・・・ 24 percent of U.S. adults sometimes attend services of a faith different from their own. (That figure doesn’t include people who go for special events such as weddings and funerals or attend services while traveling.) ・・・
・・・25 percent of about 4,000 U.S. adults surveyed believe in reincarnation, the rebirth of the soul in another body. Among Christians, the number drops only slightly, to 22 percent. ・・・
Researchers asked specifically whether people believed in or had experience with the following: reincarnation, spiritual energy located in physical things, yoga as a spiritual practice, the evil eye, astrology, being in touch with the dead, consulting a psychic, encountering a ghost. About 65 percent expressed belief in at least one of them. ・・・
Nearly half of those surveyed in August said they have had a mystical/religious experience, compared with 22 percent in a 1962 survey. The percentage who said they had interacted with a ghost doubled from 9 percent in 1996 to 18 percent this year. ・・・
・・・the big thing that’s changed is the cognitive revolution. Because of economic and technological change, there’s greater and greater demand for people who can manipulate ideas and abstractions ・・・
It’s been bad for other groups ? men without advanced degrees, anybody without advanced degrees, people with decent but fungible mental skills.・・・
・・・widening inequality, not only of income but of skills, as highly educated people marry each other and pass their skills to their kids.・・・
Cultural norms are thus set by the lucky 20 percent. Everybody else (we’re Americans, we don’t acknowledge class differences) measures their lifestyle according to the standards set by those top 20. To get the bigger house (which now seems normal) or the multiple cars or the flat screen, they go into debt. Pretty soon, kablooie.
As the economy recovers the upper middle class will probably be fine. This economy still rewards ideas with income. They will still have tremendous cultural capital, the ability to unwittingly set the norms everybody else must live up to. The consumption merry-go-round will begin again. ・・・
・・・the new Large Hadron Collider, a 17-mile loop underneath the Swiss-French border, had accelerated protons to energies of 1.2 trillion electron volts apiece and then crashed them together, eclipsing a record for collisions held by an American machine, the Tevatron, at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois.・・・
Steven Weinberg, a physicist at the University of Texas in Austin, who won the Nobel Prize for work that will be tested in the new collider. Americans will work at CERN, but not as leaders・・・
“There is also a depressing symbolism,” he added, “in the fact that the hottest new results in fundamental physics will for decades not be coming from our country.” ・・・
Going Rogue: An American Life →パロディ化→Going Rouge, An American Embarrassment.
・・・if the American people are as stupid as I think they are, it’s Palin for president in ’12!
・・・The vice-presidential candidacy just happened to her; her account of it reads like an extended “what-I-did-on-my summer-and fall-vacation” essay. For many politicians, family life is sandwiched in between long hours in public service. Palin wants us to know that for her it is the reverse. Political success is an accident that says nothing about you. Success as a wife, mother and citizen says everything.・・・
It is the voice of small-town America, with its folk wisdom, regional pride, common sense, distrust of rhetoric (itself a rhetorical trope), love of country and instinctive (not doctrinal) piety.・・・
Wherever you are, you better watch out. Sarah Palin is coming to town.
・・・Of all the events in contemporary history, it is the soul-shattering military defeat of 1967, when Arab armies lost land to Israel, that some Egyptians have pointed to for comparison as the nation struggles to come to terms with the debacle that followed their loss to Algeria in a soccer game.・・・
“The comparison with 1967 has a specific significance, the defeat of ’67 weakened Egypt as a country and within the Arab world,” said Hassan Nafa, a political scientist at Cairo University. “It broke Egypt.”・・・
Egypt thought it would beat Algeria and earn a World Cup berth for the first time in 20 years. It approached the contest more like a nation going to war than to a soccer game.
When it lost and Egyptian fans left the stadium, many said they were chased down and harassed by Algerians, and some suffered minor injuries. But, most of all, they said they were deeply offended and left feeling helpless.
“How can Egypt, the Arab symbol of strength, be humiliated like this in the streets of Khartoum?” asked Ahmed Tarek, 33, who runs an Egyptian advertising agency in Sudan. “And if we are really a strong country, why aren’t we doing something about it? Nobody had ever insulted the Egyptians to this degree. This issue revealed so many things, it woke up the people.”・・・
“The leader who uses power and oppresses his citizens and forges their will in elections cannot convince anyone when he speaks about the dignity of the citizens,” wrote Alaa al-Aswani, the best-selling author and social critic in the Nov. 24 issue of the newspaper Shorouk.
Instead, people focused on domestic failings that until now were largely tolerated, or swallowed: A ferry that sank leaving 1,000 Egyptians lost at sea; universities ranked among the worst in the world; an Egyptian border guard killed by the Israelis; Egypt’s longtime culture minister losing to a Bulgarian as the new leader of Unesco; and now Algerians desecrating the Egyptian flag.・・・