Daily Archives: April 6, 2010

Is Pope Benedict XVI the next Nixon?

It seems absurd at first thought. But read this article in The Atlantic, on Papalgate: The Pope’s Nixon Problem, which starts this way:

The ever-widening scandal over Pope Benedict XVI’s handling of Church sex abuse cases has an eerily familiar ring: it’s unfolding in much the same way that Watergate played out for Richard Nixon. Each day brings new revelations, to which the Pope and his supporters respond with carefully crafted explanations and pointed counterattacks.

Is this Watergate with holy water? Here’s a look at some of the ways in which Pope Benedict XVI has found himself caught up in a scandal of Nixonian proportions…

As author Tom McNichol explains, there are four ways this is similar:

  1. The nagging question: What Did He Know and When Did He Know It?
  2. It’s Not the Crime, It’s the Cover-up
  3. Shooting the Messenger
  4. The Dangers of Infallibility

I see alot of #3 happening right now. Obvious the Pope has risk #4 in a big way. As more and more investigation happens in various countries, #2 is becoming a bigger and bigger concern. Which leads more and more to #1.

Difficult times for the Pope and the Church lie ahead.

Apparently the people at Mattel have lost their minds, and…

according to the BBC News, they are thinking of allowing proper nouns to come into play in Scrabble rule change. Proper Nouns!? Madness! Next they’ll be letting you form words on the diagonal! 🙂

I am not a conservative person by default, but when it comes to such things as Scrabble, I think the way the game is currently designed is perfectly fine.

Google And Facebook’s Privacy Illusion

Bruce Schneier, Chief Security Technology Officer for BT, has a good article in Forbes on Google And Facebook’s Privacy Illusion.

The commentary is good and something I strongly agree with. If I can effectively sum up some of his points:

  • Young people care about privacy.
  • To them privacy is about control.
  • Big companies like Google and Facebook have a vested interest in you surrendering some of that control, and so they take steps to make it easier for you to give up that control.

Before you read another “privacy is dead” article, read Bruce’s first/instead.

On the need for a better word than “schadenfreude”

I was reading a blog post tonight that I came across serendipitously by an
author with many of the same traits I have, yet who also suffers from
serious illness and has other major difficulties. I thought a number of
things reading it, but one of them was an idea similar to but better than
schadenfreude, the taking of delight in the misfortunes of others. I
thought that there should be a word for gaining a better perspective or a
new appreciation of your life due to the misfortunes of others. For that’s
what I gained from reading this man’s story.

It’s difficult to share our misfortunes. Often times we don’t want people’s
help or sympathy: we just would like someone to listen and empathize. If
others go off an better appreciate life as a result, that is a positive
thing in itself.

It is best to inspire people by what we achieve. Other times we can help
people by showing what can be endured. With luck we can always help people
appreciate what they have.

(Hacked on my Blackberry)
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Sent from my BlackBerry Handheld.