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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yet more on Independence temple theology

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On the way home from work today, I listened to the latest episode of the Salt Lake Tribune’s Mormon Land podcast, recapping the recent LDS General Conference. The two guests—Emily Jensen and Patrick Mason—were both great, and even though I have no interest in watching General Conferences myself, I’m really grateful for the Tribune’s coverage. Patrick Mason made a comment about possible Latter-day Saint temple theologies that struck me as interesting in the context of what I’ve been writing recently about Community of Christ Independence Temple theology, and I wanted to capture it here.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Teen Girls Confront an Epidemic of Deepfake Nudes in Schools'

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Sure, Midjourney is fun, but this is the price we’re paying for that kind of technology out in the world. link to “Teen Girls Confront an Epidemic of Deepfake Nudes in Schools”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'LDS leaders announce new Mormon temple for Cincinnati'

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I’m no longer a practicing Latter-day Saint, but having grown up near Cincinnati, this is still something I’ll be paying attention to! Jana’s take is (unsurprisingly) a thoughtful and good one. link to “LDS leaders announce new Mormon temple for Cincinnati”

more thoughts on Independence temple theology

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This past week, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the opening of RLDS (now Community of Christ) priesthood to women, the Community of Christ YouTube channel posted a video that was originally recorded back in 1984, during and after that year’s World Conference. From the very first second, it is very clearly a product of the 1980s, and I love it for that. Here’s a link, but I have more to write afterwards on a specific part of the video:

more on stories (not history) as the source of faith

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Just over a month ago, I found and blogged about a Thomas Römer quote that I had been trying to hunt down for quite some time. I’m continuing to listen to Römer’s lectures, and in the one I’m currently listening to, he revisits the idea from before. As before, I don’t want to miss the chance to write it down for future reference, and I figure a blog post is as good an opportunity as any to do so.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for V for Vendetta, by Alan Moore and David Lloyd

- kudos:

I’ve read this a couple of times in the past, but I wanted to give it another read specifically as anarchist fiction. I’ve enjoyed other books with anarchist themes, so I wondered how this would read through that lens. I can see why this book is considered a classic, but it just doesn’t really resonate with me. The art isn’t my favorite, and while some of the ideas are interesting, the execution sometimes feels clunky.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Even The Most Well-Meaning Internet Regulations Can Cause Real Harm'

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I’ve only skimmed this so far, but while I firmly believe that the fetishizing of freedom of expression is causing real issues in our world, I appreciate Masnick’s critique. I expect I’ll always be more keen on regulation than he is, but that doesn’t make him wrong in the points he’s making here. link to “Even The Most Well-Meaning Internet Regulations Can Cause Real Harm”

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Really want to make a joke involving Holy Saturday and the 1990s comic arc “Reign of the Supermen,” but those ingredients are all I can come up with.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Special Features of Trump’s Bible'

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This is pretty good. link to “Special Features of Trump’s Bible”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'AI already uses as much energy as a small country. It’s only the beginning.'

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There are some important and interesting pieces of information in here. link to “AI already uses as much energy as a small country. It’s only the beginning.”

Community of Christ's Holy Week

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I am not great at observing the different seasons of the liturgical year. A good friend of mine once responded to this complaint with “Welcome to living a liturgical year life,” so I gather that to a certain extent, this is how everyone feels about it. It always feels a little frustrating to me, though, because I love the idea of the liturgical year. I attended a spiritual retreat sponsored by my congregation last Saturday, and one of the activities we did was to string together some painted wooden beads representing the different liturgical seasons as we read about what each of those different seasons represents.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Elon Discovers When Content Moderation Makes Sense: When He Can Use It To Protect Racist Bigots From Being Called Out'

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“Mentioning names both is and isn’t allowed. It’s a quantum superposition of content moderation that only collapses when observed by Musk himself.” 😂😂😂 link to “Elon Discovers When Content Moderation Makes Sense: When He Can Use It To Protect Racist Bigots From Being Called Out”

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for The New Testament: A Translation, by David Bentley Hart

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This probably deserves a higher score: I don’t know that the New Testament is best read “cover to cover” (it’s not that kind of book), and I was listening to it via audiobook, which is even less ideal. I really appreciate what Hart is up to, but I don’t feel like I got it reading it in this way. I’m sure I’ll come back to this translation when considering specific passages, though!

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Pluralistic: The antitrust case against Apple (22 Mar 2024) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow'

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I’ve been waiting for Doctorow’s take on this, and it’s good. I’m an Apple user, but Doctorow’s criticisms all ring true to me. link to “Pluralistic: The antitrust case against Apple (22 Mar 2024) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Politicians Who Voted to Ban TikTok May Own as Much as $126 Million in Tech Stocks'

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I doubt this is as straightforward as the headline makes it sound, but there are lots of interesting points in this article. link to “Politicians Who Voted to Ban TikTok May Own as Much as $126 Million in Tech Stocks”

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for For the Win, by Cory Doctorow

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I was living outside the country and in my own little religious world when the 2008 financial crisis hit, and so my understanding of that moment in history has always been kind of flimsy. Despite being a weird near-future MMO-centric book, I kind of feel like reading this helped? I read on Wikipedia that some criticis weren’t a fan of the economics tangents, but I like Doctorow when he’s didactic, so even though I didn’t follow all the details, I enjoyed what he was going for (I just don’t have a head for economics or finance).

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'As The US Freaks Out About TikTok, It’s Revealed That The CIA Was Using Chinese Social Media To Try To Undermine The Gov’t There'

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Oh, so the moral panic is hypocritical, too. link to “As The US Freaks Out About TikTok, It’s Revealed That The CIA Was Using Chinese Social Media To Try To Undermine The Gov’t There”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on '“Line upon line, precept on precept”? Maybe not.'

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Fascinating perspective. I’d never learned this before. link to ““Line upon line, precept on precept”? Maybe not.”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Trump Says Some Migrants Are ‘Not People’ and Predicts a ‘Blood Bath’ if He Loses'

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I don’t understand how this has a chance to win in November. gift link link to “Trump Says Some Migrants Are ‘Not People’ and Predicts a ‘Blood Bath’ if He Loses”

more space for depression and grace

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I’ve been (very slowly) digitizing old journals, letters, and other text-based keepsakes over the past few years. This involves both scanning the original documents but also typing them up to enter into my Day One journaling app (and make them searchable). Because a solid majority of the letters and keepsakes that I had were related to my time as a Mormon missionary, I’m still chipping away at that era of my life.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Elon Musk abruptly cancels Don Lemon’s X talk show hours after interview'

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Free speech absolutism wins again. link to “Elon Musk abruptly cancels Don Lemon’s X talk show hours after interview”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'The Meek Who Shall Inherit the Earth Lodge a Complaint'

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Really enjoyed this. link to “The Meek Who Shall Inherit the Earth Lodge a Complaint”

history, Elijah, and the Kirtland Temple

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As I’ve written before, I don’t necessarily believe that the dubious historicity of a particular religious event ought to undermine its theological significance, but I do strongly believe that dubious historicity undermines the ability of an individual or organization to insist that others agree with their theological conclusions. To take a major example, the unlikelihood of a literal resurrection in scientific terms isn’t going to stop me from finding value in the resurrection story at Easter, but it sure as heck is going to stop me from insisting that my atheist spouse make that story an important part of her life.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'When Viral Advocacy Fails: TikTok’s Call Flood To Congress Backfires'

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Masnick puts this better than I could. This legislation is dumb, but this advocacy feels dumber. link to “When Viral Advocacy Fails: TikTok’s Call Flood To Congress Backfires”

libraries could be the best streaming services

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Membership in one of my local libraries includes access to Freegal, a kind of janky, third-tier music streaming service. The selection isn’t fantastic, but my tastes in music aren’t exactly mainstream, and over the past four years, I’ve found a lot of music I like available through the service. In fact, because you can download a limited number of tracks per week, I have Indochine songs, Gérard Lenorman albums, and even the Stranger Things soundtrack all saved to my phone so that I can bypass the jankiness of the service and the official app.

some thoughts on Independence Temple theology

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I have spent far too much time blogging this week (even before the sale of the Kirtland Temple was announced), but weeks like this don’t come often, and I feel like holding onto this week’s thoughts will be important in the years to come. So, here’s another post! A friend recently suggested that I subscribe to the daily meditations sent out by Richard Rohr’s Center for Action and Contemplation, and today’s was lovely, focusing on finding God in all things.

more thoughts on Kirtland (with gratitude for Lach Mackay)

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For as quickly as I felt like I came to peace with the sale of the Kirtland Temple, I’ve had conversations and encounters since yesterday’s post that make it clear that I still have a lot of work to do processing all of this in the weeks, months, and years ahead. I’ve heard from a lot of people in pain: people who have been to Kirtland dozens of times but never want to go again, ordained women in Community of Christ who are angry that the new owners of the temple can’t respect their ordination, and yet more.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Roku Will Bork Your TV Unless You Promise Not to Sue'

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Companies can really suck. I liked Roku, too. link to “Roku Will Bork Your TV Unless You Promise Not to Sue”

coming to peace with the Kirtland Temple sale

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Yesterday, Community of Christ and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that the former had sold the Kirtland Temple, other historic sites, and some important documents and artifacts for $192.5 million dollars. As the title to this post suggests, I’ve pretty quickly come to peace with the decision, and I want to explain some of that process in this post. However, there are some conflicted emotions lingering beneath that peace, and I want to make clear that the goal of this post is not to tell anyone how to feel about this.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'ALPR Maker Flock Broke Laws Repeatedly While Installing Cameras, Courting Cop Shops'

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Flock provides the ALPRs here in Lexington, which makes this especially frustrating. link to “ALPR Maker Flock Broke Laws Repeatedly While Installing Cameras, Courting Cop Shops”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'The job applicants shut out by AI: ‘The interviewer sounded like Siri’'

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So, if employers save time from AI, and applicants save time from AI, where’s the net benefit? Or does it become a new burden for everyone? link to “The job applicants shut out by AI: ‘The interviewer sounded like Siri’”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Tech Billionaire Tries to Ease Fears of Hawaii Takeover by Donating $150 Million to Hospitals'

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Last few sentences of the article really make the point. link to “Tech Billionaire Tries to Ease Fears of Hawaii Takeover by Donating $150 Million to Hospitals”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Kirtland Temple purchased by LDS church for $192.5 million'

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I have my own (complicated) thoughts to share on this later, but more than anyone else, I’ve wanted to hear from David Howlett (and, okay, Lach Mackay). Appreciate Jana’s coverage here. link to “Kirtland Temple purchased by LDS church for $192.5 million”

📚 spreading the word about the Cory Doctorow Humble Bundle 📚

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Cory Doctorow is one of my favorite authors, and I’ve also (mostly) appreciated the work of Humble Bundle over the past decade. When I learned this weekend that there’s an ongoing bundle of Doctorow’s fiction, I was ecstatic. The only thing that I was disappointed about is that I’ve already bought so many of these titles… however, that still wasn’t enough to stop me from buying all 18 items (it helps that while I own many of these already, most of the ones I own are in formats rather than epub, so now I’m a multimodal owner).

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'AI’s craving for data is matched only by a runaway thirst for water and energy | John Naughton'

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Bookmarking for future reference. Are the purported benefits of generative AI worth these (and other) costs? link to “AI’s craving for data is matched only by a runaway thirst for water and energy | John Naughton”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Amazon Turkers Who Train AI Say They’re Locked Out of Their Work and Money'

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Helpful reminder that it’s low-paid, underappreciated workers who contribute to AI as much as high-paid programmers and household-name executives. link to “Amazon Turkers Who Train AI Say They’re Locked Out of Their Work and Money”