An Inclusive Litany

10/16/00

More from Nicholas Lemann's priceless interview with Vice President Al Gore in the New Yorker, July 31, 2000:
I became interested in more complex metaphors and their explanatory powers when I was writing Earth in the Balance. In particular, in my effort to try to understand the origins of our modern world view, and its curious reliance on specialization and ever-narrower slices of the world around us into categories that are then themselves dissected, in an ongoing process of separation, into parts and sub-parts—a process that sometimes obliterates the connection to the whole and the appreciation for context and the deeper meanings that can't really be found in the atomized parts of the whole—and in exploring the roots of that way of looking at the world, I found a lot of metaphors in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries that came directly from the scientific revolution into the world of politics and culture and sociology. And many of those metaphors are still with us.

[Ed.: Following Gore's eventual concession, his aide Carter Eskew commented to the New York Times: "The popular vote was 50-50, the Florida Supreme Court voted 4 to 3, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5 to 4.... To [Gore], this is all a fractal, the geometric theory that pieces of the whole, regardless of the scale, reflect the universe. He says it all the time."]

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