Category Archives: Republic of Letters

Measuring the Influence of Russell Kirk and Other Conservative Authors ~ The Imaginative Conservative

As noted on the slide itself, this slide compares and considers, arguably, the seven most influential male conservatives of the 20th century: Irving Babbitt; Friedrich Hayek; Christopher Dawson; Eric Voegelin; Leo Strauss; Russell Kirk; and Harry Jaffa. [As a sidenote, had I included Paul Elmer More, his reputation would have paralleled, almost exactly, Irving Babbitt’s, so I left it off for sake of clarity.] This chart makes several things clear. First, and most significantly, the most important conservative thinker of the century came at its beginning, not its end: Irving Babbitt. At his height, Babbitt soared above all others, and he experienced three peaks. Second, the most important conservative as of 2008, without compare, is Leo Strauss. Yet, interestingly, his reputation declined rather shockingly during the Clinton years, and only rebounded with the election of George W. Bush. Third, Christopher Dawson and, to a lesser extent, Eric Voegelin each enjoyed considerable and sustained popularity over decades.
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Six Colors: Apple, technology, and other stuff from Jason Snell and Friends

The keyboard itself is good, though the entire keyboard surface is made of gray plastic that feels a little cheap when compared to the aluminum-framed keyboards you’ll find in Apple’s laptops (or Brydge’s iPad Pro keyboard). The keycaps have a smooth texture and typing feel that remind me of classic Apple laptop keys. (That’s a good thing.) There’s a full function row, giving you control over keyboard backlighting, screen brightness, media playback, volume, and other shortcuts that users of Apple’s own Smart Keyboard Folio don’t have access to. The arrow keys are in the familiar inverted-T configuration that Apple has unfortunately moved away from in its own laptops.
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Using a Mac from iOS, Part 2 – Luna Display and macOS as an App – MacStories

These are just some examples of tasks that I need to perform for my job and apps I need to use for personal reasons that, despite my unending iOS optimism, cannot be completed in a reasonably efficient way on the iPad alone. Which means that, while I consider the iPad Pro my primary computer, I also have a use for the Mac these days, and I don’t begrudge this at all. I like using macOS for what it’s good at, and I’m having fun re-learning my way around apps like Hazel and Keyboard Maestro.
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Barnes and Noble isn’t doing enough to protect their shoppers

Almost all of these problems occured in the past few months inside Barnes and Noble bookstores and right in front of them. Obviously for any problem that actually makes the news, there are likely dozens that go unreported. This could be due to the customer feeling ashamed that they let it happen, outright denial or it isn’t worth reporting, it is easier to just leave and not come back. Retail shoppers make up the vast majority of sales, and if B&N is not protecting them, this leads to a crisis of confidence.
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Faith, Family, and the Future of Europe ~ The Imaginative Conservative

“Hungarians are family-oriented,” she says, “and they love their families, their culture and their traditions. We’ve been given this direction by the Hungarian people. We want to strengthen families, women and young people. We want to provide security, and we want to protect our Christian culture.”

In the light of such heart-kindling wisdom from the peoples and governments of Poland and Hungary, rooted in faith and family and the future they offer, we are seeing the sun rising in Europe’s East, even as we see it setting in its decadent West.
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Seeking the Humane: Big Big Train’s “Grand Tour” ~ (Birzer’s Second Review)

If all of this sounds too intelligent and too good to be a part of popular culture, it’s because it is! No, no, no. This is not pop. This is art. True, good, real, and beautiful. Imagine, for a moment, how many other manifestations of secular culture take seriously a Christian saint, let alone analyze the very stones used in the art of Byzantium? Truly, what this band offers us is a precious gem. And, while the members of the band (at least as far as I know) are not religious, they certainly take the religion of the past quite seriously. Not just Theodora, but the band has also written gorgeously on its previous releases about St. Edith, the granddaughter of King Alfred, the first great English king, the first to codify Anglo-Saxon common law, and the blessed recipient of Marian visions.
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