Thursday, October 20, 2016

Genius and Grace

INK BOTTLE“How extraordinary it is that one feels most guilt about the sins one is unable to commit.”
~V.S. Pritchett, Midnight Oil

To begin with, our perception of the world is deformed, incomplete. Then our memory is selective...
— Claude Simon

“A 2015 analysis published in The BMJ found 727 potential references to Dylan songs in a search of the Medline biomedical journals database; the authors ultimately concluded that 213 of the references could be “classified as unequivocally citing Dylan.””  Link here

The future won’t be decided by all of humanity, united under the banner of liberalism. It will be haphazard, and just purposeless as the past  

After decades of defeats and setbacks, liberalism won a decisive victory in the Cold War . . . Liberalism still sanctifies individual liberties above all, and still has a firm belief in the voter and the customer. In the early 21st century, this is the only game in town. As of 2016, there is no serious alternative to the liberal package of individualism, human rights, democracy and a free market Jewish Harari  

Data Drive Journalism: “London, Paris, Madrid, New York…there are a numerous “global cities” that mesmerize us with their power and opportunity. But what about the lesser known cities? That can’t boast such potential? What do we know about them? To scope out which cities are forging ahead, and identify those that are falling behind, the Igarapé Institute has launched one of the world’s most comprehensive city mapping platforms –Fragile Cities…Leveraging the power of Explorable Visual Analytics (EVA) – a web application for visualizing and exploring large and complex datasets – the platform provides an easy mechanism for users to congest datapoints, drilldown data, and look at different conceptual zoom layers to get the big picture insights as well as the minute details. EVA is also optimized for time-series visualizations – you can explore trends across different time scales to discover patterns and seasonalities…”

“A great deal of poetic work has arisen from various despairs,” wrote Lou Andreas-Salomé, the first woman psychoanalyst, in a 1914 letter to a depressed Rilke“Great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them,” Anaïs Nin observed a generation later in contemplating why emotional excess is essential for creativity.

“the one crime worse than wearing crocsis wearing crocs with socks.”

In I Am Not I (public library), philosopher Jacob Needleman picks up where Tolstoy and Plath left off, and enlists more of humanity’s most wakeful minds — from Nietzsche and Kierkegaard to William James toD.T. Suzuki — in finding embrocation for, if not an answer to, these most restless-making questions of existence. Out of the inquiry itself arises an immensely hope-giving offering — a sort of secular sacrament illuminating what lies at the heart of the most profound experiences we’re capable of having: joy, love, hope, wonder, astonishment, transcendence.

How Wells Fargo Exemplifies the Drivers of Big Corporate Fraud

The Wells Fargo fake account scandal illustrates why corporate executives conveniently ignore or even engage in fraud.


… Flannery O’Connor’s Genius and Grace | William Doino Jr. | First Things

It feels a shame to be Alive —
When Men so brave—are dead —
One envies the Distinguished Dust —
Permitted — such a Head —

The Stone — that tells defending Whom
This Spartan put away
What little of Him we — possessed
In Pawn for Liberty —

The price is great — Sublimely paid —
Do we deserve — a Thing —
That lives — like Dollars — must be piled
Before we may obtain?

Are we that wait — sufficient worth —
That such Enormous Pearl
As life — dissolved be — for Us —
In Battle's — horrid Bowl?

It may be — a Renown to live —
I think the Man who die —
Those unsustained — Saviors —
Present Divinity —

Her stories consistently address moments when a character—invariably a fallen or seriously flawed one—is presented with a chance for redemption. The opportunity can be frightening and overwhelming, but the offer of grace is made, and challenges readers to examine their own lives and consciences. As one professor says in the documentary: “No matter what your background is in religion of any kind, you’re thrown up against that moment of who you are, where you are, why you are. … [T]here is a moment where that has to be dealt with, and I think O’Connor’s stories come down to that, and deal with that.”
I think Flannery O'Connor deserves to be a candidate  for canonization