Thursday, September 30, 2004

Random stuff #2

Interesting week and a bit this has been, with a suprising amount of things happening.

First there was having a Chat with Jack (one of the lecturers at Uni) about doing Masters next year, That was followed by a quick dash home for tea and the icing of the cake. Then heading back to Uni for the CU exec meeting and walking to the Movie night at Jess's Good company, decent movies, and a lot of fun. Thanks Jess :).

Next day there was CU camp. Lovely weather, Good speaker, Good food (thanks Joy and Phillipa), and Good Company even if there wasn't alot of it :).

Get back from Camp and head to church decent worship, with a resonable speaker (though I did disagree with her on a couple of points related to whats on Andrews blog). After which back home where my cousins from Auckland had just arrived, A few people from church drop in and it's fun and games (taboo, pictionary etc) till 12.

Monday into the Lab to work on my Biochem project and the usual University Lectures and Tutorials. Followed up by Monday night Cynics cell group with Andrew, Brehaut, Frasertron, Jim, Mike, Reuben and the occasional other. Return home for a Game of Settlers with my cousins and brothers.

Tuesday Uni again and lab work get a nice SDS Page result. Skip Nav's in the evening to stay home and chat to my cousins as well as do a bit of uni work and play a game of Settlers.

Wensday lab work, CU main meeting, BDA Lab then in the evening, finishing the Biochemistry assignment due the next day and watching Most of "dare devil" with my cousins on Zeb's (my youngest Brother) computer because it's got a DVD player and at 17" the Screen's bigger than the family TV :).

Thursday more lab work with a nice Western blotting result being produced :). Handing the Biochemistry assignment in, doing the reading for the Tutorial on Firday and the first exec Meeting of just the New exec at which we finally work out the postions and roles which we will be doing as well as mention the sorts of things we want to do next year in CU.

Also somewhere in the above mess watching (between Monday and Thursday) the 26 or so Episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion a rather interesting and somewhat wierd (It's Japenese after all) Anime series.

And that is 7 busier than normal days in the life of Me.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Sketches of a Mind.

Is any body else out there?

One interesting question that may at some point in the future become more important to Christian's is the question of “Does other life exist any where else in the universe?” or “Does other Intelligent and Self aware life exist?”. These may at some point become very important to Christian's should contact with an extra terrestrial species ever occur. As one thing I think many Christian's do is assume that we are the only Intelligent life form in this universe (God and Angels don't count :)). That God made the universe for us. A rather self centred view I feel and one I can think of no real “clear” and “definite” biblical backing for (If you know of some please feel free to point it out to me). Also how would you or other Christians react if life is discovered on some place that is not earth and that was clearly not of earth origin e.g. Europa (A moon of Jupiter and considered a prime candidate for evolutionary life)?

Would it affect your world view and interpretation of the bible? As I know of no verses which state that life was created any where else? This is not the biggest possible problem though life on other planet's and Moons can quite easily be fit into a Christian world view with out to much discomfort, just accepting that Genesis is not the full, accurate, step by step guide to the Development and Creation of the Universe and every thing.

The real gotcha though would be the discovery of Intelligent life! Something that really hits the Universe is for Human kind argument on the head! The other thing is such an event could prove Christianity is correct but can't disprove it. I mean for example say the Seti project detected a signal that was clearly of intelligent origin that was close enough for some form of contact/communication to be developed (This of course assumes that the hypothesis, that we don't hear/detect any other civs in space is because there is another more advanced paranoid species out there that attacks any it detects wiping them out, is incorrect) . And as part of the communication Religion was discussed for which there is a number of possible outcomes.

Species doesn't have any Religion's, never did or fail to understand the concept.

This leaves several points of view the negative, God doesn't exist or Religion is a human construct but again you can't prove either of these. Which pretty much leaves us with the situation as it is to day though with a few changes in interpretation of the bible no doubt :).

Or the Positive, that they need to be converted, human kind was lucky or unlucky (depending on your point of view) enough to be chosen by God as his “Chosen species” and it's our duty to convert the universe :). This of course assumes that we accept they have souls and as far as I'm concerned that would be a YES if they were intelligent, and that they can learn to comprehend religion, faith, and belief.

Species understands Religion but has no Christian religion or Christian compatible religion.

This would probably be a mixed bag, a species that understands the concepts of Religion and has some proving that it's not just something imagined by some humans and that possibly it's and underling part of self awareness. On the other the lack of a Christian or Christian like religion or faith would mean that we don't have any more “proof” as the world would see it that Christianity is the only true Faith. Still I'd expect most Christians would welcome it more than the previous and again we'd have another group to convert :).

Species understands religion and has a Christian compatible one that teaches similar concepts and Ideas and expects similar behaviour.

This would be nice. It would provide a nice little boost to Christianity and possibly the other religions derived from Christianity and would be a real boost to the idea that God exists.

Many Eden's. Species understands Religion and has Christianity in it's fullness. Similar holy book or equivalent, similar theology, the Trinity, Creation, Eden, the enemy, Christ etc.

This would be a massive boost to Christianity and pretty much prove it for many I think. No doubt there'd still be those who rejected it for one reason or another and others who said it was just proof that some advanced alien species had decided to play god at some time. But some of the issues it would rise would be VERY nasty from some points of view. The concepts of other species all undergoing the same fate falling from grace is horrific to comprehend, or at least I find it so, and it begs the question have all species fallen or are there some that survived or avoided the fall and passed the temptation?

Well there you are you've just had a view in to the sort of random stuff that I think about when in bed, walking to University or am just plain bored.

No there are a couple of reasons for posting this, it force's me to order my thoughts about the issue which is usually useful, and it gives me a chance to find out if other people that I know think about this sort of stuff or other random ideas and if they do have they thought about this? Or other interesting ideas?

So now a few Q's.
  • What do you think of these idea's?
  • Are there things here that you agree with, disagree with etc.? Why?
  • Do you think about random Ideas like this?
  • Did I manage to freak you out?
  • Do you now think I'm abit odd now?(Don't feel guilty I'm quite happy to tell you that I am :))
  • Or perhaps insane? :-}
  • Or just eccentric?
  • Have you considered that we might not be the only Intelligent beings in creation?
  • If so how does it affect you, does it?

Note it would be nice if your'd at least mention if you also think of such random things.
As it generally requires a really wierd conversation to find out.Or to discuss such things :-P.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Interesting Reading.

If you are looking for something interesting to read, or just have nothing to do for a while. Then have a look at this. It's a number of Science Fiction Authors commenting on what they see as future social trends.

They all have there bias and you'll be able to spot some of them fairly quickly, but over all it's and interesting look at what people who earn a living thinking about the future and writing about it see.

Well worth reading!

Some comments are especially interesting and seem rather important.

Ken Wharton's answer regarding our biggest mistakes: “The worldwide population explosion. Being in the middle of it for so long, it's hard to remember that exponential growth can never sustain itself forever. 50-100 years from now population will have mostly stabilized at something, and that number will be the primary determinant on what sort of long-term future is in store for humanity. In hindsight, will there have been a way to stabilize at a lower number? Probably... and someday we might be viewed as criminal for not doing just that.”

Which is an interesting point, with advances in Medicine and Agriculture over the last 200 or so years the world population moved from being fairly stable (100,000,000 or so) with a slight linear growth rate to our current 6,000,000,000+ people.
The problem with this is though that all environments have a max population they can support and when that limit is reached you have to either stablise the pop by getting the birth and death rates to equalize, decrease the population or move else where.
I'm not sure that we are capable of the 1st and 3rd options at least at the moment. Which leaves us with decreasing the population :(.

Another interesting point is this one:

Norman Spinrad: “I'd say the Jihad; there is one, you know. There isn't any ‘war on terrorism’; terrorism is a tactic; the war is Islamic fundamentalism versus ‘the Crusaders,’ aka ‘the Great Satan,’ aka the United States, aka the ‘West,’ aka the 21st Century. The Jihad has been openly and loudly declared by the jihadis, and as far as Islam is concerned, Bush has openly declared the other side in Iraq. This will affect everything. It already has. It's a holy war that's been going on for 1400 years or so, and this is only the latest and most dangerous phase. Osama bin Laden, after 9/11, said that he would destroy civil liberties in the West, and in the US he's already succeeded. What he didn't understand was that he was feeding energy into the fundamentalist Christian right, Bush's allies, and in effect creating the Great Crusader Satan of his paranoid fantasies that hadn't existed before, or at least not on a mass level. Years ago, and I paraphrase loosely, William Burroughs said that if you want to start a murderous brawl, record the Black Panthers speaking, play it for the Ku Klux Klan, play their reaction back to the Panthers, etc.... Voila, Jihad! Destroying civil liberties, indeed civil society itself, on both sides. Wherever you go, there we are.”

I'm not sure I agree with him exactly but it's not to hard to see where he's coming from and the various routes that could lead to.

Another interesting bit:

A consensus emerges that war is staying but changing shape. Bruce Sterling: “Well, if you gather in armies and raise a flag, the USA will blow you to shreds, so the trend is to strap a bomb around your waist or pile artillery shells into a car and then blow yourself up. The idea that a 'war on terror' is going to resolve this kind of terror by using lots of warfare is just absurd.”

Which seems a reasonably good summary of the current trends unfortunatly.

Any way have a look at it and I'd be interested in your points of view on the various things mentioned and if you agree or disagree with some of the stuff.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Music Mutations.

Well my music play list mutates again to another wierd and wonderfull mix. The latest addition being some Gregorian Chants that I found for free download here. They're not best quality be recorded live during a service I think but a fairly good.

Decided to find some when I saw this post on Jim's blog, Always quite liked the stuff, at least the bits of it I mheard now and then.

As a result my music collection now ranges from Gregorian Chants and Classical music, through Techno, Rock, Punk, a tiny bit of pop, and finally to Heavy metal style stuff.

Which will no doubt disturb some of you people :) To bad!

Now off to see if I can find some more Gregorian chants.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Of interest to those ...

Some thing that might be of interest to those who like Classical literature is
  • Project Gutenburg
  • a website/organization dedicated to converting old books to computer text for free release on the web. They've been going for it for quite some time now and have a very large collection of free books available in a range of languages. This books are for the most part at least 70 years old as that is the amount of time an author may hold copy right on a book after which it becomes free/open domain or something according to US law at least.

    So if your looking for an oldish book that's a good place to start.

    Other similar sites are. A collection of Old and free Movies, free texts and books, and free Music.