Culture

Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

M Train Reveals Patti Smith’s Theology

"'M Train' is the work of an artist growing older and becoming lonelier—the word 'empty' appears often... Smith admits as much, writing of her 'fascination for melancholia' and the poetic potential that resides in her 'numinous malady.' ...never have I encountered an artist whose way of being in the world, with its rituals and talismans, seemed so very Catholic, without also having the literal trappings of Catholicism." [Read Article]
Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

What’s Often Missing From the Lives of Shooters Is a Father

"Like so many other shooters, Christopher was socially withdrawn, searching online for a philosophy to suit his circumstances, and pouring himself out to ersatz communities there. The Washington Post notes: 'Social media accounts attributed to him, including a MySpace page and an online dating profile, offer hints of his interests — the Irish Republican Army, punk rock music, an antipathy toward religion — but little real insight.'” [Read Article]
Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

Has Digital Culture Destroyed the Humanities? 

“Forever glued to screens of one kind or another, growing more itchy and agitated by the day, allowing our consciousness to be fragmented and dispersed... The fact that an Internet culture undermines the habit of sustained attention in a way that is bound to have repercussions for literature and indeed for our experience of selfhood — it is hard not to agree with Birkerts, although… this does seem a rather reductive vision of human destiny.” [Read Article]
Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

When It Comes to Happiness, Experiences Are Better Than Things

"Over the past decade, an abundance of psychology research has shown that experiences bring people more happiness than do possessions. Experiential purchases are more associated with identity, connection, and social behavior... iPhones, clothes, couches, et cetera, just become background. They deteriorate or become obsolete. It's the fleetingness of experiential purchases that endears us to them." [Read Article]
Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

Volkswagen: When Our Favorite Brands Betray Us

"People feel ashamed and insecure when a company betrayal is discovered, much like what would happen when trust is broken in an interpersonal relationship, precisely because of the fact that their self-concept has been tied up with their products. And this might be particularly true in the case of the Volkswagen emissions scandal... 'You've been driving around a fraud... It doesn't save the world from being polluted, it doesn't help the planet...'" [Read Article]
Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

Death With Real Dignity: The Case Against Assisted Suicide

"[Assisted suicide] is the wrong message to send the millions fighting with great dignity against terminal diseases. It’s like telling the depressed stranger on the ledge to go ahead and jump... On behalf of people who are facing terminal illness, severe depression, or any acute suffering: Act with true compassion. Get involved in their lives. Be present in their suffering. Pray for their healing. Let the reality of death change your life. And rest assured that defending life is not merciless or judgmental—and that to endorse assisted suicide is simply to give up hope." [Read Article]
Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

Liberty Students Survive Bernie Sanders Visit Without Psychological Trauma

"Liberty University must have been an incredibly unsafe place. Many, if not most, of its students deeply believe that abortion is murder. And here was a speaker who … was, from their point of view, in favor of mass murder. And yet they let him talk respectfully, they asked him questions, and it seemed like everyone was able to have a civil conversation..." [Read Article]
Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

God Knows, and Google Doesn’t: Lessons from the Ashley Madison Hack

"…We hide nothing from God. Ironically, the Internet, in becoming such a powerful force in our lives, illustrates this—albeit as a mere idol. But the avatar person constructed by the idol god is not, ultimately, our true self, the one knit together in a mother’s womb by a Creator God… Human beings are so much more screwed up, collectively speaking, than we care to admit. But we are also so much more beloved than we might dare to believe." [Read Article]
Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

Why We Should Stop Calling Kim Davis a Hypocrite

"To insist that we only affirm standards that we can achieve with perfect consistency is, in effect, to drastically lower those standards... It's a license for us to go easy on ourselves: to aim low and succeed. In such a world, we might all respect each other's rights, but no one would strive to accomplish great, rare, exacting moral deeds. I'd much rather live in a world filled with hypocrites. " [Read Article]
Mind & Spirit - Daily Read

Charlotte Bronte’s Response to an Atheist was Right On

Was Charlotte's Bronte's instinctual response to atheism naive? Maria Popova thinks so. She's wrong: "It is the first exposition of avowed atheism and materialism I have ever read... one would wish entirely to put aside the sort of instinctive horror they awaken, and to consider them in an impartial spirit and collected mood. This I find difficult to do. The strangest thing is, that we are called on to rejoice over this hopeless blank — to receive this bitter bereavement as great gain — to welcome this unutterable desolation as a state of pleasant freedom. Who could do this if he would? Who would do this if he could?" [Read Article]