Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Lileks on social media

February 23rd, 2015 by Vader

Anyway: it worries me a little that “blogs are dying,” because if so we lose the idea of a place where people speak their piece, as oppose to speak in pieces.

While most blogs weren’t deathless examples of great writing, there was the opportunity for individualism, and you don’t get that from a Pinterest page. You don’t get it from a feed of things snipped and reblogged and pinned and shoveled into The Feed. The web turns into bushels of confetti shoveled into a jet engine, and while something does emerge out the other end, it’s usually made impressive by its velocity and volume, not the shape it makes.

–James Lileks

This makes me think of what Jaron Lanier described as the hive mind.

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February 23rd, 2015 10:17:37

Freedom is Responsibility

February 23rd, 2015 by G.

Freedom is responsibility. (more…)

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February 23rd, 2015 08:29:15

Angina Monologue 9

February 22nd, 2015 by Vader

So school teachers’ lesson plans are “trade secrets” exempt from the various Freedom of Information statutes? In a Sith’s eye!

(more…)

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February 22nd, 2015 19:43:20

Today, Sat Feb 21 only, free Kindle book: Obedience in the faith-versus-works discussion.

February 21st, 2015 by Bookslinger

An interesting read, by Andrew Murray, written in the 1800’s. A Life of Obedience. The Kindle edition is free for today only.

Kindle books don’t require an actual Kindle device. Free Kindle reading apps are available for smart phones, tablets, and computers.

I haven’t read the whole thing yet, but wanted to make a shout-out due to the temporary nature of the free e-book.

The books starts by quoting both Old Testament and New Testament passages that illustrate that the need for obedience surmounts the need for faith.

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February 21st, 2015 11:22:37

Everyone is Indispensable

February 20th, 2015 by G.

There will be no one like us when we are gone, but then there is no one like anyone else, ever. When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate — the genetic and neural fate — of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death.

(more…)

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February 20th, 2015 13:21:57

What Does 50 Shades’ Popularity Tell Us?

February 20th, 2015 by Nathaniel Givens

Note: this piece is cross-posted at Nathaniel’s home blog DifficultRun.

964 - 50 Shades Teddy Bear

Almost all of the many articles and blog posts in the lead up to the 50 Shades of Grey release last weekend have been negative, so I had some hope that better sense would prevail and people would stay home rather than prove that controversy and porn are quick and easy paths to profit. That just goes to show you that my sense of cynicism has room to grow. (more…)

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February 20th, 2015 09:18:40

All Fail, Some Succeed

February 19th, 2015 by G.

The basic problem with all mortal lives is death – and that is why from a purely mortal perspective all lives must be seen as a failure.

Some lives are a success when considered from the context of eternity.

-thus Bruce Charlton.  If you limit yourself to only one internet read this week, make it the essay I pulled that from.  It captures the mix in life: how sometimes we seem to be living in the middle of light, and sometimes it all seems like dirt and unhappiness.

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February 19th, 2015 12:11:15

The problem with ceasefires

February 19th, 2015 by Vader

We cease, they fire.

–Bernard Lewis

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February 19th, 2015 11:20:28

Stalin, Saints, and Signals

February 19th, 2015 by G.

Sozhenitysn writes:

A district Party conference was under way in Moscow Province. It was presided over by a new secretary of the District Party Committee, replacing one recently arrested. At the conclusion of the conference, a tribute to Comrade Stalin was called for. Of course, everyone stood up (just as everyone had leaped to his feet during the conference at every mention of his name). The small hall echoed with “stormy applause, rising to an ovation.” For three minutes, four minutes, five minutes, the “stormy applause, rising to an ovation” continued. But palms were getting sore and raised arms were already aching. And the older people were panting from exhaustion. It was becoming insufferably silly even to those who really adored Stalin. However, who would dare be the first to stop? The secretary of the District Party Committee could have done it. He was standing on the platform, and it was he who had just called for the ovation. But he was a newcomer. He had taken the place of a man who’d been arrested. He was afraid! After all, NKVD men were standing in the hall applauding and watching to see who quit first! And in that obscure, small hall, unknown to the Leader, the applause went on—six, seven, eight minutes! They were done for! Their goose was cooked! They couldn’t stop now till they collapsed with heart attacks! At the rear of the hall, which was crowded, they could of course cheat a bit, clap less frequently, less vigorously, not so eagerly—but up there with the presidium where everyone could see them? The director of the local paper factory, an independent and strong-minded man, stood with the presidium. Aware of all the falsity and all the impossibility of the situation, he still kept on applauding! Nine minutes! Ten! In anguish he watched the secretary of the District Party Committee, but the latter dared not stop. Insanity! To the last man! With make-believe enthusiasm on their faces, looking at each other with faint hope, the district leaders were just going to go on and on applauding till they fell where they stood, till they were carried out of the hall on stretchers! And even then those who were left would not falter. . . . Then after eleven minutes, the director of the paper factory assumed a businesslike expression and sat down in his seat. And, oh, a miracle took place! Where had the universal, uninhibited, indescribable enthusiasm gone? To a man, everyone else stopped dead and sat down. They had been saved! The squirrel had been smart enough to jump off his revolving wheel.

That, however, was how they discovered who the independent people were. And that was how they went about eliminating them. That same night the factory director was arrested. They easily pasted ten years on him on the pretext of something quite different. But after he had signed Form 206, the final document of the interrogation, his interrogator reminded him: “Don’t ever be the first to stop applauding!”

You can find videos of Stalin buzzing an audience to let them know it was safe to stop applauding. (more…)

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February 19th, 2015 08:15:06

The People Shall Dwell Alone

February 19th, 2015 by MC

Thesis: Winning elections is pointless when the culture and the people themselves are corrupt. A few people at the top won’t be able to change the character of an entire nation. We have to build a better society from the ground up.

Antithesis: Any effective cultural change must go through the centers of power and influence; elites alone have the power to change society. All of the largest social changes of the last century were imposed from the top down.

Possible syntheses: (more…)

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February 19th, 2015 04:29:39

I believe most Muslims are not ignorant savages.

February 18th, 2015 by Vader

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February 18th, 2015 18:57:50

Fallen Creation

February 18th, 2015 by G.

Nature is a divine revelation for which we only have a corrupted text.

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February 18th, 2015 12:50:58

“But the Lay of Leithian, Release from Bondage, does not end”

February 18th, 2015 by Vader

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February 18th, 2015 11:30:38

Why are so many furrin countries donatin’ to a U.S. librul outfit?

February 18th, 2015 by Pecos Bill

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February 18th, 2015 10:54:56

Somone G. can sympathize with

February 18th, 2015 by Vader

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February 18th, 2015 10:50:49