Friday, June 5, 2020

A voice in the political wilderness

I think this video is worth three minutes and forty-one seconds of everyone's time:

Never Cave To the Rage Mob, Drew Brees

Maybe we're dealing with the Left incorrectly by trying to understand their behavior. Perhaps they're like Christopher Nolan's Joker, as described by Alfred the butler:

"Some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn."

The Dark Knight - Some Men Just Want To Watch The World Burn



A dearth of honesty

Human beings tend to think of things in terms of good and bad. This is hard wired into us, regardless of what the individual believes is the source of that wiring. I would opine on the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, but some might object.

We humans are quite clever. We tend to do a decent job processing information, but that processing is enhanced or limited by the amount of, and quality of, the information available.

For that reason, sometimes with the best of intentions, we get it wrong.

We all want justice. We can all agree on that. What we can't seem to agree on is what true justice looks like.

To me, justice looks like a world where people do see the color of my skin, because it's absurd to think anyone could possibly be color blind, but only judge me on the content of my character. Doesn't that sound familiar? Yes, that's correct; it's the vision Martin Luther King Jr. had for his children.

To me, justice looks like a world where people who do evil are punished for it, regardless of skin color or position in life, and the punishment always fits the crime.

To some others though, that's not their vision. Justice for them is not just an eye for an eye, but also the rest of the body, the family it's related to, the business that the family owns, every single person who ever walked in the door, and all their progeny for successive generations. The end justifies the means, yada yada yada.

Let's be honest. The vast majority of people you see in every day life, at work, out shopping, at the gym, wherever...they're not there to hurt you or take anything from you. So why does any group want to keep hating others of a different group, and telling themselves and each other that every person from the other group is racist, evil and out to harm them?

I don't have an answer that will satisfy conclusively, and judging from the contrasting views of the riots that raged across our country recently, neither does anyone else. Apparently you either condemn the wanton destruction of private businesses that had nothing to do with George Floyd's tragic death, or you think the rioting and looting was understandable and necessary.

Similar to Ronald Reagan's comment about today's conservative is yesterday's liberal who got mugged, I can only say this:

Would any of you who think the current violence and destruction is justified still feel the same way if it were your means of feeding your family being destroyed?

Oops, I forgot to mention at the beginning of this essay about the terrible time we humans have being honest with ourselves.



Thursday, June 4, 2020

Apple lies, dates do not

Everyone thinks Jobs was such a genius by producing the iPhone. However, few are aware of the following dates:

LG Prada announcement date: December 12, 2006
Apple iPhone announcement date: January 9, 2007

LG Prada release date: May 2007
Apple iPhone release date: June 2007

So much for Apple's undying reputation as an innovator. Didn't Apple sue Samsung for "rounded corners"? Apparently they forgot that the LG Prada, which existed before the iPhone, had the same rounded corners. Apple stole the idea, then filed a  patent for it, which was eventually granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office in a stunning display of obtuse discernment.

Apple finally gets its patent on a rectangle with rounded corners

More information here reveals Apple's unscrupulous attempts to win the smart phone wars by using additional ridiculous patent restrictions:

In Apple v. Samsung, SCOTUS Sided With Reason Over Rounded Corners

"As patent law developed, it’s no surprise that lawmakers failed to predict that we would one day carry around miniature computers integrating more than 250,000 individual patents in our pockets." --from the Apple vs. Samsung article.

That of course wasn't the first time the "innovators" at Apple stole a game changing idea.

Remember the now famous story of how Bill Gates conned Steve Jobs into loaning some as yet unreleased Apple Macintoshes to Microsoft, and then proceeded to reverse engineer their operating system to produce Windows? So the mantra was Microsoft stole from Apple.

But wait...before Microsoft stole from Apple, Apple stole from Xerox, the company that first created the GUI interface we all use today. The Macintosh was seen as brilliant innovation, but all the pretty outside would have been pointless without the crown jewel of the mouse/desktop interface invented by Xerox engineers at the Palo Alto Research Center.

Wait you say! How about the iPod? You gotta give props to Apple for that innovation.

No, not at all. The first digital audio player was invented by Kane Kramer who had working prototypes that could play for an hour on a single charge in 1979. Due to Kramer not having 60,000 pounds (British monetary units) to renew his patent in 1988, his patent entered the public domain, which of course allowed the opportunistic Apple to be "inspired" by his invention.

"But I still love Apple stuff." Hey, to each their own I say. But don't lie to yourself and others about Apple's innovation. Their contributions are a testimony to packaging and marketing. The last time Apple did something truly innovative was when Steve Wozniak created their first Apple computer back in 1976.

In a world where VHS overpowers Betamax and Microsoft squashes Apple due to lower prices and market proliferation, I suppose Apple has to find some way to compete.

Perhaps for a company that produces cheaply made and overpriced products, elitist marketing hype and patent chicanery are the most lucrative strategies.


Thursday, May 21, 2020

Enemies of the truth

Ray Comfort does this clever shtick where he gets people to admit their past includes some form of lying, stealing, using God's name in vain, lusting after someone who is not his or her spouse, so then he tells them, "You've just admitted you're a lying, thieving, blasphemous adulterer at heart."

An example:

This video could reveal that you're not really a Christian

Trickery aside, Comfort has a point to make regarding subjective interpretations of objective concepts.

One thing that I have had a hard time letting go of is not just how the MSM (mainstream media) lies to us about all kinds of things, but more disappointingly, how so many of us repeat these deceptions to each other as though they were facts. I've expressed negative opinions regarding people like AOC, Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff and Hillary Clinton at times, despite never having met any of them.

This web site is devoted to listing lies by all the mainstream media, not just right or left:

MSMlies.com

I have friends and family members who look at the world differently than I do, and that's fine. They must certainly look at me and wonder why I think as I do. But there is something about the willingness to parrot gossip that agitates me to no end.

I gave it more thought, did some more reading, and came to this conclusion, which was also expressed by someone on Reddit:

"If you allow lies to be spread against someone you don't like, then you are an enemy of the truth."

I get that there are people in the public square each of us could do without. Who these people are most likely depends on how we view the world.

But if one is completely honest with one's self, there's no escaping the fact that if we believe and repeat lies about others, we are committing false witness, and are punishable under the Law.

Am I a Trump fan? I don't know what that's supposed to mean, as I support Trump's political platform of prosperity and security, I could do without his combative nature on some occasions but sometimes I think his abrasiveness is justified, I enjoy his rally speeches because they're often funny, and I think it would be ungrateful of me to ignore all the good things he's done for the US while in office.

Does Trump tell the truth about everything? Probably not, because no one does, politician or not.

When we applaud slander, we support the destruction of another human being's reputation. When we allow others to slander, we are complicit in our silence. For those reasons, it's nearly intolerable to watch media commentary disguised as reporting anymore.

Should the merciless obtain mercy? Should the unforgiving obtain forgiveness?

Word has it that God does not play favorites in that regard.



Travis Baldree is the Man

Not familiar with the name? That wouldn't be a surprise. Travis Baldree is a rock star in the game-making world, but he has maintained a low profile ala Jeff Lynne.

I bring Baldree up because I'm playing Fate (again) right now. Excellent game! Everyone's heard of Torchlight and Torchlight II, but not Fate so much. It's interesting because Travis Baldree designed and programmed Fate (WildTangent Games) and also created both Torchlights (Runic Games).

Torchlight was released in 2009, and many people saw it as a Diablo killer because it included everything that was great about Diablo I and II, and added features  that lessened the grindy nature of both Diablos (e.g. pets going to town to sell your loot). The graphics were much better than Diablo II. The first Torchlight came out a full three years before Diablo III was released, and everyone who loves dungeon crawlers thought, whoa, this is better than Diablo II, 1/3 the price (only $20 upon release), and the best part: no annoying DRM.

Torchlight sold very well for a game that didn't have near the advertising dollar of a company like Blizzard. Over 5 million units sold between both Torchlights as of 2015. And players really appreciated the respect they were shown by the lack of intrusive DRM. The Torchlight franchise's sales numbers are proof positive that incorporating DRM is how publishers demonstrate a lack of faith in a game's ability to sell itself.

Imagine what Torchlight's sales would have been if they were as well advertised as Blizzard's games.

Baldree originally formed Runic Games along with two founders of Blizzard North, the company that created the first Diablo. Runic was bought by Perfect World Entertainment in 2010, Baldree left in 2014 to start another game company called Double Damage games, and then Runic closed down three years later.

I haven't played Rebel Galaxy yet (the game Baldree made after he left Runic), but it and its followup look excellent. They're definitely in my queue for new games to try.

As a matter of fact, the scope isn't as vast, but Rebel Galaxy looks a lot more like the kind of game players were looking for than No Man's Sky delivered. You don't get to explore actual planets, but the whole procedurally-generated-solar-system strategize/battle/upgrade mechanic looks fun. The spinoff game Rebel Galaxy Outlaw even plays like Star Wars X-Wing in parts, according to the reviewer below.

Rebel Galaxy Review

Rebel Galaxy Outlaw Review

So what's the point of all this? I think Baldree is one of those rare people who just naturally know how to make a fun game, so it's worth it to keep track of his progress.

And Blizzard? I blew them off forever after their Internet-required DRM antics that started with Diablo III and continued with Starcraft II. And no LAN play in Starcraft II? Piracy my butt. They left it out so you'd have to look at ads on Battle.net.

The "Real" Reason Why There Is No Starcraft 2 LAN Play

I don't just complain when game publishers abuse their customers. I always vote with my dollars, regardless of how "awesome" a game is purported to be. This means I'll continue to enjoy Diablo and Diablo II, but unless Blizzard ends their draconian tactics, I'll never buy nor play their post Diablo II games.

With all the games I already own, and all the great games out there to buy that don't insult my integrity as a game customer, not playing Diablo III or Starcraft II isn't much of a sacrifice.




Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Definitely NOT one to one

PippenFTS, a user on YouTube, created this video:

The Earth in Minecraft, 1:1 scale ...for the first time.

It's initially inspiring, but once you watch the video for a bit, you realize limitations of processing power make the project impossible to complete at this time, if ever.

In the comments I found a pervading fascination with comparisons to reality in terms of structure and feasibility. God was mentioned here and there, but not that often.

What many people don't connect are the dots between what we call reality and the reality of God. The way to get past "infinite" space and the one to one idea of a Minecraft replication of the universe is to add another dimension, one that exceeds temporal and spatial limits that are intrinsic to us.

People have long dismissed the idea that God could have created all of what we know as reality, because they are operating under the assumption that God has nothing but our own parameters to work with. It cannot be argued successfully that God could use our existing computer and fabrication technologies to create the universe.

Flatland, the story by Edwin A. Abbott, is an allegory that solved this puzzle a long time ago, and all that was necessary to properly connect the dots was simple faith.

Some may commonly respond to that statement by saying, "Faith is for the ignorant."

However, is that the same way they refer to people who entertain impossible-to-prove theories like the Multiverse or Punctuated Equilibrium?

The 21st century has allowed us to look at scientific theory with more critical eyes. That vital practice is the long-touted superior and assumed approach of science. In other words, part of the scientific method is to not just accept a theory on faith, but to test it in a lab instead.

The latter 20th and current 21st centuries have both brought several scientific disciplines under greater scrutiny, most notably biology, cosmology and sub-atomic theory. This is thanks to ever-advancing technologies that bring specific parameters out of the realm of faith and into the real world of laboratory substantiation.

We can now see things more clearly with less guesswork than ever before. A great example is ever more powerful Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). It should no longer be disputed that had Charles Darwin had access to this modern technology, he would have been astounded at the incredible complexities of the cell, and reconsidered his entire core theory.

Back in Darwin's day, they assumed a cell was a simple blob of protoplasm. They had no clue it was so ridiculously complex. That complexity adds several magnitudes of time expectancy to the classic view of evolutionary development, far exceeding the currently believed age of the Earth. But that's a separate discussion.

What about this other dimension I mentioned, this possible location for God?

From a biblical perspective, we've been given a few clues about the parameters of this additional dimension (or dimensions, for that matter):

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." --Isaiah 55:8-9

For a long time, people thought that "higher" meant up in space somewhere, like the purveyors of the "Sky Daddy" fallacy. That's still a reference used by those who prefer mockery to genuine thought. I would like to suggest that "higher" is instead a direct reference to a higher dimension.


"For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night." --Psalms 90:4

"But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." --2 Peter 3:8


These both very strongly suggest that time as a physical limitation does not exist for God in the same way it does for us. So what could it mean to not be constrained by the temporal? This question often gets pushed to the side, because the inconvenient truth for us is that we can't possibly fathom something completely outside of our frame of reference for reality. We ask, "But wouldn't everything happen at once with no linear time to separate actions?" That's the best question we can come up with, exposing our lack of knowledge on the subject.

Physics reminds us that time itself is an emergent property of matter. That is to say, without matter to measure against, there is no time. Thus it can be deduced that when God created matter, he also created time (for us). It is possible that the physical matter of our universe is analogous to pixels on a screen, those being two dimensional as opposed to the three dimensional illusion they create.

The pre-destination debate has always centered around an unwillingness to acknowledge that there can be an absence of time. Specifically, there are objections to the ideas that God can know the future when we don't, or that God exists outside of time. But those objections exist only because we are incapable of fully describing an existence without time as a parameter. Time is a part of our existence and it provides a great deal of our reference points for reality. 


"For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him." --Isaiah 64:4

"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God." --1 Corinthians 2:9-11

These both refer to the same fact: human beings literally have not heard, seen, or even conceived what the dimensions of God are actually like. We like to think of ourselves as masters of our domain, but that's the whole point made by the verses. We have no clue of any existence but our own. We don't even have the ability to accurately imagine God's greater reality. Think about that.


"While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." --2 Corinthians 4:18

This verse points out that there is a difference between the temporal (subject to time) and the eternal (not subject to time). Even when imagining things like a multiverse, we must still use known parameters to form our hypotheses. There can't be a Multiverse unless there are universes to comprise it. A universe is an already existing known quantity, we didn't invent it in our imaginations.


"Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else." --Isaiah 45:21-22

"But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand." --Isaiah 64:8

"I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded." --Isaiah 45:12

"Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God." --Isaiah 44:6

"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last." --Revelation 22:13


These verses all speak to one immutable fact: God created the universe, the universe did not create itself. For something so utterly fantastic to have happened, God would need to have access to resources and technologies that we can't possibly access in our physical reality. Furthermore, to avoid an infinite loop of creations creating creations, apparently our aspirations to repeat the work of God are meant to remain impossible, because of the insurmountable limitations of what we have available to us in our subset of God's higher reality.


"Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? --Job 38:4-7

This passage specifically addresses the absence of human knowledge about God's greater reality. Some of the details don't even make sense to us based on our experience with our physical reality, and we have to imbue them with our own frame of reference, which of course renders them incomplete and inaccurate.


"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea." --Revelation 21:1

"And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely." --Revelation 21:3-6

"And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof." --Revelation 21:22-23

"And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever." --Revelation 22:5


These passages raise several questions, such as "How can we exist without the sun?" "How can a person be a temple?" "How can a person be the beginning and the ending of everything we know?" "How can anything last forever when everything in our universe passes away eventually?"

Again, this is the whole point I'm making. We naturally ask those questions because based on what we perceive as reality, these things all seem impossible. But even the ones who penned the scriptures saw that coming, as you can read for yourself in the next four passages:

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.” --Luke 1:37

“And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” --Luke 18:27

“But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” --Matthew 19:26

“And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” --Mark 10:27



Last, but not least, another passage from the book of Job, in which Job himself admits the level of ignorance about God he possessed as a human being, after God himself spoke to Job:

"Then Job answered the LORD, and said, I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes." --Job 42:1-6


So basically, the man who the Bible says was the most righteous on the Earth at that time has the opportunity to speak with and question God, and what does he come away with from the experience?

Arrogance, anger, resentment, skepticism, cynicism, moral superiority?

None of the above. Instead, he expressed outright humility and shame.

That was all he had left once he understood even the tiniest amount of the truth about God.


Thursday, February 27, 2020

Conservative Flight

Observe the following video:

Californians Fleeing the State for Texas

What makes that interesting is the reputation California once had as the Golden State, land of dreams, doorway to the stars.

I'm certain many leftist liberal democrats would disagree, but in a sense, California has become an excellent proving ground for socialist public policy failures.

So now you know what would happen if America fell prey to the same political sophistry: all the successful, productive people would simply leave the rabble to their own unproductive devices.

Garbage, used hypodermic needles and human feces would gather, as a direct result of relaxed vagrancy laws. This would equal more rats, which would reintroduce virulent strains of diseases we had previously eradicated. Prices for real estate would skyrocket, as they have in California, and elsewhere that Californians migrate to.

Take Seattle for example. Before the late 90's, real estate was reasonably priced. Then here came the Californians, buying every lot they could get their hands on, paying ridiculously high prices in some cases, and driving up costs across the board. I watched this happen, and when I moved to Ohio at the end of 2000, having only had my house two years (between the Sea-Tac airport and Southcenter, not even in the Seattle city limits), I turned the property over for $30,000.

Seattle, my once clean and comfortable home, is now housing thousands of homeless in tents all around the city that never existed while I lived there. Thank the Lord I left there at the end of 2000, before the insanity took hold, in the embodiment of local politicians like Kshama Sawant, who love to pass legislation that ties police hands and gives homeless people more and more land to increase their unwanted presence.

There is debate about the homeless situation in America. But at the ground level, all is not as it seems. Many or most of the homeless you encounter actually don't want to be pulled out of their situation, as incredible as that sounds. Apparently the lure of free services while they ride out the rest of their lives on the drug-induced rainbow is just too great to pass up.

What about the homeless who didn't choose to be homeless? No, it's not easy to do, but there are programs for all of them who are willing to do their part to rise above the situation. No matter what Bernie tells you, there's no such thing in this country as "too bad, you're on your own."

There are some in Seattle who actually have jobs and still live in tents simply because rent is just way too high. Who's fault is that? Please see previous paragraphs.

Then you have lovelies like these in New York, making a dangerous nuisance of themselves in the name of freedom from capitalistic and fascist oppression:

FTP3 Anti Cop Protesters Clash with NYPD | UNDERCOVER ELAD

Poor Elad, who is constantly wrongly accused by these idiotic miscreants of being a "right wing blogger," had to don some of the left's cowardly ANTIFA clothing just to get his camera where viewers could see the level of nonsense the spoiled brats from New York City are generating.

All of this because they don't want to pay a fare to ride the transit like everyone else.

What happens when political fascism, disguised as socialism for the people, starts over-taxing and over-legislating the productive members of society?

Those members leave, and the ones left behind find out what genuine hardship is, as opposed to the imagined oppression that those who live five minutes or more out of major cities know better than to entertain.

I think most people gawk at these antics and just shake their heads. Most people just want to have a job, a home, a family, and chill out. The protesters in these videos are the fringe, acting out their childish fantasies of overturning the system.

One observation: if the left's fringe shenanigans ever reach truly dangerous levels, the police will be the least of their worries when the military steps in. Then the cries will be of a different nature as order and sanity are once again restored.

Why can't they just grow up and become responsible citizens? It doesn't seem like that much to ask, or that hard of a task.