Worth a listen
Worth a listen
As we think about the world we are living in and the world we want to live in. We must balance friction and convenience against the potential risks which will emerge as technology blossoms and expands to touch ever part of our lives. This morning I got a text informing me of the 200 million cameras the Chinese had watching their citizens. I immediately remember the CATV system in London and
what parts of the City it covers. Its goal record everyone’s movements to protect against terrorists. Airlines are talking about ticketless travel and some are speaking of passport-less and ticketless airports. We wonder if Alexa is recording our every word and we know our PC, Tablet, Baby monitor & mobile phone cameras and microphones can be used by: who knows who, to watch who knows what, whenever they so please?
Is this the world we want to live in? Or would we prefer our cities to enact laws like those recently enacted in San Francisco. This law is meant to ban the use of these various cameras and listening devices from being used to identify everyone they see or hear.
This conversation then immediately bleeds into the question of our right to privacy. With all that the internet offers for free and what all these devices are capable of sharing; we’ve given our privacy away.
How often do you wonder why the ads you see seem to attempt to sell you exactly what you recent read about? How often do you wonder why you no longer can easily find the site you are looking for? Instead you have to filter through the search list to get past all the ads. How many of us even understand the information people can glean from what we do and were we are; when we use or carry our devices around?
On one side of the discussion is reality. As has been the case for as long as I can remember. TV, radio, newspaper, magazine, browser, social media, much web content and mobile app are funded by advertising dollars. Spent by those who want to convince some of us to buy what is on offer. It is these advertising dollars which pays for the content and ultimately decides what will survive the test of time. On the other side are the politicians, regulators, lobbyist and corporations who are focused on one thing. Helping people prosper or worse protecting some so they can continue to prosper.
The acquisition of wealth, the construction of infrastructure, the destruction of our enemies or the support for those without; is all about money.
If we seek to protect our privacy and be assured, we will not live in a surveillance state. We must be willing to read the fine print and be ready to pay for what is now free. We must be ready and willing to take the extra time to pull out our passport, enter our user name, present our boarding pass. We must insist on the necessary friction to protect our identity and our freedoms.
If convenience is what we insist on. Be assured, companies will happily build solutions to remove friction. Beware, removing friction, when it comes to your identity or privacy, means you will allow people and organizations to collect and store everything they can about you/ Their goal to identity you and without friction, with the purpose of serving you or better said profiting from your actions.
All of this is more than the Uber experience. Uber recognizes your phone and account not you.
This will be a world where the system behind the camera will see you, compare your face to all the faces on file and determines it is you. Therefore, knowing who you are, it can do what it is told to do; because it is you.
Reverend, You Say the Virgin Birth Is ‘a Bizarre Claim’? https://nyti.ms/2UOW6iT
This particular interview, at this time in the christian year, is an appropriate discussion as we remember the teaching and value Jesus brought to this world.
I have often wondered about the birth and death of Christ. These are the two parts of the life of Jesus Christ which I continue to struggle with.
It is easy to accept the need to create such a noble beginning and end to his life. Easier still when we think of our society and how people are. We must remember they then and still now struggle to learn and embrace complex thought. The mythology helped so many find their way to the true teaching of Jesus.
Surprises. Oh how surprises impact one and each of us. Who is Mary to Jesus? Does this event demonstrate how our bodies can go into a stasis, dead to most – alive in truth.
Gracious in a spacious place -there the truth can be found.
How is it that Mary and Jesus are ever so personally and ever so intimately entangled. Who is this person named Mary?
The Teacher. A teacher who touched billions over thousands of years. One who came, learned and shared. Here to led us into the wilderness. Here to bring us out into the light.
We still have not fully embraced the gift of love he shared with us. We have not recognized the truth is in the love he asked each of us to have for one another.
Jesus, the one among a handful who has finally and ultimately shared the truth these few tried so hard to share with us.
The others who shared with other parts of the ancient world tried to help us understand the mysteries of life, the value of meditation and the glory of God. The one God who created all, sees all, knows all.
Faith, what is faith? Is faith the belief in the words in a book. Is it the acceptance of cultural norms or is it an understanding of the unimaginable power, majesty, timelessness and infinity reality of that which we call The Almighty, Tian, Shandgi, God, the Tao, Buddha and a hundred other names? Is it one identifiable entity or is it a spirit form. Is it singular or as some believe a collection of forces personalized to make them understandable?
Clearly this God is an unimaginably power, one we cannot even begin to understand!
For me, faith is accepting I can never appreciate that which is so infinity as to be beyond knowledge. It is to accept how each one of us builds our own understand of that which we cannot conceive.
When we human kind claim to know; be it as a tribe, a society, a civilization or a religion. It is at this moment we create division. These human constructs become the imprinted beliefs we give our children. As these tribes grow larger they seek to expand. To expand they come in contact with others different than their own.
In this difference springs animosity. In this animosity emerges fear. From fear comes the temptation to be right. Being right means those who do not believe and think as the tribe does must be wrong. If the tribe is wrong, then, surely they should be vanquished.
War and violence. Man again man is the greatest of sins. We in all faiths are taught to embrace our enemy, to encourage discourse, to share in the joy and happiness of others and most important to love each other as we seek to love ourselves. It is this one requirement, common to so many, we most often ignore.
How can we find the common bond to heal the hurt, fix the wrong, right the balance and discover the peace; we so all desire?
When we think back to history, we in the western world are brought up on the history of the Bible and the righteous position of the Jewish people. We are taught little of the growth and beliefs of the other regions of the ancient world. Egypt, Greece and Roman are seen as part of this history. The Persian empire is the enemy and that which is to the north and off to the east are known as trading alliances, maybe not people like those of biblical, Greek or Roman times.
One day a son is born into this culture. Pure of spirit and oh so wise capable of understanding much at the tender age of twelve. Already traveled, one can only imagine he continued to travel, to learn to embrace and to bring light to all he met. To imagine he traveled to the far reaches of the spice routes is so imaginable.
The Word Became Flesh
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life,* and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.*
In these words we learn of a teacher who will return. John his cousin, who did not travel east, instead shared beliefs and the letters he had receiving from this learned man. John’s childhood friend who traveled through and around all of the civilizations of ancient times.
Finally the thoughts and teaching from these other ancient lands and people would be merged together with the thoughts of Jesus’ original faith. A new loving and more holistic system of belief could rise binding all of human kind into one chosen people. One group of people not distinct from the other. All loved by the creator.
For some the idea all are equal is not easily, especially still, to accept. This is the great message we should have and must learn. This learned man moved around teaching, performing get things and creating a following embracing all.
The First Commandment
28 One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; 30 you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”32 Then the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that ‘he is one, and besides him there is no other’; 33 and ‘to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,’ and ‘to love one’s neighbor as oneself,’—this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” After that no one dared to ask him any question.
This is the greatest teaching to love one another, not to create divisions and ferment hate. Embrace each as you wish to be embraced is the true learning we must all learn.
Two articles this morning remind us of the challenge of our time. The same challenge of past times. The concentration of wealth and power has and remains why class struggle and revolution often time follow the concentration, which to often is the flaw of capitalize.
When one class can separate itself from another. Those who have the ability to achieve this isolation, forget the pain of those on the bottom.
Recently I was drawn to learn about the American Pledge of Allegiance and found this timeline expressing the changes that occurred to the pledge as this nation evolved.
The Pledge of Allegiance, as it exists in its current form, was composed in August 1892 by Francis Bellamy (1855–1931), who was a Baptist minister, a Christian socialist, and the cousin of socialist Utopian novelist Edward Bellamy (1850–1898). There did exist a previous version created by Captain George T. Balch, a veteran of the Civil War, who later became auditor of the New York Board of Education. Balch’s pledge, which existed contemporaneously with the Bellamy version until the 1923 National Flag Conference, read:
We give our heads and hearts to God and our country; one country, one language, one flag!
1892 (first version)
“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
1892 to 1923 (early revision by Bellamy)
“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
1923 to 1924
|“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”|
1924 to 1954
“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants https://nyti.ms/2GqnbC9
As I read this article my mind asked the question what drives an organization and its American employees to forget they are American citizen’s with responsibilities to protect this nation from the acts of our enemies.
Excess profits, what other motivation could there be. The one motivation which is and will remain the greatest threat to society, the environment and our grandchildrens’ future.
Be it the concentration of power which drives excess profits or the reduction of quality, weight, volume or size, simply to maintain price and margin the shareholder will be served after senior management take its plenty. Stakeholders – client and employees come second, after the key executive and strategic shareholders are rewarded.
Russian’s and our other enemies will find our weaknesses and take advantage deluding us with propaganda and lies, all to achieve their aims.
Often times people speak of disruption as this traumatic thing being imposed upon them, their industry or society. Yet, if we look under the covers disruption more than likely is all about a competitor, not locked into a legacy approach, approaching the market with different tools.
The world of payments, as so many others, have implemented technology then gone on to enhance or update multiple times. Each time, someone or some group of people, had to adapt therefore invest to keep up. More often than not, a community would decide to hold on to what they built, sometime ago, hoping no one tried to disrupt the status quo.
With payment the need to embrace more effective approaches parallels the robustness and frequency of transactions. It also parallels the desire of sellers to do business with anonymous buyers. A lack of trust and a need to reduce the amount of cash we carry drove, markets to promissory notes. These promissory notes further evolved, as trusted intermediaries entered the market and created more efficient methods of providing that guarantee of payment.
Not wanting to duplicate what is already written about the history of money and payments we can jump forward through the paper phase to where we are in North America: Cash, cards, some checks and electronic debits & credits.
If we look inside the evolution of legacy. We find what we have, is a stumbling block, holding innovation back. We need to decide to adapt what exists or remove and replace.
Reading about the history of the NRA I was surprised and pleased to learn of the original purpose of the NRA, Marksmanship. It was all about assuring the effective use of firearms. As I continued to read I was further impressed when I read the following from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Rifle_Association
Karl Frederick, NRA President in 1934, during congressional NFA hearings testified “I have never believed in the general practice of carrying weapons. I seldom carry one. … I do not believe in the general promiscuous toting of guns. I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses.” Four years later, the NRA backed the Federal Firearms Act of 1938.
As I read the second amendment, the NRA President seems to embrace the first clause.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
The NRA focus seems to have been on making sure those who bear arms are properly trained. Clearly a principal roll of a regulated militia is the training of its members.
A key word in the initial phrase of the Second amendment is “regulated”. This word means:
control or supervise (something, especially a company or business activity) by means of rules and regulations.
Reading more about the history of this organization there was a unfortunate strategic shift.
Until the middle 1970s, the NRA mainly focused on sportsmen, hunters and target shooters, and downplayed gun control issues. However, passage of the GCA galvanized a growing number of NRA gun rights activists, including Harlon Carter. In 1975, it began to focus more on politics and established its lobbying arm, the Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), with Carter as director. The next year, its political action committee (PAC), the Political Victory Fund, was created in time for the 1976 elections. The 1977 annual convention was a defining moment for the organization and came to be known as “The Cincinnati Revolution”. Leadership planned to relocate NRA headquarters to Colorado and to build a $30 million recreational facility in New Mexico, but activists within the organization whose central concern was Second Amendment rights defeated the incumbents and elected Carter as executive director and Neal Knox as head of the NRA-ILA. Insurgents including Harlon and Knox had demanded new leadership in part because they blamed incumbent leaders for existing gun control legislation like the GCA and believed that no compromise should be made
I then read a bit of Harlon Carter’s history. Convicted of murder and one can sense a racist attitude. Maybe the manufacturers came later and the white supremacist came first.
We America need to take politics out of the discussion and commission a panel of professional English language grammar scholars. We should ask them to carefully read the language of the second amendment and provide clarity as to what people, at the time it was written, meant if there is a strict interpretation of the Grammar. This thought led to a search for some previously prepared analysis of the construction of the second amendment.
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/second_amendmentguns and grammer
Clearly there are multiple interpretations, ranging from the objective of “Maintain a well regulated militia” to the objective of “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms”.
I personally am of the view that what one of these articles described as the “Collective Rights Approach”
Given these multiple interpretations, we the people as the majority of the people should vote and decide which we seek to be the appropriate interpretation.
The three of you represent my interests as members of the legislative branch of our country. I have written to each of you at various moments in time expressing my concerns on specific issues. On this Thanksgiving Day I write not of one issue but of many.
I worry about:
• The cost and state of our Healthcare system
• Safety of our citizens be they at school, temple, church, out for the evening or at work.
• The inability to properly manage immigration be it legal or illegal
• The new trade wars that are emanating from these tariffs we are imposing on our trading partners.
• The need to preserve and protect the members of the fourth estate and to make sure they have the ability to, as appropriate and with the right level of decorum, forcefully question our appointed and elected leaders.
• The vicious and untampered attacks on the judicial and legislative branches of our government by the leader of the third branch of our government.
• The continued erosion of our position as a world leader.
• The loose of respect we are sustaining around the globe, especially with our friends and allies.
• The lack of confidence verbally expressed in the work and working of our dedicated intelligence services.
• The inability to express our disappointment when the leader of Saudi Arabia orders the killing of a US Resident.
Yes, I understand the implications and recognize this should be limited to a slap on the wrist not all out sanctions, they should understand our disapproval and national disappointment in their willful act.
• The continued warfare happening on this planet and the continued animosity, religious intolerance, tribal hatred, racial hatred, and economic inequities of our global economy.
• The concentration of wealth & power.
• The reduction in competition and belief in excess profit at the expense the employees and citizens.
I could continue and I am sure all three of you are fully aware of and can add items to this list I could not even imagine.
Our two-party system was designed in such a manner that consensus would be the result and that our government would seek to address the will of the majority. Unfortunately, the way our system has evolved: the will of the minority, the company with the loudest voice, the affiliations with the most money to contribute to the reelection of you are your colleagues and those who work as lawyers and lobbyist dominate the halls of our capital and the results of your deliberations.
I implore the three of you to work collectively to bring order, respect and decorum to the workings of our government and make sure that the freedoms, liberties and rights our constitution established are respected and maintained.
“Beware that no one leads you astray.” This biblical statement belies the reality of the perspective of one is only a perspective. The truth is the sum of all and the simplicity in the teaching of many not a few.
There is more faith in honest doubt than all the truths people will profess.
God sent – inspired – Jesus, to share with us the need to love each other and to recognize that God is in each and everyone of us.
We must remember God is everything. God is not a body, God is the body and we are simply part of the body.
God touches all, in a manner consistent with where they were and are, at and in their time of life.
The following is an actual question given on a University of Liverpool chemistry final exam.
The answer by one student was so “profound” that the professor shared it with colleagues via the Internet, which is why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well.
Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?
Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle’s law that gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed or some variant.
One student, however, wrote the following:
First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving.
As for how many souls are entering Hell, let’s look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions state that, if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell. Because Boyle’s Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay constant, the volume of Hell must expand proportionately as souls are added. This gives two possibilities:
So which is it? If we accept the postulate given to me by Sandra during my freshman year, that “it will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you,” and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number 2 must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is endothermic and has already frozen over. The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is extinct … leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being – which explains why, last night, Sandra kept shouting “Oh my God.”
THIS STUDENT RECEIVED THE ONLY “A”.
Sunday, these two text were sent to me, to us when speaking to the two ministers at Church that morning.
Tell Ashly. Pls what a selfish person I am.
Tell Brian. What a selfish person I am.
Am I the selfish person or, are we all selfish? Each to themselves!, Each focused on their own interests! I like the author of these messages accept my selfishness and can only pray to become more selfless. Clearly a struggle in this world and country we live in today
That morning, we studied John 11:32-44 and discussed how the resulting reaction to the miracle demonstrates the division which existed then and still today.
Why is there evil in this world? As I consider God and Satan and I think of the difference between those that see God as part of each of us and those that see God as someone above us, I wonder.
I read a bit from Carl Jung and heard someone speak of how Saints are selfless and have overcome the selfishness of the EGO.
Infinite truth – In this universe, the only thing which does not change, while everything else is, is “Light”.
First an ask to all those who read this. Please share. I will start a personal campaign to send this to my senators and representatives through their contact page. Maybe even a few by snail mail.
To those that are empowered as the representatives of the “We the People”. As I write these three words I immediately think I need to hold true to what originalists would expect. This said I hope we can all agree that in the Declaration of Independence one word is out of place.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness.”
The word “men”. This word I hope you all would agree should instead be “people”, “male or female” or “men and women”. I would also hope that when we think people or “men and women” we mean all entities that can be called Homo Sapiens,
no matter, their color
, place of birth, sexual orientation, age, religion or other descriptive variable.
If we are suggesting that we must read this literally! Then we have a major issue and this would explain why some of you explicitly exclude women from much of the deliberations. I do hope I am wrong, in writing this last statement!
The declaration then goes on to argue why we needed to declare our independence.
“That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
We are at a time in the history of this great nation when one must wonder if we should seriously considering altering the nature of our Government. The 45th President has no interest in representing “We The People”. He panders to his base, not the majority as demonstrated by the populate vote and the results of multiple polls since he took office.. You, the legislative branch of our government have divided yourselves divisively into two tribes and as have demonstrated an inability to to work together as one body. This might suggest a need to alter how our government operates.
I would plead with all of you to find a bipartisan way to restore the dignity of the various legislative bodies you are a member of.
This country stands divided and if it cannot restore unity it is at great risk. It is incumbent on all members of the legislative branches of our governments to restore balance, as one set of bodies and not as multiple sets of tribes and parties.