Just some links

February 12, 2021

Semester's begun, and so life is getting complicated.  But I'm hoping to still deposit something on this blog most days.  Today, two things!  Here are some links.


This is really a good question. Compare it to the Response of Americans to 9/11, And the fact that deaths by automobile accident measurably increased in the year following 9/11.  What is causing this? Serious question.


A thought-provoking story about a kind of media service performed by Public intellectuals.  Related to gender issues, too.  No mansplaining.


This is not an act of nature, or the curious behavior of an inscrutably provident God. The attack on higher education, which is self-destructive even on purely economic terms, is essentially a matter of political decisions, by legislators and governors who would rather give tax cuts to billionaires and large corporations than help their own citizens get an education.


Interesting cultural analysis about the theological longings of Christmas movies. “Holiday movies are so popular not simply because they are “escapes,” as my research on the relation between religion and cinema argues. Rather, these films offer viewers a glimpse into the world as it is could be.” 


Fascinating account of how the US Conference of Catholic Bishops is facing a civil war in how to engage with the presidency of Joe Biden.  A lot of good stuff here, but the most interesting is the idea that there’s still a lot of nostalgia for—or reactionary animus about losing?—a time when the church, and its members, were “shielded from pluralism.”  This is an interesting conception of the situation that I will continue to reflect on.


Pretty good explainer of how the political situation (including the economic theory situation) is different for Biden from Obama, in a number of genuinely good ways.


Nice piece, and this seems very correct to me:

Interests, we usually find, underlie the profession of principles. Yet, at a deeper level, it is also clear that interests are modified by ideas. On that basis, the analysis of any moderately complex culture will have to include an account of the way in which ideals have transformed the material conditions of social life. To that extent our mental world is causally efficacious whether its principles are deceptively or genuinely deployed.