Stephen Masty

Blood Lust & Why Most Historians Get it Wrong

By |2015-06-01T16:38:23-06:00May 29th, 2015|Categories: Culture, History, Stephen Masty|

Even if never articulated we always felt that something was awry, summarized in the alleged Chinese curse “may you live in interesting times.” The heroes of most historians appear to be vainglorious killers among whom no sane soul would wish to live. Elsewhere a columnist considers the glamorous Charlemagne, under whom vicious wars raged [...]

The 21st Century’s Great Renaissance Inventor

By |2015-06-02T09:01:32-06:00May 19th, 2015|Categories: Featured, History, Music, Stephen Masty|

Who would think that a great Renaissance invention was born five hundred years after the Renaissance? Yet it happened recently. Using old technology neglected for nearly half a millennium, a new, authentic and affordable Renaissance musical instrument is improving how professional and amateur musicians play and spread delight. But first some background. Renaissance music [...]

Ad Forum Infestum: Against the Dangerous Market

By |2015-05-22T08:44:59-06:00May 12th, 2015|Categories: Culture, Featured, Stephen Masty, Technology|

Wondering about human height led me to more unfashionable thoughts. We seem to be getting taller. My virtually six-foot college sweetheart was exceptionally tall for young women in the 1970s, but that seems close to average among today’s co-eds. The anecdote seems accurate—American men around age twenty who enlisted in the Great War were [...]

Ten Reasons NOT to be a Conservative

By |2015-05-08T14:56:33-06:00May 5th, 2015|Categories: Conservatism, Featured, Stephen Masty|

You may not be able to choose whether you are a conservative. To read Russell Kirk, who analyzed it as profoundly as Edmund Burke espoused it, conservatism is halfway between an IQ test and a prudent cast of mind. Prudence suspects untested change, while intelligence and education identify the wisdom hidden within tradition. This may [...]

I Shot an Elephant in My Pajamas….

By |2015-04-28T01:16:42-06:00April 28th, 2015|Categories: Culture, Stephen Masty|

“…how he got in my pajamas, I’ll never know,” quipped Groucho in Animal Crackers.* Curiously, I was once invited to shoot an elephant but did not take up the offer (nor went to work with anti-communist guerrilla leader Jonas Savimbi in Angola, the required first step). I am glad, and rather hope that “my” [...]

Academic Freedom & Testing the Limits

By |2015-04-09T11:54:30-06:00April 6th, 2015|Categories: Conservatism, Featured, Freedom, Justice, Stephen Masty|

Recently reprinted on these pages, a Notre Dame professor wrote a reasoned and well-crafted response to a controversial essay, in which a Harvard student wished to replace academic freedom with “academic justice,” or censorship silencing conservative views at odds with what she termed her “university community.” After discussing the recent history of academic freedom, [...]

Science Narrows in on Imagination

By |2015-04-04T10:52:34-06:00March 24th, 2015|Categories: Culture, Featured, Imagination, Science, Stephen Masty|

It will hardly surprise readers of this journal, the members of our Imaginative Conservative parish, but scientists are cottoning onto the fact that creativity is heightened by awareness of the past. The Times newspaper reported findings in The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, that: “Psychologists at the University of Southampton split 175 Irish undergraduates [...]

Nit-Picking “Blessed” Adam Smith

By |2019-05-30T11:10:36-06:00February 20th, 2015|Categories: Adam Smith, Books, Edmund Burke, Stephen Masty|

How often can writers pretend to discover some well-known thing for “the first time ever?” With poor Adam Smith it has happened again, but commercial promotion inadvertently raises an important matter that only begins with the great First Economist’s religion or lack thereof. A prominent newspaper starts its book review by insulting its audience: [...]

Of Art, Forgery, & Misperception

By |2015-02-10T17:06:04-06:00February 10th, 2015|Categories: Art, Stephen Masty|

The proverb “seeing is believing” implies truth but merely describes one justification for belief, however shaky. Want to see me pull a rabbit from my hat? A short, fascinating article reports controversy surrounding the painting Old Man in an Armchair, created in 1652 by Rembrandt—or not. Besides a fascinating glimpse into the scholarship of art, [...]

A Liberal Hymn

By |2015-01-30T12:01:12-06:00February 8th, 2015|Categories: Liberalism, Poetry, Stephen Masty|

I love Humanity in all Its misery and need; I love those suffering in thrall, Resenting others’ greed; I love the spiritual link, Uniting all who breathe and think, Together standing on the brink, Until I give the call. I love the Populace throughout Its genders and its races; I love Diversity about In [...]

Top 10 Reasons Why Your Kids May Be Idiots

By |2015-01-26T16:34:01-06:00January 26th, 2015|Categories: Conservatism, Stephen Masty|

Sure, you love them, but people love their pet hamsters. This is not to guarantee that your offspring are mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging simians—determining that, beyond reasonable doubt, requires their face-to-face meeting with trained experts, lasting for at least two minutes. However, you can get a start right here. Remember that this is a cumulative test; it [...]

Nature’s Way to Cut Government Waste

By |2015-01-22T08:30:17-06:00January 22nd, 2015|Categories: Economics, Nature, Stephen Masty|

You see one every day on the streets of Kathmandu, what a friend calls D3 meaning the Daily Dead Dog. Stiller and flatter than before, sometimes the canine corpses are hauled away by the city, at other times unceremoniously chucked off the road into a ditch or the bushes. Then Nepal’s kites—handsome, eaglesque, carrion-eating [...]