August 12, 2020

Looking forward – Upcoming posts

I realize that many of you probably had never seen a picture of me, or at least, hadn’t seen one for a while. That is me at the left. A slightly crazy smile, with a hint of mischievousness behind it, or at least I like to think so.

I haven’t been writing for Internet Monk for ten months, but plan be a regular contributor for the foreseeable future. Here is a hint of what you might be seeing Fridays in the coming weeks and months.

Anxiety, job loss, suicide, depression, side effects, and the year that was
The headline might give you a hint into what was a difficult year. (Possibly a series)

Back in the saddle
Why 2019 wasn’t all bad, and why 2020 looks to be a lot better.

A lifetime sentence
What we say can have implications for a life time. Both for ourselves and others.

How MY Facebook and Instagram became spiritually safe places
I hope you find this intriguing.

Theological disputing and baby’s milk
What does spiritual maturity look like?

Thoughts on Climate Change
From one skeptic (me), who no longer is, and why.

Meanwhile in Canada – A thorny problem
Why the balance between economic growth, climate change, western alienation, and Indigenous rights has become a thorny problem. (Might become a multi-part series)

My Bucket List
Can you guess my age from the recent picture? Why a bucket list now? What do I want to accomplish?

Religious Switching 3.0
Hopefully new data, a new graph, and an further analysis of some intergraph changes.

The Coming Evangelical Collapse – Revisiting the prophecies
A look into the statistical changes that have occurred over the last eleven years.

The books beside my bed
I haven’t been able to do much reading over the past year, so I have another large accumulation to get through.
Expect a combination of short synopses and full post reviews.

Missing a friend
An encapsulation of some of my favorite Michael Spencer posts.

Whatever happened to Michael Spencer’s commentary on Mark?
I will provide an update on where it is at and some plans for the future.

The Corona Virus
I would like to do a weekly check-in of what we might expect over the next few weeks. Format still to be decided.
My predicted trend published last week is still holding true for this week.

I said the number of dead last week was 637. I had included some of Friday’s count in that number. End of day Thursday it was 565. As of writing now, it is up to 1491 (wait, now it’s 1383, somehow it had dropped over the last hour!?!).

The cumulative number of fatalities can now be calculated by the formula 1.56 * (24 + X)^2.12 where X is the number of days from yesterday (February 13th).

The number dying each day is increasing on average by about 5 per day. The formula for this is (24 + X) * 5, using the same value for X as above.

This will be a trend worth watching over the next week or two to see if it changes.

Your thoughts
So those are some of the things I would like to write about this year. I am sure other issues of interest will come up as the year goes on.

What else would you like to see me write about? Is there anything in the above list that catches your attention? Anything you would like expanded upon?

As usual, your thoughts and comments are welcome.

Comments

  1. I would love to read these thoughts Mike.

    • Michael Bell says

      Any topics that jump out to you in particular Ben?

      • David Greene says

        I don’t know about Ben but if you have taken any more canoe trips I would like to hear about that 🙂

      • Well I’m interested in the evangelical collapse, and some reflections on the impact of the last 4 years of Trump on that. But mostly I’m interested in your journey over the last year; I find that ideas are in some way more interesting when they are connected to lived experience.

  2. It seems you have a keen mind and from what I have read of your input you are a + to the site. I like your wide range of topics and thoughts in your article and hope you have time to expand. I did appreciate your analysis on the Corona virus. I read somewhere tonight that the virus might not be as deadly as reported but I find that hard to believe. So thanks for your contributions to this site and hope you continue to contribute. I come here to gather some opposite viewpoints from mine, you seem to be an honest broker.

    • Michael Bell says

      Corona Virus – No one knows what the future looks like. It could peak in the next month or it could become like the yearly flu, but much deadlier. The Lancet article noted in my previous post was the best supported guess that I have seen so far.

      “I come here to gather some opposite viewpoints from mine” – That is a great reason to be coming here! My views have certainly changed over time. Many of them took decades to change from my old position to my new position.

      I still have an evangelical heart (which probably means different things to different people). Hmmm, new post idea number 1.

      I think you will find a more positive tone to my writing this year, based on my experiences of the past year. Hmmm, new post idea number 2.

      It also prompted me to think that I would like to do a post on the good and bad of having a statement of faith. This was going to be an angrier series on “Why your church won’t accept me”, but I was not totally comfortable with that given the previous point of having a more positive tone to my writing.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        News this morning was that Wuhan Coronavirus is not that much more deadly than ordinary flu, but is two to five times as contagious. Spreads faster, higher chance of pneumonia complications, but similar death rate once infected. Estimated 80% of cases get no worse than bad cold or average flu.

        There are NO surgical masks available anywhere in the USA. They’ve all been cleaned out by Coronavirus Panic.

        Still no explanation for the anomalous high death rate in Wuhan itself, and NOBODY outside of the CCP trusts the official Chinese figures. (On a level with “WAR IS PEACE! FREEDOM IS SLAVERY! IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH! TWO PLUS TWO EQUALS FIVE!”) Time magazine’s latest issue is on the epidemic and the Chinese government’s reaction to it — bureaucrats originally in full denial/coverup mode (don’t rock the boat) until the Decree comes down from Great Leader and they all Overreact to Prove Their Loyalty. Like Court Eunuchs around the Emperor in the Forbidden City.

        There have been some YouTube videos out of Wuhan through the Great Firewall of body bags stacked up like cordwood, trucks taking dead away for disposal. Video channels taken down, those who uploaded them “disappeared”. (YouTube’s owned by Google and Google really wants that HUGE Chinese market.) Stories and accounts of vigilante action against anyone from Wuhan (blaming them for the plague), villages sealing themselves off with bulldozers and patrolling their perimeters with weapons.

        And don’t get me started on cruise ships. There’s one “plague ship” already quarantined in Yokohama and others cruising in circles, refused entry at port after port (though only the one in Yokohama has an actual outbreak). Several Pacific Islands have banned any cruise ships until the epidemic is over.

      • To me, the heart of evangelicalism is: personal relationship with God, deep immersion with Scripture, fellowship that goes beyond the surface level, “natural” and conversational prayer, and worship that engages the emotions. All of those things can be distorted or overdone, but when done right they’re all parts of my evangelical roots that I still value and want to hold onto.

        • Adam Tauno Williams says

          That’s a five pointed heart! 🙂 I don’t know if a definition that broadly particular makes the term all that useful. Of course, I also believe the usefulness of the term is now lost to History.

        • MZ, you’ve just described what I’ve experienced as an Episcopalian, plus liturgical worship.

  3. Looking forward to your articles, Mike.

    BTW, are you suffering from a “combination of short synapses?” ;o)

    • I typed it. I looked at it. I said to myself, “it looks wrong”. I was tired. I hit publish. So, yes, you are right. I was. :). Corrected now.

  4. senecagriggs says
    • Michael Bell says

      Very interesting article. And perhaps good news I will have to take a dive into the data at some point. I don’t have an axe to grind, and any data, bad or good is welcome.

  5. It sounds like a really rough year for you. I’ve missed your voice here on the site! I’m glad you’re in a place where things are feeling like they’re starting to get better.

  6. Good to hear. More of your writing here, Mike, is always a positive.

  7. I said see you all later here, meaning bye. I was wondering about you missing. My bucket list probably won’t happen. You know, similar to moving near a little church near a minor league ballpark, near a bar where university students hang-out, and getting food from a grocery that is not in a food ghetto tp take home for healthy cooked meals. For what it’s worth, past year had me considering the issue of suicide in a whole new way. Don’t get me wrong- there is good news here. I remember when you asked for help back in 2013 on Michael Spencer’s commentary on Mark. Long story, short- thanks for bringing me back.

  8. Mike, it has been a while. Good to see your face! I always love your honest insights about life, faith, and much more.

    You know, I was just looking at the Google Drive folder the other day with all the Mark material. That’s funny how your post went live today. Some rich material to work with from Michael.

    Look forward to more from you.

  9. Regarding the religion switching analysis, it might be interesting to break it down by age cohort and ethnicity, similar to this fivethirtyeight article from a few years ago:

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/are-white-evangelicals-sacrificing-the-future-in-search-of-the-past

    That article had a number of implications that go against conventional wisdom. For example, the narrative for years has been that mainline churches struggle to attract young people, but actually evangelical churches are losing young people faster than anyone else (and, young white people are as likely to be mainline as evangelical).

    When talking with people my age (mid-30s) and younger who have strong negative stereotypes about evangelicals, I also like to point out to them (based on that data) that the “typical” evangelical in our age cohort is a person of color who votes Democratic – the “evangelicals” that we tend to demonize are actually few and far between among younger generations.

    • Michael Bell says

      Another good article. A different perspective from Seneca’s link up above, but that is what makes this topic interesting! Hopefully my article will be able to resolve some of the differences between the two.

      • So glad you’re writing again Mr. Mike. Here’s one: Five Bruce Cockburn songs that almost everyone should hear! I’m guessing you’re mid fifties from your pic. I hope your not in your forties and I just made you feel bad.

        • Michael Bell says

          I like it! Dan’s comment above about “opposite viewpoints” made me think of Bruce Cockburn. I started listening to him when I was (actual quote from my wedding reception) “slightly to the right of Attila the Hun”. Cockburn has actually been a pretty big influence in my political and theological journey.

        • Michael Bell says

          Any other age guesses?

  10. Michael Bell says

    Posts with links are being held up in moderation. I will free as soon as I see.

  11. Thanks, Mike. I’m glad the corner has been turned. Dostoyevsky has convinced me that there are jewels refined and polished in suffering – most of which we won’t see until we’re on the other side of the curtain – but that doesn’t take away the misery while one is going through it.

    All your post ideas sound like great discussion points. I suppose we start thinking “bucket list” at a birthday with a zero on the end of it, so…Sixty?

    Dana

  12. thatotherjean says

    Welcome back, Mike! Your list of ideas should prompt some interesting discussions. I have missed reading your posts.

  13. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    Just if you’re the “MBell” on the blogroll, your link is dead.