Links from the last week

Read a lot of interesting stuff this week, but much of it in tweet or book form – harder to share this way then, let’s see what we have.

1. Average seasonal temperatures yearly inflection point

Neat map I thought.  The US as a whole is usually its hottest around July 21 – so it’s all downhill from here.  Check your location for more specific climatology.

2. First Human Embryos Edited in U.S.

Hard not to call this important news.  Would that I had confidence our public understanding of humanity was deeper than “if we can do it, and some people want to do it, why not?”

3. Our Cultural Waterloo

Nice piece by Carl Trueman, especially directed at Christian colleges, but with some advice for perhaps all who would wish to convince another.

My arguments did not work, because . . . well, they were arguments, and did not take into account how the mind of my young critic had been formed. She had not been convinced by any argument. Her imagination had been seized by an aesthetically driven culture, in which taste was truth and Will and Grace carried more weight than any church catechism or tome of moral philosophy.

4. Trump Cuts Wildly Ineffective Teen Pregnancy Program, Media Flip Out

Shared not because I particularly care about this program but because, as I often say, good thinking is in the details – and people ignore those details all the time when it suits them.

“Trump’s hires at HHS were notably hostile to teen pregnancy programs that worked. Now they’ve killed them,” claimed one fact-challenged columnist at the Los Angeles Times. No media outlet mentioned the ineffectiveness of the programs, whether it was NPR, the St. Louis Post-DispatchPoliticoBusiness InsiderThe IndependentForbesTeen Vogue, or Bustle, even though effectiveness reports are right there on the agency’s web site.

5. Because this has me tilting my head to the side as often as anything these days:

6. Richard Dawkins’s response to his de-platforming in Berkeley

A man who sometimes seems to almost make a living offending and insulting Christians, is de-platformed from an invited talk for saying something offensive and insulting about Islam.  As the host could hardly have not known about his feelings toward Christianity, why the double standard?

Another example from Dawkins himself:

The banner statements could hardly be more parallel.

7. Study: Intersectionality Makes People Less Empathetic

OK, that’s a bit of a partisan summary – feel free to ignore that article if you’d like and go straight to the original source: Competition over collective victimhood recognition: When perceived lack of recognition for past victimization is associated with negative attitudes towards another victimized group

Groups that perceive themselves as victims can engage in “competitive victimhood.” We propose that, in some societal circumstances, this competition bears on the recognition of past sufferings—rather than on their relative severity—fostering negative intergroup attitudes. Three studies are presented.

This week’s post brought to you by the Lansing River Trail.

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