Nexus Symposium 2019: The Magic Mountain Revisited

How Should We Do Politics?

presented by Celeste Marcus, Flavia Kleiner, Intissar Kherigi, Joan Magrané Figuera, Rob Riemen, Wojtek Wieczorek

I think that pol­i­tics has always been sus­cep­ti­ble to con­ver­sion so that it’s not actu­al­ly about liv­ing peo­ple it’s about sig­nal­ing mem­ber­ship with­in a par­tic­u­lar com­mu­ni­ty.

What is the Sickness of Our Times?

presented by Leon Wieseltier, Nadine Labaki, Pamela Paul, Sari Nusseibeh

There are these two basic fun­da­men­tal fears, these ur-fears that are rip­pling through our soci­eties. The first is the fear of com­plex­i­ty, and the sec­ond is the fear of change.

What is the Value of Culture?

presented by Edoardo Albinati, Leon Wieseltier, Nadine Labaki, Pamela Paul, Rob Riemen

In America now, you can defend the human­i­ties but only on eco­nom­ic grounds. So a the­ater improves a neigh­bor­hood. Or many peo­ple who study English become McKinsey con­sul­tants. But the fact is that you do it for itself, intrin­si­cal­ly, and you do it for the cul­ti­va­tion of the per­son and the cul­ti­va­tion of the cit­i­zen. Which should be reward enough.

Nihilism and Human Nature: Good or Bad?

presented by Edoardo Albinati, Leon Wieseltier, Nadine Labaki, Rob Riemen

I’m very dif­fi­dent towards val­ues, any kind of. Because you know, val­ues can be very dan­ger­ous. And as the poem of Yeats says, the pas­sion­ate inten­si­ty in believ­ing in some­thing can be very dan­ger­ous.