Category Archives: Republic of Letters

Friendship Among the Inklings ~ The Imaginative Conservative

To be sure, though, the greater question one should ask is not at what answers did the group arrive, but, rather, what questions did they ask? It was their very questions—and the trust that comes with asking questions—that defined them. As such, they asked about the limits of heroism, the nature of beauty, the connection of the pagan to the Christian, the relationship of holiness and sanctity, the interplay of technology and magic, and the connectedness of flesh and soul. They discussed mythos (story) and logos (idea), and they shared with one another their most intimate thoughts and questions.
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2019/07/friendship-among-inklings-bradley-birzer.html

Justin Amash: Our politics is in a partisan death spiral. That’s why I’m leaving the GOP. – The Washington Post

But we owe it to future generations to stand up for our constitutional republic so that Americans may continue to live free for centuries to come. Preserving liberty means telling the Republican Party and the Democratic Party that we’ll no longer let them play their partisan game at our expense.

Today, I am declaring my independence and leaving the Republican Party. No matter your circumstance, I’m asking you to join me in rejecting the partisan loyalties and rhetoric that divide and dehumanize us. I’m asking you to believe that we can do better than this two-party system — and to work toward it. If we continue to take America for granted, we will lose it.
— Read on www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/justin-amash-our-politics-is-in-a-partisan-death-spiral-thats-why-im-leaving-the-gop/2019/07/04/afbe0480-9e3d-11e9-b27f-ed2942f73d70_story.html

Let’s party like it’s 1399: The story behind Jethro Tull’s Songs From The Wood | Louder

“That book was a very useful gift,” Anderson says now. “But it wasn’t the only one that I read back then on the general topic of Britain’s history of folklore. The countryside too provided me with some influence. Our countryside is quite rich in different traditions and cultures, and elements of fantasy and fable. Songs From The Wood also drew on my background of listening to other kinds of music than rock. I’ve never really been a fan of rock music. I was trying to stick to musical references that arose when classical composers fooled around with the vulgar folk music forms. Beethoven, for one, knew a good folk tune when he heard it.”
— Read on www.loudersound.com/features/lets-party-like-its-1399-the-story-behind-jethro-tulls-songs-from-the-wood

The Roots of Political Correctness ~ The Imaginative Conservative

In graduate school—at Indiana University-Bloomington—I first encountered the dreadfully dull and dreary political correctness of the New Left. Prior to IU, I had encountered a number of left-wing academics, but they had all been interesting, on fire, and ready to listen to a variety of viewpoints. Indeed, they still believed in free exchange and the free and open debate of ideas. At Indiana, though, I found something quite different. There, certain opinions—sometimes explicitly stated and sometimes implicitly—were becoming orthodox. Those students who defended them did so with sincerity but not verve. This became especially obvious when the politically-correct leftist debated an anarchist or a black power supremacist. Usually, the more radical tore apart the PC, recognizing intellectual weakness for what it was. The politically-correct of IU had become so comfortable in their own opinions that they failed to develop them with any serious standards. I found them boring, frankly, but pervasive. Few things can be duller than a number of similarly-minded folks sitting around a table for two-and-a-half hours to agree and disagree upon all of the same things… but to do so with what could only be considered the Scandinavian white sauce of the culinary world!
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2019/06/roots-of-political-correctness-bradley-birzer.html

Microsoft’s Ebook Apocalypse Shows the Dark Side of DRM | WIRED

Microsoft made the announcement in April that it would shutter the Microsoft Store’s books section for good. The company had made its foray into ebooks in 2017, as part of a Windows 10 Creators Update that sought to round out the software available to its Surface line. Relegated to Microsoft’s Edge browser, the digital bookstore never took off. As of April 2, it halted all ebook sales. And starting as soon as this week, it’s going to remove all purchased books from the libraries of those who bought them.

Other companies have pulled a similar trick in smaller doses. Amazon, overcome by a fit of irony in 2009, memorably vanished copies of George Orwell’s 1984 from Kindles. The year before that, Walmart shut down its own ill-fated MP3 store, at first suggesting burn their purchases onto CDs to salvage them before offering a download solution. But this is not a tactical strike. There is no backup plan. This is The Langoliers. And because of digital rights management—the mechanism by which platforms retain control over the digital goods they sell—you have no recourse. Microsoft will refund customers in full for what they paid, plus an extra $25 if they made annotations or mark-ups. But that provides only the coldest comfort.
— Read on www.wired.com/story/microsoft-ebook-apocalypse-drm/

Cicero’s Republic: The Duty to Make Whole That Which Is Broken ~ The Imaginative Conservative

Whatever his exact reasons for adopting a more Stoical approach to life, Cicero unwittingly (but perhaps gracefully?) prepared Rome for Christianity in ways that other pagans and paganisms could never have allowed or done. That generation of Stoics, including Virgil and Seneca, expected, amazingly enough, the human incarnation of the God of gods. It is little wonder, then, that so many of the early Church fathers—such as Jerome, Augustine, and Ambrose—considered Cicero to be a pagan Christian, more related to Christ and his teachings than not. Most certainly, his martyrdom on December 7, 43 BC, did not hurt his cause among Christians, either.
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2019/06/cicero-republic-on-duties-bradley-birzer.html