Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 421

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 421, a twin prime number (cf 419) which is also the sum of five consecutive primes: 421 = 73 + 79 + 83 + 89 + 97.

Things Glen Found Interesting

  1. Hundreds of students baptized after Unite Auburn worship service (Brady Talbert, WSFA News): “Auburn University senior Michael Floyd said he will never forget what he witnessed on campus Tuesday night. ‘I’ve seen Auburn basketball beat Kentucky, I’ve seen Auburn football beat Alabama, but I have never seen something like I did on Tuesday night,’ Floyd said. Thousands packedNeville Arena for a night of worship. When it was ending, one student wanted to be baptized. Without a tub, crowds started gathering at the lake at Auburn’s Red Barn, where roughly 200 people ultimately gave their lives to Christ.”
  2. Gender, Sexual Orientation and Religion Among American College Students (Ryan Burge, Substack): “What really kicked this off was a report from Brown University that indicated that 38% of their student body identifies as homosexual, bisexual, queer, asexual, pansexual, questioning, or other. When that same poll was conducted ten years earlier, that share was just 14%. Is Brown an outlier here? Or are huge percentages of college students not straight and/or not cisgender? The survey gave seven total options for gender. The first thing that needs to be pointed out is that the vast, vast majority of young people identify as man or woman. In fact, this was the choice of 98.2% of all respondents in the survey. In other words, about one in fifty college aged students identifies as nonbinary, genderqueer/genderfluid, agender, unsure, or prefer not to say.… 72% of the sample identifies as straight. Another 12% says that they are bisexual and 5% indicates that they are gay/lesbian. These three response options encompass about 90% of all respondents in the sample. About two percent identify as pansexual or queer or unsure.”
    • Full of interesting data, emphasis in original. I believe Brown is accurately reporting its data, and I also believe Brown (and Stanford) are outliers in this regard.
    • Of particular note: “The groups that are the least likely to say that they are straight are atheists at 55% and agnostics at 53%. It’s pretty staggering to consider that nearly half of young atheists/agnostics are not heterosexual. Nothing in particulars are not far behind, either, at 62%. The nones are much less likely to be straight compared to their religious counterparts.” (emphasis removed for readability)
  3. The Huddled Masses At The Border (Andrew Sullivan, Substack): “Lampedusa is a picturesque, rocky Italian island in the Mediterranean between Tunisia and Sicily, with gorgeous beaches and a small population of around 6,000. In just five days last week, its population tripled, as 11,000 migrants showed up in at least 199 boats, overwhelming resources. The center for accommodating migrants was designed for 600.”
    • Amazing statistics. The essay touches on Europe but focuses on America. Overall a worthwhile read whatever your instincts on immigration.
  4. The Woman Who Stood Up to the Porn Industry—and Won (Nancy Rommelmann, The Free Press): “While Schlegel attends a nondenominational Christian church and describes her faith as ‘very important to me,’ she had no desire to impose her morality on others over the age of eighteen. ‘Adults have rights, so I get it,’ she says, explaining that all she wanted was to craft a bill making it harder for kids to access videos like.…”
    • I’ve shared stories about this Louisiana law before, but I particularly liked this one.
  5. Is ‘Peak Woke’ Behind Us or Ahead? (Ross Douthat, New York Times): “…the spread of diversity statements isn’t really a mechanism to flush out and cancel noncomformists. It creates conformity more invisibly, by training would-be academics to advertise themselves as ideological team players and by screening out job candidates who don’t quite understand the rules of progressive discourse — who imagine, for instance, that advertising their desire to ‘treat everyone the same’ is an adequate anti-racist commitment.”
  6. Multiply by 37: A Surprisingly Accurate Rule of Thumb for Converting Effect Sizes from Standard Deviations to Percentile Points (Paul T. von Hippel, preprint PDF):  “Educational researchers often report effect sizes in standard deviation units (SD), but SD effects are hard to interpret. Effects are easier to interpret in percentile points, but conversion from SDs to percentile points involves a calculation that is not intuitive to educational stakeholders. We point out that, if the outcome variable is normally distributed, simply multiplying the SD effect by 37 usually gives an excellent approximation to the percentile-point effect. For students in the [20%-80% range], the approximation is accurate to within 1 percentile point for effect sizes of up to 0.8 SD (or 29 to 30 percentile points).”
    • Don’t have an intuition for stats? This is a useful rule of thumb. The author is a professor of public policy, sociology, statistics and data science at UT Austin.
  7. In a first, scientists light up blue LED with an AA battery (Ameya Paleja, Interesting Engineering): “Conventionally used blue LEDs have a high turn-on voltage of 4V for a luminance of 100 cd per square meter (cd/m2). This might not sound very high, but at the industrial level, it brings about issues since the voltage is beyond what can be supplied by a typical lithium-ion battery.”
    • This legitimately sounds cool and could be very useful long-term: “An RGB LED module can produce any color for the display by using three colors: red, green, and blue. While red and green LEDs work well, the blue LED has been tricky from an energy efficiency perspective.”
    • However, this headline reminded me that we used to go to the moon. Now we celebrate blue lights.

Less Serious Things Which Also Interested/Amused Glen

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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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