Krauss, for example, who is just beginning to unravel... the idea of the parallel universe. With each horizon that we reach we see more bending beautifully towards and away from us. The knowledge we have, say not just of the sentience and the cognition of animals, all of it is incredibly recent. A matter of decades and enormously rich and yet again very much challenging our claim to primary or supremacy in the biosphere and rich in every possible kind of discovery. I so envy those who [can glimpse those things]... I hope that each of you forms just such an ambition this evening and carries it forward."
I feel it apt to link to a post I published on my Tumblr blog on the Dunning-Kruger effect here - The less people know, the more they think they know. Michel de Montaigne has said:
"Stubborn and ardent clinging to one’s opinion is the best proof of stupidity."
And as Christopher Hitchens said:
"What Socrates taught me is that the definition of an educated person is someone who knows how little they know."
My previous posts on Hitchens on Northern Ireland here, on segregated schools here and on the "parasitic class" here. On Albert Camus and "the rats" here. On Northern Ireland's "barbaric, sectarian leaders" here. His comment that anti-semites are "mentally and morally unwell" here. On Vaclav Havel here. On the US First Amendment here, on the US as an empire and clas-based society here, and on how to succeed here. On women and poverty here. On the US Declaration of Independence here. Christopher Hitchens explained that he left the UK in part because of the libel laws, see here. Christopher Hitchens spoke here about the authority of bloggers and online writers (7m30s) (original video in full here). Hitchens on "being bored" as the worst sin here. On why Hitchens is such a compelling writer here. On cliche here. On socialism here. On Iran's "Baby Boomerang", see here. On the need to defend the principles of the Enlightenment here. On thought crimes here. On the "encouraging signs of polarisation" here.

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