Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Notable Links and a Poem Draft

* Humphrey discusses Steven Pinker's claims about medieval murder rates.

* Kenny Pearce's article on omnipotence for the IEP is quite interesting.

* Donald McClarey on the first American saint.

* Michael Flynn discusses the importance of geography and the interaction between Aristotelianism and quantum physics. Even if you are skeptical about the fit, it's always worth remembering Heisenberg's repeated insistence throughout his career that, whatever his answers, Aristotle was asking the right questions.

* The Imaginative Conservative posts a reflection by Roger Scruton on T. S. Eliot's conservatism

* Dale Ahlquist talks reasonably about usury, while Jeffrey Tucker completely botches the history of it. It is incorrect to say that the Church's condemnation ended "in the 16th century"; it's still condemned, and you can look it up in the Catechism, if you like. What he means is that the general practice of lending at interest, if the interest is specifically for identifiable risk, loss, or service, was explicitly and authoritatively stated not to be usury -- which under most positions, it wasn't. The Church was coming down against those who tried to use anti-usury prohibitions to stop charitable works like Bl. Bernardino's pawn shops for the poor, not saying that usury was OK. Indeed, throughout his article, Tucker shows that he has no conception whatsoever of the actual debates that were had on the subject of usury.

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Tick and Tock

Tick, the clock said, sour of face,
sitting on the mantle space;
then to soften blow and shock
it relented with a tock.

Tick -- my time is ticking on,
the new becoming old anon;
nor to hold it any lock
can stop the tick that follows tock.

Tick -- the world will pass away;
nothing you can do or say
brings again the turn of clock
that once was spoken at the tock.

Tick, the watching watches shout,
tick, the sullen wall-clocks pout,
tick, the grand-old-father clock
will claim, and will not stay at tock.

Tick -- it passes. Tick -- it ends.
Tick, it says, and tick again.
But ah -- 'tis true, tick cannot block
the single hope returned by tock.

Tick -- accept it, but recall
pendulum must rise and fall:
for every end ticked by the clock,
new beginning starts with tock.

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