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  1. By definition the unemployment rate captures those who don't have full/part-time employment because of the reasons you cited, but are actively looking for it. Now, if you mean those who are discouraged looking for work due to transportation, health, family, age, work, or criminal issues or histories, then yes, I think that is reasonable. Add about 15% or so for the student-age population between 16-25 and you're able workout why unemployment can be around 2% while labour force participation is between 62-65%
  2. The answer is in the question. Low unemployment is correlated with labour shortages. Put another way, everyone who wants a job has one, so employers looking for additional workers can't find one. The inverse is also true - during periods of high unemployment there are generally no labour shortages (this is a bit of an over-generalization - it varies by sector) because there is a large pool of people looking to find work and employers can more easily find one. If it is a closed or mostly closed labour market (i.e. insufficient immigration) then employers will raise wages or they will mechanize their outfits.
  3. There are dozens of us already! Dozens! ------- This is an interesting anecdote, but an anecdote nonetheless. I did my undergrad in Toronto, which is probably one of the most multicultural cities in the world, up there with NYC. Something like 50% of the population was born outside Canada, and when you take 2nd generation, most of the people there have very recent histories in Canada. The Church membership there reflected this diversity. Going off memory, we had wards or branches available in 12 different languages or so, including some expected ones like Mandarin, Cantonese, French, Spanish, and Portuguese, but also a Farsi branch, Creole, and Hindi. In fact, I would say Indians were probably one of the fastest growing demographics in the Church while I was there. One interesting anecdote from that growth is that I never met an Indian member from the Tribe of Ephraim. I'm sure they exist, but everyone I met from India was either from Naphtali, Isaachar, Zebulon, or, to a lesser extent, Dan.
  4. Do you mind if I take two of your questions and respond to both with one answer? Specifically, if a lot (maybe even a majority?) of mental illness is self-induced and a subconscious coping mechanism. The answer to this is "sure," but you have to square "self-induced," which implies some level of agency, and "subconscious," which implies some limits on agency. It is absolutely true that mental health disorders can manifest in behaviours that psychologists, psychotherapists, and social workers describe as maladaptive. Maladaptive behaviours can start after major life events, or they can be habits that are picked up early on in life. These are behaviours that allow us to cope with or deal with a situation in a way that is harmful at worst, or generally unhelpful at best. We can behave in a way that certainly affects our anxiety or depressive moments. The big thing with a maladaptive behaviour is that the person doing them often has not learned the techniques to address that behaviour directly or address the situation that they address with their behaviour. That, or they have learned the techniques, received the medication, or gotten the help, but they are not yet applying it for various reasons, both good (e.g. they are new to and stumbling through application) and bad (they are unwilling to apply them). I don't think you'll find any serious mental health professional who believes that agency has no role or that mental health issues can't be coping mechanism (again, it's the whole concept of a maladaptive behaviour). When they seek to diagnose a patient and form a treatment plan they'll often use your medical history to determine the extent to which these behaviours play a role in your mental illness compared to enviromental factors, family history (i.e. genetics), etc. It's multifactorial and individual to the person at the same time.
  5. It's interesting to me that from an 1830s perspective, and using your "equality of outcomes" here, Joseph Smith's Vision of the degrees of glory was considered too "woke" to many of the Latter-day Saints. It was radically universalist for its day, and compared to many Reformed theologies in particular it still is. There were many members then who left because they felt God was overly merciful in granting almost the entirety of the human race a presence in His Kingdom. Honestly, we could make another thread titled "Is Heaven 'Woke'" and the Venn diagram of responses here would be a perfect circle - where the doctrine of Christ is a platform to discuss your mortal politics and social bugbears that mean jack all in the long-term. If I seem frustrated it's because I'm seeing these fights break out in my own department right now and honestly see most involved act idiotic over it. Is it woke to run a regression analysis of real estate prices over a dummy variable representing whether a neighbourhood was redlined or not? I dunno, but it's an interesting research question to pursue and the answer may inform zoning and financial service reform in a way that might seem woke to some. Is it "unwoke" to run an accounting exercise of labour productivity of able-vs-disabled immigrants entering Canada through economic programs? Again, I dunno, but the questions is interesting enough to ask for various policy reasons unrelated to the economic value of a person. All I'm saying is that, like my department members, ya'llz need to go touch grass.
  6. This has to be one of the weirdest threads I've seen on this board. Part of the problem, which is one that I see among students, colleagues, and faculty at other institutions, is we're not using a common language when speaking about issues of equality and outcome. Does God guarantee equality of outcome? Yes. We all get resurrected, which is granted to us through Jesus Christ. There are also no degrees of forgiveness. God cannot look up on sin with the least degree of tolerance, but neither can He view forgiveness with the least degree of differentiation. The child who is forgiven for stealing some bird seed from a store (me, at age 11) is just as forgiven as the one committed adultery. We also know from scripture that He considers the life circumstances in which one was born, and mercifully judges us based on the knowledge imparted to us in our various cultural, political, racial, and economic backgrounds. Does God guarantee equality of opportunity? Insofar as this means everyone will receive an equal chance, in this life or the next, to listen to and accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then yes! Insofar as we use our individual agency to interact with the grace of Jesus Christ and to work with Him to overcome sin and become sanctified, then yeah, our exaltation can hugely depend on individual factors. I don't know if that's woke, unwoke, or whatever. I think if you're looking to fit your political or social bugbear into the economy of Heaven you'll be disappointed.
  7. There are also the shared visions Joseph had in Nauvoo with others, most famously Zebedee Coultrin, wherein they laid in a field and looked up into heaven, wherein they say the Father and Mother. There is another vision that is almost identical in its description wherein he shows them Adam and Eve. Make of that what you will.
  8. There have been some interesting attempts to fit strict monotheism to those verses over the course of Rabbinic Judaism and Christian theology. The more boring one is to say that the plural Elohim is merely an expression of majesty, like the royal "we." The more wild one, accepted among some Jewish scholars even now and the Gnostics of yesteryear is that both Elohim and the original human he created here was androgynous or intersex.
  9. Nina's story has been featured here. You can follow her on instagram a nina_ivannna (yes, three 'n's) to see updates, what the donations are being used for, and to follow her own personal story. For those who still want to help, there is a new opportunity. Nina's paypal withdrawals were maxed out, but her employer, Cumorah Academy, has agreed to forward all donations made here. They will not take anything for overhead or administration, all of it will get passed through to Nina. Cumorah Academy is also a registered US charity, so proceeds to Nina are tax deductible. If there are any Canadians on here besides me (I see you Duncan), whether in Canada or abroad - I have made a website. You stick in your name, email, and postal code (UPPERCASE, no spaces) and it will generate a boilerplate email to your Member of Parliament, the Immigration Minister, and opposition Immigration critics. None of your information is saved, and you can tweak the email as you like, or send it right away. It asks MPs to lift the visa requirement for Ukrainians to come to Canada, to simplify the refugee process through measure we took during the Indochinese Refugee Crisis, and to help Ukrainians currently present in Canada to maintain their legal status as needed.
  10. My friend Nina had to leave her husband behind. She is Moldovan, him Ukrainian. They were going to flee to Moldova when the decree came saying all males 18-60 had to stay behind. She is currently coordinating the flight and relief of a bunch of people from Moldova. If you would like to help her out financially (and help others), let me know and I can hook you up (message me privately).
  11. Unsurprising. It seems like something the author would write for shock value. On the other hand, it could also read as Heber pulling the author's leg with another member. More than anything it serves as a useful anecdote for how diverse the author perceived the Salt Lake valley to be at the time, and how marriage might have been one way to bind communities that normally self-segregated in other settlements in the Americas.
  12. It's an interesting point and intuitively correct when you think about the ethnic diversity of the Salt Lake area during the presidencies of Young, Taylor, and Woodruff. For what it's worth, a lot of scholars differentiate ethnicity, which is seen as more cultural or national in flavour, from race, which is (typically, but not always) usually applied to phenotypical characteristics (skin colour, epicanthal fold, etc.). The practice of the US in the antebellum period and the immediate post-Civil War period was for large ethnic migrations to cluster in specific States or Territories and most homogenous communities. From what I understand this was the case in Utah, at least not to the same extent as elsewhere in the United States. At the height of immigration to Utah, the foreign-born population was around 35%, or x2.5 higher than the current national average of foreign-born residents. Intermarriage would have provided one way to link communities from disparate linguistic, political, and pre-conversion religious traditions. Anecdotally, there is an interesting article by the Atlantic from 1864 entitled, "Among the Mormons." One of the aspects of plural marriage that it touches on is its ability to link new diaspora communities to Church leadership: Take the above with some salt - the author is mildly antagonist to the Church (but is able to give some begrudging admiration at parts). It does likely reflect, however, the ethnic diversity of the Salt Lake valley at the time, and the practice of intermarriage between cultural groups. Also noteworthy is that the author of the article themselves identifies race with nationality - while scholars currently distinguish race from ethnicity as I outlined above, the lines were not so clear at the time, and it was not atypical for the educated elite to lump nationality and race together, even if there was little genetic or phenotypical distinction (see the Irish).
  13. That's fair. I come from a Jewish-Zionist background, and identify as Jewish (even though I'm a Latter-day Saint), so I share the same hesitations around jihadism and the theology behind it. As I've studied it, I've come to believe religion tends to be an interaction effect, rather than a main effect. These are statistical terms where a main effect is something that directly causes something else. An interaction effect is something that *can* cause something else, but only in the presence of another factor. Here is the classic of an interaction effect: "Given the specifics of the example, an interaction effect would not be surprising. If someone asks you, 'Do you prefer ketchup or chocolate sauce on your food?' Undoubtedly, you will respond, 'It depends on the type of food!' That’s the 'it depends' nature of an interaction effect. You cannot answer the question without knowing more information about the other variable in the interaction term—which is the type of food in our example!" In a mathematical construct, it looks something like this: Islam as a main driver of violence: Violence = Islam + Other Factors <- where other factors can contribute to violence, but don't need to be present to drive violence. Islam as an interaction with factors that produce violence: Violence = Islam*OtherFactors <- where both Islam AND other factors need to both be present to produce violence. In this second model, which is the one I ascribe to, those factors include institutional domestic political failure, geopolitical tensions, economic depravation, and class segregations (+ individual eccentricities, I'm not a marxist that dumbs everything down to class). I think Islam can interact with other conditions to create violence. I'm less convinced it has an independent effect on violence. You can take two Iranians, say my colleague Ali and another random individual. Both go to mosque, both pray x5 daily. Both keep halal. Both read the same Quran. Is it Islam that determines whether they take some hostages? Perhaps, but how does that explain Ali, who is a boring, overweight university professor whose favourite hobby is reading poetry? Individual agency plays some role here, but it also helps that Ali's family comes from a liberalizing tradition back to Mohammad Mosaddegh.
  14. There are two realities here: 1) The hadiths claim Muhammad saw Gabriel. 2) The First Presidency has stated that Muhammad received a portion of God's light. There's a lot of space between those statements that allows me to reconcile them with each other, but not with the statement that Satan is its author. We also believe the Reformers were inspired, yet Lutheran theology and particularly Calvinism is further from Latter-day Saint beliefs than Orthodoxy or Catholicism are. May I offer a few suggestions that sit in-between Islam being the one truth faith and it being an invention of Satan? 1) Muhammad did see Gabriel, but was not a prophet. John Taylor once said this in relation to revelation and the visitation of angels during times of apostasy: "Men of God in different ages have been in possession of certain philosophical truth in relation to God, the heavens, the past, the present and the future. This has been the case not only with men of God on the Asiatic continent; but also on this continent...There were men in those dark ages who could commune with God, and who, by the power of faith, could draw aside the curtain of eternity and gaze upon the invisible world. There were men who could tell the destiny of the human family, and the events which would transpire throughout every subsequent period of time until the final winding-up scene. There were men who could gaze upon the face of God, have the ministering of angels, and unfold the future destinies of the world. If those were dark ages I pray God to give me a little darkness, and deliver me from the light and intelligence that prevail in our day; for as a rational, intelligent, immortal being who has to do with time and eternity, I consider it one of the greatest acquirements for men to become acquainted with their God and with their future destiny." Perhaps Muhammad did see the angel Gabriel, and received a limited mission to end idolatry on the Arabian peninsula and establish the worship of one God. I don't know, but I don't think that puts him on the level of Moses, Peter, or Joseph Smith in terms of being a prophet. Neither do I think Latter-day Saint doctrines limit the ministering of angels to us alone. 2) Muhammad did not see Gabriel, but was nonetheless inspired. The visit of Gabriel to Muhammad is recorded in the hadiths, not in the Quran. The hadiths are extremely important, but they are not at the level of the Quran, and are the result of oral traditions that post-date Muhammad. It is entirely possible that Muhammad received the inspiration of God to turn his people towards monotheism (Abrahamic religions, including Judaism and Christianity, but *also* other monotheistic traditions related to Adam, Seth, and Abraham were prevalent on the peninsula, in addition to indigenous pagan worship), without the visitation of Gabriel, and that later followers attributed a visitation to him. We of all people should understand that narrative given what we believe regarding the translation of the Bible, and we should extend grace to Muslims for it just as we extend grace to the followers of Catholicism, Luther, or Calvin. Complete? No. Mistaken in some ways? Yes. Satanic? In so far as misinterpretations of scripture or doctrine are Satanic, sure. But I tend to think human fallibility is distinct from Satanic. I genuinely believe that, when a "first best" is not possible, God will still work with and inspire people to accomplish a second best. This might be the case here, and later tradition attributed visitations to him that he did not claim nor experienced. You are both right and wrong. As I said in one of my earlier posts, it is perhaps better to understand Islam as a collection of Islams. On the first point - Christ's death. The popular belief is that Jesus did not die. He is the sinless Messiah, the son of the Virgin Mary, and the Word of God, but he was substituted on the cross and lifted up into heaven. That, or he was taken from the cross under darkness and treated for three days and nights by saint-physician Necdemus (this one is popular among Ahmadis). It is not, however, a universal belief, nor is it one demanded by the popular canon itself. The Quran is silent on the issue, with Professor Mahmoud M. Ayoub noting that "The Quran, as we have already argued, does not deny the death of Christ. Rather, it challenges human beings who in their folly have deluded themselves into believing that they would vanquish the divine Word, Jesus Christ the Messenger of God. The death of Jesus is asserted several times and in various contexts." In fact, the earliest hadiths say that Jesus *did* die on the cross, while the later ones say he did *not*. The point of Jesus' death or substitution was debated by scholars in Medieval Persia, Arabia, and Iraq, and is debated today, many of this scholars holding otherwise mainstream views. There are also mainstream branches of Islam that do accept the crucifixion of Jesus, the main two being Ismailis and many Sufis. They're certainly not the majority, but Ismailis and Sufis may be compared in size (not theology) to Methodists or Presbyterians. They are also more or less accepted as 'normal' within the spectrum of Islam (unlike Ahmadis, who are treated more like Latter-day Saints in their relation to Islam - new and maybe no Muslims, though they claim to be). On the second point - Jesus' intercession. The concept of intercession, called "Shafa'a," does exist within Islam. I won't get into it all here, but put succinctly, Jesus can intercede for some wrong-doers and rescue them from hell, or promote some people into heaven. Notably, Shafa'a belongs only to God. That might sound contradictory, but simply put, it means God allows Jesus (and some other prophets) to make intercession. Wahhabis believe that only God can be asked for Shafa'a. Most Muslims believe that Jesus did not have to die to make intercession. Edit: I also don't want to understate the difference here. The intercession of Jesus among certain Muslim groups *is* distinct from intercession within Latter-day Saint beliefs and other Christian doctrines. It is distinct from the Atonement, which grants Christ the ability to stand as proxy for us, heal us, and forgive us. The intercession of Jesus in Islam does not result from his death or substitution on the cross, but rather, is something permitted by God as a judge would permit a lawyer to make a case for their client. I believe you and take you at your word. The only thing I'd add here is that I'm somewhat biased on this topic as I grew up 10 minutes away from a polygamist breakaway. The merits of polygamy as practiced pre-manifesto aside, this group certainly practiced it in a way that was reprehensible, wrong, and abusive. Yet, their laws were based on our laws. They shared the same texts as us, and most of the same prophets. They believed in the Restoration, the Book of Mormon, and most of D&C. Yet, we had totally different directions in doctrine and life. The point I'm trying to make is that Islam, Catholicism, Judaism, and indeed, our own faith, all contain writings, words, and practices which, taken by some, can turn into something reprehensible. There are "Islams" out there that interpret Sharia, the Quran, Hadiths, and others in the most banal way possible. Others, like Wahabis, treat them abhorrently. I personally take the view that these radically different interpretations are the result of institutions, as posited by Acemoglu (seriously, read "Why Nations Fail" for a backgrounder). These institutions can promote vicious or virtuous cycles of belief and practice from the *same* text. You can have, on the one hand, the enlightened Caliphates of Baghdad and Cordoba. Or, you can have the self-proclaimed Caliphate of Mosul under al-Baghdadi. When you the study the institutions that resulted in all these outcomes, it's a bit easier to see how the social, political, geographical, historical, and yes, spiritual circumstances can result in different outcomes.
  15. The general policy as I understand it currently is that Muslims can be taught and baptized insofar there is no risk they'll be sent back to a country where it is penalized. For example, we could baptize Bosnian and Indian-Muslim students, no problem, even if they intended to go back home. We could not baptize Iranians or Saudis. We actually had one dude in the YSA who attended for 5 years while doing his PhD, who was our physical facilities rep (one of the callings that can be held by a non-member), and was a *de facto* member in every way possible without being baptized.
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