A few months ago, I joined a project trying to launch a software startup. As a result, my Weekly Blogging Rate (or WBR, as the bloggemetricians like to call it) fell precipitously. However, my role in the project has now fallen into a kind of limbo, so I guess I’m kinda sorta a free agent again. So with a little more time on my hands, my WBR should be going up again in the upcoming weeks. At least until something else happens, like the project emerging from limbo, or some other offer that comes along.
So to kick things off, here are some links that inspired me recently:
Christina Kahrl provides a model for what statistically-informed sports journalism can and should look like, with this interview with Paul Konerko.
If found this quote from David Foster Wallace on Dostoevsky quite interesting:
"So, for me anyway, what makes Dostoevsky invaluable is that he possessed a passion, conviction, and engagement with deep moral issues that we, here, today, cannot or do not allow ourselves."
DFW goes on to explain that in our modern culture, we don’t allow ourselves to connect too deeply with moral issues. We feel we need to maintain a kind of ironic detachment from those sort of things. As a consequence, it makes our generation of writers seem lightweight compared to previous generations.
This is one of my favorite Tweets ever, from Cal Women’s Basketball Head Coach Lindsay Gottleib, after losing in the Final Four to Louisville:
The reason I like it so much is that it is a straightforward un-ironic expression of the true moral meaning of sports: to acknowledge the suffering built into the structure of things, and to overcome that suffering with expressions of gratitude. And it fits into a 140-character tweet, no less!
- Here’s a Guardian essay that argues that the idea history progresses is a theological idea:
“On the other hand, we all love a story: one with a beginning, middle and end. And to see history as simply one damn thing after another seems to rob it of that larger meaning that many want to read into it.”
I think that applies to our personal lives as well as history as a whole. We like to think that our lives and careers are progressing in some direction. Which, I must admit, makes it hard when your career is in limbo, and it does not seem to be going in any particular direction. Or, at least, in a direction you want it to go.
Here’s a profile of theologian John Haught. Haught rejects scientific materialism, the idea that everything in the universe boils down to physics, and thus the universe is ‘simply one damn thing after another’:
Indeed, if one rejects the scientific metaphysics that tells us that evolution is empty of meaning, a blind and random affair, one begins, according to Haught, to see hints of a telos or direction in the universe and, in that direction, a promise.
Along those lines, here is a defense of Thomas Nagel, who is also confronting scientific materialism, and being hammered for it.
I’ll leave with this quote, as I struggle with which direction to go next in my life, and if “direction” is even the right way to think about such things, from Tim O’Reilly:
“Pursue something so important that even if you fail, the world is better off with you having tried.”