Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I am never really bored; I am only lacking interest.

Hannah Marie:

The truth of the matter is that I am never really bored or lacking items to do; I am only lacking interest in what I could do.

So. True.

Backpacking, it's like, something. . .

Marco Arment speaking of a backpacking trip:

I’ve been at a loss of what to say about it. The hostile trail kicked our ----- much more than any of us anticipated, and there were some pretty miserable times on the hikes, but the trip overall was such a great time with our friends that we’d definitely do it again… on a more hiker-friendly trail.

I feel different after having done this, but I can’t put my finger on why. It’s a good thing. I’ve never pushed myself this hard, physically, and I’ve never been in a situation like this in which the only reasonable way out is to use my own (hurting, blistered) feet to descend 3,000 feet of altitude over five miles of slippery, steep rocks before nightfall.

It certainly gave me some perspective.

I took backpacking trip last spring with a group of guys from church. I've thought about it a lot, but wasn't able to congealize my thoughts as well as this quote expresses them.

"An oversized desk is the only sort worth owning"

Shawn Blanc's Oversized Desk, 21ft2

Shawn Blanc in an interview with Brett Kelly:
An oversized desk is the only sort worth owning. For one, they're there for you when you need that extra space for papers and other work (when you need the space, there never seems to be enough). Secondly, when your oversized desk is clean and empty, the unused acreage is a sight to behold.
Agreed. I have only a moderately oversized desk (Moderate being 8.6ft2, pictured below) and love it.  As a full time student I've got about half a dozen different "desk work" subjects; meaning that I've got 6 sets of papers to track and reference every day at my desk.  Having a desk large enough to keep (almost) all of it out and within easy reach helps keep the day going smooth. :)

My Oversized Desk, 8.6ft2

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The government is God! - Keynesian Economics.

Dave Breese in 7 Men who Rule the World from the Grave (p. 196-197):

It may well be said that the philosophy Keynes brought to the center of the world's thinking could be summed up in the maxim "The government has all the answers." Keynes thought he had proved that government intervention would move the economy; government guarantees would stabilize the banks; government protection would satisfy the labor unions; government regulation would stabilize the transportation, travel, the media, housing, mortages, pension funds, and retirement plans; and a thousand other things in which the government is now called upon to produce stability.
[. . .]
That the government is God! That is Keynesian Economics.
[. . .]
Someone is reported to have asked Keynes, "Yes this appears to work in the short term, but what about the long term consequences?" Keynes's famous answer was, "In the long term we are all dead."


That's Keynesian economics in a nut shell; as being applied by nuts in Washington who have nothing left inside their shell.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Our Postmodern Culture Desires Community

Pastor Brian S. Chan in The New Oz (EFCA Today Winter '09 p. 281):

MySpace, Twitter, texting, Youtube, Wordpress, and Facebook are not based on disseminating information but on fostering community. Our postmodern culture desires community.
[. . .]
So, in our current culture, where does community happen? And how can we harness that cultural venue to both build and engage community so that it becomes the context in which the gospel is made known, honest discussions take place and relationships are started and nurtured for discipleship? Technological venues could be the forefront of church ministry. 

This is not to say that technology is a substitute for in-person interactions. Neither should be a substitute for the other. Look at another historical periods when technology experienced a major leap: the invention of the printing press in 1453. Martin Luther's famous 95 theses were widely publicized through the printing press. An ingenious machine traversed the distances between the communities, allowing one man's thoughts to connect with countless people who resonated with his message

Like the era of the printing press, perhaps we also live in a pivotal time of advancement that opens incredible doors of communal influence for the gospel. [Emphasis Mine]

Well, I just realized that I forgot to added my comments on the matter, which besides making for a more un-interesting read also makes this technically illegal. Thankfully EFCA didn't mind, they very nice, took it in-stride, and even mentioned me on their Facebook page2.

Never the less, I'm still going to add my missing comments.

It should be noted that there is a difference between using Social Networking for engaging in the community and using it as a way to be "cool and trendy". Between reaching out to the community, and becoming like the community3. One holds up the Bible as The Light in a dark world; the other tries to be like the world. One leads to the Church changing the culture, the other to the culture changing the Church.

And also, on the nerdy front; I disagree with him when he says "[social networks] are not based on disseminating information but on fostering community". Rather, they are based on Disseminating Information4 for the purpose of fostering community. Facebook and Twitter are to distribute and discuss status updates, Blogger and Wordpress to write thoughts, YouTube to publish video. These are all The Dissemination of Information, but rather than intending you to learn from the info, they intend you to connect,or network with other people, socialization, hence: Social Networking.

  1. EFCA Today Winter 2009: http://www.efcatoday.org//files/magazine/documents/EFCA_Winter09.pdf
  2. EFCA's Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/my.efca
  3. "cool and trendy": http://thehopethatiswithin.blogspot.com/2010/06/would-people-go-to-church-where.html
  4. The Dissemination of Information: http://thehopethatiswithin.blogspot.com/2010/07/dissemination-of-information.html

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Electricity--the All-Pervading Intelligence

Clifford in The House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
"Then there is electricity--the demon, the angel, the mighty physical power, the all-pervading intelligence!" exclaimed Clifford. "Is that a humbug, too? Is it a fact--or have I dreamt it--that, by means of electricity, the world of matter has become a great nerve, vibrating thousands of miles in a breathless point of time? Rather, the round globe is a vast head, a brain, instinct with intelligence! Or, shall we say, it is itself a thought, nothing but thought, and no longer the substance which we deemed it!"

"If you mean the telegraph," said the old gentleman. . .
Yes, Nathaniel Hawthorne dreamt, and time has made his dream a reality by which I write these words to you.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

John Robbins on Logic

John Robbins, in the introduction to Logic by Gordon H. Clark; discussing reasons for studding Logic
Christ, the Logic of God, lights every man. Strictly speaking, there is no "mere human logic" as contrasted with a divine logic, as some would have us believe. The Life of God lights every man; human logic is the image of God and God and man think the same way--not exactly the same thoughts, since man is sinful and God is holy. . .
Wow, but he continues later:
The Westminster Confession written in England in the 1640's, says that all things necessary for our faith and life are either expressly set down in Scripture or my be deduced by good and nesessary consequences from scripture.  It is onely through a study off logic that we can distinguish a "good and nescessary" deduction from an invalid deduction