Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My kids love video games and would much rather play a multiplayer game online or at a LAN party with their friends than go sit in a theater and "just watch a movie." The boomers and a surprisingly large portion of Generation X just don't understand the language and conventions of gaming, and are intimidated or disinterested in our culture. They're more comfortable in a movie, and they still outnumber the kids in the Millennial Generation who are indoctrinated into gaming culture from a very young age.

Wil Wheaton quoted in One and One, GameLife. March 26, 2008

Monday, March 24, 2008

But for a long while they sang only each alone, or but few together, while the rest hearkened; for each comprehended only that part of the mind of Ilúvatar from which he came, and in the understanding of their brethren they grew but slowly. Yet ever as they listened they came to deeper understanding, and increased in unison and harmony.

J.R.R. Tolkien. "The Music of the Ainur" THE SILMARILLION

Sunday, March 23, 2008

I remember the frustration of hearing a melody in my head but not being able to quite put it down. So you learn to rely on other people, the band, and you start thinking that's a weakness. But it's a strength to rely on others.
Bono, 2004. Quoted in SOUNDBITE

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Safe is…
Self-preservation = our mission
Avoidance of the world and risk = wisdom
Financial security = responsible faith
Education = maturity

This is what a theology of death looks like…
Die daily to who we are
Empowerment of others (not self) is our life
Acceptance of risk is normative
Theology is not just knowledge, but practice
Hold tight to Christ with an open hand for everything else.

Neil Cole. Embracing a Theology of Death.

Monday, March 17, 2008

After the LORD had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, "I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has…. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has."

Job 42:7-8

For some musings provoked by these verses download: thoughts_on_job.doc

The Church has its problems, but the older I get, the more comfort I find there. The physical experience of being in a crowd of largely humble people, heads bowed, murmuring prayers, stories told in stained-glass windows …

Bono: In Conversation with Michka Assayas
Indeed, when we consider how central a part Job was given in the drama God was directing, we are confronted with the reality that we, too, could be in the same position. It seems that the part God has written for us is much too big and certainly too dangerous. Paul confirms this thought in Ephesians when he tells, “The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence” (1:22-23, The Message). Every human being is of great significance to God, but those whom God has drawn to believe in him are center stage in a drama of cosmic proportions.

Brent Curtis and John Eldridge. THE SACRED ROMANCE.
"Experience, no matter how accurately understood, can never furnish it's own interpretation." So we look for someone to interpret life for us.
Julia Gatta quoted by John Eldredge in THE SACRED ROMANCE.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The business of the natural philosopher is to construct theories which will "save appearances" ....A scientific theory must 'save' or 'preserve' the appearances, the phenomena, it deals with, in the sense of getting them all in, doing justice to them....
But if we demanded no more than that from a theory, science would be impossible, for a lively inventive faculty could devise a good many different supposals which would equally save the phenomena. We have therefore to supplement the canon of saving the phenomena by another canon--first formulated with clarity by Occam. According to this second canon we must accept (provisionally) not any theory which saves the phenomena but that theory which does so with the fewest possible assumptions....
In every age it will be apparent to accurate thinkers that scientific theories, being arrived at in the way I have described, are never statements of fact....In our age I think it would be fair to say that the ease with which a scientific theory assumes the dignity and rigidity of fact varies inversely with the individual's scientific education...The mass media which have in our time created a popular scientism, a caricature of the true sciences, did not then exist. The ignorant were more aware of their ignorance then [in the Middle Ages] than now.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Growth does not happen in isolation. Physical growth requires nourishment from the outside. Spiritual growth is the same. The church (not merely the institution, but the living, breathing body of Christ) is positioned to provide the nourishment we need and to help us partake of those elements that make us spiritually mature. Our ability to invest in the lives of others is fed by the disciplines and opportunities that reorient our lives toward Christ, such as worship, prayer and Bible study. As ministers of the church, each of us is responsible to pursue spiritual growth so that we may be equipped to serve others everywhere, every day.

Northland: A Church Distributed. Daily Evotional. Friday March 7, 2008 - Personal Growth

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

That's a very important illusion--this illusion of validity. In many different forms, it has big implications.... One of the versions of it is called overconfidence: People assign much higher probability to the truth of their opinions than is warranted.... [Another example is people] exaggerate their confidence in their plans--something we call the planning fallacy.... The existence of the plan tends to induce overconfidence.

You wrote a paper recently on whether people are happier in California. Are they?
The main observation we have is that, by and large, people do tend to adapt to their circumstances so that their happiness level tends to revert, if not exactly to the same level, then to a similar level. But people don't really know that. We ran a study comparing happiness in California to the Midwest. One of the results is that both sets of people thought the people in California were happier. One reason is that people focus on climate. If you're in Chicago and you're thinking about moving to Los Angeles, the issue of climate looms large. The larger lesson is that nothing that you're thinking about is as important as it seems when you're thinking about it.

Daniel Kahneman quoted in "Nobel Laureate Debunks Economic Theory"

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The doctor continued, "What wise man would dare to say, this is so?" We know nothing. Ignoramus et ignorabimus. Who understands exactly the concept of time? Who knows for certain the meaning of space? Science goes groping like a blind man along the road, and when at odd moments it catches a faint gleam of the light, it proclaims its final triumph.


Saturday, March 01, 2008

I studied literature in college, and throughout my twenties I voraciously read contemporary fiction. Then, eight or nine years ago, I found myself getting — well — bored.
Why? I think it's because I was reading novel after novel about the real world. And there are, at the risk of sounding superweird, only so many ways to describe reality. After I'd read my 189th novel about someone living in a city, working in a basically realistic job and having a realistic relationship and a realistically fraught family, I was like, "OK. Cool. I see how today's world works." I also started to feel like I'd been reading the same book over and over again.
Here's my overly reductive, incredibly nerdy way of thinking about the novel: Consider it a simulation, kind of like The Sims. If you run a realistic simulation enough times — writing tens of thousands of novels about contemporary life — eventually you're going to explore almost every outcome. So what do you do then?
You change the physics in the sim. Alter reality — and see what new results you get. Which is precisely what sci-fi does. Its authors rewrite one or two basic rules about society and then examine how humanity responds — so we can learn more about ourselves. How would love change if we lived to be 500? If you could travel back in time and revise decisions, would you? What if you could confront, talk to, or kill God?
Teenagers love to ponder such massive, brain-shaking concepts, which is precisely why they devour novels like Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials, the Narnia series, the Harry Potter books, and Ender's Game. They know that big-idea novels are more likely to have an embossed foil dragon on the cover than a Booker Prize badge.
Clive Thompson. "Take the Red Book: Why sci-fi is the last bastion of philosophical writing."