Talk to strangers

It was a while back that I first read someplace about Kierkegaard’s perceived idler reputation. George Pattison writes that “Kierkegaard himself regarded these walks as integral to his literary persona: giving the world the impression that he was a mere idler, while writing books that would change the world.” But this doesn’t feel quite right to me.…

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Rebelling against the respectable

After Patrick Deneen’s tweet and yesterday’s post I wanted to follow on by revisiting something I bookmarked a few years ago: “I’m one of nature’s Protestants. I should never have been brought up as a Catholic. I think that nowadays the Catholic Church is not an institution for respectable people.” —Hillary Mantel Catherine Pepinster’s perspective:…

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Not to flatter, but to rebel

No doubt, theology will make our presence and our witness singularly unseasonable in the opinion of those whose only thought is to flatter the world; but unseasonable does not mean inappropriate. In times as tragic as the present, what seems most unseasonable may well be what is most urgent. —Louis Bouyer This was in my…

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Self-paced learning

One of the best things the internet lets us do is automate work. An example of this is email newsletters services like MailChimp. With MailChimp’s “Automation” feature, anyone can create a list (say, “Rotary Club”) and then write a series of emails that are automatically delivered to a subscriber. New to Rotary Club? You’ll receive a Welcome…

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Public transportation

It’ll be three years this fall since I sold my car. Living in cities since then, I’ve been able to get by comfortably initially with Zipcar, and more recently with a combination of Uber, subway, and frankly walking. For traveling between most frequently visited cities like New York, Philadelphia, Washington, and State College it’s Megabus,…

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Complete streets

So Indego launched in Philadelphia this week, as I wrote about earlier. Indego and SEPTA Key, launching later this year, both work to modernize the transportation system. In the meantime, Ariel Ben-Amos’s Citified piece is helpful for rethinking our approach to public infrastructure. The key point is that we should be thinking about “streets” in a more sophisticated…

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Global Freshman Academy

I’ve been following Coursera and EdX since they launched, and EdX so far seems like the more aggressive and innovative. Coursera is approaching online learning as a for-profit, and EdX as a not-for-profit. The latest example of EdX’s approach is the launch of Global Freshman Academy in partnership with Arizona State. The problem with MOOCs and these platforms…

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Indego

After years of planning bike share in Philadelphia arrives today. Indego is its sponsored name. Like Citibike in New York or Capital Bikeshare in Washington, Indego offers one-time or membership pricing, but with an additional cash payment option that should make the bikes somewhat more accessible to more residents than they are in other cities. At $15/month, Indego…

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What else is there?

From “Questions They Never Asked Me” in Conversations with Walker Percy: Q: What kind of Catholic are you? A. Bad. Q: No. I mean are you liberal or conservative? A: I no longer know what those words mean. Q: Are you a dogmatic Catholic or an open-minded Catholic? A: I don’t know what that means, either. Do…

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Making a habit of public writing

Earlier this year I wrote about my approach to writing in public. This post from Kathryn at Press Publish on perfectionism got me thinking about this topic again. An habitual approach to writing doesn’t correspond to consistent value. Obviously there will be lots that either immediately or over time that will become dated or irrelevant. But I…

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