The prevalence of a spirit of contention amongst a people is a certain sign of deadness with respect to the things of religion. When men's spirits are hot with contention, they are cold to religion. - Jonathan Edwards “The Book of Mormon does not supplant the Bible. It expands, extends, clarifies, and amplifies our knowledge of the Savior. Surely, this second witness should be cause for great rejoicing by all Christians.” - Joseph B. Wirthlin

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

How English changes over the years

 Although English is only one of the six official languages of the United Nations, it has become the "lingua franca" of international business and academia. When I used to work in countries around the world, everyone knew at least "Microsoft English" because they all used Windows.

When we add up the number of people who speak a language as their first or second language, English is the most prevalent language in the world today. By some estimates, 900 million people speak English as a second language.

Good explanation of how English changes here:

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Open mindsets


4. Amateurs fear being wrong, Professionals enjoy it.

Professionals have retrained their minds to embrace new information that forces a change in viewpoint. They view each "software update" as an improvement upon the old.

Open mindsets rule the world.

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

I believe Joseph and Oliver

"I believe what Joseph and Oliver said about the origin and setting of the Book of Mormon."



Friday, May 3, 2024

The grievance grifters

In The Rational Restoration, I discussed what I call the "grievance grifters" who profit by sowing dissatisfaction and criticism.

This tweet made a similar point:

When you understand the incentives structure for people like Julie Hanks and John Dehlin it all starts to make more sense.

(click to enlarge)

Thursday, May 2, 2024

censorship in the real world

As a journalist and author, I am obsessed with getting the facts right. About 100 pages in each of my books consist of end notes with references to the best available sources. I enjoy debates. When I get something wrong, I issue a correction. When I'm really wrong, I will often write about why I was wrong at length, as I did in both books. Not once has it ever crossed my mind that the government should censor people I disagree with for spreading misinformation. I was thus shocked when I learned of the elaborate and successful effort to censor me on Facebook in 2020. And I was even more shocked when I learned that the US Department of Homeland Services had started an initiative to secretly demand mass censorship through government-funded NGOs like the Stanford Internet Observatory . And I continue to be shocked as I learn of various government censorship initiatives around the world. I was thrilled recently to have a wide-ranging conversation with the brilliant Brown University economist, . We talked about many things, including why governments want to censor their fellow citizens in the first place. Readers of Public know that we have, over the last year, been exploring the various motivations to censor, including financial, political, and psychological. The latter motivation has been of particular interest to me lately. Why would researchers, journalists, and even authors want to censor rather than argue with their enemies? I have come to the conclusion that not only is there something wrong legally and morally with people who want to censor their fellow citizens, there's also something wrong psychologically. Where the desire to discuss and debate is healthy, the desire to censor and silence betrays a kind of mental or even spiritual sickness. I'm sorry to be so blunt, but the moment requires it: if you want to censor people you hate, there's something wrong with you. You are suffering from a toxic mixture of entitlement, arrogance, and insecurity. Go on a long walk. Talk to an elder. Seek help. We live in a free society. Get used to it. Talk back to the voice in your head telling you that you have the right to shut people up. If you're too insecure to engage in free and open debate, then you have no right to demand censorship.