The Brothers Tsarnaev

"The digital era allows no asylum from extremism, let alone from the toxic combination of high-minded zealotry and the curdled disappointments of young men."—David Remnick in The New Yorker on the Boston bombing suspects.


  1. To be fair, “extremism” is mostly just the justifications people come up with for their emotional desires to do violence to others.  Though you might not think so from reading the news, statistically, we are less likely to be subject to violence now than at any time in human history, so things are actually getting better in this digital age, not worse.  

  2. As opposed to the age of the rotary press, when anarchists influenced by leaflets from afar, were shooting presidents and bombing Wall Street?

  3. I am increasingly suspicious of the characterisation of people who blow other people up with bombs as monsters. It seems to serve the interests of the person making the characterisation – “I am so unlike this person I can’t even imagine it” – rather than explaining the monstrous acts of violence. 

    A terrorist undoubtedly recognises himself as a soldier, which is why he will appear so normal, and why he is able to kill large numbers of innocent people. Often, monstrous acts are not committed by monstrous people, but by normal people playing monstrous roles. 

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