193. "It is not the headline-making political events but the seldom-reported social transformations that have the most lasting significance."
1. The headline-making “sensational” political events are often superficial and short-lived.
2. The commercial interests of the mass media determine their preoccupation with the news value of events rather than the social value of events.
3. Social transformations usually take place slowly, and are hard to notice at their beginning.
198. "Instead of encouraging conformity, society should show greater appreciation of individual differences."
There is no doubt that society should encourage individuals to stand out to show their unique character and qualities.
1. Conformity leads to the death of creativity.
2. A society that encourages individual differences will benefit from the creations and vitality of its people.
3. “Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called.” (John Stuart Mill)
203. "The best way to understand the character of a society is to examine the character of the men and women that the society chooses as its heroes or its heroines."
1. First consider the sports hero, whom in my observation society chooses not merely by virtue of athletic prowess.
2. Next consider the military hero, who gains heroic stature by way of courage in battle, or by otherwise facing certain defeat and emerging victorious.
3. On the other hand, consider a third type of hero: the champion of social causes who inspires and incites society to meaningful political and social change.
220. "The increase in knowledge is forcing people to specialize. As a result, the distance between fields of specialization has become so vast that specialists in different areas are rarely able to influence each other."
Overspecialization in the academic world is liable to exert negative impacts on academic research in various fields, which makes it necessary for education to encourage interdisciplinary studies.
1. The dramatic increase in knowledge today has made it impossible for any one to keep pace with the latest developments in all academic fields.
2. As a result, specialists in different areas tend to focus only on their own area of study.
3. However, this overspecialization is harmful not only academically but also socially.
4. Schools should aim at cultivating not only specialists but also generalists.
242. "Societies should try to save every plant and animal species, regardless of the expense to humans in effort, time, and financial well-being."
There is no need to save every plant and animal species regardless of the human costs.
1. The history of natural evolution has witnessed the extinction of some plants and animals species, which did not result in any harm to the environment.
2. Of course, if scientists can more or less prove that the extinction of a certain plant or species will cause some disastrous chain effects, we should make every effort to save it.
3. The primary responsibility of humans is to try to maintain the environment at its natural state, and then let nature do the rest job.
244. "Most societies do not take their greatest thinkers seriously, even when they claim to admire them."
Great thinkers are often wronged or ignored in many societies.
1. Confucius is regarded as a great thinker in China, but today few people pay much attention to what he actually said.
2. John Dewey was one of the greatest thinkers in American history, but few Americans including scholars know much about him.
3. In ancient Greece, the great thinker Socrates was sentenced to death.