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Devra Torres

Of Charisms and Comfort Zones

Apr. 2, 2013, at 8:30pm

We all saw it coming. 

On learning that Pope Francis rode the subway and cooked his own meals, we were charmed.  When he preferred to skip cuff links and stoles,

we were still delighted—or most of us were.  When he stopped by his hotel to pay his bill, called up the local kiosk owner to cancel his paper, and held a mass for garbage collectors, everybody cheered. 

Some have already been put off by one gesture or another, and more will surely follow suit as this (very wholesome) Papaphoria diminishes. 

When it came out, for example, that he had asked his countrymen

 to stay home from his installation and give the money to the poor, not the airlines, that sounded noble.  Even his immediate

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Jules van Schaijik

True simplicity

Nov. 12, 2011, at 1:35pm

Steve Jobs, whose genius I've long admired and whose biography I've been listening to lately, was well known for his desire to simplify products and make them more user friendly. (There is a friendly and funny spoof on this, by the Onion.) "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication," Apple's first brochure proclaimed. But simple is not to be confused with simplistic. True simplicity, Jobs knew, comes "from conquering complexities, not ignoring them."

This put me in mind of a chapter on "True Simplicity" in Dietrich von Hildebrand's classic work, Transformation in Christa context about as far removed from computers as can be imagined. Von Hildebrand makes a similar distinction within the

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