Friday Four

Friday, August 26, 2016

1. I'll start this list by revisiting a double recommendation I passed along in the comments a few days ago:

Acting on an old recommendation by Ellen Kenner on HBL, I recently read Alex Epstein's The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels and followed up by taking a communications course he offers on his web site ("How to Talk to Anyone About Energy"). This I did specifically because Kenner noted that, while it draws on the book, the course is broadly applicable to becoming a better advocate [for more] than just energy/climate issues. I have found this to be true, and am quite excited because he explicitly discusses why some movements find success and how to replicate such success. I have always known through historical example that this was the case, but was not clear on many aspects of how.
In addition, I wish to thank Alex Epstein, for his remarkably clear book and what I think can be a history-altering course, as well as Ellen Kenner for recommending it.

2. Last week, I mentioned searching the downloaded backup of my blog after Google coughed up a hairball. I've played around with this since and have found it so blindingly fast (at least on my desktop) that I now prefer that method for anything I need from over about a week ago.

3. Found en route to other things is a the following paragraph in an old Undercurrent article, regarding a journalist who blamed information technology for the sad state of the public discourse:
On this, we could not agree more [regarding America's intellectual regress]. At The Undercurrent we've long been critics of the increasing popularity of Evangelical Christianity, the looming threat of political Islam, and the bland indifference to both by allegedly secular critics. Science and reason are under assault, whether by right-wing religionists who would arrest the advance of stem cell research, or by left-wing multiculturalists, feminists, and environmentalists who see science as a form of Western patriarchal imperialism. [links removed]
In naming the problem so comprehensively, this challenges all comers to think.

4. A couple of weeks ago, I enjoyed watching The Good Dinosaur with the kids. Afterwards, I was curious as to whether Scott Holleran had reviewed it. He had, and he said the following, among other things:
With flourishes and simple visuals, including the jagged, curving and severe landscape and meteorology of Arlo's home near Clawfoot Mountain and its lesser twin peaks, Sohn's imaginative movie is a boy's story of earning self-esteem through self-reliance in nature and learning to inhabit and command the world around him, whatever dangers may come. It's not a bad theme, really, and The Good Dinosaur is not a bad movie for kids, and not the same old frenzy of noise, jokes and sermons about sharing or ecology. Though the script sometimes belabors a point, and dinosaurs are depicted as anthropomorphized as you've never seen them, it's as odd a movie as its leading character, which makes The Good Dinosaur sort of endearing and, I suspect, rather enduring, too.
I think that's an accurate summary. I was pleased with the theme and relieved at the lack of sermonizing.

-- CAV


Scott Holleran said...

Glad you enjoyed the movie, too, and I appreciate the link. So, did your kids like it?

Gus Van Horn said...

They certainly did. We have a story book based on some of the Pixar movies, and they have asked for its version of the Good Dinosaur a few times at bedtime since.

Scott Holleran said...

Excellent! Response so far from readers who are parents that took their kids has been 100 percent positive. Happy reading aloud :)...

Gus Van Horn said...