Daily Fragments: Touring Slums, Black Swans, Facebook and Big Bird

Daily Fragments for 10/10/2012:


The Moral Hazard of Slum Tourism: “I felt as if I were intruding into a sacred place…a place that I knew nothing about.  And I was ashamed, as if we were making a spectacle of these people… Try as I might to be unintrusive, though, I felt that I was intruding with every step and click of the shutter.”

The Worthy Woman in the 21st Century?: “See what happens when a thoroughly modern woman starts referring to her husband as “master” and “praises him at the city gate” with a homemade sign.”

Will You Survive a ‘Black Swan Event’?: “Generally, the term Black Swan is used in reference to global, history-changing events. But as Doug McGruff, an emergency physician in South Carolina, notes, they can be personal too. Dr. McGruff outlines twelve tips on avoiding what he calls ‘negative Black Swan events’ occurrences that we consider unlikely that lead to an early demise…”

What Makes Us Persons?:  “While we can temporarily do without this or that body part, or even the whole of our physicality in heaven, we can never do without life, identity, image, spirit.”

Facebook Made Me Do It: “…Facebook causes you to act like you’re drunk — so says a soon-to-be released study by professors at Columbia University and the University of Pittsburgh.”

Jesus’ Problem With Martha (and Maybe Us):  “Go to the mall: there you will find the late modern American Church, the place where anxious people go, often spending the money they don’t have to release their anxiety about not having money.”

Has Obama Gone to the Birds?: “Of all the topics covered during last week’s debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney, the only thing team Obama could exploit was Big Bird?  Really?


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