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.
This is volume 347, a Friedman number. That means it can be written as an equation comprised of its own digits (3+4=7).
Things Glen Found Interesting
- What John Updike and Gerard Manley Hopkins knew about the power of Easter (Tish Harrison Warren, New York Times): “If Jesus wasn’t actually resurrected, then Easter is less real than the budding buzz of spring, less real than a dying breath, less real than my own hands, feet and skin. I have no interest in a Christianity that isn’t deeply, profoundly, irreducibly material.”
- Fragmentation Is Not What’s Killing Us (Russell Moore, Christianity Today): “[The breakdown at Babel] does indeed sound like now. But the lessons we learn will be wrong if we don’t see the primary point of the Babel story: The problem wasn’t the fragmentation. The problem was the unity.”
- China Covid #2 (Zvi Mowshowitz, Substack): “I want to emphasize that it is very difficult to know what is going on inside China and my sources for this are not the best. I find the Ukraine war a relative epistemic cakewalk compared to this. So please understand that the alarmist claims from various threads are to be taken with large heapings of salt.”
- See also Containers Pile Up in Shanghai Port on China’s Covid Lockdowns (Ann Koh, BloombergQuint): “Imported containers are waiting on average for 12.1 days before they are picked up by truck and delivered to destinations inland, according to p44’s data for April 18. That’s up from 4.6 days on March 28. Meanwhile, fewer ships are berthing at Shanghai as vessels are diverted in response to reduced truck traffic. The number of vessels has dropped from around 30 a day to just 14 as of April 17…” Related reporting by the same journalist: Shanghai’s Frozen Meat, Seafood Imports Stall on Port Congestion and China Port Congestion Leaves Everything From Grains to Metals Stranded (BloombergQuint is an Indian journalistic enterprise).
- Solve for the wartime presentation equilibrium (Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution): “The country’s IT Army, a volunteer force of hackers and activists that takes its direction from the Ukrainian government, says it has used [facial recognition searches] to inform the families of the deaths of 582 Russians, including by sending them photos of the abandoned corpses. The Ukrainians champion the use of face-scanning software from the U.S. tech firm Clearview AI as a brutal but effective way to stir up dissent inside Russia, discourage other fighters and hasten an end to a devastating war.” Technologies always have unexpected applications.
- Helping the Poor: The Great Distraction (Bryan Caplan, Substack): “Governments around the world impose numerous policies that actively hurt the poor. The whole debate about ‘helping the poor’ creates the illusion that the sole reason for their suffering is mere neglect, even though outright abuse is rampant.… They don’t need us to help them; they need us to stop hurting them.”
- There is No Pink Tax (Alex Tabarrok, Marginal Revolution): “Preferences differ systematically across genders leading to subtly different products even in categories which appear similar on the surface.… Women and men could save money by buying products primarily marketed to the opposite gender–like 2‑in‑1 shampoo+conditioner–but only by buying products that they prefer less than the products they choose to buy.”
- Study explores academic success among Jewish girls (Tulane University, Phys.org): “Girls raised by Jewish parents are 23 percentage points more likely to graduate college than girls with a non-Jewish upbringing, even after accounting for their parents’ socioeconomic status. Girls raised by Jewish parents also graduate from more selective colleges, according to a newly published study by Tulane University professor Ilana Horwitz.” Recommended by an alumnus. One of our PhD candidates is coauthor on the paper — congratulations!
Less Serious Things Which Also Interested/Amused Glen
- I brought my childhood imaginary friend back to life using A.I. (#GPT3) and it was one of the scariest and most transformative experiences of my life. (Lucas Rizzotto, Twitter): I don’t know how real this is. Mostly factual with some exaggeration / deliberately engineered drama? Wild even if so. Perhaps I should have put this one up in the main section.
- Free Hugs (SMBC)
- Mimicking Talent (Nathan Pyle, Twitter)
- Patrick Kun Card Magic (America’s Got Talent, YouTube): five minutes
- Invisible Magician (Britain’s Got Talent, YouTube): five and a half minutes
- Quick Change Magic (Britain’s Got Talent, YouTube): three minutes
- Behind The News (Would I Lie To You?, YouTube): four and a half minutes
- Accumulated trauma of winter quarter forgotten as frosh eagerly enroll in 20 units (Stanford Daily)
- Top 10 Unspoken Prayer Requests (Babylon Bee): “Have you ever been in a prayer circle where someone says he or she has an ‘unspoken’ prayer request? Aren’t you dying to know what it was? Was it something spicy? Something scandalous? Something gross? Now, you can find out, as we’ve compiled the top 10 most popular unspoken prayer requests, per a heavenly source.”
Things Glen Found Interesting A While Ago
Every week I’ll highlight an older link still worth your consideration. This week we have The Revolt of the Feminist Law Profs (Wesley Yang, Chronicle of Higher Education): “The sex bureaucracy, in other words, pivoted from punishing sexual violence to imposing a normative vision of ideal sex, to which students are held administratively accountable.” First shared in volume 214.
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.