Streets of Pittsburgh

There is a new blog post entitled, “The limits of game theory in U.S. politics.”

FireShot Capture 048 - Google Maps -
Fig. 1. Screenshot from Google Maps, taken December 20.

There is a particular series of streets I encounter (figure 1), not far from where I live, that I think speaks to the professed religiosity exemplified in massive churches around here.

I can turn onto Bliss, representing the ecstasy of religious or spiritual experience. This is the inspiration for, for example, the world’s “great” religions.[1] Then I turn on to Grace as in the state of having had that experience.

Driving down Grace, I pass two cul-de-sacs (dead ends), first, Faith, which occurs in the absence of that ecstasy or its experience. It is simply trust in the unknowable, often as divine providence. Finally, I pass Sabbath, representing ritual, the rites of an organized church that the original inspiration has degenerated into as the religion has become organized. The founders of these religions often might well not recognize or approve what their teachings have become.[2]

There are a lot of weird street names around here. Among others, I’ve seen Clever, Wise, and Obey. I fear I lose a few points of IQ every time I turn onto Clever. And my god, who would name a street “Obey?”

  1. [1]Karen Armstrong, The Great Transformation (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006).
  2. [2]Karen Armstrong, The Great Transformation (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006).

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