june 2007

robin from thailand
Friday, June 29th, 2007
in our wyzgyz group this morning, Robin called from Thailand. He is twelve hours ahead of us there. Dale asked if he would tell us what would happen in the next twelve hours of our future. He is visiting an inlaw who is a missionary there.

Posted in Whatever, Friends | No Comments »

a new model for creation 2
Friday, June 29th, 2007
1. Eliminate forever the God of the gaps. Richard Dawkins makes a plausible argument that at one time, when science was in its (relative) infancy, God was the explanation for all the events which science could not explain. At one time in western history the earth was considered to be very young, on the order of thousands of years. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the age of the earth was “improbably” extended to account for evidence that was, on their terms, susbtantial enough to force doubt on a young earth. Their commitment in that age was as much scientific as it was biblical. We have already during that time been through one fairly public disproof for any young earth. The adoption of an earth aged in the hundreds of millions of years took place before the discovery of modern methods of geologic dating. But their methods still have traction for this age, being based on principles which though superceeded now, are still both rationally and empirically justifiable today. Our methods are more refined today and we have as much good evidence for the age of the earth being 4.57 billion years old as we do for claiming the earth is in orbit around the sun which is relatively stationary.

Let science have the job of figuring out how all of this happened. Conditionally, take their word for it.

Posted in Philosophy, SPS | No Comments »

derrida?musing on deconstruction
Tuesday, June 26th, 2007
Derrida, so obtuse, forces commentators to the market. But isn’t that obtuseness just a part of struggling with ideas that can’t naturally force their way into the same market. Now that I’m making headway reading him, the ideas seem to be the same sort that I have been giving to my introduction to philosophy students for years at Evangel U. At least they fit naturally into my schema. I am not making any claim to have come up with his program independently.

Deconstruction is not the destruction of an idea but the exposure of assumptions about idealizations of reality that never have nor could exist. The idea of a purely natural human doesn’t exist to Derrida. Why, outside the obvious data which denies we have ever found one, do we persist forcing standards of naturalness when we have no exemplars and no way of reaching the state of naturalness our idealization demands. We are all both subjects and objects of nature: creators and created by genetics, environment, culture and choice. Foucault attacks the idealization of human nature by describing the normalizing strategies of power of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. What is normal; what is natural? What counts as the “correct” way to live so that we maximize our “natural human resources.”

Foucault gets this right I think. The question is misguided. The normalizing and idealizing forces of culture lure us to abandon our selves to a system of utility where people are nothing more than standing reserve for the greater good of society. The greater good, of course, should be read as special interests of a certain kind: industry, religion, politics?strategic maintenance of power.

Posted in Philosophy | No Comments »

new competition for ipod/itunes
Saturday, June 23rd, 2007
This rant is in response to a column I read this evening at Information Week. 6/23/07

I replaced two iPod batteries in my house successfully with longer lasting alternatives purchase more cheaply from a third party company. I love the windows based smart phones for a lot of reasons, but not as a music player, though I can imagine it would be fine. But for a music library of over 20GB, they are out of the running. I would like to see voice recording made easy on an iPod. At the moment I have a $60 rig that works on my G3 iPod, good enough, but tough on battery life.

The zune looked interesting except for the half baked infrastructure MS had in place when it was released. Even the first version of iTunes was better. And to think MS left their “Plays for Sure” partners in the deep freeze with the zune, you have to wonder what committee put that together, and what will happen in a year or two with the poor early adopters of the Zune.

I happily admit, some of the other players are really attractive. But to think I will have to move my music to another management utility than iTunes hurts just thinking about it. It may not be all that painful, but to have to relearn music management with my fairly large library makes me want to do something better with my time. At the moment I am like most users of Windows when it comes to my music management. I won’t change from iPod/iTunes like they won’t buy Macs because we’re used to it and it works “well enough.”

I can’t imagine listening to FM or even AM radio any more. Any time I hear a commercial, I start surfing for another channel. I don’t want that irritation in a music player especially when I’m riding my bike across town in traffic. In my town there are so many channels playing nondescript dreck. Total Waste! After XM radio, I’m all done with the low lifes.

As for the “closed ecology” of iTunes, I get my music from anywhere, used on CD from Amazon, Projekt, iTunes, Walmart, emusic or even, (flame bait) allofmp3.

After all, I don’t care what kind of player I have. I do care how much time I have to spend managing my music. All six iPods my family uses starting with the 2003 G3 15GB are still working and doing what they were designed for. Problems at times? Yes, but mostly simple fixes. (besides getting the case cracked open on my G3 to replace the battery).

Thanks for the thoughtful column!

Posted in Computers, Music, News | 1 Comment »

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