"Biological weapon" or "buy a logical weapon," you decide...
OK, earlier this afternoon, I ingested almost a full 3.2 ounce pouch of original flavor beef jerky. That will provide the ability to stay put for the next hour or so while I write this blog post. I consumed a 16 fluid ounce can of Monster energy drink over crushed ice - not chugged, but nursed over the space of an hour or so, including a stint as my dinner drink. This will provide the pep I'll need to stay positive and not dwell on a topic too long... it will also militate against my tendency to shift into malaise, often without notice, as evidenced in yesterday's post.
That was the pre-blog prep. What I bring with me into the actual writing of tonight's post is: a banana (to help me to add colorful elements to the post), some dark chocolate covered cranberries (for an element of mystery, so you'll never know what I'll say next) and a tall glass of cold water, no ice (to keep my mind clear).
See, it's a new form of magic, called "blogomancy", and I've leveled up from "apprentice" to "journeyman". I bet you didn't know that so much went into writing a daily blast of hot air, did you? Usually, all I need to produce a blast of hot air is the beef jerky, but we'll leave that for now...
Well, I guess I'll begin with a Theological Question... if theology bores/annoys you, then skip down exactly 4 paragraphs. Sorry, it's on my brain, so I'm gonna run with it for a bit.
Question:Which would you say describes a greater version of God: A God that knows everything every person will do, say and think, forever, into the farthest stretches of eternity. Or: A God that creates things in such a way that He doesn't know all the details ahead of time, but is still in complete sovereign control over everything that happens, and will ever happen.
You can probably tell by the way I worded the choices which way I lean. For some reason, the vast majority of Christians that I've posed this sort of conundrum to say without hesitation the first one. "Of course God knows everything we will ever do, say -- or even think - all before the foundation of the world. He's God!" How far into forever does that extend? "Forever! He's God!"
To me, that doesn't make sense. That strikes me as an unfathomably boring existence. Where's the sense of adventure, the sense of discovery in that sort of all-pervasive knowledge, I wonder? To me, as great as God would have to be to know all details of everything ahead of time, into eternity, it strikes me as far greater - and more enjoyable and fascinating - to purposely craft an intricate, complex system that is a constant source of surprise and wonder.
I think the side you come down on in this particular issue will directly effect the way you live your moment-by-moment day, as well as your picture of the future. That's the only reason I regularly bring it up. It isn't a "how many angels can stand on the head of a pin" type of thing to me. The "every thought, word and deed ahead of time" belief seems to me to encourage a fatalistic approach to life, where day-to-day deeds don't really matter, since our future is locked in stone based (primarily) upon what we believe - and has been locked in since before God created a blessed thing. I guess it's a Calvinist-friendly approach. The other approach leaves room for the proper stress on behavior that I feel is evident in the Book, plus makes more sense from a logical perspective.
Of course, I won't stress out if you believe one way or the other, or a third. It's just my opinion, and I'm always the first to admit I could be out in left field. Beliefs are funny things. Here's a quote from the Mistborn book I'm currently reading that I liked a lot:
"The right belief is like a good cloak, I think. If it fits you well, it keeps you warm and safe. The wrong fit, however, can suffocate."
I'm still really enjoying the book. In fact, I was nosing around on YouTube for interviews with Brandon Sanderson, to see what he's like, and I found a series of videos from this year where he taught a two-hour class on writing and world-building, which took place at this year's "Jordan Con" in May. The video quality isn't that red-hot, but the content is terrific, especially if you're a reader/writer of Fantasy.
In fact, here are the video links, if you're interested. There are a lot, since the segments are only 10 minutes long, due to the inherent length limitations in YouTube.
Hour 1: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6
Hour 2: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6
I especially enjoyed the part where he talked about "discovery writers" versus "outline writers." Plus, obviously, his thoughts on crafting magic systems were valuable as well. All of it was very interesting to me. It makes me want to take a Creative Writing class at some local college or something. Anyway, Brandon seems like a solid fellow. He does say "Um" a lot...
Anyway, the topic of world building fits in with my theological question up above... I mean, God did some heavy-duty, well-thought-out world building with our world, did He not? It would be kind of interesting to take a look at His approach, eh?
OK, enough of that. Here's some inane daily trivia...
Todayve in History: September 18
- September 18, 1837: Tiffany & Co. is founded, as a "stationery and fancy goods emporium." (Now run along and play, and don't come back.)
- September 18, 1851: The first issue of The New York Times is published. (Someday I think you and I are going to have a serious disagreement.)
- September 18, 1870: "Old Faithful" geyser in Yellowstone park is officially observed and named by Henry Washburn during an expedition of the region. (Don't mind him. He used to be an Irishman.)
- September 18, 1984: Joe Kittinger completes the first solo balloon crossing of the Altantic. (Mr. Parris, you are a brainless man!)
Among those celebrating birthdays on September 18 are: Roman Emperor Trajan (53AD), Frankie Avalon (1939), Dee Dee Ramone (1952), James Gandolfini (1961), Lance Armstrong (1971), and Ronaldo (1976). Jimi Hendrix died September 18, 1970.
Here's a Ronaldo compilation video...
I like that clip, since it not only shows his skill with ball control but also how hard his opponents try to take him out.
Dang, I'm older than Lance Armstrong. Man, look at how much he's accomplished; the impact he's had on this world. I can't help but compare myself to him in that realm, and end up feeling pretty small indeed...
I read the other day about a "success coach" named Steven Covey, who, during his conferences, will sometimes have his audience do an exercise where they all take time to write their eulogies out. "What would you want said about you at your funeral?" The idea is that you fast-forward to the person you'd like to be remembered as, along with accomplishments that you'd like to have actually done and have mentioned, and get a good look at it. You then set those things as goals, zip back to today, and then make it your mission to make all those things a reality, so that when the time comes that you do, in fact, die, then that will, in fact, be your eulogy!
It's an interesting way to look at things, I think. So what would I like said about me at my funeral?
Dave made me laugh. Dave entertained me. I enjoyed being around Dave, and hearing what he had to say. Dave loved his kids with his whole heart, and they knew it. Dave had a strong, unshakable faith. Dave was creative, and left tons of scripts, manuscripts, songs, comics, paintings, poems, sculptures, etc that people can still enjoy even though he's gone. He wrote a novel (or more). He was debt-free. He gave of himself. He traveled and saw places and met people. Dave was unique. Those that knew him loved him.
What else would there need to be? Do I want to shake the world? Be famous? Sometimes. I don't know. I think the idea of the exercise, at least when Covey does it, is to set down more concrete things rather than abstracts - sort of like the "wrote novels", and "was debt-free" types of things rather than "those that knew him loved him"... anyways, it was fun to ponder for a while...
Here's the trailer for a new adventure game called Machinarium that's coming out soon, that's wonderful visually...
You gave me my first glimpse of real life. Then you asked me to go on with the false one. No one can endure that...
I think I'm going to end this now. I'm a free man, and I'm going out the front door. I've been in an odd, sort of mellow, introspective mood of late - I thank you for your patience with me. If you read this far, you have my appreciation. You must forgive me if I say stupid things; my brain has gone to pieces.
Until tomorrow, remember, you are the complete opposite of kitsch. In the kingdom of kitsch you would be a monster.