GO HOOS ⚾️
Wise words from the deadlift pad. 🏋️♂️💥
Fun fact, I used to own the exact issue of the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction that had this illustration on the cover, “Starship Soldier”, and first serialized a Robert Heinlein novel of the same name, later to be called Starship Troopers. Via 70s Sci-Fi Art:
The indignation over the tony stark cosplayer buying the bird app is amusing, but I think the best thing he could do would be
ssh onto every server and run
sudo rm -rf /*.
I think Practical Engineering may be my new favorite YouTube channel.
Time for another one of these.
Books Become Games
Denethor the Impious
The New Authoritarians
God with Us
The Car and Car Dependence
Reopen the American Frontier
Metalcore Then vs. Now
The Idle Doodles of J.R.R. Tolkien
Does Not Compute
Visited Orange County for my best friend’s wedding. It’s been a great trip. We return to Cville tomorrow. Congrats, Collin and Meagan.
This one really hit me. I struggle to express the shock I’m feeling, or why. I’ve always been moved by the energy and joy he exuded on the record and on stage. Thanks for all the beauty you helped make, Taylor.
Leszek Kolakowski, via Alan Jacobs:
Doubt may be considered one of the consequences of original sin, but it also protects us against its more deleterious effects. It is important for us to be uncertain about the deep motives for our own deeds and the grounds of our convictions, since this is the only device that protects us against an old justifying fanaticism and intolerance. We should remember that the perfect unity of man is impossible, otherwise we would try to impose this unity by any means available, and our foolish visions of perfection would evaporate in violence and end in a theocratic or totalitarian caricature of unity which claimed to make the Great Impossible an actuality. The greater our hopes for humanity, the more we are ready to sacrifice, and this too seems very rational. As Anatole France once remarked, never have so many been murdered in the name of a doctrine as in the name of the principle that human beings are naturally good. […]
There are reasons why we need Christianity, but not just any kind of Christianity. We do not need a Christianity that makes political revolution, that rushes to cooperate with so-called sexual liberation, that approves our concupiscence or praises our violence. There are enough forces in the world to do all these things without the aid of Christianity. We need a Christianity that will help us move beyond the immediate pressures of life, that gives us insight into the basic limits of the human condition and the capacity to accept them, a Christianity that teaches us the simple truth that there is not only a tomorrow but a day after tomorrow as well, and and that the difference between success and failure is rarely distinguishable. We need a Christianity that is not gold, or purple, or red, but grey.
Julia Rothman’s “Anatomy” books are probably the most pleasant reference books I’ve ever come across. I’m glad we finally have the whole collection. 📚
Currently listening/watching: Foo Fighters live at Madison Square Garden
So proud of @jensap for teaching adult education hour this morning.
Why Churches Should Drop Their Online Services
How Music Created Silicon Valley
Walking America: Washington, DC (Anacostia and Alexandria)
The Homebound Symphony
Idaho Is Sitting on One of the Most Important Elements on Earth
Justice and the State
Declining trust is both a cause and an effect of polarization, reflecting and giving rise to conditions that further compromise our confidence in each other and in institutions. These effects are especially apparent in our digital gathering places. To remain in favor with your in-group, you must defend your side, even if that means being selectively honest or hyperbolic, and even if it means favoring conspiratorial narratives over the pursuit of truth. In the online Thunderdome, it is imperative that you are not seen to engage with ideas from the wrong group; on the contrary, you are expected to marshall whatever power is at your disposal – be it cultural, political, or technological – to silence their arguments.
In a pernicious cycle, these dynamics in turn give each group license to point to the excesses of the other as further justification for mistrust and misbehavior. It’s always the other side who is deranged and dishonest and dangerous. It’s the other side who shuts down criticism because they know they can’t win the argument. It’s they who have no concern for the truth. Them, them, them; not us, us, us. Through this pattern, each group becomes ever more incensed by the misdeeds of the other and blind to their own. The center does not hold.
Many people call for greater intervention, as has become increasingly common on other platforms, making companies the arbiters of what is true and who can speak. To those who endorse such an approach, we can only ask: How is it going? Is it working yet?
Jewel-Box Heroes: Why the CD Revival Is Finally Here HT @ayjay
Giles Fraser on Roger Scruton and true conservatism — makes me wanna read some Scruton
Let’s Not Invent a Civil War
As the End Draws Near – Silence
The UX on this Small Child Is Terrible
SnowRuck 🎒🏃♂️❄️ Partial 📷 credit to @jensap
(In the spirit of “people should blog more” posts going around, I feel inspired to try my hand at some informal writing, of “thinking aloud in public”. No resolutions here — I may or may not continue this habit. Okay, enough meta-blogging. On with the show)
I’ve been meaning to reread C.S. Lewis’s The Abolition of Man, especially after reading its fictional counterpart, That Hideous Strength, last year, so it seems fortuitous that Richard Beck is writing a blog series about reading it for the first time. After addressing his own misconception that Lewis’s phrase, “men without chests”, has something to do with masculinity (which is an interesting misconception in the first place, one that I feel deserves its own post), he explains that Lewis’s essay has to do with forming emotions that correspond to objective values. “Men without chests” are not necessarily cowardly or timid, they are just devoid of properly formed feelings.
I think Abolition’s vision of a technocratic society that disregards any correlation between affections and real value has, in many respects, come true. It’s eerily prescient. Equally prescient, I think, was Thrice’s song of the same name, released in 2003. Dustin Kensrue screams, “The abolition of man is within the reach of science; but are we so far gone that we’ll try it?” I think the ensuing decades since that song’s release have seen an onslaught of attempts at that very thing.
So happy with our new record cabinet. It’s nice to have all of our audio gear in one spot now. 🎧🎵
Tech and tech-adjacent peeps of Microblog — anyone have any suggested reading on transitioning from an IC to an engineering management role? For context, I currently work as an engineer, not a manager.
I went to Mars Hill. I’ve only listened to a little of the podcast. It’s an experience I have deep ambivalence about. Might write more someday. Since it’s wrapping up, there’ll be much pontification about it. But I think these words from Dave Zahl are spot-on. Ht @jensap
Dinosaur Valley State Park w/ @jensap 🥾🎒🦖
Always a blast to work out with these guys in the gloom. 🇺🇸🏃♂️🏛
Three reasons I’m thankful for the library at The Center for Christian Study
Stalacpipe Organ, Luray Caverns
St Michael’s Church in Bournemouth had renamed itself St Mike’s “in a trendy rebrand to entice young people”. … The Vicar there, Sarah Yetman, has a tough gig and all power to her elbow for trying to turn things around. “We aren’t trying to alienate anyone by changing the name” she explains, “But I do feel that if we don’t take steps now to draw people in from those younger generations we will be lamenting what we have missed in the years to come.”
Jeffrey Bilbro’s piece about staying sane in a mad time crystalizes some thoughts I’ve had for a while.
I’ve come to think the reason Gamaliel, Jesus-disbeliever though he apparently was, gets quoted in the book of Acts is that his rationale was commendable. We believers in Jesus, too, have to wait for Judgment Day for God to sort out the wheat from the tares — for God to sift through the ways I and my tribe, “traditionalists” on sexuality, have been more Levite than Samaritan to gay people left for dead along the church’s highway to supposed triumph. We have to wait for God to expose the ways a supposedly enlightened “progressivism” has left believers bereft of any way of understanding Scripture as the Word of God for people today and therefore constantly exposed to whatever wind seems to be promising compassion in the here and now, often heedless of its hidden costs. We have to wait, ultimately, for God to bring us all, traditionalist and progressive alike, to see our shared poverty, our common need for God’s mercy in Christ. In the meantime, and in spite of spirited urges for mutual anathemas, we’re apparently called to “wait for one another” (1 Corinthians 11:33). We’re called to wait as long as it takes to maintain our visible unity, our line of direct descent from those who experienced Jesus’ transforming mercy firsthand.
Felt like putting one of these bundles together again:
Turnstile - “Mystery” —a friend recently turned me on to these guys. it’s like the best of 90s hardcore came to give us all a hug in 2021.
Because I know there are some people who watch this space — I’ll be going dark here for the next 30 days or so.
EDIT: I’m doing a “digital detox”. Apologies if the above was cryptic.
I’ve loved Scott Snyder’s writing for a decade now. His work on Batman is some of the best I’ve ever read, but over the years, it was disheartening to see him give more and more of his talent to DC’s machine. So I am very, very excited to see him go independent again.
Two firsts for me last night: first post-vax concert, and first ever BTBAM show. 🎵🤘
Jack is brushing up on his distributed systems knowledge. 📚
WITI?: The It Runs Doom Edition
The Dispatch’s profile on Chloe Valdary
Installing a home network
Farmers always Worked From Home
Rhyd Wildermuth on leaving social media
Why America Doesn’t Really Make Solar Panels Anymore
Waltern Kirn on The Bullshit
Good to hear these guys again. 🎵
evasions and approaches
Supermarkets and Diversity
No Social Media Club
The Case for Small Towns
Intermission: The Green Martyrdom
Ideology and Its Immune Response
The Controversial Right-Wing Position That Homosexuality is Valid.
How the f is there no lighthouse emoji?
Posting to AO Hard Nocs with F3 Jacksonville and dinner at Cap’s On the Water with @jensap have been just a couple of highlights from this week’s St. Augustine vacation.
The Church is abandoning its flock
A Piece of New Jersey We’ll Never Build Again
Retributive Justice and the Free Will Illusion
American Troops Have Evacuated Afghanistan, but They’ve Left Their Pokémon Behind
The War on Reality
managers and givers
Jon Stewart On Vaccine Science And The Wuhan Lab Theory — I really miss his presence on The Daily Show
Ideological Abandonment and Declining Sperm Counts
Courting the Common Cold
25 Days of Quitting Twitter
“There’s not a lot of people in this world courageous enough to not change.” — A.B.
Thanks to Front Porch Republic for publishing this piece of mine: Fitness, Fellowship, and Faith: Learning Masculinity in a Time of Despair
The Grace Period Is Over (Or Is it?)
Three Arguments About Love
Alan Jacobs on the use of the term, “partner”
Blanched Sun, Blinded Man
The Six Way Fracturing of Evangelicalism — I have a lot of thoughts about this one.
Breaking Ground: Christian Civic Humanism for a World Renewed
The Case for Post-Patriarchal Manhood:
The sexual counterrevolution is coming
Living in the Last Days with ’80s Hardcore Punk
The Leg at the Bottom of the Sea
Why Humans Were Born to Ruck
Jason McCarthy 🇺🇸:
BBQ and cornhole and cool kid sunglasses and a boom box you can hear a hundred miles away. You’re on the ocean, you’re at the lake, you’re in your backyard, you’re wherever you are in this great big free country of ours. The sun is bright and the sky is blue and you open the cooler and grab all the beers you can wrestle against your chest. You pass them around to anyone and everyone, it’s smiles in every direction. This is exactly what summer in America should feel like.
As a dear friend likes to say, live big.
Memorial Day is a great day to be grateful to be alive, and to prove it. I barely knew the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day when I was a kid. Americans were not dying in war, which is also a great thing to be grateful for, because we weren’t fighting any. Sacrifice simply wasn’t at the forefront of our nation’s headlines, so it left no impression upon me. That would come much later.
It’s not a bad thing that we’re fighting more for the Roaring 20’s to emerge than we are at war — these things come in cycles. But the time is now for those of us who know the true meaning of Memorial Day — because we live it every day — to build a bridge to those who don’t. To invite them to do MURPH, to invite them to your backyard BBQ, to meet them halfway plus a little more.
And when you raise your glass to those who can’t be with us, do it with pride in your heart and share why, for you personally, Memorial Day is a great day to be grateful to be alive.
For me it’s because I have too many buddies who were too young who are buried in the ground now and I miss them. I feel guilty that I get to live this great life and theirs was cut too short. I hope to honor their sacrifice by leading a good life, but it’s impossible to know if you can ever fully measure up to such a calling.
And yet, they would all be the first ones to pass around another beer right about now, and to tell me to live big, so that’s what I’ll do, and what we all should do.
First sports game since 2019. I have no horse in this race so…go Astros? ⚾️🚀
As Charlie Cooke notes, some seem to lament the CDC’s new mask rules precisely because they will no longer have the convenience of seeing masks as shorthand for “people I hate.” The debate now is “how can we tell if someone was vaccinated?” as if this were a hugely important question. “The next question is going to be, ‘How will we know if someone has been vaccinated?’” asked Dr. Michael Osterholm on Morning Joe. “If you’re sitting close to someone at a restaurant or … in a theater, how are you going to know that they’re not just kind of fibbing?”
My own response to this is, basically, I don’t care. I’m vaccinated. My family and friends are vaccinated. I’d like the people sitting next to me to be vaccinated too—for their sake. But I really don’t care very much, because even if they’re contagious, I’m extremely unlikely to get COVID. And if I do, the symptoms are going to be mild. That’s what the science says. And to borrow a phrase, I believe The Science.
Taken with binoculars and a phone.
Jack is ready to ruck. 🎒🐈
The Dream of the Rood
Singing Hymns Alone
Be Not Afraid
Why is this interesting: The Board Shaper Edition
Love as Impassibility
A New Guild System
Grace Olmstead on rootedness, conservatism and what a consistent life ethic looks like
The Instagram ads Facebook won’t show you
From the F3 Cville CSAUP 5/1/21 🏃
I can’t stop listening to this — Michael Olatuja feat. Regina Carter “The Hero’s Journey” 🎵
Recovery dinner after 9 miles of rucking, running, burpees, and other completely stupid and utterly pointless workouts with 40+ other men on Saturday morning. 🏃🎒💪🏻🍔
Jack’s a Real Gamer Cat™️. 🎮
Environmentalism, the Tower of Babel and the Disintegration of Culture | with Paul Kingsnorth
Howard University drops its classics department. Cornel West calls it a “spiritual catastrophe.”
My Inequity, Your Inequity
A Sinner God Calls a Saint
Books you shouldn’t read in public
Guess who’s gonna make out with strangers at Outback Steakhouse happy hour (in two weeks people don’t freak)
The Great Unsettling
Everyone loves their dog.
The virtues of masculinity
The song machines
Self-Government Starts at the Front Porch
Is There Too Much Military History?
The Question That Dictates How Christians Approach Culture and Politics
Under the spreading walnut tree
Beer Is Proof
Resurrection Isn’t Reversal
Jurassic Park Is Frightening in the Dark
O Virtue, Where Art Thou?
Behind the Black Umbrellas
Return to Ohio: Money & Anxiety in Loser-takes-none America
Rooting for the Future
Save The Last Dance: Rough Cuts, Tony Hawk, And The End
Why is this interesting? - The Drum Machine Edition
Larry McMurtry and Wendell Berry at the Dairy Queen
He Descended to His Enemies
The Future of Remote Work is the Opposite of Lonely
How to think Bayes
On Forming a More Perfect Union
Should We Begin to Reconnect?
Did You Kill Anyone?
Why is this interesting: The Urban Manufacturing Edition
From the Soil Up
The 50/50 Problem: How the Internet Is Distorting Our Reality
strategy and vocation
How Polarization Ate Our Brains
What Is Freedom For?
Nitro Edition: None of This is New
New blog — The Necessity of Bodies: Redux
I have become more and more suspicious of the concept of the nominal Christian
powers and demons
Atticus, Scout, and the Gift of Children
Why I kissed blogging goodbye
The Promise and the Failure of WandaVision
The Doctrine of Grace vs. the Disposition of Grace
The internet didn’t kill counterculture—you just won’t find it on Instagram
After 20 years apart, you don’t look so bad, Florida.
Enjoying the Low Country and Savannah. This place feels enchanted and haunted.
Charleston is neat.
Well, this is what happens when I neglect to post my link dump for almost two weeks.
Mapali — Rune Soup
Third Places and the Horizons of Male Friendships
Peacemaking Is Political
To Save the World from the Church Basement: On Christian Humanism
A New Progressive Era?: A Conversation with Robert Putnam and Shaylyn Romney Garrett
Forming Redemptive Communities Outside the Digital Public Sphere
Pasolini’s Lutheran Letters and Our Times
Do We Absolutely Disagree?
Life Outside the Camp: Cancellation, Purity, and Public Space
You Can’t Censor Away Extremism (or Any Other Problem)
Happy fourth anniversary to my beautiful, hilarious, joyful, and faithful wife @jensaplin. ❤️ Thanks for all the memories, and for keeping better records than I do.
“Schitt’s Creek” & Local Economic Power
The Spiral of Violence
I’m a philosopher. We can’t think our way out of this mess.
Toward the Renewal of Humanistic Education in America
Words and Flesh: Pastoring in a Post-truth World
two quotations on technological impermanence (plus commentary)
Growing Up 02/24/21
the warming center
The “Majority-Minority” Myth
Take me back to the canyon
“He Devises Means So That the Banished One Will Not Remain an Outcast”: Salvation and Divine Resourcefulness
On sitting out the new culture wars
Currently enjoying Nick Cave and Warren Ellis’s CARNAGE. Can’t wait for the physical release.
My friend CJ Green recently published his fiction debut!
This video is probably the most Orange County thing I’ve watched in a long, long time. Maybe it’s the pandemic, or the icy winter we’ve been having here, but, much as I consider VA home now, watching this made me a little homesick.
Felt good to do this again.
Recommended reading (experimenting with posting stuff I’ve read over the last week-ish so as not to create a linkstorm)
The Front Porch and the American Dream
presentism and the Present
Ewok Banquets and Hobbit Joy
Influencers will survive Covid
Gratuity: Who Gets Paid When Art Is Free
America Drawn Inward: Assessing Bowling Alone at 20
The Jewish Space Laser Agency responds: We didn’t start the fire
Human Interaction: The Most Essential Business
New blog: Why we need bodies to heal our body
So @jensaplin insists this meme is old, but I saw it the other day and can’t stop laughing. I apologize for populating your feed with old memes.
A brief devotional/sermonette I wrote is now up at Mockingbird: Technologies, Ancient and Modern
Noah Van Niel: Manly Virtues — There’s some really good stuff in here that I’ve been mulling over for a while.
I aspire to be as impressionable as Bernie Sanders at a presidential inauguration. 🇺🇸
Between the President quoting Augustine and a prayer from an AME preacher, I would guess this is the most theologically eclectic inauguration ever. 🇺🇸
There’s no shortage of thinkpieces circulating about evangelicalism and “Christian” nationalism right now, but this one from Funmi Ojetayo at The Front Porch might be one of the best. I encourage you to read the whole thing:
The raging mob of January 6th think themselves revolutionaries, restoring America to its greatness. But what we saw was less a noble cause and more the wickedness of a tyrant and those who bow to him. Besides, the medicine for our national malaise is not revolution. Revolutions – cultural, sexual, political – have proven inadequate to meet our deepest need. We need revival and renewal; we need a new awakening.
But since so many of our national leaders, political and religious leaders, have failed us, from whence shall this revival and renewal come?
The local church.
Much has been said and written about how white evangelicalism is in thrall to the GOP, but the data actually shows that most of the partisans and so-called Christian nationalists we see in the public sphere are not regular attendees of the local church.[i] They are cultural appropriators of Christianity at best, and outright charlatans at worst. The numbers bear out the fact that most regular church attendees, who routinely sit under sound preaching and teaching, are far less partisan, are more engaged in their community caring for the poor, the alien, the widow, the orphan, the disenfranchised, and the marginalized, more frequently interacting with different ethnic groups, and readily engaging in the work of racial reconciliation.
I submit to you that revival will not come from the top, but, as is fitting for the upside-down Kingdom of God, it will come from the groundswell of local, Spirit-empowered churches and pastors working for renewal in local communities throughout this nation. It is within the local church that we can shape virtuous people, a characteristic our Founding Fathers recognized as indispensable for self-government. It is within the local church that we grasp the meekness of Christ and its winsome power. It is in the local church that we learn to be reconciled to one another, because the gospel of reconciliation pulls down dividing walls of hostility and brings previously warring factions together into one family. It is in the local church that we learn unity even amidst diversity, for there is neither male nor female, black nor white, Republican nor Democrat, but all are one in Christ Jesus, co-heirs according to promise (Gal. 3:28-29). It is in the local church that we form and conform the hearts of our people away from earthly powers, and instead toward King Jesus, away from donkeys and elephants, and instead towards the Lamb who was slain for us.