When 2+2=22

“You may have a reason why two and two should make five, but they will still make but four.” -Samuel Johnson

We all know, if we’ve even so much as heard of Orwell’s 1984, that a totalitarian government can brainwash its citizens into believing that 2+2=5. Well, maybe it could happen. It would actually be very hard to accomplish. The novel is an exercise in imagining the power of language to erase and impose.

And while Orwell’s ’84 does an astounding job at creating a world alien and familiar where the state has coerced us to accepting any lie imaginable, the truth is that it doesn’t have to take an all-powerful oligarchy to do so. Continue reading

The Startup Wife: A Review

“No one wants to be married to the guy who thinks he’s going to save the world.”

I bought a book on my Kindle after hearing an interview with the author on NPR, and it may have been the first time I’ve done that. I know nothing about the world of startups, but being one of billions of people hooked up to them, I catch a whiff of that culture all the time. It seeps into anything and everything. Just one passage intrigued me enough to read it through. That book is The Startup Wife by Tahmima Anam. Continue reading

How I Never Forgot: 20 Years After 9/11

It’s not hard to believe that twenty years ago I walked into my high school German class to hear a classmate tell me that a guy flew a plane into the twin towers. I’m not hard on myself for laughing at first, because I instantly thought he meant some idiot who couldn’t fly steered his tiny plane into the building—it’s sad, but the kind of story we might chuckle at. Then they told me the rest of the story. This was no accident, and there were many deaths, and more to come in the following hours. To be honest, I didn’t feel furious or scared or heartbroken. Just shocked. What? This? Why? Continue reading

7 Books You Should Read But Can’t

This summer there are a lot of books out there you should read. But if you’ve already got a full stack, I complied a list of books you really ought to read, but can’t and never will, because they’re fictional. That way, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the futility of knowing you will never pick up one of these legendary books.

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Self-Control: A Fruit of Self-Love

Last summer I did a study with some other believers on the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. We tried to break all of those down individually and discuss them. But as always, there is still more to learn tomorrow than what you’ve gleaned today.

I recently red an article in The Atlantic about one precept: Self-Control Is Just Empathy With Your Future Self.

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What Clint Smith and Frederick Douglass Taught Me About Critical Race Theory

“Oppression doesn’t disappear just because you decided not to teach us that chapter.”

I decided to write this post reflecting on the first July 4th celebration since the government officially recognized Juneteenth.

I’ve been following Clint Smith for some time now, after his Crash Course video series popped up on my YouTube feed at the same time that I read an article about him in Poets & Writers.

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