May 1, 2014 / From the Editor, Uncategorized
Each Friday we compile a list of interesting links and articles our editors find from …
May 30, 2014
Each Friday we compile a list of interesting links and articles our editors find from across the web. Here’s what’s catching our eye this week.
An interesting presentation on the state of the internet and privacy concerns:
A few weeks ago, the sociologist Janet Vertesi gave a talk about her efforts to keep Facebook from learning she was pregnant. Pregnant women have to buy all kinds of things for the baby, so they are ten times more valuable to Facebook’s advertisers. At one point, Vertesi’s husband bought a number of Amazon gift cards with cash, and the large purchase triggered a police warning. This fits a pattern where privacy-seeking behavior has become grounds for suspicion. Try to avoid the corporate tracking system, and you catch the attention of the police instead.
TOR comments on the kids internet privacy:
In “It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens,” a researcher named danah boyd summarizes more than a decade of work studying the way young people use networks, and uncovers a persistent and even desperate drive for online privacy from teens. For example, some of the teens that boyd interviewed actually resign from Facebook every time they step away from their computers. If you resign from Facebook, you have six weeks to change your mind and reactivate your account, but while you’re resigned, no one can see your profile or any of your timeline. These kids sign back into Facebook every time they get back in front of their computers, but they ensure that no one can interact with their digital selves unless they’re there to respond, pulling down information if it starts to make trouble for them.
That’s pretty amazing. It tells you two things: one, that kids will go to incredible lengths to protect their privacy; and two, that Facebook makes it incredibly hard to do anything to protect your privacy.
TOJ contributor, DL Mayfield’s, cover story for Christianity Today on why she gave up alcohol is well worth the read:
In the past few years, though, my beliefs have changed—or been changed. My husband and I joined a Christian order among the poor, inspired by the likes of Shane Claiborne, who seek the face of Christ among the most marginalized of society. Our first shock when we moved into our low-income apartment in a Midwestern inner city was the amount of substance abuse that surrounded us. I heard the sounds every day: the Patsy Cline blaring next door, the off-key singing, the shouting matches, the cackling, the doors banging, the bodies crashing to the floor in a stupor. I would go to get my mail and find a man blocking the stairs, passed out and unresponsive at 11 in the morning
The Daily Beast asks if conservatives were right about gay marriage all along:
Obviously, we now know that the sky doesn’t fall when gays get married. Contrary to the hysterical claims that same-sex marriage would threaten marriage in general, 10 years of experience in Massachusetts have shown the opposite: The divorce rate has gone down, and straight kids aren’t suddenly turning gay.
At the same time, there is some truth to the conservative claim that gay marriage is changing, not just expanding, marriage. According to a 2013 study, about half of gay marriages surveyed (admittedly, the study was conducted in San Francisco) were not strictly monogamous.
Rowan Williams reviews Kevin Hector’s Theology without Metaphysics:
In the Christian theological context, this view about speech entails an appeal to the Holy Spirit as securing a continuity of usage with Jesus and the apostles: to claim to be speaking truly about God means to go on in a way that can be identified with acknowledged precedent, to reproduce the commitments of precursors. Meaning is established by charting a normative trajectory in usage. And this normative trajectory can also generate self-critical moves in the discourse because there is always a surplus of normative resource that may only come to light when uses are challenged in the light of perceived inequity or incongruity produced by existing usage. We can confidently defend a mode of speech about God as genuinely representing extra-mental truth in virtue of the self-aware and self-challenging practice that can be demonstrated in our usage — and without explicit or implicit appeal to a metaphysical claim to have embodied some essence in our words.
Aeon on the history and debate around PTSD:
n the late 1990s, I found myself caught up in an increasingly vitriolic debate within the mental health profession. One side argued that the ‘inventors’ of PTSD pathologised normal stress reactions and undermined people’s natural coping abilities; they saw no evidence that counselling treatments worked. On the other side, advocates of the diagnosis insisted that ‘trauma denial’ was preventing millions of sufferers from getting help.
‘To make a drama out of trauma is fully justified,’ wrote the Dutch psychiatrist Fokko de Vries in the Lancet in 1998, defending a counselling programme in Bosnia at the time.
‘Dr Vries alludes variably to suffering and to trauma, as if they were interchangeable. Surely we must be clear that suffering per se is not pathology,’ responded the British psychiatrist Derek Summerfield.
This back-and-forth captured the heart of the issue. PTSD had come to signify all the moral, social and political evils of war. To say that people did not have PTSD appeared, to some, to be saying that they had not suffered.
How Marxist theory explains the origins of Buzzfeed:
So which is it? Does capitalism, in its advanced stages, need “schizophrenics,” or are they the only ones able to resist it?
Neither, Peretti answers. Capitalism needs people to have moments of schizophrenia, where their personal identities are in flux, but it also needs them to be able to recover from those moments with new identities, which can fuel new consumption so as to realize the identities in question. “Capitalism needs schizophrenia, but it also needs egos,” he writes. “The contradiction is resolved through the acceleration of the temporal rhythm of late capitalist visual culture. This type of acceleration encourages weak egos that are easily formed, and fade away just as easily.”
Don Draper is losing his sex appeal, explains Esquire:
Over the last several weeks, however, Don has lost those traits that made him so attractive. His unweaning pride has vanished. He humiliates himself in front of clients and in the office, regularly. He puts up with Lou instead of blowing him away. He talks with a woman on a plane who is fascinating and beautiful, and then doesn’t sleep with her. He submits his business ideas to Freddy Rumsen. His vulnerabilities are no longer so pronounced, either. He is behaving like an adult around Peggy, around the other partners, even around his wife. Where’s the fun in that? What’s attractive about that? He does have a threesome, when his wife more or less forces him to. Why did she do that? Because she wanted her old husband back, the one who would have asked her for a threesome with her friend. Megan keeps saying, “I know what you’re like,” worrying that he’s cheating. But increasingly that sounds like wishful thinking. The man can’t even seem to find a decent suit anymore. What will they put him in next, checks?
Twenty years after it was released the Shawshank Redemption still rakes money in:
The movie’s enduring popularity manifests itself in ways big and small. “Shawshank” for years has been rated by users of imdb.com as the best movie of all time (the first two “Godfather” films are second and third). On a Facebook page dedicated to the film, fans show off tattoos of quotes, sites and the rock hammer Andy, played by Tim Robbins, used to tunnel out of prison. Type “370,000” into a Google search and the site auto-completes it with “in 1966.” Andy escapes in 1966 with $370,000 of the warden’s ill-gotten gains. The small Ohio city where it was filmed is a tourist attraction
There were good reasons why I asked 50 Cent—the same 50 Cent who named his dog after Oprah, and not in a nice way—to become my life coach. He has seemed, in the decade since his first record came out, like a person with wisdom, or at least savvy. He’s published a couple of self-help books—The 50th Law, a best-selling meditation on fear and the impossibility of trust transfigured into a set of boardroom commandments; last year’s Formula 50: A 6-Week Workout and Nutrition Plan That Will Transform Your Life. In his office hangs a poster of the movie he starred in opposite Robert De Niro, Righteous Kill—a testament to an improbable second career on-screen that continues this month with his new drama series on Starz, Power. He invested early in Vitaminwater and earned $100 million. His new album, his first in nearly five years, is called Animal Ambition; maybe he’d be willing to impart some of that ambition to another man.
If you’d rather not get hit by a 99mph fastball, you should learn the unwritten rules of baseball:
Baseball’s unwritten rules quietly took form in part to reprimand a player for running too slowly around the bases, celebrating as he goes, after a home run in the eighth inning of a 10-1 game, and, in a development of the past 10 years, flipping his bat as he stands at the plate to admire his feat. The unwritten rules were built to penalize a player who stole a base when his team was ahead by 10 runs, or swung as hard as he could at a 3-0 pitch when up by 12, or dropped a bunt in the ninth inning to break up a no-hitter
And finally, VOX has a helpful chart to find out if you are in beer or wine region this weekend.
Matthew Shedden is Praxis editor at The Other Journal and an associate Pastor in rural Oregon. He writes more at mshedden.com and on Twitter @sheddenm.