Does it matter whether torture is effective?

From the AP article in today’s Austin-American Statesman:

But the ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ didn’t produce the results that really mattered, the report asserts in its most controversial conclusion.” (emphasis mine)

Not only is effectiveness not the “most controversial conclusion,” it is not even worth talking about. Continue Reading Does it matter whether torture is effective?

The Value of a Good Story

Does Art Have a Point?

Every now and then, after watching a movie I feel to be too “preachy,” I get into an argument with a friend about what actually makes a movie “good”. This happens because I am obsessively devoted to the idea that good literature – all good art – must be above all else a good story. I even get preachy about it.

For me, the value of Story goes even further than that. All the beliefs that are most important – the ones that answer the question “How then are we to live?” – are wrapped up in this idea of Story. Right now, Sara and I are interested in Eastern Orthodoxy, largely because the Orthodox seem to tell a good story, so this question of Story feels especially relevant to our life.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. First we need to talk about art.

Continue Reading The Value of a Good Story

Back by Popular Demand!

Just kidding. I don’t think anyone noticed that my last post was August 29. Don’t worry; my feelings aren’t hurt. People attempt blogs all the time and then lose interest, and a grand total of four posts does not a canon make.

After taking a three-month tech sabbatical (about which I will write more soon), I am back with lots to say. So let’s get started, shall we?

an open letter to KUTX

Austin radio station KUTX just announced a coming change to their programming. The important information is that they are removing folk and world music shows and replacing them with non-genre specific programming. I wrote them a complaint, which is something I have never done: I have never written a complaint to any company. I’ve also never written my congressman. The thoughts in that note seemed to have a lot to do with where I want this blog to go though, so I decided to share it here….

Continue Reading an open letter to KUTX

austin church tour: overview

I opened Wikipedia. That’s all it took. No, that’s not quite true. There was a question prompted by a stray word in a conversation: “congregationalist.”

There was a back story: the longtime church home that quit meeting for worship, the church that took us in, the birth of a child and the people who supported us. The unexpected passing of a friend and the people who gathered together in mourning.

Continue Reading austin church tour: overview

hello, world.

Test. Test. 1, 2, 3. Is this thing turned on? Oh, right. Okay, I’ve flipped the switch. Test, test. No? Okay. try the gain. Here, I’ll tap on it.

Anything? Nothing. Test. Test. A, B, C, D, E. F. G. Hi, my name is Mike. Mic Check. My name’s not really Mike. Oh, you’ve heard that one before? There’s just nothing going on. Nothing. I can barely hear myself.

Oh, you want me to keep talking… Just say something. But, I mean, nothing is really coming to mind. No, I’m not going to just keep saying the alphabet. I’ll just stand here on this stage and keep talking to myself, pretending that I have something to say. Why does this feel like something I’ve spent a lot of time doing before?

Test. Test. 1, 2, 3. Oh, there it is! There it is! Okay, can you turn the monitors up? I can’t hear my voice. Yeah, that’s great. That’s great. Well, maybe a little too much. Test. Test. 1, 2, 3. Great, thanks.

Let’s move on to the next mic.

Hello, world. Let’s get started.