Thursday, April 26, 2007

Who wouldn't?

I can't think of a single reason why I've not yet typed the alphabet in order!


Heheh, I have a really funny idea, though.


There, quicksort that. And do it with the first character as your pivot! HAHAHA! O(n²) sorting sucks, doesn't it?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Your Love...

By Darrell Evans:
Your love is extravagant
Your friendship, intimate
I find I'm moving to the rhythms of Your grace
Your fragrance is intoxicating in our secret place
Your love is extravagant

Spread wide in the arms of Christ
Is the love that covers sin
No greater love have I ever known
For You considered me a friend
Captured my heart again

Your love has given me a freedom
Like I've never known
And Your love is bringing me home

Your love is extravagant
Your love is extravagant

I love what You're doing in me, Lord
And I'm thankful, Lord
What You're doing in my heart
You're changing me, changing me...

Deeper than the deepest ocean
Higher than the highest mountain
Reaches higher than the heavens
And still it finds its way to me...

And You're patient, Lord
And You're kind to me
Though I'm failing You sometimes
Your love never has failed me
Sometimes at points in life I don't know what to say or do. So when I have sufficient presence of mind, I put on a song. Sometimes I just give it back to God, sometimes I write the words down to help me see what's actually there. (I've got a notebook here with plenty of these scribblings - though I doubt anybody but I could easily read it.) This week has been one of those times where I see in life how much I've put my dependence for so many things on people where that should be placed in God.

The first time I sat down and read Judges, I was incredulous. It's the story of Israel under the direction of a series of judges over the course of a few hundred years. There were several judges at a time in power in Israel - each one had authority over some region. Under God, these judges were the highest authority in the land. It was their job to finish the task that Joshua had begun, clearing the land of the people that God told them to drive out.

The part about the story that left me incredulous was the continual fluctuations between prosperity and depravity. Consistently the Israelites would fall into sin, and then a righteous judge would lead them out of it. While in sin, they would experience the consequences of that sin. When led out of it, they experienced the prosperity, success, and they flourished as God had promised that they would. The part that I couldn't understand was how they could go through so many of these cycles so fast. Reading the book, it's clear that within a single generation the people would fall into and be raised out of sin multiple times. I asked how a people could be so stupid as to forget how God rewards righteousness and how sin results in misery.

I could ask the same question of myself now. How does it happen? Gradually. With small compromises. With apathy.

That last one...apathy. That is probably the most underrated sin in the world. It's not hate that's the opposite of love. Apathy is. It's written (in Scripture, no less) that God would prefer someone be actively opposed to Him than that the person simply not care. When You're the omnipotent, omniscient Creator of the universe Who has empowered a piece of that creation with the choice to love or hate, it's obvious that He would prefer we love (one another and Him). If that Creator would have preferred His creation to hate Him, then it seems reasonable that He hates them - and why create something that He hates and let it continue its meager existence making Him miserable?

God gave us this choice to decide whether to love him or to despise him. Being a God of love, He has created a home for both groups of people. In one (termed Heaven), humanity will know intimacy with God unlike anything we've ever imagined. We'll no more be His equals than a 2-year-old is the equal of his parents, but the relationship will be similar. For those who have chosen disdain over love, God provides a home as well. It's the only place in the universe where He shields His presence, allowing the people there isolation from His presence. This is what Hell is. It's not some burning pit with a demonic overlord who takes joy in the plight of all the captives. Hell was created as a home for those demons who felt that they could aspire to the position of Almighty. No piece of humanity was ever intended for Hell, but to bring a person into Heaven who isn't in love with God would be more of a punishment to them than Hell would be.

This all relates back to that apathy thing, I swear.

Because humanity was never intended to go to Hell, but because we made choices that alienated us from our Creator, and because He loved us so much, He enacted a plan to provide escape. He took on the guise of an ordinary human, but lived a life fully honoring to the Father. From birth until crucifixion, Jesus lived His life under the exact same power that every human on this planet has access to. He did it by living a life in harmony with the will of the Spirit, continually in communion (not the bread & wine ceremony, but "state of communing") with the Father. He was fully God in every way, but He suppressed his divinity to provide a perfect example of how we should live our lives. This resulted in a death of significant pain, indignity, and misery inflicted upon Him by all humanity. He did that because He loved us so much that He was willing to endure absolutely anything if only one person would use that to spend eternity with Him.

How can one look at that with apathy? You can look at it as a myth if you want (though nobody can reasonably deny that a man named Jesus lived and died in this manner - there's far too much evidence to deny that). You can claim that the tales of the supernatural in the Bible are just stories that don't have relevance today. If you do that, then you would have to look down your nose in derision at this man Jesus who went to a very painful death for no reason at all except maybe some mental deficiency which convinced him that he was the son of a nonexistent god. At the very least you would have to scoff him. After all, who would hold someone in high esteem who stepped in front of a runaway train to stop it with his bare hands before it careened off the side of a cliff? Is that a mark of honor or abject stupidity?

If that man is the Son of the One True God and is capable of successfully stopping the runaway train with his bare hands, and He does do so - who would react with apathy? Who would look at that and just not care?

How is it that people have been convinced that it's perfectly natural to be apathetic towards God? There isn't anything more unnatural I can think of. Either God is the One most worthy of our adoration and love or his existence is a myth that only serves to stagnate our culture.

Monday, April 16, 2007

ARGH! The Questions!

Can you ride a bicycle?
Yup. I learned when I was 4ish, if I recall correctly. I'll answer a later question on the list by also responding that I do in fact own a bicycle. It probably hasn't moved in about 2 years. It's a 21-speed mountain bike (nobody has a bicycle out where I live that isn't a mountain bike).

Have you ever broken a bone? (What? That isn't a comment on the idea of you engaging in physical activities!)
Indeed I have. Funny story that. Yup, quite the story.

What is your favorite view (Out of a particular window, from a tourist attraction, on top of a hill...)?
I like Bryce Canyon. From any perspective, it's the only natural landmark that I've seen (and I've seen a significant number of the ones in the US) that I actually find attractive beyond "Oh, neat. Can we go now?"


I keep checking my blog and looking for updates. They don't come nearly as often as I expect them to somehow. You'd think that whoever runs this thing could just ramble once a week or maybe twice or 14 times?

I think he's crazy. Just a side note.

Also, Jade, you need to turn your Line Volume down just a smidge. Not much, just the smallest amount.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Some philosophical questions of law

A judge recently made a ruling which said that a specific form of DVR (TiVo-like system) violates copyright law (reference). Now, the boxes that you buy to put in your living room are not contained within this particular subset of DVR technologies, so don't get too concerned. The form that was labeled as a violation is the form of DVR which is essentially a subscription service. You subscribe to a content host who will record shows you request (via the remote control) and plays them back on demand. The primary difference between this system and the more traditional TiVo system is that the recording equipment, storage media, and playback equipment are all "somewhere else" instead of in your living room.

This raises a legal question that is related to the technological society that we live in. Who is it that is actually doing the recording when I push a button on my remote? Am I doing the recording, or is the company that records and stores the show doing the recording? If I sign up for a service and then find a way to make use of that service illegally, is the provider of that service liable in some way for not making their system immune to that sort of abuse?

Now that automation has become so widespread, these questions will arise more and more. Because it's common for a person to sign up for some sort of service and make use of it without another person ever being privy to what's exactly going on, there would never be a person in the loop to pull the plug on some illegal activity that I'm doing.

For instance, if I purchase computing resources and network access from a company, and then use those resources to initiate an illegal attack on some website/corporate intranet/whatever, obviously I'm responsible for this, but what about the people who provided those resources to me? Are they going to be held accountable on some level? If a person stores pirated software on my server (whose services I'm leasing to him) and distributes it to his friends, am I party to this crime? Does it make a difference if it's just some buddy that I'm letting use the space for free because he's my friend?

No, Tom, I'm not using your server to store and distribute pirated software. *goes and deletes the Red vs. Blue episodes* Also, I'm no longer using it to store and distribute pirated machinima. (-:

Anyway, these are all questions that somebody who's looking to start their own business - especially one that provides automated services - will want answers to. Random food for thought.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Best idea ever?

You tell me. My thoughts are that if it's the best idea ever, I must be in a whole different class of thought than the people who developed this thing because I'm just not seeing it.

Ditto for this.