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 408, the 8th Pell Number, a sequence useful in approximating the square root of 2.
Things Glen Found Interesting
- The Competition for Believers in Africa Is Transforming Christianity and Islam (Francis X. Rocca, Nicholas Bariyo & Gbenga Akingbule, Wall Street Journal): “On a recent Sunday morning in Lagos, Nigeria’s biggest city, members of the faithful clutched their hymn books and chanted God’s praises as they danced to the beat of tambourines. A preacher led the congregation in praying for the health of their children and success at work. The service resembled Pentecostal Christianity, a movement that originated in the U.S. and has swept Africa in the last few decades. But the participants weren’t Christians. They were Muslims, practicing an ecstatic style of worship that has developed in response to the challenge posed by Pentecostalism. Across sub-Saharan Africa, religion today is in ferment as different versions of Christianity and Islam vie for believers—a contest that is transforming both faiths and disrupting long-established terms of coexistence.”
- Highly recommended. I believe I have unlocked the paywall on this one.
- California restaurant used fake priest to get workers to confess “sins,” feds say (Aimee Picchi, CBS News): “In court documents, a server at the restaurant, Maria Parra, testified that she found her conversation with the alleged priest ‘unlike normal confessions,’ where she would talk about what she wanted to confess, according to a court document reviewed by CBS MoneyWatch. Instead, the priest told her that he would ask questions ‘to get the sins out of me.’ ”
- Slavery in the Bible | Dr. Esau Mccaulley (Jude 3 Project, YouTube): seven minutes.
- Sports Writers Out, Zoomer TikTokers In (Ethan Strauss, Substack): “There’s a real malevolent genius to concocting a cuckish character who pals around with the high-status Cavinders, but only as the butt of their jokes. He’s literally modeling losing money towards the Betr coffers, while hanging out with models. Someone actually came up with a means for habituating young men into an attractive form of failing as part of an ‘organic’-looking humiliation fantasy.”
- Fascinating. Megan McArdle has some succinct but insightful commentary on it at https://twitter.com/asymmetricinfo/status/1671511855741714433 (read the thread)
- Data Falsificada (Part 1): “Clusterfake” (Uri Simonsohn, Leif Nelson & Joe Simmons, Data Colada): “That’s right: Two different people independently faked data for two different studies in a paper about dishonesty.”
- There was emphasis in original which I removed for readability.
- U.S.-Funded Scientist Among Three Chinese Researchers Who Fell Ill Amid Early Covid-19 Outbreak (Michael R. Gordon, Wall Street Journal): “A prominent scientist who worked on coronavirus projects funded by the U.S. government is one of three Chinese researchers who became sick with an unspecified illness during the initial outbreak of Covid-19, according to current and former U.S. officials.”
- A less sanitized presentation of the same facts: First People Sickened By COVID-19 Were Chinese Scientists At Wuhan Institute Of Virology, Say US Government Sources (Michael Shellenberger, Matt Taibbi & Alex Gutentag, Substack): “Sources within the US government say that three of the earliest people to become infected with SARS-CoV‑2 were Ben Hu, Yu Ping, and Yan Zhu. All were members of the Wuhan lab suspected to have leaked the pandemic virus. As such, not only do we know there were WIV scientists who had developed COVID-19-like illnesses in November 2019, but also that they were working with the closest relatives of SARS-CoV‑2, and inserting gain-of-function features unique to it.”
- REVIEW EXCLUSIVE—Catch Him if You Can: Meet Will Curry (Josiah Joner, Stanford Review): “Will Curry’s story is long and complex—but most of all, enthralling. He is a living story of someone who lived the adventurous life that so many desire yet never actually live, including many at Stanford trapped in a culture of monotony. Is all of the story he told me true? Maybe, or maybe not. Will is, after all, a competitive poker player who has pulled off bluffs in the past. But regardless, Will’s story is far from over. In fact, I think it’s really only begun.”
Things Glen Found Interesting A While Ago
Every week I’ll highlight an older link still worth your consideration. This week we have The New National American Elite (Michael Lind, Tablet Magazine): “…from the American Revolution until the late 20th century, the American elite was divided among regional oligarchies. It is only in the last generation that these regional patriciates have been absorbed into a single, increasingly homogeneous national oligarchy, with the same accent, manners, values, and educational backgrounds from Boston to Austin and San Francisco to New York and Atlanta. This is a truly epochal development.” Lind is a professor at UT Austin in the school of public affairs. From volume 286.
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.