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Showing posts from November, 2020

Articles to read

An assortment of articles spotted online. "To be read." Great article about Lucille Clifton's occult practices in @parisreview . Interesting that this writing is just now being published - after 40 yrs. — Johannes Göransson (@JohannesGoranss) October 25, 2020 I started writing an article that has now become waaay too long and has fully taken over my entire life. Here’s a little taste: — Tyler Liston (@tyliston) October 25, 2020 "It is telling that Americans thank their military for their 'service'—a form of giving, obligation, altruism. For those hoping for a more progressive foreign policy today, it is necessary to unhitch this notion of responsibility from military power." — Boston Review (@BostonReview) October 19, 2020 In case you missed this very important (to me) thing: Catherine Nichols and I have a new podcast where we talk about books from the 20th century. In

Quotes: On reading good books

Christine Weston: She gazed from the fabulous tides of sunset to the book which she had brought to read on the journey. It still smelled of Dockett’s Book Store. She could see the dusty shelves stretching from floor to ceiling, the long tables stacked with volumes, and the figures which moved like characters in a Kafka novel. That had been in the fall of 1935. Christine Weston. The Dark Wood. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1946. p. 21. Anne Perry: A good book changes you, even if it is only to add a little to the furniture of your mind. Anne Perry, writing on "The Man Who Was Thursday" by G. K. Chesterton. The Book that Changed my Life: 71 Remarkable Writers Celebrate the Books that Matter Most to Them. Edited by Roxanne J. Coady and Joy Johannessen. New York: Gotham Books, 2007. p. 137. Virginia Woolf: Rachel read what she chose, reading with the curious literalness of one to whom written sentences are unfamiliar, and handling words as though they we

Quotes: What makes an idea sacred or religious?

Theism? Superstition? Myth? Ritual? Does it have to teach a fixed dogma, and/or does it have to be undefined and flexible enough to allow for its continuous development and for individuals' ongoing learning? If it is inherently motivated by politics or if it grows to seek political goals, does it have to contain material that is separate from and more enduring than the political movement? Michael Ducey in 1977 distinguished “mass ritual” and “interaction ritual” based on whether the audience participates. (Referenced in William Beers. Women and Sacrifice: Male Narcissism and the Psychology of Religion. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1992. p. 164.) Thought becomes religious when it thinks itself out to the end. Albert Schweitzer The psychologist Philip Tetlock(1999, 2003, 2004) identifies values as sacred when they are so important to those who hold them that the very act of considering them is offensive. Daniel C. Dennett. Breaking the Spell: Religion as

'Soft coup' and storytelling: A couple threads on Twitter

Sharing a couple threads I spotted on Twitter. First, here's Frank Figliuzzi, formerly a top FBI official, now a national security analyst for MSNBC, saying that Trump is behaving like a "barricaded subject" in a hostage negotiation. He says that Biden is handling the situation correctly, staying calm and allowing Trump an opportunity to vent, while letting Trump keep his options open for resolving the standoff "the easy way" rather than "the hard way." On November 10, the New York Times published a large article explaining that no significant election fraud has been found . This has been the most secure U.S. election ever , according to a November 12 New York Times article. Yet Trump has been refusing to cooperate with the Biden team (see these articles from CNN and Huffington Post ). He's making the moves of a dictator ( CNN ). To the extent he ever performed normal presidential responsibilities, he has now stopped working altogether. (

Quotes on simplicity

Kierkegaard — according to Merold Westphal — "published a long review of a Danish novel [ Two Ages ] which appeared just as he was concluding his own book [ Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing ] and which fascinated him by providing an occasion for dealing with some of the same themes in a different setting." In the review, he "introduces inertia as a physical metaphor for the spiritual resistance to that dying to immediacy that the sacred seems to demand of us." Quoting: Merold Westphal. God, Guilt, and Death: An Existential Phenomenology of Religion. (1984) Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1987. p. 52. "Love is greater than anything — love and Lady Poverty. Poverty is like a gift and a dependence. Everything for God and others. That’s above institutions, above permissions, above constitutions, and we need a taste of it; somewhere, somehow, we have to feel the ardor of it again." The character of a priest in Michael Novak's novel The

Several resources on how to stop a potential U.S. coup

No analysis here. Just a couple resources for immediate use. "10 things you need to know to stop a coup" ( "6 Things We Must Do Right Now To Save America From A Constitutional Crisis" ( Choose Democracy is advising and training people on what they can do in the case of a coup. Have money to donate? Organizations that aim to protect election results: Protect the Results (and its allied organizations) ACLU Common Cause The Brennan Center for Justice Movement Voter Project Also, a 7-part series on the 2020 election, updated October 17 on Medium: Part 1: Trump’s Motivations to Stay in Office Part 2: Who’s Helping Trump to Remain in Office? Part 3: How Will Americans Vote? Part 4: Cheating to Win the Election Part 5: What to Expect on Election Day and in the Transition Period Part 6: The Chaos We Expect After the 2020 Election Part 7: Fascism, and a Small Thing You Can Do Right Now