Saturday, May 25, 2013

Practical Theology for Women: on those who feel they must speak, those who do not listen and those who quote proverbs

That's not "quite" what it's about, it's about a man who went insane after being blackballed for proposing a medical practice that was not accepted in his time, but it springboards from that to how when a person knows what the facts are and is resolutely disbelieved it can lead to a madness.  And a few other things get discussed.  Here's a short excerpt:

... I want to emphasize one word of wisdom that I haven't heard much in discussion of allegations by victims of abuse. We often hear Proverbs 18:17, “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.” But the chapter before teaches us this wisdom.
Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent. Proverbs 17:28
Proverbs 18:17 really only applies to someone who is willing to be publicly examined. Those who are not willing to be publicly examined can't claim it for themselves. In that case, silence in the face of accusations should not be assumed to indicate wisdom. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

more linkathon/sausage style reading

A breakthrough in mathematics

A cartoon about the free press and prisons in The New Yorker.
Don't bank on something "going viral", because 'viral success' is successful because it's viral or has had corporate streamlining before the so-called viral launch.  Not too different from earlier blog links we've had about payola in book sales. 

Slate has a fun little entry on the unenviable situation the Beatles found themselves in playing a set after Roy Orbison opened for them. 

Overspending is probably the most common form of mating deception practiced in contemporary society.  Spending money you don't have isn't really about idolizing money because the credit system exists to help you buy stuff you can't afford yet.  Rather, spending money on credit inflates your status and that plays a role in the mating/dating game or in other games of modern life.

Wendy at Practical Theology for Women writes about the elephant in our backyard.  Let the reader understand.

On the theme of Christian bloggers I always like to read, Bill Kinnon links to an essay dealing with meticulous sovereignty in pastors like John Piper.  Only saw that bit just moments ago and I'll leave it to Bill and Michael Newnham to engage that.  Wenatchee The Hatchet has a number of long overdue projects to engage off-line.  Some of them will eventually take an on-line shape, dear readers..

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

There doesn't seem to be a natural disaster that John Piper won't tweet something about

Jim West has added a John Piper tweet to his set of pieces "Twitter theology that makes me sigh". 

Even back when I was at a certain megachurch (a few years ago) I'd hear people praise John Piper to the skies.  Then I read his stuff and wondered what on earth the big deal was.  Meh.  Then as time went on Piper seemed ready and willing to say stuff I considered dumber and dumber.  It's not that I never read Baptists with an interest in the works of Calvin.  I mean, I'm linking to Jim West, after all. :)  But way back when Mark Noll suggested John Piper was part of a more intellectual current in evangelicalism ... sometimes I wonder if Noll ever felt like eating some crow about that in the last twenty years.

PsyBlog: Illusory Correlation--when the mind makes connections that don't exist

The title speaks for itself, doesn't it? 

HT Mockingbird: n+1--Chiquita Bannana Single (aka selling out is the new keeping it real)
A few little excerpts.

... The old complaint, in which artists are scorned for abandoning the communities that nurtured them and ascending into the corporate empyrean, has been replaced by a new one, in which artists rage at those same communities for not lifting them up high enough to keep body and soul together.

... Today, though, Taylor argues, the concept of “sell-out” may be losing its validity — and, oddly, it is the ascension to power of the same generations that refined the “artistic critique,” the boomers and Generation X, that is leading to its demise. “[B]y the 1950s, advertising music had begun to become closely intertwined with the production of popular music generally,” he writes: 
The rise of the baby boomers and postboomers to power in the advertising industry and the increased flexibility of workers in the realm of commercial music has meant that there is no popular music that is not, to varying degrees, commercial music, whether or not listeners hear it as such. The long-standing distinction between art and commerce much debated by advertising industry workers and those who study them has become moot: the sounds of capitalism are everywhere. 
"Corporate" rock and "real" rock were never that far apart to begin with, were they?  Of course not.  :)

And then a few comments about the nature of the mp3 itself.

From another point of view, however, musicians attacking the listening public for its selfishness is neither a good look nor a viable strategy for changing people’s behavior. It’s as understandable that musicians would want to cling to the old forms of commodity capitalism as it is that eager, open-minded listeners would want to destroy it. But for people who care about how music is going to be made, heard, and paid for (or not) in the 21st century, the current debate over the ethics of exchange may have to give way, and soon, to the Realpolitik of standard-setting. The epochal MP3, after all,  was neither an epiphenomenon of late capitalism nor a pure product of anarchist hacker culture: it was a compromise hammered out by representatives of industrial interests. [emphasis added]

In other words the crisis is of patronage.  It's not that people will stop making music, the dillema is how society will opt to pay for that music.  Any proposal that musicians should have a more realistic assessment of the monetary value of their music is as self-serving as a musician insisting that certain kinds of payment have to be in place for a musical experience to take place. 

The observation proposed at the end of the article is that we may be looking at a generation that values hardware and network tools through which music can be heard more than the actual music itself. It may be and if it is how does that impact how people approach making music?  Music will keep getting made but the question emerges, then, who will pay for it?

It's not exactly surprising that the answer, in an environment such as ours, is advertisers. 

City of God: Enjoy Yourself

Dan is back with some Zizek (not a huge shock here, but Dan's always interesting to read).  :)

Zizek remarks that a century ago (and more) psychoanalysis had the aim of lowering inhibitions so one could enjoy things in life but that now we have a society in which enjoying life is a command, a command we should not have constantly shoved at us.

Being true to yourself, in other words, is the stuff used to sell everything to us.  Want to live a life with regrets?  Or do you want to live a full, fine life?

That shill has a false dichotomy because a truly full life will be full of regrets.  The regrets may not be large ones but only a sociopath with little capacity for sympathy or remorse would be able to go through life with no regrets.  Friendly reminder, as Roy Baumeister put it, in clinical terms empathy is how you are able to imagine how someone else thinks or feels, it is sympathy that is you care how they feel.  Sociopaths, more properly described, have empathy but no sympathy for the people they harm.  If they didn't know how you felt they wouldn't be able to hurt you so deeply. 

Being true to yourself is the best shill for just about anything these days. 

Speaking of selling out ...

Rite of Spring at the century mark