Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 423

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, volume 423, is the sum of 13 consecutive prime numbers: 11 + 13 + 17 + 19 + 23 + 29 + 31 + 37 + 41 + 43 + 47 + 53 + 59.

Things Glen Found Interesting

  1. How Family Breakdown Hits Girls (Freya India, Substack): “Ours is a culture obsessed with trauma! We think we can get PTSD from university speakers and stupid jokes and election results. And yet it’s also a culture which largely ignores and even glamorises what seems to me one of the most obvious traumas of all?? If anything qualifies as traumatic—as in, an emotionally distressing event that leaves a lasting impact—surely it’s family breakdown, which really does seem to stay with people, shape their view of love and life and just keep playing out, over and over?”
  2. All About That Tenor: Why Men Don’t Sing in Worship (Kelsey Cramer McGinnis, Christianity Today): “The lower rate of musical participation among men… has a lot to do with the male voice itself—its range and patterns of development—and socialization in a culture where so many men are uncomfortable with their own voices…. Men hear higher, wider vocal ranges from popular singers and worship leaders; Chris Tomlin and Phil Wickham have famously impressive tenor ranges, far out of reach for most male voices.”
    • Unlocked, recommended by a student.
  3. The Real Problem With the Superrich (J. Budziszewski, personal blog): “Other than from sheer jealousy, why should anyone object to some people having far more wealth than others?… wealth is a means to political power, and those who crave wealth tend to be the sorts of persons who crave power too. You can run an oligarchy if some people are superrich – and some oligarchies are better than others — but if you try to run a republic that way, you will lose it.”
    • A thoughtful article from a Christian philosopher at UT Austin.
  4. Andy Stanley’s ‘Unconditional’ Contradiction (Sam Allberry, Christianity Today): “I have always been single. On the whole, it has been deeply joyous. But I am not immune from temptation, and when any leader suggests to me that chaste obedience to Christ in singleness is not sustainable, he is saying the very same thing to me that the Devil says.”
    • Unlocked. The whole thing is worth reading for context.
  5. America is now paying more in interest on its record $33 trillion debt than on national defense — here’s who holds the IOUs (Serah Louis, Yahoo Finance): “America’s gross national debt hit an eye-watering $33 trillion for the first time in September — mere months after eclipsing the $32 trillion mark earlier in the year. The U.S. is also currently spending more to pay interest on the national debt than it does on national defense, according to the Treasury’s monthly statement.”
    • What a stunning statistic.
  6. The Labor Market Returns of Being An Artist: Evidence from the United States, 2006–2021 (Christos Makridis, SSRN): “First, I find a decline in the relative earnings of artists to non-artists from zero to a 15% disadvantage. After controlling for demographic differences, the decline is sharper, declining from a 15% earnings disadvantage to 30%. That the inclusion of demographic controls raises the earnings gap suggests there is positive selection into the arts. Second, these differences decline in magnitude to 4.4%, but remain statistically significant, after exploiting variation among artists and non-artists in the same industry-year and major occupation. Third, when restricting the set of individuals to those with at least a college degree, those with a fine arts degree also incur an earnings and employment penalty even if they work in the arts. These results highlight the increasing financial precariousness of artists over the past decade.”
    • The excerpt is from the abstract. Christos is an alumnus of our ministry.
  7. Unbiblical Scholarship (Alan Jacobs, The Hedgehog Review): “If we can insist—as many (though not enough) graduate programs still do—that students learn languages other than English in order to pursue the study of English writers, then we can also insist that they acquire biblical literacy. Every graduate student in the humanities should be required to take a course in the English Bible, a course that, among other things, requires the memorization and recitation of large chunks of the biblical text.”

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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