Nice Guys and Failed Tries


ETA: Given the topic of the post and the tenor of some of the comments so far, just want to remind all y'all that the best use of your commenting time/energy tends to be responding to people when you have a unique insight to offer/question to ask, rather than letting the most inflammatory posts jump to the front of your attentional queue. SlateStarCodex's recent post ("Radicalizing the Romanceless") touches on a lot of issues surrounding the "Nice Guy" syndrome (which usually … [Read more...]

Plato Disappoints at the Googleplex


I'm over at First Things today, reviewing Rebecca Newberger Goldstein's Plato at the Googleplex, in which she writes new dialogues for Plato, in modern contests, answering modern questions.  Here's a teaser: When scientists like Laurence Krauss and Neil deGrasse Tyson call philosophers to answer for their crimes today, the lovers of wisdom aren’t accused of anything as exciting as corrupting the youth.In Rebecca Goldstein’s telling, Plato’s greatest danger is his elitism. She’s less worried … [Read more...]

Enclosing Ourselves in False Infinities [Pope Francis Bookclub]


In 2014, I’m reading and blogging through Pope Francis/Cardinal Bergoglio’s Open Mind, Faithful Heart: Reflections on Following Jesus.  Every Monday, I’ll be writing about the next meditation in the book, so you’re welcome to peruse them all and/or read along.In this week's chapter, Pope Francis contrasts Abraham with Lot, the latter too willing to cling to his present place and moment to follow the Lord where he leads.  In the course of his exegesis, he draws this distinction: Those who set … [Read more...]

Enemies of the Sacred Heart


I've never encountered Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque before her name came up for me today on Jen Fulwiler's Saint Generator.  It looks like she is best known for her devotion to Christ's Sacred Heart (and for pioneering that devotion before it was general Catholic practice).  But, when I looked over her saint's page, I was most struck by this line: Received a revelation from Our Lord in 1675, which included 12 promises to her and to those who practiced a true to devotion to His Sacred Heart, whos … [Read more...]

7QT: Delighting in the Details


--- 1 --- After I wrote about seeing Macbeth last week, my mother sent me this excellent video of Sir Ian McKellan unpacking one of the Thane of Cawdor's speeches, and I figured all y'all might appreciate it as well.--- 2 --- I love it when artisans explain a little about their world, and invite me in to see how it works and to take pleasure in it, too.  That's why I really liked this essay on margins.  Yup.  Margins. The movie focuses on a Japanese publishing company’s small dictionary … [Read more...]

God’s Call to Restore Our Common Sense


Today is the feast of Saint Augustine, my confirmation saint.  In celebration, this morning I made sure to leave some time to pray the Office of Readings in the Divine Office, and I was particularly struck by this passage from Jeremiah (4:1-3): If you wish to return, O Israel, says the Lord, return to me. If you put your destestable things out of my sight, and do not stray, Then you can swear, "As the Lord lives," in truth, in judgment, and in justice; Then shall then nations use his name … [Read more...]

Charity for Society’s Canaries


After Robin Williams's suicide, SlateStarCodex wrote a thoughtful meditation, and I'd like to highlight one of the points he wound up making.  Scott works in mental health, and he wound up discussing the idea of "being a burden" and pointing out that this isn't an intrinsic fact about a person, but the result of who they are and how their society relates to them. Society got where it is by systematically destroying everything that could have supported him [a patient] and replacing it with t … [Read more...]