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 'Haine en ligne : Elon Musk promet de payer les recours en justice contre la future loi irlandaise'

- kudos:

Musk ne s’intéresse à la liberté d’expression que quand il peut en profiter. link to “Haine en ligne : Elon Musk promet de payer les recours en justice contre la future loi irlandaise”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'OpenAI went back on a promise to make key documents public | Ars Technica'

- kudos:

If OpenAI is going to be an influential company, it would be nice for it to be more transparent. link to “OpenAI went back on a promise to make key documents public | Ars Technica”

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for The Courage to Be, by Paul Tillich

- kudos:

I was recently complaining about religious books that I felt were below where I am in my thinking, so this was a slice of humble pie. I don’t do great with dense philosophical or theological works, and my rating is more a reflection of that than anything else. I made it through with an audiobook, but I don’t know how much I’ll retain. Tillich came highly recommended by other authors, but I think that most of what I wanted to get out of it was concentrated in the final chapter of the book.

the Bible—not the Book of Mormon—as weak point of Mormon apologetics

- kudos:

Almost a year ago now, Stephen C. at the Mormon blog Times and Seasons wrote a post asking what might be an “extinction-level event” for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There’s a lot of interesting speculation in the post, but the passage that I copied down at the time was this one: Of course, the truly fatal circumstance is if the President of the Church stopped believing in the truth claims.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Palestinian death toll in Gaza soars past 25,000 with no end to war in sight : NPR'

- kudos:

1,200 deaths is an enormous tragedy. What does that make 25,000 deaths? link to “Palestinian death toll in Gaza soars past 25,000 with no end to war in sight : NPR”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Ubisoft Says It Out Loud: We Want People To Get Used To Not Owning What They’ve Bought | Techdirt'

- kudos:

So. so gross. link to “Ubisoft Says It Out Loud: We Want People To Get Used To Not Owning What They’ve Bought | Techdirt”

an 'enmediated' God

- kudos:

Mormon theology doesn’t really do incarnation. Latter-day Saints believe in an embodied God and that (nearly) all humans will be resurrected to perfect bodies after this life and inevitable death. Latter-day Saints are also not Trinitarian and see Jesus and God the Father as more distinct than most Christian traditions do. Between those two beliefs, Jesus’s taking on a mortal body is not really a big deal—it’s kind of par for the course for any human, whether or not they are the Savior of the world.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Macron Shifts Rightward, and Charts a New Course - The New York Times'

- kudos:

My political views have shifted a lot over the past decade, and I think my attitude toward Macron demonstrates that pretty well. When he was first elected, I was pretty excited. I was fed up with the American right but not ready to identify with the left, and the idea of a new centrist party emerging out of nowhere was inspiring. In the years since, though, I’ve moved steadily leftward—not least because Macron has demonstrated the ways that centrism tends to cede ground to the right on important issues.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Cat and Girl'

- kudos:

Generative AI has a digital labor issue, and we aren’t paying enough attention to it. link to “Cat and Girl”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'What is the Annotated Book of Mormon? – From the Desk'

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Grant Hardy is doing great work with the Book of Mormon. I don’t see the text the same way that he does, but I’m deeply grateful for what he’s contributed to new readings of it, and I’m glad I have a copy if this. It surprised me in this interview to learn that the LDS Church forebade a reprinting of the semi-official study edition Hardy had recently worked on. I found that to be a tremendously helpful text, and I’m glad I have a copy since it’s apparently doomed to go out of print.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'AI to hit 40% of jobs and worsen inequality, IMF says'

- kudos:

Even if AI would be beneficial for humanity in the aggregate, it’s important to ask how that benefit would be distributed. link to “AI to hit 40% of jobs and worsen inequality, IMF says”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'I’m sorry, but I cannot fulfill this request as it goes against OpenAI use policy - The Verge'

- kudos:

Yeah, but don’t worry, this is definitely the only way that generative AI will be used to overwhelm us with useless content. link to “I’m sorry, but I cannot fulfill this request as it goes against OpenAI use policy - The Verge”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Substack keeps the Nazis, loses Platformer - The Verge'

- kudos:

Good for Platformer. link to “Substack keeps the Nazis, loses Platformer - The Verge”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Substack Realizes Maybe It Doesn’t Want To Help Literal Nazis Make Money After All (But Only Literal Nazis) | Techdirt'

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As usual, I find Masnick’s recap of this recent nonsense helpful in terms of summary and interpretation. link to “Substack Realizes Maybe It Doesn’t Want To Help Literal Nazis Make Money After All (But Only Literal Nazis) | Techdirt”

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee, by Bart Ehrman

- kudos:

Kind of like the Spong book I recently finished, I enjoyed this book, but I think I would have gotten about as much from a condensed version. I’ve gotten to a point after nearly a decade of this kind of reading that I don’t need to be eased into a lot of these arguments and just want the crux of them. I think the academic in me (though this is certainly not my area of training) also wants more sources and footnotes.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Pluralistic: Kelly and Zach Weinersmith’s “A City On Mars” (09 Jan 2024) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow'

- kudos:

I’ve wanted to read this book for a while, but Doctorow has really sold me on it. link to “Pluralistic: Kelly and Zach Weinersmith’s “A City On Mars” (09 Jan 2024) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow”

- kudos:

I have lots of concerns about LLM training, but I think it’s better to think of the issue in terms of digital labor, not copyright. My blog is licensed for reuse, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less exploitative for someone to scrape it all to develop software that will make them rich off my work.

- kudos:

I didn’t learn to swear until I was in my 30s, so I have a lingering suspicion that I wind up sounding like Captain Kirk in Star Trek IV.

🔗 linkblog: mes pensées sur 'La première église urbaine de Suisse romande ouvre ses portes à Lausanne - rts.ch - Vaud'

- kudos:

De quoi s’inspirer pour imaginer de nouveaux avenirs chrétiens. lien pour “La première “église urbaine” de Suisse romande ouvre ses portes à Lausanne - rts.ch - Vaud”

another upcoming sermon for Toronto Congregation of Community of Christ

- kudos:

Last July, I gave my first sermon for a Community of Christ congregation, preaching on the Parable of the Samaritan. I guess I didn’t do too badly, because their pastor reached out in December to ask me to give another sermon this month. On January 21st, I’ll be preaching on Matthew 4:1-11, covering the Temptation of Jesus. This has been a fun passage to revisit and see with new eyes. I don’t know exactly what I’m going to say just yet, but I’ve got plenty of notes and ideas and am looking forward to nailing things down over the next week and a half.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Welcome to the public domain, Mickey Mouse - The Verge'

- kudos:

Happy Public Domain day! link to “Welcome to the public domain, Mickey Mouse - The Verge”

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Jesus for the Non-Religious, by John Shelby Spong

- kudos:

I have a lot of small irritations with this book: I feel like Spong takes too long deconstructing before reconstructing (though that may reflect my own personal stage of faith), like his arguments are sometimes sloppy, and like he can be awkward (but clearly sincere) to modern eyes in his commitment to non-discrimination. He also seems more sure than I am that this is the obvious and only way to read Jesus; I agree with his reading, but I’m not sure it’s as straightforward as he makes it.

- kudos:

I don’t understand why Buc-ee’s has such a following. Every time I enter one, I feel like I’ve entered my personal hell.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on '‘God Is Under the Rubble in Gaza’: Bethlehem’s Subdued Christmas - The New York Times'

- kudos:

Again, what’s going on isn’t bad because it happens to touch on things significant to Christians, and it’s bad when Christians only care about Palestine and Israel because it fits with their religious worldview. Yet, it would be a missed opportunity to talk about Bethlehem this Christmas season without asking about the West Bank, Israel, and Gaza, and how to make a better world for everyone there. link to “‘God Is Under the Rubble in Gaza’: Bethlehem’s Subdued Christmas - The New York Times”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Substack says it will not remove or demonetize Nazi content - The Verge'

- kudos:

There are legitimately difficult content moderation decisions, but this is not one of them. Shame on Substack for this approach. link to “Substack says it will not remove or demonetize Nazi content - The Verge”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'With war raging in Gaza, Christmas in Bethlehem has been canceled : NPR'

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As I’ve written before, I’m skeptical when Christians see the Middle East uniquely through the particularities of our beliefs and tradition—there’s so many ways that can (and does) go wrong. Yet, if we’re going to sing and preach about Bethlehem this year, we ought to use modern Bethlehem to get us thinking about a better world for the West Bank, Israel, and Gaza. link to “With war raging in Gaza, Christmas in Bethlehem has been canceled : NPR”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Adam Mosseri spells out Threads’ plans for the fediverse - The Verge'

- kudos:

I think folks are right to distrust Meta, but Threads with ActivityPub seems to me to be clearly better than Threads without. link to “Adam Mosseri spells out Threads’ plans for the fediverse - The Verge”

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for The Kingdom of God is Within You, by Leo Tolstoy

- kudos:

This book took a while to finally get through. After two failed attempts at an ebook, I finally succeeded thanks to a LibriVox audiobook! I have mixed feelings about the book, though I ultimately liked it. Tolstoy’s ideas are radical, and though I aspire to a certain radicalism in my faith and politics, that is certainly not my nature, so I brought some resistance with me into the text. Even accounting for that, though, I don’t think Tolstoy’s argument is as self-evident or well reasoned as he thinks it is.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on ''Shameless': Reporters Without Borders rebukes X for claiming to support it : NPR'

- kudos:

Kind of hilarious, actually, but in the depressing way that most Twitter news is these days. link to “‘Shameless’: Reporters Without Borders rebukes X for claiming to support it : NPR”

- kudos:

I was invited this week to give a sermon in January for an online congregation from Toronto. Last time I preached there, I referenced a story from Astro City and got told in a YouTube comment that mixing comics and the Bible was bad taste. Tempted to double down in January, but that would be petty.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Ranked choice voting: what it is and where it might be next : NPR'

- kudos:

I wasn’t aware of these critiques of ranked-choice voting. The right-wing hand-wringing about it is obviously ridiculous, and I still believe more RCV is the way to go, but I appreciate more nuance in the conversation. link to “Ranked choice voting: what it is and where it might be next : NPR”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Community Notes Is Great Until It Challenges Elon, And Then It’s Being ‘Manipulated’ By State Actors | Techdirt'

- kudos:

Is this the same feature Elon says will be sufficient for keeping Alex Jones in check? link to “Community Notes Is Great Until It Challenges Elon, And Then It’s Being ‘Manipulated’ By State Actors | Techdirt”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Elon Musk unbans conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from X - The Verge'

- kudos:

This… this is even worse than just giving him an account back. Ugh. link to “Elon Musk unbans conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from X - The Verge”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Apple’s Nonsensical Attack On Beeper For Making Apple’s Own Users Safer | Techdirt'

- kudos:

Good observations by Masnick here. link to “Apple’s Nonsensical Attack On Beeper For Making Apple’s Own Users Safer | Techdirt”

- kudos:

Kiddo’s grade is learning about how “other countries celebrate the holidays,” but I’m afraid the result will be reinforcing US Christian supremacy. Framing Hanukkah as Israeli suggests that it is foreign to the US, no? I also worry that there will be a class assigned to do Kwanzaa “from Africa.”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Elon Musk restores X account of Alex Jones : NPR'

- kudos:

Musk keeps digging his hole deeper and deeper. link to “Elon Musk restores X account of Alex Jones : NPR”