Saturday, October 24, 2015

another HT Mockingbird, "Why Twitter's Dying and what you can learn from it", a polemic that defines Twitter as an abusive trolling platform by its nature

http://www.mbird.com/2015/10/the-areopagus-and-the-woodshed-re-imagining-abuse-in-social-media/

https://medium.com/bad-words/why-twitter-s-dying-and-what-you-can-learn-from-it-9ed233e37974#.a4h1wvogn

...

To explain, let me be clear what I mean by abuse. I don’t just mean the obvious: violent threats. I also mean the endless bickering, the predictable snark, the general atmosphere of little violences that permeate the social web…and the fact that the average person can’t do anything about it.
 
We once glorified Twitter as a great global town square, a shining agora where everyone could come together to converse. But I’ve never been to a town square where people can shove, push, taunt, bully, shout, harass, threaten, stalk, creep, and mob you…for eavesdropping on a conversation that they weren’t a part of…to alleviate their own existential rage…at their shattered dreams…and you can’t even call a cop. What does that particular social phenomenon sound like to you? Twitter could have been a town square. But now it’s more like a drunken, heaving mosh pit. And while there are people who love to dive into mosh pits, they’re probably not the audience you want to try to build a billion dollar publicly listed company that changes the world upon.
 
The social web became a nasty, brutish place. And that’s because the companies that make it up simply do not not just take abuse seriously…they don’t really consider it at all. Can you remember the last time you heard the CEO of a major tech company talking about…abuse…not ads? Why not? Here’s the harsh truth: they see it as peripheral to their “business models”, a minor nuisance, certainly nothing worth investing in, for theirs is the great endeavor of…selling more ads.
 
...
 
What really happens on Twitter these days? People have self-sorted into cliques, little in-groups, tribes. The purpose of tribes is to defend their beliefs, their ways, their customs, their culture — their ways of seeing the world. The digital world is separated into “ists” — it doesn’t matter what, really, economists, mens-rightists, leftists, rightists — and those “ists” place their “ism” before and above all, because it is their organizing belief, the very faith that has brought them together in the first place. Hence, to them, it’s the totem to which everyone, including you, must pay homage, and if you dare not to bow down before it…or worse still to challenge it…well, then the faithful will do what they must to defend their gods. They will declare a crusade against you.
 
Having never seen any need at any point to join the twitter bandwagon it's perhaps too easy to see the whole thing as a troll-a-thon or a self-promotional shill-fest. Now if people understand what's at stake in using social media as a form of mass media and recognize what they're using it for, great.  Some of the biggest give aways of information in the midst of the Andrew scenario at Mars Hill were through tweets. It's what made the Mars Hill "we're protecting the privacy of parties involved" such an incompetent sham, it was because a couple of parties involved had blogged and tweeted away their identities without their even having fully realized it. They probably could not have known what it was at the time, though.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

over at The New Republic--the violin prodigy factory industry

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/123167/how-make-virtuoso-violinist
 ...
Having subjected her son to a life of what she now knows is effectively (and effective) brainwashing, Wagner knows better. She knows that in all likelihood her son—if he’s lucky—will play violin in an orchestra and/or teach children, feeling forever second-rate. She also now knows that to an informed observer this outcome was predictable from the time her son could read.
 

“According to my observations,” Wagner writes, “parents in all categories [of musical experience] tend to believe that their child’s talent will enable them to prevail in the struggle that is the consequence of a saturated market.” The narrative of the child prodigy bewitches parents, and not just when it comes to music. We’re taught that the cost of genius is instability or underdevelopment in other areas, but we rarely hear about the people who finish third through tenth. Also-rans make up the vast majority in every race, but in any field of elite competition the losers have to subject themselves to the same work, same costs, same instability, same underdevelopment, but without the glory or affirmation that come with making it. We like to believe that the winners were that much better or tried that much harder, but the difference between the two is often an arbitrary twist of fate or a powerful person’s whim.
 
I believe glory and virtuosity are worthwhile pursuits, and a world without them would be lesser. However, for a society to cross the line from nurturing into producing excellence is to incur grave costs. Production turns raw material into waste and product, and in a competitive system both waste and product are people who, despite what they’re told, have value. It’s a myth that there’s anything parents, teachers, or kids themselves can do or be that will ensure they emerge from such a lifelong contest as wheat and not chaff. Machines that produce excellence in reality produce, principally, failure. To feed your child into the mouth of such a machine isn’t just an extreme act of faith, it’s a terrible miscalculation.

Not that many people enjoy his music or like what he wrote, but Paul Hindemith's complaint about the American musical educational culture was that it taught every kid "You could be the next Heifetz or Beethoven if you work at it." This Hindemith condemned as delusionally unrealistic and that instead of this specialist training future music educators and soloists of America educational regime, a healthier alternative would be a rounded practical musical education that gave students a musical education in which music was part of regular life rather than specialized vocational training.

A century ago Sousa's warning was that by letting machines and the companies that sell them control and define the nature of our musical experience that the culture of amateur musicianship and musical culture that was the lifeblood of American musical life was going to die.  I think that a century later the fact that there's so much musical culture suggests Sousa's concerns at the specifics were too pessimistic but then when I see music critics complain that every dude with a cowboy hat and a Telecaster's playing the same stupid four-chord chorus Sousa still had a point worth heeding.  It may be that mechanical and digital reproduction and corporate patronage systems have led to pop music that all sounds the same.  But ... it's possible to hear recordings made nearly a century ago and if the silver lining is listening to early Duke Ellington and Blind Willie Johnson I'll see that as a small but precious "win".

But if we get more music education in American schools (as many a musician has hoped for) it can't be the kind of educational culture described above. Americans need to be okay with being average or even less-than-average, whatever "average" may be defined as being.  A professor telling a class "there's nothing wrong with getting a C" was one of my favorite professors in my college career. 

HT Mockingbird--"You're not as virtuous as you think you are", a long set of excerpts

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/youre-not-as-virtuous-as-you-think/2015/10/15/fec227c4-66b4-11e5-9ef3-fde182507eac_story.html
...
When I ask students whether, as participants, they would have had the courage to stop administering shocks, at least two thirds raise their hands, even though only one third of Milgram’s subjects refused. I’ve come to refer to this gap between how people believe they would behave and how they actually behave as “moral overconfidence.” In the lab, in the classroom and beyond, we tend to be less virtuous than we think we are. And a little moral humility could benefit us all.

Moral overconfidence is on display in politics, in business, in sports — really, in all aspects of life. There are political candidates who say they won’t use attack ads until, late in the race, they’re behind in the polls and under pressure from donors and advisers, their ads become increasingly negative. There are chief executives who come in promising to build a business for the long-term but then condone questionable accounting gimmickry to satisfy short-term market demands. There are baseball players who shun the use of steroids until they age past their peak performance and start to look for something to slow the decline. These people may be condemned as hypocrites. But they aren’t necessarily bad actors. Often, they’ve overestimated their inherent morality and underestimated the influence of situational factors.


Moral overconfidence is in line with what studies find to be our generally inflated view of ourselves. We rate ourselves as above-average drivers, investors and employees, even though math dictates that can’t be true for all of us. We also tend to believe we are less likely than the typical person to exhibit negative qualities and to experience negative life events: to get divorced, become depressed or have a heart attack. [emphasis added]

In some ways, this cognitive bias is useful. We’re generally better served by being over confident and optimistic than by lacking confidence or being too pessimistic. Positive illusions have been shown to promote happiness, caring, productivity and resilience. As psychologists Shelley Taylor and Jonathon Brown have written, “These illusions help make each individual’s world a warmer and more active and beneficent place in which to live.”

But overconfidence can lead us astray. We may ignore or explain away evidence that runs counter to our established view of ourselves, maintaining faith in our virtue even as our actions indicate otherwise. We may forge ahead without pausing to reflect on the ethics of our decisions. We may be unprepared for, and ultimately overwhelmed by, the pressures of the situation. Afterward, we may offer variations on the excuse: “I was just doing what the situation demanded.”


The gap between how we’d expect ourselves to behave and how we actually behave tends to be most evident in high-pressure situations, when there is some inherent ambiguity, when there are competing claims on our sense of right and wrong, and when our moral transgressions are incremental, taking us down a slippery slope. [emphasis added]

...
We would see fewer headlines about scandal and malfeasance, and we could get our actions to better match our expectations, if we tempered our moral overconfidence with some moral humility. When we recognize that the vast majority of us overestimate our ability to do the right thing, we can take constructive steps to limit our fallibility and reduce the odds of bad behavior.


One way to instill moral humility is to reflect on cases of moral transgression. We should be cautious about labeling people as evil, sadistic or predatory. Of course, bad people who deliberately do bad things are out there. But we should be attuned to how situational factors affect generally good people who want to do the right thing.

Research shows that when we are under extreme time pressure, we are more likely to behave unethically. When we operate in isolation, we are more likely to break rules. When incentives are very steep (we get a big reward if we reach a goal, but much less if we don’t), we are more likely to try to achieve them by hook or by crook.

I teach a case about an incentive program that Sears Auto Centers had in the 1990s. The company began offering mechanics and managers big payments if they met certain monthly goals — for instance, by doing a certain number of brake jobs. To make their numbers, managers and mechanics began diagnosing problems where none existed and making unnecessary repairs. At first, employees did this sporadically and only when it was absolutely necessary to make quota, but soon they were doing unneeded brake jobs on many cars. They may not have set out to cheat customers, but that’s what they ended up doing.

Along with studying moral transgression, we should celebrate people who do the right thing when pressured to do wrong. These would include whistleblowers such as Jeffrey Wigand of the tobacco industry and Sherron Watkins of Enron. But we also can look to the civil rights movement, the feminist movement and the gay rights movement, among others, to find people who used their ingenuity and took great risks to defy conventions or authorities they considered unjust.
It's popular enough for people on the internet to type "LOL don't drink the kool-aid".  Yes, well, welcome to the kool-aid drinking club fellow human.

Nobody thinks they're going to drink the kool-aid even after it turns out they've chugged down a gallon of it. If anything, ten years connected to Mars Hill has persuaded me that the more certain you are that you won't drink the kool-aid the more you have probably had and the more you will probably drink. Doubting the moral compass of others isn't as paramount to "not drinking the kool-aid" as doubting the rightness of your own moral compass.  In Christian terms that's recognizing that you, yes you, have the capacity to sin and that sin is not just about all the bad stuff you knowingly do on purpose because you think you can get away with it--it's also about the terrible consequences of stuff you think is okay to do because your heart's in the right place and in case it's everyone else that needs to fall in line. Whatever shortcut I'm about to take is worth it because of the results that will accrue.

Americans like to think to themselves they would not be the sheeple in the Milgram experiment, but you're a sheeple, you just haven't found the cause or person for which you're willing to be one, perhaps.

HT to Mockingbird: the problem with the Alpha God hypothesis

http://therevealer.org/archives/20416
...
Maybe we can detect a clue in Garcia’s method. Early in Alpha God, Garcia notes that one of his data sets for the case he is making against religion is “world history.” In noting that religion has been spotted skulking around the scenes of the crimes of patriarchy, genocide, and imperialism, he turns to a dizzying and impressive range of historical and textual case studies, from the lust and violence of the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, and Qur’an to the sexual exploits of Pope John XII and the god Krishna to the bloody Spanish conquest of the Americas to the 30 Years War to the tit-for-tat Muslim-Hindu purges in Gujarat to Aztec penis modification.

But there is a serious liability in this approach. In mobilizing such a massive data set, we can tell any story we want, precisely because religion is a background figure almost everywhere in human history. A case for religion’s involvement in oppression is as plausible as a conspiracy theory that notices that every human society with a monetary system eventually goes to war: it takes two broadly identifiable features of human societies (religion + oppression; currency + aggressive expansion) and assumes that they must have a causal relationship. And it arranges the data in such a way that historical moments that don’t share those features recede into the dark. Hence the long history of religious concern with the welfare of members of other groups, such as the abolitionist movement, the civil rights movement, religious alliances with workers, and the recent surge in environmental activism on the part of religious believers, are almost invisible in Alpha God. These categories of religious activity aggressively contradict the alpha god thesis—even to the point of overruling the claim that religious morality is usually in-group directed at the expense of the out-group. In bringing every dimension of human history and culture into its purview, Alpha God has enough material to justify any accusation, even after carefully paring away the innumerable data that don’t fit its narrative.

Throughout Alpha God, Garcia suggests that we need to raise the correlation between religion and our ancestral impulses to the surface so that we can move beyond our “primate motivations for violence.” This reflects another flaw in the selfish gene paradigm, going back to Dawkins’s 1976 book: it talks as if the way to build better societies is to cease to be animal. But as de Waal writes, “[s]ocial animals relate to each other at a level far more basic than scientists previously suspected. We are hardwired to connect with those around us and to resonate with them, also emotionally. It’s a fully automated process.” We need to recognize that this “rational” departure from animality is itself deeply inscribed within our animal blueprints. At the same time as we note that primate (and other animal) societies are marked by moments of domination and violence, we must give other primates ample credit for their ability to form complex societies in which social goods like nurturance, altruism, care, and affection form the structuring bonds. If our selfish genes really predispose us to optimum reproductive strategies like murdering the children of our rivals, why do only a slim minority of species present this behavior? Far more often we see social animals aiding, nurturing, cooperating, and accompanying each other. Our efforts to steer our societies away from war and oppression are not a renunciation of our animality, but an amplification of certain aspects of our animality. The values that we use to guide these processes are themselves eminently animal. Religion raises them up no less than it spotlights the aggressive and the domineering facets of our animal being.

Alpha God tries to unwrap one of the puzzles of our time—the link between religion and violence—using productive scientific tools. It’s important to keep Garcia’s background as a psychiatrist specializing in trauma—especially combat PTSD—in the foreground here. One cannot doubt that Garcia’s work healing combat veterans and other PTSD patients motivates his effort to try to root out the sources of war.

Karen Armstrong, if memory serves, has lectured at least one on how religion has been a historic catalyst to promote war but that war has never been started over religion but over resource competition. South Park, if you're into the show, had a memorable two-parter "Go God, Go" that riffed on this by showing a world in which everyone is an atheist but they're still fighting over resources and the proper way to label people. Anyway ...
To Dennett’s argument that religion carries with it the side effects of war, oppression, and obscurantism, Geertz rightly points out that these are, in fact, “the time-proven side effects of being human.” Garcia’s error is the same. Even more than Breaking the Spell, Alpha God takes the entire data set of human history and pulls out a narrative that makes religion the perpetrator of a long list of horrors and atrocities. And he’s right—religion happens to be in the vicinity of all of those crimes. The problem is that religion is in the background of almost everything we do and have done, bad and good. To blame the evil acts of our history on religion is as absurd as blaming them on politics, sex, food, or any other constant of the chronicle of our species. And it’s as absurd as the claim by wide-eyed champions of religion that we can award religion exclusive credit for morality, science, art, or civilization. We could splice together a Zapruder-film narrative that shows religion lurking in the crowd by the grassy knoll for any of these, too. Fundamentally, the semi-scientific criticism of religion creates a reed-thin account of religious history, correlating religion only to its searingly negative aspects and ignoring everything else that what-gets-called-religion has going on, from the admirable and the glorious to the banal, the boring, and the irrelevant.

just because, comparing Sor's Op. 6 etude 2 to Johnny Cash singing Ring of Fire


Sor Op. 6 etude 2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdNnUh4L6nk
say around 1:13
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRlj5vjp3Ko

One of the reasons I believe that a musical education has to treat popular music and art music as part of one universal continuum is because at least until maybe half way through the 19th century art and pop music were not necessarily that distinct. Leo Brouwer, himself a guitarist and a composer, has sounded off on this over the years.  Brouwer has pointed out that guitarists are at a disadvantage for concert repertoire because academic entrenchment tends to favor the piano and strings, as academia goes.

But in terms of being able to participate in fusion and stylistic experimentation the guitar is in every popular style there is.

Now that's just an aside, this post is to highlight how if you listen to the chorus of "Ring of Fire" and are familiar with Sor's early etudes there's a charming resemblance. 

20 years ago Ehle and Firth played Bennett and Darcy on the BBC Pride & Prejudice? Atlantic Monthly on the matter, and it seems that we live in an era that makes subtext a text

 http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/10/thank-the-bbc-for-jane-austen-erotica/412039/

...
The 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, while not solely responsible for the enduring erotic fascination with Austen’s characters, nevertheless reignited popular interest in the author. “Many fanfic authors date their interest in writing Austen-inspired stories to the 1996 broadcast in the United States of a BBC adaptation ... starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle,” wrote The New York Times in a 2000 story on the resurgence of interest in Austen’s work. But the adaptation also took significant creative license in drawing out the main themes of the book, described by the producer Sue Birtwistle as “sex and money.” In an interview with the BBC, Davies described his motivations in wanting to make the story more accessible to a modern audience:
 
We wanted lots of energy in the show, and the book justifies it, because Elizabeth is always running about and going on long country walks and getting all flushed and sweaty and getting the bottom of her petticoat muddy, which seems to be quite a turn-on for Darcy. So we thought, let’s make it as physical as we can without being ridiculous about it. [emphasis mine] Let’s remind the audience that this isn’t just a social comedy—it’s about desire and young people and their hormones—and let’s try to find ways of showing that as much as possible. So for the girls I wrote a lot of scenes where they’re backstage, so to speak: They’re getting dressed, they’re in their nighties, talking about love. And we wanted the guys to be doing lots of physical things: riding horses, fencing, having baths, jumping in the lake. Any legitimate excuse to get some of that kit off.

I own the miniseries and love it, but it's interesting how what worked at such a legendary level to revolutionize period piece costume drama in television seems so desiccated in feature length film.  When Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy have five or six hours for a subtext of growing mutual desire to be discovered it's charming and makes for classic television.  When it's Keira Knightley and whats-his-name in a 2 hour film that compresses everything the subtext is transformed into text and for a story that is centuries old there's no "joy in the journey" left of it.

I think Austen has been misconstrued by a lot of people in our era as a writer of romance.  Yes, well, sort of but I think she was more a social satirist who used the conventions of courtship and romance from her time and place as a narrative frame for what she was really interested in exploring.

I'm just going to be slightly a punk this weekend and say Austen's stories may resonate with us now not because of the erotica we've transformed her work into but because she was relentlessly steering back toward how romance sounds lovely on paper but in the real world not everyone can afford it and what we lately call "sexual selection" is a most pitiless game.  That's why the happy endings she wrote for her characters seem like quotidian but nonetheless cosmic triumphs against a potentially hostile universe, right? ;)  When people find that special someone it feels like a miracle.  It might be because of the socio-economic world in which we all live, not just the flush of brain-altering hormones. Austen didn't seem to ignore that that hormonal rush happened, she just seemed determined to remind us we shouldn't uncritically trust it. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

a potentially ironic observation from Charles Mudede about America's fascination with jerks who are considered geniuses while writing about the movies being made about Steve Jobs

http://www.thestranger.com/film/feature/2015/10/14/23007906/danny-boyle-and-aaron-sorkins-steve-jobs-never-shuts-up-and-becomes-a-real-movie
... 
All of these encounters and the constant conversations, however, go nowhere and reveal little of any value about Jobs, his society, or his times. Despite dealing with a man who was seen by many (himself especially) as an Einstein-caliber genius, the film lacks a big picture. All that happens is a rich man falls and rises and, in the end, gets a little closer to his daughter. I'd almost rather watch a Mac commercial
...
Before I end this review, I need to say a few words about the one interesting facet of this generally uninteresting film: the complete absence of Jobs's wife, Laurene Powell Jobs, and their three children. Why exclude them? I think because they don't contribute to his myth, while his out-of-wedlock daughter, Lisa, does. There are two sides to the Jobs mythos: the prophet and the asshole. These parts, however, are not in conflict; they complement and reinforce each other.

The mutualism of the two myths, I must admit, is something I failed to fully appreciate in my favorable review of the super-damning documentary Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, which was released late this summer. I actually (and even naively) thought the hard fact that Jobs was an asshole contradicted and even diminished the mythical power of Jobs-the-prophet. But in fact, Jobs-the-asshole also has considerable and even positive mythic power.

Jobs was mean to poor little Lisa, he said awful things to her, he repeatedly shamed her mother and forced them into the welfare line while he was worth millions. Though all of this is quite true, it is still the stuff of legend. And there is a part of us that strongly believes that shit in this world does not get done without big assholes to do it. What I should have attacked in my last review is not Jobs's world-class assholisms but the fact that the world believes it needs them


There's at least a potential irony in that Mudede wrote this review for The Stranger. eh? 

This reminds me of stuff I've been thinking about a lot this year and the last few years.  Maybe some of you read that little haiku that goes

heroes are monsters
whose use for their cause outweighs
observable vice

If Steve Jobs were the Apple desktop sized iteration of this theme then maybe Mark Driscoll was the microchip sized iteration of this theme, a sort of Steve Jobs aspirational meme write microscopic.

It's not a new thing, Mudede's observation. He probably knows the Lord Acton quote about how great men are rarely ever good men already. Although Jesus is recorded in the synoptics and in John as formulating a different definition of what greatness is that doesn't mean that even the people who call themselves Christians want lives defined by that working definition of greatness.

on William Saletan's progressive (pun intended) understanding about Pope Francis--a progressive is not the same as a liberal

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/frame_game/2013/09/pope_francis_interview_forget_homosexuality_and_birth_control_he_s_a_flaming.html
The new head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, has given his first long interview. In three sessions with Father Antonio Spadaro, editor of the Jesuit publication La Civiltà Cattolica, Francis outlines his thinking on a series of issues, from poverty to homosexuality to women in the church. What does the interview tell us? It tells us the pope is a liberal. He’ll pull the church to the left, not just on sexuality, but on every issue that pits tradition against freedom or progress. [emphasis added] Here’s a breakdown of the English translation of the interview, published by the Catholic journal America.
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2015/09/pope_francis_in_the_united_states_why_he_isn_t_the_liberal_rock_star_american.single.html
...
These liberals misunderstand the pope, because they don’t understand a tension in their own thinking. Politically, Francis isn’t liberal. He’s progressive. We use these terms interchangeably, but they’re different. [emphasis added] Liberalism is fundamentally about doubt: You have your view, I have mine, and we agree to disagree. Progressivism is about confidence: Your view is wrong, mine is right, and I’m going to change the world accordingly. Francis is confident, and he’s not afraid to use political power to achieve his aims. As he puts it, “A good Catholic meddles in politics.”

These at one point seemed to include him.  It's kind of trippy to observe this because ten years ago Slate authors could discuss Teddy Roosevelt's role in progressive politics even though it would be difficult to classify Roosevelt, or at least that Roosevelt, as being a liberal overall.  I would have thought over the last decade Slate contributors and, er, editors could keep these distinctions clear. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

over at The Weekly Standard someone suggests, while colleges are agonizing over whether to rescind those honorary doctorates from Bill Cosby, why they ever gave them out in the first place

http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/cosby-crisis_1046251.html

If one good thing comes out of the Bill Cosby Crisis, The Scrapbook is fairly certain what it will be. For as the New York Times reported in a recent story, the 60 or so institutions of higher learning in America that have, during the past few decades, conferred honorary degrees on Bill Cosby are now agonizing about what to do. Some have chosen not to act in response to the allegations against Cosby; others have officially revoked their degrees; still more have rules against such retroactive gestures.
...
No, The Scrapbook’s hope is general, not specific: Perhaps, at long last, and in light of the criminal allegations surrounding Bill Cosby, American colleges and universities will take a good, long look at their contemporary habit of conferring honorary degrees on celebrities—and largely for the purposes of providing “entertainment” at commencement

The Federalist on the new Star Wars trailer "The Empire is back, baby, and it's gonna show these hippies who's boss."


http://thefederalist.com/2015/10/20/the-new-star-wars-trailer-analyzed/

...
Here is the thing you need to understand: No one cares about the Skywalkers. The vast people and species spread out across the universe did not see the story you saw. They do not know or care to know their story – not the Faustian bargain of the father, not the death of the mother, not the betrayal by the mentor, not the grudging acceptance of destiny and fate of the twins, and certainly not anything at all about the reluctance to “hold me like you did by the lake on Naboo.”

Rey, the main female character of this new film – who is pretty clearly a Skywalker herself – echoes the reluctance of Luke in A New Hope, her “Who are you?” “I’m no one.” insistence as she is told that the Force, the singular connective energy of the universe that began with Time, is calling out to her. How very special for you

This is the problem with thinking every story is about you. The universe has forgotten the Jedi, forgotten the Dark Side, forgotten the old stories – because they were not important. What do such minor family dramas matter in the grand scheme of things?
 
Only you think of yourself as the protagonist of reality. The galaxy does not care about you.

...

Imagine the troopers in the far-flung outposts of the Galactic Empire, an institution designed to bring order and law to a lawless galaxy – an entity built on the political and military assumption that those with the power to do so should not stand idly by as the universe descends toward chaos, but will instead intervene, at times brutally, to bring civilization to the uncivilized.
 
If you have no idea that Vader turned, that he carried out a final act of redemptive courage in the face of destructive evil, what do you think happened on the second Death Star? You basically think the Rebel Alliance, a group of anarchist terrorists led by believers in an inhuman cult, destroyed the lives of millions, murdered your supreme emperor, and to add insult to injury, defiled Darth Vader’s corpse. It’s like Pearl Harbor II, and this time they killed FDR too.

...

So it’s early yet. But I’m not exaggerating when I say: it’s possible J.J. Abrams
finally made Jonathan V. Last’s Star Wars movie. The Empire is back, baby, and it’s going to show these hippies who’s boss.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Looking back on Doug Wilson on Mark Driscoll before the resignation, does Doug Wilson still consider Mark Driscoll a friend now?

He's been busy reacting and ruminating on stuff more connected to Rod Dreher this year but Doug Wilson did not miss an opportunity to sound off on things Driscoll as the plagiarism controversy erupted in late 2013.   By March 2014 the controversy surrounding having rigged a spot on the NYT best seller list had broken, too.

At least before Driscoll resigned, Doug Wilson took efforts to affirm their friendship, despite a few differences on a few things.  Observe ...

http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2015/10/a-year-ago-mark-driscoll-resigned.html

http://dougwils.com/s7-engaging-the-culture/mark-driscoll-and-problems-of-citation.html
December 9, 2013
...
I will say at the outset that I consider Mark Driscoll a friend, and I also have friends across the way from him who take a pretty dim view of all things Driscoll. Nothing I say here is intended to alter any of that, or adjust the general lay of the land.

https://dougwils.com/the-church/ten-notes-on-the-driscoll-dogpile.html
August 25, 2014
...
9. I liked Mark Driscoll before and I like him now.

And that was more than a year ago.  Has Doug Wilson had anything to say about Mark Driscoll since Mark Driscoll resigned in 2014?  Or since Mark Driscoll began to share on the conference circuit that God audibly gave him permission to quit and this after asserting he had agreed to submit to the board's restoration plan?

Brad Futurist Guy brings up the "sibling society" as a failed attempt to compensate for an absence of positive paternal examples, that "sibling society" seems reminiscent of "Dead Men" at Mars Hill

Brad Futurist Guy posted something about a month and a half ago I wanted to highlight, an idea about the "sibling society"

https://futuristguy.wordpress.com/2015/09/13/set-ups-for-being-picked-off-part-2/

...
Poet and storyteller Robert Bly was one of the more popular writers for men in the 1980s and early ’90s. His book Iron John was a bestseller, but I found his follow-up book on The Sibling Society even more helpful on the historical roots of the mess that men often found themselves in. In it, he addressed issues of fatherlessness and the imprint of generational dynamics left on Boomer men by fathers who came of age during the Depression and World War 2, and who came home as fathers who were typically physically present but emotionally absent.

The key idea in The Sibling Society is that when the older generations are not people that younger generations want to emulate, then the younger ones create connections with their peers as the influential “others” in their life. This action cuts them off from those who could/should call them forth into being adults, which in turn sets them up to extend adolescence and delay maturity. (It can also lead to “Lord of the Flies” type situations where influence by dominant peers leads others into conformity and, ultimately, evil.)


Paradoxically, a sibling society can set up for itself the goal of ending prolonged adolescence but it can be initiated by the kinds of men who, paradoxically, may themselves prove unable to achieve their aims.

Thus, dear readers, I present a general hypothesis about the failures of Mark Driscoll and leaders at Mars Hill to remedy the kinds of problems in men they hoped to solve.  The shortcoming was not one of intent (though certainly progressives would dissent from the intent and the diagnosis), the shortcoming could be construed as these men largely did not have themselves what they hoped to impart to others.

http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/search/label/markulinity

Driscoll's early mission was not even necessarily explicitly "train up young men". A long survey of early coverage of Driscoll reveals that more prominent in the early years was a generational conflict.  Driscoll present the earlier generation as having failed to be a good model to follow and the community he was working with others to formulate was going to be different.

Which looks like what brad futurist guy described in the above quoted post as the sibling society.

Perhaps the most explicit and direct attempt to initiate men within the Mars Hill community into a socially recognized manhood was Dead Men, a project Driscoll and other leaders within Mars Hill undertook in the months after it was discovered Mark Driscoll was William Wallace II.

http://wenatcheethehatchet.blogspot.com/2015/07/the-evolution-of-markulinity-combining.html

At length one is hard pressed to know what precisely about legacy and leadership and example Mars Hill 1.0 (aka Jamie Munson) may be able to impart to people in the dissolution of Mars Hill.  It can seem as if whatever sociological problems with young men Mark Driscoll and the other elders at Mars Hill hoped to address it's impossible to know for sure that beyond mealy-mouthed invocations of "marriages saved" and "lives changed" whether anything lasting has been achieved yet.  And, of course, the sticky wicket here is that if anything "has" happened, Mark Driscoll deserves absolutely no credit for it. The providential mercies of God are not the gifts of Mark Driscoll, after all.

as the corporation Mars Hill Fellowship keeps moving toward dissolution, where funds for Global ended up open-ended

Sutton Turner mentioned that he intended to post the numbers for where monies went for Mars Hill Global, if memory serves, but mentioned that some attorneys for some parties insisted otherwise.  If the corporation dissolves, however, is it possible for Turner to publish the numbers later? 

A person can ask, and at least Turner's public posting this year indicated he's willing to tell but that some attorneys apparently don't want him to. Will the people who would invoke 1 Cor 6 against those who might bring a case to court against a believer apply it to attorneys on behalf of Mars Hill, too?  It would appear that between those who might go RICO and those invoking attorney powers to preclude Turner from sharing the numbers for Global that the playing field is pretty level. If it's bad to invoke lawyers and if it's bad to go to law then whoever decided to tell Turner to keep silent on behalf of Mars Hill or former leaders isn't any better than anyone who might file RICO, not that it seems likely that RICO suit will ever get filed at this point.  Unless there's an actual filing with a case number that's a hypothetical, sort of like the hypothetical of whether or not those attorneys who threatened Turner will actually do something, too, perhaps.

where are they now--Jamie Munson general manager at Simply Seattle

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamiemunson

General Manager

Simply Seattle

– Present (8 months)
As General Manager I oversee all the operations, staff, marketing and management of two retail stores and an online store. SimplySeattle.com

Whether or not the leadership consultancy thing is working out is difficult to know for certain.  If you happen to have read Authority and Money they are still available.  Munson transitioned away from Storyville Coffee back in May 2014.

As noted here before, the earliest publicly available documentation of Jamie Munson's leadership approach has now been preserved by a timeline of documents at Joyful Exiles.

For a while there he was selling T-shirts
http://www.king5.com/story/entertainment/television/programs/new-day-northwest/2014/12/08/fresh-brewed-tees-12-is-greater-than-49/20089997/