Print Story Pull yourself together and act like a scientist
By TheophileEscargot (Sun Mar 17, 2019 at 11:55:34 PM EST) Reading, MLP, Watching (all tags)
Reading: "The Last Days of New Paris", "Paul". Watching. Links.

What I'm Reading
The Last Days of New Paris by China Mieville. Short novel set in a Paris stalked by monsters made of surrealist art come to life where rebels fight the Nazi occupation. Felt a bit slight compared with his more intense other books, mostly an exercise in how to shoehorn in favourite artworks. Fairly enjoyable but not one of his best.

What I'm Reading 2
Paul: A Biography by Tom Wright, who is apparently one of the the great interpreters of Saint Paul. Wright's also enthusiastic about his subject and draws a vivid and appealing picture of the charismatic, argumentative driven man who did more than anyone else to spread that religion.

People today write doctoral dissertations and business books about how successful companies and not-for-profit organizations being. In ninety-nine cases out of a hundered there is someone like Paul hammering away from the start, getting things off the ground, confronting local authorities, raising money, persuading co-workers about what needs to be done, never losing the vision. Someone who will take the bull by the horns. Someone who will go on and on insisting on what do to and how to do it until it happens.

With all this there is something disarming about Paul's vulnerable side, which explains why, despite his relentless and in-your-face energy, people loved him, wanted to work with him, wept when he left... His honesty shines out... You know he will do everything for you... He will never ask anyone to face anything he hasn't faed up to himself, including horrible hardship.

In some ways I think this might be underplaying him a bit. Off-hand I can't think of any non-aristocrat in the ancient world who had as much long-term impact as Paul. I think he must have had some kind of incredible charisma far beyond any regular organiser.

Wright covers what we know of Paul's life well. Unfortunately nobody knows what happened to him at the end, though as he was last seen heading towards Rome a couple of years before Nero's persecutions it doesn't look too good.

I'm not really able to judge the theology. Wright says.

It has become fashionable in modern times to imagine that the early Christians saw the coming judgment as the literal "end of the world", the collapse and destruction of the planet and perhaps the entire cosmos as we know it... what sounds to us like "end-of-the-world" language is used to denote and refer to things that we might call major world events, the sudden rise and fall of ruling powers and the like, and to invest those events with their inner, God-related significance...

Actually we do the very same thing, speaking of a political "earthquake" or an election producing a "landslide".

So in Wright's view, the apparently apocalyptic language denotes a spiritual and political transformation being brought about in the present moment by Jesus.

Others seem to disagree about this and I can't really judge the theology myself.

Overall though, a good book, worth reading if you're interested in Paul or his times.

What I'm Watching
Saw Isle of Dogs at home. Wes Anderson animated movie about a boy trying to find his dog after all dogs are exiled to Trash Island.

I enjoyed this a lot: cute but does have some bite, especially with the grimness of Trash Island. Won't show it to the kid, I think it's it's too scary and too wordy for a five year old, but fine for adults and older kids.

Politics. Thomas Piketty: To love Europe is to change it. European Spring (big PDF). Peter Oborne: Jeremy Corbyn and the truth about Tom Bower's book. Andrew Yang's presidential campaign includes basic income.

Random. Why Do Kids Say "Versing"? Game: Name the celebrity based on their Wikipedia table of contents.

News. Hundreds sexually abused at detention centre.

Sci/Tech. The Great Divide in front-end development. A distributed virus. Some in Mary Rose crew may have had African origin. Touchdown on Asteroid Ryugu video. Click farm video.

Articles. Boilersuits and utility clothing.

News. Hundreds sexually abused at detention centre.

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Pull yourself together and act like a scientist | 7 comments (7 topical, 0 hidden)
Distributed Virus by ana (3.50 / 2) #1 Mon Mar 18, 2019 at 04:44:36 AM EST
Like, woh. It's like a whole industry of coordinated manufacturing.

Or get rabies. Also don't do that. --scrymarch

Isle of Dogs by Scrymarch (4.00 / 1) #2 Tue Mar 19, 2019 at 12:38:30 AM EST
We watched that recently, 8yo, 10yo and both of us thought it was great. His family movies seem particularly strong, I also thought Fantastic Mr Fox very well done.

Critics seem to have got over complaining about Andersen's highly recognizable style a bit, and just coming along for the ride more. I'm not following film as much as I used to, but I don't think there's another working director whose films I look forward to specifically because they are by him. Taiki Waititi, maybe, but he's only made two.

Iambic Web Certified

Wes Anderson style by ucblockhead (4.00 / 2) #3 Tue Mar 19, 2019 at 10:31:36 AM EST
Yes, it's easy to parody, but at the end of the's a fun pleasant style to watch.   It's nice that someone's making stylistic choices that don't involve over-the-top violence or aggressive lens flare.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
"versing" by dark nowhere (4.00 / 1) #4 Wed Mar 20, 2019 at 08:21:56 PM EST
is an incredibly natural-sounding evolution to my ears. Like the article says it's not new, but only recently have I heard it in sufficient volume to bother noting it in the lexicon.

The more I think about it, the more I think it's long overdue. We've had "counter" forever, but it connotes a response to an aggressor in English (plus we should all be glad we didn't end up with "counting" which would be fine with kids and drive  the middle-aged-plus insane) and "facing" does nothing to imply an arranged contest.

See you, space cowboy.

N.T. Wright by lm (4.00 / 3) #5 Wed Mar 20, 2019 at 08:24:14 PM EST
Wright is probably one of the most intellectually honest contemporary authors in the Protestant camp writing on questions of history. I'm more acquainted with his works that were penned as responses to The Jesus Seminar than his Pauline scholarship but he's a true academic which is pretty rare in the field of religious studies.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
how do you get that impression? by soggyM (2.00 / 0) #6 Sun Mar 31, 2019 at 09:52:38 AM EST
Simply b/c he migrated from Miltada's swamp to London these days? hmmm... he's hiring an attorney to look after his IPs in blockchained invention, did you know more about just the rumor?
[ Parent ]
You're gonna have to try harder than that... by lm (2.00 / 0) #7 Sun Mar 31, 2019 at 10:04:52 AM EST
... to get me to bite on a lame troll about an academic in a field in which I have experience.

Have a nice day.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Pull yourself together and act like a scientist | 7 comments (7 topical, 0 hidden)