May 1, 2014 / From the Editor, Uncategorized
Each Friday we compile a list of interesting links and articles our editors find from …
January 9, 2015
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 the past week.
Terry Eagleton on the death of universities:
Are the humanities about to disappear from our universities? The question is absurd. It would be like asking whether alcohol is about to disappear from pubs, or egoism from Hollywood. Just as there cannot be a pub without alcohol, so there cannot be a university without the humanities. If history, philosophy and so on vanish from academic life, what they leave in their wake may be a technical training facility or corporate research institute. But it will not be a university in the classical sense of the term, and it would be deceptive to call it one.
Ty Cobb killed a man in 1912?
In short: Probably not, but he may have claimed he did. In long: Years after his playing career ended, Ty Cobb collaborated with sportswriter Al Stump on an autobiography. According to Stump, Cobb told him, “In 1912 — and you can write this down — I killed a man in Detroit.”
Eighty-six viral images from 2014 that turned out to be fake:
We debunked a lot of fake viral photos this year. Eighty-six, to be exact. And that doesn’t even include all those fake toilet photos from the Sochi Olympics, those fake Ebola cures, and all the lies that UberFacts helped spread. It was a busy year for fakes. Below, a recap of 2014’s fake viral images, all in one place for your perusing pleasure.
There’s more to Buzz Aldrin than just being one of the first to set foot on the moon:
He was a war-hero fighter pilot. He was an MIT rocket scientist. He was a lot of impressive things, and then Buzz Aldrin went to the moon, which is maybe all you know about one of the most famous men on earth—a guy who’s been frozen, like a footprint in lunar dust, in America’s mind for forty-five years now. But the thing about Buzz is that he still wants way more than the moon.
The Sony hack may not be as clear as we think it is:
If anything should disturb you about the Sony hacking incidents and subsequentdenial-of-service attack against North Korea, it’s that we still don’t know who’s behind any of it. The FBI said in December that North Korea attacked Sony. Iand others have serious doubts. There’s countervailing evidence to suggest that the culprit may have been a Sony insider or perhaps Russian nationals.
An emotional heat check for Kanye West:
Kanye West has a new song, a collaboration with Paul McCartney. It’s called “Only One.” It’s him singing to himself, and that should be terrible, except he’s singing to himself like he’s his deceased mother, and that’s very emotional, and also he’s singing to himself like he’s his mother reminding him to make sure to talk to his daughter about her, and basically what I’m saying is that I for real started crying when I was listening to it. The song is vulnerable and brave and introspective and warm and kind of wobbles and wanders around a bit, which is good because that’s exactly how that scenario would play out as a conversation if it weren’t a song. Kanye is great. Even when he is being a dick, he is still great, or at least interesting, and always emotional. So this is Emotional Heat Check: Kanye West.
A story on football and brain disease:
Joseph Chernach committed suicide in 2012, at the age of 25. A year later, brain tests revealed that had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. Though he played youth and high school football for eight years, he is one of few football players to develop the degenerative brain disease without competing at the college or pro levels. His parents, Debra Pyka and Jeffrey Chernach, told their story to Joseph Stromberg.
A review of N.T. Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God:
N.T. Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God is the climactic study in a massive and controversial project, nothing less than provision of the correct reading of the apostle Paul, who is effectively the foundational figure for Christian thought and practice. This reading, like all readings, is formed in a particular context; Wright is responding to another widespread reading of Paul that he finds problematic in various ways, one found across Liberal, mainstream, and conservative circles. Pauline specialists know this as the “Lutheran” approach to Paul, thanks to a classic 1963 exposé of its dynamics and inadequacies by Krister Stendahl. “Lutheran” is admittedly not the happiest of definitions. Luther sometimes advocated this approach to Paul, but he also advocated a lot of other things, some of them diametrically opposed to the so-called Lutheran understanding of Paul. And the same observation applies to many of his Protestant allies and descendants. So the Lutheran reading of Paul is a narrower construct than its name might suggest, but we should not underestimate its power or popularity.
Writers feels threatened by surveillance:
A survey of writers around the world by the PEN American Center has found that a significant majority said they were deeply concerned with government surveillance, with many reporting that they have avoided, or have considered avoiding, controversial topics in their work or in personal communications as a result. The findings show that writers consider freedom of expression to be under significant threat around the world in democratic and nondemocratic countries. Some 75 percent of respondents in countries classified as “free,” 84 percent in “partly free” countries, and 80 percent in countries that were “not free” said that they were “very” or “somewhat” worried about government surveillance in their countries.
A lecture on Bonhoeffer and the Song of Songs:
The most famous of all statements about the Song of Songs was uttered by Rabbi Akiba. It occurs in the Mishnah, in tractate Yadayim, which is concerned with the washing of hands and therefore with what is holy and defiles the hands, so that they must be washed. This leads, curiously but inevitably, into a discussion of the canon of Scripture.
David A. Garner