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Posts tagged "Mistakes Were Made"


Scorekeeping on Valentine’s Day

The book tour continues for #Seculosity! Catch David Zahl as he travels to Richmond, VA, on March 4; Pittsburgh, PA (Ligonier), on March 12; and Colombia, SC, on March 18. He’ll also be presenting at The Virginia Festival of The Book in Charlottesville on March 19. In the meantime, in honor of Cupid’s holiday, here’s a snippet […]

From the Archives: Getting What You Want By Revising What You Had

Have you ever reminisced with a friend or family member about an event, only to find that you have two contradictory recollections? It can be harmless – e.g. what color shirt someone was wearing on our 10th birthday – or it can be painful – you were clearly mother’s favorite child vs. No, you were. […]

Another Week Ends: Cognitive Dissonance, Internet Addiction, Middle-Aged Mortals, and Unanswered Prayers

Update: Accompanying episode of The Mockingcast up on iTunes now! ONE. On Monday, Mallory Ortberg, founder of The Toast (the-toast.net), posted a video in which she discusses her experience founding a blog. It’s safe to say that we’ve become fans of The Toast here at Mockingbird, and Ortberg’s language in this video, and her transparency, […]

More 2011 Favorites: Books, Documentaries, Musical Discoveries and Web

Books and Film Favorite Piece of Fiction (Read During 2011): Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger. Not just a favorite of the year, but a favorite, period. It’s a rare work of art indeed that can shed light on both The Royal Tenenbaums and the Jesus Prayer. Unbelievably wise, delightfully funny and deeply religious (in […]

Frank and Debra and the Assassin of Love

We come now to the final part of our series on self-justification, as articulated in the stellar book Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts, and I think you’ll agree that we saved the best – certainly the most crucial – for last. (Part One, […]

Vivian Gornick and the Sandpile That Crushed the Life Out of Love

A particularly arresting example of self-justification and its effect on love from Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts, which will be familiar to those who’ve listened to the talks from the recent Bham conference: At the age of sixty five, the feminist writer and […]

Birmingham Conference Recordings: Grace, Rest and the End of Scorekeeping

A major thank you to everyone who helped us put on our conference in Birmingham, AL, especially all the good people at Cathedral Church of the Advent. What a delightful and inspiring time it was! Lots of laughter, a few tears, some great food and tons of new connections, we could not be more grateful. […]

Getting What You Want By Revising What You Had: Justifying Our Lives Away, Pt 3

Continuing with our series on Self-Justification (part one, part two), we come to a subject of particular relevance this week: memory. Our text, as you’ll recall, is the excellent Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) by Elliot Aronson and Carol Tavris. Have you ever reminisced with a friend or family member about an event, […]

Noisy Apartments, Cognitive Dissonance, and the Cost of Self-Justification

Four years ago, my wife and I moved into an apartment on what is commonly considered the busiest block in Manhattan, 60th St between 2nd and 3rd Ave, also known as the off-ramp of Queensboro bridge. It is the main entrance point into New York for commercial traffic, as well as one of its prime […]

Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me): Justifying Our Lives Away, Pt 1

The best piece of non-fiction I’ve read this summer – by a long shot – is the little social science paperback Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts. The title gives away the appeal. The authors, Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson, place “justification” at the […]