links for 2011-08-09

  • I completed the manuscript for "Nickel and Dimed" in a time of seemingly boundless prosperity. Technology innovators and venture capitalists were acquiring sudden fortunes, buying up McMansions like the ones I had cleaned in Maine and much larger. Even secretaries in some hi-tech firms were striking it rich with their stock options. There was loose talk about a permanent conquest of the business cycle, and a sassy new spirit infecting American capitalism. In San Francisco, a billboard for an e-trading firm proclaimed, "Make love not war," and then — down at the bottom — "Screw it, just make money."

    When "Nickel and Dimed" was published in May 2001, cracks were appearing in the dot-com bubble and the stock market had begun to falter, but the book still evidently came as a surprise, even a revelation, to many. Again and again, in that first year or two after publication, people came up to me and opened with the words, "I never thought…" or "I hadn't realized…"

  • The issue of the alleged gullibility of ancient people has come up again in a recent thread. In that thread, I've linked to four relevant articles on the subject: here, here, here, and here. In this post, I want to quote some of the passages on this subject in a recent book, Paul Eddy and Gregory Boyd's The Jesus Legend (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2007). I recommend reading their entire discussion of the subject, such as on pp. 64-66, but here are some portions of what they wrote:
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