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Big Ideas (Don't Get Any): A Substack Chat
Join me, Damir, and the crowd for a live chat at 3:30pm EST tomorrow.
We’re doing something new: Our first-ever live Wisdom of Crowds live chat.
Join us at the link below from 3:30 to 4:30pm EST. It’ll be the full crowd—me (Shadi), Damir, Christine Emba of the Washington Post and the political philosopher Samuel Kimbriel for what we hope will be a lively, even raucous exchange of ideas.
For this first one, we want to include as many of you as possible, so we’re keeping it open to free and paid subscribers alike. We want to hear from you. So make sure to bring your best objections (or insights).
The topic: are big ideas still possible? Are there any “new” ideas left—and what makes an idea new in the first place? If you want to get oriented, check out our new episode with New York Times columnist Ross Douthat as well as Samuel’s essay “Thinking is Risky.” I’m biased, but I absolutely loved our conversation with Ross, particularly the final 20 minutes or so. I’m not going to say it was “life-changing” but it was definitely in that ballpark.
One aspect of all this that I’m particularly interested in is the potential peril of counter-decadence: If we need new ideas to shake ourselves out of decadence, we should be careful what we wish for. Wokeness, after all, is one such “comprehensive framework.” Others might prove similarly frightening. Or so the argument might go.
Another argument is that it’s worth the risk because we’re facing an existential moment. We can’t go on like this, so we need to be willing to develop a higher tolerance for mayhem and hope for the best.
Hopefully that’s enough of a teaser. Think of it as a group chat or a live hangout. See you tomorrow!
Lastly, you probably have every reason to be confused or alarmed by the title of this post. Rest assured, this is just a reference to one of Radiohead’s greatest songs “Nude,” aka Big Ideas, which goes like this:
Don't get any big ideas
They're not gonna happen
You'll go to Hell
For what your dirty mind
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