Desiderata comes from an urge for quality and intelligence.
by Richard Scheiwe
Having spent years researching the “attention economy” and its detrimental effects on our ability to focus for more than a few moments at a time, I’ve become further spurned by the spread of “fake news” from other countries: How social media is used for both distraction and fake news.
It is more and more difficult to identify our “public intellectuals,” regardless their right-wing or left-wing (or, agnostic) leanings. Prior to the 1970s, public intellectuals debated openly in journals and periodicals, foregrounding the need for depending on literature, the arts, philosophy, and politics for the sake of public discourse. The lack of instant communication left these debaters only paper periodicals to field their arguments, usually in the form of critique. In a recent work by one of the founding members of n+1, the situation is seen plainly and cleanly: These debaters provided a ground on which democracy could be openly debated, picked apart, and criticized.
It is not so much the purpose of Desiderata to assume any vacated throne.