Multiple universes

Playwright, novelist, and philosophy Michael Frayn offers this critique of David Deutsch’s claim that quantum mechanics implies multiple, perhaps infinite, worlds: “If only we knew what proportion of David Deutsches was putting forward each of these theories we should be able to judge . . . . Continue Reading »

Israel is Egypt

The Lord says through Isaiah (chapter 19): “So I will incite Egyptians against Egyptians; and they will each fight against his brother and each against his neighbor, city against city and kingdom against kingdom.” Jesus says of Israel, “Brother will betray brother to death, and a . . . . Continue Reading »

Means and ends

Thoreau wrote, “Our inventions . . . are but improved means to an unimproved end. We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing important to communicate . . . . We are eager to tunnel under the Atlantic and bring the . . . . Continue Reading »

Mediated

Instead of continuing to quote de Zengotita until I’ve transcribed the whole book, let me summarize: This is the best anthropology of contemporary culture I’ve ever read. Somewhat reductive - I’m not sure that everything is so shaped by media as de Zengotita suggests. Mostly he . . . . Continue Reading »

Predictable surprise

De Zengotita again, commenting on how lame action/sci fi movies have become: “There’s this very specific phase in so many of these films, a phase that’s so marked I bet there’s some insider lingo for it. It’s when the suspenseful set-up phase - which is often pretty . . . . Continue Reading »

Mediating the Other

De Zengotita notes the paradox of modernity/postmodernity’s affirmation of the Other: “instead of treating the Other as an alien something - threatening in some cases, alluring in others, but in all cases an object , whether of conquest, exploitation, proselytizing, study, or tourism - . . . . Continue Reading »

Things

De Zengotita gives this lovely description of his grandfather’s (a surgeon) delight in things: “it was his hands that I remember most of all, the care they extended to everything he touched, one by one, no haste, no waste, to each its due. That much was obvious. But subtler internal . . . . Continue Reading »

Mediated

Mediated by Thomas de Zengotita (Bloomsbury, 2005) comes highly recommended from Ken Myers. No wonder. This is a very thoughtful book, written with great energy. Every paragraph is quotable, and has the effect of holding up a mirror to the way we live now. For instance, comparing our penchant for . . . . Continue Reading »

Boundaries and RO

Hans Boersma offers an extended critique of Radical Orthodoxy in the Fall 2006 issue of Pro Ecclesia. Boersma focuses on the issue of boundaries, arguing that Radical Orthodoxy’s ontology of peace is hostile to boundaries, seeing them as fluctuating and humanly constructed, and that this . . . . Continue Reading »

Ahab in Micah

A student, Luke Nieuwsma, pointed out several references to Ahab in the prophecy of Micah. Micah 2:1-2 condemns those who covet fields and take them by violence, as Ahab did to Naboth; 6:15 is an explicit allusion to Omri and Ahab; and the “she” who is trampled like mud sounds a lot . . . . Continue Reading »