Wednesday, December 26, 2018

A few of my favorite things..............


1.  Phillip Blond's "Shattered Society" essay argues against both authoritarian statism and self-serving capitalism.  He is not a fan of rugged individualism either.   Here is a wee sample:
This is the essence of the Western liberal tradition: the rise of association—a state that isn’t dictated by the oligopolies of the market and the central government. The task of a radical conservative politics is to recover this: the middle life of civil society. Villages should run villages, cities cities, and neighborhoods their own streets and parks. Additionally and most importantly, a transformative conservatism must take on the rampant individualism of the self-serving libertarian, not least because an individualism that undermines all social goods by denying a virtue-binding code and moral belief is not a conservative philosophy. On the contrary, extreme individualism is a leftist construct and should be recognized and abandoned as such.

2.   A four and a half minute video from Jonathan Haidt on the really, really bad outcomes of over-parenting.   My parents were fabulous.  From about age 7, they gave us lots of breathing room.  We played outside, without overt supervision.  In fact, staying inside, except in the worse weather, was actively discouraged.  It is amazing the life lessons you can learn arguing with friends and school-mates during pick-up ball games.   Haidt suggests:
"Give childhood back to kids so that they do what they most need to do, which is develop the skills of being an independent adult. Remember that the job of a parent is to work him or herself out of a job."

3.   The art of the Sermon.   Kenneth Phifer offers his thoughts on preaching.  If he was preaching in my neighborhood, I think I'd attend.  Two shots:
"Albert Shanker once noted that people generally listen to the first ten minutes of any talk and doze through the next ten minutes. After that, he remarked, people begin to have sexual fantasies. This is the reason that I always talk for more than 20 minutes, so that every one can come away with at least something of interest."
"Hold fast to love, morality, life, to that which endures. We live best when we live consciously in history, when we live with humility, and when we live with permanent values not transient ones."

4. More than you ever wanted to know about aphorisms.
  "A brief waste of time."



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