This is Week 1, day 5 of my New 13 Weeks Radical Reading Experiment. I keep a daily journal of the most interesting media I encounter each day. See or create something I should check out? Email me at [email protected]
1. The Daily Mail: Tweet a lot? Then you’re probably SELF-OBSESSED: Narcissists use Twitter the most because they crave approval
We all know someone who tweets about the minute details of their life every 10 minutes and now new research suggests that are displaying narcissistic tendencies.
U.S. researchers claim narcissists tweet more often than others and crave followers on Twitter to meet their need for approval.
They also found that narcissists update their Facebook status more regularly and vain adults prefer to post content on Facebook, rather than Twitter.
However, they did find that narcissism was linked to Facebook activity among adults, suggesting that narcissists on the social network are more likely to be of Generation X or baby boomers than Millennials.
They believe this could be because Millennials partly grew up using Facebook to communicate with others, just as previous generations used a phone.
However, older people who have gained access to the tool need more reason to post a status update and narcissism is one of the reasons to do so.
For my generation it’s normal to be a narcissist. If you do not worship God, then one of the closest idols at hand is oneself.
2. Epoch Times: ‘Hand of God’ Image Captured by Space Telescope
The new “hand of God” image shows a nebula that is 17,000 light-years away. It’s powered by a dead, spinning star called PSR B1509-58.
“The dead star, called a pulsar, is the leftover core of a star that exploded in a supernova,” NASA says. “The pulsar is only about 19 kilometers (12 miles) in diameter but packs a big punch: it is spinning around nearly seven times every second, spewing particles into material that was upheaved during the star’s violent death. These particles are interacting with magnetic fields around the ejected material, causing it to glow with X-rays. The result is a cloud that, in previous images, looked like an open hand.”
A mystery of the shape is whether the pulsar’s particles are interacting in a way that makes it look like a hand, or if it is actually shaped like a hand.
“We don’t know if the hand shape is an optical illusion,” said Hongjun An of McGill University in Montreal, Canada, in a statement. “With NuSTAR, the hand looks more like a fist, which is giving us some clues.”
The rise in liberal identification has been accompanied by a decline in moderate identification. At 34% in 2013, it is the lowest Gallup has measured, and down nine points since 1992. Moderates had been the largest ideological group throughout the 1990s, and competed with conservatives for the top spot during the 2000s. Since 2009, conservatives have consistently been the largest U.S. ideological group.
The percentage of conservatives has always far exceeded the percentage of liberals, by as much as 22 points in 1996. With more Americans identifying as liberals in recent years, and conservative identification holding steady, the conservative advantage of 15 points ties the 2007 and 2008 gaps as the smallest.
The more millennials get out of college and learn how the real world works the more their brainwashing will wear off when they start to realize they’ve been had.
4. The Atlantic: Where Life Has Meaning: Poor, Religious Countries
“Instead of relying on religion to give life meaning, people in wealthy societies today try to create their own meaning via their identity and self-knowledge,” the study reads. It then quotes Roy F. Baumeister’s book Meanings of Life, saying, “creating the meaning of your own life sounds very nice as an ideal, but in reality it may be impossible.” Maybe that’s what the proliferation of happiness literature, as well as the study of happiness is, at least in part: an attempt to create the meaning of our own lives.
5. Roger L. Simon here at PJM: “Who Needs Ayn Rand? America Has Already Gone John Galt“
Currently a record 91.8 million Americans are no longer looking for work. That’s almost one and a half times the entire population of France.
Although I admit to libertarian tendencies, I don’t think any of us can celebrate because of this. It’s an economic disaster that should be blowing even Chris Christie off the front pages.
In fact, it’s much worse than that. It’s a human emotional disaster.
6. Bridget Johnson at the PJ Tatler:‘Full-Blown Heroin Crisis’: Vermont Governor Says Drug Surge Deadlier Than Cars or Guns
“What started as an OxyContin and prescription drug addiction problem in this state has now grown into a full-blown heroin crisis,” Peter Shumlin said of the 770 percent increase in opiate treatment in his home state since 2000.
The White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy has also reported the number of deaths involving heroin jumped 45 percent between 1999 and 2010.
7. At Fink or Swim, a positive conclusion to the Caleb Jacoby disappearing story: Three Things On the Lost and Found Teen and One Thing on the Parsha
Just like so many of you, I was distraught over the last few days as we hoped and prayed that Caleb Jacoby be found safe and unharmed. Thankfully, Caleb was returned to his family unscathed, at least physically. It shouldn’t matter, but because of my personal relationship with Caleb’s father (I spent some time with Caleb too) and my very close friendship with Caleb’s aunt, I felt very connected to this saga. Learning that he was found brought me to tears, in public, and I was so relieved that the most difficult part of the ordeal seemed to be over.
After suffering through a few days of agony, let’s not spoil the euphoric reunion with innuendo and speculation. More than a few people have offered their armchair psychological analysis and others have demanded a full report to the public. One person even asked me if the public has a right to hear the story because they prayed and volunteered their time in the search. I find this abhorrent. It’s not just nosy, it’s disrespectful. And I think it’s a symptom of a very base desire. One that we ought to reign in as best we can. It’s no secret. We love gossip. We love juicy details and nuggets of inside information. My father used to say that the idol of the late 20th century was the Fox, as in 20th Century Fox. We loved television and movies. But now we love gossip even more. Our idols are Perez Hilton and TMZ. We just need to know. And when we don’t know, we just throw out wild guesses. People might try to disguise their curiosity in moral terms or altruistic intentions. But really, it’s just plain gossip.
Of all the Torah portions, Beshalach is the most intense roller coaster ride of a parsha. We escape Egypt to safety, the Egyptians pursue us and we are trapped by the sea, the sea opens for us and we march forward, the Egyptians follow us and we can only assume they will catch us, the water crashes behind us and drowns the Egyptians thereby saving us, we sing a song of thanks, then we are thirsty, we are given water, then we are hungry, we are fed, then we want meat, we are given meat, we are given the gift of Shabbos, it is violated immediately, we were thirsty again, God gives Moses a secret well, Moses sins and is punished, then we are attacked by Amalek in a microcosm of the entire sedra, we can’t seem to stave them off, Moses lifts his hands and we start to win, then Moses gets tired and we start to lose, Joshua and Chur support Moses so he can lift his hands and we are able to defeat Amalek. Safety and danger. Safety and danger. Safety and danger. Safety and danger. Safety and danger. Time and again. Beshalach is a roller coaster ride and this week was also a roller coaster ride.
Hat tip to Bethany Mandel. Emphasis added by me.
8. From PJM writer Lauren Weiner, following up on the Walt Disney coverage at her blog, recalls Maurice Rapf, a Communist Disney animator who disputed the disinformation against his old boss, He’s Been Streep Slapped:
“Was he at all a Fascist sympathizer or anti-Semite?” Rapf is asked in an oral history.
“I never felt he was. He knew I was Jewish, too. But I don’t think he was an anti-Semite. I think he was a decent enough guy who was very conservative, and it got worse as time went on and as he got richer. When I worked for him, the Disney studio was not very [financially] solid. . . . Then, of course, the strike hurt him a lot, and that made him more reactionary because he felt the strike was Communist-inspired. He did believe that. His brother [Roy] must have convinced him, and he had a lawyer, Gunther Lessing, who was a leading anti-Communist ‘authority.’ So he was being fed all this stuff by his brother and his lawyer. On the other hand, he knew I was a Red, and he liked me and other Reds.”
9. I started two books today, the first, What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and Obama Tweeted: 200 Years of Popular Culture in the White House by Tevi Troy.
Here’s an excerpt from the introduction:
“As Leo Strauss observed, the Founders combined the great traditions of Athens and Jerusalem, of reason and revelation.”
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"As Leo Strauss observed, the Founders combined the great traditions of Athens and Jerusalem, of reason and revelation." – Tevi Troy, introduction page xvi to What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and #Obama Tweeted on the big differences between the leaders who created America and those who feel the need to "fundamentally transform" it today. #history #presidents #freedom
10. A video very much worth watching at the Right Scoop, SIMPLY DANA: Dana Loesch explains how she became a conservative on her new show on The Blaze TV
Dana explains that the two catalysts of her transformation from Democrat feminist goth chick into pop culture conservative hellraiser were the birth of her son and 9/11. Best wishes to her with the new show!
But North Korea — a country of more than 24 million, with an estimated 300,000 Christians — remained the most dangerous country worldwide for Christians for the 12th consecutive year, followed by Somalia, Syria and Iraq.
“Like others in that country, Christians have to survive under one of the most oppressive regimes in contemporary times,” according to a release on the report issued Wednesday. “They have to deal with corrupt officials, bad policies, natural disasters, diseases and hunger. On top of that, they must hide their decision to follow Christ. Being caught with a Bible is grounds for execution or a life-long political prison sentence. An estimated 50,000 to 70,000 Christians live in concentration camps, prisons and prison-like circumstances under the regime of leader Kim Jong-Un.”
12. National Journal: How Millennials Have Already Reshaped Politics
Cultural affinity still provides a political edge for Democrats (millennials gave Obama two-thirds of their votes in 2008 and three-fifths in 2012). But to cement that loyalty, the party “has to make the economy work for more people,” says Simon Rosenberg, president of NDN, a Democratic group that studies the generation.
The larger issue transcends political advantage. Neither party is displaying sufficient urgency about a generational economic crisis that for too many young people will cascade through their lives with lower wages and diminished opportunities. The political system’s response to the millennials’ economic distress must be something more than, as a modern Marie Antoinette might put it, to let them smoke pot.
I know it’s morbid to say this but what’s going to happen at some point — it’s just an inevitability — is that America will be hit again. And it will probably be much worse than 9/11. And then it will produce a whole new generation of hawkish ex-Democrats who grudgingly shift to the Right.
13. The second book I eagerly started today, Glenn Reynolds’s just-released The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education from Itself,
Did you know that America’s educational institutions both in K-12 and academia are German imports? While the new system was great for churning out factory workers, it was not needed for a nation that was literate from the start:
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During Revolutionary War the literacy rates were extremely high for the time. 60-90% of females in Vermont, dependent on area's level of development. Page 6 of Glenn Reynolds's The New School, examining where America started education-wise before public schools and industrialization. #history #education #school
I’ll have much more to say about Glenn’s book when I finish it. Among the experiences responsible for my shift from left to right was a year and a half working as a debt collector for federally insured student loans. I’ve seen the dysfunction in the system close up and it’s pretty horrifying. I’d regularly see people with accounts who hadn’t made payments in years, just keeping their loans in forbearance or deferment while they ballooned in size with the capitalized interest. Not a pretty sight. But more on that in future posts.
Best wishes to everyone for the weekend!
At PJ Lifestyle Today…
Charlie Martin and Sarah Hoyt: Book Plug Friday: Creativity and Creation
Stephen Green: Is This the Funniest Movie Since 1988’s A Fish Called Wanda?
Kathy Shaidle: Patti Smith: The Paula Deen of Punk?
James Jay Carafano: The Anti-Hero Rides Back into Washington
Chris Queen: Debunking the Disney Disinformation