Sad Stories of the Deaths of Kings (and Queens) [Radio Readings]

hollow crown toast

You can listen to “Fights in Good Faith,” my weekly radio program, streaming today at 5pm ET and tomorrow (Sun) at 1pm.  The episode is now available to download and stream.In the past week, I've watched the entire BBC Hollow Crown cycle (Richard II, Henry IV pt 1, Henry IV pt 2, and Henry V), the Folger Theatre production of Mary Stuart, and not watched House of Cards, so this week's episode is themed around stories of power and legitimacy.Every week, I put up a “Radio Readings” post … [Read more...]

7QT: Stoicism Man, Semi-Imaginary Money, and Second Moons

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--- 1 --- Did you know that Earth has a second moon?   Because I sure as heck did not (I'm in the lucky 10,000!).  Apparently, the astronomical body 3753 Cruithne is also in orbit around the Earth, but its orbit is bizarrely convoluted -- to the point where it takes 800 years for it to make a full, wobbly circuit.  io9 has all the details. --- 2 --- And if you're trying to learn other, unknown-to-you, sometimes terrifyingly interlooped ideas, Existential Comics has a "How to Study Philosophy" … [Read more...]

Can’t I Love You Into Being Happy?

Image source: Golbats for Equality

When Ellery Weil guest posted yesterday on The Last 5 Years and the demanding kind of support that Jamie offers Cathy, I realized that Jaime could have benefited from internalizing a meme I've seen floating around on tumblr.Golbats for Equality spun up a quote from Nidoqueen into this image:In the musical, Jaime doesn't know how to coexist with Cathy's misery and exhaustion.  He does try to help, in good faith, but I think Ellery is right that Jaime needs to feel like his help is wo … [Read more...]

The Story of Shmuel and Tailoring Support [Guest Post]

Promotional image for The Last 5 Years

This is a guest post by Ellery Weil on The Last 5 Years. I've included a video clip of a "Story of Shmuel" performance, but it's not the one Ellery is discussing.The Last Five Years is a story of love lost, or maybe love that was never really there. But more than that, it’s a story about the different shapes “support” can take, depending on the person who needs it, and how easy it is for people’s attempts to support each other to backfire without proper communication. One of the main issues p … [Read more...]

Effective Altruism and Caritas [Radio Readings]


You can listen to “Fights in Good Faith,” my weekly radio program, streaming today at 5pm ET and tomorrow (Sun) at 1pm.  The audio is now available to stream and download. This week’s program is about the Effective Altruism movement ways to resolve tensions between its recommendations and the Christian aim of charity.  I gave a talk on this topic earlier this week as a guest of the Yale Effective Altruists.Every week, I put up a “Radio Readings” post, so you can track down the books, article … [Read more...]

7QT: New Riffs on Prayer, Booze, and Logic


 Last call to sign up for my book updates email list if you want to be eligible to win an early review of Arriving at Amen, my book on prayer.  I'll be sending this month's email (where you can enter my lottery) this afternoon. --- 1 --- While reading an article about why cocktails have wound up being so expensive at tony bars, I ran into what was meant to be one of the sillier examples -- an Old Fashioned served inside ice, and I found the cleverness and delight of its inventors so lo … [Read more...]

Asking a Lover for Too-Limited Support

The Last 5 Years Movie

When I hosted a party to watch The Last 5 Years, one of my guests tried to play diagnose-the-heresy with the two leads and claimed that they were both Pelagians, seeing happiness/success/virtue as simply a result of their own efforts.  I disagreed for several reasons, the most important being that I think Pelagians think that a good life is harder to achieve than either Jamie or Cathy does, and that Pelagians see their own weakness as the primary obstacle to their salvation, while Jamie and Ca … [Read more...]