Doctor Woke

From the Centre For Independent Studies, an article I am in complete agreement with. Political preaching killed Dr Who the first time around, and it’s likely to do it again.

Monica Wilkie

17 JANUARY 2020 | IDEAS@THECENTRE

Fiction has become a medium for writers and actors to treat their audience as morally inferior dolts in need of re-education.

This week’s episode of Doctor Who was an excellent example.

The Doctor and her companions land on a possible future in which the Earth was destroyed by food shortages, mass migration, war, and because — she claims — we “ignored every scientist on Earth.”

The big scary monsters who evolved from the humans left behind are subtlety called ‘The Dregs’… and just in case you missed all that, there is a montage of the Earth being destroyed, and a tedious monologue urging us to change to avoid destruction.

All that was missing was for the Doctor to fall to her knees and scream “you blew it up!”

Fiction has always borrowed from real-world events and anxieties. The problem is when writers and actors hubristically sacrifice good story-telling to ensure they are on ‘the right side of history’.

This thinking was admonished as lazy by author Jessa Crispin in a fantastic piece for The Guardian “…if you insist that a movie is important, you don’t really have to deal with whether or not it’s good.”

Reviews will often sport headlines like ‘X is the show we need right now’. The show is apparently needed to “keep the momentum of change moving forward” or because it is has a diverse cast, or has the ‘correct’ political slant.

The plot, character development, costuming, lighting, score, or anything else relevant gets little to no attention.

But unfortunately, politics over substance is a trend set to continue.

Patrick Stewart – who will reprise his role as Captain Picard – has promised us the newest iteration of Star Trek “was [Stewart] responding to the world of Brexit and Trump”.

Apparently, the world is so chaotic we need a fictional captain with a penchant for “tea, earl-grey … hot” to save us.

As an alien in the first Star Trek series warned: “wrong thinking is punishable.” And we are certainly being punished with nauseatingly preachy fiction.

Reflection on John 16:1-15

Scripture

“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth.”

Observation

Jesus warns that His disciples will be expelled from the synagogues, and that those who kill them will think they are doing a holy service for God.

When Jesus is taken away from them, He will send them an Advocate , a helper. He will convict the world about sin, about God’s righteousness and about the coming judgement.

When the Spirit comes, He will guide them into all truth. He will speak what He has heard from the Father, and He will glorify Jesus.

Application

Some people read this verse, and others like it, and they assume that it means that they don’t need anyone else to teach them how to follow Jesus.

The problem is that, without other people to help us and direct us, we soon lose sight of where the Spirit might be leading us. It becomes easy to assume that every thought that sounds “spiritual” must be from the Holy Spirit.

Our revelations need to be checked against Scripture to see whether or not they conform to what God has already said. Any revelation that contradicts the Bible is not from the Holy Spirit.

Jesus here is talking to a group of people- His disciples. It is possible for a group to be led astray by a charismatic leader, but it is less likely than a single believer being deceived. In a group, we can hear the Word of God being applied and we can check “truth” against Truth.

We need each other in order to stay on the right track.

Prayer

Thank you, Holy Spirit, that you lead me in your ways of righteousness. May I never mistake wishful thinking for your holy ways. Amen.

Jo Nova: Hottest ever day in Australia — especially if you ignore history

From Joanne Nova:

Tuesday was Australia’s hottest day on record sayth the Bureau of Meteorology.

And perhaps it was. But look at the temperatures reported in newspapers across the country during the month of January in 1896 when people were going mad with axes, dropping dead in coaches and railway stations and birds were falling lifeless from the trees? Emergency trains were ferrying people from the country to the mountains. Panic stricken people fled the outback on special trains and the death toll was  hundreds die.

Fifty years later scientists would publish papers talking about how Australian summers had cooled since then.

How does the BOM know for sure that it was not hotter on any one of these days?  Perhaps they don’t. Wouldn’t it be more honest of the BOM to mention that? It’s not like billions of dollars depends upon it…

Seems the only time the ABC or BOM suddenly discover our historic weather records is when we get unseasonal snow or freezing cold.

The heatwave started in the West on Jan 1st and travelled eastwards, as most heatwaves do. The hottest day was possibly Jan 23 or 24 in 1896 which is when most of the Eastern States maximum temperatures shown above were recorded. And there are hints that this was both widespread and long — some of these towns recorded three long weeks of ultra high temperatures close to and over 110F (43.3C) like Nannine in WA (near Meekatharra) and Cunnamulla in Qld. Both reported peaks as high as 120F (48.8C). In Bourke temperatures were above 102F (38.9C) for 24 days in a row.

The BOM will say things were not entirely standardized or approved back then. But why would they care? Many of the BOM’s current sites fail their own standards:  thermometers may sit for 30 years over bitumen, or right next to incinerators. They plough around sites, move them, build walls next to them and forget, even next to their own offices. The BOM accept one-second records from new electronic gizmo’s in small screens, and adjust old temperatures down by as much as two whole degrees. Sometimes modern BOM sites need mysterious calendar monthly corrections, or get corrected by thermometers across the Bass Strait, and sometimes they are incredibly detailed but repeat robotically year after year. Remember those temperature maps of our deserts in WWI? There are sites where there are no thermometers which record exactly the same temperatures as they did the year before (and the year after). Just “made up”? The hottest day ever recorded was probably calculated with maps like that.

Read the full story here