My Prediction -- Mayweather will win in round 12

08.25.2017 / Culture

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Who will win on Saturday in the McGregor vs. Mayweather fight?

Mayweather will win… But it will be interesting. And that’s the point. Here’s my prediction of what happens, and an explanation of why, written up like a news story I imagine people will write on Sunday morning.

Disclaimer: I know next to nothing about boxing or MMA. I’ve come to a tentative prediction from watching both men’s thoughts (in interviews) and fights on YouTube.

What will happen

Mayweather wanted to retire 50-0, and make a boatload of money one last time. He wanted a safe fight he can win easily, but he didn’t want to seem like he was playing it safe.

He lighted upon a cocky underdog opponent who actually has 0-1% chance, and made it seem like the underdog has a real 30%-40% chance. He played up the fight, “giving concessions” like 8 oz gloves. He played up the hypo, loving the drama, enhancing the drama, earning free publicity, and grew the hype as big as it could be. He let McGregor fans, Irishmen, and underdog lovers the world over hope for an upset.

In the ring, he enacted his time-tested formula. McGregor had to attack. He either missed and grew tired, or connected and grew tired. McGregor is used to opponents buckling under a couple of good counter-left punches, so he can finish with a “ground and pound.” But Mayweather didn’t buckle. Mayweather dodged a few, and took a few on the chin. But he didn’t get stunned like Mcgregor is used to. Mayweather even seemed to pretend he was more stunned he really was.

He survived rounds 1-4, and McGregor lost steam. McGregor hoped it would be over by now, and, being discouraged, began to take hits. Rounds 4-8 Mayweather clearly dominated, earning technical hits and becoming more aggressive as it became clear that McGregor could no longer counter with that vicious left-hook. McGregor grew more and more fatigued and Mayweather pummeled him until the end of round 12, taking only a few return jabs for his trouble. Mayweather wins on technical knock out, retires fabulously wealthy at 50-0.

McGregor spins the loss by saying that “if it were a MMA fight, I would have won”, walks with his $50 million, happy as can be, and goes back to UFC.

Why

Mayweather is a cautious investor first, a boxer second. He’s not just a defensive boxer, but a defensive person. He lives life on the defensive, cautiously, carefully, intentionally.

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A Dialog on Diversity of Opinion

08.20.2017 / Philosophy

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ONCE UPON A TIME…

A professor and his star student chatted after class in the hallway.

Professor A had just held forth, in his philosophy class, about the virtues of viewpoint diversity. Professor A argued that conformity of mind is a harbinger of intractable falsehoods, while hearing different perspectives from people who disagree with you can teach you things you otherwise would never know.

Student B stayed after to clarify things a bit.

B: “But if you value the opinion of even people who disagree with you, you’re just saying they can help you see new truths, right? You’re not saying that people who believe falsehoods that you do not believe have something to contribute, are you?”

A: “Yes, everyone’s opinion is valuable to me. Even people who think differently from me are correct about something and need to be heard.”

B: “I disagree, professor. You believe in tolerance. So, I think everyone who thinks differently from you on this point doesn’t value tolerance – and so they are incorrect.”

A: “Well, the people who think similarly to me are correct. But the people who think differently from me on that point are still valuable to me. They’re both valuable to me.”

B: “No, that can’t be right! If you’re saying even the intolerant and close-minded have opinions that are ‘valuable’ and should be heard, you’d have to conclude that conformity of mind is just as good as open debate and reasoned disagreement.”

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Diversity Problems, Damore Solutions

08.18.2017 / Politics

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As an orthodox Christian, I am ipso facto an academic heretic.

It’s not just that I un-ironically defend certain religious dogmas as literally true and objectively accurate, nor even that I pray to and worship God without debonair agnosticism. My secular humanist friends are, as a rule, rather tolerant of my religiosity.

My academic heresy is being skeptical, undecided, or resistant to very particular rival dogmas.

For example, it flies in the face of academic orthodoxy even to remain open-minded or agnostic about socialism, philosophical naturalism, or climate change. Some of my otherwise open-minded philosopher friends are radically closed even to considering alternate political, scientific, or philosophical views with any seriousness. They find doubting Marxist revelations or (allegedly) scientific revelations more outrageous than not doubting divine revelation.

My heterodoxy inevitably creates a certain tension in academic contexts. At the average gathering of philosophers, I have the privilege of contributing to viewpoint diversity by representing a minority report.

The tension can be trying because one must work so hard to set up a discussion in such a way that one’s interlocutors will argue the point instead of attack the person. But it’s mostly delightful because the discussions, once they get going, are so rich.

My point here is that secular academics can be benignly dismissive about varying religious beliefs; but they are more often vociferous about varying political beliefs. (I even get into trouble with my co-religionists who are left-leaning.)

Academic Dogmas

debate

What are some other academic dogmas that are difficult, if not impossible, to foster serious discussion about in higher education journals, conferences, and classrooms?

Consider this beautiful list of secular political heresies outlined by heterodox academic Ben Foster in the Louisville Cardinal.

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Guest post 2 -- "Can CEO Pay Be Unjustifiably High?" by Stephanie Obieroma

08.11.2017 / Philosophy

This month I am happy to announce that I will be publishing a series of guest posts from my former students. I asked these students if I could publish their essays because I think they represent excellent examples of philosophical reasoning on important or contemporary topics. Some I agree with and some I do not… but they all make me think. – Keith

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Objection 1. CEO pay can sometimes be too high because the high pay does not have the right incentive effect (Boatright 169). Giving CEOs bonuses and providing them with stock options can be done without the exorbitant cost. The pay is not a motivator for CEOs to work hard, in fact, it makes them lazy, not wanting to put in the effort that is required of the position. They already see themselves making millions of dollars, and the idea of exuding more effort is not of interest to them (Boatright 169).

Objection 2. The ratio of pay between CEOs and lower-level working employees is disproportionately high. For example, the ratio of the S&P 500 CEO’s salary and bonus compared the lowest paid worker was 30 to 1 back in 1970. In 1996, the ration has increased to 90 times of the lowest paid worker (Boatright 169). There should not be this glaring disparity between the CEO and the lowest paid worker.

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Guest Post 1 "Can CEO Pay Be Unjustifiably High?" by Frances Roorda

08.10.2017 / Philosophy

This month I am happy to announce that I will be publishing a series of guest posts from my former students. I asked these students if I could publish their essays because I think they represent excellent examples of philosophical reasoning on important or contemporary topics. Some I agree with and some I do not… but they all make me think. – Keith


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Since 1978, CEO compensation on average has grown almost 1000%, twice as fast as the rate of growth of the stock market and ninety times as fast as the rate of growth of a typical employee’s pay. Because of this, the gap between the lowest-paid and highest-paid members of a given company has widened greatly, to the point that the average CEO will make 300 times more than the typical worker in a given year. Though the rationale for high executive compensation is widely accepted in corporations as well as in society, there is a growing debate over whether this compensation is truly representative of executive contribution to their companies.

I argue that it is possible for CEO compensation to be too high, and that this can be seen in many companies today. The CEO is the figurehead of the company, but they seem to have very little to do with the day-to-day functions that define a company. The quality of the CEO may have very little to do with the quality of service provided by the company because of how disconnected they are from its most basic levels. Because of this, the CEO should not be rewarded more than lower-level employees for the success of a company.

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A New Documentary about the Religiously Unaffiliated

07.21.2017 / Culture

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Disclosure: I worked as a production assistant on this film.

Check out this new documentary by Nathan Jacobs, titled Becoming Truly Human. It will hit your interest on multiple levels – if you are religious, or not religious, or formerly religious, or simply curious about trends in American life.

I’ve screened film before its release and can attest that it is beautifully moving in ways that reveal more about the heights, and depths, of being human.

Watch the trailer on Patheos.

As Peter Chattawy on Patheos reports:

It used to be common for people to identify with a religious tradition, even if they weren’t very observant about it. But that is less and less the case these days, as studies have shown that an increasingly large percentage of the North American public has either given up on religion or never had it to begin with. Now filmmaker Nathan Jacobs has made a documentary that tells the stories of several “Nones” (so called because they tend to identify as “none of the above” on religious surveys), while articulating his own pilgrimage through None-ness to something else.

The film will be released August 22, 2017.






A Joyless Shoe Ad

07.15.2017 / Culture

Apparently I missed this the first time around:

As an ad, it works. It’s fine. Nice shoes for modern, pretty women. I get it.

As a piece of art, it is wrong on every conceivable level. Petty, patronizing, sexist, hateful, belittling, humorless, tone deaf, vindictive, spiteful, trivial, immature, and implausible.

The only thing that mitigates All the Bad is the music, which maintains a bit of the cheery, satirical feel in the face of the joylessness and blissful ignorance of reality in the script.

Even with all that said, any publicity is good publicity and they’re probably selling some shoes and getting bigger brand recognition in their target audience: single metropolitan females who identify as feminists. It’s a small niche, but you have to have one.

The ratio of dislikes to likes on YouTube is not quite at, but approaching, Ghostbuster levels.






The future of classical education is higher education

07.13.2017 / Classical education

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PITTSBURGH – June 24, 2017. Scroll down for an interview with Douglas Wilson about the future of classical education. It was filmed at the Association of Classical Christian Schools national conference, “Repairing the Ruins.”

Subscribe for more interviews, coming soon!






Traditional, Conservative, Comedy

07.07.2017 / Culture

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John Nolte over at Daily Wire provides a comedy lover’s analysis of where all the good comedies have gone. Nolte mixes two of my loves: comedy and politics. The results are insightful (if not humorous).

Short answer: gross-out comedy has overtaken all, to dismal effect.

There are lots of good ways to do comedy. But nihilistic body-humor comedy is the only path left for those who no longer believe in God, truth, justice, or the American way. (Not saying these are all the same thing, just that each provides something to believe in.)

Nolte further argues that the last ten years have seen more and more comedies that laugh at (or ignore) traditional Americans instead of laughing with traditional Americans. Liberal Hollywood of course does not see this, and so blames, I don’t know – Trump.

Incidentally, a public service announcement to screenwriters: if Nolte is right, there is a massive slice of the consumer pie waiting for someone to make a comedy that respects the heartland, center-right, American culture. They’ll give you millions of their dollars if you get the recipe right.






Language, Beauty, and Standardized Tests at "Repairing the Ruins" 2017

06.21.2017 / Classical education

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In June 22-23, The Buhler Report attended and live-blogged several talks and workshops from the Repairing the Ruins Conference in Pittsburgh, PA.

“Repairing the Ruins” is put on by the ACCS and is the largest conference for classical Christian education in the nation. Sessions cover big ideas and practical details of classical education in our context today.

A few highlights

“Love is the movement out of narcissism.” –Louis Markos

God loves us by remembering us. We love God by remembering him. When forgetfulness begins, that marks the decline of love. – Douglas Wilson

“All things are made one in Christ, but that means not flattened into unity but harmonized. If all things are harmonized in Christ, then certainly all the curriculum must be harmonized in Christ.” –Andrew Kern

“Beautiful art redeems our fallen senses.” –Steve Turley

“You can have morality without religion. But you can’t have morality in large groups, sustained over time, across generations, without religion.” –Robert George

“No one will save education or save this generation in a time of turmoil if we do not. The eagles are not coming. Or rather, you are the eagles. And only God can destroy the ring.” – John Mark Reynolds

Read below for updates from:

  • Louis Markos, “CS Lewis and the Psychology of Hell”
  • Douglas Wilson, “Three Central Duties”
  • “Telling the Story of the World”
  • Andrew Kern “Memory, Imitation, Harmony”
  • Turley, “Beauty Matters”
  • Robert George, “Constitutional Structures”
  • John Mark Reynolds, “Avoiding the Temptation to Christian Leninism”
  • and more!
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