Making a Home for the Homely in Romance

mary sherlock

I don't follow the opera world, but critics made enough of a stir about the attractiveness (insufficient, in their judgement) of a mezzo-soprano in an English production Der Rosenkavalier for the conversation to cross over to the mainstream media.  The NYT brought together two classical music reviewers to comment, and I was particularly struck by this analysis by Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim: [O]pera has a complicated history of celebrating and exploiting women, and I can’t help feeling … [Read more...]

Amazon Foreshadows Internet Fights to Come


Debates over net neutrality tend to be a bit abstract and hypothetical for consumers.  Net neutrality had been the status quo for the internet since we all started using it, so, thinking of the consequences of changing this standard requires making an imaginative leap.  That's why I did a walk through of the Amazon/Hachette fight for The American Conservative this week and traced out the way it foreshadows fights between ISPs and websites: Amazon’s War Is First in a Series The FCC … [Read more...]

Discussing Conversion with Rebecca Cherico

radio maria

This past Friday, I had the pleasure of being a guest on Rebecca Cherico's radio program "Conversion Keeps Happening" on Radio Maria.  Rebecca is the editor of Atheist to Catholic: 11 Stories of Conversion, so you can probably guess the topic of our interview.   You can listen to the conversation here.   The focus is on my conversion story, but, as most of you can probably guess, we manage to take a number of semi-on-topic excursions to discuss the Yale Political Union, … [Read more...]

Spiritual Overextrapolation [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.  I'm non-metaphorically feverish, so my thoughts on this week's chapter from Pope Francis's book will be brief.  Here's the quote I was most struck by in this week's reading: When Jesus Christ is present, the true light … [Read more...]

Help me plan my summer and learn to solder!

These are my friends...

My time at The American Conservative comes to an end this week, as the new crop of editorial assistants rotate in. I'll be heading out to California shortly afterwards to drop in to teach Bayes for layfolk, run prediction markets, and take other actions correlated with delight as a guest instructor at one of CFAR's workshops. In the fall, I'll be starting work doing statistical consulting in education, but swaths of my summer are as-of-yet unspoken for. And by swathes, I mean mostly July. I'm … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (5/23/14)


--- 1 --- I'm delighted by how many of you wrote in to tell me that "modern stylites" exist, after I referred to them hypothetically in the post on Orthodoxy and eating disorders.  Here's one of the best links you guys found: Shortly after the collapse of communism and the resurgence of religion in Georgia, former "bad boy" Maxime Qavtaradze (now 59) decided to live atop the pillar in the way of the old stylites. “When I was young I drank, sold drugs, everything. When I ended up in … [Read more...]

Putting the Casual Back in Casual Dating

Buffy Riley

Boston College students have been signing up for a class on dating, using it as a precommitment device to go on actual dates.  (Extra credit is given to any student who asks out someone s/he is romantically interested in -- in person only). [Professor Kerry] Cronin says this all came together for her during a lecture she gave about the campus hookup culture eight years ago. She says she was nervously anticipating controversial questions about sex and intimacy, but instead one student asked, … [Read more...]