Sharp Stick

Giving Up on NPR

In William Deresiewicz’s article in the online service UnHerd March 8, 2022 “Escaping American tribalism” he says that he started to listen to contrarian podcasts including Meghan Daum’s The Unspeakable in 2021, when he thought that American National Public Radio (“NPR”) has become partisan, on the “woke” side of the cultural divide: “Moral clarity” became …

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I put a hold on Amanda Montell’s 2021 book Cultish when the local library acquired it, and read it when an ebook copy was available. Author Amanda Montell Wikipedia entry Personal site Sounds Like a Cult Podcast Book Cultish HarperCollins(Publisher) Book Page Amazon listing The focus in on modern cults as understood in the modern …

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Alt-right Thinkers

Benjamin Teitelbaum is an ethnographer, teaching at the Univerity of Colorado. He studies Scandinavian far right groups. Teitelbaum observed the role of the entrepreneurial activist Daniel Friburg, the principal of the publishing firm Arktos Media, in European politics. Arktos publishes the writings of traditionalist figures including René Guénon and Julius Evola. Teitelbaum wrote an opinion …

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Catching Up – Templeton and Positive Psychology

Having mentioned Templeton, the mutual fund manager turned patron of the spiritual arts, in passing in my entry Ruse on Evolution, and Seligman’s Positive Psychology movement in my entry Psychology in Recovery and Be Happy, I was interested in “John Templeton’s Universe” in the The Nation. Barbara Ehrenreich looks at the weirdness that happens when …

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Therapeutic Man

Around the time that I was reading Christopher Lasch’s books, in 2005, I saw a few interviews with Philip Rieff at AL Daily. There is a long, penetrating essay about Dr. Rieff’s work by George Scialabba, “The Curse of Modernity, Philip Rieff’s problem with freedom” in the Boston Review. Much of Rieff’s work involved the …

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Made to Stick

Made to Stick, Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die is a pretty good book. It’s marketed as a business book by some major bookstores, but libraries may shelve it under social psychology. The Duke University Business school has promoted it on its web page. Co-author Dan Heath is a consultant in the Duke program. …

Made to Stick Read More » has some good writing, a cross-section of writing by European journalists. Not surprisingly, Europeans have a lot to say about the whether the religious and cultural values of Muslim immigrants, including their intolerant approach to other religions, their defensiveness of their religion’s approach to symbols and feminism, can be allowed to supersede secular values. … Read More »

Critical Theory

The British publisher Icon Books has a series called Introducing …. The books are heavily illustrated, and tend to present in the style of graphic novels instead of conventional texts. I checked out Introducing Critical Theory, by Stuart Sim, illustrated by Borin Van Loon.