It’s Time for Christians to End Slavery
In 2014, International Justice Mission (IJM) learned about children trapped in slavery on Lake Volta, and we were invited to help with investigations to see if this really was the case. We found children—thousands of them—working on boats in the fishing industry. Their small, muscular frames were just tiny dots against the overwhelming backdrop of the lake.
“And I remember I was weeping, weeping, weeping, and I said to my husband, ‘I’m not going to get pregnant if you don't agree to move back to Africa to raise our son. Why should we raise our son here when our son can go to your country where he will not be marginalized in any way?’” Boyd said.
Princess Nyla is reportedly the 22nd child shot and killed in the St. Louis area in 2019.
So while our Board of Alderman President is high fiving stadium-building CEOs who have built their wealth on the prison system…
…while our Mayor cuts ribbons at coworking centers and ignores the cries of our unhoused community…
…while many residents celebrate the coming of an MLS team and debate the team name…
…mothers like Jessica Bailey are trying to scrape together enough cash to give their babies dignified, way-too-early funerals.
Our priorities are off. Our urgency is misplaced. Our children are being killed and communities further traumatized.
The life the gospel produces ought to be actively anti-racist, anti-oppression, anti-family destruction, and so on.
I would no longer underestimate the possibility that evangelicals will turn out in stronger numbers for a second Trump term than they did in 2016, partly to ensure another Supreme Court pick and partly because the backlash against them has cemented so much of what they already suspected about liberals’ attitudes.
“If we want to be anti-racist, we need to start thinking more radically about how we can reformulate our field in our teaching, graduate training, and public outreach,” she wrote. “These priorities will necessarily require institutional change, and may even mean leaving behind this thing we currently call medieval studies.”
This may seem like a small change, but constantly evaluating if you’re looking at the right type of resource will force you to be more discerning, and will save you lots of time. It’s easy to get distracted reading a tutorial that sort of makes sense, but remember: your goal isn’t just to get the code working; it’s to write code you can understand and maintain.
If procedures aren’t being followed, it’s often because the people designing the procedures have a theory of how the work can be done in a way that avoids incidents. The people doing the work then try to apply that theory, find that it doesn’t quite line up, and resort to other practices to get the job done.
Almost everyone who shows up to work wants to do a good job. If it is the case that some people are involved in more incidents than others, the problem is almost always not inherent in the person, but rather a systemic property of the work as it is performed in the pursuit of conflicting goals: resource constraints, communication hindrance, poor alignment, inadequate training, more chaotic conditions, etc.
Rev. Duke Kwon gave a phenomenal talk that finally made me feel seen and understood. He addressed the general culture of many majority-white churches that maintain a sort of “right” way to do things or a “normal” way to be, typically rooted in white American culture
“On one hand, I celebrated my own mother’s story of being freed from an orphanage in India, and on the other I have helped support orphanages in places like Zambia and Uganda,” he says in the Premier Christianity piece. But since discovering that orphanages don’t actually protect children, and are proven to harm them, he decided to help address misconceptions by educating, inspiring and encouraging Christians to think through how they want to help. Instead of supporting orphanages, Christians and churches can have a huge impact, supporting the work to reunite children with their natural families, or to build a new family to love them.
I suppose then I am called to create the joy in this saga. I can think of two things that will help. First, please consider buying good chocolate this Valentine’s Day for the ones you love. Might I suggest some others than us, such as Dandelion Chocolate, French Broad Chocolates, or Harper Macaw to name a few? I am certain you will not be disappointed. There are many more. I ask that you search us out, try us and engage with us to change the channel on Big Cocoa. Second, I am not suggesting that you never buy another Snickers Bar but I am hoping that you will look into the issues I raise here and perhaps apply your mindfulness muscle to ask yourself if it is a good or bad idea to support Big Cocoa with your hard-earned money.
One of the powerful aspects of White Lies is how well it shows communal sin and guilt in action. The white citizens of Selma almost uniformly kept their mouths shut, or else brazenly lied, to protect the three white men accused of killing Reeb. Even 50 years later, many of them won’t betray “their own” by speaking out about what they saw or heard. It’s collective sin in action.
The concept is simple. Install mergedroid onto your GitHub repository. It then monitors pull requests. When GitHub reports that a pull request would result in a merge conflict, mergedroid goes to work. It examines the pull request and if it can resolve it semantically, it pushes a commit that does that.
Here are three of the most common stories that employees tell themselves about what their manager is thinking when they don’t get enough helpful feedback, why these stories are a problem for them (and for you), and what you can do as a manager to rewrite these stories:
Given any decision to be made, there are three possible decision categories, namely, a "right decision", a "wrong decision" and "no decision". Most people think there are only two; you're either right or you're wrong. As we normally do not know which is the right or wrong decision, the optimal decision is in fact "no decision" as this defers the commitment until we have more information to make a better informed decision.
However, if we observe the behaviour of most people, we notice that an aversion to uncertainty means people make decisions early.
Why is it that between 25% and 50% of people report feeling overwhelmed or burned out at work?
It’s not just the number of hours we’re working, but also the fact that we spend too many continuous hours juggling too many things at the same time.
What we’ve lost, above all, are stopping points, finish lines and boundaries. Technology has blurred them beyond recognition.
Software projects are run as closed games. The objective is to end on time and on budget, using business-approved resources.
Software products are open games. The objective is to keep being useful in a changing world. We can bring in new tools, and new people, and there is no “done.”
Real and consequential differences separate Americans, but the more divided we get, the more mistakes we make. For example, Democrats estimate that about half of Republicans would admit that racism is still a problem in the United States, when in reality 79 percent of Republicans say so. Republicans, meanwhile, think fully half of Democrats would say that “most police are bad people.” The actual percentage is 15 percent.
Let the consideration of this wonderful meeting of diverse excellencies in Christ induce you to accept of him, and close with him as your Savior. As all manner of excellencies meet in him, so there are concurring in him all manner of arguments and motives, to move you to choose him for your Savior, and every thing that tends to encourage poor sinners to come and put their trust in him: his fullness and all-sufficiency as a Savior gloriously appear in that variety of excellencies that has been spoken of.
We deny the manipulative and coercive uses of data and AI in ways that are inconsistent with the love of God and love of neighbor. Data collection practices should conform to ethical guidelines that uphold the dignity of all people. We further deny that consent, even informed consent, although requisite, is the only necessary ethical standard for the collection, manipulation, or exploitation of personal data—individually or in the aggregate.
We affirm that, as a tool created by humans, AI will be inherently subject to bias and that these biases must be accounted for, minimized, or removed through continual human oversight and discretion. AI should be designed and used in such ways that treat all human beings as having equal worth and dignity. AI should be utilized as a tool to identify and eliminate bias inherent in human decision-making.
We deny that AI should be designed or used in ways that violate the fundamental principle of human dignity for all people. Neither should AI be used in ways that reinforce or further any ideology or agenda, seeking to subjugate human autonomy under the power of the state.
As Mike McQuaid, a maintainer of Homebrew, puts it: First-time contributors need documentation, second-time contributors need dedicated code review, and only when they come back for more should they warrant a serious investment of a maintainer’s time.
Given the shift from active participatory communities to few-maintainer projects, we need to reset our expectations about what it means to contribute to open source. The salient issue for maintainers today is less about growing contributor numbers and more about navigating the flow of developers who are clamoring for their time.
The harm done to children from not getting vaccinated is exponentially greater than the harm—both physical and moral—of using the vaccines. Because of herd immunity, the choice to vaccinate our children protects those who cannot receive certain vaccinations due to allergies, ages, or a weakened immune system. We must always consider whether we are using our religious liberty or concern for parental rights as cover for a choice that may cause significant harm to the neighbors we are commanded to love (Matt. 22:36-40).
my results show that—unlike race—the share of single mothers in the state, a state's wealth, or which political party has control of its legislature explain little of the variance in states' cash assistance spending.
I managed to convince the group to give the team discussions feature on GitHub a try. Many of these folks were longtime GitHub users, yet they had no idea this feature existed. I don’t blame them of course. The feature is only available if you’re a member of an organization on GitHub.
There’s something about the vastness of creation that shrinks the self, kindles spiritual questions, and puts our day-to-day problems in perspective.
But such experiences are flattened when meditation is reduced to a life hack—an efficiency tool to help transform every minute of our day into economic value.
But we Americans are not at our best when we launch off on holy wars. Once you start assigning guilt to groups, rather than to individuals, bad, illiberal things are likely to happen. There’s a lot of over-generalized group accusation in both these narratives.
Seeing that those speaking in tongues could still practice racism, he was convinced that tongues were not most important, but “the dissolution of racial barriers was the surest sign of the Spirit’s Pentecostal presence.” He cared not how many tongues people spoke. If you didn’t participate in this new world of love, “you have not the baptism of the Holy Spirit.”
When the Church marries a political party, it chooses to live according to the values of that party before the values of the Bible. Many Christians read the Bible into their already decided political affiliation instead of letting the Bible read and shape their politics.
For Berry, the question of the age is whether we will see people as creatures or as machines. If creatures, then we embrace the goodness of limits and the mystery of reality that can’t be reduced to biology or physics. I think he is right.
That’s why mentors are so important, and the team you work with is worth so much more than a couple bucks in your paycheck. Don’t accept a junior position where you’ll be working alone, if you can help it! And don’t accept your first role (or, honestly, any role) based on salary alone. The team is where the real value is.
As any kind of technical leader, I can better set up other developers for success by explaining the context around their tasks. I learned a brutal lesson early as a technical lead. The more specific instructions I gave to the other developers working on our project, the worse the code they wrote came back. When I just had a discussion with developers about what we were trying to achieve and how their tasks tied into the greater workflow of the project, the results were very obviously better. It turns out that developers can much better make decisions when they understand the “why” of the work that they’re doing.
All decisions are subject to tradeoffs. It’s more important to know what the decision depends on than it is to know which answer to pick today (or which answer you picked yesterday).
“Instant wisdom is just another expression of our modern, hedonistic ideology fueled by our constitutional right to pursue happiness,” Willard writes. “Somehow, we think that virtue should come easily. Experience teaches, to the contrary, that almost everything worth doing in human life is very difficult in its early stages and the good we are aiming at is never available at first, to strengthen us when we need it most” (The Spirit of the Disciplines).
We would not budget every dollar we have for a trip and leave no slack for surprises. But we do with sprints, and then we get under pressure and our future discount invisibly drops to zero and we can’t even think about future us or future whole-company who is stuck with the first design we thought to because backing up is just not an option.
Plow forward slower and slower, because we don’t believe in the future. Or step back and try a few things. Take a breath, take a walk, and maybe you’ll spot a smoother path.
Sadly, software developers usually don't do a good job of explaining this situation. Countless times I've talked to development teams who say "they (management) won't let us write good quality code because it takes too long". Developers often justify attention to quality by justifying through the need for proper professionalism. But this moralistic argument implies that this quality comes at a cost - dooming their argument. The annoying thing is that the resulting crufty code both makes developers' lives harder, and costs the customer money. When thinking about internal quality, I stress that we should only approach it as an economic argument. High internal quality reduces the cost of future features, meaning that putting the time into writing good code actually reduces cost.
If I choose to do the work only because they said to, only so that I can check off a box, I am not gonna make these umpteen decisions in ways that serve future-us.
Our job is making choices. We need to the background and understanding to choose our high-level work, so that we can make skillful choices at the low levels.
Sometimes the smarter way to build things is to try and take some pieces away, rather than add more to it.
Static sites are on the rise again now, precisely because they are simple. They don’t try to manage serverside code with clever abstractions - they don’t have any. They don’t try to prevent security breaches with advanced firewalls - they get rid of the database entirely.
Some of the most important things in the world are intentionally designed “simple”.
Many of the most productive knowledge workers go out of their way to avoid meetings and unplug electronic distractions. Peter Drucker, a management thinker, argued that you can do real work or go to meetings but you cannot do both. Jonathan Franzen, an author, unplugs from the internet when he is writing. Donald Knuth, a computer scientist, refuses to use e-mail on the ground that his job is to be “on the bottom of things” rather than “on top of things”. Richard Feynman, a legendary physicist, extolled the virtues of “active irresponsibility” when it came to taking part in academic meetings.