Emotional Weapons for a More Indifferent Age

Over at the Dominicana blog, Br. Humbert pulls an interesting lesson out of a schoolboy's startled question to the Dominican friars, "Are you guys Jedis?" After running down a few of the more obvious distinctions (rosaries vs lightsabers), he gets to one of the starkest philosophical differences between the two orders: [T]here is another way in which both Stoics and Jedi find themselves at odds with Christianity—in their idea that bodily emotions, or passions, are disturbances of the soul, and t … [Read more...]

What Good is Sitting Alone at Your Desk?

In The Washington Post, Elsa Walsh takes issue with Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In.  Walsh thinks Sandburg's tactics are pretty good instrumentally, but she's a bit sickened by the kind of success Sandberg is using them for: I have to wonder if Sandberg does not realize that she is going to die someday. There is so little life and pleasure in her book outside of work. Even sex is framed as something that men will get more of if they pitch in and help their working wives.Success, particularly the … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (4/19/13)

--- 1 --- Dove has another clever ad campaign that does a nice attack on some of the terrible images of women in most other ad campaigns in their niche:I've seen some complaints that the ad is still subtly reinforcing that beauty is one of a woman's most important characteristics, but the video does include people's non-physical impressions of beauty (akin to Darcy's comment about 'fine eyes'). --- 2 --- And speaking of unexpectedly beautiful things, scientists have found a better way … [Read more...]

Doing the Math on ‘Our’

Melanie Bettinelli has been running a series of guest posts on the Credo for the Year of Faith.  Each week, a Catholic writer writes an essay on one phrase in the Nicene Creed.  Today, I'm up discussing "For Our Sake."  I've excepted the first few paragraphs below, but you can read the whole thing at Melanie's blog: The our in the Creed is a terrible temptation to me.When people talk about the sacrificial love of Christ, I have a tendency to start doing math. Well, if it was for all of our s … [Read more...]

Oh Stewardess? There’s a Baby in my Plane!

In The New York Times's Metropolitan Diary feature, one reader shares the following story: While waiting on the business class boarding line at J.F.K., I spied parents with their 3-month-old daughter.This American Airlines flight to Barbados was going to be long, and the thought of a crying baby near me in business class did not make me smile.What did make me smile was watching her mom, after we were all seated comfortably, distribute little goody bags filled with Advil, tea bags and … [Read more...]

Four Tips for Public Speaking

During a call for post topics, I signed up to write a post on speaking tips for LessWrong, which is up today.  I thought it might be fun to cross-post here.  Most of it is tailored to talking, but it can be applicable to writing anything from comments to posts.  I've done a fair amount of debate and murderboarding (helping people prepare for interviews) so these are the four tips that help the people I've talked to have the most marginal improvement:Fortissimo! Don't apologize for ta … [Read more...]

Unequally Yoked Again

I don't plan to discuss this boyfriend here anymore than I did the last one, but the blog title is accurate again.  Two-person bookclubs ahoy! … [Read more...]