TV recommendation: Amazon Prime’s The Gardener, on Frank Cabot’s extraordinary Les Quatres Vents garden, La Malbaie, Québec. I’d never heard of him or the garden.

Scotland, a cradle of the Enlightenment, abolished the crime of blasphemy in March. At the same time, however, it reintroduced it by creating new offences such as “stirring up hatred” and “abusive speech”—punishable by up to seven years in prison.

(The Economist)

Disenthralling again – Tipsy Teetotaler ن

Deep in the heart of Texas – Tipsy Teetotaler ن

Classical music streaming service Primephonic apparently is being acquired by Apple and integrated into Apple Music. I guess I’ll subscribe to Apple finally.

I also use Pandora. Does Apple have anything like my (many) stations built around an artist or song “seed”?

My hopes for Did Music Create Human Rights? were minimal and vastly exceeded.

(By the way: Though conservative, I always admired Joan Baez not only for her voice, but because she mourned even when Americans got killed — unlike some antiwar celebrities in the Vietnam era.)

Godspeed, Professor Volokh. Trying to Intervene to Unseal Filings in Rep. Devin Nunes’s Libel Suit Against Ryan Lizza and Esquire – Reason.com

Someone finally hit the outer limits of the federal Freedom of Information Act: Government Officials’ Internet Browsing Histories Are Not Agency Records under FOIA – Reason.com

A name I haven’t thought of in a long time: Curtis Sliwa Has 16 Cats and Is Running a Long-Shot Campaign for Mayor - The New York Times

Re-reading Kyriacos C. Markides, The Mountain of Silence. 📚 After The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America, I feel the need for something clean, wholesome — something where the religious figures aren’t crazy limelight-seekers, — before I plow back into some heavier stuff.

Follies of my youth: It is mortifying to think that I was concurrently vilifying Catholics for having the nerve to add interpretive notes to the Duouay Bible while coveting, then owning and marking up, a Scofield Reference Bible — loose-leaf edition, no less.

Finished Frances Fitzgerald, The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America. 📚Spoiler: The heirs of the “dogma-based theologians,” starting in the 70s, adopted “dogma-based politics” for which they, often implausibly, claimed divine approval, anathematizing those who disagreed.

Reminder to self (you may eavesdrop if you wish): Keep those electronic gadgets as long as possible. Eschew cryptocurrency. And more …. The Materiality of Digital Culture | Comment Magazine

Why CAPTCHA Pictures Are So Unbearably Depressing | by Clive Thompson | Aug, 2021 | OneZero

I’m far from bullish on the U.S., but two more positive takes on Afghanistan might just be welcome about now:
- Jonathan Rauch, ‌The Afghanistan War Was a (Partial) Success
- Thomas L. Friedman, ‌On Afghanistan and the Taliban, Biden Could Still Be Right

Is theology a science? Is the Bible a storehouse of facts from which theology synthesizes systematic outlines? Apophats and Cataphats – Tipsy Teetotaler ن

I hadn’t thought of it this way, but Apple’s new measures to battle child pornography and indecent photos sent to children is a kind of “back door” to encryption — a hole, access to which (as Apple famously and furiously argued) cannot be limited to the “good guys.”

UPDATE: Four days later, I’ve learned a bit more about this and my “back door” concerns are assuaged. Joanna Sterns Apple’s Child-Protection Features and the Question of Who Controls Our Smartphones is especially good, though it’s probably behind a paywall.

Reading Frances Fitzgerald, The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America. 📚I find, to my surprise, considerable sympathy with Horace Bushnell as opposed to what he called the “dogma-based theologians,” who really do sound a bit delusional in their certainties.

Fascinating article in the Economist today on open-source intelligence

I think it was 2005 when Ross Douthat first said “If you dislike the religious right, wait till you meet the post-religious right.” This is apropos of nothing except that I ran across this prescient quip just now.

I have a browser plug-in to download web pages in markdown, with key metadata in a header. Whoever tags articles at the Atlantic must be one of the stupidest humans on the face of this earth. Tags are seemingly arbitrary snippets.

I have finally internalized the lesson that the press is too biased to merit reliance. All of them.

So how is one to know what’s going on in the world? Curate the least unreliable?

Next lesson: we’re not meant to know what’s going on far, far from kith and kin.

A classical school teacher talks with his 12-year-old daughter about rich cosmopolitans.

Watched Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life. 🎥 I’m becoming part of his fan club.

Basic Writings of Nietzsche status report. On the one hand, if I force myself to finish I can say I’ve read some Nietzsche. On the other hand, if I force myself to finish, I will lose many hours that I’ll never see again on a task neither pleasing nor edifying. Moving on. 📚

My main blog is the Tipsy Teetotaler, http://intellectualoid.com.