Archive for July, 2010

Forgiveness by any other name is still liberating

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

One reason that I don’t understand why some Christians fear open-ended scientific investigation is that there is only one source of truth – God.  Every path that leads in the direction of truth leads in the direction of God.  Any open-minded researcher who does not contort his particular path to point in a philosophically preferred direction will inch closer to that one source, even if that source is itself supernatural and therefore beyond the reach of science.

So I would expect (and have seen countless times) that observations in the secular world often confirm truths revealed in the Bible.  Paul Graham is a computer scientist/entrepreneur who has provided examples – very likely unintended – in his essay “The Top Idea in Your Mind".  He says of forgiveness (“it doesn’t deserve space in my head”),

Turning the other cheek turns out to have selfish advantages. Someone who does you an injury hurts you twice: first by the injury itself, and second by taking up your time afterward thinking about it. If you learn to ignore injuries you can at least avoid the second half. I’ve found I can to some extent avoid thinking about nasty things people have done to me by telling myself: this doesn’t deserve space in my head. I’m always delighted to find I’ve forgotten the details of disputes, because that means I hadn’t been thinking about them.

As both an entrepreneur and professional problem-solver, Graham appreciates the utility of free-floating thought – “what you think about when you take a shower in the morning”.  These thoughts are driven by our “top idea”, i.e. the most pressing or interesting problem we are confronting.  His experience matches my own exactly, so I assume it’s fairly common (although the setting may differ).  As he observes,

You can’t directly control where your thoughts drift. If you’re controlling them, they’re not drifting. But you can control them indirectly, by controlling what situations you let yourself get into. That has been the lesson for me: be careful what you let become critical to you. Try to get yourself into situations where the most urgent problems are ones you want think about.

Graham points to money and disputes as especially destructive “top ideas” – a short list that ought to resonate loudly with Christians.  Money and disputes (relationships and forgiveness) are important topics in the Bible generally and in Jesus’ teaching in particular.  Graham’s observations provide practical guidance to Christians:  Don’t focus on money and attend to our relationships; this will make room for a better “top idea”.  Pursue God’s will for our lives and let him pick the problem that our drifting thoughts will attend to.

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Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

April 24, 2014

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Senator Schumer strong-arms Apple

Friday, July 16th, 2010

I’ve always had the impression that New York Senator Charles Schumer is little more than a publicity hound, and most of what he does just confirms my suspicions.  Yesterday (Thursday), for example, he boldly and courageously demanded – well, requested – that Apple do something about the iPhone 4’s “death grip” problem.  He also want to know what Apple was going to do about the iPhone’s habit of inflating signal strength by showing too many bars on its display

Apple announced on Wednesday – the day before Schumer wrote his letter – that they would hold a press conference today (Friday).  Most of the world seemed to understand that Apple would address both issues.  It seems the Senator from New York either didn’t know that the most anticipated public utterance since King James’ hour-long preen on ESPN was going to happen today, or he couldn’t figure out what King Jobs would want to talk about.

Or maybe he’s just patting himself on the back for getting such a speedy reply from Apple.

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Is the World Cup over yet?

Monday, July 5th, 2010

I know; it still drags on for a few more days. What little interest I had evaporated when the U.S. team lost to Ghana. I watched about 15 minutes of that match, an experience that only confirmed my dislike of watching soccer in general and the World Cup in particular

What I hated about watching this World Cup

Why I think soccer is a lousy spectator sport

I know that ESPN and millions of soccer moms have done all they can to make us want to watch soccer, but they have failed. Yes, I’ll watch my grandson play, but I’ll watch him play Go Fish too. The appeal is the kids, not the game; the experience does not translate into a desire to watch grown men who are not my grandson. Soccer is mostly just boring to watch – scoring is rare, teams are often content to play to a tie, and the game consists mostly of watching people running up and down a very large field chasing and kicking a ball. Leaving aside auto racing (which may not be a sport at all), I find at least four sports much more interesting to watch:

Things I dislike about soccer in general

At least this foolishness only happens every four years. ESPN will continue to promote soccer, with off-year tournaments, English soccer leagues, and America’s own irrelevant MLS, but it should be less intrusive. Until 2014 of course.

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