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Everything posted by halconero

  1. For what it's worth, that question was not made in bad faith to Teancum. I certainly believe climate change is a major threat to humanity, one of our own making, and think it makes entirely too much sense that we would abrogate our responsibility as stewards of the earth in the Last Days and thereby damage ourselves in the process. I was more trying to get Teancum's take on it (as he said though, he would prefer that in a different thread). I absolutely agree with him that by most metrics, the world has become a better place. Childhood mortality is down, as are deaths by violence, and our individual productivity is much higher. At the same time, I have seen those who hold up these triumphs of humanity also decry the perils of climate change, nuclear proliferation, antibiotic resistance, and other threats that are inarguably more present now than they have been in any previous century. I am not saying Teancum is in this group, but was just wondering. I tend to think of it as us living in the best of times, not the worst of times, but with a metaphorical Sword of Damocles hanging right over head. If anything, our societal and governmental responses to the pandemic have solidified my notion that we are simply unprepared to undertake the collective action problems addressing that Sword takes. Edit: Funny side note about Thunberg. Her and I got into a row once over a publication that claimed >1.2bn climate refugees would be displaced in the next 30 years or so. She widely disseminated the article, while I reverse-engineered the author's approach and realized they were confusing the stock and flow of climate migrants. The actual estimate was closer to 27mn or so.
  2. I’ve seen this idea trotted out before, but it ignores the large presence of amillennialism and preterism in the biggest Christian bodies from Augustine onwards. Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Lutheran and many Calvinist churches hold the above views among their leadership to the extent that most of their lay membership simply don’t consider eschatology in their regular worship or belief systems. Pre- and post-millennialism and their cousin historicism are mostly a product of late-18th and mid-19th century Evangelical or Restorationist movements. But genuinely curious, to what extent do you see climate change as an extinction-level threat?
  3. No need to delete! I didn’t take the original comment as ill-intentioned, just interesting. There is a certain truth to perception being close to reality, and I would guess many Canadians demonstrate certain inclinations towards communitarian ideals commensurate with socialist or social democratic ideologies. It’s just complicated, is all.
  4. I always find these distinctions hard to parse. I have seen the socialist label flung at my home country (shared with Duncan), with the big point of reference being its mechanism for administering healthcare (publicly funded, but privately delivered, interestingly enough). Based on other metrics, however, it ranks as far more oriented towards a free market economy than other countries, including the United States. As far as metrics designed to place greater control into the hands of incumbent workers go (occupational licensing, credential recognition), or centralized planning of cities (zoning reform), the US is far more socialist than Canada. One of my favourite indices, the Economic Freedom Index, weighs the combination of coercive taxes and regulations that go into starting, growing, and managing a business, and ranks Canada 10 places higher than the US. That isn't to say one country is or isn't socialist. Just that we can point towards various mechanisms for regulating worker influence or control in a market that paint a much more complicated figure than overly simplistic labels make it out to be.
  5. I would agree. It is worth knowing that a general outline established in the scriptures and in our recent history under unrighteous governments is to: a) submit peacefully and worship to the extent we can. when that becomes insufferable we then b) leave for another place. Someone can correct me, but very rarely has God advocated overthrowing a government. You sometimes have examples of righteous leaders defending foundational principles or laws from an unrighteous government, but usually in the capacity of a lawfully appointed officer of said government. While the distinction may be lost on some, there is a very large difference between a group of private citizens deciding to overthrow an unrighteous government, and say, the officer corps deciding to not execute what they consider to be an unlawful order.
  6. FWIW, it haven't met many Latter-day Saint "accelerationists," those who believe he have to fulfill prophecies such as these and bring about the fall of the US or any other country. If anything, there is more of a focus on readiness and willingness to pick up whatever pieces there are if/when it falls.
  7. Pretty sharp decline post-Brexit. Holds very steady before that. While I don't doubt some members are leaving, I have to wonder how much of this is due to out-migration of both foreign nationals living in the UK/Ireland.
  8. Call me skeptical, but those numbers are suspect. The only possible way I can see it reaching that high is if they’re including checking the horoscope in the restaurant newspaper as a “divination practice.”
  9. Romania is a good case study on what happens when you force higher birthrates on people who don't want kids. Pro-natalist policies that effect the margin (subsidizing the Stork, as it were) through child tax credits, reformed classroom schedules, and reformed work weeks are shown to stabilize birthrates to a certain extent, but will not wholly reverse downward trends.
  10. Another Canadian here - currently a researcher at UofC, but moving onto my PhD in September. Politically neoliberal, religiously I'm a progressive fundamentalist. I mean both of those things unironically. Welcome!
  11. Excuse me, saddling the RAs and PhD students with mundane tasks associated with research is a time-honoured tradition.
  12. I have been reading the Joseph Smith Paper manuscripts along with D&C sections in Come, Follow Me this year. One thing that struck me is that Joseph Smith (and scribe) capitalized the lower-case “gods” in our edition, and never bothered to go back and edit that particular part. The lower-case “g-“ argument is dead to me, even if it never held much weight anyways.
  13. Nothing in this particular case. They weren't resigning from the church. They just needed time away from his calling to deal with trauma of it all. To the credit of the Mission President and his wife here, they have been excellent working with the Indigenous members. He and his wife are Maori, went through much of the same experiences, and have made a point of holding monthly meetings for the Cree and Blackfoot members to get together privately over Zoom and in-person to go over their experiences together. The Indian Placement Program did have a role in Canada, but not as large as the residential schools. I personally know at least one person whose mother was in the program and was sexually abused.
  14. Yeah, it's hot. Kind of a downer day for us yesterday, tbh. One of your high councilman resigned his calling last week, and gave a talk on why. He and his wife are from the Tsuu T'ina Nation, southwest of Calgary, and the ward covers the reserve. The recent news regarding the unmarked gravesites has caused him, his wife, and their parents, all residential school survivors, to relive some of the trauma. On the one hand, I am proud of all that Canada aspires to be, and all the good that exists. On the other, I am not proud of some of our past, and hope we can use this as an opportunity of national repentance and reconciliation.
  15. I’m fine with Moderna/Pfizer interchangeability. As a friend told me, only the nerdiest of inorganic chemists could get excited about the differences. I have more questions about AZ/mRNA mixing, but thankfully there has been some testing, with positive results as far as immune response goes. I agree re the risk from adverse reactions. As you say, time will tell. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-01359-3
  16. Canada has now surpassed every other country in per capita recipients with at least 1 dose. I think this will be an interesting natural experiment in two-ways: 1) We pursued a 1st dose strategy up here, prioritizing getting as many 1st shots into arms and delaying the rollout of 2nd doses. I wonder if the speed of 1st doses, when we finally got to supply, has encouraged take-up, as our coverage is looking to settle around 80-85% of eligible adults. FWIW, I think it will be shown as the correct choice. 70-80% coverage in two adults is more effective at reducing spread than 90-95% coverage in one adult, even if full-coverage is the eventual goal. 2) We're allowing vaccine cocktails. Put another way, you can get whatever vaccine is available to you in the moment of your 2nd dose, regardless of your first dose. So Pfizer/Moderna, Moderna/Pfizer, AZ/Pfizer, AZ/Moderna area all acceptable. AZ still has age-based restrictions, but that's about it.
  17. No mistake or trial! I live in Canada, where the National Advisory Council on Immunization (NACI) approved interchangeability for 1st and 2nd doses. I haven't heard of any mRNA-1st and AZ-2nd combos, but I've heard of plenty Pfizer/Moderna, Moderna/Pfizer, and AZ/mRNA recipients.
  18. My wife and I got 2nd-doses on Friday (Pfizer both times) and felt gross for about 36 hours afterwards. Groggy, lethargic, with some very minor chills/aches/fever. We feel back to normal now. Both the in-laws had no reaction to the 2nd dose (both Pfizer). My dad had an AZ-Pfizer cocktail and was tired after the 2nd dose, but nothing else. Mom had Pfizer-Moderna and same thing.
  19. One of my mentors published an article recently comparing Twitter and Facebook to the Hobbesian State of Nature - nasty and brutish. On the other hand, journalists and policy makers seem to hang out there and more, and are oddly more accessible than other places, like LinkedIn, email, etc. The reach of my work is definitely correlated with putting my work out there.
  20. If ya'llz want sick takes on immigration policy and pictures of the Canadian Rockies, there's a really cool account under @RRFalconer there.
  21. To elaborate a bit further, I think the evidence of 2nd and 3rd generation assimilation is pretty well-grounded in the literature on the subject. 1st generation assimilation can occur to an extent, especially in more small-l liberal democracies that encourage naturalization and civil nationalism, but will never fully occur (nor does it need to in order to be functional). My own untested take is that we only perceive assimilation occurring at a slower rate because the source countries are perceived by us as more culturally distinct than those of yesteryear. In reality the Swede nor the Dane assimilated any easier than the Syrian or the Pakistani, but the perceived gulf by us looking backwards is much narrower between an Anglo-American and a Swedish immigrant. Both Protestant, white, in similar occupations, with similar holidays. In reality, however, census data shows that the Swedes and Germans of the early 1900s persisted in not learning English for extended periods of time, attending segregated (by language) churches, and living in communities that we might call today “ethnic enclaves.” Our perception of easier assimilation might not even be one shared by the natural-born citizens of the time. Part of the rationale for the 1924 Immigration Act was that Poles, Italians, Greeks, Jews and Ukrainians were not assimilating as they should. Yet, look around and I doubt anyone would call into question the “American-ness” of Polish-American Mike Bloomberg, Italian Ron DeSantis, Greek Jennifer Aniston (Jennifer Anastasakis), Jewish Jared Kushner, or Ukrainian Gary Johnson. The same thing will occur over the next 10-30 years as we see Al-Kahilds and Jadedzadehs enter business, sports, music, politics, fashion, and industry, and we’ll forget the time when Syrian Americans or Iranian Americans were a novelty. We, the Danes, and others are just very short-termism.
  22. This Thank you for pointing this out regarding Merkel. Regarding assimilation, I have to disagree. All of the research I’ve done for lit reviews indicates trends toward assimilation (citizenship, language, and employment acquisition, among others) that is generational, the same as in Canada or the US. I don’t know if the Danish argument holds water (their argument, not yours). Again, indicators of assimilation exist in Denmark. The rationale they’re offering surrounds the definition of a “safe country,” and is couched in terms of politics and electoral threats than it is in economic or cultural realities.
  23. My wife and I got our first shots two days ago (Pfizer). No adverse effects beyond a sore arm for a day, and maybe some muscle aches, but I've had a bad back since a car accident anyways, so it's hard to tell. Meanwhile, my home province hit our highest record in new case case counts, and hospitalizations are catching up. This wave feels different though, with more young people getting it, falling seriously ill, and more dying.
  24. Yup. One of my best friends in Calgary in Ukrainian Orthodox and I go out once a year caroling with them on Orthodox Christmas. It's fun, sort of a mix of old-school home teaching and singing - you go to each house in the congregation, collect donations, sing for them, and then are hosted for food and drink. Someone in the group, usually a kid, carries a cross with icon to lead the parade house-to-house. Can't say I've seen any other major Orthodox groups here, mostly Ukrainian. Fun fact though, the deacon to the Patriarch of Constantinople is a native-Calgarian and the son of the local priest. One of the youngest deacons to the Patriarch ever, and the first North American to hold the position. Graduated from high school here, went to Greece for a bachelor of theology, grad studies in Switzerland, and doctorate at Catholic University in Paris. He was the one in charge of carrying the tomo that granted independence to the Ukrainian Orthodox church from the Patriarchate of Moscow.
  25. I suppose I need to define functional religion for you, because you seem to be stuck using the substantive definition in pointing to trends in the United States. Under the functional definition of religion, the supernatural, whether it be a belief in God, gods, angels, or whatever, is a medium rather than a fundamental base. The substantive definition, which appears to be the one you're using, places the divine at the center of its definition. This understanding of what religion *is* falls apart when moving east out of Europe or America where we encounter strains of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism that don't address the concept of deity or the divine, or even repudiate the notion and take an atheistic worldview, yet maintain all the ritual, codification of behaviour, reverenced scrit, and social activity that Western religions do. It is why the substantive definition of religion has fallen out of favour among any serious academic studying religion in society. The functional definition of religion understands its practice as a method of understanding ourselves, others, and the world around us. It helps us govern our behaviours, social interactions, and to derive purpose from our activities. As mentioned previously, under this definition deity is medium for explaining the world. For the believing Latter-day Saint, a good way to explain this is what our relationship to Heavenly Father as His children teaches us how to behave, what our life purpose is, and how we are to treat others. It serves a social function, in other words. I would argue this even captures religion as understood by the culture that gave us the word - the Romans. For Romans, the specifics of deity did not matter so much as the state's behaviours in relation to them. Jupiter could be extrapolated to pertain to Zeus or Thor, despite very different origin stories and mythological doctrines underlying them. What mattered more was that religio helped the state explain its place in the world, and governed how the Romans ran their government. A more modern example, from a culture I am very familiar with and from which I originate, is Jewish practice of ritual. Most Jews in Israel are secular in their beliefs towards deity, many of whom are atheist, yet the practice of the Sabbath continues, as do the fasts on Yom Kippur. Why? Not because of belief in God, but because they create a common identity around which Jewish people can build social connections, find their place in the world, and govern themselves with purpose. To put it all together, how people view God is only one aspect of defining their religiosity. My thesis here is that religion has not dissipated, only organized theism. The existence of civil religion, particularly as it pertains to partisan activity, has replaced it for many people. Civil religion is the idea that states (many, not all), create myths, narratives, saints, holy scrit, holy days, hymns, rituals, and other activities that teach citizens of their place in society, why their nation matters, and how people are to interact with each other and the outside world as it pertains to the states. Consider the United States, where the Founders have been elevated to a sort of political sainthood, ignoring many of their foibles, where people rise to place their hands on their hearts to say an oath, where hol(y)days take on a strong civic nature, and people sing anthems/hymns to the nation and its symbols. Even the office of the presidency is celebrated through inauguration, hearkening back to the Roman augur who read the entrails of animals to give the fortunes of incoming consuls for the year among the Roman senate. Lest we dismiss this as a form of religiosity, consider that some of the most extreme examples of this pertain to the less theistically organized white working class in places like the Midwest, where calls to imprison certain figures have taken on a chant like quality at communal rallies. In short, even as people abandon churches, they are not becoming less religious, because the substantive view of religion that says it's all about God is overly simplistic for explaining the phenomena.
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