abandoning the false god of control

- kudos:

Two books that I’ve recently (re)read have been helpful in making sense of some thoughts I’ve been mulling over for the past few weeks. Let’s begin with my rereading of Gérard Siegwalt’s La réinvention du nom de Dieu (“Reinventing God’s Name”). At a few points in his book, Siegwalt makes some points about “rationalism” having replaced God in the modern world and the need to keep rationalism but put it in its place as we develop a new conception of God that this world needs better.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity, by David Graeber and David Wengrow

- kudos:

I should start by acknowledging that this is a hard book for me to review honestly and thoroughly. First, it’s long and dense! I’m not sure I would have made it through if it hadn’t been via audiobook, and even then, I was sometimes listening at 3x speed to make it through before my loan expired. I know I missed some details along the way. Second, these authors are clearly making a big argument that takes on much of the received wisdom in fields like anthropology and archaeology.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for In Real Life, by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang

- kudos:

Once you read enough Cory Doctorow, you start to pick up on the story elements that he reuses and recycles, and that’s pretty obvious here. Not only is this a graphic novel adaptation of a short story, but it’s very close to the premise of For the Win, too. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though! In fact, I really like this comic. The plot is interesting, and the art is AMAZING.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'AI brings soaring emissions for Google and Microsoft, a major contributor to climate change'

- kudos:

This sucks so much—and encapsulates our world’s obsession with financial success over environmental health. link to “AI brings soaring emissions for Google and Microsoft, a major contributor to climate change”

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for The Gospel in Brief: The Life of Jesus, by Leo Tolstoy

- kudos:

I don’t remember when I learned that Leo Tolstoy had written his own, Thomas Jefferson-style miracle-free New Testament mashup, but I do know I immediately wanted to read it. Then, I spotted a copy at my local indie bookstore while looking for things to spend a gift card on, and that’s how I picked up a copy. Like The Kingdom of God is Within You, I like some of Tolstoy’s ideas, but getting through them can be a drag.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for Boys Weekend, by Mattie Lubchansky

- kudos:

There’s a certain flavor of bizarre that makes for great fiction, and this comic is that. It’s a story about gender transition and transphobia, a critique of tech bros and libertarian business types, and… a science fiction story featuring a Cthulhuesque cult? There’s a bit more gore than I normally tolerate in comics, and the art style isn’t what I’d identify as my go-to preference, but everything fits together in a surreal but profound way.

reinterpreting scripture and rethinking sexual ethics in Jacob's temple sermon

- kudos:

This essay began as a Twitter thread in 2020, and in recent months, I’ve really wanted to flesh out some of the thinking I first wrote about there. I started slowly drafting this essay as a blog post in October 2023, but when I learned that Element: A Journal of Mormon Philosophy and Theology was being rebooted, I decided to try submitting this there as a scholarly essay instead of just something that would sit on my website.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'AI means Google's greenhouse gas emissions up 48% in 5 years'

- kudos:

If AI is indeed going to help us reduce emissions, it seems to me that that will be the product of targeted, scientific and industrial use of AI, not shoving AI into a load of commercial products. Are these commercial companies using AI to figure out how to reduce emissions? If not (and maybe even if so), it seems disingenuous to express optimism that their increased energy use will be magically cancelled out by someone else.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Trump asks for conviction to be overturned after immunity ruling'

- kudos:

Look, I’ve been trying to approach the SCOTUS decision with an open “I’m not a legal expert” mind, but I think this quickly demonstrates how dangerous the decision is. There’s no way this is an official act, and Trump’s insistence that it could be shows his confidence that he can get away with what he wants as president. This is not good for democracy. link to “Trump asks for conviction to be overturned after immunity ruling”

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants, by Robin Wall Kimmerer

- kudos:

If I understand correctly, this book was recommended in the curriculum for Community of Christ Reunion camps this year; at least, I listened to it because it was recommended for the Reunion that I attended last weekend. I actually finished it on Monday, but it’s been a busy week, and so it’s taken me a while to write this review. While I am an aspirational environmentalist, I’m not very in tune with nature, so I wasn’t sure how I’d like the book.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Oklahoma’s State Superintendent Requires Public Schools to Teach the Bible'

- kudos:

I’m not necessarily opposed to teaching the Bible in public schools, but if you’re going to do it, you should do it right: Compare and contrast the creation accounts, discuss different authors’ conflicting takes on issues, and treat it as literature. That’s clearly not what Walters is advocating for, and his approach is indefensible. link to “Oklahoma’s State Superintendent Requires Public Schools to Teach the Bible”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Boone County High School alum still fighting for school to drop the ‘Rebels’ as mascot'

- kudos:

I went to BCHS and was on speech and debate with Akilah. I was one of those naïve white kids who didn’t really register all of the problematic parts of our mascot, and I have regrets. I’ll be interested to listen to this podcast and do some more internal work. link to “Boone County High School alum still fighting for school to drop the ‘Rebels’ as mascot”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'How Does the Book of Mormon Reinterpret the Bible? – From the Desk'

- kudos:

Austin’s book was already on my ’to read’ list, but this interview really convinced me. There are some really interesting arguments in here, and while I want to evaluate them in more detail, they’d provide fascinating readings if they hold up. link to “How Does the Book of Mormon Reinterpret the Bible? – From the Desk”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Fast Crimes at Lambda School'

- kudos:

What a fascinating, depressing read. The Mormon angle only makes it more interesting (even if it doesn’t really play in here). link to “Fast Crimes at Lambda School”

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for The Terraformers, by Annalee Newitz

- kudos:

I heard this book reviewed on The Incomparable, and it sounded up my alley despite mixed reviews on the podcast, so I gave it a try! This feels like a Cory Doctorow book in all the right ways: It has super weird ideas in it, and it’s sometimes more about worldbuilding and a pretty clear “moral of the story” than specific plot beats or characterization. The morals of the story are good ones, though, and having a viewpoint character who’s a sentient train is right up my alley.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Amazon-Powered AI Cameras Used To Detect Emotions of Unwitting UK Train Passengers - Slashdot'

- kudos:

This sucks on so many levels. link to “Amazon-Powered AI Cameras Used To Detect Emotions of Unwitting UK Train Passengers - Slashdot”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Mozilla Defies Kremlin, Restores Banned Firefox Add-ons in Russia - Slashdot'

- kudos:

Now, this is more the Mozilla I know. link to “Mozilla Defies Kremlin, Restores Banned Firefox Add-ons in Russia - Slashdot”

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Party Discipline, by Cory Doctorow

- kudos:

This tiny little book is a great addition to the worldbuilding of Walkaway, and I love it for that.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Cop busted for unauthorized use of Clearview AI facial recognition resigns'

- kudos:

Scary stuff. I don’t think I’ll ever be convinced that facial recognition tech does more good than harm. link to “Cop busted for unauthorized use of Clearview AI facial recognition resigns”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Cops Released a Car’s Travel History to a Total Stranger'

- kudos:

ALPRs suck. link to “Cops Released a Car’s Travel History to a Total Stranger”

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ pour La réinvention du nom de Dieu, par Gérard Siegwalt

- kudos:

J’ai parfois du mal à suivre ce texte, même en relecture, mais j’en apprends beaucoup et je suis sûr que j’y reviendrai encore dans les années à venir.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Firefox Browser Blocks Anti-Censorship Add-Ons at Russia’s Request'

- kudos:

This sucks. If even Mozilla is selling out, then we’re in a real bad place. link to “Firefox Browser Blocks Anti-Censorship Add-Ons at Russia’s Request”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Pluralistic: An end to the climate emergency is in our grasp (12 Jun 2024) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow'

- kudos:

I’ve been thinking recently that I need to reread Doctorow’s The Lost Cause (about beating back the climate catastrophe), so this blog post was welcome. Doctorow’s hopefulness—all while rejecting naïve optimism—is what I needed to read this morning. link to “Pluralistic: An end to the climate emergency is in our grasp (12 Jun 2024) – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'AI Detectors Get It Wrong. Writers Are Being Fired Anyway'

- kudos:

Generative AI suuuucks, but AI detection software may suck even more. link to “AI Detectors Get It Wrong. Writers Are Being Fired Anyway”

trying to define a non-theist God

- kudos:

As I write this, I’m almost done with a reread of Gérard Siegwalt’s La réinvention du nom de Dieu (Reinventing God’s Name), which is not an easy read (my French is pretty good but not accustomed to theological treatises) but has a lot to offer for thinking about what Christianity might look like today. Of the many things that I’m getting from this reread, one of the things I appreciated most is that Siegwalt has helped me understand a concept that I’ve been trying to get my head around for a year or more: the idea of a non-theist God.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Apple’s new custom emoji come with climate costs'

- kudos:

I am very grumpy about this. Also, the point of emoji is that they exist within Unicode, yeah? So these aren’t really emoji in the way that those icons are useful—they’re just a fun trick that’s helping advance the climate crisis. link to “Apple’s new custom emoji come with climate costs”

🎙️ radioblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Nineteen Eighty-Four

- kudos:

I had started listening to the recent Audible adaptation, believing that it was a BBC adaptation, but between not loving Audible and it feeling overdone, I ditched it pretty quickly and found this actual BBC adaptation instead. For bonus points, Christopher Eccleston is in the lead role! I feel like it’s the kind of adaptation that you have to know the original to really appreciate, but that doesn’t make it bad.

how to translate 'restoration' and different views on religion

- kudos:

There are a couple of other things that I’d wanted to write about today, but a memory suddenly popped into my head just now, and I wanted to get it written down while it was still fresh. About a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, I was working with a Mormon studies organization to collect stories from members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Community of Christ, and other denominations descended from Joseph Smith Jr.

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Missouri joins other red states in trying to stamp out ranked choice voting'

- kudos:

I had forgotten Kentucky did this, and that just makes me more mad. link to “Missouri joins other red states in trying to stamp out ranked choice voting”

some people get Mormons, but lots of people don't

- kudos:

A lot of Mormons1 have a persecution complex that isn’t really well founded, but it is true that a lot of people don’t really get Mormons. One of my favorite stories from my time as a Latter-day Saint missionary is when a well-meaning friend of ours told us to get rid of our distinctive nametags, because they made us look too much like Jehovah’s Witnesses (the joke here is that Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t wear nametags—it’s Latter-day Saint missionaries who do that).

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Journalists “deeply troubled” by OpenAI’s content deals with Vox, The Atlantic'

- kudos:

In a roundabout way, I think this helps demonstrate why scraping data for generative AI isn’t a question of copyright. Even when there is a legal agreement, it can still be exploitative—it’s a question of digital labor. link to “Journalists ‘deeply troubled’ by OpenAI’s content deals with Vox, The Atlantic”

the difficulty of imagining the kingdom of God

- kudos:

In recent years, I’ve enjoyed seeing the “kingdom of God” in a new way than I’d understood it growing up. To take one example, here’s a quote from Mormon blogger Michael Austin in a By Common Consent post: The Kingdom of God was and is part of the world of human possibility: something that people could build in the middle of whatever other kingdoms they inhabited by acting with charity, forgiveness, and compassion.

🎙️ radioblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for The Man Born to Be King

- kudos:

I discovered this cycle of 12 radio plays that adapted the four gospels for the BBC on the Internet Archive and decided to give it a try! From a hermeneutical and theological perspective, I have some complaints. For one thing, even though it’s a radio play, it still manages to make clear that its Jesus is blond (and, by extension, white) through repeated references to golden hair, so that got under my nerves.

📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Beyond Resistance: The Institutional Church Meets the Postmodern World, by John Dorhauer

- kudos:

The book seems to be beloved in Community of Christ: I’ve heard a member of the First Presidency recommend it on a podcast, I’ve seen an emeritus senior president of seventy recommend it in the Herald, and this copy was given to me by an apostle. I can see why! It’s interesting, full of important observations, and I think Community of Christ will need to adopt some of these ideas to survive in the decades to come (at least in the Global North).

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'YouTuber Has Video Demonitized Over Washing Machine Chime'

- kudos:

Bookmarking so I have enraging examples to show my students. link to “YouTuber Has Video Demonitized Over Washing Machine Chime”

🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Systems: The Purpose of a System is What It Does - Anil Dash'

- kudos:

I appreciate Anil’s perspective here and want to try to start thinking this way. link to “Systems: The Purpose of a System is What It Does - Anil Dash”