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Showing posts from July, 2017

J Dilla - Lightworks

I like his Donuts album quite a lot; Dilla's music has undoubtedly had an influence on my own audio-art, especially Voyage de l'Âme. In fact, Justin from Xian music blog Spirit You All noted this in a very kind and well-written song review, published about a year and a half ago. This type of music is for an acquired taste - perhaps a very acquired taste. That's not to sound pretentious, but from my perspective, I can't think of anyone who would enjoy this as much as I do. Like most art, as a consumed good, we don't know why we enjoy what we enjoy (at least, that's an assumption and it it seems correct to me intuitively). In the case of food, taste buds just happen to like what they like. Is taste in music really that different from taste in food? Both even have a moral component to them, I think, but I'm not going to get into that right now.

At any rate, if I egged anyone on to listen to the song or my album (cheap thrills, I know), then my work here is acc…

On Pain and Prayer

Why do we ask God to rid us of our pain? Does God necessarily intend to rid us of it, that is, at all times? Is it worthwhile to beseech Him perpetually?  C. S. Lewis writes in The Problem of Pain:

"Suffering is not good in itself. What is good in any painful experience is, for the sufferer, his submission to the will of God."

The type of pain I'm thinking of at the time is emotional pain, especially in the aftermath of a loss (grief, put simply). It seems a common practice to ask God the Father to comfort those who mourn in such situations. Without doubting the good intentions of those who have made similar requests (myself included), I wonder if something is missing here?

Consider another quotation from Lewis' theodicy:

"Lay down this book and reflect for five minutes on the fact that all the great religions were first preached, and long practiced, in a world without chloroform."

And how far the developed world has come since the days of chloroform! The cultur…

The Great Chain of Linking, Part 3

A world of pure imagination - Unlike those philosophical plebs marching around the walls of empiricism, Edward Feser offers a different perspective on David Hume.*

Four Temperaments Test - Are you sanguine, choleric, melancholic, or phlegmatic? Find out in approximately five minutes.

The Dissatisfaction of Francis Schaeffer - A biography from Christianity Today about one of my favourite philosophers/theologians (Art and the Bible is a wonderful read).

Why the Orthodox Honor Mary - I thought this was an informative read as an outsider to the Orthodox tradition.

Secularization Falsified - "Modernity is not necessarily secularizing; it is necessarily pluralizing." ~ Peter L. Berger. Also, Peter Berger dies at 88. May this brilliant thinker rest in peace.

Graham's Number - This number will literally blow your mind.

The medicalisation of shyness - This article has remained (mostly) unread on my desktop for awhile now, but the title makes me think that it has some interesting inform…

probably plight less

To be 'cultured' is for an individual or group to possess characteristics of a certain culture rather than any culture. That's why some rural folk, among others, are said to not be 'cultured.' But they are cultured; it's just that they are rural rather than bourgeois or noble European. Why their cultural capital is any less 'cultured' is beyond me.

Goo Goo Dolls are to Rock music what realism is to art. Songs like "Iris" and "Black Balloon" are wonderful, though they're those songs in the back of your head that you know you've heard before when you hear them in a most real manifestation (say, on the radio instead of in your brain). Good realistic art so often prompts observers to say "well, that's very nice," and then they're bored and out the door. The quality is so profound and realistic - taken for granted - that they don't even give much thought to it. At least, that's what I've found to be t…

Castles

I completely forget what I wanted to write here. "Sarah - toh - oh - oh- nin" was just playing in my headphones. What was I thinking about earlier ... oh yes, that's it. Woah - that next song came on way too loud. It's my July 2017 playlist. Pause. Did I already forget what I wanted to write about again? Mmmkay. That's not even a word. Oh. I'm sorry for belaboring, really. Oh yes, I remember again. But if I say I'm going to remember does that just mean I'm going to forget? Kind of like when somebody says that they'll keep a promise, but really, it means that they're just denying what you want them to accept. That probably reads cliché, although, that's only my opinion. Also, when I don't want the letter e with the accent over top, my computer spits it out, and when I do want it, I don't know where to begin, so I type it into Google but I'm certain there's any easier way. Of course there's an easier way.

What I wanted to…

Walking

I went for a walk past 8 o'clock this some evening ago. The sky was so blue and empty. It made me think about when I found the blueness of the sky, the greenness of grass, and the brightness of the sun puzzling matters. I can have the same thoughts these days, but not the same feelings which once accompanied them. Perhaps none of it began with thoughts at all, but feelings, rather...

What did any of this phenomena mean in relation to me? That's what I was wondering when I had those thoughts. I'm not sure I ever came to an answer on that. Somehow, I stopped caring. I don't find myself particularly distracted by the scenery in which I walk among anymore. Every so often, I take notice of a stoplight, or a sunset, or clouds, but my thoughts take precedence. In some ways, I am very immune to what others take to be beautiful. Mountains, for instance, do not move me in a profound way like they seem to for many others.

I suppose, in a way, the disinterest is still there. It fe…

The Rise in Antidepressant Use and What it Means for Deviance

It is common sense that the mentally ill are, sociologically speaking, a broad group of people who have been, and continue to be in the eyes of some (if not many), considered deviant. What way do things seem to be heading in the future though? To only look at one angle of the issue, this study from Business Insider published last year claims that antidepressant use has increased in 25 countries. The paragraph below includes some of the key information included in that article (though for the sake of brevity, I do not mention all of those countries).

In a matter of four years, antidepressant use in Germany increased by 46%, reaching a rate of 50 per 1,000. During the same period, it increased by approximately 20% in Spain and Portugal, the former being 50 per 1,000 and the latter being 78 per 1,000. Use in Iceland was very high, as it was estimated that 106 per 1,000 used antidepressants. The United States was added to the analysis by the authors, and the results indicated that use in…