God, Gods, and Fairies by David Bentley Hart | Articles | First Things

Admittedly, I suppose, it is possible to mistake the word “God” for the name of some discrete object that might or might not be found within the fold of nature, if one just happens to be more or less ignorant of the entire history of theistic belief. But, really, the distinction between “God” – meaning the one God who is the transcendent source of all things – and any particular “god” – meaning one or another of a plurality of divine beings who inhabit the cosmos – is one that, in Western tradition, goes back at least as far as Xenophanes.

Source: God, Gods, and Fairies by David Bentley Hart | Articles | First Things

Some very interesting reflections on polytheism, monotheism, and the qualitative, not merely quantitative, difference between them – not to mention the effect this has on philosophy and metaphysics, and (in recent years) a fair amount of social discourse.

I have long asserted that atheists and fundamentalists share the same basic misconception: their view of God is far too small!

 

Google Engineer Writes Common-Sense Memo About Diversity. Google Fires Him

The majority of the histrionic reactions to the now-famous Google memo completely misrepresented not only what the memo says but its purpose.

Source: Google Engineer Writes Common-Sense Memo About Diversity. Google Fires Him

“In reality, the problem is that a senior software engineer, perhaps unwittingly, admitted to pondering three of the most scandalous thought-crimes of contemporary American society.

“The first was to propose that a meritocracy might be heathier for a company than bean-counting race, ethnicity, and sex. The second is pointing [out] that ideological diversity matters. The third, and most grievous of all the wrongthinks, is suggesting that men and women are, in general, physiologically and psychologically different from each other, and thus they tend to excel at different things…

“One of the problems with this kerfuffle was that the vast majority of the histrionic reactions on social media and elsewhere have misrepresented not only what the memo says but also its purpose. The memo was neither a screed nor anti-diversity. It was the kind of unvarnished, dispassionate, and meticulous case that I imagine many engineers offer. It’s difficult to believe anyone who read through it with an open mind could interpret the author’s notions as an attempt to consolidate the patriarchy or to make life less diverse in his field.

The other, bigger problem is that the reaction to it demonstrates that the author is completely right about the lack of ideological diversity and its consequences.

“Diversity,” in what passes for discourse today, is allowable only within certain strictly-defined parameters. “We must be diverse. Furthermore, we must be diverse in, and only in, certain specific ways.” The irony of this seems to be entirely lost on those on the socio-political Left…

Cleaving to the Medieval, Journeymen Ply Their Trades in Europe – NYTimes.com

Young men and women, mostly from German-speaking countries, spend years traveling and working in exchange for room and board, following the customs of a centuries-old practice.

Source: Cleaving to the Medieval, Journeymen Ply Their Trades in Europe – NYTimes.com

An interesting survival / revival of a very old tradition!