About G. M. Arnold

Expat Brit. Software engineer. Traveller. Music lover. Mac user. Liberal. Atheist. Dreamer.

Recent Activity

  • G. shared from Caught in The Pulpit: Leaving Belief Behind by Daniel C. Dennett, Linda LaScola
    I got out of seminary, then into the priesthood, and then back out in the pews, where it’s the popular theology, where everyone’s just like, “Whoa! It says here that God destroyed Sodom, so gays are bad.” And you’re like, “No, no, it’s all about hospitality, and the real sin was that they didn’t welcome the homeless person and the alien from another land into their house, which really has all these effects on what we say about social justice in our country, and we really shouldn’t be having open borders,” and all this kind of stuff. And then they’re like, “No, it’s because...
    Note: I imagine it can be quite a shock when a new priest leaves the seminary and encounters the laity:
  • G. shared from Caught in The Pulpit: Leaving Belief Behind by Daniel C. Dennett, Linda LaScola
    I find the parallel between embarrassing Bible stories and no-longer-presentable Disney films personally enlightening, since I remember how much I loved the Disney films as a child (and still do), and hence how mixed my emotions are today as I applaud, on the one hand, the progress we’ve made while deeply regretting that one price of that progress is the tarnishing of the treasures of my youth. I feel a touch of shame when I recall how oblivious I was to the racism in those movies—but then I reject that guilt; I was responding naturally and naïvely, as children do, to what is presented to...
    Note: Dan Dennett reflects on the mixed emotions that arise when we think of our cultural history.
  • G. shared from The Paranoid Style in American Politics (Vintage) by Richard Hofstadter
    The pseudo-conservative always imagines himself to be dominated and imposed upon because he feels that he is not dominant, and knows of no other way of interpreting his position. He imagines that his own government and his own leaders are engaged in a more or less continuous conspiracy against him because he has come to think of authority only as something that aims to manipulate and deprive him.
    Note: The Tea Party, captured perfectly.
  • G. shared from The Paranoid Style in American Politics (Vintage) by Richard Hofstadter
    I am aware, for instance, that wealthy reactionaries try to use pseudo-conservative organizers, spokesmen, and groups to propagate their notions of public policy, and that some organizers of pseudo-conservative and “patriotic” groups often find in this work a means of making a living—thus turning a tendency toward paranoia into a vocational asset, probably one of the most perverse forms of occupational therapy known to man.
    Note: Koch and Fox, 1950s style
  • G. shared from The Paranoid Style in American Politics (Vintage) by Richard Hofstadter
    The lady who, when General Eisenhower’s victory over Senator Taft had finally become official in 1952, stalked out of the Hilton Hotel declaiming: “This means eight more years of socialism,” was probably a fairly good representative of the pseudo-conservative mentality.
    Note: Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose
  • G. shared from The Paranoid Style in American Politics (Vintage) by Richard Hofstadter
    Any historian of warfare knows that it is in good part a comedy of errors and a museum of incompetence; but if for every error and every act of incompetence one can Substitute an act of treason, we can see how many points of fascinating interpretation are open to the paranoid imagination: treason in high places can be found at almost every turning
    Note: Benghazi, anyone?
  • G. shared from The Paranoid Style in American Politics (Vintage) by Richard Hofstadter
    But the modern right wing, as Daniel Bell has put it,7 feels dispossessed: America has been largely taken away from them and their kind, though they are determined to try to repossess it and to prevent the final destructive act of subversion.
    Note: Not much has changed since this was written....
  • G. shared from An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist by Richard Dawkins
    (October 26th 1970) Professor Sir A Ayer bets Mr Christiansen that the Chaplain will be unable, if challenged without warning, to repeat twelve of the thirty nine articles to be found in the Book of Common Prayer. The stake to be one bottle of claret.
    Note: An Oxford bet. I'd side with A.J.Ayer...
  • G. shared from An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist by Richard Dawkins
    I would desecrate printed textbooks too. I’m not talking about changing Kennedy’s Shorter Latin Primer to Shortbread Eating Primer: everyone did that automatically, of course.
    Note: Me too (a few years later).
  • G. shared from Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country (American Empire Project) by Andrew J. Bacevich
    Americans should fund their wars on a pay-as-you-go basis. Payment can take several forms. Citizens can pay higher taxes, forgo benefits, or reduce consumption. The rule of thumb should be this: any war not worth paying for is not worth fighting.
(Santa Clara, CA USA)
G. M. Arnold