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The theory that we’re a more advanced people than those in previous eras, which inspires a lot of pomposity, is best examined not through the lens of technology but of ethics. We still have the Arena of entertainment killing by way of the popular movies list and our public and non-public executions, state torture, and all the carnage of wars fought over arrogance and manipulated mob impulse. What distinguishes us from the Romans, Elizabethans, or genocidal extinguishers of the American Indians is mostly different clothes. And visit a mall – it’s not even clear that we’re ahead in fashion.

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