Love and Real Estate, All About Location, Location Location

(cc Wikimedia Commons)

The best living experience I've had was definitely in college.   The density of people meant that third places were everywhere -- dining halls, courtyards, and coffee shops that I could sit in and be stumbled across by friends, and settle in for conversation and companionship.  It's hard to replicate as an adult, because, even though I'm fortunate to have a lot of the people I care about all live in one city, we live up to an hour from each other, so all meetings tend to be scheduled.  There's no … [Read more...]

I’m speaking on “Openness to Truth” in San Fran, Feb 2nd

(St. Dominic's Church by David Yu)

I'm pleased to announce that, on Monday, February 2nd at 7:30pm, I'll be speaking at the very beautiful St. Dominic's Church in San Francisco.I'll be tackling the topic "Cultivating Openness to Truth" and discussing ways to make it easier for an opponent (or you!) to have the chance to notice that s/he is in error.  (And I'll be giving some examples from my own life and conversion story).The talk plus Q&A (heavy on the latter) will take place in St. Dominic's Parish Hall (2390 Bush S … [Read more...]

Using Abortion Debates to Explain Bayesian Statistics

(cc from Wikipedia)

I'm never one to pass up a chance to leverage people's interest in a hot-button social issue to talk about probability theory.  I'm over at Ethika Politika today, talking about how base-rate neglect can skew people's understanding of the significance of screening test (specifically, those for fetal abnormalities)A New Danger to Expecting Mothers: Statistical Illiteracy Abortion, the talking point goes, is a private matter between a woman and her doctor.  But, after a series of missteps by c … [Read more...]

I’m coming to the Bay Area and the Bayou, invite me to speak!

Have gavel, will travel.

I'll be travelling for work in the next few months, so, if you were hoping I would come to speak in your neighborhood without having to cover my travel costs, this is your lucky day... provided you live in New Orleans or the Bay Area.  I have conventions for work that will put me in:San Francisco: Jan 30th-Feb 2nd New Orleans: March 27-29If you live in the area (or have friends or family who do and might be interested), send me an email at to see if we can work … [Read more...]

What it Means for me to be a *Catholic* Writer


Yesterday, I wrote in praise of Dominicans, and today I have an interview to share with you that I did with a Jesuit.  Sean Salai, S.J. sent me eleven questions about my conversion and my current spiritual life, and you can read my answers in America.  Here's a preview: How does Catholicism influence your approach to being a writer?It makes it a lot easier to resist weighing in on every hot button or controversial issue/news story to come along. I didn’t write anything on the Synod on the Fa … [Read more...]

Settling Into Our Sociable Third Places

(cc Nick Allen)

I've been reading (and loving!) sociologist's Ray Oldenburg's The Great Good Place: Cafes, Coffee Shops, Bookstores, Bars, Hair Salons, and Other Hangouts at the Heart of a Community, and, today, I'm over at Ethika Politika talking about how to rebuild some of the "Third Places" that Oldenburg praises--places outside of work or home where we come to share our lives with others.Here's an excerpt from my piece, "Learning to Linger in Leisure Spaces" We seem to need excuses to inhabit communal … [Read more...]

Beginning as I’ll Go On in 2015

cc aussiegal

Leigh Bardugo, author of the Grisha Trilogy (and cause of my Halloween costume) is running a series of creativity sprints, starting at noon today.  The goal is to "Begin as You Mean to Go On" in the new year (she has a FAQ here).This doesn't necessarily mean, if you plan to clean your garage this year, that you'll go out and clean the whole thing, or even spend two hours on it, to really make a good start today.  Even spending five minutes counts.Why?  Because now cleaning your garage is … [Read more...]