Bloggingheads with Douthat

by Henry on May 23, 2007

I have a new “bloggingheads”:http://bloggingheads.tv/video.php?id=284 up with Ross Douthat- we spend the hour discussing the parlous state of American conservatism. Looking through the early comments, I get some well deserved grief for my tv manner. I find it hard to concentrate on a webcam, and I have a terrible habit of clicking randomly around on a computer when I am talking to someone or thinking (I’m one of those people who find the new _New York Times_ ‘helpful’ feature of pulling up a dictionary when you click on a random word, _really annoying_ ) I also have some academic tics; viz. I don’t interrupt people very often (interruption is considered pretty rude in a seminar). And I’m sure there’s more. It would be interesting to hear from readers with media experience about dos and don’ts of live TV or its cheapo webbed cousins. What kinds of things should you do? Should you not do? (I remember Brad DeLong had some tips on how to prepare yourself for TV interviews a long while ago, but I can’t find them).

Christians a minority in the US

by John Quiggin on May 23, 2007

Rightwing bloggers are making a big fuss about a poll in which 47 per cent of US Muslims stated that they thought of themselves first as Muslim, and only 28 per cent as Americans first (18 per cent volunteered “Both” and 7 per cent Don’t Know). By contrast, for self-described US Christians, the results were 48 per cent for American first, and only 42 per cent for Christian first, with 7 per cent saying “Both” and 3 per cent Don’t Know.

The only possible reading of this data is that less than half of all Americans are in fact Christians in the religious, as opposed to the cultural/tribal, sense of the term. Galatians 3:28 is pretty clear on the subject, but more importantly, it’s obvious that you can’t seriously believe in, and worship, an Almighty God if your allegiance to an earthly power comes first, or equal, or if you don’t even know.It might be useful in discussion of US exceptionalism as regards religion to note the preponderance of nominal believers revealed by this question.

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Waking up on a Red Day

by Chris Bertram on May 23, 2007

Well, “here we go”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/europe/6669039.stm . An open thread for pre-match speculation and post-match analysis. Me, I’m feeling confident. Milan are a great side, but they’ve been doing all the talking and I think their desire to avenge 2005 will work against them. They were terrific against Man U, but profited from suicidal defending, and great performances are often followed by average ones. Hold on tight.

Born on a Blue Day

by John Holbo on May 23, 2007

I just read Born On A Blue Day [amazon], by Daniel Tammet. It’s subtitled ‘inside the extraordinary mind of an autistic savant’. He really is pretty extraordinary – a high functioning autistic savant syndrome synaesthete of the first order. First paragraph: [click to continue…]