Free Riding and Sunday School

If you belong to a church, you likely face the temptation to free ride. By free riding, I mean you want to enjoy the benefits of membership without performing the obligations with which membership may come. By way of illustration, I’ll use an example I’m very familiar with–the obligation to attend Sunday School in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is occasionally a little boring. Here are the particulars of that example:

Desert Island Discs

If you haven’t heard of Desert Island Discs, it’s a long-running BBC radio program where guests are asked to imagine what eight discs they would want with them if they were marooned on a desert island.1 Typically these discs are comprised of one track, but I think it makes more sense to imagine you have eight full albums with you. Since the BBC have somehow yet to invite me, I decided to try the exercise myself with two modifications.

Church Leadership Decision Factors: Part Deux

I have been trying to develop a model to explain how church leaders react to changing public opinion regarding some issue. I had initially developed this preliminary flowchart: But I wanted to formalize it, despite that not being in my wheelhouse at all. So I started off by making a list of every reasonably likely factor I could think of that might influence how church leaders make decisions in the face of public opinion.

Dickens and Contemporary Political Thought

When Dickens introduces politicians as characters, they are typically buffoons or villains. Think of James Harthouse, or Lord Boodle, Coodle, Sir Thomas Doodle, or even the Duke of Foodle. In this essay, I will focus on Dickens’s lampooning of Mr. Gregsbury from Nicholas Nickleby, who is an underrated example of this Dickensian character type. In these buffoonish or villainous characters, Dickens expresses his own well-documented personal hostility towards politicians. It is an antipathy that was gained early in life from his experience as a Parliamentary reporter, and that he carried with him throughout his life (Engel 948).

2022 Movie and Television Review

The best movies I watched this year The Batman Although a little heavy on the emo, I really enjoyed watching a non-superheroey super hero movie. The villains are all too real: crime bosses and Q-Anon types. And Batman is convincing as the type of rich disturbed loner who would spend his nights slumming it in Gotham City, beating up criminals. The only major complaint I have is that it was a bit on the long side, but the way it looked in IMAX made me more forgiving.