Map of the day

Via Vox— an awesome animated gif that shows the rise and decline of colonial empires.  And lots of good commentary at the site.



Why I love Game of Thrones

I’ve never read the books (I must admit to being put off by such long novels), but I do love the HBO show.  And I really loved this interview with George RR Martin, which really impressed me with his approach to thinking about big issues and how to incorporate them into his novels (I may just have to read them some day).  I really liked this part:

One of the things I wanted to explore with Jaime, and with so many of the characters, is the whole issue of redemption. When can we be redeemed? Is redemption even possible? I don’t have an answer. But when do we forgive people? You see it all around in our society, in constant debates. Should we forgive Michael Vick? I have friends who are dog-lovers who will never forgive Michael Vick. Michael Vick has served years in prison; he’s apologized. Has he apologized sufficiently? Woody Allen: Is Woody Allen someone that we should laud, or someone that we should despise? Or Roman Polanski, Paula Deen. Our society is full of people who have fallen in one way or another, and what do we do with these people? How many good acts make up for a bad act? If you’re a Nazi war criminal and then spend the next 40 years doing good deeds and feeding the hungry, does that make up for being a concentration-camp guard? I don’t know the answer, but these are questions worth thinking about. I want there to be a possibility of redemption for us, because we all do terrible things. We should be able to be forgiven. Because if there is no possibility of redemption, what’s the answer then? 

Exactly.  I love books and TV that wrestle with these questions.  I love moral ambiguity and the idea that bad people do good things and good people do bad things and where the hell do you draw the line.  Anyway, great, thoughtful interview– read it.

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