‘A Tale of Two Babies …’
As the subtitle of the piece puts it, “Two premature babies were born in New York City this summer, at similar ages. One was abandoned in a park, the other killed in a late term abortion.” The first, Monica, died at 20 weeks and received a funeral, her casket carried by “six of New York’s finest”--“Mourners said the service was beautiful and lamented the circumstances that may have led her mother to abandon her.”
The second, “Baby K,” was 26.5 weeks old, and on the Wednesday before Monica’s funeral, the mother ended her life in the womb. The procedure took four days. The author of the piece, Sarah St. Onge, remembers the “party atmosphere” when Gov. Cuomo signed the “Reproductive Health Act” into law: “Women surrounded him, clapping and whooping,” because they “were going to be empowered by their ability to purchase later-term abortions.”
As St. Onge put it, “We can no longer sit back and pretend like these things aren’t happening….”
As children once again slide into the routine of the school year, a couple of articles suggest that parents have creative alternatives to education-as-usual. (Although with so many strange things now taking place in public schools—the normalizing of all manner of sexual behavior, for example—today’s education is hardly “as usual” anymore.) One option on the table is, of course, home schooling, but in this essay, “Who Needs School Anyway?” the author, a professional educator, learns that home schooling is actually better if it’s not about schooling.
Another alternative was featured in CT’s cover story for September, “The Rise of the Bible-Teaching, Plato-Loving, Homeschool Elitists.” The main thesis of the article explores a seeming conundrum: Why is it that evangelical Christians, who in the 1950s and 1960s rejected classical education because of its pagan ideals and morals, have now become its biggest champion?
Fake News Gone Wild
Jordan Peterson personally discovered that there is software commonly available that can take as little as six hours of original audio of a speaker and “produce [in video format] credible fakes, matching rhythm, stress, sound, and prose intonation” of the original speaker—putting words into his mouth that he never said. He’s seen videos of himself rapping Eminem songs, of Bernie Sanders singing “Dancing Queen,” among others—and he says it’s all very convincing.
This sounds like a harmless prank until you start thinking like a criminal, he says. Could this technology be used to imitate the voice of a son or daughter in distress, phoning parents or grandparents for some emergency cash? Or could “news” websites create a realistic video of a politician saying something scandalous? “What do we do when ‘fake news’ is just as real as ‘real news’?” asks Peterson.
Fake Videos for Fun
On the other hand, modern videos can be fun--and instructive! Check out this rap debate between “Alexander Hamilton” and “Satoshi Nakamoto,” respectively the creators of the central banking system and bitcoin--shades of the musical Hamilton, with some economic education thrown in. The fun begins around :30.
Grace and peace,
Editor-in-Chief, Christianity Today