95 tweets

Historian Tom Holland claims that Martin Luther would have rocked it on Twitter! He repeats the idea that Luther exploited the medium of print to great effect. Holland writes that “Luther… displayed a breathtaking command of all the qualities required to flourish on social media: a genius for aphorism, for invective, for denouncing fake news, for spreading fake news, even for publicly doting on pets. (‘Oh, that I could only pray,’ he once exclaimed, ‘in the way that my puppy stares at meat!’)”

All joking aside, Holland’s final point is worth considering. He writes that very few of us in the West exhibit Luther’s “readiness to risk death in the cause of holding true to his conscience.” It’s certainly not easy to stay steady while enduring a tweetstorm, but the example of the good Doctor, under the threat of death gives us courage.

God’s good green earth

Farmers have staged a weeks-long protest blocking streets in Delhi, India. India’s farmers represent about 50% of the population and new regulations introduced by the government, leave room for large corporations to move in and dominate markets. One spokesman said the farmers “have the resources to mobilize support, and to continue the protest for a long time. They have also been very successful in keeping the protest really focused.” Looks like they cook up a storm too…

Bill and Melinda Gates own the most American farmland.

Rare earth metals, which are used extensively in fuel cells and batteries, have become a key component in a lot of modern tech gear. Rare earths have become a bargaining chip in international trade wars, with China supplying around 80% of the global demand. Mining companies have been putting pressure on the Biden administration to ramp up production of rare earths in the US to reduce dependence on China, but “green” groups are not happy about it.

Soil sequestration of carbon may not be the silver bullet climate activists claim it is.

A shiny new tunnel has just been completed under the sea in the Faroe Islands. The islands, which lay between Iceland and Norway, are home to many small communities. It is hoped that the tunnel will cut travel time for folks who work in the capital, enabling them to continue living in remote towns.

English is Falling Apart

The only way to grow is to own the consequences of your actions.

Babble is a universal miraculous wrath against you. You, reading this, hoping desperately for some calm in the storm of con-fusion. You, impacted by the age of everything amped to 11.

Babble cannot be underestimated. Grammar will not save us. Nostalgia is no pillar and buttress.

The lesson of Job is that life’s afflictions do not merely appear unfair. Job’s rather extreme and particular case demonstrates that there are times when they actually are!

This life, with regularity, gives you what you don’t deserve.

Also, to this day, it has always worked out for the best.

Chaos is this life experience. No matter how much you research, activate, lobby, stack, shuffle, hack, gamify or seek to atone for it, you will not get to play in “God” mode.
Everyone knows that such is worse than losing in the end anyway. No one loves a broken game.

This lesson of Job awakens the Christian to see the need for psychological discipline in an age of spiritual-psycho-irrational (“demoralization”) warfare. (Ahem, the “TV”).
Christianity is belief in the redemption of this chaos. Not later. Right now. It goes like this: you are not in control of where you are going. Squandering precious moments discontent with reality is the greatest waste of time one could ever imagine. And “I’m your huckleberry” won’t be an easter egg forever.
But the last oracle of David will be.

Until next time,

Be strong, and let your heart know courage.
Rev. Fisk

Quick Hits for the Eyebuds

🌊 So satisfying: Slo-mo seals surfing in the sea

🧻 It’s a thing: A wellness toilet that analyzes your poop

🧊 Next-gen iPhone 13 could use a vapor cooling chamber

⚰️ Play dead: French woman declared dead in 2017 in bizarre series of events is fighting to be deemed alive

⚔️ Visualization of world leaders and their time in power

 🥄 And this timeline of food history is fun

🇮🇷 Bitcoin mining in Iran is causing power outages and smog

🔬 Researchers turned fat cells into stem cells

🐞Bug in embedded YouTube player allows hacking

🤣 Stoat on a trampoline

Deep shadow state

Kylee Sempel, writing at The Federalist has documented the glaring differences between when the Left denies service and when the Right does. Barring a sitting President from using your service is keeping the peace, but not baking a cake to celebrate a gay wedding is bigotry. As Dr. Koontz has pointed out, labeling any unacceptable viewpoint as “domestic terrorism” is a great way to justify a heavy-handed approach. Who is going to argue if you’re saving the world from potential violence?In the meantime, Turkey is moving to prevent what a spokesman called “digital fascism” by banning advertising on social media platforms. Poland is legislating to make it illegal for Twitter to ban accounts. So not everyone is sitting on their hands. It’ll be interesting to watch.

An awesome piece from Michael Solana last week laid out the issues surrounding Silicon Valley’s ability to cancel Donald Trump’s accounts. He highlights that if “Trump can no longer communicate or raise funds at scale, a small handful of unelected tech executives just ended a president’s political career.” He concludes that “Silicon Valley is our nation’s shadow capital…welcome to the shadow state. It is not a democracy… ” The internet, he writes, is “the gateway through which almost our entire democracy is conducted” and Solana argues that having just a handful of gatekeepers controlling who gets to participate and who doesn’t is very worrying. “Presently, Americans are living in a world in which the Chinese Communist Party is operating freely across the internet, and our sitting President is not.”

Update: Twitter has locked the account of the Chinese Embassy in the USA.

Burdened with glorious purpose

It’s hard to avoid news about social media right now and understandably so. The power available to these few corporations has never been so evident. Many who’ve watched “The Social Dilemma” will know that the founders of the biggest social media companies assumed their apps would increase unity and understanding across the world. Yet, what we see is the dividing of America, with each tribe attributing the worst motives to the other.

 So, why does social media aim so high but fail so hard? Why do they think that people will all be nice, if there are just enough incentives? Why do they assume that being exposed to different opinions will cause the formation of a singular, harmonious worldview? There are many possibilities, but one potential reason is that there’s something in the water in Silicon Valley – humanitarianism.

If you tuned in to the Saturday Morning Chill when Pastor John Bombaro was a guest, you would have heard him warn against humanitarianism, the biggest, baddest ideology everyone assumes is all sweetness and light.  While many of us are familiar with progressive identity politics and its insatiable appetite, Pastor Bombaro says it is only the spawn of the larger beast: humanitarianism. Mad Christians will recognize different aspects of this worldview as we lay it out, but Pastor Bombaro’s definition is “humanity serving humanity for humanity’s sake alone.”

It’s not easy being skeptical

Okay, we’re confused. Reports claiming that “hardcore leftists” and “militia” groups planned the attack on the Capitol surfaced last week. So does that mean President Trump was innocent of inciting the riot? It would appear Antifa aren’t happy with a Democratic presidency any more than a Republican one. Is anyone surprised?Some people have gathered stories about the protesting and violence that took place when President Trump was inaugurated. Pointing these things out probably won’t achieve anything though. As comedian Ryan Long satirically points out, both sides agree there was election fraud – they just disagree about which election.