AEI Conference Reflection & Can You Ever Forgive Me?

The AEI conference was very enlightening, as I got to hear from many fascinating speakers regarding political discourse as well as where much of the best policy research is leaning towards. There was a fascinating dialogue between current AEI President Arthur Brooks and Professor John A. Powell that did a great job of outlining how we can have a political discussion, which is vital for more people to here.

Some panels were better than others but another panel that stood out was a panel on the American World Order and a career panel were both very helpful for young college students. It created for fascinating thought and discussion which I appreciated immensely.

Much of what the conference suffered from was repetition, and in constant mentioning of the ideas that we are “divided” and that we need to find the “humanity” in others. This is not news to people who read this blog and to the people who go these conferences, but I recognize the value of mentioning it and making sure people do not forget it.

Also the timing for this conference could not have been worse. Right in the middle of midterms across the country in Berkeley put unnecessary stress on me and many others, This problem could have been avoided with more conferences or having it earlier in the semester. That aside, it was a great conference and I highly encourage those of you who know nothing about Arthur Brooks or AEI to watch his movie The Pursuit when it comes out on Netflix.

I can’t say that I regret any of my actions. In many ways this has been the best time of my life.

Can You Ever Forgive Me? – Melissa McCarthy has shown a tendency to play one-off comedic characters, which makes her role in this film that much more surprising. She does an amazing job of giving Lee Israel humanity and pain, allowing for us to sympathize with a serial forger. This movie is shockingly melancholic at times, and sometimes that works to its detriment. Regardless, McCarthy is a stand out and this film has a fascinating character for a fascinating story. 8.5/10

 

How should we follow the news and live today?

Our news and our opinions seem to drive our everyday lives more and more, and it by no means has to be this way. Here are some suggestions on how we should try to follow the news and live as we head into an increasingly hostile world.

  1. Get a digital subscription to a respectable print newspaper (preferably the New York Times), and read articles there to get a sense of the day and some of the editorials to see where current opinion is.
  2. Avoid Cable news. It is designed to keep you worried, upset, and frightened and uses that fear to gain customers and keep people watching. It is a dishonest representation of our news cycle and will cause you more stress than its worth
  3. If you cannot follow the news without TV, watch PBS Newshour or BBC.
  4. Find podcasts that can give you a wide variety of news and opinion. Some of my favorites are the New York Times’ The Daily and The Economist’s The Week Ahead. 
  5. Listen to as many sides of the conversation as you can (if you only watch MSNBC and listen to Pod Save America, listen to Ben Shapiro once or twice). The more you understand the other side the harder it will be to view people as others.
  6. If you absolutely must, take Arthur Brook’s advice and take some time off from news and politics. Political news coverage should not define your life, and if its beginning too it may be time to make a change.
  7. If you are using social media to get your news coverage, it may be time to either delete social media or take a break from it. It distorts much of what happens and tends to be extremely confrontational.
  8. “Learn how to learn from those who offend you.”
  9. Be strong in you convictions, but also be open to discussion and change.
  10. Treat everyone you talk to as human and someone who is smart enough to come to their own conclusions, even if they are heinous. If we act like people are lost causes or act as those they cannot be talked to, we lose them permanently.

I am sure there is plenty I missed so please chime in with any of your thoughts and ideas as well.