The pope made a good speech this week, to one of those think-tanky conferences about using computers for good and not for evil...[He] basically encouraged Christians to act like it when they’re on the computer (“living in the digital world with a believer’s heart”), and for everybody to acknowledge each other’s worth as human beings, avoiding “the many forms of degradation and humiliation” that mistreat “the intimacy of the person” and make people into “objects of exchange and consumption”. He encouraged us not to forget “to look each other in the face”, figuratively speaking, and “to give attention to people and their spiritual needs”. He also encouraged everyone to fight “the decline of the critical spirit” (although that’s not a problem in some places in this world!), and to resist “truth reduced to a game of opinions”, or OTOH, conformity and homogenization. - Maureen of "Aliens in this World"
When I was in college, everybody was bungee jumping, skydiving, doing triathlons, and any sport with the word “extreme” in front of it. Leisure activites were all about bodily thrills. But fifteen years later, the world has gone virtual. No more bodies bouncing through the atmosphere (at least not in my set). Static bodies sit unexercised and unimproved, behind the computer screen...And so began a series of compromises, not so much related to the blog as to the status of culture in general, that what I really want is a living breathing community, but I will be satisfied with logging into some sort of online community. - Betty Duffy
The Internet is like alcohol in some sense. It accentuates what you would do anyway. If you want to be a loner, you can be more alone. If you want to connect, it makes it easier to connect. - Esther Dyson
In the print edition of The New York Times today, Janelle Brown's profile of the Democratic challenger for U.S. Senate in California says "For a solitary blogger, Mickey Kaus is astonishingly social and well connected: It’s difficult to find a writer or politico in Los Angeles who hasn’t knocked boots (or opinions) with Mr. Kaus..." In her correction, Ms. Brown tweets Cripes: Meant "rubbed elbows." Wrong body part/metaphor. ...- Terrence Berres of "The Provincial Emails"
At the end of my morning walk around the lake, I saw a Hairy Woodpecker, flitting from tree to tree in front of me - until it was rebuffed by a robin. And then I found myself right next to a blue heron on the bank. The other day in traffic, I saw a starling-sized bird with a yellow belly and black wings, and a slightly curved beak – it must've been some kind of oriole. These birds are discreet tokens of of the infinite in my life, signposts that mark a path: "All the paths of the LORD are kindness and constancy toward those who keep his covenant and his decrees. The friendship of the LORD is with those who fear him, and his covenant, for their instruction." (Psalm 25) - Fred of "Deep Furrows"
I fell in love with the Sherlock Holmes stories as a teenager and pledged myself to live as Mr. Holmes. The reason and apparent stoicism of Sherlock Holmes appealed to me as a young atheist in so many ways. Really Sherlock Holmes and Spock were my very ideals as to how to live. I guess I didn’t realize how ironic it was that my atheistic ideals for how a human was to live was based on fictional characters. - Jeff of "Curt Jester"
The decline of Detroit holds an odd fascination for me. The abandonment of so much beautiful architecture rips my heart out -- I've longed all my life to live in such houses, and to see them fall into irreparable decay saddens me in a way that the meager offerings of modern housing are incapable of doing.... [Detroit has] a police force so understaffed and busy with major crime that petty theft, break-ins, and even arson fall through the cracks. Architecture is one thing, but how can any city survive if the people who pay the taxes don't feel safe enough to live there? - Mrs Darwin
Ann Althouse recently said, "A love of autocracy often lurks beneath the liberal veneer." The inimitable Andrew Cusack gives us further light in a single simple sentence: "...the government is attempting to solve a problem with a law, when really the only solution is a virtue." - Bill of Summa Minutiae
Someone asked me how I’d invest right now, given all the market uncertainty. I can’t answer that question because everyone is in a different situation, but I came up with what I would do if I fit the following description: young person, married, a baby on the way, no or nominal debt, renting an apartment/house, decent wage but only a little extra for future savings, and $20,000. It gives you an idea of my general investment preferences right now: $2,500 cash/savings/checking (approximately two-three months of living expenses) / $2,000 silver (say, 100 silver Canadian Maple Leafs or American Eagles) / $1,500 iBonds / $3,000 Merk Hard Currency Fund / $8,000 Emerging Markets/Pacific Rim ETFs (e.g., EEM) / $2,500 North American Mutual Funds/ETFs / $500 in emergency food, batteries, candles, matches, water, and red wine. - . - Eric Scheske in early January; since then silver up but hard currency fund and emerging markets down. Wine? Always a good bet.