Thursday, June 25, 2015

Review: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain (Twitter). The author maintains a website.

At one time in my life, I read many self-help books. I've read other books which deal with behavior and psychology, but this one made enough insights to me for me to consider it a self-help book, and I mean that in a positive way.

Part One introduces the personality traits which cluster into the opposite poles of introvert and extrovert and how the modern United States has adopted "The Extrovert Ideal." Young adult broadcast media protagonists are rock stars (Hannah Montana), spoiled scions (Suite Life of Zack and Cody) and teen detectives (Veronica Mars). Business leaders are portrayed as having boundless energy and charismatic personalities. Politicians are "deciders." Introverts are potential Unabombers. "If you don't toot your own horn, nobody will" is almost a truism.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Review: The trials of Abu Ghraib: an expert witness account of shame and honor by Stjepan Gabriel Meštrović

I did my review through a series of Twitter status updates using the hashtag #TrialsAbuGhraib. If you use Twitter, please add your comments using that hashtag. I am embedding the Storify story below, but if it doesn't display properly, just click here.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Liberty of Conscience: In Defense of America's Tradition of Religious Equality by Martha Craven Nussbaum

Liberty of Conscience: In Defense of America's Tradition of Religious Equality by Martha Craven Nussbaum

I earlier published a review of Professor Nussbaum's The New Religious Intolerance: Overcoming the Politics of Fear in an Anxious Age. That book skims through arguments she fleshed out in greater detail and with different historical examples in Liberty of Conscience.

I want to reproduce a few passages which described some aspects of U.S. history which I'd never heard.

Monday, May 04, 2015

U.K. Christian Theologian Keith Ward on Laws Prohibiting Blasphemy

Leonard Levy, in his book Blasphemy: Verbal Offense Against the Sacred, from Moses to Salman Rushdie, quotes Keith Ward as a person who, in the wake of the persecution of Salman Rushdie, changed his opinion from support of the United Kingdom's blasphemy laws to their rejection. I acquired the source document to understand Ward's views in more depth.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Film: Sin Visa (Director Ana Simoes)

Dr. Ramzi Salti, Lecturer at Stanford University and host of the radio show and blog Arabology, reviewed the Spanish film Sin Visa. I have not seen the film.
Sin Visa is an independent, poignant film that broaches the topic of immigration in a powerful, thoughtful and unique way. At a time when immigrants seem to be systematically portrayed en masse by so many media outlets, this film succeeds in humanizing the immigrant experience by reminding us all of the individuality and uniqueness of every immigrant that has ever crossed the border. ... read more ...

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Meet the Qo'sbys: Halal in the Family by Aasif Mandvi

Comedian Aasif Mandvi has put together Halal in the Family, a series of short videos in the sit-com format about the Qu'osbys addressing various aspects of Muslim-non-Muslim interaction in the United States.
Information about the videos and some of the serious issues underlying them is available on the Halal in the Family website, Facebook page and Twitter feed.