Links from the last week. This will be the last such post for a while, as I won’t be posting any over Lent.
Putting Work in Its Place. An immensely stimulating discussion of the current problems with work in the light of Hegel’s understanding of the state. Don’t let that put you off.
Hegel’s basic point is that the concrete way in which individuals win distinction as members of the economy should be the basis for their participation in the common good. Rather than do away with all partial associations at the level of the state (which was Rousseau’s solution and still the model for contemporary French republicanism), Hegel’s state gives them equal recognition. In contemporary terms, a system that accords a representative role to all elements of civil society, not just powerful ones such as Wall Street and big business, could relieve the problem of state capture by special interests. By acknowledging all guilds, vocations, and professions, the state enables them to transcend their purely individual, self-interested character. By bringing representatives of each profession face to face for the purpose of deliberating on matters of public concern, they come to know and respect each other as distinctive parts of the common good. The state can thus be seen to recapture a kind of family spirit at the level of society as a whole, but in a way that preserves rather than dissolves the differences of civil society.
Nicholas Eberstadt: Our Miserable 21st Century. How work, health, and social mobility are all languishing.
The Religious Origins of Fake News and ‘Alternative Facts’. A lot of truth to this, I think.
Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds. Worth exercising some caution in reading such articles. Research in some of these areas has faced embarrassing replication issues.
With recent developments, a number of us have unfortunately been given occasion to ruminate on the phenomenon of Milo Yiannopoulos. Ross Douthat gives some thoughts on the meaning of Milo. Ben Domenech argues that everyone is wrong about Milo and CPAC. I’ve commented here and here. Peter Leithart posts a great quotation here:
East Asia values discipline, concentration, long years of practice and utter mastery; with an exceptional head start and rare talent, Yuja Wang has earned the imperial right to conjure up Beethoven as a kindred spirit and transgress in his giant footsteps. The West values offhandedness, improvisation, luck and self-made celebrity, the qualities that make Milos Yiannopoulos a figure of admiration for the Right and an object of obloquy for the Left. In whose hands are the great accomplishments of the West more secure?
Tom Owolade: Violent protest is not the answer. It doesn’t work and it is unjust.
Robert Verbruggen on criteria for immigration: Give Us Your High Achievers. Another interesting piece I recently reread on that subject by Lyman Stone, who argues that we should restructure and raise immigration. I have disagreements with both arguments, but they are important grist for the mill.
On that subject, Mark Zuckerberg is making presidential noises. We should all be very worried.
Alan Jacobs on the difference between Twitter and reading a book and why you should be using RSS. He’s absolutely right. I use feedly and would recommend it. It’s how I manage to read widely enough to fill links posts like this!
Adam Roberts on the appeal of Roald Dahl for children.
Larry Cahill has a superb treatment of the subject of sex differences in the brain. Cordelia Fine et al respond to it here.
Steve Sailer has an interesting discussion of women’s sports, arising out of a recent story about a woman in the WNBA bullied for being straight. As one of the commenters remarks: ‘Genuinely popular men’s sports are more like battles; genuinely popular women’s sports are more like beauty contests.’
The Power of Tribes. Why businesses need to think in terms of large cultural zones.
Sarah Perry has produced a diagram of human universals
Why I won’t let any male babysit my children. A highly controversial and, I believe, extreme position, but not an irrational one. Worth discussing.
A Frank Talk With Jessa Crispin About Why Modern-Day Feminism Is Full of S**t. I’m not much of a fan of feminism in any of its iterations (although it has been responding to real injustices in many cases), but I can at least take this sort of feminism more seriously. Contemporary feminism, like much else in our society, seems to have fallen prey to the culturally asphyxiating capitalist exaltation of self-expression over all else. Provided that there is no external constraint upon your choices, you are supposedly expressing your individuality and that should be celebrated. Given liberalism’s universalism, individuals are all essentially the same and so all of our differences are ultimately indifferent representations of the fundamental reality of the self and its will. The problem is that, even in our ‘free’ choices, we are expressing things that are greater than the self and either elevate or diminish us. Second wave feminists get this, for which they have my respect.
Do You See What I See? On differing colour perception between cultural groups.
Can there be war without soldiers? Older but disturbing piece.
Kelly Baker’s recent Political Theology Today post, The Contingent Campus—Adjunctification And The Growth Of The Academic “Precariat”, is the first instalment in a series. Hussein Rashid’s Dehumanizing the Humanities—When Social Justice Becomes Injustice is the second.
Anthony Esolen: Free Our Churches From the Ugly and the Stupid.
Emma Green has an article discussing Rod Dreher’s ‘Benedict Option’ in the Atlantic, especially focusing on the place of LGBT persons within it. Dreher responds here. Matthew Loftus interacts with Green and Dreher here. Alan Jacobs responds to Loftus here. Jake Meador offers some reflections here.
Ed Feser on the perverted faculty argument
Killed for Christ in the Amazon. Jim Elliot’s daughter recounts the story of her father.
The Hipster Conservative on how to sneer.
Charles Chaput: Redemption of the Erotic
Justin Taylor: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About “Jane Roe”
Jake Belder argues that Christians are not called to fill their time with church activities. He also posts some thoughts relating to the edifying purpose of liturgy and symbol in dialogue with Brad Littlejohn’s introductory volume on Richard Hooker.
Ben Blackwell: Christology between the NT and Nicaea: Justin Martyr
Derek Rishmawy: Basil of Caesarea on the Holy Spirit in the works of the Son
Joshua Gillies reviews Aaron O’Kelley’s book, Did The Reformers Misread Paul: A Historical Critique of the New Perspective
Alan Jacobs continues his discussion of building in the Old Testament, treating the diaspora period. He also tackles reductionism in From Disneyism to Onlyism.
Simon Gathercole on the geography of the NT:
How the BBC makes Planet Earth look like a Hollywood movie:
And, having linked an article on Weird Al earlier, I thought I’d end with a video of Hardwire Store, which demonstrates his musical genius:
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