Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 440

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 440, the sum of the first seventeen prime numbers. 440 = 2 + 3 + 5 + 7 + 11 + 13 + 17 + 19 + 23 + 29 + 31 + 37 + 41 + 43 + 47 + 53 + 59 and that fact makes me happy.

Also, I’ve had a busy travel schedule lately and haven’t kept us with as much stuff as I normally do, so this is a shorter compilation than usual.

Things Glen Found Interesting

  1. The Christian Super Bowl Ad They SHOULD Have Made | He Saves Us (Jamie Bambrick, YouTube): one compelling minute. I don’t have anything against the He Gets Us ads, but this is pretty great.
  2. Christians Are Not Ready for the Age of “Adult AI” (Samuel D. James, Substack): “All variables being equal, it is likely that within twenty years, most online pornography will not feature real human beings. Artificial intelligence systems are already sophisticated enough to fabricate entire bodies convincingly.… It simply won’t do anymore to try to elicit post-Christian outrage against porn by emphasizing the possibility of sex trafficking or exploitation. In the era of digitally-generated content, the question will no longer be, ‘Who was hurt in the making of this’ (for the practical answer to that question will be, ‘No one’). Rather, the question will be, ‘How am I hurt by consuming this,’ and, ‘Why is this objectively wrong for me to enjoy?’ ”
  3. How China Miscalculated Its Way to a Baby Bust (Liyan Qi, Wall Street Journal): “Following the data release, researchers from Victoria University in Australia and the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences predicted that China will have just 525 million people by the end of the century. That’s down from their previous forecast of 597 million and a precipitous drop from 1.4 billion now.” Recommended by a student.
  4. Marry Young (Kasen Stephenson, Stanford Review): “Although I’m now twenty-four, I got married as a twenty-two year old undergrad. I then bid farewell to my dorm in Roble and moved into a cozy apartment beyond EVGR with my wife. I have found that most of my classmates are convinced that marriage is in their future, yet they are quite surprised that I married so young. While it’s difficult to exercise control over any timeline, I’m a strong advocate for getting married young, especially at Stanford where young marriages are most uncommon.”
  5. The Lure of Divorce (Emily Gould, The Cut): “It began to seem like I only ever talked to friends who had been through divorces or were contemplating them. One friend who didn’t know whether to split up with her husband thought opening their marriage might be the answer. Another friend described the ease of sharing custody of his young daughter, then admitted that he and his ex-wife still had sex most weekends. In my chronically undecided state, I admired both of these friends who had found, or might have found, a way to split the difference.”
    • A wild and illuminating story, although I suspect I am taking away some different lessons than the author intended.

Less Serious Things Which Also Interested/Amused Glen

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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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