The Jury Talks Back

5/18/2018

Uh-Oh: There’s a Rudy Loose in the China Shop and He’s Contradicting Trump Again

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:31 am

So Trump has taken to Twitter to allege, apparently based on stuff he saw on the teevee, that DoJ had a spy in his campaign:

Now Rudy’s gone on Chris Cuomo’s show to do that thing that Rudy does, which is usually to admit stuff that contradicts what Trump has said.

Uh-oh. The Donald’s not gonna like this.

GIULIANI: Here’s the issue that I really feel strongly about with this informant, if there is one. First of all, I don’t know for sure, nor does the President, if there really was one. We’re told that.

CUOMO: Told that by whom?

GIULIANI: We’re told that by people who — for a long time, we’ve been told there was some kind of infiltration. At one time, the president thought it was a wiretap. There were some FISA applications. But we’ve never been notified that he was on a tap or an intercept.

CUOMO: There’s never been any proof that he was on a wiretap either.

GIULIANI: No.

CUOMO: But he did say it as fact, many times.

GIULIANI: I think he thought that.

CUOMO: I know. But that doesn’t make it true.

Cuomo is right. He did say it as fact.

And Cuomo is also right that the fact Donald Trump thinks something doesn’t make it true.

Last September, I comprehensively took apart all the B.S. “evidence” that was being cited by Trump superfans to say that Trump had always been right about the “tapp” on his phones. I have maintained from the very beginning that Trump had no sooper sekrit evidence of a “tapp” — he was just repeating stuff he saw on Fox News. And I was right. As I said in my first post on this, the day after Trump said he had been the subject of a “tapp”:

If that guy has a Twitter account, it doesn’t make his ravings any more plausible. Now, here’s the tough part: if he is President of the United States, it still doesn’t mean his ravings are responsible commentary.

There’s Good Trump, who nominates great Justices and rolls back regulations, and Crazy Trump, who is uninformed and TV-obsessed and has a short attention span and goes around saying bizarre things. The fact that we like Good Trump doesn’t mean we have to defend Crazy Trump’s insane rants.

People did, of course, to their embarrassment. And people will defend this. Who knows? It could turn out to be true. But the point is, you can’t conclude it’s true simply because Trump said so.

And Rudy Giuliani just confirmed that.

Countdown to the walkback in 3…2…1…

5/17/2018

READER POLL: Is the Way You Hear Yanny/Laurel Correlated to How You See the Dress?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:40 am

Just so everything is in one place, let’s review. Here’s the audio. Do you hear “Yanny” or “Laurel”?

Here’s the dress. Is it gold and white, or blue and black?

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 9.12.24 PM

Now here’s the poll. Does what you hear correlate with what you see? Let’s find out!

What do you hear and what do you see?
I hear “Yanny.” The dress is gold and white.
I hear “Yanny.” The dress is blue and black.
I hear “Laurel.” The dress is gold and white.
I hear “Laurel.” The dress is blue and black.
Created with Free Survey Maker

Some more links and discussion that might interest you about the “Yanny/Laurel” thing. The New York Times has a very fun tool that plays with the frequency with a slider. Move it to the left, and the frequency range associated with the “Laurel” sound comes to prominence. Move it to the right, and it sounds more like “Yanny.” This might help a lot of people hear what other folks are hearing.

You should get to the point where you can hear one or the other. My wife and daughter can switch back and forth between the two. I hear both at once, the way you can hear two notes in harmony at the same time.

Once you get to where you can hear one or the other, play with that slider. Move it far to one side and then gradually move it back toward the center. Find what they call “your Laurel/Yanny critical point” on the slider, where it changes from one to the other, or where you (if you can hear both, like me) you can first begin to detect one voice gaining prominence. This point changes for me, which is interesting.

Although it is possible to play with the frequency, get it out of your head that the difference between people who hear “Yanny” and those who hear “Laurel” all rests in the frequency at which the sound is broadcast, or the device on which it is played. My wife and I heard opposite things yesterday morning, listening to the same computer. I played it on my phone for two people and one heard “Laurel” and the other heard “Yanny” at the same time from the same device. If you are hearing “Laurel,” it’s not because you can’t hear high frequencies. This is not a dog whistle. “Yanny” can be heard at a conversational frequency that anybody with normal hearing can hear.

What is happening here is not a result of your hearing, but a result of your mind, and the way it interprets things. A lot of what is going on here is expectation. Your mind finds a way to interpret the sound, fixates on that way of interpreting it, and expects to hear the same sound the same way again. As an example of the way that expectation shapes what you hear, the Popular Science article I linked yesterday has a fun experiment that you should try if you haven’t already. Listen to this few seconds of staticky noise:

Now listen to this, which is nothing more than a cleaned-up version of the same audio:

Now listen to the staticky version again. (You may have to refresh the page to get it to come up again.) All of a sudden the words are clear, aren’t they?

As someone who has begun to meditate and explore the ways you can train your mind (thanks Sam Harris!), I believe that you could train your mind to hear “Laurel” and “Yanny” at will — and perhaps (like me) to hear both at once. We have more of a vocabulary for expressing the notion of listening to lower or higher frequencies. I think that if our society were more interested in training the mind to evaluate how it perceives things, we could develop skills and a common vocabulary for how to train the mind to switch between different ways of seeing things as well. Optical illusions would be less puzzling, and we could flip how we see the dress at will. Here’s some training you can do on your own. Most of you remember the classic “old woman/young woman” visual. Which do you see?

Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 7.19.28 AM

Now watch this video and train yourself to see both easily:

Mind training should be taught in elementary schools, but right now there is little interest and a lack of a common set of terms to describe the phenomena. I’m very interested in it, though, and any reader who has links to more interesting resources is encouraged to post them.

More about where this came from here. Make sure to answer the poll question before clicking the link, so the data are not skewed.

5/16/2018

C-SPAN Maligns Trump with Unfair Edit in Quote on Immigration

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 8:42 pm

Watch this clip:

Now watch this edit, which I created (h/t Josh Jordan, whose tweet I saw on Allahpundit’s Twitter feed), which backs up the conversation about 45 seconds to give you critical context that C-SPAN left out:

He wasn’t talking about regular folks being deported. He was talking about MS-13 gang members.

And the situation he is talking about, which has been created by California and its insane open borders government, is indeed intolerable.

Dirty pool. But this is how dishonest people fight.

The answer is not to create our own misleading and dishonest clips, by the way. The answer is to point out their dishonesty. That’s not the whole answer, but it’s a good start. So spread the word. Let your friends know what C-SPAN did here.

The New Blue Dress: Yanny or Laurel?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 8:01 am

You remember the gold and white dress that some weirdos thought was blue? This is like the audio version of that. Listen to this and then vote.

Now take the poll. I understand it’s not perfect, but it’s much closer to one than the other, so choose the best answer:

What do you hear in this recording?
Yanny
Laurel
Created with PollMaker

As with the dress, I can process this one way and one way only, and it astounds me that anyone processes it differently. But they do.

NoKo Threatens to Cancel Talks with Trump

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:42 am

Kim Jong-un, or as our Secretary of State calls him, “Chairman Un,” has threatened to cancel the upcoming nuclear talks:

North Korea broadened its threat to cancel President Trump’s upcoming nuclear summit with Kim Jong Un Wednesday, though the United States downplayed the sudden uncertainty.

At first, North Korea cited joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises, always a sore spot, but later the country’s first vice foreign minister said in a statement that his government has no interest in a summit with the United States if it’s going to be a “one-sided” affair where it’s pressured to give up its nukes.

North Korea’s Central News Agency also announced it had already canceled high-level talks with South Korean counterparts because of the drills it considers rehearsals for an invasion of the North.

The New York Times has an analysis: this threat is likely just a threat, but it is a reversion to the classic playbook.

If North Korea’s tough statements on Wednesday caught officials in Seoul and Washington off guard, they also reflected a well-established North Korean stance, with Mr. Kim saying his country wants to enter talks with the United States as an equal nuclear power.

Few analysts said North Korea would ultimately go so far as to cancel the Singapore meeting. Rather, the threat to withdraw was an attempt to raise the price that Washington would have to pay to get any significant concessions on the North’s nuclear program, analysts said.

. . . .

Mr. Kim’s government has told its people that his nuclear weapons will protect them from suffering the fate of Libya or Iraq, whose governments collapsed under pressure from “big powers,” in Pyongyang’s words. At the same time, Mr. Kim has promised his people they will not have to tighten their belts again. He seeks to get sanctions lifted so he can rebuild the economy, but he must avoid looking as though he is succumbing to Washington’s pressure or its economic incentives, analysts said.

Cheon Seong-whun, an analyst at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul, said North Korea’s main goal in coming negotiations with the United States was to “weaken the influence of American forces in Korea.”

Anyone who thinks North Korea is totally going to denuclearize this time is ignoring history. Even if we’re in the good hands of the guy who Makes the Best Deals. Kim carefully watched the stupid move Hillary “We came we saw he died” Clinton and Barack Obama played in Libya. He is determined not to let that happen again.

5/15/2018

Why Real Conversation Has Become Increasingly Impossible

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 8:08 am

A couple more Sam Harris podcasts provide the jumping off point today for a discussion of the impediments to conversation I see in today’s world: a lack of respect for reason, and a lack of shared values.

Yesterday at the gym I was listening to a Harris podcast from a live event he did with Ben Shapiro and Eric Weinstein. (All hail the Intellectual Dark Web!) Shapiro says here that “basic concepts like reason are being thrown out,” citing two examples: one from the right and one from the left. Shapiro cites the Roy Moore debacle, saying that the evidence was compelling that Roy Moore engaged in improper activity with underage girls — yet many people on the right will deny it. From the left, you can say something simple like: there are two sexes, a male sex and a female sex . . . and people will lose their minds. I’ll give you a snippet from 21:16 to 24:24, but the whole thing is worth listening to:

Shapiro says the “loss of common values” like “human reason and objective truth” have been lost, and that we no longer have a common framework for conversation. People have a difficult time having a conversation with others because the others will “change the terms they are using, they’ll change the frame of reference they are using, and then they’ll toss reason out altogether.”

I think this well encapsulates what interferes with conversation these days: lack of reason and a lack of common values.

I’ll start with the jettisoning of reason. What I mean by this is mainly the phenomenon of people talking past one another, rather than grappling with each other’s points. Anyone who has ever had a discussion on the Internet has experienced this. I believe it is the default mode of Internet communication, at least regarding politics. It is almost a miracle to find a person with whom you disagree, who is willing to actually listen to what you say, take it seriously without mischaracterizing it, and respond with their own argument that addresses your viewpoint in a honest and forthright manner.

Far more common than such rare honest conversation is the employment of any number of intellectually dishonest techniques that superficially resemble actual debate, but are in fact techniques for dissembling. The strategies are so many in number that a full taxonomy would be impossible, but off the top of my head, here are several I commonly see: recharacterizing what the other person said in some unfair way to make their point sound less effective; asking why you’re even discussing the topic at all when some other topic x is more important; pointing out that other people have engaged in the same behavior y that the opponent is complaining about; completely ignoring the point that the other person made and holding forth about some related but different topic; making the conversation about the character of the person with whom you are speaking rather than the ideas they are discussing; and the list goes on.

Two things are important to notice here. First, a bad faith actor can ruin a conversation even when his opponent is fair-minded. Second, even smart people use these bad faith techniques routinely. A great example of people talking past each other can be found on Harris’s podcast with Ezra Klein about Charles Murray, race, and IQ. The “conversation” (if you can call it that) lasts over two hours, and yet Klein does not address any of the key points that Harris makes. Harris spends the conversation repeatedly making the point that he doesn’t necessarily subscribe to Murray’s policy preferences, but that data are data, and when you refuse to acknowledge that, you’re in a dangerous place. Harris acknowledges his concern about the history of racial inequality in our nation and says that we have to approach the problem from an honest perspective. Klein spends the two hours avoiding Harris’s arguments, suggesting that Harris is a privileged white boy who doesn’t care about blacks, and bemoaning social policies that Harris has already said he is not necessarily defending. Klein is smug and utterly dishonest. He’s a very smart guy. He just doesn’t use reason to argue. He uses a facsimile of it.

I’m not sure this is a trend, by the way. Although I see this more commonly on the Internet these days than I used to, that may reflect the fact that I am in more Internet arguments than I used to be in, rather than reflecting some kind of overall decrease in the use of reason.

Let me turn now to our lack of shared values. For me, this is the most distressing part of the argument that I see literally all the time now, in the era of Donald Trump, that we have to “fight fire with fire” or “use the rules of the left against them.” It leads to a lack of any values that we can hold up as important, that we both share, as a foundation for further conversation.

Let me begin by acknowledging one sense in which I think it is appropriate to “fight fire with fire.” I think it can be justified to do this if you pick your target carefully — meaning you pick an actual person who has engaged in bad behavior, and not just a member of a group that has people who have engaged in bad behavior — and then you show that how they are acting incorrectly, by your engaging in their exact behavior as a performative to demonstrate why the behavior is wrong.

For example, if I am on Twitter and I point out that a particular politician is immoral because they have engaged in adultery, and someone comes along and says “Whatabout Bill Clinton? You loved it when he did what he did in the Oval Office!” I feel justified in telling that person that I am going to use their exact behavior in interacting with them. If they attempt to make a logical point, I will respond with unfounded assumptions about their political beliefs. I will respond to every question they ask about any topic by responding with a non sequitur about Bill Clinton. I will explain why I am doing this: not because it’s wonderful to all of a sudden have an excuse to act like an asshole, but to show them that they did this to me, and they shouldn’t.

This strategy always fail to impart the lesson, but it’s not immoral to try it.

Far too often, however, we see this pattern. I will say: “it’s wrong for a person to engage in behavior x” and someone from “my side” will use some variant of the “fight fire with fire” argument. They will feel no need to show that the target of their immoral behavior actually did the same immoral behavior in the past. It will be enough that the person is a member of “the left” — and surely someone from “the left” has done some similar bad thing. The assumption is that “the left” is winning All The Wars because they are uniquely hard-headed enough to engage in immoral behavior x, and by God, the right needs to wake up and engage in immoral behavior x as well, or Civilization Will Be Lost.

And so we get stuff like this:

I never heard of Colin Kahl before that tweet, and I’d be willing to bet that before Kurt Schlichter cheered the use of a black ops firm to go after the guy’s family, Kurt Schlichter never heard of him either. No matter. The guy is an Obama guy, and didn’t Obama people engage in bad behaviors a, b, and c? Well of course they did! So therefore screwing with this guy’s family is now moral. It’s the New Rules! Ha ha! We used your rules against you!

This sort of thing isn’t really about holding the other side to their standards. Increasingly, it is simply about rationalizing bad behavior. The thing is, almost every bad actor on Earth, now and throughout human history, has rationalized their bad behavior in the same way. Al Qaeda and ISIS actually believe they are/were giving America a taste of its own medicine. Hitler believed he was getting back at the Jews in some way for a “stab in the back” that caused the loss of World War I. And has nobody on the right ever visited a hard left blog or their comments sections? They are crawling with people who believe that the right has uniquely been hard-headed in its use of immoral tactics, and that it’s high time the left got wise and started engaging in the same activity.

When people use these sorts of arguments as a transparent way to rationalize immoral behavior, simply because they enjoy engaging in immoral behavior, I no longer feel I share any values with them. If I can’t start our conversation by saying: “I think we can all agree that, absent extreme situations that rarely apply in normal life, people (including people in public life) should not engage in behavior x” and have you agree, where behavior x is clearly immoral, you and I have no common framework for discussion.

The perfect storm, of course, is to combine both of the factors I have bemoaned here: a lack of respect for reason (grappling with your opponent’s argument) together with a “we have fight fire with fire or we will lose” mentality. For example, I can say with certainty that some people will respond to my comments about shared moral values by repeating the mantra that we have to do what the left does or we’ll lose, and people like me who whine about principles just can’t see that. That both jettisons reason (because you’re talking past my entire argument here) and rationalizes bad behavior — both of the problems I have outlined here. And yet I know it will happen.

In the past, I would get frustrated with such people. This blog has always been somewhat unique in that the proprietor historically gets in the comments and engages. But as more of the discussions become arguments, I find myself frustrated enough that I am coming to recognize that many conversations simply aren’t worth having. That the first rule of discussion is to identify whether the person in question is the sort who engages in the sort of behaviors I have described here. (Oddly, the two behaviors often go hand in hand.) If they do, I simply won’t talk to them. I have recognized that such discussions are a waste of time. Indeed, to avoid the temptation to be sucked into such discussions, I actively use tools (blocking on Twitter, a comment script here) to avoid even seeing commentary from such people.

Dishonest people characterize my actions in doing this as my avoiding debate. That of course ignores everything I just said about how I seek out honest debate. Meaning that people who make comments like that are engaging in the exact lack of reason I decry here.

Which is why they are blocked.

Some conversations aren’t worth having, except for the entertainment value inherent in showing how dishonest the other person is acting. (And that entertainment value wears thin quickly.) Sam Harris’s podcast with Klein was amusing to the extent that it gave the listener a chance to hear Harris wallop Klein. But it wasn’t a conversation — and if that’s what Harris was seeking, then having it with Klein was a mistake. Harris should have been able to see, from Klein’s entire Internet persona, that Klein is not an honest interlocutor. He should have avoided the discussion entirely — unless the entertainment value of the walloping is what he was after. (Sometimes I engage in discussion with dishonest actors for the same entertainment value.)

But if you can’t use reason and find shared basic values with me, you’re not worth my time. That’s what I have learned, and Harris’s podcasts have helped illuminate that point for me.

5/14/2018

Christ, Atheism, Quantum Physics, and the Nature of Reality

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:53 am

I have been listening to Sam Harris’s podcast more lately. (All hail the Intellectual Dark Web!) Harris is an atheist, yet listening to his podcast has had the effect of strengthening my faith — no doubt due to what Harris would call confirmatory bias. On the one hand, the podcast has caused me to think more about how little science actually knows about the nature of reality. On the other, it has given me reasons to find a real truth in Jesus’s Gospel.

In a conversation with Sean Carroll, a theoretical physicist at CalTech, Harris has a discussion about the paradoxes presented by quantum mechanics. I’ll give you a snippet from 27:41 to 33:13:

Carroll discusses the Copenhagen interpretation, but appears to subscribe to another theory called the Many Worlds interpretation. I’m not a physicist, so I’ll defer to Harris’s description, as confirmed by Carroll — but it appears to be, in effect, a claim that “everything that can happen is happening” in some parallel universe. Harris takes an object and puts it down, and says that if there is a nonzero possibility of him doing that 75 times in a row, to the consternation of the audience, then it is happening somewhere. At 28:40, Harris sounds dumbfounded:

This is supposed to be science, right? But this sounds like the strangest and least believable idea on offer. How is that science, after centuries of being rigorous and parsimonious and hardheaded, finally disgorges a picture of reality which seems to be the least believable thing anyone’s ever thought of?

Carroll’s answer at 29:43 is basically: that’s the best answer science has. “It is the simplest, purest, most parsimonious way of making sense of the data.” He goes into a discussion of quantum mechanics. An electron is spinning in some sense both clockwise and counterclockwise, but when you look at it, it is doing only one. Yet the equation tells you that both were happening. So what happened to the other situation described by the equation? This is where the explanations become unsatisfactory, and the Many Worlds interpretation is currently as mainstream an explanation as any other.

The notion does seem preposterous, if I take the description offered in the podcast at face value — mainly because, as chaotic and unpredictable as our world can seem, there is still a logic to it. Imagining countless universes, where every physical possibility that can happen does happen, means that countless totally illogical things are taking place in the other universes. There is a universe where I have my life as a lawyer and run a political blog, but every third post on the blog is simply the letter A repeated thousands of times. (Some of you might prefer that to every third post saying something unflattering about Donald Trump, but that’s another discussion.) In another universe it is every sixth post where I repeat the letter Z. In another universe, a plane crashes into my back yard in front of my eyes as I type — but I calmly sit and continue to type, without acting the way one does when they witness a tragedy . . . just because it is physically possible for me to do so.

This does seem to be “the least believable thing anyone’s ever thought of.” Clearly, it can’t be a coincidence that we happen to live in one of the relatively few universes where such bizarre things do not routinely happen — where there is at least some coherent logic to the unfolding of events.

And this is hardly the only aspect of reality that is unexplained by particle physics. The discussion touches on at least one more, namely, if one looks at the universe solely from the vantage point of particle physics, from what does consciousness arise? This is a difficult concept to explain solely in terms of subatomic particles.

Clearly, science doesn’t have all the answers — not yet, anyway, and it probably never will have them all.

Meanwhile, noted atheist and scholar of Christianity Bart Ehrman was on Harris’s podcast recently, and I found many of the things he said to be corroborative of things I have found myself in thinking about Christ and the Bible. I just happen to interpret them differently than Ehrman. They talked about the fact that Christ was indeed a historical figure, and that there are certain things that he almost certainly said — because if the story were fictional, it wouldn’t have been told that way. Ehrman calls this the “criterion of dissimilarity” and compares it to what happens in a court case where a witness appears to make an admission against their interest. I have previously thought about the Gospels in this way. There is much that not only rings true, but that you can’t really imagine a storyteller making up in this way. So much of what Jesus says is startling and totally unexpected, and yet perfect. People who constructed that story out of whole cloth would have to be, not only geniuses, but people who wrote the story in ways that nobody would ever expect such a story to be constructed. It makes no sense to say that the story was made up.

Yet Ehrman and Harris seem to forget the analogy to court cases when they discuss contradictions in the Bible and in the Gospels. And there are contradictions. For example, one Gospel writer gives one account of the relationship of Jesus’s crucifixion to Passover, and another gives a different one. One account attributes to Jesus a quote about the destruction of the temple that is attributed to someone else in a different account. Ha ha! Ehrman and Harris conclude. There goes the notion that the Bible is the divine word of God!

But contradictions on details like this happen all the time in court cases. To me, such contradictions make the Gospels seem more like an honest account given by flawed people, who sometimes contradict each other on the minor points, but who get the main details right.

This will sound heretical to some of you, but I can’t subscribe to the commonly held notion that every word of the Bible is the received Word of God, simply because there are some blatant contradictions. But those contradictions make the story seem more real to me. They are like the “criterion of dissimilarity” — they bring a truly transformative story of good news into our reality.

Harris has talked to believers, too, but I think I have learned more from the atheists than I have from the believers. I like to let them make their best case — and it’s not wholly satisfying.

Science doesn’t have all the answers to the nature of reality. There really is something to the notion that Christ truly spoke words, and lived a life, that transformed the world. These are some of the thoughts I have had upon listening to this very smart atheist talking to some of his very smart atheist friends.

5/13/2018

U.S. to Open Embassy in Jerusalem Tomorrow

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:59 pm

U.S. Presidents talked about it for a long time, but did no act. For all his faults — and he has many — Trump actually did something about it. The New York Times doesn’t like it:

When Israel declared its independence in 1948, President Harry Truman rushed to recognize it. He took just 11 minutes, and Israelis, about to go to war to defend their infant state, were euphoric.

Seventy years to the day — and nearly as long since Israel declared the holy city of Jerusalem its “eternal capital” — the United States will formally open its embassy on a hilltop here two miles south of the Western Wall.

The embassy’s move from Tel Aviv and President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital — reversing decades of American foreign policy — comes at a moment so fraught with both pride and peril that Israelis seem not to know what to feel.

. . . .

To Palestinians, the official unveiling of the embassy is just the most concrete and latest in a cavalcade of provocations from Washington and the Israeli government.

“It’s might makes right,” said Hind Khoury, a former diplomat for the Palestine Liberation Organization who now heads a sustainable development nonprofit based in Bethlehem. Not only are Palestinians now expected to forget about Jerusalem, she said, but also the losses of their homes in 1948 and again in the fighting of 1967.

Calm down, Hind. The U.S. is moving its embassy to the country’s capital.

It is, of course, possible that this move will contribute to terrorist attacks. If that happens, that will be the fault of the terrorists — not of Israel for placing its capital in Jerusalem, or of Donald Trump for moving the U.S. embassy to Israel’s capital.

President Trump Hard at Work on Restoring Lost Jobs…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 10:20 am

…in China.

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 100

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 9:52 am

It is the seventh Sunday of Easter. The title of today’s cantata is “Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan” (What God does is done well).

Today’s Gospel reading is John 15:9-17:

Jesus Prays for His Disciples

“I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word.Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.

“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.”

The text of today’s cantata is available here. The opening chorale is translated as follows:

What God does is well done,
His will remains righteous;
however he begins my affairs,
I will silently keep to Him.
He is my God,
who in need
knows well how to sustain me;
therefore I let Him alone rule.

Happy listening!

5/12/2018

Open Thread

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 2:30 pm

I went for a hike in the Santa Monica mountains yesterday. It ate up all my blogging time and now I have no idea what’s going on in the world. Educate me.

Century Lake

Goat Buttes

Rock Pool

5/10/2018

I Thought David Bowie Had Died…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 10:05 pm

Shows you what I know.

UPDATE: YouTube took down the original version for a copyright violation, so I replaced the dead video with this live performance, which still gives you an idea of why I hear David Bowie when I hear this song.

« Previous PageNext Page »

Powered by WordPress.