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The Threat of Artificial Intelligence

The technologies referred to as “artificial intelligence” or “AI” are more momentous than most people realize. Their impact will be at least equal to, and may well exceed, that of electricity, the computer, and the internet. What’s more, their impact will be massive and rapid, faster than . . . . Continue Reading »

Class Acts

Another summer, another moving season in Northern Virginia, a region filled with peripatetic military and federal families. Some folks, like us, move by choice—our three-bedroom townhome with no yard had become ­inadequate for our four small children. Others, like the family of six across the . . . . Continue Reading »

Bach and Pythagoras

Anyone who begins playing Bach as an adult will notice two things: that he should have started earlier, ideally by studying the piano as a child instead of chasing a leathery orb around some field; and that there is something of the divine in Bach. Philosophers have always drawn a connection between . . . . Continue Reading »

Letters

I read R. R. Reno’s charitable words on Karl Barth with great interest (“Karl Barth,” May) and would like to offer my own remarks as a ­supplement. At the Protestant Theologicum in Tübingen (1974–5), I spent a year sharing an office with Reno’s mentor, Ronald Thiemann. Ron’s background . . . . Continue Reading »

Rancher Rebels

At a time when most of the news on television is at some level fake, the 2014 standoff at the Bundy ranch in Nevada stood out as a real event. Here was no pseudo-­spectacle thrown together for the cameras. Cliven Bundy, a Mormon rancher in Nevada, had a real quarrel with the Bureau of Land . . . . Continue Reading »

One-Man Revolution

In 1932, while covering a worker’s strike in Washington, D.C., Dorothy Day said a prayer. Since her conversion to Catholicism, she felt that she could no longer join such strikes. Joining a strike was an expression of ­solidarity—and fundamental philosophical differences prevented true . . . . Continue Reading »

When the TV Turns Off

To say that Don DeLillo dislikes television would be an understatement. He actually seems to think it’s imperiling our souls. DeLillo’s novel White Noise—which won the National Book Award in 1985 and secured his reputation as one of the best contemporary American writers—was . . . . Continue Reading »

Catholic Ideas and Catholic Realities

For the last fifty years, from the Second Vatican Council onward, it made sense to speak of an American Catholicism fully reconciled to liberal democracy. On the fringes there were still some noteworthy anti-liberal and radical Catholic periodicals and writers, but the mainstream was defined by the . . . . Continue Reading »

Just Here

A young friend of mine recently fell victim to an unexpected and horrific illness. For some time, it seemed that he would certainly die; the progress of the disease led expectations relentlessly in that direction. Prayers (­including my own) for God’s mercy multiplied with a profound desperation. . . . . Continue Reading »

When Rome Policed Art

A century ago, a little-known Belgian artist named Albert Servaes became famous when cardinals at the Holy Office in Rome censured him for depicting Jesus Christ in a way they considered unsuitable for Catholics. The story made the front page of American Art News in New York. In this . . . . Continue Reading »

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