Sunday, October 31, 2010

Technology horror stories

The ghost in the machine indeed.

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Vatican distances itself from archbishop’s comments on Israel

Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, has distanced the Vatican from comments on Israel made by Melkite Archbishop Cyrille Bustros at a press conference on October 23, the day before the closing of the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East.


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Halloween as it is

Every year Halloween rolls around and every year the same old discussions arise...

"Is it Christian?" people ask "to dress our children as witches and devils?" It is after all All Saints Eve, should we not dress our children as saints instead of ghosts? should we not decorate pumpkins with crosses instead of scary faces?

Follow along as Mr. Preece shows us that it is!

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pernicious effects of income inequality

People do not exist in a social vacuum. Community norms define clear expectations about what people should spend on interview suits and birthday parties. Rising inequality has thus spawned a multitude of “expenditure cascades,” whose first step is increased spending by top earners.

The rich have been spending more simply because they have so much extra money. Their spending shifts the frame of reference that shapes the demands of those just below them, who travel in overlapping social circles. So this second group, too, spends more, which shifts the frame of reference for the group just below it, and so on, all the way down the income ladder. These cascades have made it substantially more expensive for middle-class families to achieve basic financial goals.

Rampant consumption rises. Chaos results!

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The good bishop knows his Augustine

The referenced quote, in case you've not read your Augustine.

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bishop of Arabia

Now there's a tough gig.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

ACLU survey

So I got an ACLU in the mail today. I was going to throw it out, but I noticed that it was full of questions like "Don't you think it's horrible that X is allowed to happen in this country?". What fun! Obviously, I checked all the boxes saying that X was great. It's too bad I can't be there when someone back at headquarters opens it and realizes that I'm a Neanderthal who didn't even bother to enclose a contribution.

It's a little sad, as they do do some good work. But just a little.

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Thursday, October 07, 2010

Divorced from common sense

When the Christian right was organized in the 1970s and galvanized in the 1980s, the issues of abortion and homosexuality were front and center. Where was divorce? Smith documents the fact that groups such as the “pro-traditional family” Moral Majority led by the late Jerry Falwell generally failed even to mention divorce in their publications or platforms.

. . . .

But the real scandal is far deeper than missing listings in an index. The real scandal is the fact that evangelical Protestants divorce at rates at least as high as the rest of the public. Needless to say, this creates a significant credibility crisis when evangelicals then rise to speak in defense of marriage.

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Picard's smartphone


Saturday, October 02, 2010

Suicide prevention walk

You should throw a few dollars my way or perhaps attend one near you.

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