I hope that Crucible readers will forgive the month-long hiatus in posts. I've been distracted. Distracted by the possibility of a new job and the hectic preparations that go along with it, as well as two weeks away on business and vacation.
You've had plenty to keep you busy while I was gone as Oblogger continue to turn out some fantastic essays and posts. I returned to find some 400 unread posts by Obloggers after only a few weeks. A ton of goodness if you subscribe to our combined feed. I just got done browsing them and always amazed at the quality and clarity of some of these posts. The best of my perusal can be found on my favorites feed.
Of particular note, Greg Perkins over at Noodlefood gives us the third in what is shaping up to be a great series analyzing Why the New Atheists Can't Even Beat D'Souza. Our newest Oblogger, Kostubh, over at Applying Philosophy to Life gives us a short but concise look at the tendency of people to want to use government regulation as a shortcut to solve problems in society in his article Individuals and Society. And then, as if to concretize the principle, three other Obloggers take on specific issue that illustrate examples of this: Galileo looks as the scapegoat of "speculation" in todays financial crisis. Stella at Reasonpharm looks at the world without the seemingly "necessary" FDA. And Ergo ponders whether or not the use of government stimulus during a financial crisis is warranted. One of my favorite and most articulate Obloggers, Ed Cline over at Rule of Reason weighs in with some powerhouses. First with a great Memorial Day post on heroism, and with a great post looking at non-policy in Iraq. Dan Edge at Edge of Reason has a great memorial day post remembering "Tank Man" from the Tiananmen Square massacre, and Titanic Deck Chairs looks at the concept of individual right vs. "human rights" in the current China debate. He also has a great post, marveling at the ease in treating illness today. And finally, in one of the sweetest most hilarious YouTube videos, Optional Values shows us why listening closely is soooo important.
Well, look, there's my own Objectivist round-up right there, and now that I've finished it, I know that you, dear reader, have had plenty to read while I was gone recharging my batteries. And recharge I did. After work meetings in Warsaw, I spent a week's vacation in Spain. The highlight of my trip revolved around art. In Warsaw I got to hear a concert of Chopin, including the 2nd Piano Concerto, played at the National Symphony, which was a bit like watching a home team favorite. I also discovered some Polish painters from the 19th century at the National Museum which I'd not heard of before including Siemiradzki, Zmurko, Gierymski, and Jozef Brandt. It was discovering heretofore unknown artists from an era which was all too short and all too glorious in the history of art.
In Madrid, I had the pleasure of hearing the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra play Beethoven's 4th Symphony and a rousing rendition of Tchaikovsky's 5th, which ended to an eruption of "Bravo's!" from the audience. I also discovered the work of Impressionist Joaquin Sorolla in the setting of his own home and studio. Although I'm not a fan of the Impressionist school in general, early impressionists, who still retained some of the more traditional form from the earlier era sometimes have paintings with wonderful themes, as does Sorolla, and generally passable technique. Particular favorites were "Una Investigacion" [An Investigation] and "Instantanea" [with an Instant Camera]
So that's it. I'm back. Batteries recharged; and hopefully a few posts coming out quickly in the next few days.