Archive for May, 2012

More on Lying

May 30, 2012

Here’s some more on lying.

Connect to earlier post.

My task complete. Except for figuring out how not to be like this. Consistently.

Middle Class and Education

May 30, 2012

What impact did the redefinition of middle class have on higher education? More than one might think.

Paul Fussell

May 29, 2012

Paul Fussell passed away last week. I remember reading Class back in the day. While I can’t say I was transformed by it, it was an interesting and entertaining read in many ways. Here’s a post which talks about him and links to a few helpful essays.

Technology in America

May 29, 2012

An essay on the role of technology in America, its ideology, and its impact on our culture, democracy and character. Here’s the last paragraph:

In the middle of the turbulent 1930s, with Nazism, Fascism, and Stalinism flourishing, T. S. Eliot wrote of men who dreamed “of systems so perfect that no one will need to be good.”11 The ideology of technology tempts us in a similar manner. In the end we always find that such dreams yield nightmares that are all too real. If America’s ongoing experiment in democracy and economic freedom is to endure, we will need to think again about cultivating the necessary habits of the heart and resisting the allure of the ideology of technology.

The article also mentions the author’s blog, The Frailest Thing, which looks interesting too. For example, there’s a post on The Self in the Age of Digital Reproduction. And much more.

Death by Treacle

May 29, 2012

A meditation on our over-transparent society, and what it may have created.

Physics, Philosophy and Religion

May 29, 2012

A brief article and a lengthy interview with Lawrence Krauss, author of A Universe from Nothing. He argues, among other things, that philosophy is increasingly being encroached on by science (a kind of parallel to a God of the gaps problem, perhaps?). Worth reading to understand some of the issues a bit.

How Highbrows Killed Culture

May 29, 2012

Some interesting background on culture. Here’s one of the more amazing things; a description of television in the 50’s:

The overwhelming new medium of television was particularly decried by critics of mass culture. But as the sociologist David White, co-editor with Rosenberg of Mass Culture, noted, NBC spent $500,000 in 1956 to present a three-hour version of Shakespeare’sRichard III starring Laurence Olivier. The broadcast drew 50 million viewers; as many as 25 million watched all three hours. White went on to note that “on March 16, 1956, a Sunday chosen at random,” the viewer could have seen a discussion of the life and times of Toulouse-Lautrec by three prominent art critics, an interview with theologian Paul Tillich, an adaptation of Walter Van Tilburg Clark’s Hook, a documentary on mental illness with Dr. William Menninger, and a 90-minute performance of The Taming of the Shrew.

Now we have 100 channels and I don’t think we have these options. At least not often.

Against Scientism

May 29, 2012

A defense of the humanities against a scientism that exalts the natural sciences as the only means to true knowledge.

The Real Story

May 28, 2012

I know many of you think you know the details of the fall of the human race, but peruse this retelling of the story and see if it doesn’t make sense of some previously unclear details…

What is Liberation Theology

May 28, 2012

Here’s an article from the New York Times on the topic of Liberation Theology. It’s not the clearest article ever and has some sizable flaws. I think its failure to treat seriously the theological critique of liberation theology means it is of little help to people trying to figure it out. Jonah Goldberg, as entertaining as he might sometimes be, is neither a Christian nor a theologian – and that’s the only specific person or criticism the author engaged. To merely say that liberation theology is care for the poor or oppressed is a rather truncated view of the system (in any of its variants). Engaging at least one serious theological critique of the movement (say Anthony Bradley’s) would have made this a much better story.

I just recently re-read Cone’s God of the Oppressed and read for the first time The Cross and the Lynching Tree. Both are worth reading and I found the latter moving at times. But not orthodox Christianity, I’m afraid, if historical standards have any role in such a determination. This article seemed less interested in a balanced understanding of the debate than in protecting it from attack (and especially the political attacks on Obama which could follow).  So, I’m disappointed.