2022 Reading Review

This is my fifth year of fastidiously tracking my reading, and so it’s time to look back on what I have read in these last five years. My five favourite books of this half decade have been:1 The Mill on the Floss In my opinion, the best of George Eliot’s books apart from Middlemarch. She has such a gift for penetrating the human mind, but in a sympathetic rather than the caustic way favoured by more modern writers.

Do Rotten Tomato Scores Matter?

Have you ever checked the Rotten Tomato score of a movie before deciding to watch it? And then which one do you check–the critic or audience score? Will either matter in your enjoyment of the movie? I’ve decided to take a stab at answering these questions by examining the 2022 movie ratings of three roommates (one of them being my wife’s sister, hence my access (with permission) to their scores).

A Lofty View of Education

By far my least favourite thing about grading is having to endure the endless grade-grubbing. The wheedling, the pleading, the sense of entitlement; it’s all very distasteful to me. “I’m very surprised by this grade because I always get A’s in all my classes.” “I really can’t get a C on this paper otherwise…” “Show me why you thought this paper should get a 70.” What I dislike is not that students feel like their work is better than it us, but the fact that they care only about the grade and nothing about the material.

Church Leadership Decision Factors

I am currently working on trying to model the decision-making of church leaders when making decisions to change (or keep) church doctrine in response to changing public opinion. As part of that, I am trying to think of every significant factor that a church leader might take into mind (consciously or unconsciously) when put in such a situation. The list is hard to keep to a manageable length. The good news is that to model is to simplify; not all these factors can be taken into account, but that is also the bad news.

Why do People Form Social Identities?

A social identity is chosen membership in a social group or category. Most of the answers to the question: “who are you?” are social identities. In my case, if I say I am a man, a father, a husband, an immigrant, and so on, these are all examples of broader social categories which make up much of my identity. But notice the irony here–we need to identity with larger social groups in order to answer the question of who we are at a personal level.