45 thoughts on “Open Thread IX”

  1. Mother Teresa's apparent loss of faith? I found that story particularly striking and a bit sad. Good thing though that from what I've read her doubts (and anguish, let's not forget that) won't serve to impede her canonization.

  2. I haven't read the book, but the blurbs I have read focus on Mother Therea no longer feeling the presense of Christ, as opposed to doubting his existence.

    The idea of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is essentially a Protestant fixation.

  3. Dan,

    See my post plus how long until her disconnection of faith becomes fodder for humanist bloggers everywhere?

    I truly do feel bad for her. She's been done a disservice.

  4. Mother Theresa is overrated. She collected alot of money, grew her sisterhood order, and did lots of PR. Fear for those who ended in her hospitals though – the money was not going into those deathtraps.

  5. I like the fact that it's not tax payer funded and the idea that it requires action on the behalf of the recipient as opposed to the one way street that is welfare.

  6. Jay @ Soob,

    Regarding previous post:
    Why any desire for the humanist bloggers to avoid using her as an example? Humanists promote the goodwill of mankind without the threat of damnation prompting it. I've always looked at them like the people who give money to charity without writing it off on their taxes. That's not rhetoric, I'm genuinely interested in your thoughts.

    Aaron

  7. http://helptheiraq.ytmnd.com/ This is classic!

    Also, anyone who has access to a PC or Xbox 360 needs to try out the Bioshock demo right now!!! It is one hell of a mind fuck!

    Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if this becomes a game that philosophers wrap their heads around for years to come.

  8. Sorry, I should specify that the PC needs to handle the game of course. 😉

    BTW, my under 1,000 dollar gaming PC setup happens to be 2 years old and it is still going strong. I must be one lucky bastard.

  9. Jeffrey,

    Catholicgauze admired Miss South Carolina's insightful prescription for geographic ignorance at well [1].

    Eddie,

    I wonder how long until genotype control is done through positive market incentives instead of through “education,” laissez-faire, or fines.

    PurpleSlog,

    Do you have a source for your criticisms.

    The book under discussion is “Come by my light” [2], which will be released next month.

    Jay & Aaron,

    Sounds like an interesting discussion!

    [1] http://catholicgauze.blogspot.com/2007/08/miss-teen-south-carolina-is-not.html
    [2] http://www.amazon.com/Mother-Teresa-Come-Be-Light/dp/0385520379

  10. Two suggestions:
    1. I don't have a link yet, but the cover article for the latest Newsweek is about problems educating gifted children.

    2. Slate's hosting a debate of the Democratic candidates! For details, and information on how to submit questions, go here:
    http://www.slate.com/id/2172924/

    What questions would the rest of you ask? I asked the following (category before the colon)
    education: What is the proper role of the federal government in education, and what's better left to the states? How, if at all, should the Department of Education be revamped to better fill these roles?

    Iraq: What long-term changes need to be made in the military and other branches of government to better deal with situations like Iraq and Afganistan?

    Wildcards:
    What is your definition of Rule of Law? To the extent it is in trouble, what needs to be done to help it?
    “Imperial Presidency” has become a cliche. What, if anything, would you do to de-imperialise the office?
    Would you be willing to indict other members of your party for voter fraud?
    Are we living in a period of American Hegemony? Would the end of such a period be a threat to be fought, or an opportunity to be embraced?

    fun: $400 for a haircut? Wouldn't it be easier to just get a Yul Brynner?

  11. Michael,

    Very good Time piece on gifted education. Sensibly, we should try to get students out of public education (which is only preparatory anyway) and on to a professional, trade, or academic vocation as soon as possible.

    Here's the question I submitted:

    “How (through which branch and at what level) should abortion laws change?”

  12. The coverage of this Mother Theresa story shows the profound ignorance which grips our culture.

    The loss of “sensible consolations” in prayer is a well-known phenomena in people who have reached an advanced state of abandonment to God. St. Therese of Lisieux experienced a similar torment, as is described in her memoir, The Story of a Soul. (A book that is too often misunderstood.) Of course, this phenomena gives the title to the spiritual classic by St. John of the Cross, The Dark Night of the Soul. The phenomena is set forth with clarity in another classic, The Spiritual Life: An Introduction to Ascetical and Mystical Theology by Adophe Tanqueray.

    I look forward to reading Mother Theresa's book.

  13. I made the mistake of watching an MSNBC debate between Christopher Hitchens and Bill Donahue. Gack was it awful. Donahue attacked Hitchens writing style while Hitchens willfully ignored exactly what you just aid, Lexington (this is the correct description: he described the Church's position and then dismissed it).

  14. -Dan

    Whether you think I am a Sony fanboy or just someone trying to give you the complete story before your console purchase is for you to decide, but here is the latest development on the battle for third party exclusives.

    http://www.gamespot.com/news/6177964.html?action=convert&om_clk=latestnews&tag=latestnews;title;2

    Also, here is the article on the Roe v. Wade issue that you wanted me to post.

    http://corporatemofo.com/sex_and_other_mindfucks/roe_roe_roe_your_boat.html

  15. Dan,

    I've had no problems using Gmail with Twitter.

    Twitter's perhaps the next stage of the Blogosphere, seems to me to be a hybrid of blogging and chatting, or at least potentially so. (Remember that ill-fated commingling of blog/forum, heh. Twitter actually may do it.) I expect someday the folks at Twitter might increase the character limits, if only a little.

    Actually, it's kind of a de-centralized forum…..

  16. “So far, there's one announced package for PS3, that doesn't play on xbox 360, worth writing home about [1]…”

    How's so?

  17. Dan,

    When you said one, I thought you meant “only” one. I am quite content with Warhawk at the moment, so tugging the old “PS3 doesn't have any games” line isn't that credible anymore, especially considering the console has yet to reach the year old mark and roughly 85% percent of third party retail titles that came out or are coming out for the Xbox 360 since the PS3 launch are also coming to the PS3.

    Not that I am saying you were tugging such a line, but that was my first impression and I apologize for jumping to that conclusion.

  18. “the old “PS3 doesn't have any games” line isn't that credible anymore, especially considering the console has yet to reach the year old mark”

    So doesn't that mean the line either is still credible or not yet credible?

  19. Well, you got me there, but it would have been the most credible way back before the release of Motorstorm. I was just pointing out that many don't take the timing of the PS3's release into consideration.

  20. Jeffrey,

    Regarding the console wars more generally, I have the following anecdotes to share

    1. I recently stopped by on two friends who had Wiis. One was playing it when I arrived, and the other was in the process of getting another game as I arrived.
    2. One of these two friends also has a PS3. He was actively shopping for an XBOX 360.
    3. As I was writing this comment, I msg'd my friend with an XBOX 360, asking how often he plays. His answer was “mostly daily.”

  21. …and to each their own. What is your point?

    If I could only buy one platform to play on, for whatever hypothetical reason, it probably wouldn't be the PS3. However, I am a PC gamer that enjoys his racing, platformers, and fighting titles that can't be found on that platform. Before I bought my PS3, I had a PC and Wii, and given the reality that many of the Xbox 360 “exclusives” can be found on the PC platform (hell, even an extended version of Gears of War is coming to the platform with mouse and keyboard support), I figured that I would go with a platform that comes with a next gen video format and free server based online gaming as opposed to paying for a p2p service.

    Now, I know most are not in my situation. I understand that many don't care to maintain a proper PC gaming rig and, for that matter, games being exclusive to a particular consoles (as opposed to exclusivity all together) hold relevance. However, I do happen to game on the PC and that would probably be the one platform that I am even remotely fanboy-ish about.

    In the end, I was just posting a link that was relevant to the present console war, so there isn't any need to assume that I did so to assert the merits of any one platform by doing so.

    “2. One of these two friends also has a PS3. He was actively shopping for an XBOX 360.”

    I know many that own both, and if you are suggesting that he doesn't have anything to play on the PS3, could it be that he doesn't know how to look for good games? I remember telling someone that was pissed about the Halo 2 delay that there are others games for the platform, and he said, “Like what?!” I also happen to know others that have perfectly capable PC's that could handle UT2004 and Battlefield 1942, but they still would rather summit to the Halo hype machine on a daily bases despite what I consider the most generic MP level design ever created. I guess that it just the nature of the mainstream gaming demography.

  22. I agree on your point of the XBOX 360 / PC overlap. This is both a positive (more games, easier transition for PC gamers) and a negative (less “exclusives”) for the XBOX 360.

  23. Michael,

    Excellent article! Thanks!

    A couple thoughts: One benefit of conversion to Islam is that there aren't many free riders in the organization, so you can be sure you are with fellow believers. [1] I early looked at it from the perspective of ruleset firmness. [2]

    Jeffrey,

    OK. I saw a Heavenly Sword trailer in HD. The PS3 has some cool games. 🙂

    [1] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2007/07/23/review-of-the-rise-of-christianity-by-rodney-stark.html
    [2] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2006/09/23/jesusism-paulism-part-v-the-people-of-the-book.html

  24. Dan,

    Hey, nobody likes a kiss ass! Seriously, though, you should see the cut scenes featuring King Bohan (played by Andy Serkis of Gollum/LOTR fame). Rather convincing acting for computer animation.

    Oh, and you can guarantee a 65nm Xbox 360 today if you buy the ugly Halo 3 special edition unit. Otherwise, other versions are going to be luck of the draw since the addition of the news chip are not exactly officially acknowledge to be in any particular unit.

    http://kotaku.com/index.php?refId=305306

  25. Here the video I previously mentioned. Not the best resolution, so you are welcome to come to my apartment if you wish to see it in HD.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueULHMHfSQc

    Oh, and I happened you come across the first season of Upright Citizens Brigade at Best Buy today. Knowing you, I figured you might be a fan.

  26. I'm not a fan of fighting games, but the cut-scene at the beginning of the clip is one of the best I've ever seen in any game.

    I've watched UCB on Comedy Central, but never got into it. Too Maple Syrup-y 🙂

  27. Eugene's article has a great concept and terrible execution. Robinson argues from anecdoate on obscurity. For instance, find the logical argument in the following two sentences:

    “Four or five decades ago, you could reasonably generalize that “black America” was poor. Today, African Americans control nearly $800 billion in annual purchasing power — enough to dine occasionally at restaurants that have tablecloths.”

    (hint: there isn't any)

    After the first two paragraphs and before the last four, I'm not sure that there's a single paragraph in the article that makes sense.

  28. “I'm not a fan of fighting games, but the cut-scene at the beginning of the clip is one of the best I've ever seen in any game.”

    I thought that you were a fan of DOA?

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