Monday, January 17, 2022
Sunday, January 16, 2022
The Nature paper disclosed that protective (IL-2 secreting) T cells are induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection. Accordingly, we could foresee that a wider spread of Omicron infection would induce a wider range of cross-reactive T cell immunity, subsequently offering more widespread protection against potential future SARS-CoV-2 variants. As a result, we are likely very close to being able to say goodbye to the pandemic.
Not all Atlantic writers are of this type. Caitlin Flanagan’s recent essays on living for decades with cancer are phenomenal, and Conor Friedersdorf’s conservativish-contrarian takes are always a welcome respite from the doomsaying. But the general tone of the Atlantic suggests something about the mindset of the segment of elite America it represents and caters to: The Atlantic reader is more driven by alarmism and panic than the Fox News–viewing folks on the other side of the partisan divide whom they criticize. The Higher Perspective of the Atlantic is an elite species of panic—it has no interest in the concerns of someone who is worried about how to put food on the table after getting laid off from her restaurant job. Rather, it feels deeply the emotional burden of those coming to the realization that “Office Holiday Parties Really Might Never Be the Same.” This is the class of people who, amid an ongoing pandemic, identified with an unmasked and glamorous Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a “Tax the Rich” gown at the Met gala, not with the masked minimum-wage underlings standing silently nearby who served her and her fellow partygoers.
… even translation problems can’t ruin . If its opening pages make us feel as if we’re in the midst of something resembling life as we know it, by the end we’re looking at the whole enchilada —from the perspective of the eternal—having along the way been vouchsafed an acute sense of the fragility of human existence, the futility of our efforts to fathom it and do something meaningful with it, and the fallaciousness of any illusion that we’ve accomplished something remotely important in the big scheme of things.
January 16 is National Nothing Day, inaugurated in 1973 “to provide Americans with one National day when they can just sit without celebrating, observing or honoring anything.”Today would also have been my brother’s 88th birthday (he died five years ago). Norm would have loved that his birthday coincided with National Nothing Day.
What is at first small is often extremely large in the end. And so it happens that whoever deviates only a little from truth in the beginning is led farther and farther afield in the sequel, and to errors which are a thousand times as large.
Saturday, January 15, 2022
The Incarnation of Christ, who is at once fully God and fully man, is a singular event, unprecedented and unrepeatable. And yet, it also reveals something universal about reality in general. The , the creative Word, of God, has primacy over the material world it brings into being. And yet, while the world of his creation is inferior to the uncreated spirit of God, that world is by no means merely incidental. It expresses in itself something of the truth about our Lord and indeed is one of the pathways by which we journey back to him and come to know him. “Every creature is, in itself, a theophany,” writes Henri de Lubac.
For the Saint went beyond popular imagination. Old-fashioned Catholics and most other Christians might assume that she could win converts by such behavior, but while the odd convert was won (among the dying, for instance), times had changed. By the end of the 20th century, the West and the “progressive” East, had been inoculated against the temptation to Christianity.
Few people nowadays are philosophically literate.
Friday, January 14, 2022
Thursday, January 13, 2022
So how do you promote scientific integrity? To start with: by not lying. That alone seems like a stretch for Fauci, Collins and much of the rest of the public-health establishment. Treating disagreements about science in a scientific rather than political fashion would also help. And a sizable dose of personal integrity on the part of the people running these institutions is essential, though currently absent.
It took them long enough. Ida B. Wells has been ignored for years, mainly because she was a conservative activist before it was a thing, as well as a gun rights advocate, when the laws in the country were moving in the direction of creating more gun control laws solely to prevent Blacks from arming themselves.
Terry and I exchanged emails from time to time. He sent me a very kind note when I reviewed his wonderful biography of Louis Armstrong. He was a great critic. Eternal rest grant unto him oh Lord and may perpetual light shin upon him.
They (probably) thought, "spelling and grammar checks are great and all but what we really want to do is influence and control the masses."
I gave up on Microsoft years ago, and Bill Gates has become a pretentious annoyance. Just because you’ve made a lot of money, Bill, doesn’t mean you have any great insight into anything — except perhaps making money.
Hill’s Arendt is a thinker who moves easily from poetry to philosophy, from reflections on politics to an analysis of thinking itself. Like Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, Hill emphasizes her subject’s efforts to maintain her “love of the world” — an embrace of the plurality of what we can encounter, despite the “dark times” in which we might find ourselves. Hill writes lucidly about the key ideas and is particularly good on Arendt’s deep and lasting friendships. Arendt inspired love and loyalty among those close to her, and while her commitment always to “stop and think” led to sharp disagreements, it also resulted in meaningful, enduring relationships.
There are common themes in writers’ lives: ‘alcohol’ appears almost 50 times, and deaths, where a really good one — Boris Vian ‘died of a heart attack while attending a screening of an unsatisfactory film adaptation of his book I Spit on Your Graves’ — can give a writer’s reputation a little frisson. As this suggests, The Penguin Modern Classics Book is at its most entertaining when filling its sidebars with juicy trivia, such as Maugham calling the Angry Young Men ‘scum’, or the Japanese bizarrist Kobo Abe patenting a new brand of snow chains for car tyres. The cross-references — author to author, movement to movement — give it dynamism, forever suggesting new routes.
We can quit parroting the medico-political talking points of “experts” who are always contradicting themselves. We can stop pretending that mask-wearing is a virtue. We can quit scaring the hell out of our kids, most of whom aren’t even at risk from this disease – and we can stop injecting them with a failing “vaccine” (with a concerning risk profile) that they manifestly don’t need.
.… perhaps some finger pointing is appropriate. Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner was sworn in for his second term as DA on January 3rd. At the press conference afterward, Krasner did not mention the Germantown shootout. He said that during his next term as DA he plans to invest heavily in violence prevention, as opposed to prosecuting criminals vigorously, which he called derisively, “traditional prosecution.” He said the only true justice was to stop homicides before they happen.
One cannot help but wonder how the loathsome Krasner would react were he the victim of a violent crime.
Wednesday, January 12, 2022
Amis became known, affectionately, as “Sir Kingsley” after he was knighted in 1990. He left this world a Bohemian conservative who despised dogmas of all sorts, and an insider whose reputation depended upon his being an outsider.
Boldly simple in concept, God: An Anatomy is stunning in its execution. It is a tour de force, a triumph, and I write this as one who disagrees with Stavrakopoulou on broad theoretical grounds and finds himself engaged with her in one narrow textual spat after another. Let me place the theoretical issues on the record briefly and then move on to the spats, for they are really what make this book endlessly stimulating.
Tuesday, January 11, 2022
… in September 2020, the Academy launched its Representation and Inclusion Standards Entry platform (or RAISE). For a movie to qualify for Best Picture, producers not only had to register detailed personal information about everyone involved in the making of that movie, but the movie had to meet two of the Academy’s four diversity standards—touching on everything from on-screen representation to creative leadership. (An Academy spokesperson said “only select staff” would have access to data collected on the platform.)
“Teachers should not be allowed to major in education,” McCullough said. Rather, “they should major in a subject,” such as history or literature.
… we do not always reject the authority of an expert simply because he has been inconsistent on this or that occasion. But there are limits. It cannot fail to undermine public trust when government officials, media sources, etc. repeatedly and shamelessly say inconsistent things. (Some recent examples: Right-wing mass demonstrations during the Covid-19 pandemic were dangerous super-spreader events, but left-wing mass demonstrations were not. Questioning the integrity of the 2016 election upholds democracy, but questioning the integrity of the 2020 election undermines democracy. The left-wing riots that occurred throughout the summer of 2020 were “mostly peaceful protests,” but the right-wing riot that occurred on January 6 of 2021 was an “insurrection” and “worse than 9/11.” Skepticism about Covid-19 vaccines is reasonable when Trump is president, but irrational when Biden is president. To fail to wear a mask in public is to put grandma’s life at risk, except when Democratic politicians or journalists fail to do so. Preventing a woman from killing her unborn child violates her right over her own body, but forcing her to take a vaccine injection does not violate her right over her own body. Etc.)
I think worth noting that Emerson was referring to a foolish consistency and that Whitman wax making psychological statement, not a philosophical one.
The real point of the AP's "fact check" was not to discredit Malone, which they were unable to do given that one of the experts cited didn't even know what he was talking about, by his own admission, but to further press Americans to behave in the way they would prefer.
Originally a bedtime story that Goldman told his daughters to lull them to sleep—not exactly what you want to hear in a movie pitch—the film employs the same narrative device. It’s a story told by a grandfather (Peter Falk) to his grandson (Fred Savage), who asks that he skip the boring parts. The result is magic: a beautiful, fun, suspenseful, lovely film. It’s a movie that any right-thinking person will defend to his or her death.
Monday, January 10, 2022
I’m so old I remember when government officials thought they were serving us citizens. Almost makes me happy that I’m an old man. Because I don’t want to see what is happening to the country I was taught to love
Seventy years later, the outcome of the conflict Chambers identified is still in doubt. Sure, the Soviet-communist empire collapsed in 1989–91, but the Chinese Communist Party poses perhaps an even greater external threat to our way of life in the 21st century. Closer to home, the “progressive” religion of reason, science, and technology reigns in our government, media, academic, and cultural institutions (indeed, even in some of our religious institutions), while traditional religions continue to decline. What Chambers described as “the vision of man’s mind displacing God as the creative intelligence of the world” is winning.
Sunday, January 09, 2022
It's not possible to search for God using the methods of a detective... There is no way. You can only wait till God's axe severs your roots: then you will understand that you are here only through a miracle, and you will remain fixed forever in wonderment and equilibrium.
We analyze the tone of COVID-19 related English-language news articles written since January 1, 2020. Ninety one percent of stories by U.S. major media outlets are negative in tone versus fifty four percent for non-U.S. major sources and sixty five percent for scientific journals. The negativity of the U.S. major media is notable even in areas with positive scientific developments including school re-openings and vaccine trials. Media negativity is unresponsive to changing trends in new COVID-19 cases or the political leanings of the audience. U.S. major media readers strongly prefer negative stories about COVID-19, and negative stories in general. Stories of increasing COVID-19 cases outnumber stories of decreasing cases by a factor of 5.5 even during periods when new cases are declining. Among U.S. major media outlets, stories discussing President Donald Trump and hydroxychloroquine are more numerous than all stories combined that cover companies and individual researchers working on COVID-19 vaccines.
Saturday, January 08, 2022
… Review | T.S. Eliot may have been flawed, but a new book reminds of his greatness on the page.(Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
During the last months of 2021 I passed many happy, desultory hours grazing in “The Complete Prose of T.S. Eliot.” Under the general editorship of Ronald Schuchard, this set — from Johns Hopkins University Press, which also offers its eight volumes in a less expensive digital format — must be one of the most ambitious and revelatory scholarly achievements of our time.
Miłosz landed in Berkeley at a time of great social upheaval. He was “bemused, angered and sympathetic — sometimes all at once’’ with protesters, Haven says. “He was against the Vietnam War, too, but he was also mindful of how few rights students had in the Eastern bloc. ‘They rage because they have too much,’ he once said.”
Much of the biography is thematically centered on four interconnected concepts: être, to be; devenir, to become; esse, being; and natura, nature. While the translations are simple, the concepts are nuanced and dense, grounded in Thomistic theology and serving as lenses through which to understand the world. Haven introduces these concepts in the opening chapter and returns to them throughout, linking the words and their attendant deeper meanings to key parts of Miłosz’s life and analyzing how his poems stem from and respond to each concept. The concepts become a guide for the biography, a heuristic through which the reader begins to gain some insight into Miłosz’s singular mind.
Everyone should get a booster shot. In the long run, though, doses every few months aren’t a viable public health strategy, scientists say.
“What we’re trying to do is create a beautiful setting, a beautiful museum space, that is very [welcoming],” said Jim Sampas, the literary executor of Kerouac’s estate and CEO of the new foundation. “We can have various arts, whether it be spoken word, music, lectures on literature, all sorts of different things take place in that setting,” said Sampas, who is also Kerouac’s nephew.
We have fallen into the bad and unquestioned habit of thinking that our educational system is broken, but it is working on all cylinders. What our educational system aims to produce is cultural amnesia, a wholesale lack of curiosity, history-less free agents, and educational goals composed of content-free processes and unexamined buzz-words like “critical thinking,” “diversity,” “ways of knowing,” “social justice,” and “cultural competence.”
Friday, January 07, 2022
Thursday, January 06, 2022
As a mostly self-taught artist, Rikalo began practicing photography while she was studying law. During this time, she quickly fell in love with the medium and its capability to create different narratives. Since then, she has channeled her love of clothing—particularly dresses—and respect for nature into transportive images that straddle the line between reality and a dream.
Professor Maggie Atkinson of Grenfell Campus Memorial University in Canada in her, Religion and the Arts paper published in 2015, attributed Gleadall’s publication – drawn from nature and embellished with botanic, poetic and emblematic plants – as being instrumental in the importance of understanding the religious imagery of flowers and their meanings to a Victorian society seeking to square a religious pedagogy with new science.
Mayor Jim Kenney also weighed in with a statement that read he was appalled by the carjacking. “It’s disheartening, and quite frankly infuriating, that criminals feel emboldened to commit such a reckless crime in the middle of the day in what should be a place of tranquility and peace – one of Philadelphia’s beautiful parks.”
Well, Mr. Mayor, the city did just hit a new homicide record. Maybe you and Congresswoman Scanlon — to say nothing of our defense attorney DA — may bear some responsibility for that.
Wednesday, January 05, 2022
In July 2021, the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) revealed that temperatures ran below the average of the 2021 season. “Climate alarmists have their beliefs grounded in dogma –whether they know it or not– and this is the reason that their “tipping point” prophesies continue to uneventfully pass by, year after year, decade after decade.” These colder than average Arctic temperatures mean any losses in ice ‘extent” this year can only be attributed to other causes –such as wind direction/speed, etc.
There was, in fact, only one American military intervention abroad during Eisenhower's eight years in office: the July 1958 landing of troops in Lebanon at the request of that country's president. There was no fighting, there were no casualties, and the troops were withdrawn in November. The success of the operation was no accident. Eisenhower, Johnson points out, "was an experienced and successful general who knew what troops could, and could not, do." He drily notes that "the contrast between Ike's movement into Lebanon and John F. Kennedy's abortive Bay of Pigs misadventure … could not have been more marked."
Last year, a survey of historians ranked Ike as our fifth best president.
After Ulysses was blocked from the English-speaking world, Sylvia Beach, the proprietor of the famous Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris, heroically agreed to publish the book using French printers. It was finally released on Joyce’s fortieth birthday: February 2, 1922. The Anglophone banning of Ulysses, like some contemporary cancellations, turned out to be a PR gift. Beach immediately emphasized the novel’s edgy allure. In the initial prospectus to potential subscribers, there were boasts in large font of the novel being “suppressed four times during serial publication.”