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Sunday Ramblings

I had a very long and busy day of work yesterday, so found myself fighting to form coherent thoughts today. So rather than attempt to write something riveting, I thought I’d share a few quotes I’ve pulled from books I’ve read lately.

While reading Chris Anderson’s The Long Tail I found a quote by Christopher Hitchens that tickled my funny bone.

In Letters to a Young Contrarion, Christopher Hitchens writes that he wakes up every morning and checks his vital signs by grabbing the front page of the New York Times: “ ‘All the News That’s Fit to Print,’ it says. It’s been saying that for decades, day in and day out. I imagine that most readers of the canonical sheet have long ceased to notice the bannered and flaunted symbol of its mental furniture. I myself check every day to make sure that it still irritates me. If I can still exclaim, under my breath, why do they insult me and what do they take me for and what the hell is it supposed to mean unless it’s as obviously complacent and conceited and censorious as it seems to be, then at least I know that I still have a pulse.”

Substitute CNN for the Times and remove the vulgar word and I think I pretty well agree with him. And this is unusual as there really isn’t a lot of common ground between myself and Hitchens (this book aside).

There was another quote that grabbed my attention as well. This one was from, somewhat ironically, a book review in the New York Times written by Richard Posner. He commented on the blogosphere:

What really sticks in the craw of conventional journalists is that although individual blogs have no warrant of accuracy, the blogosphere as a whole has a better error-correction machinery than the conventional media do. The rapidity with which vast masses of information are pooled and sifted leaves the conventional media in the dust. Not only are there millions of blogs, and thousands of bloggers who specialize, but what is more, readers post comments that augment the blogs, and the information in those comments, as in the blog themselves, zips around blogland at the speed of electronic transmission.

The blogosphere has more checks and balances than the conventional media do; only they are different. … It’s as if The Associated Press or Reuters had millions of reporters, many of them experts, all working with no salary for free newspapers that carried no advertising.

And one final quote, this a nice short one courtesy of Thomas Jefferson. “He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessing mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.” I thought of this quote in light of my relationship with other Christians and marveled at somehow Christians seem unwilling to really teach and train other, newer Christians lest these people eventually outshine their teachers. Keep them ignorant so they cannot challenge us to be more godly or to cast aside our sin. Don’t encourage godliness in them lest they make my godliness look dull in comparison. But I think Jefferson’s words are instructive here.

And finally, I read an interesting story today. You may have seen, as I have, the photos of the marriage of a young soldier who was terribly wounded while serving in Iraq. You can see photographs of the man and his wife here. But I also found the story behind the photographs and thought you might find it interesting as well. You can read it here.