One reason I keep this blog is to share with others what I find in my meanderings: large or little, delightful or dreadful, whatever I think someone else might enjoy, learn from, or care about.  Having learned the hard way that providing full commentary for each subject is not the best use of my time, I'm trying a new tactic.  Instead of apologizing each time I can't give what I'd call a proper response to a book, issue, or article, my omission has become purposeful.  "Casting the Net" is the title I'm giving to short introductions to random items of interest to me—and maybe to you.

A Little Encouragement for Baby Boomers from The Occasional CEO.  Our productive life need not end at 49, or even 66.  Our best years may yet be ahead of us.

The Gridlock Economy, thanks to Peter V.  I haven't had a chance to read this book yet, but the website is fascinating.  I would love to know what Steve Landsburg (my brilliant fellow math student at the University of Rochester, now a professor of economics there, a man full of quirky and counter-intuitive takes on the subject) thinks about it, and Andy F.'s comments on what the author has to say about radio spectrum use.  It's not often that Porter (economics major, also at the UR) hears what appears to be an economic idea that is new to him.

A Conversation with Peter Kreeft, thanks to Conversion Diary.  I knew at a gut level that the way we use language is vitally important; Kreeft helps me understand why:

As a philosopher the thing that strikes me most is the brilliant strategy of the gay marriage movement. Like Orwell in 1984 it sees that the main battlefield is language. If they can redefine a key term like "marriage" they win. Control language and you control thought; control thought and you control action; control action and you control the world. Mussolini knew that too. He made it illegal for Italians to say "hi" in the traditional way. The Italian for "how are you?" is "Come sta lei?" "Lei" is the feminine inclusive pronoun. Fascist ideology held that this was emasculating and weak, so you had to say "Come sta lui?" from now on. "Lui" is the masculine pronoun. So no one could say "hi" in Italy without identifying themselves as pro or anti-fascist.

In America, the feminists have succeeded in exactly the same way. They've labeled the traditional inclusive language, the language of every single one of the great books of Western civilization written in English, as exclusive because it uses "he" and "man" to include women; and they've labeled their new artificial ideological invention, which insists, contrary to historical fact, that "he" and "man" exclude women -- they've labeled this "inclusive" language.  And amazingly, nearly everyone follows like sheep!

In Kreeft's surprising statement of what inspires him to write I found—if I may be allowed such a mountain-to-molehill analogy—the clearest, neatest expression I know of Li'l Writer's Guy's raison d'être.

Greed inspires me. Greed for truth, for one thing: I want to learn, and I learn best by teaching, and writing is a form of teaching. Greed to share the truths I find exciting and joyful with others, too. Greed to create, for another thing. What the artist wants to build with color or the musician with sound, the writer wants to build with words.

The Domestic Monastery, also from Conversion Diary.  Especially for young mothers who feel isolated and without the ability to string two thoughts together without interruption.

Here's a scary one that deserves more attention, but you can find out for yourself by clicking the links.  I've heard about serious problems with the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 from many diverse sources—liberal and conservative, from librarians to makers of organic diapers.  While the Consumer Product Safety Commission relieved some fears in a clarification two days ago, the new testing requirements for children's products are still likely to drive out of business small companies, particularly those in niche markets for organic, "green," and handmade items.  How is it that in response to irresponsible behavior on the part of Chinese manufacturers we enact laws that favor big businesses like Wal-Mart and destroy the small companies that were already offering safe alternatives?
Posted by sursumcorda on Saturday, January 10, 2009 at 12:15 pm | Edit
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Sounds like the kinks are still being worked out. Hopefully.

Posted by dstb on Saturday, January 10, 2009 at 5:01 pm
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