David Williams

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2019-06-15: Reflect on your present blessings—of which every man has many—not on your past misfortunes, of …

2018-07-29: “Therefore he seems to me a very foolish man, and truly wretched, who will not increase his …

2014-07-12: St. Benedict retrospective Yesterday was St. Benedict’s day; it’s the second of two, as his proper day is March …

2014-07-09: Odysseus and the liberal arts? Odysseus: Patron Hero of the Liberal Arts: “So how will I present this illiterate pagan …

2014-07-06: Weekly Reading - Herodotus Fresh out of Guardian columns, but here’s this week’s reading nonetheless. Just wound up …

2014-07-04: Note for the Fourth of July The twentieth century was one in which limits on state power were removed in order to let the …

2014-06-22: Weekly Reading - Spinoza And now to the last of the Guardian weekly readings posts, with a look at Spinoza. There’s an odd …

2014-06-22: Computers: yes, but... “Computers are great, and I not only encourage their use by my students, I try to teach students how …

2014-06-15: 799 years ago today No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or …

2014-06-14: Insight into Vatican politics Francis Cleans House at Vatican’s Financial Watchdog: “By reforming the Church, Francis is …

2014-06-08: The general... The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only …

2014-06-08: Weekly Reading - Plato When I started studying political philosophy in graduate school, the emphasis was on the classics …

2014-05-31: Weekly Reading - Calvin I’ve been looking forward to this, since despite being a Catholic theologian who’s firmly convinced …

2014-05-25: Masons & Catholics, no Monty Python “Indeed, much of European and American politics over the past two centuries has involved a …

2014-05-23: Weekly Reading - Aquinas When I was in elementary school, I vaguely remember something called the Weekly Reader that …

2014-05-21: Odd Combo: Freemasonry, Monty Python, Catholicism “You absolutely cannot understand the British Empire without masonry” Monty Python was right! But …

2014-05-20: How I feel at the end of the academic year (h/t Professor Wagstaff) Some day, Faculty Assembly, some day…

2014-05-20: Moleskine over Macbook FTW Why students using laptops learn less in class even when they really are taking notes "Writing by …

2014-05-10: And Jesus said to Simon... And Jesus said to Simon, Son of Jonah B.A. (Philosophy, Oxford), ‘Who do you say that I am?’ And he …

2013-08-16: Vocational advice for first-year students How to Find Your Vocation in College | Intercollegiate Review: College is both a place where you …

2013-06-15: 798 years ago today No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or …

2013-05-16: Depth dimension with your beverage Five Oldest Pubs in the United Kingdom - Anglotopia.net: "The Old Ferry Boat is a great example of …

2013-05-10: Cloud, corporations, and trust falls Mixed into an Andy Ihnatko article on FB’s likely purchase of a traffic navigation app is this …

2013-04-30: Brilliant geostrategic summary How Geography Explains the United States - By Aaron David Miller | Foreign Policy: "Canadians, …

2013-04-29: Power of papal rhetoric Sandro Magister: "This benevolence of the media toward Pope Francis is one of the features that …

2013-04-23: Universal call to holiness ≠ ministry Pope Francis and the Reform of the Laity | NCRegister.com “We priests tend to clericalize the …

2013-04-18: How to commit Vatican journalism RealClearReligion - John Allen: The RealClearReligion Interview When the National Catholic …

2013-04-02: Beware people who revel in being "prophetic" Bipartisan protip: if you want to be a prophet, or if you revel in it, you’re not. And if a …

2013-04-01: AGW panic ending with a whimper I shall look forward to the future progress of this with considerable interest; many people from …

2013-04-01: Moral Tastebuds and Culture War Jonathan Haidt’s theory of moral foundations is one of the most interesting approaches to the …

2013-03-28: An Ignatian papacy John Thavis on the pope’s ‘reform’ project Pope Francis came into the Vatican with a mandate to …

2013-03-27: Raindrops Keep Falling Blogging is light, now that we're rehearsing for As You Like It. On top of that, @viola_illyria had …

2013-03-18: Google loses, Samsung wins Tightwind.net has it right: Google makes relatively little from Android while one …

2013-03-15: Evangelicals and Catholics Together, Pope Francis-style Luis Palau: Why It Matters that Pope Francis Drinks Maté with Evangelicals: "One day I said to him, …

2013-03-13: Pope Francis - Ross Douthat Pope Francis I - Ross Douthat: “First, whatever correlations of factions and forces within the …

2013-03-13: Profile of Pope Francis Undoubtedly the beginning of a mighty flood, here’s John Allen from last week with a …

2013-03-13: Penn Jillette (Penn & Teller) wins theology discussion with Piers Morgan Something more rare than rubies… Penn Jillette provides a sterling example of intellectual …

2013-03-06: Helping Us ‘Turn Around’ - Fr. Schall One for the Georgetown people in particular, but good for anyone. Insight from one of the teachers …

2013-03-05: Roster of cardinal electors The one-stop shopping place for information on the cardinal-electors. Great resource!

2013-03-02: PowerPoint in the Classroom — Kevin Taylor We have picked up a teaching habit that is more presumed than prescribed, and we can’t seem to stop. …

2013-03-01: Hacking the Papal Election Unsurprisingly difficult! Hacking the Papal Election

2013-03-01: Debunking 'conventional' conclave wisdom John Allen, excellent as always. Debunking ‘conventional’ conclave wisdom

2013-02-21: Students to e-textbooks: no thanks What’s most revealing about this study is that, like earlier research, it suggests that students’ …

2013-02-19: How to Elect a Pope: A Guide for the Perplexed Every time a mainstream reporter or pundit opens his or her yap about the church, the pope, …

2013-02-15: What Popes Are For The end of this pontificate, like the beginning, is a sign of contradiction to those who see every …

2013-02-15: A quick course in Conclave 101 - John Allen Ideally, this exercise in “Conclave 101”will help make sense of what we’ll be seeing and hearing …

2013-01-31: Law Schools’ Applications Fall as Costs Rise and Jobs Are Cut - NYT Law school applications are headed for a 30-year low, reflecting increased concern over soaring …

2013-01-13: Two spaces after a period: Why you should never, ever do it. - SlateMagazine Can I let you in on a secret? Typing two spaces after a period is totally, completely, utterly, and …

2013-01-06: Technological determinism and the textbook Everybody seems to be in love with digital textbooks. Except students. Cautionary note from Nicholas …

2013-01-03: Passive Voice, Used Well The passive voice is like any tool. You can use it well, you can use it badly, and you can abuse it …

2012-12-06: Unclear on the concept Me: Who’s stupid enough to try stealing a police cruiser? Emily: When you need a ride, man, …

2012-11-09: The Great Experiment - NY Times Anybody can form a perfect Norway, a nation of five million people. But there is no country on earth …

2012-10-16: David Brooks - Rules for Craftsmen The governing craftsman has to be able to know how many votes each side possesses. He has to avoid …

2012-10-12: How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans The CIA was in chaos when Tony Mendez arrived at his desk the next morning. People dashed through …

2012-10-12: Benedict on Vatican II: “I remember I was a young professor oftheology…” One sometimes forgets the power of simple phrases such as “I remember…” for opening and sharing an …

2012-10-08: Reno on contemporary Catholic theology One of the best rundowns I’ve seen; highly recommended for any of my students. Reno on contemporary …

2012-08-27: Paper of record or church bulletin of the left? This is one of the wonderful things about a mainstream press. It can help promote civil discourse, …

2012-08-26: Sunday comics line of the day Rob: It’s trendy. Bucky (the cat): Really? It’s trendy to look like the guy who got …

2012-08-18: Nineteen Sixty-four: Spot the difference... Deconstructing the economic incompetence of The Economist when it comes to understanding the …

2012-08-17: The church's deep pockets, the butler did it, and myths about atheism - John Allen John Allen’s column at NCR is a fairly significant proof for the theology of the saving remnant. …

2012-08-13: The New York Times’ embarrassing error I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but I have a new Exhibit A for when I tell my students that …

2012-07-21: Matt Ridley: When Bad Theories Happen to Good Scientists The origin of our tendency to confirmation bias is fairly obvious. Our brains were not built to find …

2012-07-21: Flying Under the Influence - By @Drunkenpredator Every morning, the hangar doors roll open and the sunlight flares my electro-optical sensors. I drag …

2012-07-18: How Books Learn - Alan Jacobs In light of this long, long history, during which the poem has had to learn so much, adapt to so …

2012-07-08: What Is It to be Intellectually Humble? | Big Questions Online Intellectual humility will be a trait of our character when we care so much about knowing, …

2012-07-08: Valuing Diversity of Ideas Dump the stereotypes. Dave Barry and others ask if we really believe all red state residents are …

2012-07-03: The Democratic Virtues of John Roberts - Ross Douthat I have all sorts of problems with the health care bill, and I found the constitutional case against …

2012-07-03: 6 Ways the iPhone Changed Higher Ed | Inside Higher Ed The way to think about the iPhone in relation to higher ed is less as a single product but a new …

2012-07-01: Jonathan Haidt: He Knows Why We Fight - WSJ.com Nobody who engages in political argument, and who isn’t a moron, hasn’t had to recognize the fact …

2012-06-30: Checking Your Facebook Privacy (Again) - ProfHacker Time to check the settings; one of those recurrent FB tasks that everyone should do on a regular …

2012-06-30: Homer Now THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER is that no one to date has rivaled the Homeric epic’s extraordinary staying …

2012-06-27: Marc Thiessen: Obama’s betrayal of progressive Catholics carries a price The fact is President Obama betrayed progressive Catholics who stuck their necks out for him. So …

2012-06-26: Political "Science" and Its Forecasting Failures | Rightly Understood |Big Think Generally, political science does its best work when it begins with the perspectives of the …

2012-06-26: Diary from Vatican II Good piece from Fr. Robert Barron looking back on the Council through Congar’s diary. Diary from …

2012-06-23: David Karpf: UVA Board's Lazy Business Sense A modern-day Good Will Hunting might gain his education through MIT’s online lectures rather than a …

2012-06-22: The New Atlantis » Christianity and the Future of the Book Christians are, as the Koran says, “People of the Book”; in which case we might want to ask what …

2012-06-22: Raiders of the Lost Relics many of the Bible-related archaeological claims made in recent years have been tainted with …

2012-06-22: Measurable Outcomes vs. Higher Education? Reading tough books carefully—attending to textual details, considering the diverse ways of life of …

2012-06-22: When it comes to religion, everybody’s an expert As I would not opine seriously on the best procedures to follow with respect to open-heart surgery …

2012-06-12: Don’t Know Much about Theology . . . - Weigel There is ample room for exploration on Catholic theology; for if theology is not religious studies, …

2012-06-12: Zuckerberg didn’t kill privacy Question: ‘Why did Facebook go public?’ Answer: ‘They couldn’t figure out the privacy settings …

2012-06-10: Of Flying Cars and the Declining Rate of Profit Where, in short, are the flying cars? Where are the force fields, tractor beams, teleportation pods, …

2012-06-05: English in the twentieth century - an overview : Oxford English Dictionary obfuscatory polysyllabic officialese Phrase of the day! English in the twentieth century - an …

2012-06-05: The Real Equality Problem: No One Actually Wants It Good parents try to provide the best they can for their kids. Good employees try to advance as far …

2012-06-04: The Fourth Revolution (New Criterion) The United States has been shaped by three far-reaching political revolutions: Thomas Jefferson’s …

2012-06-04: The Amazon Effect The bookstore wars are over. Independents are battered, Borders is dead, Barnes & Noble weakened …

2012-05-29: Going Paperless on a Mac - ProfHacker It’s the 21st century, I really should try to do this. Going Paperless on a Mac - ProfHacker

2012-05-29: CARPE DIEM: Today's Grade-Inflated, Lake Wobegon World; Letter Grade of A Now Most Common College Grade ./mourn… But not in my classes! CARPE DIEM: Today’s Grade-Inflated, Lake Wobegon World; Letter …

2012-05-26: The First Wired President Lincoln saw his first telegraph key only three years before he ran for president, in a hotel lobby …

2012-05-23: BXVI ad limina talks Every five years or so, by tradition, the bishops of a given country make ad limina visits to Rome. …

2012-05-22: What can you do with a degree in theology? Wonderful post in this graduation month of May; it definitely reflects my experience of these past …

2012-05-03: A Higher Office Fr. Thomas Williams (no relation) on Catholic social teaching; good interview! A Higher Office

2012-05-02: Confused By the eBook Lawsuit? So Is Everyone else. Still don’t think reinforcing Amazon’s monopsony is the thing to do. Confused By the eBook Lawsuit? …

2012-05-02: What Distinguishes ‘Evangelical’ from ‘Fundamentalist’? Very useful discussion, especially given how loosely people use the term “fundamentalist.” What …

2012-05-02: NT Studies and the Septuagint I’ve often wondered this same thing. There has to be a systematic theological argument out there for …

2012-05-01: Forget fancy formatting: Why plain text is best Here is wisdom. Forget fancy formatting: Why plain text is best

2012-05-01: The Pleasures and Perils of the Passive Another one for my students, too often taught to slavishly avoid the passive even when their style …

2012-05-01: Downton Abbey is the Edwardian Battlestar Galactica Priceless for the opening illustration alone. Downton Abbey is the Edwardian Battlestar Galactica

2012-05-01: Joel Osteen worships himself The constant recitation of God’s transcendent goodness and the deference paid to his ironclad …

2012-04-30: Benedict Cumberbatch Moves From Role to Role the success of “Sherlock,” the television series that casts him as a cool and contemporary — if …

2012-04-30: Social Media's Small, Positive Role in Human Relationships For most people, the choice is not leisurely walks on Cape Cod versus social media. It’s television …

2012-04-19: The Mighty Scrivener… You might not ever use word for writing again Follow-up to the Word post, with a light intro to Scrivener, aka the Batman of writing tools. The …

2012-04-19: The Coming Book Wars: Apple vs. Amazon vs. Google vs. the U.S. A good description of the darkling plain. The Coming Book Wars: Apple vs. Amazon vs. Google vs. the …

2012-04-17: Microsoft Word: 5 misuses and 7 alternatives Something for the students as they write their papers. I see every one of these misuses and more …

2012-04-17: Notes on Poll-Watching Essential tips for reading the deluge of polls that we’ll experience between now and November; …

2012-04-17: Q & A: Ross Douthat on Rooting Out Bad Religion Buy the book; I am. (via Instapaper) Q & A: Ross Douthat on Rooting Out Bad Religion

2012-04-07: How the first Christians understood Jesus' resurrection Historically, then, how Christians have understood Jesus’ “resurrection” says a lot about how they …

2012-04-07: Why Was Jesus Crucified? Apropos for the day, from one of the best NT scholars I know of, and just the thing for some common …

2012-03-10: Revision and Reading Aloud A better explanation of what I always tell my students! Revision and Reading Aloud

2012-03-01: Abysmal Google+ Numbers: Users Spending 3 Minutes per Month on the Site So true. Abysmal Google+ Numbers: Users Spending 3 Minutes per Month on the Site

2012-01-28: What to Write Down During a Class Lecture Something for the students or auditors among us. What to Write Down During a Class Lecture

2011-11-22: Sixties Language Made Mass Boring Fr. Barron hits the spot on how to see the new Mass translation. (via Instapaper) Sixties Language …

2011-11-20: The Surprisingly Relaxed Lives of Elite Achievers For everyone heading into finals and the end of the semester! (via Instapaper) The Surprisingly …

2011-11-01: a minor friar: Advice to Theology Students Equally good for undergraduate majors, graduate students, and those simply interested in theology. a …

2011-10-11: The Milquetoast Radicals David Brooks is so on-point about the fundamental frivolity and illusion of the Occupy Wall Street …

2011-10-09: Reporters, Baptists, Romney & ‘cults’ Just can’t recommend GetReligion enough for anyone who wants to make sense of the ways that …

2011-08-21: Big Picture at World Youth Day: 'It’s the Evangelicals, stupid!' John Allen’s take on WYD just past. Big Picture at World Youth Day: ‘It’s the Evangelicals, …

2011-07-27: The Coming Cloud Wars If Silicon Valley were hosting a basketball tournament for consumer money and mindshare in the …

2011-07-09: How to Land Your Kid in Therapy - The Atlantic The unfortunate roots and bad results of the helicopter parenting I see so much of at school. How to …

2011-06-20: Israelites in the Anglo-Saxon Sea Fascinating take on Anglo-Saxon religious poetry, referring to this new volume of translations. …

2011-03-16: It’s not about the iPad “The next time you watch a child use an iPad, think about what your knowledge-based toys looked like …

2011-03-04: Fr. Barron on the Pope's new book Fine description of the dynamic between historical-critical and theological interpretation. (Via …

2011-02-28: OH: Joys of teaching Student: So did I miss anything last class? Teacher: Nope, I awkwardly stared at the class for 50 …

2011-02-15: The Theological Necessity of an Historical Interpretation of the Bible Truer words never spoken: “The moment the “Word became flesh” (Jn. 1:14), history became essential …

2011-01-24: Eight reasons to drink coffee Is there nothing this wonder beverage cannot do? Eight reasons to drink coffee

2010-11-06: Research Upends Traditional Thinking on Study Habits “psychologists have discovered that some of the most hallowed advice on study habits is flat wrong.” …

2010-11-05: Pondering Islam and its discontents Pondering Islam and its discontents: “To put all this into a sound-bite, the church’s approach to …

2010-09-27: Faith Abides: The Intelligence of Benedict XVI | Fr. James V. Schall, S.J. Fr. Schall reviews Tracey Rowland on BXVI; not to be missed, and good in the wake of the UK visit to …

2010-09-09: Hawking and Creation » First Things Money quote: “In the end, Hawking on theology reminds me of ill-informed fundamentalists and their …

2010-09-09: Benedict XVI & the Bible Here’s the conclusion of a longer article from Fr. Lienhard on BXVI’s approach to Scripture. Well …

2010-09-06: Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits Cognitive science revises ideas about studying. Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits

2010-08-29: BXVI & the fragility of reason Nice piece by Weigel that puts BXVI’s trip to Britain in context of broader Western Civ. issues BXVI …

2010-08-18: Ayaan Hirsi Ali: How to Win the Clash of Civilizations Politically incorrect, but nonetheless accurate: “The greatest advantage of Huntington’s …

2010-06-16: Razing generational bastions Nice updating and reapplication of Balthasar’s thoughts on razing the bastions, from Homiletic & …

2010-06-15: Benedict XVI on theology ON “SCIENTIFIC” THEOLOGY (via Sandro Magister) Q: Your Holiness, I am Mathias Agnero and I come from …

2010-05-27: In Memoriam - on my mother My cousin Mary blogs in memory of my Mom, Ellen, who passed yesterday. I haven’t in me to write just …

2010-05-23: Regulators Are Watching Google Over Antitrust Concerns - NYTimes.com The money quote is the subtitle: “Sure, It’s Big. But Is That Bad?” Still, I’d much rather have the …

2010-05-15: Can't Quit You, Facebook Online Fandom » Why, despite myself, I am not leaving Facebook. Yet.: “The rewards of Facebook are …

2010-05-15: Are you an Asker or a Guesser? This column will change your life: Are you an Asker or a Guesser? | Life and style | The Guardian So …

2010-05-12: Bad Facebook, no cookie The Big Game, Zuckerberg and Overplaying your Hand « Jason Calacanis Persuasive argument that …

2010-05-08: Insights on the death of Newsweek Ace of Spades HQ: “Newsweek’s chief competitor wasn’t The Economist. Newsweek’s chief competitor was …

2010-05-06: Political theory of Gilligan's Island Here On The Island - by Lewis Napper - A Scholarly Critique of the Style, Symbolism and …

2010-05-01: The real reason why Steve Jobs hates Flash - Charlie's Diary Good analysis. The real reason why Steve Jobs hates Flash - Charlie’s Diary

2010-04-30: Science vs. Religion: What do scientists say? Interesting. “Much of what we believe about the faith lives of elite scientists is wrong.” Science …