Sunday Movie Roundup (5/14/2017)

This was a great week.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:  discovering unexpectedly good films in out-of-the-way places is one of the things that keeps my faith in cinema alive.  There are good things happening out there; you just have to be persistent and know how to wade through all the sewage.

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“How Do I Convince A Student That His Ideas Are Wrong?” (Podcast)

A reader who is a teacher is troubled by the fact that one of his teenage students firmly believes in fascist government. The teacher seeks advice on how to deal with this situation. He relates this situation to similar experiences he had as a soldier in Afghanistan when he was speaking with local villagers.

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The Great New York City Blackout Of 1977

I saw a program the other day about an event I previously had known little about:  the great New York blackout of 1977.  Something about the story left me with a distinct feeling of unease.  I don’t imagine many readers here are familiar with it, either.  Let me describe some of the details.

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Will Digitization Of Books Become A Covert Form Of Censorship?

In most situations it is not technology itself that is the problem, but rather how that technology is used.  Motivations and objectives of the users matter far more than the medium.  Consider the so-called “digitization” of books:  we can say that it has the potential both for good and evil.  On the one hand, its proponents can praise the fact that the digitization of old or rare books has made them available to more people than ever before.  There is merit to this view.

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The Character Of Epaminondas

The great Theban general Epaminondas is most famous for his crushing victory over the Spartans in the Battle of Leuctra in 371 B.C.  With this battle the long military influence of Sparta on the Greek peninsula was brought to an end.  He was a man of few words; but when he did speak, his words were worth recording.  The historian Cornelius Nepos relates two anecdotes that are revealing of his character and temperament.

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