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In his book Leisure: the Basis of Culture, Pieper explains that leisure is distorted by our culture’s unhealthy relationship to labor. Because we base our sole personal esteem in what we reap or achieve from work, we start to value our life for its production. What have we accomplished? What have we crossed off our to-do lists? And it is this utilitarian mindset that makes life outside of work secondary. Instead of being the opus of our day, it is treated as the recuperative hours before another day of work.
Pieper clarifies by explaining that the most basic expression of worship is the act of “celebration,” and this can be in its highest expression during Mass in the celebration of the Eucharist, but it can also be in a delicious home-cooked meal with family, a vase full of freshly picked wildflowers, a run in the rain, a peaceful moment of silence.
The “spiritual power to be leisurely” is life giving and energizing. It is a rich hour of mystery, a moment of awe, a minute of ecstasy. It heightens the senses, lifts our hopes, enriches our relationships, and revitalizes us for another day of work. But most importantly, it leads us to contemplation of God.
We took small steps. One night it was simply picking a new recipe for dinner, setting the table with candles, pouring a glass of wine and trying to savor a meal together. Another night we challenged ourselves to watch an old classic movie we hadn’t seen. After rolling to our weekly happy hour with friends we all took free dancing lessons downtown. And little by little we felt our lives started to embody the sort of celebration of life that felt something like Pieper’s notion of worship. Our conversation was spiritual, our reflection contemplated grander things, and our activity became a prayer. For each activity we swapped out we merely asked ourselves the question Pieper proposed, “Does this make me more disposed to worship God?”
We were made for music that lifts the spirits, poetry that pulls on the heartstrings, humor that brings laughter to tears, meals to commune over, stories to enthrall, silent moments to daydream and anything else that helps one lift their eyes up from their daily labor to wonder at the beauty and mystery of God.
www.angelusnews.com
The mind doesn’t follow the facts. Facts, as John Adams put it, are stubborn things, but our minds are even more stubborn. Doubt isn’t always resolved in the face of facts for even the most enlightened among us, however credible and convincing those facts might be.
As a result of the well-documented confirmation bias, we tend to undervalue evidence that contradicts our beliefs and overvalue evidence that confirms them. We filter out inconvenient truths and arguments on the opposing side. As a result, our opinions solidify, and it becomes increasingly harder to disrupt established patterns of thinking.
If you have any doubts about the power of the confirmation bias, think back to the last time you Googled a question. Did you meticulously read each link to get a broad objective picture? Or did you simply skim through the links looking for the page that confirms what you already believed was true? And let’s face it, you’ll always find that page, especially if you’re willing to click through to Page 12 on the Google search results.
The key is to trick the mind by giving it an excuse. Convince your own mind (or your friend) that your prior decision or prior belief was the right one given what you knew, but now that the underlying facts have changed, so should the mind.
At that point, the mind will dig in rather than give in. Once you’ve equated someone’s beliefs with idiocracy, changing that person’s mind will require nothing short of an admission that they are unintelligent. And that’s an admission that most minds aren’t willing to make.
But here’s the problem. When your beliefs are entwined with your identity, changing your mind means changing your identity. That’s a really hard sell.
This subtle verbal tweak tricked my mind into thinking that my arguments and me were not one and the same. Obviously, I was the one who came up with these arguments, but once they were out of my body, they took a life of their own. They became separate, abstract objects that I could view with some objectivity.
The challenge is to figure out what that thing is and adjust your frequency. If employment is the primary concern of the Detroit auto worker, showing him images of endangered penguins (as adorable as they may be) or Antarctica’s melting glaciers will get you nowhere. Instead, show him how renewable energy will provide job security to his grandchildren. Now, you’ve got his attention.
Make a point to befriend people who disagree with you. Expose yourself to environments where your opinions can be challenged, as uncomfortable and awkward as that might be.
But it’s well worth the effort.
heleo.com
We love our Amazon Echo. Among other tasks, my four year old finds the knock knock jokes hilarious, the weather captivating, the ability to summon songs comparable to magic and Echo to be the best speller in the house. But I fear it’s also turning our daughter into a raging asshole. Because Alexa tolerates poor manners.
Our daughter’s fascination with the Echo isn’t an anomaly — I hear from lots of friends that their kids are the most enthusiastic users.
hunterwalk.com
The topic has been wearing on me a bit as I’ve heard so much talk about issues of race and racial diversity in tech, people insisting that we need more people of color in tech—but Asians are so conveniently left out. There are plenty of Asians in tech, and we are people of color. Somehow in the tech context, though, we don’t count. It’s only Blacks or Latin@s. That’s such a strange oversight to me. Sure, Asians are overrepresented in tech, and yes, we complicate the conversation. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be a part of the conversation.
I grew up in the Bay Area. Both my parents were computer science PhDs and software engineers. As a kid I practically grew up in my parents’ office, surrounded by computers. It might seem like I was always destined to be in Silicon Valley and to be a software engineer.
I started thinking I might want to do linguistics.
www.techiesproject.com

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