Recently in Profound Category

Photo essay: Detroit as I knew it

Photographer Herman Krieger, born in Detroit in 1926, documents with then-and-now photographs the places he lived, studied, and worked before leaving the city in 1951. "The houses in Detroit, in which I lived, are all gone. They have either been razed or covered over by a highway."

Mr. Krieger has lived an interesting life: Moving to San Francisco as a photographer, then becoming a computer programmer in 1956 and working all over Europe, and then coming back to America in 1990, earning a Bachelor's in Fine Arts at the University of Oregon, and working since that time as a photographer. One of his photographs is part of an exhibit of landscape photography at the High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon, running through December 2, 2017.

The best advice on Twitter trolls was written by al-Ghazali in the 11th century | Sarah Kendzior

Jesus advised us not to cast our pearls before swine. This Sufi philosopher expands on the idea, distinguishing between questioners who would not profit from an answer (those asking from envy, the sophomoric who don't know how much they don't know, and those who haven't the ability to process what you tell them) on the one hand, and this sort of questioner on the other:

"But the sickness which is curable is that of the intelligent and understanding seeker of guidance, who is not overcome with envy and anger and the love of worldly vanities and wealth and honor, but is seeking the straight road; and his questions and objections do not arise from envy and a desire to cause trouble and to make trial. And he is curable, and it is permitted to attempt to answer him--nay, it is necessary."

The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1808), by Daniel Defoe

An excerpt of Daniel Defoe's satirical poem, "True-born Englishman," in which he exposes the typical motivation behind exposés of political functionaries. At least the public learns what might otherwise be hidden, even if the telling is driven by envy.

"Fools out of favour grudge at knaves in place,
And men are always honest in disgrace:
The court preferments make men knaves in course,
But they, who would be in them, would be worse.
'Tis not at foreigners that we repine,
Would foreigners their perquisites resign:
The grand contention's plainly to be seen,
To get some men put out, and some put in."

Conversations: Vishal Mangalwadi | Christianity Today

"I see the idea of human rights and human dignity as being a peculiarly biblical concept. In Mussolini, Hitler, and Stalin, a Catholic Italy, a Lutheran Germany, an Orthodox Russia succumbed to totalitarianism because of liberal humanist ideas that man can create a utopia. Joseph Campbell [the late renowned scholar of comparative mythology] and Carl Jung were both shocked after they came to India. They realized that the natural law is not natural. The fact is there are consequences to teaching that human beings are nothing but animals. This 'truth' destroys the entire basis of civilized political life."

Jeb Bush's 2016 Campaign -- What Explains Jeb Bush's Sudden Free Fall? | National Review Online

It's not enough to be right on the issues. Conservative voters have already seen what happens when they elect leaders who say the right things but refuse to take personal and political risks to effect change:

"'Americans are afraid their nation is in decline; they are going to lose the country they love,' [Republican consultant Alex] Castellanos says. 'They want a leader as big as their fears. Right now, a lot of Republicans see that big leader as Trump, and no else is at the big boys' table with him.'

"Castellanos contends that until a candidate proves he is 'big enough' to do the job, nothing else matters -- not being a conservative, not being a loyal Republican, not even major policy differences. 'What good is policy or ideology if you aren't big enough to get anything done anyway?'"

RELATED: Erick Erickson writes: "If Republicans in Washington will not stop this and defund Planned Parenthood, Republican voters should take any and all action to destroy the party at the ballot box. If this party will not fight this evil, it will fight no evil and should itself die."

Freeman's Perspective: It's 460 AD in Rome: This Won't Be Fixed

Paul Rosenberg looks to the writings of Salvian, just before the fall of Rome, as a preview of coming "attractions" in our own culture. You might call this another take on the "Benedict Option."

"Even if this system doesn't crash for another century, everything done within it is a waste.

"It is fully corrupt, from top to bottom, and I don't believe there are any "good guys" inside, waiting for 'the right time.' It is OVER.

"I withdraw. I forsake them. I refuse to waste my energy on their politics. Humanity deserves better and I aim to do my part in building it.

"I will shed no tears when this system finally collapses - it will be a liberation.

"From here on, I'll build new things and will have nothing to do with the old....

"The good and productive people of this world deserve something better than the abusive dominators that seek to control their every move, and we are more than capable of building it. But we have to stop waiting for permission from the lords of the status quo - they will never give us permission to bypass their domination.

"We have to make our own decisions and simply start building something better. We are able, and this system is unworthy of our efforts.

"Now would be a very good time to start."

How the Internet Became a Shame-Storm - Bloomberg View

From Megan McArdle's review of Jon Ronson's So You've Been Publicly Shamed

"Shame is, after all, a force for good as well as evil. A proper accounting of the problems with shame-storming has to convey that reality, as well as articulate how we might better balance the need to enforce some sort of social norms against the terrible harms, economic as well as emotional, that shame-storming can inflict....

"Shame is one way we enforced good behavior in small groups before there were laws or trading networks. It is a very powerful motivator, and it helps us to come together in large cooperative groups with high degrees of trust and sharing. A hatred of being shamed ourselves and a love of shaming others who have transgressed both literally helped to make us human....

"But as Lane suggests, shame doesn't just punish wrongdoers; it also turns us into our own moral enforcers. Once we've been shamed, we are strongly motivated to avoid doing the things that brought it on. Or at least, most of us are -- one of the hallmarks of sociopaths is that they don't feel shame or remorse. To paraphrase Gordon Gekko, shame is good. Shame is right. Shame works....

"In the small groups we evolved to live in, shame is tempered by love and forgiveness. People are shamed for some transgression, then they are restored to the group. Ultimately, the shamed person is not an enemy; he or she is someone you need and want to get along with. This is how you make up with your spouse after one or both of you has done or said something terrible....

"On the Internet, when all the social context is stripped away and you don't even have to look at the face of the person you're being mean to, shame loses its social, restorative function. Shame-storming isn't punishment. It's a weapon. And weapons aren't supposed to be used against people in your community; they're for strangers, people in some other group that you don't like very much....

"If we want shaming to be restorative -- to help us create and enforce better norms in a broad community -- then it needs to come paired with charity and forgiveness. Shame-storms rarely offer either; the shame is administered, then the storm drizzles away, leaving only a terrified victim and Google's memory of our momentary collective outrage. Without the mercy and restraint of the small community, it can too easily become nothing more than a particularly destructive way to pass an idle moment."

A Treatise of Vocations by William Perkins | Monergism

A book by the late-16th-century English preacher, author, and Cambridge fellow on the Bible's teaching about work and calling:

"Now, in every calling we must consider two causes. First, the efficient and author of it. Secondly, the final and proper end of it. The author of every calling is God Himself; and therefore Paul says, "As God has called every man, let him walk," verse 17. And for this reason, this order and manner of living in this world is called a Vocation, because every man is to live as he is called by God. For look as it is in the military camp: the General appoints to every man his place and standing; one place for the horseman and another for the footman; and to every particular soldier likewise: his office and standing in which he is to abide against the enemy, and to live and die in that place -- it is even so in human societies. God is the General, appointing to every man his particular calling, and as it were, his standing. And in that calling He assigns to him his particular office; in performance of this office he is to live and die. And just as in a camp, no soldier can depart his standing without the leave of the General, nor more may any man leave his calling unless he receives liberty from God. Again, in a clock, made by the art and handiwork of man, there are many wheels, and every one has its several motions -- some turn this way, some that way, some go softly, some apace -- they are all ordered by the motion of the watch. Behold here a notable resemblance to God's special providence over mankind, which is the watch of the great world, allotting to every man his motion and calling; and in that calling, his particular office and function. Therefore what I say is true, that God Himself is the author and beginning of callings."

The book was typed, formatted, and spelling modernized by William H. Gross of OnTheWing,org

"Isaiah's Job," by Albert Jay Nock

A word of encouragement from 1936 that deserves frequent review:

"Isaiah had been very willing to take on the job -- in fact, he had asked for it -- but the prospect put a new face on the situation. It raised the obvious question: Why, if all that were so -- if the enterprise were to be a failure from the start -- was there any sense in starting it? 'Ah,' the Lord said, 'you do not get the point. There is a Remnant there that you know nothing about. They are obscure, unorganized, inarticulate, each one rubbing along as best he can. They need to be encouraged and braced up because when everything has gone completely to the dogs, they are the ones who will come back and build up a new society; and meanwhile, your preaching will reassure them and keep them hanging on. Your job is to take care of the Remnant, so be off now and set about it.'...

"The certainty that the Remnant will find him, however, leaves the prophet as much in the dark as ever, as helpless as ever in the matter of putting any estimate of any kind upon the Remnant; for, as appears in the case of Elijah, he remains ignorant of who they are that have found him or where they are or how many. They did not write in and tell him about it, after the manner of those who admire the vedettes of Hollywood, nor yet do they seek him out and attach themselves to his person. They are not that kind. They take his message much as drivers take the directions on a roadside signboard -- that is, with very little thought about the signboard, beyond being gratefully glad that it happened to be there, but with every thought about the directions....

"Even admitting that in the teeth of history that hope of the human race may not be quite exclusively centered in the Remnant, one must perceive that they have social value enough to entitle them to some measure of prophetic encouragement and consolation, and that our civilization allows them none whatever. "

I Wasn't Treating My Husband Fairly, And It Wasn't Fair

"What this constant nagging and harping does is send a message to our husbands that says 'we don't respect you. We don't think you're smart enough to do things right. We expect you to mess up. And when you do, you'll be called out on it swiftly and without reservation.' Given this kind of negative reinforcement over time, he feels like nothing he can do is right (in your eyes). If he's confident with himself and who he is, he'll come to resent you. If he's at all unsure about himself, he'll start to believe you, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Neither one is a desirable, beneficial outcome to you, him or the marriage....

"If we keep attempting to make our husbands feel small, or foolish, or inept because they occasionally mess up (and I use that term to also mean 'do things differently than us'), then eventually they're going to stop trying to do things. Or worse yet, they'll actually come to believe those labels are true.

"In my case it's my husband of 12+ years I'm talking about. The same man who thanklessly changed my car tire in the rain. The guy who taught our kids to ride bikes. The person who stayed with me at the hospital all night when my mom was sick. The man who has always worked hard to make a decent living and support his family.

"He knows how to change the oil in the car. He can re-install my computer's operating system. He lifts things for me that are too heavy and opens stuck jar lids. He shovels the sidewalk. He can put up a ceiling fan. He fixes the toilet when it won't stop running. I can't (or don't) do any of those things. And yet I give him grief about a dish out of place. He's a good man who does a lot for me, and doesn't deserve to be harassed over little things that really don't matter in the grand scheme of things...."