Fear

This National Review piece by Kyle Smith is interesting, but I don’t buy much of it. The author doesn’t entirely succeed in the balancing act (no surprise). Moreover, John Wilson has me suspicious of the way that fear is constantly rolled out as an explanatory force.

I have some concerns about the kind of work “fear” does as an explanatory force, too. Fear is often innocent, understandable, etc. When we say that someone is acting out of fear, we may wish they were more courageous, but we’re usually willing to let them off the hook a bit becuase of course they would be afraid. But I think I can say with confidence that many people, on many sides, are simply seeking every advantage they can get over their neighbor. That’s what I see, at least – people in a downward spiral toward anything that gives them an advantage over others. Fear is not even close to the only or even primary motivation for that. There are less innocent, more self-serving reasons. Focusing on fear just lets people off the hook for even uglier motivations. (And, lest anyone say, “that sounds like a fearful thing to say,” it’s not. Acknowledging that the ugly pursuit of advantage over one’s neighbor does not, of necessity, imply fear.)

‪Two things I’ll say about Christine Blasey Ford’s written testimony.

‪1) Nothing here seems the sort of thing made up for this occasion.‬

‪2) Check our this paragraph near the end. How sad, vile, and pathetic. No one should excuse or ignore the way that Christine Blasey Ford and her family have been treated. To do so is to trample one’s own credibility.

”Maybe if I stayed away from books more this restlessness would pass. I am reading Dostoevski and last night I stayed up late and this morning I had to get up early and I feel that my soul is like lead.” — Dorothy Day

Same

Steps after hearing your manuscript is going into production:‬

‪1) Fight back surprise tear‬ 2) Face sudden rush of doubt that the manuscript is really ready‬ ‪3) Feel like you’ve finally finished the project only to remember that this is not the last step‬ 4) Buy salted beer caramel latte 5) Get back to work‬

‪All in about 30 seconds‬

‪“The transcendent God, precisely because he is not one finite being among others, is able to be incomparably present to all, closer to them than they are to themselves.”‬

‪— Richard Bacukham, The Theology of the Book of Revelation‬

My new policy on missed class sessions, late work, and extensions

My policy on missed class sessions, late work, and extensions is modeled after the vacation, personal, and sick day policies common in many workplaces. Holidays and vacation days are built into the semester’s schedule (e.g., Labor Day, Fall Break, Thanksgiving Break). Students have a combination of three additional personal/sick days in this class. Any personal/sick day may be used for a one-day extension on an assignment. Late assignments are otherwise docked 10% per day. One of these personal/sick days may be used to excuse an absence. (Given that this class meets only once per week, only one absence may be excused.)

Finally had a chance to watch First Reformed last night. I’m no film critic, but to me it has the feel of a masterpiece. It prompts so many questions about true religion, courage… not to mention the environmental angle. We’ll be watching it in my Environmental Politics course.

If it didn’t appear this hawk(?) had a broken wing, we’d leave it outside. With local wildlife centers closed, it appears this is the best we can do. I don’t even know if it needs that water, but someone suggested it. We just hope we’re not hurting more than we’re helping.