Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; (D&C 98:10)

Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Great American Eclipse path over the Rexburg Idaho Temple

"The Great American Eclipse path over the Rexburg Idaho Temple on August 21, 2017. This composite accurately illustrates the starting and ending points of where the eclipse started its phases into totality and back to normal." (FB Post, Alan Fullmer Temple Photography, Can be purchased at: http://www.alanfullmer.com/LDS-Temples/Temple/Rexburg-Idaho/i-JNRdg4d)

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Depth of the Kindness Hormone Appears to Know Some Bounds

There may be a chemical reason for tribalism.

From "Depth of the Kindness Hormone Appears to Know Some Bounds", Nicholas Wade.

"Oxytocin has been described as the hormone of love. This tiny chemical, released from the hypothalamus region of the brain, gives rat mothers the urge to nurse their pups, keeps male prairie voles monogamous and, even more remarkable, makes people trust each other more.

Yes, you knew there had to be a catch. As oxytocin comes into sharper focus, its social radius of action turns out to have definite limits. The love and trust it promotes are not toward the world in general, just toward a person’s in-group. Oxytocin turns out to be the hormone of the clan, not of universal brotherhood. Psychologists trying to specify its role have now concluded it is the agent of ethnocentrism."


“In the ancestral environment it was very important for people to detect in others whether they had a long-term commitment to the group,”

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Renounce War and Proclaim Peace

Now, as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, what does the Lord expect of us? As a Church, we must “renounce war and proclaim peace.” (D&C 98:16) As individuals, we should “follow after the things which make for peace.” (Rom 14:19) We should be personal peacemakers. We should live peacefully—as couples, families, and neighbors. We should live by the Golden Rule. We have writings of the descendants of Judah as now merged with writings of the descendants of Ephraim. (See Ezek. 37:16–19; 2 Ne. 3:12) We should employ them and expand our circle of love to embrace the whole human family. We should bring divine love and revealed doctrines of restored religion to our neighbors and friends. We should serve them according to our abilities and opportunities. We should keep our principles on a high level and stand for the right. We should continue to gather scattered Israel from the four corners of the earth and offer the ordinances and covenants that seal families together forever. These blessings we are to bring to people of all nations.
("'Blessed Are the Peacemakers'", Russell M. Nelson, Oct 2002)

The Pros and Cons of Rivalries

From "How Rivalries Bring Out Our Best — and Worst" by Matthew Hutson, NY Magazinne, 26 Jun 2014

"rivalry increases both effort and performance"

"It increases motivation"

"Rivalry also increases group cohesion"

"rivalry springs up quite easily"

" the greater the level of friendship with the recalled competitor, the more likely subjects were to cheat. We don’t play dirty against rivals because we hate them. (At least, not always.) We do it because they remind us of ourselves. You don’t want someone beating you at being you."

"Rivalry can also make us overlook non-rivals, which may have allowed Japan to surpass U.S. automakers in the 1980s."

"In an analysis of nearly 3,000 matches in Italy’s top soccer league, Kilduff and colleagues found that when playing against a team based in the same city as their own, athletes were nearly twice as likely to earn a yellow or red card. "

From "The Dark Side of The Sport: College Tribalism
by  Chris Dierkes, Jul 2012

"Tribal societies were racked by constant skirmishes and intermittint warfare--the kind seen in a much smaller scale in the brawl above (a few punches thrown and landed, some pushing and shoving, then a scattering of the makeshift armies). The enemey is a great Other. They become a blank canvas upon which we can project our worst fears, prejudices, and hatreds. In the worst case, the other tribe becomes subhuman, degenerate, and able to be killed, tortured, raped, or pillaged."
"if you cross the tribe, if you are seen as a traitor, you are ostracized from the tribe. Doesn't even matter if you were being ethical or wise--you're dead to us"
"When someone becomes a chief, a lord in that system they begin to buy into their own image. They can easily believe they are above the law and justify immoral and/or illegal acts. And their die hard supporters will never accept their flaws and unjust actions (or inactions as the case may be). "

"How Tribalism Hurts Companies, and What to Do About It", Robert Kovach, Harvard Business Review, 26 Jul 2017

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

“All Are Alike unto God”

he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile. (2 Nephi 26:33)
"I don't know a single Mormon who is alt-right, but if there are any, modern-day prophets have clearly spoken out against any kind of racial prejudice." -Geoff Biddulph
See "Op-ed: Why Mormons who are alt-right are not right", Russell Stevenson, Deseret News, 14 Aug 2017

"Church Issues Statement on Situation in Charlottesville, Virginia" Mormon Newsroom, 13 Aug 2017

"I remind you that no man who makes disparaging remarks concerning those of another race can consider himself a true disciple of Christ. Nor can he consider himself to be in harmony with the teachings of the Church of Christ." ("The Need for Greater Kindness",  Gordon B. Hinckley, Apr 2006)

“We do wish that there would be no racial prejudice. … Racial prejudice is of the devil. … There is no place for it in the gospel of Jesus Christ”  ("The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball", ed. Edward L. Kimball [1982], 236–37)

No More Strangers”, Alexander B. Morrison, Sep 2000, Ensign
Racism is an offense against God and a tool in the devil’s hands.

“It has been called to our attention that there are some among the various pro-white and white supremacy communities who assert that the Church is neutral toward or in support of their views. Nothing could be further from the truth," Tuesday's church statement begins. 
"In the New Testament, Jesus said, 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.' (Matthew 22:37-39) The Book of Mormon teaches 'all are alike unto God' (2 Nephi 26:33). 
"White supremacist attitudes are morally wrong and sinful, and we condemn them. Church members who promote or pursue a 'white culture' or white supremacy agenda are not in harmony with the teachings of the Church.” ("LDS Church issues statement condemning 'white supremacist attitudes", Scott Taylor, Deseret News, 15 Aug 2017) 

Friday, August 11, 2017

James Damore and the Google Diversity Memo

Here is the memo that got James Damore Fired

Here is an interview of James Damore by Jordan B Peterson on Aug 8 2017.

Something a friend of mine referred me to.

Some orchestras now conduct blind auditions — the musician plays from behind a screen, so that those making the appointment do not know if they are listening to a man or a woman. That has led to a dramatic increase in the number of women in orchestras. More businesses should look at the possibilities of similarly blinding themselves, when hiring, to the gender of applicants. ("Why Google was wrong: Did James Damore really deserve to be fired for what he wrote?", Peter Singer, 10 Aug 2017)
Here are some findings when someone built voice modulation to mask gender in technical interviews.
in these findings, it’s not about systemic bias against women or women being bad at computers or whatever. Rather, it’s about women being bad at dusting themselves off after failing, which, despite everything, is probably a lot easier to fix. ("We built voice modulation to mask gender in technical interviews. Here’s what happened", Aline Lerner, 29 Jun 2016)

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

For a New Libertarian

A friend recommended this article to me. "For a New Libertarian", 28 Jul 2017 by Jeff Deist

I. Recognize that Liberty Comports with Human Nature.
" liberty as a deeply pragmatic approach to organizing society, one that solves problems and conflicts by muddling through with the best available private, voluntary solutions. Let’s reject the grand visions and utopias for what will always be a messy and imperfect world. Better, not perfect, ought to be our motto."

II. Embrace Rather than Reject the Institutions of Civil Society
"There is a word for people who believe in nothing: not government, family, God, society, morality, or civilization. And that word is nihilist, not libertarian."

III. Political Universalism is Not the Goal
"Federalism and states’ rights are suddenly popular with progressives in the US. The world desperately wants to turn its back on Washington and Brussels and the UN and the IMF and all of the globalist institutions. Average people smell a rat.

We should seize on this."


"In other words, self-determination is the ultimate political goal. It is the path to iberty, however imperfect. A world of seven billion self-governing individuals is the ideal, but short of that we should prefer the Liechtensteins to the Germanys and the Luxembourgs to the Englands. We should prefer states’ rights to federalization in the US, and cheer for the breakup of EU. We should support breakaway movements in places like Catalonia and Scotland and California. We should favor local control over faraway legislatures and administrative bodies, and thus reject multilateral trade deals. We should, in sum, prefer small to large when it comes to government."

Debt Record of Donald Trump

From https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/government-debt

The savings between Jan 31, 2017 and Jun 30, 2017 is over $92 billion

See https://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/mspd/2017/opds012017.pdf

You can see more reports at Monthly Statement of the Public Debt (MSPD) (treasurydirect.gov)