Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 332

Final 2021 installment, including some good news about a bad disease.

On Fridays I share articles/resources about broad cultural, societal and theological issues. Be sure to see the explanation and disclaimers at the bottom. I welcome your suggestions. If you read something fascinating please pass it my way.

Things Glen Found Interesting

  1. Learning in double time: The effect of lecture video speed on immediate and delayed comprehension (Murphy et al, Applied Cognitive Psychology): “We presented participants with lecture videos at different speeds and tested immediate and delayed (1 week) comprehension. Results revealed minimal costs incurred by increasing video speed from 1x to 1.5x, or 2x speed, but performance declined beyond 2x speed. We also compared learning outcomes after watching videos once at 1x or twice at 2x speed. There was not an advantage to watching twice at 2x speed but if participants watched the video again at 2x speed immediately before the test, compared with watching once at 1x a week before the test, comprehension improved. Thus, increasing the speed of videos (up to 2x) may be an efficient strategy, especially if students use the time saved for additional studying or rewatching the videos, but learners should do this additional studying shortly before an exam.” The authors are researchers at UCLA.
  2. The pandemic:
    • Our playbook to fight covid-19 is outdated. Here are 10 updates for 2022. (Joseph G. Allen, Washington Post): “Public health’s credibility is on the line now. The public and businesses see that public health guidance isn’t keeping up with the times, and they’re right.” The author is a professor of environmental health at Harvard.
    • Pan-coronavirus “super” vaccine (Katelyn Jetelina, Substack): “This clinical trial has taken longer than expected because people can only participate if they have not been previously vaccinated or infected with COVID. As you can imagine, the pool of eligible and willing participants is getting smaller and smaller.” The author is an epidemiologist at the University of Texas Health Center.
    • Covid 12/30: Infinity War (Zvi Mowshowitz, Less Wrong): “For five weeks, we’ve seen Omicron double and double again. That which can’t go on forever, won’t. There aren’t many doublings left. This is it. The CDC’s revised guidelines made it even more clear that we’re going to collectively make the right decision, let it happen, and hope for the best. It’s not like we have any choice in the matter.” Long and full of timely information.
  3. The Missing Data in the Inflation Debate (Austan Goolsbee, New York Times): “…the pain of inflation may not be shared equally.… In November, online prices fell 0.2 percent as the C.P.I. rose 0.8 percent. In other words: The more someone shops online rather than in stores, the less inflation the individual has faced. Notably, shopping online is far more common among high-income people. And during the pandemic the practice has grown more prevalent.” The author is an econ prof at U Chicago.
  4. Evangelicals a Rising Force Inside Argentina’s Prisons (German de los Santos & Rodrigo Abd, Christianity Today): “Many here began peddling drugs as teenagers and got stuck in a spiral of violence that led some to their graves and others to overcrowded prisons divided between two forces: drug lords and preachers. Over the past 20 years, Argentine prison authorities have encouraged, to one extent or another, the creation of units effectively run by evangelical inmates—sometimes granting them a few extra special privileges, such as more time in fresh air.” An Associated Press story.
  5. The secret truth of the student debt crisis (Ryan Cooper, The Week): “The truth is the question of whether student debt should be canceled is largely irrelevant. Most student debt will be canceled sooner or later, because an ever-growing share of borrowers cannot possibly repay their loans. Ever.”
  6. Building Trust Across the Political Divide (April Lawson, Comment): “The Blue-inflected traditional empathy-building forms of bridge-building have a great deal to recommend them. But there is a flaw: the implicit belief underlying this style of bridging is that we can learn to love each other by seeing that we are all deeply the same. While true in some senses, this misses a fundamental insight about relationship that most of us know from experience: We have the capacity to build relationship through conflict.” Honestly describes very real dynamics. Almost a year old but I’m just seeing it now.
  7. Muskogee student honored for saving 2 lives (Cathy Spaulding, Enid News & Eagle): “Davyon, who attends the 6th and 7th Grade Academy, used an abdominal thrust on a school mate who was choking on a bottle cap. Later that day, Davyon rescued a woman from a burning house.”
    • First, this 6th grader deserves huge props. Second, the stories are actually a little comical when you read the details. So much so that “saved” might be generous on the burning house. Still, boss.

Less Serious Things Which Also Interested/Amused Glen

Things Glen Found Interesting A While Ago

Every week I’ll highlight an older link still worth your consideration. This week we have Godspeed: The Pace Of Being Known (Vimeo): a student brought this 30 minute video to my attention and said it made her think about how she should be living in her dorm. Worth watching as you prepare to return to campus. First shared in volume 181.

Why Do You Send This Email?

In the time of King David, the tribe of Issachar produced shrewd warriors “who understood the times and knew what Israel should do” (1 Chron 12:32). In a similar way, we need to become wise people whose faith interacts with the world. I pray this email gives you greater insight, so that you may continue the tradition of Issachar.


Chi Alpha is not a partisan organization. To paraphrase another minister: we are not about the donkey’s agenda and we are not about the elephant’s agenda — we are about the Lamb’s agenda. Having said that, I read widely (in part because I believe we should aspire to pass the ideological Turing test and in part because I do not believe I can fairly say “I agree” or “I disagree” until I can say “I understand”) and may at times share articles that have a strong partisan bias simply because I find the article stimulating. The upshot: you should not assume I agree with everything an author says in an article I mention, much less things the author has said in other articles (although if I strongly disagree with something in the article I’ll usually mention it). And to the extent you can discern my opinions, please understand that they are my own and not necessarily those of Chi Alpha or any other organization I may be perceived to represent. Also, remember that I’m not reporting news — I’m giving you a selection of things I found interesting. There’s a lot happening in the world that’s not making an appearance here because I haven’t found stimulating articles written about it. If this was forwarded to you and you want to receive future emails, sign up here. You can also view the archives.

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