"One teaching union leader recalls that it used to be “easier to start a free school than a fish and chip shop”."
"…other drivers of radicalisation: moral outrage, disaffection, peer pressure, the search for a new identity, for a sense of belonging and purpose. As Atran pointed out in testimony to the US Senate in March 2010: “… what inspires the most lethal terrorists in the world today is not so much the Quran or religious teachings as a thrilling cause and call to action that promises glory and esteem in the eyes of friends, and through friends, eternal respect and remembrance in the wider world”. He described wannabe jihadists as “bored, underemployed, overqualified and underwhelmed” young men for whom “jihad is an egalitarian, equal-opportunity employer … thrilling, glorious and cool”."
"In 2008, a classified briefing note on radicalisation, prepared by MI5’s behavioural science unit, was leaked to the Guardian. It revealed that, “far from being religious zealots, a large number of those involved in terrorism do not practise their faith regularly. Many lack religious literacy and could … be regarded as religious novices.” The analysts concluded that “a well-established religious identity actually protects against violent radicalisation”, the newspaper said."
"“Drawing is an ancient behavior, dating back beyond 15,000 years ago. Through drawing, we are attempting to show someone else what’s in our mind. This capacity to reproduce figures is a uniquely human ability and a sign of cognitive ability, in a similar way to writing, which transformed the human species’ ability to store information, and build a civilization,” said Arden."
"One thing I have heard from women and men alike is that men fear speaking about feminism and talking about gender, power and class in case they somehow infringe on women’s special territory. There are certainly times when that is true – often the best thing you can do as an ally is to understand when it’s your turn to shut up and let someone else speak, especially when you don’t have direct experience of the subject being discussed."
"If you’re a man and you hold open a door for another man with a large box, that’s just manners, but if you hold the door open for a woman carrying the same box, that’s “chivalry”, apparently. What we want – what would delight me, for one – is for us to get to a stage where we hold doors open for other people just because doors can be heavy and we all have our burdens to carry."
"The email protocol evolves based on the deliberations of the Internet Engineering Task Force, not by the fiat rule of a single company in Silicon Valley or New York. And what’s changing isn’t a product that must be rolled out to all users, but an ecosystem that provides niches for all kinds of different emailers."
"…perhaps we’re displacing Western guilt about our own history of colonialism by accusing another nation of colonialism. The West must not discharge its own responsibility for the state of affairs in the Middle East. Britain had a mandate over Palestine and helped to draw national borders. Or maybe it’s just that many people are ignorant of modern history, including that of their own country’s foreign relations."
"According to the Salvadoran Ministry of Public Security and Justice, there are some 60,000 active gang members in a country that has little more than 6.1 million inhabitants and barely spans 8,100 square miles. There are cliques of the main gangs in all 14 of El Salvador’s states. The state of Morazán has the fewest cliques with eight; San Salvador has the most with 216."
"Critics of the American diet frequently note that obesity rates have spiked over the last 30 years. They tend, as they should, to excoriate food companies churning out obesity-inducing processed junk. But do note: The problem is much bigger than our sinister food corporations. Consider the political economy of the United States in the 30 years before our waistline started to expand epidemically. Between 1945 and 1975, wages increased in proportion to worker productivity, the federal government maintained progressive taxes and expanded social service programs, and—while not all Americans had everything they wanted—a majority of us lived lives in the middle class, mercifully free from the distorting logic of scarcity."