Pile of books isolated on white background

The Wisdom Chronicle is designed to bring nuggets of wisdom from the dozens of books I read every year. I endeavor to share the best of what I have gleaned. The determination of relevance lies with you. Blessings, J. Whiddon

  1. GOOGLE PARENTS “Like meddlesome parents who never let their kids do anything on their own, Google, Facebook, and other makers of personal software end up demeaning and diminishing qualities of character that, at least in the past, have been seen as essential to a full and vigorous life: ingenuity, curiosity, independence, perseverance, daring.”

Excerpt From: Carr, Nicholas. “The Glass Cage: Automation and Us.”

  1. DRONES “As currently deployed, missile-carrying drones aren’t all that different from cruise missiles and other weapons. A person still pulls the trigger.

The big change will come when a computer starts pulling the trigger. Fully automated, computer-controlled killing machines—what the military calls lethal autonomous robots, or LARs—are technologically feasible today, and have been for quite some time. Environmental sensors can scan a battlefield with high-definition precision, automatic firing mechanisms are in wide use, and codes to control the shooting of a gun or the launch of a missile aren’t hard to write. To a computer, a decision to fire a weapon isn’t really any different from a decision to trade a stock or direct an email message into a spam folder. An algorithm is an algorithm.

Excerpt From: Carr, Nicholas. “The Glass Cage: Automation and Us.”


“The nation that forgot God has never been allowed to endure.”

— G. Washington

“It is not our duty to leave wealth to our children, but it is our duty to leave liberty to them.”

— John Dickinson, Signer, Declaration of Independence

“If men will not be governed by God, then they must be governed by tyrants.”

— William Penn

  1. BOOK BURNINGS “Undesirable books, by contrast, were destroyed. In Eastern Europe, the Nazis burned a staggering 375 archives, 402 museums, 531 institutes, and 957 libraries. It is estimated that Hitler destroyed half of all books in Czechoslovakia and Poland, and fifty-five million tomes in Russia. Libraries in occupied nations that remained open were reorganized to serve the Nazi agenda.”

Excerpt From: Molly Guptill Manning. “When Books Went to War.”

  1. RAPPORT “Everyone who was ever a guest of Theodore Roosevelt was astonished at the range and diversity of his knowledge. Whether his visitor was a cowboy or a Rough Rider, a New York politician or a diplomat, Roosevelt knew what to say. And how was it done? The answer was simple. Whenever Roosevelt expected a visitor, he sat up late the night before, reading up on the subject in which he knew his guest was particularly interested.

For Roosevelt knew, as all leaders know, that the royal road to a person’s heart is to talk about the things he or she treasures most.”

Excerpt From: Carnegie, Dale. “How To Win Friends & Influence People.”

  1. MARRIAGE “In the 1885 case of Murphy v. Ramsey, the US Supreme Court recognized the fundamental importance of the traditional institution of marriage: No legislation can be supposed more wholesome and necessary in the founding of a free, self-governing commonwealth, than that which seeks to establish it on the basis of the idea of the family, as consisting in and springing from the union for life of one man and one woman in the holy estate of matrimony; the sure foundation of all that is stable and noble in our civilization; the best guaranty of that reverent morality which is the source of all beneficent progress in social and political improvement.

Excerpt From: Lee, Richard. “In God We Still Trust: A 365-Day Devotional.”

  1. WHEN BOOKS BURNED “With the passage of nine years and a formal declaration of war, the book burnings were cast in a new light: a warning of the destruction that would follow. In nine years’ time, cities were destroyed, millions of lives were lost, and devastation had spread across Europe like a plague. As one newspaper remarked, “Hunger, forced labor, imprisonment, concentration camps, unarmed crowds of fleeing citizens slaughtered from the skies, nations murdered without cause”—these “are the spectacles that have succeeded those bonfires of books.”

Excerpt From: Molly Guptill Manning. “When Books Went to War.”

  2. CALLING “If you are doing a job someone else can do, it is not your calling.”

— Bob Shank

  1. NOTHING NEW UNDER SUN “What [Booker T.] Washington tried to help an increasingly secular nation to understand was the spiritual principle of sowing and reaping, that every action plants seeds that bear fruit for generations after. “If you could look about the South and see the shiftless way in which the people are living, you would think the case almost hopeless. I have felt so. If you could see some of those men, you would realize as never before the awful curse of slavery. You would realize that ‘Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap.’” The principle applied, he believed, to every aspect of social and political life.”

Excerpt From: Mansfield, Stephen. “Then Darkness Fled.”

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