Category Archives: Modern life-as-we-know-it

The middle class is not mentioned in the Bible

Homeless man begs for money in the Financial District in San FranciscoRead this thought-provoking piece by Ryan McAnnally-Linz and Miroslav Volf are the authors of “Public Faith in Action: How to Think Critically, Engage Wisely, and Vote with Integrity.” McAnnally-Linz and Volf explore politicians’ (all of them) focus on the middle class (which didn’t exist in Biblical times), at near complete exclusion of the poor (who did).

Do you need Islamophobin?

You can read more here.

So long, Marianne

Marianne Ihren, known as Leonard Cohen’s muse, has died. Before she went, the singer/songwriter wrote a touch letter to her. You can read more here.

I am posting this specifically to yank Leftover’s chain

For those of us with no more than a passing understanding of Socialism, this makes sense. But for a real, live Socialist, well, I hope Leftover will explain things.

Leftover, if you’re not in the mood, that’s OK. I just thought this was interesting.

How can white people talk to each other about racism?

racism-blind-to-racismWell, sure, but rather than get into a shouting match, I’ve compiled a list of suggestions, drawn from various sources, like this, from The Dot, and this, from The Seattle Globalist, and this, from Baltimore Racial Justice Action.

In short:

  • Get educated
  • Prepare for defensiveness
  • Stay calm
  • Be personal
  • Understand that racism can be subtle
  • You will probably fail the first few times out

What else? What am I missing?

My fellow ‘Muricans…

jurandoPart of becoming a citizen of the U.S. of A. is taking some tests. The civics test makes sure the would-be citizen knows enough about American history to, well, pass a test.

I took a civics practice test and got 90 percent. I missed the year the Constitution was written (by two years, but that counts) and I mis-identified a state I actually know very well.

I’m not proud of that. Here. See how you do.

Phubbing is a thing and you should stop it now

When you pay attention to your phone instead of a person in front of you, that’s a new kind of snubbing — or phubbing.:

A group of 276 participants took several questionnaires that measured their experiences of phubbing and being phubbed, as well as scales for internet addiction, smartphone addiction, self-control, and fear of missing out (FOMO). These all bore out in the expected ways: the people most likely to be glued to a screen while surrounded by friends were low in self-control, high in FOMO, and higher on the scales for internet and smartphone addiction. (It’s still questionable whether one can really be “addicted” to the internet, but these scales basically measure whether a person uses it compulsively, and whether it interferes with their life.)

The most interesting thing this study found was that people who reported phubbing more often were also more likely to be phubbed themselves. The authors, from the University of Kent, suggest several possible reasons for this. One is a simple retaliation—if you’re trying to talk to someone, and they’re on their phone, well, two can play at that game.