An American Guilt Trip – Public Orthodoxy

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At Public Orthodoxy, Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis writes about surveying mountaintop removal in West Virigina from an Orthodox point of view.

But it is helpful to remember a couple of things. First, when a mountain is obliterated—and it literally resembles a war scene in Syria—only three percent of the content mined is actually coal; and we know now that this is not the most efficient energy. Second, our global economy thrives on the principle that one region can be sacrificed for the benefit of another. But can we really any longer accept that with a clear conscience? Third, as a local poignantly remarked, the earth can heal itself of natural disasters, but it can never remedy man-made devastation.

As the song goes: “There is a mighty judgment coming, but I may be wrong.” So I wanted to sense whether it is more difficult to deny climate change or else to avoid the lifestyle change it mandates. The desecration and destruction of the earth for its resources have far too long been protected by corrupt politicians and blessed by fundamentalist Christians, some of them even wearing Orthodox vestments.

via An American Guilt Trip

Two Arguments Against Social Media

Two of the most convincing arguments against social media that I’ve found come from two unlikely sources: computer scientists. Below are several links to talks by Cal Newport and Jaron Lanier, two very different personalities. And yet they agree on the corrosive effect social media has on us, both individually and socially. The places where these two arguments overlap are the topics that really catch my attention.

1. Economic: Our individual participation in social media deems us the product of the social media system. Advertisers are the real consumers/customers. They pay to consume us the users.

2. Productivity: Social media is an obstacle to our productivity, our creative output, and our overall personal growth.

3. Personal: Social media inherently requires us to cede a considerable amount of our personal information to a corporate-controlled internet. Moreover, that means we are giving up our self-worth. We too easily put our personal data and our self-hood (i.e., our dignity) for sale, and for very little (really, no) beneficial return.

 

Cal Newport on NPR

Jaron Lanier on PBS NewsHour

Spring Fishing Begins On the Skinny Waters in Birmingham

A friend and I caught these over the weekend on the Little Cahaba River and Shades Creek, just as a weak cold front was moving in with some rain. They’re not hitting topwater yet, but they’re quicker to the streamers than they were all winter. These are the perfect size for 3wt rods and under.

The pleasure of fishing the waterways of the Birmingham metro area is that a wide variety of bass and bream populate these waters. While these skinny-water bass and bream rarely grow as fat as their overstuffed cousins in Alabama’s many reservoirs and stocked ponds, they still offer the city angler who appreciates diversity and color many excellent fishing opportunities close to home.

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