What’s the stock market?

I’m sure that economists and others would flesh this out, but it seems like a solid and simple introduction to this strange thing that is part of our daily lives: The stock market is where people go to lend and borrow accumulated resources. For example, if you have a savings account, you are lending your…

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Allegory in art

Jan Brueghel the Elder‘s Allegory of Sight and Smell: I think of this like a little Noah’s Ark, conserving bits of a culture’s memory. The incredible indulgence of this; but I imagine a corner of whatever heaven is looking something like this. Each canvas a place where you can live a thousand lifetimes. It’s common enough to hear…

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A better public square

Tony Judt: Democracies corrode quite fast; they corrode linguistically, or rhetorically if you like— that’s the Orwellian point about language. They corrode because most people don’t care about them. Notice that the European Union, whose first parliamentary elections were held in 1979 and had an average turnout of over 62 percent, is now looking at…

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An evangelizing voice

Only 15-17 percent of self-identified American Catholics attend Mass. In other words, more than 80 percent of Catholics have functionally no communal faith experience. And that lack of practical experience of Christianity means that the vast majority of American Catholics possess very little understanding of Christian teaching, let alone frequently encounter Christ in scripture. What makes most…

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Charlie Munger on talent

…you have to figure out what your own aptitudes are. If you play games where other people have the aptitudes and you don’t, you’re going to lose. And that’s as close to certain as any prediction that you can make. You have to figure out where you’ve got an edge. And you’ve got to play…

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Crunchy, brittle, crackly words

Roy Williams writes with a clarity and spunk that I wished the entire ad industry could channel. The Wizard of Ads was something of a revelation to me when I read it a decade or so ago. (But writing that arrests the reader, that transports him, shouldn’t be limited to ads. Roy is worth reading if you want…

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Actualizing ourselves

David L. Schindler is professor of fundamental theology at the John Paul II Institute for the Study of Marriage and the Family in Washington. I’m excerpting some of his thoughts on God and the American spirit: Do you have one particular source of apprehension and one special source of hope as the century closes — from a…

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Peter Lawler, RIP

I have only read the thinnest amount of Peter Augustine Lawler‘s writing, but he’s been someone in the periphery of my life who I’ve tried to pay attention to whenever possible. Peter died this week. Nicholas Frankovich remembers: What would a word cloud of Peter’s collected writing look like? Terms in big type would include Tocqueville,…

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Food and water as a basic right

It’s probably true that the most important issue we advocate through the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network is the importance of ensuring that food and water is considered a basic, universal healthcare right for every patient, regardless of their circumstance. It seems this is a practical unknown issue, and for all of the talk…

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Mount Nittany Conservancy refresh

Shortly before the release of Conserving Mount Nittany a few years ago, I volunteered to refresh the Mount Nittany Conservancy’s website. It was a somewhat cumbersome refresh, because I was moving lots of content (100+ posts and dozens of pages) from a manually created HTML/FTP context to a more flexible and self-hosted WordPress context. The…

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