I've been detained by life these past few weeks, but fear not. Weekend reading is back. Some of these may be a couple of weeks old, mind you, but nevertheless, these are the pieces worthy of your attention this weekend. As always, poorly designed sites are presented in Readability view, while sites optimized for a good reading experience are presented in their original format. Happy reading.

  • Andrew Sullivan writes in The Daily Beast a case for a transformation in modern Christianity. Being a non-believer, I find few religious pieces that speak to me. Sullivan, however, presents one of the most impassioned, reasonable, and poignant takes on modern Christianity in recent memory in Christianity in Crisis.
  • On the incomparable You Are Not So Smart blog, a dissection of ego depletion: beginning with Freud's early interpretations of the human psyche, and ending with a direct correlation between willpower and the amount of glucose residing in the prefrontal cortex, this piece will change what you think you know about your self-control.
  • Over on The Atlantic, Edward Jay Epstein takes a look at the roots of the diamond industry, and the massive marketing campaign that suckered us into associating diamonds with engagement in Have You Ever Tried to Sell a Diamond?
  • In Character and Its Discontents, Iskra Fileva breaks down the myth that character is a consistent, immutable prospect. The dissection of its nuances is much more fascinating than our traditional view of who we are. Spoiler alert: I think I'll base a piece here on Wonderisms on this essay next week.
  • Charles Simic wrote a bit of a scathing piece on the current state of our great nation. It's full of hard, painful truths, and it's exactly what we needed to hear in the aptly named Age of Ignorance.
  • Finally, NYMag tells us what Facebook really bought with the billion-dollar Instagram deal: sincerity.