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T Swift and P Bloom


Academic psychologist Paul Bloom wrote a book a few years ago called Against Empathy. The title is mildly sensational, but the basic premise is that empathy requires relating yourself to the empathized, and that systems of governance (writ large) need firmer ground to avoid being self-serving and inequitable. Ex: I as a white guy can probably identify with the plight of other white guys somewhat more than your average Delhi resident, and so using empathy as my guiding star might make me become the kind of person who is passionate about the silencing of voices on college campuses, not anthropogenic heat waves. Probably not worth a whole book, and probably a little too strongly stated, but a fine point nonetheless.

I listened to Taylor Swift's Red for the first time in a few years recently, for obvious reasons. Good album. Great songwriting! A song jumped out to me that I'm not sure I'd ever paid much mind to before (no, not that one...): Girl at Home. Key lyrics:

Cheating is fine and dandy, unless you've been cheated on. I know what book I'm getting Taylor for Christmas!