Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm. — ― Winston S. Churchill (via donegality)

(via stormypetrel)

It isn’t that they can’t see the solution. It is that they can’t see the problem. G.K. Chesterton in The Scandal of Father Brown

(via trexcommentary)

fastcompany:

Fast Company is hiring, come work with us!

fastcompany:

Fast Company is hiring, come work with us!

Our markets are set up to convey price—and only price—to consumers. Because people don’t have full access to relevant information about what they are buying, our markets are broken. There is no reason we need to do things like that. Squashed (via azspot)

(via azspot)

Contrary to what conservatives love to allege and big government-loving liberals would love to believe, the majority of what the state collects every April 15 goes not to poor, drug-addicted welfare mothers, but to blowing up poor mothers and their children on the other side of the globe with bombs purchased from very wealthy military contractors. While the bulk of state spending is indeed on Medicare and Social Security – the bread to go along with the circus of publicly financed stadiums – those programs are funded, as Balko acknowledges, by direct, regressive taxes that, yes, even poor people pay. The majority of income taxes, on the other hand, goes directly to the Pentagon and the legion of quasi-private corporations that make up the military-industrial complex, a fact that ought to make someone who has built a career chronicling abuses of state power — abuses that disproportionately affect the poor — queasy at the mere thought of expanding the government’s tax base. And as you may recall, it was Wall Street bankers, not welfare mothers, who politicians rushed to hand billions in taxpayer dollars – and trillions more after taking into account the Federal Reserve’s printing press – when the economy took a nosedive in 2008 following the burst of a housing bubble inflated at the behest of said bankers and at the expense of the foreclosed upon poor. Who really benefits from ‘government services’? (via azspot)

(via azspot)

There was a time when the church was very powerful. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the power structure got disturbed and immediately sought to convict them for being ‘disturbers of the peace’ and ‘outside agitators.’ But they went on with the conviction that they were ‘a colony of heaven,’ and had to obey God rather than man. They were small in number but big in commitment. They were too God-intoxicated to be ‘astronomically intimidated.’ They brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contest. Martin Luther King Jr. (via azspot)

(via azspot)

Chesterton was important — as important to me in his way as C. S. Lewis had been. You see, while I loved Tolkien and while I wished to have written his book, I had no desire at all to write like him. Tolkien’s words and sentences seemed like natural things, like rock formations or waterfalls, and wanting to write like Tolkien would have been, for me, like wanting to blossom like a cherry tree or climb a tree like a squirrel or rain like a thunderstorm. Chesterton was the complete opposite. I was always aware, reading Chesterton, that there was someone writing this who rejoiced in words, who deployed them on the page as an artist deploys his paints upon his palette. Behind every Chesterton sentence there was someone painting with words, and it seemed to me that at the end of any particularly good sentence or any perfectly-put paradox, you could hear the author, somewhere behind the scenes, giggling with delight. — neil gaiman (via sds, funambulist-in-wonder-land)

(via azspot)

Decision fatigue helps explain why ordinarily sensible people get angry at colleagues and families, splurge on clothes, buy junk food at the supermarket and can’t resist the dealer’s offer to rustproof their new car. No matter how rational and high-minded you try to be, you can’t make decision after decision without paying a biological price. It’s different from ordinary physical fatigue — you’re not consciously aware of being tired — but you’re low on mental energy. The more choices you make throughout the day, the harder each one becomes for your brain, and eventually it looks for shortcuts, usually in either of two very different ways. One shortcut is to become reckless: to act impulsively instead of expending the energy to first think through the consequences. The other shortcut is the ultimate energy saver: do nothing. Instead of agonizing over decisions, avoid any choice. Ducking a decision often creates bigger problems in the long run, but for the moment, it eases the mental strain.

Decision fatigue is the newest discovery involving a phenomenon called ego depletion, a term coined by the social psychologist Roy F. Baumeister in homage to a Freudian hypothesis. Freud speculated that the self, or ego, depended on mental activities involving the transfer of energy…

The experiments demonstrated that there is a finite store of mental energy for exerting self-control. When people fended off the temptation to scarf down M&M’s or freshly baked chocolate-chip cookies, they were then less able to resist other temptations. When they forced themselves to remain stoic during a tearjerker movie, afterward they gave up more quickly on lab tasks requiring self-discipline, like working on a geometry puzzle or squeezing a hand-grip exerciser. Willpower turned out to be more than a folk concept or a metaphor. It really was a form of mental energy that could be exhausted. The experiments confirmed the 19th-century notion of willpower being like a muscle that was fatigued with use, a force that could be conserved by avoiding temptation.

Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue? - NYTimes.com (via myserendipities)

(via infoneer-pulse)

Decision fatigue helps explain why ordinarily sensible people get angry at colleagues and families, splurge on clothes, buy junk food at the supermarket and can’t resist the dealer’s offer to rustproof their new car. No matter how rational and high-minded you try to be, you can’t make decision after decision without paying a biological price. It’s different from ordinary physical fatigue — you’re not consciously aware of being tired — but you’re low on mental energy. The more choices you make throughout the day, the harder each one becomes for your brain, and eventually it looks for shortcuts, usually in either of two very different ways. One shortcut is to become reckless: to act impulsively instead of expending the energy to first think through the consequences. The other shortcut is the ultimate energy saver: do nothing. Instead of agonizing over decisions, avoid any choice. Ducking a decision often creates bigger problems in the long run, but for the moment, it eases the mental strain.

Decision fatigue is the newest discovery involving a phenomenon called ego depletion, a term coined by the social psychologist Roy F. Baumeister in homage to a Freudian hypothesis. Freud speculated that the self, or ego, depended on mental activities involving the transfer of energy…

The experiments demonstrated that there is a finite store of mental energy for exerting self-control. When people fended off the temptation to scarf down M&M’s or freshly baked chocolate-chip cookies, they were then less able to resist other temptations. When they forced themselves to remain stoic during a tearjerker movie, afterward they gave up more quickly on lab tasks requiring self-discipline, like working on a geometry puzzle or squeezing a hand-grip exerciser. Willpower turned out to be more than a folk concept or a metaphor. It really was a form of mental energy that could be exhausted. The experiments confirmed the 19th-century notion of willpower being like a muscle that was fatigued with use, a force that could be conserved by avoiding temptation.

Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue? - NYTimes.com (via myserendipities)

(via infoneer-pulse)

(via ayjay)

True worship is the pattern of lives lived over time, lives which are inhabited stories of leaving the world of principalities and powers, and gradually, over time, giving witness to the true God in the midst of the world by living as if death were not, and thus in a way which is unmoved by death and all the cultural forces which lead to death and depend on death. James Alison (via azspot)

(via azspot)

90 percent of people in their studies don’t know how to use CTRL/Command F to find a word in a document or web page! I probably use that trick 20 times per day and yet the vast majority of people don’t use it at all. “90 percent of the US Internet population does not know that. This is on a sample size of thousands,” Russell said. “I do these field studies and I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve sat in somebody’s house as they’ve read through a long document trying to find the result they’re looking for. At the end I’ll say to them, ‘Let me show one little trick here,’ and very often people will say, ‘I can’t believe I’ve been wasting my life!’” Crazy: 90 Percent of People Don’t Know How to Use CTRL F - Alexis Madrigal - Technology - The Atlantic (via infoneer-pulse)

(via infoneer-pulse)

American Protestants do not have to believe in God because they believe in belief. That is why we have never been able to produce an interesting atheist in America. The god most Americans say they believe in is just not interesting enough to deny. Thus the only kind of atheism that counts in America is to call into question the proposition that everyone has a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Stanley Hauerwas (via azspot)

I think Hauerwas meant to say “atheists do not need to believe in God because they too believe in belief.”  Or was it “theologians can hit the broad side of barn by making an obvious point.”

If American cannot produce an interesting atheist, has it been able to produce an interesing theologian?

If the only kind of atheism that counts is calling into question the American Protestant, is the only kind of theologian the one who counts the one calling into question the American Protestant? 

Theologians should not be in the business of amateur sociology.  And neither should atheists.  The reason we can’t produce an interesting variant of either is neither is willing to talk about God in any interesting way.  While the God of most American Protestants is not interesting enough to deny, the God of most American Protestant theologians is not interesting enough to believe in.

American Protestants should surely move beyond being syncretistic and enculturated boobs.  But so should American Protestant theologians.  Critiquing the obvious is not theology. 

Besides, the whole “American Protestant” shtick is inaccurate.  They haven’t been Protestants for about a century now.  Nobody is now protesting anything or knew they ever were.  Just like they haven’t been a Jewish sect for about two centuries.  They’re Evangelicals and that’s a different animal.  The Max Weber hammer doesn’t pound this nail in quite the same way.      

By and large American Evangelicals don’t “believe in belief” in today’s society.  It would be more accurate to say that they believe in dis-belief, or more technically, doubt.  Where the Industrial Age Puritan finds their referent in the socio-religious machine and factory mindset, the post-Modern Puritan finds their referent in the Heisenburg Principle, or more technically, the Wittgensteinian geist.  The first is construction oriented, the second deconstruction oriented.  Religious certainty has given place to religious doubt.  The Industrial Protestants believed in God because of order, the post-Modern Puritan believes in God in spite of the lack of order.   

So today’s American atheists have the problem of finding the God American theologican can’t articulate and American Evangelicals don’t believe in.   

(via azspot)