Moral Revolution

Revolution In The Air

Mark Miodownik | Guardian | 4th July 2024

History of nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. Interesting throughout. Samuel Colt funded the development of his revolver by travelling the US giving laughing gas demonstrations. Edgar Allen Poe's cousin George worked out a way to manufacture it as a liquid and distribute it to dentists in canisters. If you give birth in a hospital today, you will still be offered the gas for pain relief (3,700 words)

Moral Luck

Arianne Shahvisi | LRB Blog | 3rd July 2024

On the false comfort of counterfactuals. We tend to assume we would easily pass the moral tests of history — refusing the lure of dictators, declining to join the Nazi Party — but perhaps we are just lucky not to have to decide. "Recognising the role of moral luck encourages empathy and humility, but it also threatens the notions of culpability that help us to make sense of evil" (1,000 words)

Here's a counterfactual to ponder: if you'd received the full version of this Browser edition, you would have enjoyed five outstanding articles, a video and a podcast...

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