Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 441

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 441, which is 212 and also the smallest square which is the sum of six consecutive cubes: 13 + 23 + 33 + 43 + 53 + 63

No amusing stuff at the end this week. I’ve been busy traveling and am vastly underamused.😅

Things Glen Found Interesting

  1. Blessed Are Those Who Mourn (T. M. Suffield, Mere Orthodoxy): “Pennington describes the beatitudes as ‘divine gold of priceless worth’ that ‘appears to be only darkness.’ Like wisdom sayings they don’t give up their gold immediately. They are supposed to shock us and I fear we have become overly familiar with them. Jesus is arguing that flourishing, the good life, requires mourning. The thing the modern world wants to avoid most, sadness, is somehow a key to a good life. To us this appears to be profoundly non-flourishing. The shock we should feel is part of how the beatitudes are meant to work.”
    • This is a wise and perceptive essay. 10/10 recommend.
  2. How Feminism Ends (Ginevra Davis, American Affairs Journal): “If the goal of feminism is to improve the lot of females, then there are dozens of changes, social and scientific, that could help alleviate their condition. But if the goal of feminism is perfect sexual equality—that no mind should ever have to make sacrifices, in productivity or love, because of its body—then the end of feminism must, necessarily, mean the end of females. There is no other way.”
    • A long but fabulous essay. It’s by a Stanford grad, incidentally — this is the same author who wrote about Stanford’s war on fun a while back. I don’t think we ever crossed paths when she was a student.
    • Vaguely related (but interesting enough in its own right that I would have included it regardless): Stanford Medicine study identifies distinct brain organization patterns in women and men (Stanford Medicine): “A new study by Stanford Medicine investigators unveils a new artificial intelligence model that was more than 90% successful at determining whether scans of brain activity came from a woman or a man. The findings, published Feb. 20 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, help resolve a long-term controversy about whether reliable sex differences exist in the human brain and suggest that understanding these differences may be critical to addressing neuropsychiatric conditions that affect women and men differently.”
  3. I’m a foster kid who went to Yale —and I think two-parent families are more important than college (Rikki Schlott, New York Post): “Even though I was always academically inclined, the level of disorder in my life was weighing me down so much that I wasn’t in a position to fully exploit my own capabilities.… I had a class where a professor administered an anonymous poll. Out of the 20 students, 18 of them had been raised by both of their birth parents. That just floored me because where I grew up it was zero.”
  4. Kinda Nice (Damola Morenikeji, Substack): “A kind person will help you understand reality as it is, prompt you to reflect, and nudge you to fine-tune your position till you get to a place where your resolution is helpful for you. A nice person will tell you what feels good — and often what you think you want to hear at that time — even if it doesn’t help you move past that situation.”
  5. Our Unhappy Youth (Anthony Esolen, Crisis Magazine): “Instead of asking why they are unhappy, we might ask why they aren’t happy,which might in turn lead us to ask what they have to be happy about. That might reveal to us in all its drabness what appears to be the most antihuman way of life that any civilization has ever settled into: becalmed without rest, somber without sobriety, abstracted without thought, licentious without even the animal vigor of license; ever shouting, but without good cheer.”
  6. Are ‘Islamists in Charge of Britain’? (Konstantin Kisin, The Free Press): “In one sense, the Speaker’s decision was not unfounded. MPs really are at risk. Only weeks prior, Mike Freer, a Conservative MP who represents a constituency with a significant Jewish population, announced that he would not be seeking reelection because of threats to him and his family over his support for Israel. Explaining his decision, he revealed that he had started wearing stab-proof vests when meeting constituents. In 2021 another Conservative MP, Sir David Amess, was stabbed to death by an Islamist at such a meeting. In 2017, an Islamist terrorist mowed down pedestrians before stabbing an unarmed police officer to death outside the gates of Parliament.”
    • Recommended by an alumnus.
  7. Gaza’s Past Is Calling (Sarah Aziza, Lux Magazine): “Coming up in the 1990s and 2000s, the word ‘Gaza’ was already synonymous with ‘Hamas’ — a term which, I quickly learned, rendered an entire population monstrous. I am ashamed I often mumbled the name — Gaza — when white Americans asked about my family origins. It hurt to watch them flinch, to see in their cold stares the impossibility that Gaza could ever mean mothers, banana, joy. The world they erased — and erase — my father’s fingers, drawing in the sand. My grandmother’s pigeons, her particular way of brewing tea. The thousand, thousand feet that have run into the Mediterranean, each laughter a different splash. Gaza, for me, means teeming — a cruel over-concentration of bodies, yes, but at the same time, one of the world’s densest points of human love.”

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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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