Starting the day listening to my friend Sara Hendren (@ablerism) interviewed by Krista Tippett. So great. I never say “Everyone should read/watch/experience X,” but really, everyone should listen to this interview (or read the transcript if that works better for you).
I’m rarely envious, but okay, I’m envious.
David Stoll: “The call to decolonize anthropology sounds as distinctively American as the Statue of Liberty. If even anthropologists must reinterpret everything we find in terms of U.S. anti-racism, who else will point out how poorly this paradigm illuminates the rest of the world?”
A significant change in Siri dictation over the past few months: commas. Commas that I don’t ask for. Lots and lots of commas. This has made dictation effectively unusable for me, and I wonder whether it’s time for me to start looking for a different phone. The degradation of Apple’s software quality on all of its platforms over the past couple of years has been, frankly, shocking to me. See, e.g., this post by Michael Tsai.
I wrote about Adam Roberts’s excellent new novel.
I wrote about the importance, when thinking about politics, policy, and war, of learning what everything costs.
Many years ago, when I was teaching at Wheaton College, someone put me on the mailing list for the Houston Catholic Worker newspaper. No idea who, or why (I am not Catholic). But I liked getting it, and when an issue came in I always stopped to pray for their work. Then, soon after I came to Baylor, issues starting arriving at my office here! So I continued my practice of praying for what certainly seems to be a wonderful ministry.
Oh great: “A new study suggests that explosive events in space have the potential to temporarily switch off the natural shield that protects us from harmful solar radiation.”
Jon D. Schaff: “Perhaps the great neglected work of our time is Alan Jacobs’s The Year of Our Lord 1943: Christian Humanism in an Age of Crisis.” I’m not here to disagree.
Everybody needs an inspirational quotation over their desk, and this is mine
Kevin Williamson comes to Waco to cover the Texas Nationalist Movement convention. “The Texas Nationalist Movement (TNM) has been making a pretty obvious effort to cut down on its kook factor, but the truth remains — they’re kooks.”
My final post – for now anyway – on Thomas Mann’s Joseph and His Brothers. It’s been fun.
NYT: What’s an example of when a publisher or someone else in the [publishing] business disagreed with you and they turned out to be right?
Andrew Wylie: I don’t think that’s ever happened.
And then, later in the interview, Wylie answers a question witth a question:
Wylie: What are your goals?
NYT: To matter in the culture?
Wylie: No. Absolutely not. Who gives a [expletive]? You want to matter in this culture? Not me.
He’s a massive jerk, but boy is he right about that last thing.
Premier League players are acclimating themselves to the tyrannous reign of VAR: It’s become increasingly common for players who score to avoid celebration; instead they stand around and wait for the possible (likely?) overturning of the goal by someone not on the pitch. ⚽️
Ian Frazier: “According to the best scientific data currently available, both the average and the mean temperatures of Hell have risen 3.8 degrees since 1955. Although an increase of this size may seem insignificant, especially to those not spending eternity there, the reality of the situation is quite different when experienced in concrete terms.”
I wrote a post but didn’t publish it.
Charlie Stross: “I’d like to talk about something that I personally find much more worrying: a political ideology common among Silicon Valley billionaires of a certain age — known by the acronym TESCREAL — that is built on top of a shaky set of assumptions about the future of humanity. It comes straight out of an uncritical reading of the bad science fiction of decades past, and it’s really dangerous.”
My sixth post on Thomas Mann’s Joseph and His Brothers is about triangulation.
AI is a Terrifying Purveyor of Bullshit. Next Up: Fake Science
Dostoevsky’s Demons was being serialized in Russia at precisely the same time (1971-72) that George Eliot’s Middlemarch was being serialized in England. I’d love to teach those two books back-to-back, but if the class has to do other things as well that’s too much reading for most students.
A new and accurate map of the World (1641)
“Tommy, you’re cheapening the value of your signature!"
Chipi-chipi this morning. (My wife learned that word many years ago when visiting the Guatemalan highlands, where there’s a lot of chipi-chipi. Very useful term.)
A book on a barn. No, I don’t mean a book about a barn, I mean a book literally on a barn.