12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

 

Zechariah 8:16-17 — from biblegateway.com

16 These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts; 17 do not plot evil against each other, and do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this,” declares the Lord.

 

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times

 

The birds have fled from the bird feeders...

From DSC:
Each day, I try to ensure that there’s enough bird seed in the bird feeders. You see, I’m a bird watcher and I especially enjoy the different kinds of birds in our area as well as appreciating the variety of colors and designs of the birds. But it often perplexes me when the birds fly away when they see motion in our kitchen. They become afraid and in a spirit of looking out for #1, they fly away.

Hmmm. I’m setting out food to help you survive, yet you fly away in fear when I come close.

I wonder if that’s how the LORD feels with me/us sometimes. He provides so richly, deeply, and generously (waaaaayyy more than I do). Yet I can’t help but wonder if He senses our fears, doubts, and our “flying away” from Him at times…? He provides. We fly.

The situation is getting better. And my trying to be faithful helps the birds overcome their anxieties. They are staying on the bird feeder more often, even when they see me approach. It appears that the trust levels are growing. 


Along the lines of bird watching, below is a very cool app I just recently saw. I can use all the help I can get in this area (not to mention a ton of other areas)!

Identify the birds that you see of hear with Merlin Bird ID

 

Investing in Glorify– from a16z.com (andreesen horowitz) by Connie Chan

Excerpt:

Faith is inherently social. For example, there are 2.5 billion Christians globally and many congregate at church, Sunday school, fellowships, discipleships, and more.

Why then, when we have best-in-class, venture-backed social and content platforms dedicated to everyone from gamers, to fashionistas, to sports card enthusiasts, are Christians not able to complement their in-person worship with an equally sophisticated and engaging online experience? Why does the Christian community rely on digital experiences built almost exclusively by non-profits?

This is the question Glorify cofounders Henry Costa and Ed Beccle asked themselves in 2019 when they set out to build the world’s leading online platform to help Christians practice their faith and connect online. As former founders, they knew that it was possible to build something that was delightful to use, with intuitive social features.

From DSC:
I had not heard of this app; sounds interesting.

 

Psalm 100:4-5  — from biblegateway.com

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.

 

From DSC:
From my perspective, both of the items below are highly-related to each other:

Let’s Teach Computer Science Majors to Be Good Citizens. The Whole World Depends on It. — from edsurge.com by Anne-Marie Núñez, Matthew J. Mayhew, Musbah Shaheen and Laura S. Dahl

Excerpt:

Change may need to start earlier in the workforce development pipeline. Undergraduate education offers a key opportunity for recruiting students from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic, gender, and disability groups into computing. Yet even broadened participation in college computer science courses may not shift the tech workforce and block bias from seeping into tech tools if students aren’t taught that diversity and ethics are essential to their field of study and future careers.

Computer Science Majors Lack Citizenship Preparation
Unfortunately, those lessons seem to be missing from many computer science programs.

…and an excerpt from Why AI can’t really filter out “hate news” — with thanks to Sam DeBrule for this resource (emphasis DSC):

The incomprehensibility and unexplainability of huge algorithms
Michael Egnor: What terrifies me about artificial intelligence — and I don’t think one can overstate this danger — is that artificial intelligence has two properties that make it particularly deadly in human civilization. One is concealment. Even though every single purpose in artificial intelligence is human, it’s concealed. We don’t really understand it. We don’t understand Google’s algorithms.

There may even be a situation where Google doesn’t understand Google’s algorithms. But all of it comes from the people who run Google. So the concealment is very dangerous. We don’t know what these programs are doing to our culture. And it may be that no one knows, but they are doing things.

Note:Roman Yampolskiy has written about the incomprehensibility and unexplainability of AI: “Human beings are finite in our abilities. For example, our short term memory is about 7 units on average. In contrast, an AI can remember billions of items and AI capacity to do so is growing exponentially. While never infinite in a true mathematical sense, machine capabilities can be considered such in comparison with ours. This is true for memory, compute speed, and communication abilities.” So we have built-in bias and incomprehensibility at the same time.

From DSC:
That part about concealment reminds me that our society depends upon the state of the hearts of the tech leaders. We don’t like to admit that, but it’s true. The legal realm is too far behind to stop the Wild West of technological change. The legal realm is trying to catch up, but they’re coming onto the race track with no cars…just as pedestrians walking or running as fast as they can….all the while, the technological cars are whizzing by. 

The pace has changed significantly and quickly

 

The net effect of all of this is that we are more dependent upon the ethics, morals, and care for their fellow humankind (or not) of the C-Suites out there (especially Facebook/Meta Platforms, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Apple) than we care to admit. Are they producing products and services that aim to help our societies move forward, or are they just trying to make some more bucks? Who — or what — is being served?

The software engineers and software architects are involved here big time as well. “Just because we can doesn’t mean we should.” But that perspective is sometimes in short supply.

 

3 Tips for Making Passion-Based Learning Work Successfully — from thejournal.com by Dennis Pierce

Excerpt:

Passion-based learning, a form of self-directed learning in which students pursue projects of interest to them, is becoming more popular in schools — and for good reason: Educators who have set aside time for passion-based learning have discovered that students become highly engaged and motivated when learning about topics that intrigue them, while taking their learning much deeper than they would in a traditional lesson.

 

15 “Does it make you a king
    to have more and more cedar?
Did not your father have food and drink?
    He did what was right and just,
    so all went well with him.
16 He defended the cause of the poor and needy,
    and so all went well.
Is that not what it means to know me?”
    declares the Lord.

 

We Need to Make Schools Human Again. That Means Treating Teachers With Respect. – from edsurge.com by Jennifer Yoo-Brannon

Excerpts:

The first thing I noticed when we returned to school after remote learning was that my conversations with teachers got real deep real fast.

But we are not just educators, of course. We are mothers of multiple school-aged children, parents of special needs students who need a high level of support, individuals with anxiety disorders exacerbated by the worldwide anxiety of the pandemic. We are human too. While we transform our schools into welcoming spaces for students, we must also make them a human place to work for educators as well. We can’t forget that we saw each other’s humanity—shared a universal human experience—and then return to business as usual. We must make schools human again.

Avoid toxic positivity. Toxic positivity is the belief that no matter how bad a situation is, we should all have a positive mindset about it. Toxic positivity isn’t optimism. Toxic positivity rejects or refuses to acknowledge how difficult things can be. This message is for administrators in particular.

From DSC:
When I read this…

In other words, the question is not “How do we get teachers to participate in professional development?” but rather, “How can we create a context in which everyone will want to engage in professional learning?” To feel human in our workplace, we all need to feel like we have choices and teachers need to feel trusted and empowered to make those choices.

…I’m thinking to myself…isn’t this the same for our students?

 
  • From DSC:
    This is what true strength and confidence look like. That is, the LORD doesn’t mind putting complaints, issues, pleas, anger, frustration, sadness, and similar emotions in His Word. I guess that’s part of relationships…part of communications. To me, that’s true strength.

 

 

 

Seek the Lord while he may be found;
    call on him while he is near.
Let the wicked forsake their ways
    and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
    and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
    come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
    without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
    so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

 

Isaiah 9:1-7 NIV — from biblegateway.com

[a]Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan—

The people walking in darkness
    have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
    a light has dawned.
You have enlarged the nation
    and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
    as people rejoice at the harvest,
as warriors rejoice
    when dividing the plunder.
For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,
    you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
    the bar across their shoulders,
    the rod of their oppressor.
Every warrior’s boot used in battle
    and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
    will be fuel for the fire.
For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
    and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
    will accomplish this.

 

Boston startup fights seniors’ isolation with VR — from bizjournals.com by Emma Campbell

Excerpts:

Social isolation is a term that more Americans have become familiar with due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but it’s a concept that was already intimately familiar to one segment of the population: the elderly.

Isolation disproportionately affects the aging population in the U.S. and can lead to significant mental and physical health issues for seniors. But there’s a Boston-based startup, Rendever, using a unique tool to fight it.

“We’ve always thought that the foundation of all human connection is shared positive experience,” Rand said. “So what we’ve done is we’ve spent the past five years building a really strong experience platform that allows people to come together, put on their headsets, and go and check off a bucket list item.”

 

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian