On Value-Neutral Bravery

Back before I went off to awesome, wacky summer camp (a few more things to come on that, by the way), I was writing a series of posts on martyrdom, pacifism, drone strikes and other problems of offering resistance.   And it turns out, looking over some of the posts I missed, I wasn't the only Patheos blogger wondering whether you can praise courage regardless of what exactly the person you're admiring is steeling herself to do. I was talking about drone strikes and David French is talking about h … [Read more...]

Welcome Permission to Live to Patheos!

What a get!  I just found out from my RSS reader that Melissa of Permission to Live is moving to Patheos.  She grew up in a very Quiverful/Patriarchal strain of Christianity and has told the story of her journey in a very brave and beautiful way.  Here's an excerpt from her "Why I blog" tab: I find it ironic when I get input from readers and other people within the Christian home school community on how my parents were so extreme. The comment will often go something like this. “Wow, you’re paren … [Read more...]

Leah Libresco’s Sing-Along-Blog

I'd like to try out a new kind of post/talkback opportunity this week.  I'm having my birthday party this week, and my plan is to make all of my very nice friends watch two Sondheim musicals with me (Company and Passion) and then have a discussion about the telos of love and marriage.  Plus cake.Passion is really weird and a little tough to track down (though, in case this is an inducement to order it, after I saw it staged, I told a friend I thought it was a Nietzschean horror story about th … [Read more...]

Which Voldemort is Scariest?

Unsurprisingly, I was rereading Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality on the way back from Bayes Camp (specifically chapters 19 and 20). And, between that and the really bizarre and delightful Olympic opening ceremonies, I ended up wondering whether Canon!Voldemort or HPMOR!Voldemort was scarier.That's not the same question as which of them would win in a fight. It's clearly the HPMOR version. I was wondering which of them would be more terrifying to live in the same world with. When I … [Read more...]

Can you help out Alexander Aan?

I'm on my way back from rationality camp and had a lovely time.  I'll have a few more updates on the experience when I return, but I'll space them out a bit with more of my usual posts.  While I'm in transit, there's a freedom and religion issue some of the readers here may want to take action on.In Indonesia, Alexander Aan is in jail because, according to CFI: Earlier this year, after stating on Facebook his doubt about the existence of God and posting some satirical cartoons about the p … [Read more...]

And now a story definitely not from rationality camp

After nearly a week of Less Wrong retreat updates, I realize some of you may want a palate cleanser. You’re in luck. My friend Tristyn, who blogs at Eschatological Psychosis, has been posting excerpts from her senior essay and soliciting comment. Her thesis was on Father John of Kronstadt, and I enjoyed reading her paper, but I did kind of wish that her whole paper had been on the role of holy fools in the Russian Orthodox once I read this section. And now you, too, can feel my longing.  Reading … [Read more...]

Chatting with Eve Tushnet

I did an interview with Eve Tushnet (a fellow Patheos blogger and a friend from college debate) over at Catholic Lane.  Now that I'm reading it, it's a little embarrassing how many times Eve had to use brackets to translate a gesture or noise I was making into, y'know, words. (Meanwhile, at rationality camp, I was trying to help someone correct an error in a math question by saying "No, no, you need to throw up a [holds up forearms, perfectly parallel and makes a clicking noise] which, shoc … [Read more...]