Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Romance in Star Wars

This from CTRL+ALT+DEL Comic author, Tim Absath. Speaking about romance in the star wars universe, in his review of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed...

I was also amused to see the "romantic" tangent in the story. I am now thoroughly convinced that love in the Star Wars Universe works something like this.

"Hi. I see you are a women, and breathing."
"Yes, I see you are a man, and also breathing."
"We are in love now."

Because frankly, that's what they're showing us over, and over, and over.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Would we kill him with a cartoon gun?

Apparently, Mickey Mouse must die.

Sheikh Mohammad Munajid says that "the mouse is one of Satan's soldiers and is steered by him". Tom and Jerry, and Mickey especially, have helped make mice lovable to children while according to Sharia law and, we can't forget, logic...  mice are repulsive, corrupting creatures.
Quote of the Day:
Mickey Mouse has become an awesome character, even though according to Islamic law, Mickey Mouse should be killed in all cases.
Would you use turpentine? Perhaps you would draw a cartoon gun. Judging from the success of inflicting lasting damage on others such as Roger Rabbit or Wile E. Coyote, I would largely assume that most weapons in the cartoon armoury would fail to do the job.

Either way, if you do happen to see Mickey Mouse around then, please, do not approach him and make sure that you call the authorities immediately.

Does anybody sense a disconnect here?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Cost of Freedom & The Secret of Happiness

Barry Schwartz, Professor of Social Theory & Social Action at Swarthmore College, believes that 'choice' - a central tenet of western society - is not in fact bringing us closer to freedom but is making us less free, paralysed, less happy, and more dissatisfied.

See a video of a TED Talk by him on 'The paradox of choice', here. You could also check out his book, The Paradox of Choice. Why more is less (2005).

Barry doesn't need 174 kinds of salad dressing, or 6 Million combinatorial options to purchase a home stereo system at the one store.

Another interesting TED Talker is Dan Gilbert, whose studies into happiness show that situations with limited options railroad us into manufacturing genuine affective changes that reinforce satisfaction with our current situation; in short, we MANUFACTURE our own happiness with what we get, and unconsciously devalue what we don't have. See his amazingly fascinating TED Talk here. You see, Gilbert describes it as though we have a 'psychological immune system' that mentally protects us from detrimental affect concerning the situations we find ourselves in. Basically, the world is not going to end if we don't get what we want! Sometimes, often times, our brain is wired so that we end up being happier regardless.

Gilbert's tongue in cheek secret of happiness? Anecdotally, it turns out to be quite surprising:

1. Accrue wealth, power, & prestige. Then lose it.
2. Spend as much of your life in prison as you possibly can.
3. Make someone else really, really rich.
4. Never ever join the Beatles.

I'm beginning to think that maybe some very old wisdom agrees with our very modern scientific realisations about ourselves.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Good Religion Needs Good Science

Saint Anselm of Canterbury said that theology is 'fides quaerens intellectum,' or, faith seeking understanding.

Some in the Church of England are faithfully seeking pieces of understanding; Dr Rev Malcolm Brown, their head of public affairs, released an essays where he says,

"We try to practise the old virtues of 'faith seeking understanding' and hope that makes some amends. But the struggle for your reputation is not over yet, and the problem is not just your religious opponents but those who falsely claim you in support of their own interests.

Good religion needs to work constructively with good science – and I dare to suggest that the opposite may be true as well."

Dr Brown is getting some good ecumenical moves in before next year's 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin's Origin of the Species, wanting, "to look back on the relationship between Darwin, his supporters and the Christian church".

Impressively, he also states,

"People, and institutions, make mistakes and Christian people and churches are no exception. When a big new idea emerges which changes the way people look at the world, it's easy to feel that every old idea, every certainty, is under attack and then to do battle against the new insights"

Dr Brown believes that the Church of England owes Darwin an apology; a position which another spokesman points out is not the official opinion of the Church.

See the full Guardian article about it here.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

We have the technology...!

I just completed my leap onto the hip-cat emergent church gen-X bandwagon.

Or perhaps I completed my recent computer-geek, bad-technology-frustration, old-laptop replacement upgrade.

Either way, I just bought a black 2.4GHz 13" Macbook today. Oh, and a black 240GB iPod.

Behold the new, fancy tricks...!

I'm SO glad to finally not have a computer that crashes repeatedly while browsing, or won't install or upgrade ANY software whatsoever, or won't take so long to start that I can prepare a meal before it finishes loading Windows.

One word:


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Reason 01

01: Content no longer relevant
Apparently one has to wax theologically lyrical in order to retain blog subscribers these days. This season pneuma is the new sarx, darling.

Well, I wouldn't want to disappoint. I have been working on a rather large post for some time now; think of it as the State of the Nation address. I wrote the main points some time back and, while I have moved on a bit since, I think it will provide a fertile soil in which some good discussions may grow. It's taken a while to get here (justifying this, in fact: a post about a post) because I want to do it justice and it's depth put me off for a while.

I will resume my writing. Relevant content here we come.