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Monthly Archives: June 2014


Words Mean Things

If Seth activated comments on his blog, I might write something like this on a recent post of his. Instead:

I think it’s helpful to recognize and factor in for scale. Some software dev firms are too small to really have a “human touch” to be of value (I personally don’t think any company would be too small for that, but I don’t determine their business direction, so…). Some apps that people would use are too niche to really warrant the demand for the human side of things. We might just want to use the app and get on with our lives.

The state of the user plays a lot into it, too. To wit: I have a compass and leveler app on my Android. To me, it has usefulness but I don’t see myself investing a lot of capital into the app nor its makers. However, if I were a construction contractor and the devs specialized in, say, apps for carpentry, then their human side would definitely be of interest to me, since they are essentially helping me make a living. The demand for investment is there: I use their apps more than once daily, I have feelers out, are they touching back? Any company that wants to stay in business should be.

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Photo: Door Handle, Baum Boulevard

Door Hand, Baum Boulevard

This was the handle on the front door of a building in the East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh, near where I had training a few weeks ago. I didn’t get the chance to ask the owners about it but I do know they are interior designers.

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Links of Possible Relevance, Part 4

Archie comics now has an openly gay character. Soon to come: the first character openly not caring about who other people doink.

The economics of WALL-E.

The site of Aristotle’s Lyceum is open to the public.

I like grass-fed butter, and I like coffee, so…

Math metal, lit’rally.

Yet another “man up” post for Father’s Day. No thanks. Also, he seems really into war and governments. You’re losing me, Ravi.

There is no God in Washington. Of course not—not even Ares wants anything to do with that wretched hive.

Less GMOs vs less dead Ugandan kids. I smell a civil war among white savior Facebook activists.

I’m not great with words nor philosophy, but John C. Wright explains very well a concept that I (believe) I grasp well in the abstract: materialism (atheism) is an assumption, not a conclusion made from epistemic data a posteriori as your college professor insists.

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Knowing A Lot of Stuff Doesn’t Make A Christian

Wintery Knight comments on the story about Tim Lambesis coming out as a scam artist in Christian metal.

This is why my heroes in the faith are not athletes and artists. It’s possible for athletes and artists to be as solid in their faith as a J. Warner Wallace or a Tim McGrew, but scoring points on a sports field or singing songs on a stage is no guarantee of that. Biblical faith is about knowledge – justified true belief. Nothing about sports or music helps you to know whether your beliefs are true. Period.

I’m usually with WK on a lot of things when he isn’t being a statist, but this rings false. It’s true that sports or music don’t make someone’s religious beliefs stronger, but neither does having a bunch of facts and deductive conclusions*. There’s nothing to say an athlete or musician is any less knowledgable about their faith than a apologist.

It’s the curse of evidentialist apologetics mishedmashed with logical positivism, Hellenism, or scientism: knowing more “stuff” makes you virtuous (righteous, in this case). It’s Bonhoeffer on caffeine: my mission just has to be everyone else’s.

I have no idea who Wallace and McGrew are, so I have no idea why WK is holding them as a gold standard for Christian belief. I think WK is working backwards in that he’s seeing these two as knowledgable (no doubt they are) and concluding they must have strong belief. None of the people of faith in the Bible were apologists or theologians—at least not in the semi-formal sense we know it today. They created the stuff that apologists and theologians have talked about for centuries after.

* One can be correct about their beliefs without having the proper reasoning behind it (hello, Galileo). This is Epistemology 101, and I’m of the mind that God doesn’t care if you got your math wrong.

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Photo: 7th and Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh

Building at 7th Street and Penn Avenue in Pittsburgh

As seen from 8th street. I assume half of the building was torn down and that’s why the raw-ish brick was exposed. I always liked the texture.

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Links of Possible Relevance, Part 3

Michael Bay might direct the live action version of Neon Genesis Evangelion. There’s no supporting links on that page so I’m doubtful. Also, if it actually happens I will curse Bay’s name with my last breath.

Why a boom in skyscraper constructions is a sign of economic downturn.

This video will make a man out of you.

Faith in the starting points of reasoning: “…but as far as anyone can tell, there is not and cannot be any program we could write that could terminate in something that was a worthy starting point for reasoning.”

The rationale of doing church administration correctly.

Are you a native full-stack visiongineer who lives to marketech platishforms?

Solar roadways? Good luck with that. Instead…

…why not just ride a bicycle? You’d be able to use these tires.

A Sonic restaurant in Topeka got robbed the day after it banned guns in the store.

Speaking of guns, it looks like I may sell them on this website.

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Invert Your Characters

I have a story idea that’s been germinating for some time*. The element of the two main protagonists I want to share is a rather common one: one of them has the “special powers” and the other acts as the “guide” and liaison for interactions with the normal world.

As it is now, the “powered” sibling is the introvert, the conflicted soul, the wandering misidentity. Not necessarily the natural-born loser but in need of reliance on his familial counterpart for basic life management skills. Naturally, the average-powered sibling plays the outgoing caretaker, able to configure a life enough for both of them while maintaining a steady hand behind his back to ensure safety for the weirdo in the background. Charlie Babbit and Raymond Babbit.

Boring! Duller than yesterday’s oatmeal. Initiate inversion protocol!

Make the superpowered sibling older, more mature**, high-functioning, high-energy output, out there socially: lots of friends, parties. A skilled, successful, leader of men by sheer intuition. And somehow his extroversion is a way to contain or mitigate the powers***.

Now make his sibling younger, quieter, with child-like (not childish) behavior markers combined with the attendant maturity that brands nearly lifelong caretakers. He would need to balance being the parent with learning how to be an actual, biological adult.

How would that play out? Would it bear a more interesting character development or end up being too weird a nail onto which a plot could hang****?

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* The story mentioned here is an anime series idea, but, in the minds of uninitiated folks, the genre implies malformed concepts and images of American dorkwad males with stunted social skills. So you can safely ignore that designation for now. Plus, getting an anime series sold is impossible.

** “Mature,” within the context of my story idea, comes with a hedge. The superpowered sibling is motivated to get “lost” throughout many points in the narrative. This does not manifest as an accident or pure personality quirk but as a character motivation crucial to the story.

*** The “superpowers” in the story are rare but well-known to the general public. It’s not exactly certain death to reveal that you have them but if you’re high-profile enough the wrong people could take a keen interest in your person.

**** No reason for this footnote. I’m just starting to think all of these are an indicator of poor writing or organizational skills.

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