Thursday, March 01, 2018

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Three Views of Marriage

This New York Times op-ed essay was brought to my attention through a friend on FaceBook yesterday. It's by David Brooks and was originally published in February 2016.

Brooks talks about three lens for viewing marriage: The Psychological, The Romantic, and The Moral. He closes with these words...

"In the romantic view, the heart is transformed by love, at any age. In the moral view, spiritual transformation — over a lifetime, not just over two passionate years — is the whole point. People have great power to go against their own natures and uplift their spouses, by showing a willingness to change, by supporting their journey from an old crippled self to a new more beautiful self. 
"The three lenses are operating at different levels: personality, emotions, the level of the virtues and the vices. The first two lenses are very common in our culture — in bookstores, songs and in movies. But the moral lens, with its view of marriage as a binding moral project, is less common. Maybe that’s one of the reasons the quality of the average marriage is in decline."


Friday, February 09, 2018

Ten Ways to Have a Better Conversation

This video presents a good challenge and gives good advice...

Celeste Headlee has worked as a radio host for decades, and she knows the ingredients of a great conversation: Honesty, brevity, clarity and a healthy amount of listening. In this insightful talk, she shares 10 useful rules for having better conversations. "Go out, talk to people, listen to people," she says. "And, most importantly, be prepared to be amazed."

Monday, January 29, 2018

SPCO GRAMMY - Death and the Maiden

Congratulations to the SPCO and Patricia Kopatchinskaja for winning the Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music / Small Ensemble! I was at the live performance and loved it. That performance was an indescribable "just had to be there" experience, but the magic must have translated well into the recording. We are so very fortunate to have world class music performances in the Twin Cities.

More information and audio:

Friday, January 12, 2018

David Brooks on Anti-Trumpism

Passing along this interesting column from David Brooks in the New York TImes...

Anti-Trump lowbrowism burst into full 
bloom with the new Michael Wolff book.

Let me start with three inconvenient observations, based on dozens of conversations around Washington over the past year:

First, people who go into the White House to have a meeting with President Trump usually leave pleasantly surprised. They find that Trump is not the raving madman they expected from his tweetstorms or the media coverage. They generally say that he is affable, if repetitive. He runs a normal, good meeting and seems well-informed enough to get by.

Second, people who work in the Trump administration have wildly divergent views about their boss. Some think he is a deranged child, as Michael Wolff reported. But some think he is merely a distraction they can work around. Some think he is strange, but not impossible. Some genuinely admire Trump. Many filter out his crazy stuff and pretend it doesn’t exist.

My impression is that the Trump administration is an unhappy place to work, because there is a lot of infighting and often no direction from the top. But this is not an administration full of people itching to invoke the 25th Amendment.

Third, the White House is getting more professional. Imagine if Trump didn’t tweet. The craziness of the past weeks would be out of the way, and we’d see a White House that is briskly pursuing its goals: the shift in our Pakistan policy, the shift in our offshore drilling policy, the fruition of our ISIS policy, the nomination for judgeships and the formation of policies on infrastructure, DACA, North Korea and trade.

It’s almost as if there are two White Houses. There’s the Potemkin White House, which we tend to focus on: Trump berserk in front of the TV, the lawyers working the Russian investigation and the press operation. Then there is the Invisible White House that you never hear about, which is getting more effective at managing around the distracted boss.

I sometimes wonder if the Invisible White House has learned to use the Potemkin White House to deke us while it changes the country...