"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." - Darrell Royal
Friday, August 23, 2019
Question #92564 posted on 08/23/2019 10:32 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

So, I'm ready to try online dating. Problem is, I'm not sure how to pick an LDS dating site to use. There's LDS Singles, LDS Planet, LDS Mingle, and of course Mutual. And probably lots more.

Does anyone have any experience with online LDS dating? Any sites you'd recommend? I am willing to pay for a subscription if it's worth it.

If it matters, I'm on the older end of YSA, already graduated BYU and started a career, and am living in the Midwest, so members are fairly sparse in my area (hence me wanting to have a wider reach online in my dating efforts).

-still single

A:

Dear Single,

I met my girlfriend on Mutual, and quite a few of my friends have met their significant others on Mutual as well. I feel like it's a pretty good app, and it seems to be pretty common. I even know someone from Canada that met their SO on Mutual! It might be worth giving it a shot.

Peace,

Tipperary

A:

Dear Mingler, 

I don't see why you can't pick more than one of them to get the widest reach. All of them have decent enough reviews and whatnot, and if you try one and aren't liking the way it's run or the people you are meeting, you can always delete an account. Maybe start with two or three sites/apps? Also, try getting to know people in your ward- even some of the older folks. I'm sure lots of them have friends or relatives they might know that they can set you up with. I've heard lots of cases of that working if it's not too uncomfortable for you to ask for that. 

Cheers, 

Guesthouse. 


0 Corrections
Posted on 08/23/2019 10:49 a.m. New Correction on: #92527 My Question Here. Hymn 170 1in the LDS Hymn book, 'God, Our Father, Hear Us Pray' ...
Posted on 08/23/2019 10:48 a.m. New Correction on: #92546 What's your preferred system for tracking finances/budgeting? What has and hasn't worked for you in the ...
Question #92546 posted on 08/23/2019 7:43 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What's your preferred system for tracking finances/budgeting? What has and hasn't worked for you in the past? I downloaded You Need A Budget (YNAB) about a week ago, and while I admittedly haven't had it for very long, it's my new Favorite Thing.

- Whoops, I think I turned into a Boring Adult

A:

Dear Boring Adult,

I use a combination of Mint and a spreadsheet in Google Sheets. My spreadsheet breaks down my annual and monthly budget based on current salary and desired expenditures. I then input these budget categories into Mint, where I've linked my various accounts. I use Mint to keep track of whether I'm staying on track for each budget category. Then every few months I'll review my past spending to see if I need to make any adjustments to budget categories.

I love budgeting, but I don't want to think about it and update my information every single day. My system works because I can consult my spreadsheet at any time to remind myself how much I have to spend, and check Mint at any time to see how the overall month is going. This helps me keep my budget realistic and in line with my general spending.

Love,

Luciana

A:

Dear BA,

When I first took my foray into budgeting, I used an app that was called Level. I say "was" because it no longer exists. Which really sucks, because it was simple and easy to use. It would track your purchases and stuff, but its main strength was that you would put in an amount for spending in a month and it would tell you how much you can spend each day. If you spent more than that amount, it re-adjusted the rest of the days to keep you on track. It essentially gave 20ish year old me a daily allowance, and for that I was grateful.

Then I spent many years without any kind of budgeting until this last semester, when I took the Family Finance class and making a budget was literally an assignment. I went with Mint, which I am still mostly using. It's working well for my needs, but you really have to set everything up on a computer to get the full functionality. If you go in and try to do it just with your phone, you're going to miss a lot of features that make things easier.

That being said, I'm not entirely sold on Mint, so maybe I'll check out You Need A Budget and see if it better fits my needs. 

-Quixotic Kid

A:

Dear person,

I use a Google Sheet. It works pretty well. I like the flexibility offered by a spreadsheet and it meets my needs. It is worth noting that, at this point, I'm not a tight budgeter. Currently, I only have short-term financial goals (i.e., I need to make ___ amount for tuition by [month], and I have ___ months, so I need to save about ___ per month until then." That's about all I can realistically do as a graduate student who won't make real money until age 30 or so. Once I have long-term goals (e.g., retirement, down payment), I may or may not need additional tools. So far, making savings goals has been sufficient motivation and structure for me. Until that is no longer the case, I will be using the Google Sheet. 

-Sheebs

A:

Dear whoops,

Is it bad if I say I don't really use anything...? My bank account does have some budgeting tools online that I sort of use to track my spending, etc., but basically my categories are just rent and everything else. So... whoops, I guess I haven't turned into an adult.

Sincerely,

Cerulean

P.S. Thanks for the tip. Maybe I'll start using You Need A Budget.

A:

Dear friend, 

Like Sheebs, I budget using a Google Sheet. I make a tentative budget and then adjust for the things that real life throws at me, like dental bills. I like doing it myself... I don't know why, but budgeting apps have never been good to me, and the digital version of the good old fashioned DIY way works just dandy for me. Why fix what ain't broke (haha, get it?) 

Cheers, 

Guesthouse

A:

Dear Adulting,

We're only at the beginning phases of budgeting. But we save all of our receipts and put them into categories: Food, car, lodging, personal care, entertainment, etc. We input the total amount of each receipt, the date, and what for into Google Sheets.

If it's Walmart, we divide the receipts into sub-categories: personal care and food are the two main factors for us when it comes to Walmart. But sometimes we have cleaning supplies that goes into lodging. 

...Then that's about it. We compare the total categories from previous months to see if we're doing better or worse.  We're saving money, but I couldn't tell you how much. Hopefully it'll get better soon, one of my goals after we move this month!

Thanks for the tips fam!

-Goldie Rose 


1 Correction
Question #92527 posted on 08/23/2019 7:41 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

My Question Here.
Hymn 170 1in the LDS Hymn book, 'God, Our Father, Hear Us Pray' says that the text was written by Annie Pinnock Malin who was born in 1863. The music was written by Louis M. Gottschalk who died in 1869. Doesn't the text come before the music? If that is true and Malin was only 6 years old when Gottschalk died then she must have been a child prodigy. It beffudles me.

-My Name Here
Ruby

A:

Dear Ruby,

You’re right, Annie Pinnock Malin was born in 1863 and Louis Moreau Gottschalk died in 1869, which means their lives only overlapped for six years. However, sometimes, the music for a hymn actually does come before the text, which is what happened with “God, Our Father, Hear Us Pray.”

Louis Moreau Gottschalk was born in 1829 in New Orleans. He actually was the one who was a prodigy. He studied in Europe, becoming a world famous pianist and composer. He seems to have lived a fascinating life, with Encyclopedia Britannica listing him as the “first American composer to utilize Latin American and Creole folk themes and rhythms.” And at some point, he composed the tune “Mercy,” what we now use for hymn 170. From what I can tell, he was never aware of Annie Pinnock Malin or the Latter-day Saint movement at all.

Annie Pinnock Malin, on the other hand, was a member of the Church. She and her parents moved to Utah from England when she was very young. You can tell her lyrics are distinctly Mormon because she says “as we drink the water clear.” While it’s not unheard of for other congregations to use water instead of wine/grape juice, I’d hazard a guess that we’re the only ones willing to claim it in a hymn.“God, Our Father, Hear Us Pray” is the only hymn she has in the hymn book, but apparently she “wrote several stories and poems that were published in Latter-day Saint periodicals” and I am very sad because I cannot find these.

I also couldn’t find very much on how the text and the music eventually came together, but the hymn book lists the music as adapted by Edwin P. Parker, 1836–1925. It doesn’t look like Parker was a member of the Church, but perhaps he and Malin still worked together to combine the words and music. Perhaps we'll never know. Parker's arrangement of “Father in Heaven” is also included in our hymn book.

If you’re interested in other lyrics that have been combined with Gottschalk’s “Mercy,” check out this website. One of my favorites is a version intended for weddings:

Father, in Thy presence now,
Has been pledged the nuptial vow;
Heart to heart, as hand in hand,
Bride and groom, Thy children stand.

Okay, I will stop now. That is probably more than you wanted to know. Enjoy!

Sincerely,

Cerulean

P.S. Just one more thing, did you know that the first couple hymnals of the Church only included the words? They just mixed-and-matched lyrics that expressed their new faith to tunes they already knew. And, did you know you can still do this?? If you find another hymn that matches the “Meter” listed at the bottom of the hymn (there’s a handy index at the back of the hymn book to find them), you can sing either lyrics to either tune! Kinda cool.


1 Correction
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

In response to Question #92448 on reparations, Guesthouse stated:

As far as policy goes, I would like to see some specific reparations acts, but will also be glad to see housing reform, educational reform, and welfare reform that will help the poor Black community.


Can you elaborate? What reforms? What reparations? How would you do it?

Be as specific as possible.

Thanks,

Sentinel

A:

Dear Watcher, 

Well, I told you I was TA-ing for the Race and Ethnicity class this fall, so ya gurl dug up her old textbook and supplemental materials and read UP! Sit down and buckle up kids, we're going for a ride. {Shameless plug here, for the love of everything, PLEASE TAKE SOC 323 IT WILL MAKE YOU A BETTER PERSON AND CHANGE YOUR LIFE.}

First of all, I think we should talk about feasibility, right? Because I have a feeling that I'm going to make my personal recommendations for possible reparations and reforms, and people are gonna be like "Yeah sure, but we will never be able to do this" or "Why should we care." 

So you should know: The United States has done reparations before. Other countries have too. Remember that crappy thing called Japanese Internment? President Reagan passed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 that payed over 800,000 victims or family members of victims $20,000. This required $1.1 Billion, but it was carried out. We also (rather pathetically) have *tried* to pay some reparations to Native Americans, often in terms of settlements and land allotment. Honestly, there's a lot to be done there, but that's not specifically what we're focusing on here. The point is, reparations are not a foreign concept to the U.S. Government. They are not unprecedented, and we can - and have - handled it in the past. Also, Reagan was a Republican, so don't try to tell me that reparations are a 'Liberal' issue. Because it's not. 

Also, think about the reparations that Germany paid for years following the Holocaust! That's a very large-scale tragedy, but the point is - they acknowledged the atrocity and tried to do something about it. That's a sore spot in their history, meanwhile, the United States still does not acknowledge or confront the wrongdoing of slavery in a systematic — or government-based — way.  

Granted, the U.S. did try (again, rather pathetically) to offer reparations with General Sherman's  (unfulfilled) promise of "40 acres and a mule" (as if that's sufficient payment for decades - nay, centuries, of enslavement... AND ANYWAY, stupid Andrew Johnson vetoed it very shortly after Lincoln's death, and all the land was returned to its original owners. In other words, massive failure.) For several decades, there has been a House Bill #40 (named after the previously mentioned phrase) that calls for the creation of a reparations commission to begin sorting out the who, how, and what of slave reparations. Unfortunately, it has never been successful, stalling year after year. 

If you think that the 13th Amendment or the Civil Rights era count towards 'reparations' you're also fooling yourself. Giving people the rights of basic humanity isn't paying them back for the lifetimes that were stolen and abused, or the repercussions of the systematic racism that came about in the years after freedom was won. 

Additionally, the demand for reparations is not one that is specifically against the 'white people' of America. The case for reparations is one against the government and the country itself, and is not, in its entirety, about the individuals who were taken advantage of. REPARATIONS IS ABOUT THE SYMBOLIC ACT OF ACCEPTANCE OF OUR HISTORY AND RECONCILIATION WITH THOSE WE HAVE HURT AS A NATION. It is meant to be a way to say "Wow, we feel so bad that we did this. Here is how we are trying to make it better." It's about America getting over its stupid pride and nationalism and acknowledging a hideous past, and trying to repair things! 

Alright. Before we get into my ideas, allow me to remind you that I am a student of sociology. I am not an expert, but I do have relevant information and pretty substantially research-backed opinions. However, if you are really deeply interested in learning more about this for yourself, besides the Te-Nehisi Coates article we mentioned in the previous question, there are plenty more resources you can turn to. Ones that I particularly enjoyed reading can be found here, here, and especially here. (they're big because I want you to read them.)

On we go. Let's talk about current policy reforms first, because those are a little bit easier to get. 

Housing Reform:

I hope that it's not unknown to you that there is discrimination in housing in the United States. It's manifest in a lot of different ways. Higher rent payments, less forgiveness for late payments, higher rates of eviction, worse options for loans, higher interest rates, or, being only shown homes in neighborhoods with known minority populations, even if the client could afford to live elsewhere. I care about housing reform, and I'll give what my suggestions are below, but you'll note that the core issue of all of this tends to be the racialization and criminalization of poverty... so that's where I think we should probably focus. That's where the discussion about the severe lack of subsidized and/or affordable housing comes into play. Housing is exceptionally expensive, and as the cost of living price continues increasing while wages stagnate, a greater percentage of families are paying more than half of their money into rent and utilities. That's debilitating.  Regardless, a few things I would like to see: 

  • Legislation that officially closes loopholes allowing for discriminatory practices in loaning based on race particularly, or at the very least, greater legal power for people that go against corporations for discrimination 
  • Certifiable training for real estate agents about racial politics and housing discrimination. Get certified so minorities can go with agents they can trust to cater to their needs and understand their unique position. 
  • Affordable housing acts like the one that Kamala Harris is pushing - the Rent Relief Act, which is designed to give an income tax credit to families who spend 1/3 or more of their income on housing. That's not a handout. It requires employment and tax-payer status, but helps people keep a roof over their head with more stability. And that's crucial. 
Again, this isn't my area of expertise. I'm interested in learning more about it, but for the sake of timeliness on this answer, that will have to suffice. 

Educational Reform:

Everything in society is tied together. So, education is very strongly linked with poverty and housing discrimination. Therefore, any changes to those other two aspects will change what the education experience looks like. I'm not totally sure which things should be done first, or which will have the biggest impact, but one thing I would like to see with educational reform is changing the way schools and districts are funded. It's pretty messed up that the best schools are the ones that have funding, because that means it's the people with more money that get better schooling. We're just compounding privilege on privilege. Those kids already have support systems and advantages that will help them succeed. But then we also give them better teachers, more extracurriculars, more opportunities... it's kinda ridiculous. The families where parents are working two or three jobs to put food on the table are the ones that need schools with good afterschool extracurricular programs. They need the extra support of good teachers and potentially free or cheaper tutors. Instead, it's all organized in a way that makes life ever harder for people who already have it hard. I think school funding should go through the state taxes instead of local, and the state can allocate according to need based on their own research. We also should focus on integrating high- and low-income areas. High-income families obviously have more choice to opt-out of this in favor of privatized education, but all research that I studied in my Sociology of Education class seemed to suggest that the best possible option was to have people from all backgrounds together. This allows for the communities to come together and help each other grow in ways that homogeny simply can't. It raises graduation rates for everyone and the community ensures that those who didn't have opportunities before are given those opportunities. It doesn't hurt the privileged in any way. They still get a quality education with essentially identical academic scores and whatnot, meanwhile, it helps the disadvantaged in monumental ways. 

Criminal Justice Reform: 

Honestly, there are so many things needed here I could make a new question about it specifically. Here's a few ideas:

  • Seriously decriminalize marijuana and make charges for minor drug charges much less severe, and pardon those who are in there for things that aren't even illegal anymore, since they were stupid in the first place. 
  • Erase the difference between 'white drugs' and 'black drugs'. You can't incarcerate people for different lengths of time for doing essentially the same crime just because you're racist. That's not how the law is supposed to work and I'm tired of it being this way.
  • Get rid of the death penalty. 
  • Investigate into misconduct like the Ferguson Police Department intentionally and systematically charging minorities excessive fines for minor traffic infringements to fund the city, because surely more places are doing it. 
  • Body cams should be in use, especially if responding to a potentially dangerous situation. People who's behavior is questionable need to be fired, not kept just to prove a point. That being said, people also need to be willing to listen to both sides of the story. I listened to an enlightening podcast episode that made me think about police brutality in a different way, and I really encourage you to listen to it as well: Revisionist History Season 4: Episode 7 - "Descend into the Particular" 
  • I'm not sure specifically how to fix this, but there are lots of POC - especially young boys - who will plead guilty to crimes they are not guilty of just because the cost of a trial that would likely acquit them is too much for them or their family to handle. That's just sickening to me. There are people in jail that don't belong there, just because they don't want to deal with the fight. That's stupid. The Innocence Project can't save everyone, we should just be doing a better job. I know trials can't be free, because people have to be paid and compensated. I will look more into this in the future, but I've already held this question over long enough that I will let this be the last point here. 

I haven't learned as much about criminal justice as I would like to. I'm not sure how to fix everything that's wrong with it, but I hope by the end of this next semester, I'll have some more information to better answer this question. Sorry I can't be more specific here, I just need to learn more before I can feel justified in having a strong opinion. 

Welfare Reform:

Like I mentioned, the core issue of all of this is money. The history of discrimination and oppression has most substantially affected the economic wellbeing of Black families. So, even if nothing else can be done in any other area, I really think that targeting economic inequality will make the most substantial difference. This is part of why reparations are important to me. Poverty is rampant because we have NEVER STOPPED DISCRIMINATING AGAINST THE BLACK COMMUNITY. They are so heavily overrepresented in the poor community because they have been dealt - and KEEP getting dealt - the literal crappiest hand of cards on the table, because the card dealer (not God, but society) is rigging the deck, and everyone knows it, but isn't stopping it! 

I started talking about this is an earlier question, but not enough that I think it counts as suggestions. It's also hard for me to get super specific, because I'm not the person that's designing things. I have opinions, and I'm trying to be educated about them, but I certainly don't know everything - or how best to implement the ideas that I do have. In any case, here's what I think: 

  • Keep the work requirement, obviously. Something over 70% of welfare recipients have at least one job, and a large majority of the remainder are incapable of working due to age or health limitations. I think encouraging work is good, and the purpose of welfare is to help people get back on their feet... especially if other systems are the ones pushing them down, it's fair. 
  • Eliminate penalties for wage increase and marriage. As is, if a person's income grows to 150% of the poverty level, they experience, effectively, a massive jump in taxes. 150% of the poverty line is still not that much (and the poverty line measurement is problematic as is, which I'll talk about next), so it's a vicious cycle where suddenly when you start doing the things that are supposed to help get you out of poverty - making more money - You lose the benefits far too quickly and you just get put right back where you were in the first place. Similar limitations apply to getting married - regardless of whether or not that means there will be two incomes. In other words, some of the current arrangements in the welfare system are creating problems instead of helping solve them. The way the program is organized right now is incredibly ineffective for the way that poverty actually functions in the United States. We need to change the rules in how long you can be on welfare to make sure people have support for long enough after they switch jobs or get married that they actually get a boost in the right direction. People don't want to stay on welfare, but sometimes doing the things to get off of it will just put you right back in. Super stupid. Here's a decent Fox News article on this topic (me? reading and citing Fox? I know! It's like I do research on all sides of the issue!) and an interview with Mitt Romney (watch at about 45:40 for the relevant content) So how, more specifically, can we fix some of these issues? First, taper benefits more gradually so there aren't 'cliffs' that you can fall off as soon as you make a certain amount. This should help ease people out of the programs without leaving them helpless when they're still finding their way back on their own two feet. Second, literally just get rid of the marriage penalty. Welfare policy should be purely neutral to relationship status. Why is this even a question? 
  • Find another measure of the poverty line, or at the very least, update it. Measuring based on how much food costs is stupid because that changes from place to place, doesn't take into account those who live in food deserts and therefore have to travel (additional costs) or the fact that unhealthy foods may be cheaper, but the health costs they entail are not cheaper. It also is a 'general' line, not adjusted for the varying costs of living expenses (especially housing) in densely populated urban areas, where many poor Black families have to live. Therefore, some families make more than the poverty line and don't qualify for benefits, but due to specific circumstances, like geographic location, still should technically qualify. I think that one potential solution would be to make welfare distribution and laws more state-based so there can be organization at a closer level. 
  • Make the process simpler!!! Welfare is dead in large part because the bureaucracy of it is so complicated that it almost feels like it isn't worth the hassle. You have to jump through hundreds of hoops, and it makes people frustrated. So, instead of trying to get the assistance that they need and benefitting from it, they just stay stuck in their current situation. Getting more people off welfare is good, but if that means that you just stop giving it to people, that doesn't actually solve the poverty problem. Sure, there are fewer people on welfare, but that means there's just more poor people who need assistance that don't get it because it's just too hard to do. Paperwork should be easy to understand and fill out, and people should have a good, accessible place to get information about qualifications that, instead of trying to shove them away, will welcome them and give them help in a way that is compassionate instead of despiteful. 
  • Combine the current 15 systems into something unified and consistent, because as is, the whole thing is a mess. There needs to be a committee that reviews the administrative goings-on, paperwork, requirements, usage, etc. of all of the different parts and coherently glue them together into a single effective welfare program that people can turn to and apply for the things that they need. There should be counselors available to go over a person's circumstances and determine what kind of assistance would be most beneficial for them. 
  • Offer free classes through said welfare system buildings on topics like budgeting, smart shopping, cooking, parenting, relationship building, interview skills, etc. Things to help people build the skills they need to make them more successful in the future. I guarantee you have people in the community that would be more than happy to volunteer to teach that kind of thing, or be paid very little. Heck, I'd totally do it. That's basically what 4-H was for me. 5$ for an annual membership and I learned SO MUCH stuff, mostly from volunteers. 
  • Say it with me: affordable healthcare.  It doesn't have to look the same as Canada's or Germany's or whoever else. But there needs to be a way to subsidize the cost of healthcare in the U.S. and guarantee that people who need it can get care. There are literally people dying because they can't afford their insulin or other medications, or who don't go to the doctor to get diagnosed for things because they can't afford it, only for once-small issues to become fatal. I wish I could be more specific about how I think the U.S. can do healthcare, but I really don't know the answer. Personally, I don't think that socialized healthcare exactly like Canada is the solution for our country. We're just different, so we need systems that function for us. Regardless, I think there should at least be healthcare benefits offered with welfare because environmental factors that tie with poverty have a big impact on health. Think about it... if the cheapest food is processed carbs, you're going to have a lot of health problems due to that. Or, you have to live close to work because you can't afford a car... so you live in the city, where there is more pollution, and your kids are more likely to be asthmatic... those kinds of things. So, there should be health assistance available for the people who really are going to need it more since  it's already hard enough for them to be healthy. 
  • Job placement services available to people who sign up for welfare! If we care so much about people working, why not ensure that there are resources available - or at least make sure people are aware of where to find them? Simple solution. 
  • Work to end stereotypes like the 'Welfare Queen' and welfare dependency, which just aren't true. The stigma is what makes people vote in ways that make things worse, not better. Educating people about the reality of welfare in America instead of letting people like freaking Charles Murray feed everyone misinformation that scars the country's policies for decades and keeps us from making progress because it just confirms biases in people's racist hearts that just aren't true! (*deep breath* Sorry, I seriously think Charles Murray is the worst.) 
Anyway, those are just a few of the ideas that I have researched and think might be a good idea. Honestly, the welfare system is so broken it might be a good idea to trash the whole thing and start over. And by that I mean, keep it until we put the new one in place, but the new one shouldn't be any form of "improvements" on the current system. We just need a good group of people of all different political alignments to get together, do a LOT of research on poverty in America, and welfare systems in this and other countries (or just freaking listen to the sociologists who are already doing the research, sheesh) and then discuss options and move forward from there. We know what kinds of things work well, and instead of trying to fix the dishwasher that keeps breaking, maybe it's just time to buy a new one... you know? Anyway. I care about this topic a lot. I'm going to be taking more classes in the future that should help me some more in my understanding of welfare, but this is what I've got. I hope that was specific enough for you. 
 
Now let's get to the big one. 

Reparations: 

Perhaps the reason that people don't like the idea of reparations is that they think that things are already fair and squared away. The Blacks were granted their freedom, were they not? But giving people back the basic rights that they deserved does not mean that you have made things right for abusing them for centuries. That literally just doesn't make any sense. Plus, it's not like after the slaves were freed, everyone treated People of Color like they were actual worthwhile human beings. They had to fight for their right to vote - something that should have been a given from the beginning- their right to marry whomever they chose (That one wasn't even fixed by the supreme court until 1967. That's insane!) and every day they still fight for their lives and their basic humanity in hundreds of ways. We talked about a bunch of them already above, so I won't go over them again. 

What needs to be understood is that sometimes saying "Oh, sorry" isn't enough, especially if you keep hurting the person/group of people. People used and abused Black men, women, and children for over a century. They were never compensated for their work, and sometimes would be punished horribly without reason. That disrespect for human life is a scar on the American past that needs to be reconciled, and there is a debt to be paid. The Government didn't have the right to "give" people something that should have been theirs in the first place. The Gettysburg Address, 13th, 14th, 15th, and 19th (I include the 19th because it gave Black women the right to vote, though more generally just women...) did not fix things. 

Since money seems to be a tangible concept, let's think about it this way: Something like 600,000 slaves were brought to the United States from Africa. This number seems low to me, but that's what Wikipedia says so we'll use it as a base number. Now, many of those slaves had children, who also had children... and so forth. All would have been deemed property and been made to work. These people were literally sold as objects. What I'm about to calculate is in no way whatsoever trying to place a value on their lives, but rather is an attempt to estimate how much they should have been paid in the first place, so we can see how deeply indebted we are. Let's say that total we've got about 8,000,000 people who at one point or another were slaves. (By about 1790 the number was around 600,000, and in 1860 there were about 4,000,000 in the population that were slaves)  Surely the number is much higher, but for our purposes, let's stick with it. Okay, so slaves have at least a 12-hour workday. The average wage for a simple laborer in 1860 was about 10 cents an hour. I'm not going to do inflation calculations because that's complicated and it's not going to be that different. Stick with me here: 

$0.10 per hour * 12 hours * 7 days (they didn't really get weekends off) * 360 days a year (we'll say. Surely many never got days off.) * 32 years average life expectancy [lots of different measures from this, I took an average of several averages I found.] * 8,000,000 lives spent in slavery = $24,192,000,000. Twenty-four billion, one hundred ninety-two million 1860 dollars, low estimates. You want to know how much that is in 2019 dollars?

 ****$747,827,184,578.31**** (thanks, Inflation Calculator) 747 BILLION DOLLARS. Do you think those people were ever compensated? NO! They died in agony, sickness, malnourishment, and torture. They died separated from their families and loved ones, seen as objects. Bought and sold like they were nothing. This doesn't count for the emotional damages, health problems, or anything else. That's literally just the pricetag for the unpaid slave labor. You know what it doesn't count? Unpaid or minimally compensated prison labor that took advantage of millions of Black male prisoners. That's just a new version of slavery. That's going to put us over a trillion dollars. And that's just my estimate. I can't promise perfect accuracy there, just a disclaimer. Regardless, the total is baffling.

Tack on the emotional and physical damages (lynchings, murders, harrassment, housing discrimination, loan discrimination, housing discrimination, hate crimes, microaggressions, Jim Crow laws, voting restrictions, educational discrimination, criminal prosecution of innocents, police brutality, environmental discrimination leading to disproportionate representation of asthmatic children, heart disease, and cancers with little to no ability to seek treatment, and MORE!) and the numbers are so astronomical they may actually be more money than the U.S. is currently indebted to other countries! 

And what, do we think that saying "Oh, well I guess slavery is illegal now..." is going to just make that go away? Do we think that we can just shrug our shoulders and all will be forgiven?

But we can do better than empty apologies. We can do better than just saying, "Well, we'll keep trying to give you your rights." That stuff is important, and we need reforms and progress for sure. But let's think about that in terms of our debt calculator... Reform policies aren't chipping away at the damage that has been done, they're just trying to stop it from happening more in the future. Granted, it does make it seem better. And maybe we can say that it counts for enough that the amazing citizens of color would agree to forgiving chunks of that debt. They already don't ask for much, some don't ask at all. But I think we really ought to be honest about the damage that has been done and how we can REALLY try to make it right. 

I know that it's going to be a hard fight to get money that goes directly to descendants of slaves, so I have a few other suggestions that are perhaps more feasible: 

  • A Legacy Trust/Grant. Besides having the government contribute to it, people can donate to the trust, and those who are descendants of slaves can submit their ancestry. No other requirements. If you apply for the grant, you can get it. I think having it open to the public donation is a vital part, because there are TONS of people who I know would want to contribute (myself included) to stand in solidarity, but currently don't know how to help. That would be a good opportunity for people to show their support. 
  • Along the lines of the first point, a scholarship is also a good idea. College can be a distant dream for disadvantaged students, and one way that we can repay is by paying for some degrees, so that those people then have the opportunity to create their own success in life. It's a relatively small investment that changes people's lives. To me, that is a good effort at restitution. 
  • Tax Credit. This is one of Kamala Harris's ideas for reparations, but qualifying individuals could add the tax credit to ease their financial burden a bit, which over time can be really significant. 
  • Better curriculum in teaching history in the U.S. to include minority experiences and especially a more honest approach to teaching the atrocities of slavery, Reconstruction-era violence, Jim Crowe discrimination, and Civil Rights Era events. Honestly, I think that every single person in the world could benefit from a sociology of Race & Ethnicity class. It helps you learn more about yourself and your friends and peers and see the world beyond just your own eyes. Why they don't offer that kind of thing in high school? I have no idea. But History classes - heck, why not the core curriculum? - need to better integrate racial history into their books. I was in high school less than 5 years ago and I definitely remember having a super white-washed and sugarcoated textbook.  Education is the first step to understanding. 
  • Other ideas I am open to but am yet to study and understand.

The conversation around reparations are incredibly promising, and regardless of how controversial of a topic they are, I do believe that something ought to be done to address institutional racism and the history of slavery in America. Reparations isn't exclusively about paying back a debt, it's about being sincere in our apology as a nation and moving forward. This shouldn't be an unfamiliar concept. When we learn about repentance through the Atonement, we learn that we can never really repay the Savior for the sacrifice he made for us. But when we repent, we are asked to confess and confront our shortcomings, and do what we can to make it right. If a kid breaks a window, he should offer to either pay to have it replaced or mow lawns for the neighbor to make up for the damages. It's about showing your sincerity and Godly sorrow for your mistakes. It's only through that process of genuine penitence that we can make progress and become better. A similar concept applies here; until restitution is something that we can get behind, institutional racism will always persist. It means we don't take it seriously, and we aren't sorry. It means we have chosen to ignore the past, and the past's effect on the present. When this is the case, we condemn ourselves to a future that will never measure up to where we want to be. That is why I think the discussion about reparations and reforms is so significant. That's why I said that reparations also include confronting and being honest about history. 

People need to realize, too, that reparations can mean a lot of things. Right now, only about 25% of voters support the idea of reparations. I think that number is pretty low, and that may be because there is a misconception about it, that people think that it's just an unjustified handout. I think if there was better education about slavery and Black History, people wouldn't think it was such an outlandish idea. I can only hope to help educate people a bit and get them to open their minds and their hearts with compassion to the experiences of their fellow men. That doesn't mean that people have to come to the same conclusions as I have, but I really think people need to not brush off the idea of reparations so quickly without considering the virtue of restitution. 

Here's a really good quote from Reverend Mark Thompson, a member of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America: 

"For many of us, reparations means spiritual repair, cultural repair, repair through the means of education, health, economics, society, all of those things together. So it’s obviously more than individual checks, but helping to build institutions so that at least African Americans can catch up with white Americans."

And another, from Coleman Hughes [with some paraphrasing, lifted from this article which you should TOTALLY READ FOR A GOOD NUANCED OPINION]:

"Reparations is “something of a misnomer because the wrongs of history are generally too deep to actually be completely compensated.” What reparations should mean, he said, is “a full-hearted recognition that a wrong was committed, that something happened that should not have happened––and more than that, it’s an apology that feels more sincere because you’re attaching something tangible to it, because words are very cheap.”

I hope this has opened your mind a bit to the idea. I certainly don't expect people to agree with me perfectly, nor do I think my opinions will stay the same forever. I am happy to learn more and hear other ideas on the matter, as I know my feelings are not the "right" answer or the only way to think about this. But thank you for allowing me to offer my thoughts and being respectful. I really appreciate it. 

Cheers, 

Guesthouse

P.S. Thank you for being patient with this answer, I really wanted to do a good job and research it thoroughly so I'm sorry it took longer than promised. I hope you feel that it was worth the wait. 


0 Corrections
Thursday, August 22, 2019
Question #92561 posted on 08/22/2019 12:47 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

My question is in response to the recent question as to the superiority of Euler or Newton. It looks like the votes went 2-2 between Newton and Euler, which IMHO seems to vastly undersell Euler. I just have one correction to Pebbles’ answer: Euler did not show that the Konigsberg bridge problem was unsolvable, he solved the problem by proving that the task was impossible in what proved to be the first solution to any problem in the field of graph theory. Graph theory has now become a huge and very well-studied field, which I imagine would have fared differently if the field’s first problem was determined unsolvable.

And so now to up the ante a little, my question is, Euler or Mendeleev?

-- Captain of the Euler Fanclub

A:

Dear Captain, 

Pebble says that proving that something is impossible and proving something is unsolvable mean the same thing...he solved it by proving it couldn't be solved in the way that the problem suggested. In any case, he says the difference is just semantics and promises that he knows what you're saying and he didn't mean to mislead. 

Regarding this new query, he says: 

"We could compare any and all famous and significant physicists, chemists, and mathematicians and never get anywhere because it's comparing apples and oranges and pears. If you like math better, Euler is obviously more important to you. So for me, no matter who you suggest to compare, I'm always going to say Euler because I think his contributions are the most significant. Of course, someone in the BioChem major might have a different opinion, because Euler doesn't have as much of an impact on them as Mendeleev does.

Anyway, Mendeleev was a very cool and smart dude, and the work he did on the Periodic Table - even though a lot of it was more of an educated guess - was very impressive. But I still have to stick with Euler. Math is pure logic, and nearly all else in the world of science is based on the true principles that can be found in mathematics. In other words, apples are better than all the other fruits. They're the most basic and important of the fruits, as math is the most important of all the fields. Therefore, Euler is cooler than Mendeleev simply because of the truths he is finding. That's the beauty of math. Credit goes to Mendeleev where it's due, but I mean it. We'd be nowhere without Euler.

- Pebble"

There you go. Personally, I was impressed to learn about Mendeleev, but the more I hear about Euler, I'm pretty convinced he might actually be one of the coolest dudes that has ever lived. 

Cheers, 

Guesthouse

A:

Dear person,

Mendel, easily. Those Punnett squares were pure gold.

-Sheebs

A:

Dear you,

Still Euler.

~Anathema 


0 Corrections
Question #92539 posted on 08/22/2019 10:54 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Who said "the [best] convert of [one's] mission is [himself/herself]" (roughly paraphrased)?

-Jeff

A:

Dear Jeff,

I feel like Sunday Night Banter is spot on, and it's either something Elder Holland came up with or something that was created in the missionary department that he said to the missionaries and popularized the phrase. Either way, it seems to be a phrase that missionaries (or anyone who brings up missionaries, for that matter) love to use, especially in conjunction with the DC 18:15-16 quote about how "if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy".

I think that this is a great quote, depending on the circumstance. I personally feel that though I definitely deepened my conversion on my mission, there are definitely people whose change in spiritual direction was much more drastic than mine, and I would say that their conversion was "better than mine." In this regard, I like the way that Elder Holland phrases it in Sunday Night Banter's link: "Missionaries are under obligation to come home having had at least one convert, you!" Either way, if you look up <"greatest convert" "missionary"> on Google, you'll get a lot of great missionary blogs.

Thanks for the question,

Inklings

A:

Dear Thomas Jefferson,

Your question is a little tricky because it's nearly impossible to tell who the first person on God's green earth said this, but I know that Elder Holland believes it and has said it. You can read a Church News article to find out exactly what he said and who he said it to. We know that in 2004 this phrase was widely known, so it's a pretty good guess that Elder Holland wasn't the first person to articulate this thought.

I hope this helps. 

-Sunday Night Banter

A:

Dear Jefe,

There is also this quote from President Nelson earlier this year: "His or her most important convert will be himself or herself." He also said it in 2017. I've included it here because even though the earliest reference we could find was from 2013, I find it hard to believe that the phrase/sentiment originated even in the past ten years. If I'm right, it is interesting that, as far as we can tell, it has become more widely used/taught by general authorities in recent years.

Sincerely,

Cerulean


0 Corrections
Question #92563 posted on 08/22/2019 5:06 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I don't know if any of you have tried Bumble, but is it only for straight people? I question this because the women are supposed to contact men first. How does that work with gay men, since there is no woman messaging? How would that work for lesbians (which girl would have to reach out first)?

-Devon Barber

A:

Dear Devon Barber,

I asked my gay brother about your question and this is what he responded with:

I use Bumble all the time. It has probably been the best app for me to find meaningful connections and individuals actually wanting to date. Using Bumble has also helped me avoid some of the more toxic parts of gay dating. So I don't know the mechanism for straight people super well because I've only used it to connect with other guys, but for me, the way it works is that we both swipe right on each other and match. Once matched, either guy has 24 hours to initiate a conversation (mostly heys, how are you, wow [this part of your profile] is way cool). Once that guy sends a message (or two or ten) then the other guy has 24 hours to respond or the match is lost.

I hope that this helps you. To answer your other question, lesbian women also do not have any restrictions except the 24 hour limit for the first two messages.

-Inklings


0 Corrections