Sunday, June 7
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Albert Camus

A Room With A Deja Vu — Gods And AI

A Room With A Deja Vu — Gods And AI

"Life" Issues, Abrahamic Traditions, Albert Camus, Archetypes, autonomy, Challenge, Christianity, critical judgment, culture, Dostoyevsky, doubt, epistemology, existentialism, faith, God, Human Condition, Ideology, Literature, Outside your comfort zone, Religion, Science, Scripture, Secularity, The Divine, Theology, Uncategorized
Every so often, I read something – a newspaper story, a journal article, an interview, a campaign speech … whatever – that elicits from me the following reaction:  Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot? Ain’t we been here before? And that reaction is often followed by a supplementary reaction:  Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot?  Ain’t we still here? (“It’s déjà vu all over again!” – Yogi Berra) The latest example of this species of déjà vu is an article about the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) to eventually evolve into a kind of silicon god with the capability of directing all human  affairs, planet-wide. The claim is that this will happen, perhaps midway through the 21st century. The article then goes on to speculate on what choices would have to be made, should such an achievement be realized, and t...
“A Local Habitation And A Name” — Poetry, Memory, And Biography

“A Local Habitation And A Name” — Poetry, Memory, And Biography

"Life" Issues, Albert Camus, Archetypes, Atheism, Christianity, Christianity/Catholicism, Church, courage, critical judgment, culture, Epiphany, faith, Four Quartets, God, Holy Mystery, Holy Week, Human Condition, Julian of Norwich, prayer, Uncategorized
Prof. Molly Worthen’s recent reflection on the paucity of emphasis on memorizing poetry resonated with me very strongly, though for reasons she did not account for in her recent op-ed piece in the New York Times. Based on my own experience spanning an academic lifetime, I would suggest a different approach that could render memorizing poetry more relevant and even more pleasurable. My methodology is very simple and straightforward to describe and, perhaps for that reason, quite effective:  instead of emphasizing rote memorization of poetry, instill a love of the text itself. Learn to love Hamlet, love it to the point that you read it over and over again during a lifetime, and memorizing the great soliloquy will most likely take care of itself. Above all, learn to reflect on your life e...
Hose-Anna In Excelsis!

Hose-Anna In Excelsis!

"Life" Issues, Albert Camus, awareness, C. S. Lewis, Christianity, Comfort, contemplation, curiosity, Epiphany, Four Quartets, Holy Mystery, Human Condition, Joy, Literature, Longing, Mystery, Religion, Spirituality, T. S. Eliot, The Divine, Uncategorized, wonder
OK … Time to 'fess up ... I admit it … I need a break … I’m tired of ranting about Donald Trump, the story of Frankenstein-as-Donald Trump, my Dad and D-Day as antitheses of Donald Trump, etc., etc., etc., etc. I suspect you are tired of hearing me rant, too. Understandable. I need a change of subject. Probably you do, too. So let’s change the subject and talk about something else, something pristinely apolitical and un-Trump-connected or even un-Trump-adjacent. An alternate rant, if you will. So what shall we talk about? I know! Let’s talk about burrowing garden hoses! I was only 6 years old, living in Wichita, KS, and just starting the first grade in 1955, but despite being that young, I vividly remember reading stories in the newspaper about garden hoses simply burrowing in...