Thursday, December 30, 2010

Increasingly I believe that after we are saved we have only one calling, and that is to show forth the existence and the character of God. Since God is love and God is holy, it is our calling to ... be and act in such a way as to show forth His love and His holiness simultaneously.... Of course on one's own strength it is only possible to show forth either love or holiness. But to show forth the holiness and love of God simultaneously requires much more. It requires the moment by moment work of the Holy Spirit in a very practical way.
Francis Shaeffer. LETTERS OF FRANCIS SHAEFFER. p. 71, 71.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


- a state of equilibrium
equilibrium - a stable situation in which forces cancel one another
tension - a balance between and interplay of opposing elements or tendencies

- harmonious arrangement or relation of parts or elements within a whole (as in a design); "in all perfectly beautiful objects there is found the opposition of one part to another and a reciprocal balance"- John Ruskin

- (mathematics) an attribute of a shape or relation; exact reflection of form on opposite sides of a dividing line or plane. symmetricalness, symmetry, correspondence

- a weight that balances another weight. counterbalance, counterpoise, counterweight, equalizer, equalizer

- make complete or perfect; supply what is wanting or form the complement to

- make correspond or harmonize; "Match my sweater"

- counterbalance, even off, even out, even up, compensate, correct, make up, adjust for; "engineers will work to correct the effects or air resistance"

Thursday, December 23, 2010

....What does this mean to me? I am not sure, except that it brings me increasingly to my knees--to ask that the Holy Spirit may have His way in my life....

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Language is one of the best data-compression mechanisms we have. The information contained in literature or even email, encodes our identity as human beings. The entire literary canon may be smaller than what comes out of particle accelerators or models of the human brain, but the meaning coded into words can't be measured in bytes. It's deeply compressed. Twelve words from Voltaire can hold a lifetime of experience.
Martin Wattenberg, mathematician and computer scientist at IBM's Watson Research Center quoted in Visualizing Big Data. WIRED. July 2008.
Once you become aware of these concepts ["fixed" vs "growth" mindset], you start to spot the fixed mindset everywhere. Look at the way we praise our children: "You're so smart!" "You are so good at basketball." That's fuel for the fixed mindset. A growth mindset compliment praises effort rather than natural skill: "I'm proud of how hard you worked on that project!" "I could tell you listened to your coach's comments--you really had your elbow under those jump shots today."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Martha Graham famously said, “Because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost.”


If you obey Martha Graham’s direction, you must produce your work. Publishing your work, sending it out as letters, or posting it to your blog is not a selfish act; rather, it is a selfless act.

You are not feeding your ego by publishing; you are giving the gift of your perspective and your writing to another unique person who longs to hear something fresh, something inventive, something intriguing, or something motivating.

Do not deny the gift of your writing to an audience that is waiting to receive it.

Alice Bass. The Gift of Your Writing.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

the solar-oven fallacy

The solar oven is a simple idea that has actually been around for a few hundred years. It is sometimes touted as a panacea for problems ranging from women's rights to global warming... On the surface, the idea seems like a good one: Use the sun to cook food. Free heat. No wood chopping or carrying. And yet, the solar cooker has, ironically, not set the developing world on fire.

"Solar ovens are not that complicated," said Paul Polak, author of Out of Poverty..."What is complicated is learning the cultural patterns of people in Africa with food and how they might interact with that technology."

Some of the problems with solar ovens: They take several hours to cook food; they don't function in the rainy season; wind can knock them over; they simply won't work for people who are up before dawn or need to cook after dark. So while it may seem like a good idea to someone sitting in an office in Washington, D.C., or Brussels, to a woman in a wattle house in Zambia, the benefits might be less clear.

"You've got to design for the market," Polak said, "not because you're a tinkerer who is fascinated with a technical problem."

"There are just too many prescriptive approaches to what is needed," said Emeka Okafor, a Nigerian entrepreneur based in New York City. "That is one of the biggest flaws of development. You have people running around with prescriptions for what they think works, because they have a simplistic understanding of what the problem is.

Frank Bures. Can you Hear us Now?