MarginOfError

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MarginOfError last won the day on September 20

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About MarginOfError

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    So Mormon...You Don't Even Know.

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  1. MarginOfError

    Did Face to Face answer questions?

    Of course they don't remember what they learned. Or much of it anyway. They're still teenagers. I've never looked at someone who earned an Eagle Scout rank and thought, "I bet they know their knots." But I do think, "I know they learned those knots once." Additionally, I can reasonably think that if they have an Eagle award, they likely have a basic understanding of knife and gun safety, even if they don't know the specifics of running a safe range. Likewise, I can look at Young Women who have earned the Personal Progress medallion, and I can tell you which scriptures they've studied, and have a reasonable understanding of what kind of time they've put into it and what kind of activities they've performed. They might not be able to quote scriptures or give dissertations about what they've learned, but I understand what foundation I have to build on. With the new program, I won't be able to make generalizations like that about youth who complete the program. That isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's a trade off. But the problem is almost never the checklist. The problem is usually the leaders that permit checklists to be completed without challenging people with real growth.
  2. MarginOfError

    Did Face to Face answer questions?

    Also to defend checklists, the whole premise of this new program is for youth to set their goals and then for leaders to help them write their own checklists. The major change is that there is no longer a baseline for how much a person should have accomplished to "complete the program." This has advantages and disadvantages. The primary advantage is that, when applied correctly, youth will learn how to set goal, and break them down to achieve them. And the goals and process to do so are completely customizable to the individual. The primary disadvantage is that there is no way to look at someone who has completed the Church's youth program and have any idea what they know or have experienced. It gives up generalizability for individuality. We've given up more of the former than I would like, but whatever.
  3. MarginOfError

    Faith vs. Knowledge

    <Faith is not believing that God can -- it is knowing that he will> This is utterly preposterous to me. For many of the same reasons JAG brings up. I slap this one down as often as I hear it. I went on a big rant sometime ago when someone said we shouldn't use the words "I believe" and pointed out that all I, personally, can do is believe. I don't know much of anything in the gospel, and still have a lot of doubts. And I don't consider that a sign of weakness. I had to also point out that it's okay if a person says they "know." I don't know what their experiences are. But we should at least give others to room for their doubts. Fortunately, my current status in my ward lets me get away with such rants. One of my favorite lessons I ever taught was about faith and knowledge. I started with the question "How many of you know that, algebraically speaking, x * 0 = 0". Every hand in the room went up. I then asked someone to come up and prove it to me. There was a lot "but it just is! I learned it in school! you can't prove that it isn't!" At some point, I would write the mathematical proof on the board. Very few understood it. And then I would discuss how understanding the concepts and demonstrating how to use them built knowledge. But until I could put all those pieces together, I didn't know that x*0 = 0, I only operated on a strong belief; a belief that persisted because it was so useful. Faith in God often works the same way. We feel like something is true. It makes sense to us. and it is useful to operate as if it is true. At some point, we may extend that belief, go through some exercise that pushes us into knowledge. And that's great. But not everyone progresses from faith to knowledge. And some people that claim knowledge don't actually know (I believe). Anyway, my point is that we do a disservice to faith (and belief) when we try to place it in a position that is inferior to knowledge. Faith is what opens the door to salvation. There's no reason to talk trash about it.
  4. MarginOfError

    Did Face to Face answer questions?

    I have seen discrepancies in ward budgeting cut both directions. It's kind of hit-or-miss, and I've heard of enough first hand accounts of young women being given smaller budgets than young men (including from my spouse), that I'm certain the problem was common, but not ubiquitous. The first time I was called as a ward clerk, the ward had three young men and their budget was $700. The ward had seven young women and their budget was $400. Yet, when I looked at the expenditures, the young women were trying to milk every penny out of their budget, and the young men had $575 left at the end of the year. From the other direction, the Relief Society had a budget of $850. The EQ/HP had a combined budget of $100. The mens and womens groups were about equally sized. I decided that couldn't stand. I assigned budgets based on how many active participants there were in each group. The Young Women presidency loved me. The Young Men presidency didn't care (they weren't spending the money anyway). Surprisingly, I got more push back from the men than I did from any one else. The Relief Society president wasn't thrilled, but when she looked at my process for allocating the money she was willing to accept it because it treated everyone fairly. What caught me off guard was the resistance from the men. Their claim was that they didn't need it and weren't likely to spend it. I responded that if they weren't using their budget, they weren't doing enough to build their quorum, and they should start doing a better job of that. In then end, we negotiated $50 less to each EQ and HP, gave it to Relief Society and told the men to suck it up and have some activities. That's when we started holding cookouts before priesthood sessions, and Elders Quorum started to be a bit more fun. Anyway, I am a fan of the directive to allocate funds equally between programs based on participation. Like I said, it wasn't ubiquitous, but it probably does still happen that one group gets more than another for stupid reasons. This gives a clear statement that leaders can use to advocate better funding for their groups when leaders are being jerks about budgets.
  5. MarginOfError

    Cain

    My take on this part of the story is that we should not seek vengeance. Additionally, mortal probation is supposed to be the time in which people repent. If God were to allow Cain to be killed, it would terminate his time to change his heart. God was not giving up on Cain, and the mark placed upon him was a reminder to the righteous that they should not give up on him either.
  6. If you really want to see me get up in arms about something, talk to me about use of the kitchen. I detest that policy. Funny story: for the Fourth of July this year, we had a pancake breakfast at our ward building. We cooked the bacon at the church (gasp...horror). Two hours after we left, the fire alarm went off. The bishop of the other ward got called in to assist the fire department and they could still smell the remnants of bacon. We got a pretty nasty e-mail about how we triggered the fire alarm by cooking bacon in the building. Here's the catch though...that was almost four months ago, and the fire alarm does. not. stop. We have to temporarily disable it every time we go into the building. The fire department has notified us that they will not respond to any alarms from our building until the issue is fixed. Still not fixed. Despite all this, we still are under scrutiny because, clearly, cooking bacon in the church broke the fire alarm. (I can't roll my eyes hard enough)
  7. maybe? I only get maybe?
  8. You're going to have a really hard time making a religious argument in Mormonism. Or any Christian religion, for that matter. There are plenty of stories in scripture to justify the use of violence in self defense, and plenty to justify pacifism. There are also a lot of ways to interpret the words that get included in the scriptures. For instance, "those who live by the sword perish by the sword" can be interpreted in light of when it was said--Jesus needed to be put on trial, and fighting their way out was going to thwart God's plan. His instruction could just as well be interpreted as a caution that those who follow power and strength will be consumed by power and strength. It need not have been a call to pacifism. So, no, I don't think you can make a strong religious case for either policy on firearms in church buildings. You may proceed to make the case here if you wish, but I won't attempt to stop your arguments from being ripped apart. The simple matter is, the scriptures are--when read in their entirety--ambiguous on the matter. I'll be completely blunt in stating that I do not believe this is an "inspired" policy (even though its one I agree with). You'll have a very hard time convincing me that this policy isn't about insurance. Honestly, I don't see why that should be a problem.
  9. Okay, I'm probably one of the strongest gun control advocates on this forum. But this is just silly. policies regarding carrying guns in places of worship have nothing (let me make that stronger...NOTHING) to do with ordinances, or religion, or reverence. This is a debate between very strong feelings about the conflict between public and personal safety. Priesthood ordinances don't give a flying squirrel turd whether you are carrying a weapon or not.
  10. MarginOfError

    Why Women Don’t Wear Pants to Church

    Dress codes were changed late last year (2018) https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/church/news/all-sister-missionaries-now-have-option-of-wearing-slacks?lang=eng&_r=1
  11. MarginOfError

    Thoughts on new Children and Youth Initiative?

    I don't know that this means you have repenting to do. I think there are valid criticisms and weaknesses that will need to be recognized. For instance, one of my first impressions was that youth how have strong and involved parents will thrive under this model. Youth who don't have involved parents may still thrive if they happen to have well organized and effective adult leaders. But my instinct is that youth who have mediocre parents and mediocre leaders (to say nothing of just plain ineffective leaders) won't get much out of this model. On the other hand, with the BSA, you could have mediocre leaders, and the youth could still do really well as long as you followed the general outline of the program. I don't think mediocre will be enough with this model. Having said that, the BSA model didn't work for everyone. This program has more potential to reach everyone. It's just going to take more effort from leaders to teach the youth how to personalize and own their program. I would be much more satisfied with this model if it had just a few more components. First, I would like to see a dedicated and structured leadership training program. BSA's Troop Youth Leadership Training and National Youth Leadership Training programs are phenomenal in that they teach the philosophy and mechanics of leadership. I've seen very little of that in my Church experience. (Correction, I can't recall a single instance in my life where I've received instruction about leadership principles in a Church setting--that may be one of my goals for the coming year). So, a leadership training module would be awesome. Second, I would like to see more online training modules. Again, borrowing from BSA, but I find a lot of value in the weather hazards, water hazards, and other training materials the BSA has produced. I'd like to see more expectation of leaders completing training requirements before taking youth on outings. Lastly, I'd like to see guidance on how to go about co-ed activities. One of the great values of this program is that if you have youth that don't want to do certain activities, they don't have to. In Scouts, if you had a young man who didn't want to do camping, there wasn't a good place for him in the young men program. And in our current young women's program, if you have a couple of girls who want to do more outdoor activities, it's hard to get the same kind of trips coordinated. But in this program, if there are intersections of goals and interests between the youth, it'd be nice to be able to take them all at once (I struggle to make it out with the young men on their trips now. If you were to add young women trips, I couldn't possibly make it and meet my family obligations as well). So yeah, don't repent of your concerns. Voice them! As skeptical as I am of this program, I do think it can work. And I'm hopeful that as more comes out, we'll get better tools to make it thrive. But I don't think we should be afraid to recognize limitations and experiment with ways to mitigate them.
  12. MarginOfError

    Would you list a mission on a resume?

    If you are within 2 - 3 years of returning from missionary service and are looking for employment, you may include it under a section for civic affiliations and service. Do not list it in your employment history. The only thing you need it for is to explain what was happening in those two years. Even then, it may come with some risks (see below) If you returned more than 5 years ago and have no work/education gaps in that period, do not put it on the resume at all. Putting a mission on your resume doesn't add to your work experience, and when it's more than five years ago, doesn't say much about your employable skills or commitment to anything. For instance, having a mission on the resume doesn't speak to commitment if you've held 5 jobs in the past two years. Your recent (past ten years) history carries much more weight. Worse, putting anything religiously affiliated puts the employer in an awkward spot almost immediately. In the U.S., religion cannot be a factor in employment decisions. By putting a mission on the resume, you have tossed your religion into the arena and the employer may now feel the bind of making employment decisions carefully. Congratulations, your first impression is to make life a little more stressful for your hiring manager. It's usually best to just leave it off.
  13. MarginOfError

    Impeach Trump

    I don't have any issue with opening an impeachment inquiry here. Whether or not it leads to impeachment is unclear to me. That it could lead to conviction seem beyond improbable. But here are the reasons why I don't object to an impeachment inquiry: First, this complaint over Ukraine came about via a whistle blowers complaint that was filed from within the intelligence community. The whistle blowers structure was designed specifically to give an avenue for intelligence workers to raise attention to misconduct without disclosing classified information to the public. The law requires the Inspector General to review the complaint, and if deemed credible, to forward it to the Director of National Intelligence. Once the DNI receives it, there is a period for review at the end of which the law states that he "shall" turn it over to a congressional committee. That word "shall" is as strong as it gets in government documents. It means it isn't optional; it must be done. When Congress asked where it was, however, the DNI said that he wasn't releasing it under direction from higher authorities. That suggests that the release of the complaint was being inhibited by the administration that was the subject of the complaint. When that happens, the administration appears to be evading oversight, and is doing so in violation of the law. And to drive that point home, the Senate voted unanimously that the complaint should be released. That's a lot of Republican senators saying that this wasn't happening as it should. What does this have to do with an impeachment inquiry? Straight up, I don't believe this administration acts in good faith with respect to investigations. There appears to be an attitude and tendency to rely on executive privilege to evade oversight. (I think that all recent administrations have abused executive privilege, but this one seems to take a peculiar delight in it). Add to that Corey Lewandowski's recent testimony to Congress where he openly declares that he has no obligation to be truthful with the press, and I have a feeling that is shared among many in this administration. An impeachment inquiry is an important tool, now, because executive privilege doesn't apply. If the House wants documents as part of its inquiry, it gets documents. So I do think that the House should open a formal impeachment inquiry and look into just how much oversight the executive branch is evading. I'd also like to see it produce more laws to prevent this kind of evasion for future presidencies, regardless of party. And if that means more information and investigation has to be done into Biden, so be it. Long story short, the administration is acting in a manner that suggests it is hiding something. It deserves to be investigated.
  14. MarginOfError

    British Politics

    What I've gathered from reading various new services (and I hope you'll forgive me if I don't pursue references), there are three generic groups of thought within Parliament: Those who want to avoid Brexit altogether; those who want to and/or are willing to see Brexit through with the right deal; and those that want Brexit even if no deal can be negotiated. The primary struggle happening right now is that Prime Minister Johnson is a member of the third group, and campaigned on a platform that he would take the UK out of the EU deal or no deal. The first two groups are concerned about the impact of a No Deal Brexit*, and so are trying to prevent that eventuality. That's the basic premise of the story at the moment. It gets a lot more interesting and twisted once you dig in from there. PM Johnson was prepared to resume negotiations** with the EU while carrying the stick of a No Deal Brexit as leverage to get more concessions from the EU. He seems to be under the impression that a No Deal Brexit would hurt the EU as much as it would hurt the UK; or at least that if it came to that, the EU would cave on some of the hardest terms, such as the hard border in Ireland. At the same time, the EU is heavily motivated not to cave--the Brexit fiasco has resulted in depressed support for EU exits from other countries, such as Italy, as people have seen how complicated and unpleasant the results could turn out. If the UK makes a No Deal Brexit and the EU caves, it could spur other countries to follow suit. If that is where the story reached its apex, then we'd probably see Johnson lead the UK out of the EU one way or another by the end of October. But then Johnson overplayed his hand and asked the Queen to suspend Parliament for five weeks. This was widely seen as an attempt to prevent Parliament from derailing his agenda and negotiations, and Parliament went nuts. Before the suspension went into effect, Parliament held a vote to seize control of the agenda from PM Johnson. Twenty one members of Johnson's own party voted against Johnson in that vote and were subsequently kicked out of the party. As a result, Johnson's party no longer has a majority in Parliament (which doesn't actually mean a whole lot, but it does appear to put Johnson in a weaker position). In the aftermath, Parliament passed a Bill that requires the Prime Minister to request an extension from the EU should negotiations fail to produce a deal by 19 October. I believe Johnson has said he won't do this. Soon after that, Parliament went into its suspension while the courts heard cases about whether the suspension was lawful. Long story short, the UK Supreme Court took arguments, and a panel of 11 judges voted unanimously that Johnson's advice to the Queen was untruthful, unlawful, prevented Parliament from carrying out its constitutional duty, and "of no effect." Parliament is back in session. Okay, so that was a lot of background to get to how this relates to "refusing to cooperate with the expressed will of the people." Most importantly, even though there are members of Parliament that do not want Brexit at all, they have not succeeded in revoking that will (yet); instead, they are acting to prevent a No-Deal Brexit that, by all forecasts, looks like it would be really painful for the country. But even the "will of the people" gets interesting here. Because the original referendum wasn't a binding referendum. If Parliament had wanted to, they could have ignored the whole thing. The fact that we've gotten this far is an indication that the will of the people isn't being ignored lightly. There are also a lot of questions about the Referendum itself. The Leave campaign was slapped with multiple campaign finance violations, and reportedly spread a lot of misinformation and outright falsehoods about how easy peazy life would be outside of the EU. I've read (and take this with a grain of salt, because I can't find a reference for this) some claims that if the Referendum had been binding, the courts would have cancelled the results due to the shady work of the Leave campaign. On top of that, one of the arguments is that no one really understood what Brexit would look like at the time. Those that want to stop Brexit entirely have argued for a revote, though there seems to be more support for the idea of a second referendum that offers more nuanced choices, such as Remain, Leave with a deal, or Leave with no deal. While support for leaving is still pretty near where it was three years ago, only 22% of respondents in this poll consider leaving with no deal a good outcome. So, in the end, popular support for Brexit is about 50%, and that side won the Referendum in 2016. However, popular support for a No-Deal Brexit maxes out at 38% (44% oppose it). So it's reasonable for someone to claim they oppose Brexit, but will honor the will of the people as expressed in the Referendum, yet still oppose the No-Deal Brexit. And that's mostly what's happening right now. * No Deal Brexit is exactly what it sounds like. The UK goes crashing out of the EU, with no customs negotiations or agreements between the EU and UK. Free travel across borders would no longer be permitted. The UK projections for what would happen under such a scenario include weeks, if not months, of unrest, food shortages, and medicine shortages. One of the thorniest issues has been that of Ireland, part of which is not part of the UK, and so half of the island would have to be locked down. There is a lot of anxiety that this could reopen some of the violence of the 80's and 90's. ** The current deal, negotiated by Theresa May, keeps the UK in a "customs union" that would prevent the need for a hard border between the Irelands. The hard core Brexiteers believe that is no Brexit at all--in the customs union, any goods that enter the EU through Norway will be taxed with the EU tariffs, and then no more tariffs can be applied. So if those same goods go from Norway to the UK, the tariffs are paid and UK can apply no more. Brexiteers consider that a violation of sovereignty. It also means that anyone in the EU may travel freely into the UK, meaning that the UK could not set strict entrance requirements. Again, Brexiteers consider that a violation of sovereignty. As far as I can tell, Theresa May's deal is about as good as you could hope for as a first step in a long process of disentangling the UK from the EU. But hard core Brexiteers are kind of all-or-nothing.
  15. MarginOfError

    Career Change - Advice?

    I can't help much with your career change, but if you have any recommendations for taking the CompTIA Security+ test, let me know. For some incomprehensible reason, I'm being required to take it.