Descartesian Deconversion

October 28, 2012    By: Jeff G @ 8:09 pm   Category: Happiness,Life,Truth

In my last post – which fell stillborn from the wordpress – I articulated my position as a Darwinian Anti-intellectualist. Briefly – and somewhat differently – I rejected the practice of construing all beliefs as if they were automatically answers to some question or another, the premises or conclusions to some argument. The two stalking horses in this project of mine have come to be Socrates and Descartes with their respective question/answer dialectic and methodological skepticism. In this post I will roughly follow Aladair MacIntyre in framing my own de-conversion from Mormonism in terms of a (mistaken) Cartesian framework. (more…)

Fourteen Years a Mormon, Five Years a Blogger

October 11, 2012    By: Matt W. @ 3:26 am   Category: Life

Fourteen years ago today I was baptized. It still is the single most important decision I have ever made in my life. For the past five years, I have posted about it each year. I post less frequently than I did five years ago. It seems that one of three things have happened, either the blogging genre has begun to cool as a popular medium, or I have begun to have less interesting things to say, or my kids have kicked me off the computer. Probably the third bit is an excuse for the reality of the second bit. In any case, thanks to everyone who has read here at New Cool Thang, who has taken time to comment, who has been patient with me as I thought through things, misspelled things, or generally butchered the standardized grammatical forms. I apologize if I have offended any, whether in comments, postings, or the lack of the same. Life is, if anything, busy. (more…)

Missionary age change back of the envelope Math.

October 7, 2012    By: Matt W. @ 8:58 am   Category: Uncategorized

Let’s say we have 52,000 missionaries right now. A little googling shows about 10,000 (18-20%) of those are sisters currently. A little missionary shows we average about 5 baptisms per missionary per year. With the new age limit drop on young women, there is an expected boost in the number of sisters serving. If the number of sisters jumps from 20% to 30% of the total, that,s an increase of 10,000 sisters, doubling the number of sisters in the field now. (Getting us back to the number of missionaries we had in the late 90s). That takes our convert numbers from 250,000 to 300,000 per year, at current rates. If sisters begin to go at the same rate as men, the missionary force jumps from 50,000 to 80,000 with baptisms jumping from 250,000 to 400,000. Of course this doesn’t include any sort of diminishing returns on the additive value of more missionaries, but it also doesn’t include any sort of boost for moving the men’s age to 18, and the men’s boost you get from all the girls doing it.

Who knows where it will land, but it is an exciting moment of potential, for this and so many other reasons. It will be fun to watch the next 10 years.