I'm a citizen of Lexington, Kentucky, the United States, the world, and the digital sphere. Politically, I care about equality (and changing structures to support it), elections (that is, making them more fair and representative), and electronics (or, rather, their impact on society).
I am a believing agnostic in Community of Christ with a (mostly) cherished past as a (mostly) literalist Mormon.
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🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'This Palestinian American professor leans on his Quaker faith during conflict : NPR'
I’ve been wanting to learn more about the Quaker faith, and this example only reinforces that. link to “This Palestinian American professor leans on his Quaker faith during conflict : NPR”
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Henry Kissinger has died at 100: his legacy in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China - Vox'
I knew Kissinger’s name, but I was embarrassingly unfamiliar with his record (especially given the many international relations and poli sci classes I took in college). This was a helpful—and difficult—read. It’s especially jarring to read this while reading up on non-violence and consuming fiction on the brutal cynicism of the cold war. There was a time in my life where I would have acknowledged the complexity behind these decisions, but I can’t see how anyone could accept that complexity as somehow justifying the loss of life and other tragedies.
Earlier this year, I read Guy Delisle’s excellent comic Chroniques de Jérusalem twice in the course of two months. I began by finally checking out the English translation from a local library to give it a try (I like Delisle, but I’d had trouble getting into this particular comic in the past). Then, as I was getting into it, my brother-in-law texted me from New York to say he was stopping by a local French bookstore and ask if I wanted anything.
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Pluralistic: The real AI fight (27 Nov 2023) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow'
I haven’t been following this debate, but Doctorow and White’s points resonate with me. link to “Pluralistic: The real AI fight (27 Nov 2023) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow”
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Gaza Civilians, Under Israeli Barrage, Killed at Historic Pace - The New York Times'
I had been reading and thinking about non-violence for months before the 2023 Israel-Hamas war started, but its outbreak is making me more committed to the idea than any abstract philosophical argument. I’m more inclined than ever before to believe that military force can never be justified, and I think that’s especially true in cases where civilians are deliberately targeted (or allowed to be caught in the attack). Hamas’s attack on Israeli civilians is unjustifiable, the IDF’s seeming disregard for Gazan civilians is unjustifiable, the U.
Seeing an official publication of my church advocate for public transit is a beautiful combination of two of my favorite things. I’m very pleased! link to “Call to Life | Daily Bread | Community of Christ”
This morning, a Michigander friend of mine texted to wish me a Happy Thanksgiving. Her husband and their roommate work at Walmart, and so I asked her whether they had to work today. It took my friend a few hours to respond, but I already knew the answer—as long as I’ve known them, they’ve both had to work on and around most major holidays. Their Thanksgiving has traditionally been on Thursday morning or Wednesday evening to make sure that they have some time to celebrate as a family before they get called in to work to get things ready for the capitalist rush that will come on Black Friday—and increasingly, on Thursday night.
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'X Sues Media Matters Over Research on Ads Next to Antisemitic Posts - The New York Times'
What a joke. link to “X Sues Media Matters Over Research on Ads Next to Antisemitic Posts - The New York Times”
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on '‘Free Speech Absolutist’ Elon Musk Promises To Sue Media Matters To Silence Their Speech | Techdirt'
Masnick’s frustration here is fun to read. link to “‘Free Speech Absolutist’ Elon Musk Promises To Sue Media Matters To Silence Their Speech | Techdirt”
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'A longer Advent helps some Christians prepare for more than Christmas : NPR'
Love this article. This year, I’ve been craving Advent since Halloween ended, and I’ve seen a justice and peace element to Advent since I first started celebrating it, so there’s a lot for me here. link to “A longer Advent helps some Christians prepare for more than Christmas : NPR”
I’ve read a LOT of Doctorow in 2023—including Walkaway twice, Red Team Blues twice, and relistening to Little Brother—so I can’t help but place this hopeful solarpunk novel in the context of these others. Even though The Lost Cause touches on some of the same themes as Walkaway, I like the latter book a lot better, though perhaps because it feels less “real” than a book about paramilitary Maga Clubs and impending climate catastrophe.
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'As Elon Musk Endorses Bigoted Nonsense, Advertisers Find Their Ads On Nazi Content | Techdirt'
I’ve been waiting for Masnick’s response to this, and it’s good. link to “As Elon Musk Endorses Bigoted Nonsense, Advertisers Find Their Ads On Nazi Content | Techdirt”— date: 2023-11-17T15:27:24-05:00 tags: [“link”,“Communities”,“Mile Johnson”,“Christian nationalism”] title: “🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on ‘Weeks Before Election as Speaker, Johnson Lamented ‘Dark and Depraved’ Culture - The New York Times’” I’ve been reading a number of these stories as they’ve been coming out but without posting about them.
Over the summer, I wrote about a favorite Community of Christ hymn. Without repeating the entire post here, one of my favorite things about it is that it was never written as a hymn. Rather, it was a song written by a folk song as a call for peace that got adopted into the Community of Christ hymnbook in 2013. I thought about these details last weekend as I was listening to Ici-bas, a favorite song by French Canadian folk rock band Les cowboys fringants—I figured that this song would make for a pretty good hymn, too, even if it probably has a bit more swearing than your typical hymn.
What the hell, Musk. link to “IBM pulls X ads as Elon Musk endorses white pride - The Verge”
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'X Races to Contain Damage After Elon Musk Endorses Antisemitic Post - The New York Times'
What a mess Musk has made Twitter into. link to “X Races to Contain Damage After Elon Musk Endorses Antisemitic Post - The New York Times”
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 pour Power from on High: The Development of Mormon Priesthood, par Gregory A. Prince
Rereading this book after a few years, and it continues to be great! The organization could be more clear, and it sometimes feels repetitive, but it provides important historical detail that allows the reader to understand Latter Day Saint priesthood in new ways.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for The September Six and the Struggle for the Soul of Mormonism, by Sara M. Patterson
This is an excellent, thorough book on the purity system of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the excommunications of the “September Six” and many others for their violations of that purity system. I bought the book out of personal interest, but I think it will be professionally valuable as well. I knew much of what was in the book, but what I didn’t know was important, and I am grateful for the volume and hope that many will read it to learn about this important period in Mormon history.
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'The GOP Presidential Debate Is Livestreaming on Rumble, Home to White Nationalist Nick Fuentes | WIRED'
Torn on this article. I think you can choose to patronize a platform without being associated with its worst users, so I wonder if the Fuentes connection is overstated. That said, choosing to livestream on Rumble is absolutely pandering to Fuentes-type right-wingers, so it’s a bad, bad move. link to “The GOP Presidential Debate Is Livestreaming on Rumble, Home to White Nationalist Nick Fuentes | WIRED”
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Democrat Andy Beshear defeats Trump-endorsed Daniel Cameron for Kentucky governor
Yesssss! Andy Beshear, governeer! So very happy about this. link to “Democrat Andy Beshear defeats Trump-endorsed Daniel Cameron for Kentucky governor”
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for God is in the Manger: Reflections on Christmas and Advent, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
I did not read this book as one is supposed to. It’s a collection of daily Advent and Christmas reflections, but I listened to the audiobook well before Advent started and with no pauses in between individual reflections. I’m sure that takes away from the experience, but I enjoyed what I heard and plan to read more Bonhoeffer.
I’ve been meaning to reread this since I first listened to the audiobook, which I started as soon as it was released. It’s not my favorite Doctorow, but it’s still him at his best: The book is opinionated, exciting, and full of specific, compelling details. I like it a lot.
When I took a job at the University of Kentucky, a former professor (and boss) of mine at BYU told me to look up a specific French professor on campus, whom she’d also taught (and supervised) some time earlier. I ran into him several months later at a stake conference (this was, obviously, when I was still attending Latter-day Saint meetings), and we bonded over what it was like to work under our boss.
Even more than AI’s potential to replace humans in the name of saving money, I think we need to talk about the way companies are exploiting humans to save money—so that it can train AI. link to “Millions of Workers Are Training AI Models for Pennies | WIRED”
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Blue checks on X are ‘superspreaders’ of Israel-Hamas war misinformation - The Verge'
Looks like Masnick’s (and others’) predictions about Musk’s changes to Twitter are coming true. This isn’t what verification is for. link to “Blue checks on X are ‘superspreaders’ of Israel-Hamas war misinformation - The Verge”
Don’t know how I missed this story yesterday, but what the heck? Like the article says, nothing particularly new revealed by these stunts, but it’s still a compelling critique of Amazon. link to “Amazon Let Its Drivers’ Urine Be Sold as an Energy Drink | WIRED”
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Restorations: Scholars in Dialogue from Community of Christ and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, by Andrew Bolton and Casey Paul Griffiths
This was an interesting read, and there are portions of it that I expect to come back to later. However, I was surprised by how often I felt like I already knew what was being covered. Given my familiarity with both faiths, I expect that I’m not the target audience (anymore) for this volume.