New Yorker Magazine writer Alexandra Schwartz at first questioned, as may of us did, Monica Lewenski’s premise that cyber bullying represents a deficiency of compassion. But her article takes you through her own process of coming to appreciate what Ms. Lewinski is saying.
Personally, I think the deficiency is far more pervasive, and is certainly not limited to the internet. Recent headlines have told of the excesses of college fraternities and many of the comments by those involved have revealed an astounding ignorance of what has made their exploits so sensational. From inside their self-centered world view they fail to see the problem.
If such attitudes are the norm among tribes of fraternity brothers at Ivy League colleges, is it any wonder that in later life they become CEOs and Investment Bankers who see no problem in dismissing social and societal damage as “externalities?” Should we be surprised that they have no shame about gaming the political system by essentially bribing politicians with campaign support?
I suggest that we are living in an addictive, psychopathic society that has perverted the ideals of democracy. Our lack of compassion for large segments of our citizenry both present and future accounts for our lack of stewardship for the planet, and for the health of our own society. Could the rise of right and left-wing extremist groups, fundamentalist cults, and other aberrations be a consequence of narcissistic Americans dismissing compassion as wimpy and naive? If not psychopathic, how do you explain the opportunistic political exploitation of these wing-nuts?
Monica Lewinski is pointing to just one of the many glaring examples that support my assertion. God BlessSave America!
“I heard no call, Father,” I said. “I came here as a stranger, and I came by chance.”
“Was it as a stranger and by chance you wept?” he said, then let me wonder at his words a while before he spoke again. “When a man leaves home, he leaves behind some scrap of his heart. Is it not so, Godric? . . . It’s the same with a place a man is going to. Only then he sends a scrap of his heart ahead.”
– Originally published in Godric by Frederick Buchener
For about 10 seconds our conversation was impossible. Two Navy jets on final approach to the US Naval Station just a couple of miles from where we are camped made a deafening roar that it was impossible to talk over. “The sound of freedom,” Mark declared after they passed.
That sentiment has provided me with a lot of food for thought over the last several days. It’s is emblematic of the widely held belief that our overwhelming military strength alone is capable of safeguarding our freedoms. Although I recognize our need for strength, I question the scale of our military and the focus. Russia and China together spend half what we do each year. I think a great deal more than military power is required to keep us free. In fact I’m coming to believe that the greatest enemies toward freedom lie within our own society. Continue reading Fear→
Two days before leaving Austin, we get an email from a new Pennswood resident, Nancy Arnold. The joy of Pennswood is that we keep meeting interesting, engaging people. We learn that Nancy’s brother Carl and his wife Irene live in Austin. He’s an adolescent psychologist. Irene’s in charge of the Science textbooks for the state of TX. They agree to meet us for dinner—delightful people we definitely want to introduce to Adam and Caroline. They live in a neighborhood near the Griffin School. Continue reading Onward to Key West→
Many of you asked that we again write a blog about our winter journeying. This year’s trip will be quite different I suspect—more internal than external. We’ve decided to stay in three locations for a month at a time, using our RV as home base. Many also wished us a much less adventurous start than last year. Read on and see. . .but if you don’t have time or interest, that’s OK too. Continue reading Austin or Bust!→
In organizing family photos for an historical family photo album, Gail Reeves Fisher found a charming old print showing family members out for a wagon ride in about 1912. The photo and the story about it were just too good not to share widely, so she created these wonderful note cards.
Photoshop was used to improve the contrast and definition of the faces, and to enlarge the tiny original. The cornermounts are also photoshop images that were rotated and superimposed over the cropped original photo image. The background is a photo of parchment paper.
The old-time sepia color is authentic; this is a four color reproduction of a sepia print. Congrats to Gail on creating a card that will be a conversation piece and a bit of family history.
I have a lot of subscriptions (NY Times, WP, etc.), and various vendors send me flyers. All of it used to swamp my one email inbox.Even though I used MS Outlook to sorted it by setting up complicated sorting rules, each new sender required a new rule and I soon fell behind.
Then I got smart. I had a disused email account (email@example.com) and I began using that when I subscribed to anything and also whenever I ordered stuff online. It was easy to automatically route everything from that secondary mailbox to a new special folder. When bulk mail arrived at my primary correspondence box, I’d unsubscribe; or when I actually wanted it, I’d change the preferences settings on my account at the sender.
Before long just about all the bulk stuff was arriving in the Hotmail account folder where I could deal with it as my time permitted. Now I don’t have the clutter of 20 to 30 low priority subscription items amongst the important stuff; yet everything is still there when I wish to read an item. I ask my friends to use the Hotmail address when they cc me.
Many email programs have a filter that allows you to screen emails addressed to more than one recipient. Use that filter to move the mail that’s broadcast to many people to a bulk mail folder.
Oh yes, another tip, Hotmail has a filter that checks to see if the sender is in your Hotmail address book. Use that to separate the mail sent by those you know from those you don’t — the stuff from strangers is held in the spam folder.
With tricks like these you can tame the flood with ease and avoid most of the mailbox housekeeping chores.
Don’t have two email accounts? — open a free one at gmail.com or yahoo.com.
The RSA website is fascinating. Chock full of great reading and visual material, it is one of those web destinations that you will want to bookmark and spend some time browsing. But the jewel of the RSA experience won’t be found on the front page (TheRSA.org) it’s tucked away here.
These YouTube videos are actually essays read aloud and accompanied by the drawings of what is known as a “graphic recorder.” As the narrator reads, an illustrator draws. Time-lapse techniques allow the white board drawing to keep pace with the words, and the overall effect is both entertaining and an aid to grasping and retaining the content. Check out the samples below …