You may have heard that Facebook has changed its corporate name to “Meta” as in metaverse, the moniker of the moment. An online article appeared noting #FacebookDead is trending out of Israel. It seems “meta” is the Hebrew word for dead. Someone did not do their branding homework.  ….. It was a grave error.  Moving on…

Chaos and covid

The last 19-20 months of pandemic have taken a toll on everyone in one way or the other. We all have stories, anecdotes, experiences, and have participated in “have you heard” conversations. The beginnings of the pandemic were just devoid of information. It was chaos in the normal and the mathematical sense. It is the mathematical sense that always interests me. People confuse chaos with randomness. Actually mathematical chaos is quite predictable – if you understand the initial conditions. Of course, there’s the rub. When I think about the early days of the pandemic we have the initial conditions of (a) a population used to ferreting out information from the internet with relative ease and (b) a situation when there wasn’t information. Into the void…nature hates a vacuum… let loose the dogs of war… take your pick. The milieu was ripe for the lowest denominator of accuracy to provide fuel for conversations from water cooler to talk radio, Facebook to “in the know” sites, and all the existing and emerging channels of information and disinformation. Continue reading

Francis and the Leper: early companions

The encounter of St. Francis of Assisi and a leper is an oft-cited account in the life of the saint. As we mentioned several weeks ago there are five sources in which one can read the account. English versions of the sources are available online. The sources are

  • The Life of St. Francis of Assisi by Thomas of Celano (1C – written 1228-1229),
  • The Life of St. Francis of Assisi by Julian of Speyer (LJS – written 1232-1235; dependent on 1C),
  • The Legend of the Three Companions (LC3 – a compilation of oral stories from three early companions of Francis started in 1244; thought to be original materials plus dependency on 1C and another text, The Anonymous of Perugia)
  • The Remembrance of the Desire of a Soul (2C written by Thomas of Celano 1245-1247)
  • The Major Legend by St. Bonaventure (LM – written 1260-1263)

In last week’s edition we looked, in some detail, at the “first life” by Thomas of Celano. This week, we can try to summarize the other accounts in a more concise manner. Continue reading