Links (and more) for 11 January 2014

Linking does not imply agreement, but these are interesting thoughts, all.

  • On why TED talks are civilizational disaster–they represent a cultural resistance to difficulty, and wanting everything to be entertaining.  We want all the world to be like The Voice or American Idol, and we want nothing to demand anything from us–even “big ideas.”
  • On why we need elitism if universities are to survive as anything more than over-priced vocational training entities.
  • Intellectual virtues have at their core the recognition that other ideas–no matter how much we disagree with them–might just have some merit.  On humility in thinking.
  • In defense of stigmas; not stigmas qua stigmas, but in ending stigmatizing stigmas themselves.

Where beer comes from (and now I’m thirsty):

How to Make Beer, the Animation. from Nk'Motion on Vimeo.

In anticipation of my wife and I attending tonight’s concert of the South Carolina Philharmonic, Brahm’s Piano Concerto No. 1:

Finally, this last year or so has seen me revisiting fantasy novels with some seriousness, and in so doing returning to something that gave me incredible joy as a boy and a youth.  They still give me great joy.  I’ve not read Tolkien–something I must rectify sooner rather than later–but I’ve come across George MacDonald, perhaps the first fantasy novelist, and this his first novel, Phantastes.  Something to read in the coming weeks, to be sure:

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