“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
– Ephesians 6:10-18

Pennsylvania grand jury report details decades of clerical abuse allegations

(EDIT 8/15/18: This is a story that really does belong in the Daily Mail. Here is their in-depth take on this foul shit: Rinsing victims’ mouths with holy water and making one boy pose as Jesus: Grand Jury reveals the depravity of 301 priests who sexually assaulted at least 1,000 children – which the Catholic church covered up ABN)

A redacted grand jury report on clerical sexual abuse in six of Pennsylvania’s Catholic dioceses was released Tuesday, following an 18-month investigation into thousands of alleged instances of abuse spanning several decades.

The report, detailing allegations made in the dioceses of Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, and Scranton, was released Aug.14. It reported on evidence of systematic abuse and cover-ups going back seven decades within these dioceses.

About half of Pennsylvania’s nearly 3 million Catholics live within these six dioceses.

The 884-page report was written by 23 grand jurors, who spent some 18 months investigating the six dioceses, examining half a million pages of documents in the process. (Source)

What we are speaking into?

Contemplate some of your speech acts from when you were young, say 10-20 years old.

Many of the ones you remember you probably would not say again if you could go back to that time. The core reason is now that you are older you realize that your understanding of what you were speaking into is different today than your understanding at the time you spoke.

When you were fifteen, your limited understanding of speech and its effects may have led you to slant your words in ways that were likely to be misunderstood. For example, you may have made a clumsy bid for sympathy by complaining about someone with words that were too strong, producing a counter-effect to what you wanted. Or you may have self-deprecated too much, thus leading an important adult to misunderstand your real abilities.

Another way to see this is consider the times you did not say anything, believing that your silence would be understood. You might have said nothing when wronged because you imagined the person who harmed you would see their mistake on their own though they did not. Or you might have said nothing when you thought you deserved something because you believed the other person would see it on their own though they did not.

Now that you are older you probably know that you have to be more careful with what you say; sometimes you need to be more explicit and other times it’s best to say as little as possible. How will you feel about your speech today ten years from now?

The same sorts of questions can be asked and valuably considered about how we listen and have listened to others. Problems with speaking and listening are constant and lifelong and will never go away if only because of time constraints, though there are scores of other reasons why people misunderstand each other.

We see what we are used to seeing; and interpret it as we are used to

A new study shows that what we see is often a distortion of what is really happening. A short article about that study provides a good overview: Altered images: New research shows that what we see is distorted by what we expect to see:

New research shows that humans “see” the actions of others not quite as they really are, but slightly distorted by their expectations.

The study is here: Perceptual teleology: expectations of action efficiency bias social perception.

I think it is fair to speculate that the conclusions of that study apply not just to visual information, but to all information. For example, much of what we consider to be psychological continuity is habit based on introspective deformities.

See Psychology as “signs of something else” for more on this topic.

See also: Seeing the best way forward: Intentionality cues bias action perception toward the most efficient trajectory.