Welcome to my weekly digest for September 23, 2022.
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“Babies in the Womb”
The Today show tweeted a clip about a British study that showed babies reacting in the womb to the flavors of the food their mothers eat. It’s amazing that in any context other than abortion, babies in the womb are always referred to, well, as babies. As this is getting a bit of viral traction on Twitter, I did a screen capture in case they delete it.
New Content and Media Mentions
The Substack site To the Shire interacts with my three worlds model.
New this week:
In case you missed it, newsletter #68 is on the contagiousness of divorce and was out Monday.
How Quakerism Conquered America (Paid Only) - Everybody likes to point at the Puritans to explain today’s culture, but you could learn a lot from Quakerism too.
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Best of the Web
I notice when several different media outlets all start publishing pieces with a similar theme. For example, I previously pointed out how there have been a number of publications all started promoting the idea that it was great for women to dump their husbands for purely selfish reasons.
One I just started noticing is people in media writing about how online dating apps are bad for people and especially bad for women. I previously linked to this NYT piece on dating app burnout. In the last week I also saw a similar piece on Vice about the problem with dating apps. And also another one in Common Sense about “generation swipe.” I’m not yet sure what this portends, but when the media starts doing this, it’s worth paying attention to and seeing what messages are being delivered.
There’s also been an increasing tendency towards denying biological reality when it comes to gender. This piece in the Atlantic arguing against sex segregated sports is a case in point.
School sports are typically sex-segregated, and in America some of them have even come to be seen as either traditionally for boys or traditionally for girls: Think football, wrestling, field hockey, volleyball. However, it’s becoming more common for these lines to blur, especially as Gen Zers are more likely than members of previous generations to reject a strict gender binary altogether. Maintaining this binary in youth sports reinforces the idea that boys are inherently bigger, faster, and stronger than girls in a competitive setting—a notion that’s been challenged by scientists for years.
Obviously their bell curves overlap but there are massive mean differences in physical capabilities between the sexes.
The London Review of Books had another recent entry in this genre.
WSJ: ‘When Eero Met His Match’ Review: Making Saarinen Soar - A piece about how famous mid-century architect Eero Saarinen’s wife Aline played a key role in his career. Look at the apex of achievement and you often find a husband and wife duo in complementary roles working in what is essentially a productive household enterprise. It’s especially common in politics (Bill and Hillary Clinton) and pastoral ministry (Tim and Kathy Keller).
NYT: For Gen Z, TikTok Is the New Search Engine - for those who are older, it’s important to get a sense of how younger generations process the world. They don’t search on Google for example, but on Instagram or Tik Tok.
Mere Orthodoxy: To Consume
Mere Orthodoxy: Corporations Can’t Love You
James Wood: The Limits of Winsome Politics