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Monthly Archives: May 2011
Milton Friesen  |  May 31, 2011  |  Innovation

Reposted from the Cardus After Hours blog (RIP).   This article on Frog Design’s website (Slow Innovation: good ideas take a long time to perfect) is a good reminder for those of us who have a penchant for raging against the painfully, painfully slow rate at which innovation takes root in human systems. Unless there is catastrophic disruption (which gives rise to other kinds of … MORE »

Alissa Wilkinson  |  May 30, 2011  |  Cities, Culture, Philosophy

Matthew Milliner and I were both in attendance at the Kuyper Center’s Calvinism and Culture conference last month, and at his blog, Matt reflects on Gordon Graham’s lecture on the impossibility of engaging culture in abstracto—though some of us persist in trying—and how we Protestants may need an “alternative, tested visual tradition” if we “ever hope to truly ‘engage.’” Graham’s lecture pointed out that (as … MORE »

Fareed Zakaria has long argued that it is not so much that the West is in decline, as that the Rest are in extraordinary ascent. His argument in The Post-American World is essentially that the West has not failed, but that it has reached a plateau. Multi-polarity, as the Rest catch up, will be the coming order. Albeit, Zakaria does save some sharp criticisms for … MORE »

Brian Dijkema  |  May 26, 2011  |  Culture, Death, Justice

Well, are we in decline or not? The question of whether the West is past its prime is suddenly all the rage among the chattering classes. It’s gone so far as to make it into high-level meetings between the leaders of the Western world. Even Barack Obama, on his European tour, chimed in: . . . it has become fashionable in some quarters to question … MORE »

Ray Pennings  |  May 25, 2011  |  Culture, Media, Politics

Last evening, I watched a few segments of Lawrence O’Donnell’s The Last Word on MSNBC. I don’t recall having watched O’Donnell before but I chanced upon his interview with Michael Moore and stayed. Moore was in the midst of giving President Obama full praise for the elimination of Osama bin Laden and noting that Americans were now seeing the “difference between having smart in office … MORE »

Peter Stockland  |  May 24, 2011  |  Journalism, Media, Politics

One of several reasons I left the news business after more than 25 years was disenchantment gusting to disgust at its programmatic nature. The owners I worked for were programmatic idiots, of course. With the rare exception of Conrad Black, Paul Godfrey, and a very few superb people like them, newspapers have always been owned by people whose staircases don’t reach the top landing. But … MORE »

Robert Joustra  |  May 20, 2011  |  Politics, Religion

Over the past several days I’ve been attending the gathering of the Canadian Political Science Association, notable for its unnatural bridging of policy nerds and political wonks in one place in space/time. Few things unite this disparate group other than topical interest, the exceptions being a distaste for Ayn Rand, polemical styles in dress, facial hair and vocabulary and, of course, a near universal disregard … MORE »

Milton Friesen  |  May 19, 2011  |  Philosophy, Vocation

Reposted from the Cardus After Hours blog (RIP).   The very term “public intellectual” loudly proclaims a proclivity for pride and arrogance. Knowing something that you believe others do not know is fertile soil for a sordid array of grandiose delusions. The perennial critic is keenly tuned to every variance of error in current plans, systems and people. All misalignments are noted. Every inadequacy is … MORE »

Ray Pennings  |  May 18, 2011  |  Civic Core, Politics

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is hosting a three-day conference in Washington this week entitled “The Secretary’s Global Diaspora Forum.” While the term diaspora has its roots in reference to the Jewish diaspora, today the use of the term has been widening. It is being used in reference to anyone from any country who lives in another country. In a world of significant global mobility, … MORE »

Peter Stockland  |  May 17, 2011  |  Cities, Health

My wife has a gift for making me understand my own ridiculousness. She did it again this morning when I fussed because I couldn’t find parking close enough to our gym. Yes, parking. Yes, we drive to exercise. Ridiculous, if not properly oxymoronic, in itself. Does it help to say we live 14 kilometres from the club we use? Probably not since we could, if … MORE »