Seven Quick Takes… Almost Friday

Yo. Let’s see if this is actually seven or not!

Bullying Prevention Programs May Have Negative Impact. To me the key thing here is the recommendation to focus on “systemic change within the schools,” rather than turning bullying into a Thing which you’ve set aside and spotlit. If you’re instilling students with respect for one another and for the teachers, and if teachers and other authority figures aren’t tacitly approving of bullying, you are a lot less likely to get to the point where some kind of special intervention focused on bullying is necessary. This approach might also be more likely to keep the students’ roles fluid, rather than trapping kids in public roles of bully or victim.

[EDITED: Ehhhh, having looked at the study itself, I don't think its results really justify such a sturdy headline. There are correlation/causation issues and reported incidents =/= experienced incidents issues, both of which I should have noticed and looked into more before posting. I should've skipped this item. My apologies.]

Two links about what we crave:

“Making the poor poorer.” Anytime somebody starts off with, “I just have no sympathy for people who ______,” stop listening.*

*yeah I realize this is meta-Pharisaism

“Research Shows That Cocaine and Heroin are Less Addictive Than Oreos.” Jesse Walker called that a “Ju-jitsu headline,” which is very swift. Lots of good and important points in this post, although there’s an undertone of, “Addiction is just another word for laziness.” (Humans “also have considerable control over their own environments.” Sometimes!) It’s possible to be a libertarian and still think that our willpower is severely constrained and our circumstances affect our ability to achieve or even imagine stability, fruitfulness, gentleness, and wholeness. You just have to think that these constraints, and the corresponding need for humility and grace, apply to well-educated world-changers with white papers, too. Some would argue that the well-educated world-changers are more at risk of constrained imagination, precisely to the degree that they remain unhumiliated.

Which takes us to: “The Shocking Power of a Word of Love.” I really can’t describe this. Just go and click and see if you don’t come away changed.

And let’s have a couple links here to cool down: “A Note for My Philosophical Friends on Matters Connected with Certitude.” “To make an analogy: when we look for friends, do we look for those whom we can ‘make sure of,’ as if that were our primary end, or do we look for those who are ‘sympatico?” And it gets better from there.

As you know, Bob, I’m on this guy’s side. (More here; and really, this is a lot of what I’m getting at with my “Sophia is a woman” tag.)

Last, but awesome: “How to Carve Any Photograph Into a Pumpkin.”

Hmm, that’s only six. So here’s Jeff Buttle as Smiley Satan:

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