Collected Miscellany (Micro)

Book Banning and a Sane World

“In a sane world, the term “ban” would be reserved for books whose sale and circulation are illegal in some given place, and “censorship” would refer to the removal, by some legal or commercial authority, of certain portions of a text or film or recording. (I say “commercial” authority because sometimes companies that own the rights to works of art decide, without legal pressure, to delete some lyrics in a song or change certain words in a book.) But thanks to people who want to smear their RCOs, it is now common to use precisely the same words to describe (a) what the nation of Iran did to Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses and (b) a polite letter from a parent to a school librarian asking that books that offer anatomically detailed descriptions of sexual practices not be readily available to third graders. Of course, many concerned parents are not polite, but polite letters on this topic still count, for the ALA, as a “challenge,” and the organization defines a challenge as an attempt at censorship or banning.” Alan Jacobs

Celebrating Ohio Pint Day 2023 🍺

Want to read: The Road by Cormac McCarthy 📚

“Sen. Lee knows the U.S. flag when he sees it. If he knows U.S. interests when he sees them, then he should grow up and act like it. The world has enough Twitter trolls already.” - Kevin Williamson

Sorry, I can’t seem to find how to easily cross post to WordPress. Can you point me to something? @help

I love how easy it is to blog using but there is one small problem… I don’t really think I have an audience at this point. Only traffic at is random Google searches.

Finished reading: Musical Tables by Billy Collins 📚

Currently reading: Why the Bible Began by Jacob L. Wright 📚

Finished reading: Evil Things by Katja Ivar 📚// Scandinavia Noir frustrates me, and yet I keep reading… 🤷‍♂️

Another Saturday = Just Another Ten Mile Run. Five weeks until my half marathon 🏃

Finished reading: Fifty Places to Run Before You Die by Chris Santella 📚// if you enjoy running and travel, this book is for you. Even if it is only aspirational, it is fun to dream of running around the world in these famous events and unique locales.

Currently reading: Evil Things by Katja Ivar 📚

Currently reading: Fifty Places to Run Before You Die by Chris Santella 📚

Currently reading: Forgiveness by Matthew Ichihashi Potts 📚

Finished reading: The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne 📚 / still wrestling with and thinking about this one…

“Thinking about the Holocaust is like staring into an abyss and hoping it will not stare back. It is the ultimate extreme case, a black hole of history that not only challenges our facile assumptions about modernity and progress but questions our very sense of what it means to be human.” — Robert S. Wistrich, Hitler and the Holocaust


Currently reading: The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne 📚

Finished reading: A Bend in the River by V. S. Naipaul 📚 // I absolutely adore Everyman’s Library Editions. I have collected dozens of them and find they such a joy to read. Beautifully crafted with a built in bookmark. But I have to admit this does not make me a close student of classic literature. Nevertheless, on a recent trip to DC I picked up A Bend in the River because it was a discounted Everyman’s Library edition and I felt like I owed V.S. Naipaul another chance. I didn’t’t finish A House of Mr. Biswas was and so was determined to try again.

And I enjoyed A Bend in the River and had no trouble finishing it. It was a fascinating exploration of Africa, colonialism, immigration, and relationships, etc. I can’t say I have a deep insight into what makes this book Naipaul’s best or what sets it apart as a novel. But I am a little more knowledgeable about this author and his work and literature in general.

Going to do some more reading and see if I can’t learn more about this book and connect it to my reading.

Using the Nike Run Club app to train for a half marathon in October. Did intervals on Monday based on 5K pace. Probably a little fast at first but pretty accurate by the end. 🏃

Currently reading: A Bend in the River by V. S. Naipaul 📚 // bought this on a recent trip to Washington, DC. I adore the Everyman’s Library collection so when I saw this on discount I needed to add it to the bookshelf…

Football season is upon us! I updated my running gear to reflect this. 🏃

American UtopiaAmerican Utopia by David Byrne
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was so excited the local library was open for walking in browsing that I visited and grabbed a bunch of books just for the enjoyment of being in the library again. This was one of the books I grabbed because I was curious what it was about. I still really have no idea. I should have started with the musical or film obviously. Because as a book it is… odd.

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Jesus Christ asked forgiveness for those who were nailing him to a cross. Do we think we have it tougher than that? Or will? If we were to give a seriously biblical and genuinely Christian answer to the question of how we might prepare for some future disaster, we would have to say: By doing what Christians always do. In good times or bad, Christians proclaim that Jesus is Lord and seek to love Him and love our neighbors as ourselves. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Alan Jacobs

Epistemology is social. We decide what to believe by deciding who to believe. When we believe the wrong people, bad things happen. On race relations, for example, the wrong people have tremendous influence in academia, and this has spilled out into schools of education, corporate human resource departments, and elsewhere. I think that some (much?) of the loss of trust in news media and other important institutions is due to a general suspicion that the wrong people have achieved high status within those institutions. Therefore, I think that the problem of intellectual status inversion is worth trying to solve. Not by politicians, but by replacing academic credentialism and cronyism with a more rigorous process for evaluating intellectual quality.

Arnold Kling