Archive for January 22nd, 2013

Apart from Love


St Simeon the New Theologian

However great your zeal and many the efforts of your asceticism, they are all in vain and without useful result unless they attain to love in a broken spirit.

—St. Symeon the New Theologian

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From Thinkprogress:

By Pat Garofalo on Dec 3, 2012 at 9:25 am

A constant conservative charge against President Obama is that he is inherently anti-business. However, businesses keep defying the storyline by making larger and larger profits, rebounding nicely out of the Great Recession.

In the third quarter of this year, “corporate earnings were $1.75 trillion, up 18.6% from a year ago.” Corporations are currently making more as a percentage of the economy than they ever have since such records were kept. But at the same time, wages as a percentage of the economy are at an all-time low, as this chart shows. (The red line is corporate profits; the blue line is private sector wages.):


Corporations made a record $824 billion in profits last year as well, while the stock market has had one of its best performances since 1900 while Obama has been in office.

Meanwhile, workers are getting the short end of the stick. As CNN Money explained, “a separate government reading shows that total wages have now fallen to a record low of 43.5% of GDP. Until 1975, wages almost always accounted for at least half of GDP, and had been as high as 49% as recently as early 2001.”

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From The Telegraph:

JRR Tolkien in the Botanical Gardens, Oxford (Photo: Heathcliff O'Malley)

The beginning of a joint book by CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien has been discovered in a manuscript book in the Bodleian Library, Oxford.

An American academic called Steven Beebe, of Texas State University, San Marcos, had seen the material some years ago, but has only recently realised what it is. It is written in Lewis’s hand in the same notebook that contains early drafts for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Magician’s Nephew.

Lewis and Tolkien had planned their joint book, to be called Language and Human Nature, in 1944, with publication envisaged for 1950.

Apart from the difficulty that Tolkien had in finishing any book, the timing of the joint venture was not propitious, for Tolkien felt that Lewis and he were “separated first by the apparition of Charles Wiliams”. Williams had joined meetings of the Inklings on being evacuated from London during the Second World War. He died in 1945, but the damage to the relationship between Lewis and Tolkien had been done.

Still, they retained a friendship and exchanged ideas. Tolkien had strong notions of the relation between language and myth. Lewis said something about the development of language within cultures in Studies in Words, published in 1960.

In the newly identified manuscript, Lewis writes as “we”, and it will be interesting to see how far Tolkien’s thought enters into the argument.

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