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Posts tagged "Wall Street"

Another Week Ends: Wealth Addiction, Bieber/Britney Compassion, Friends Generation, True Detective, Grand Theft Auto, Better Praise and Conference Calls

Another Week Ends: Wealth Addiction, Bieber/Britney Compassion, Friends Generation, True Detective, Grand Theft Auto, Better Praise and Conference Calls

1. This one really deserves a post of its own. So much writing about Wall Street greed has the air of jealousy and pettiness around it. Nothing’s an easier target or more convenient prop for self-righteousness than a corporate cog (i.e. “I may not be swimming in it, but at least I believe in something–at least my work has meaning–unlike all those soulless automatons I knew in college who are chasing the almighty dollar. How do they live with themselves?!”). Which is part of what makes Sam Polk’s “For The Love of Money” column in The NY Times last week…

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"Cathedral" Part One: An Alien Logic (Or "He Was No One I Knew")

"Cathedral" Part One: An Alien Logic (Or "He Was No One I Knew")

For anybody who hasn’t read it, “Cathedral” (1982) is probably Raymond Carver’s most famous short story, and provides an endearing picture of what could be called a modern-day, suburban visitation from the upside-down world of grace. It begins, though, through the narrator’s lovable perspective, with the blatant understandability of such a thing to feel, well, “upside-down,” alien, creepy.

An unnamed narrator and his wife are expecting a visitor from out of town, a friend of the wife’s. Robert, the visitor, a blind, recent widower, has had a history of correspondence with the narrator’s wife, who had worked as Robert’s…

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What's Up, Tiger Mom?

What’s Up, Tiger Mom?

There have been a number of developments in the Amy Chua Chinese-Mother saga since the excerpt of her book appeared in The Wall Street Journal last week. She seems to have struck a major nerve, from which she attempted to back-pedal in both The Journal and The Times this week, albeit pretty unconvincingly. Chua takes very little responsibility for the value judgments she threw out, hiding behind claims of a satirical tone that frankly isn’t there, as well as the poetic license of a memoir. Again, as various folks pointed out in the last thread, the issue here isn’t necessarily…

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Mindfulness Therapy and The Quicksand of Internal Judgment

Mindfulness Therapy and The Quicksand of Internal Judgment

Fantastic article in today’s Wall Street Journal about the new “wave” of cognitive-behavioral therapy known as mindfulness. Its understanding of the counterproductive power of (internal) judgment is pretty darn eerie. Not only that, but as a school of thought, it appears to recognize the futility of information as a change agent, as well as the essentially passive nature of true self-improvement. In fact, if you can get beyond the slight New Age can-do bent in the language, mindfulness might well represent the next step in a Law/Gospel approach to psychotherapy. But don’t take my word for it (ht WDR):

Even people…

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Exclusion, Inclusion and Identity in The Social Network

Exclusion, Inclusion and Identity in The Social Network

An insightful piece by A.O. Scott over at The NY Times that touches on identity, self-worth and the failure of “works” to assuage the accusing voice of the Law – in this case, the inner critic/persecutor –  as seen through the lens of The Social Network and Wall Street 2. Enough to make one wonder whether the word “drive” is actually a synonym for “socially acceptable yet ultimately counterproductive pursuit of self-justification”:

Every Facebook user, friending and unfriending at will, can travel freely in intersecting circles of his or her own design. In the utopian version of this resulting horizonless…

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Parents Just Don't Understand, or The Perennial Advice Crisis Strikes Again

Parents Just Don’t Understand, or The Perennial Advice Crisis Strikes Again

A mildly interesting article in last week’s Wall Street Journal entitled “Want My Advice? Um, Not Really?” which touches tangentially on one of our favorite topics: the danger of telling people what to do. Or in theological terms, the Law being powerless to produce what it commands, or worse, producing the opposite, all the way down the line. Because the author seems strangely convinced that in past generations children dutifully sought their elders’ advice and followed it (really?!), he attempt to couch the current “advice-crisis” as a technological one. He also oddly conflates advice and expertise, knowledge and wisdom. BUT…

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The Paradox of Power

The Paradox of Power

A flat-out fascinating article from Jonah Lehrer (author of many such articles) from this past weekend’s Wall Street Journal about the nature of power. Some of us might contend that power simply reveals the natural state of man, etc, but regardless, there are some positively Beatitudinal forces at work here. I’ve heard about studies that show CEOs to have similar personality maps to psychopaths, but I always figured that was urban legend. One can only imagine how clergy would fare in these tests (ht JD):

From prostitution scandals to corruption allegations to the steady drumbeat of charges against corporate executives and…

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Son of Hamas Converted

Son of Hamas Converted

A friend of mine sent me this article from the Wall Street Journal last week, after which I promptly ran out and bought Son of Hamas, the story of the life and conversion of Mosab Hassan Yousef, the child of one of the Islamic group’s founders.

A few choice quotes from the article:

“I converted to Christianity because I was convinced by Jesus Christ as a character, as a personality. I loved him, his wisdom, his love, his unconditional love. I didn’t leave [the Islamic] religion to put myself in another box of religion. At the same time it’s a beautiful…

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Boulder Colorado, Human Nature and the Law of Sustainability

Boulder Colorado, Human Nature and the Law of Sustainability

From the Wall Street Journal, a fascinating look at the growing reaction to the Law of Sustainability – in Boulder CO of all places. I’m all for “going green” but this is pretty revealing about what’s really calling the shots re: personal decision-making. Apparently intentions and reality aren’t lining up exactly the way that officials thought they would, i.e. there is an increasingly awkward discrepancy (ht AL):

City officials never dreamed they’d have to play nanny when they set out in 2006 to make Boulder a role model in the fight against global warming. The cause seemed like a natural…

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Wine Tasting, Vodka and Reason

Wine Tasting, Vodka and Reason

Seeing the above bumper sticker in Washington DC this weekend, I was faced once again with the false dichotomy between religion and critical thought. Atheists, ‘positive thinkers’, and other ideologists like to believe that unlike religious people, they actually employ their immutable power of reason or thinking.

But how effective are our powers of reason? More often than not, they are highly subjective, self serving and misleading. At the very least I would say that we have an inflated sense of our ability to reason consistently or objectively.

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal helped demonstrate this…

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Chinese Weather and the War Between CONTROL and CHAOS

Chinese Weather and the War Between CONTROL and CHAOS

It was big news last summer, when through strategic “cloud-seeding” the Chinese were able to hold an Olympics without rain and Olympic marathoners were able to run without smog. This week, the “Beijing Weather Modification Office” has failed to control the weather on a major scale that has resulted in November snow across the typically arid north of China. The consequences have been 40 deaths, a few building collapses, and major delays at the airport.

As far as its relevance to Mockingbird, I am reminded that our own efforts also fail to produce the desired results in relation…

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Mockingbird at the Movies: I've Loved You So Long

Mockingbird at the Movies: I’ve Loved You So Long

Last week while choosing a movie to rent, I stumbled upon one that I have been wanting to watch since its release last year, the French film I’ve Loved You So Long. I had thought it was a romantic comedy, but I was completely blown away by what it actually was – a story of despair and redemption, of our own inner prisons and the freedom of unconditional love, of law and pure gospel, of the grace that breaks into our world as light into darkness. I abreacted twice with tears.

The story is a mystery that unravels subtly and intelligently,…

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