Recent Faves – June 2022

I have not posted a favs list since last November, so this is a catch up covering the period since then. One or two of the sources may be behind pay walls, but you should be able to get a limited number of articles as a freebie.

An Impolitic Moment of Candor

The American work ethic appears to be in decline for a number of reasons, endangering the engines of effort, creativity, and achievement that have driven our success. The work ethic, however, isn’t the real problem. Like so much around us these days, it is merely a symptom.

General Douglas MacArthur’s Farewell Address

As a senior in high school, I participated on the speech and debate team. I know, what were they thinking? At the time, it seemed a good way to escape Senior English, Shakespear being someone I felt no need to become acquainted with. So, I took the offer. I debated, did impromptu, and most enjoyed Oratorical Interpretation. In this, the speaker interprets a speech given by another, usually a famous person of some sort; a scientist, president, or such. As I read through hundreds of speeches to select the speech I would use to craft as my presentation at tournaments, I more or less stumbled across this one.

Water Wheel Hike

A couple of weeks ago I met a guy who shares my love for landscape photography. We got talking and discovered we have much in common and a natural friendship began to form. It was not long before we started talking about joining up on outings. This is something I’ve been hoping would happen for five years, since we moved to this small mountain town.

Practice, Practice, Practice

The old saying “practice makes perfect” is of course incorrect. We all know this through our multitude of experiences. If practice really made perfect then we would be in a much better place, personally and corporately. Doing something repetitively can be a trap, soothing our conscience because we are doing the work, but delivering no real benefit, and often worse.

The Game I Love Is Losing Me

With all that is going on in today’s world, you would think the Grand Old Game of Baseball would read the wind and do a sensible thing: resolve its labor dispute quickly and fairly. Doing so, of course, would mean putting the game and its fans first. Alas, when this much money, greed, avarice, and ego is at stake, the game and fans must come in last, and they have. Baseball is shut down, Spring Training is dark, and the start of the season delayed.

Best Reads of 2021

It turned out to be a strange reading year and as a result I read less than my norm. There are two main reasons for this. First, I read and listened to two books, Live Not By Lies and Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy multiple times each as part of research projects in preparation for presentations, so the work went much deeper than simply reading or listening. Each required hours upon hours of research, cross checking, and the like. As for the second reason my reading was reduced from previous years, I was simply burnt out from the research projects and needed a break. After nearly three months away from books, I returned in mid-October. Over the course of the year, I read twenty-six books, about half my norm. This tally counts the two books mentioned above as one apiece. As for what I read, the three top categories were Fiction (8), History (7), and Faith (5). The remainder are scattered between Non-Fiction, Science Fiction, and Biography.

Photo of the Year

I did not get out with the camera this year as much as I normally do. When I did, however, I had good results. My favorite image comes from the first few days of November and was taken close to home. I was looking for Fall colors and found them in an unexpected place, a small pasture hidden behind a group of large boulders. I saw a wee bit of red leaf peeking up over one of the rocks and thought, “I wonder what’s back there.” When I saw the entire scene, I was captivated.

Book Review: The Age of AI and Our Human Future

One will be hard pressed to find three individuals of such prominence collaborating on a work of such importance, which is reason enough to give this book a turn. Henry Kissinger needs no introduction. Eric Schmidt is past CEO of Google, and Daniel Huttenlocher is Dean of the Schwarzman College of Computing at MIT. Their collaboration speaks to the breadth and depth of the topic’s importance.

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