Categories
Ramblings

Flowers For Jack

I left a note for Jack Thompson over at Joystiq that he’ll probably never read, though I’ve heard he goes there every-so-often.

STOP CALLING YOURSELF A CHRISTIAN, JACK THOMPSON.</p>

Yes, I was one of the signers of the letter (though I was too cheap to donate anything). I disagree with much of what you’re saying, but that’s beside the point. I’m not angry because I disagree with you.

I’m angry because you are knowingly distorting information and “bearing false witness” against those that ordered flowers. If you would take the time to read the letter you would realize that the flowers were simply to get your attention. It was believed that you would appreciate flowers better than sex toys, copies of GTA, or pizzas you didn’t order. Apparently we were wrong.

Jack Thompson, it is my firm belief that by proclaiming God to be on your side in this battle is defaming the name of God (Exodus 20:7), similar to those who proclaim that “God Hates Fags.” You are associating the name of God with a message of hate. I am not saying God does not hate sin. He does, but he does not hate sinners. He sent Jesus for sinners.

I realize I have not been very coherent in this post. I would love to dialogue with you further on this (an e-mail form can be reached from my website). However, since you seem to have mocked our request for a civil forum with you (see the FFJ letter), I don’t hold much hope for that. In fact, I doubt you will read this at all. You’ve probably already written me off as a damned Pixelante, not bothering to notice that I, and many others, hold the same Faith you claim to have.

In Christ,

Evan Hildreth</blockquote>
I had to get that off my chest. Sorry.

Categories
Ramblings

Another Flame War

The comments on this digg story have once again degraded into another flamewar. Because the simple mention of anything religious in the tech world is absolutely taboo. This comment really took the cake, though:

If “Christians” wanted to make this world a better place, they’d immediately either denounce their religion or kill themselves. There is no room in this world for those who believe in fairy tales and are over the age of 10. I have no doubt that some of what is written in the Bible is historically accurate to some degree, but ALL religions blow it WAY out of context and attach their own beliefs and propoganda in order to suck new members into their respective branches of Christianity. DOWN WITH THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT!!!

And here is my ill-deserved responce:

Truly spoken like someone that doesn’t have the faintest clue what Christianity is about. I don’t care if you went to church every single day of your life; that doesn’t mean you know anything about it. Let’s look at things logically here:

“If “Christians” wanted to make this world a better place, they’d immediately either denounce their religion or kill themselves.”

Contrary to popular belief, there are true Christians out there that are actively trying to make the world a better place. WorldVision is a good place to start. And if we all took your advice and killed ourselves, you’d just look at us and say, “Wow, look at all those idiots who killed themselves.” Cults have mass suicides. Christianity doesn’t. In fact, if you actually read the Bible, you’d see that Jesus brought someone back from the dead. Hardly the action of someone endorsing mass suicides.

“There is no room in this world for those who believe in fairy tales and are over the age of 10.”

No one over the age of 10 seriously believes in fairy tales. Christianity isn’t a fairy tale. Fairy tales are defined as being “extremely happy.” People going to hell isn’t happy. It’s one of the things I like least about Christianity, but it’s still there. And I still believe it.

And what if it is a fairy tale, anyway? It gives me hope, helps me survive, and makes me a better person. If I didn’t have this hope, I would have already killed myself.

“I have no doubt that some of what is written in the Bible is historically accurate to some degree, but ALL religions blow it WAY out of context and attach their own beliefs and propoganda in order to suck new members into their respective branches of Christianity.”

Okay, are you talking about all religions or just Christianity? Make up your mind.

Some is historically accurate? How about a book that has more than ten times as many usable sources (manuscripts within one generation of the original) than anything by Plato or Aristotle? How about a book that has survived with no substantial changes for over a thousand years? Works of fiction don’t do that. Works of fiction don’t inspire people to change their lives.

And don’t judge a religion by its followers. It’s the same reason you shouldn’t hate the Mac just because some Mac users are complete zealots. Yes, some preachers throw on their own versions of Christianity. That’s how cults get started. And the majority of thinking people in this world see them for what they truly are: quacks.

Propaganda? Sounds like you’ve been reading your fair share of anti-Christian propaganda.

“DOWN WITH THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT!!!”

The religious right, as much as some people would like it to be, isn’t Christianity. Don’t judge a religion by its followers. Go to the source (the Bible) and decide for yourself.

Seriously, you need to read Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis. It does a good job of presenting the core beliefs of Christianity without any of your so-called “propaganda.” And Lewis was not a stupid man.

Categories
Introspection

Disconnect

Yeah, Evan’s in another one of his moods. For one thing, I’m listening to this song on continuous repeat. The words are pretty meaningless, but the music pretty much sums it up right now.

Disconnection. Removal. Exile. Dis… um, not-belonging. That’s pretty much how it is right now.

Okay, so maybe this little bout of semi-depressed philosophising was brought on by a combination of no one showing up for the planned argument and the PalaDen being all out of orange juice. Sue me. I’ve actually been toying with this idea since Saturday, and getting the proverbial stubbed toe just amplified it a bit…

Anyway, the idea is simple: I want to go Home. Not Charleston-home, I mean Home. As in… eh, let me call C. S. Lewis here:

If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.

I had that hit me while I was doing some preliminary Christmas shopping. What better place to feel out-of-place than a place commonly known as a hang-out point for high school kids? There’s everyone, spending their money like wild, laughing it up with other people in their little cliques, waiting for the one with the car to say it’s time to go. Then there’s me, alone, drove myself, in college, not spending anything (and I didn’t!). Yeah, it sounds a little depressing, maybe a little lonely, but bear with me for a second.

When we become Christians, we are drastically and permanently changed on the inside so much so that we become something other than mere humans. (Some would argue that we become fully human, I would say they are right as well. I’m purposfully being a little fanciful/sci-fi-ish/mystical/dramatic; it gets my imagination going. And my imagination is on right now.) This point is best illustrated by George MacDonald’s book At the Back Of the North Wind. In it, a little boy meets the North Wind and travels — you guessed it — to the back of the North Wind. From that point on, he acts slightly odd at times, but it’s always explained away by saying he had been to the back of the North Wind. In other words, he had caught a glimpse of Heaven. And from that point on, everything he did in life reflected that.

So what happens when we become Christians? We catch a glimpse of Heaven. We get our own bit of Joy. (Lewis actually described his longing for Heaven as Joy… maybe so…) And there are always times when we want more. For me, now is one of those times.

But, since I’m still here, there’s obviously a reason. It’s not my place to figure out what that reason is, either. I just have to trust that God knows what he’s doing. And He does. And I do.

Categories
Introspection

I [heart] FU

First news first: I’ve got a car. I’m not sure if I’ve said it in any of the previous posts, but I do. It’s an old ’95 2-door Honda Civic, 4-cylinder engine, and gets 30 miles to the gallon! It’s also a stick-shift (which I’ve spent the last couple of weeks learning how to drive). It’s official title is the WHAT?-mobile, but I nicknamed it Scooter since once it gets up to speed, it can really scoot…

until you load it down with fifty-plus pounds of crap.

Which brings me to my second point: I’m at Furman now.

The drive here was pretty interesting… if by interesting you mean frustrating because not only is your little car handling real hills for the first time, but it’s also laden with the excess of a teenager’s life. Let me put it this way: In order to maintain a 75-mph velocity going up a hill, Scooter needs to either downshift into 4th gear or have a lot of inertia going into the hill. But once we add cargo, it’s a simple matter of weight ratios.

So basically, before I figured out that it was okay to downshift into 4th, I was gunning the engine going down the hills so I could make it up the next one while maintaining common speed. I don’t plan on doing that again… not for a while. Hopefully it’ll handle better without so much stuff in it.

But now I’m here, everyone got here nicely, and three out of four of us have GROSS beards/hair. Murf reminds me of someone… not sure who at this point. Gandalf?

Anyhoo, I gotta get to church. Sure I could drive myself, but I’ll hitch a ride like usual. FRAD/FRAR training begins this afternoon… that’s gonna be exciting… not.

Until later!

Categories
Ramblings

Revolutionary Something Or Other

My two cents on the Nintendo Revolution / Xbox 360 / PlayStation 3 debate, posted at Engadget:

I’m not a gamer. At least not hard-core. When I sit down for 30-45 minutes at a time I expect to be entertained. I expect to have FUN! Right now I’m having fun playing Astro Boy for the GBA. A 2-D system. No polygons, no advanced cell processing bullcrap, just fun.

That’s why I’m buying a Revolution. I’m sick and tired of wading through fake ROM sites and pr0n to play Star Fox 64, too cheap and lazy to find the game and a used N64 at the store. Nintendo’s offering me a system with (presumably) an iTunes-like interface for buying old games, downloading them to my console, and being able to play them. Between that and my PS One (yes, ONE), I should be set for a good long while.

Xbox 360? Wake me when someone hacks it so I can play my QuickTime videos or use my Mac. Oh, and when they get a game I can be excited about besides Halo #. Sorry, guys, but I’m an Apple fanboy, and if Microsoft is going to sell the system based on it being a multimedia hub, it’s gotta work with my Mac in order to sell it to me.

PS3? Maybe so. If the Revolution wasn’t backwards compatable, then I might simply because I’ve got games for it. But now that they’ve got DDR on the GameCube (never mind that it has Mario in it), I’m not as inclined.

Then, of course, there’s price. Nintendo seems eager to undercut the other two consoles, probably by not being as “powerful” as the others. And at the power we’re talking about, the differences between chips (35x, 3x, 150000x more powerful) won’t be apparent until the end of the cycle. By then they’ll be talking about the next generation. And even the least powerful console will still get geeeeeorgous games (God of War, anyone?). Nintendo could squeeze basic polygons out of the SNES (Star Fox), I’m sure they could do a lot with the Revolution.

Oh… this is about rumored specs? Um… well, Nintendo is like Apple, so don’t believe anything until Steve Jobs– I mean Miyamoto-San officially announce something. Um… yeah.

Categories
Ramblings

What the Crap Happened

In this /. story Apple is reported to have officially switched to Intel processors, citing more innovation, better power use, and the fact that they’ve been planning it for the past five years. Mac OS X already runs, they’ve got a real-time emulation layer to transparently run current Mac programs, and most other programs can be rebuilt in two hours.

So you mean after years and years of my touting how Intel chips suxxors, now I’ve got to follow Apple onto them? groan I hope this works out. I also hope that they’re not going to sell OS X apart from Macs… or maybe that’s their plan? What better way to invade the Windows territory than to invade their own hardware? Offer the Mac experience at a very cheap price…?

No, that’s not Apple’s style. The Mac experience is driven in part by the fact that hardware and software Just Work™. If Apple has to start supporting all manner of hardware that’s in the x86 world, that would cause problems. Of course, they could only support ATI/NVidia cards, Intel processors, and a certain kind of RAM… Meh, who knows. Now let’s see if I can get Tiger to run on that old HP POC I’ve got upstairs that won’t even run Red Hat…

Categories
Ramblings

The Systm Is Down

Okay, if you’re into technology, you really should check out Kevin Rose’s new downloadable show Systm. This first episode is about building a warspying device, basically a box with a screen and a receiver for wireless cameras (like the X10 camera that shows up in pop-up ads the world over). It’s a pretty cool show, especially for being free.

Another reason I’m saying this is that Kevin recently quit his day job at some television channel to do this. Given the direction that network is headed (the $igns are everywhere), I’m kinda glad he’s jumping ship now, although Attack of the Show won’t be nearly the same without him. Good luck, Kevin. And I want to interview you for bsod!