Browsing All Posts published on »May, 2009«

What’s Up(state)?

May 29, 2009 by


Why does northern New York get called “upstate New York”? I’ve never heard anyone refer to upstate California or upstate Utah…

Ignorance Threshold

May 28, 2009 by


What makes smart kids? I don’t think it’s intelligence. It’s self-consciousness. I think everyone has an “ignorance threshold”. Your ignorance threshold is the level of knowledge you need to have on a subject in order not to feel stupid when you’re talking to people about that subject. Some people are perfectly comfortable going on and […]

Enduring Luxury

May 26, 2009 by


We had a speaker in our class last week who talked about how our sense of entitlement to luxuries is what will destroy this country’s economy. That is also a common theme in General Conference. President Monson, in 2006, taught, “avoid the philosophy that yesterday’s luxuries have become today’s necessities”. On the other hand, many […]

What Does Righteousness Look Like?

May 25, 2009 by


Joseph Smith once said, “I love that man better who swears a stream as long as my arm, yet deals justice to his neighbors and mercifully deals his substance to the poor, than the smooth-faced hypocrite.” This raises the question of what indicators do we use to identify righteousness. Clean language, honesty, or something else? […]


May 20, 2009 by


“Fundamentalism” is a word that gets attached to extreme religious movements. The news talks about fundamentalist Islam, like the Taleban. The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) have even embraced the word. The defining value of fundamentalism is giving up the personal responsibility one has of making moral judgments. Fundamentalism is […]

Alanna on the Couch with a Pencil

May 17, 2009 by


This morning Alanna, Asher, Lydia and I sat together on the couch watching Polly (one of my favorite Sunday morning shows). The kids had their handy dandy notebooks out so they could alternate between watching the show and drawing pictures. Here’s an example of Alanna’s fine artwork: And, for those in need of an interpretation, […]

All the People, All the Time

May 12, 2009 by


(This is sort of a follow-up to my previous post, where I observed that people judge a doctor based on his smile rather than his skill.) In the IT department where I work, we use many different software systems. When it’s time to replace one of these systems, all of the programmers come to management […]