ISO: The Theory of Everything

Just finished up a thought provoking and highly-entertaining treatment of concepts and ideas swirling around related to life, the universe and everything.

Unlike some reviewers of the book, I specifically appreciate that the author tries to synthesize the scientific world view with the religious world view. 

There are too many in life that think the world is so black and white, on both sides, thus being completely unwilling to give credence to what another might say or think across the divide.

The dichotomy reminds me of a couple maxims summarized by Covey and Bragg: 1) first seek to understand, then to be understood, and 2) science and religion are opposed as the thumb and forefinger – between the two you can grasp anything.

I came to a similar simulation theory ages ago (without much science knowledge to back it up, just through general observation and cognitive experiences), I’m glad to see we have some great thinkers spending significant clock-cycles on it.

Somewhere in our future is “The Theory of Everything”.  Keep seeking!

Patient log: Day 10 at the Chiropractor

This morning I was reminded of a memory from facebook. I tried to laugh, but it hurt too much, and then I threw my back out in the violent aftermath of an unexpected sneeze. I hope I didn’t wake any of the cats. Maybe I am allergic to cats; I hope not though, I like living at home.

I wonder what sebastian is having for dinner tonight.

The Cat is King

Meeting a legend! Kevin Mitnick.

23 years ago, on Feb 15th, the worlds most famous hacker, Kevin Mitnick, was apprehended in NC after years on the run from the FBI.  Prompting many, many young hackers and computer enthusiasts (including yours truly) to take up the mantra “Free Kevin”.

A little over 28 years ago, I started my own journey into information security (thankfully never pursued by the FBI), and much like Loyd Blankenship (Hackers Manifesto), Kevin had a profound impact on my young security career.

Today, not only did I get see Kevin in action (POC exploits), but I got to say hello and shake his hand. I didn’t even think about taking a picture, I just wanted to shake his hand; but I’m thankful, someone there said “would you like a picture”.

Thank you anonymous picture taker!

Resurrection of Animals – you ask?

For my Christian friends:

I’m a logical person, I eat animals as much as I have them as pets, I won’t hold to false hopes, but I didn’t hear any logical, biblical, or otherwise, facts offered in the video below that a friend posted.

Do animals go to Heaven?

I think a more complete treatment can be found here:  

Will Spot be in Heaven?

Short version,  man and animal are different, but the bible is (mostly) silent to resurrection of animals.

I would say that I can’t tell what Paul is up to when he claims all of creation groans for resurrection and redemption, especially if it only means complete and utter annihilation and destruction for all created things but humans.

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently

What do you think?

Blessings in disguise

Today, I had the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus; and I hesitated, and I lost out. I was left with a feeling of love, and wonder and shame.  Here is the story.

You need to have this background first:  I work in an area that is quite a bit run down, in the two years I have been here, there have been stabbings and shootings in the parking lot.

I have recently taken to walking through the parking lot to a gas station half a block over to a Subway.  It’s not the cleanest looking gas station, I feel a little out of place in my dress clothes; but the people are polite, and nice, and the food area is clean and well kept.

Today, as I was walking through, there was a fella outside picking through trash cans; as I walked by, he stood up and started shuffling his way behind me.  Given my background, I have a heightened level of situational awareness; so I watched him closely out of the corner of my eye, and then through the reflection of windows and cars.  No issues.

After I ordered, inside, and had a pleasant and familiar discussion with the ladies behind the counter, this same fella came stomping in.  Once again, my level of awareness increased. He stomped to the back of the store to grab a drink, and then over to the sandwich counter.

To the reply of the lady behind the counter he very gruffly said “I want a sandwich with everything on it”.  It seemed clear he was slightly intoxicated.

As I walked over to pay, racing through my mind was the fact that I knew this fella couldn’t pay for his own food.  Once I ascertained there seemed to be no immediate threat, I tried to rationalize how he went from picking out of the trash to buying a sandwich and drink.  Slowly, in my mind, crept the thought that I could pay for his sandwich, I had the means, and I could see a storm brewing.

As I started thinking through all the ways I could do it, without becoming ‘personally involved’, in less than the couple minutes that I stood there trying to rationalize what I was going to do, and how, an elderly lady came through the door and said over my shoulders to the cashier, “I’m going to pay for his sandwich”.

I was immediately overwhelmed with various emotions.  First, love and compassion for someone who would see a random stranger picking through trash, and instead of immediately viewing them as a threat, and running through scenarios on how to contain that threat, she went over and asked if she could help.

Then, shame, that as a young, relatively healthy human, with means, I would stand there contemplating for so long whether or not I should help, and he had a clear need. The book I bought on Amazon this morning cost more than the price of his meal.  I was rationalizing, because I didn’t want the “messiness” of dealing with the humanity of the situation.

In the end, I lost the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus, but I got to witness someone, whether in Christ or not, was faithful to their fellow human, to part of the Message.  It was a blessing in disguise.

Perhaps, next time, I’ll stop thinking, and start doing.

35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.

 

I must go down to the sea again

There is something indescribable and wondrous about the vast and endless sea.  The call of the ocean, echoing in history, throughout the future.  I cannot recall physically going into the ocean for the past 30 years.  It is an amazing feeling, a feeling of both insignificance and of fortitude: insignificance in the realization of how tiny and insubstantial I am, but strength in realizing that of all creatures in creation this world was made for me.

I, as human, represent the pinnacle of crowning achievement for creation; the most complex, the most intriguing of all creatures with my abilities to think and love and reason in unique ways: being granted the blessing (or curse) of being one of the few known reasoning creatures that will spend most of my lifetime contemplating my own mortality.

I started this weak on Cocoa Beach officiating the wedding of my brother-in-law, and new sister-in-law: Jeremy and Rebecca Jewers.  It was an honor and a privilege to be asked to perform the ceremony, it is the second time in my life I have been called upon to do such an amazing thing.  Marriage is as wonderful as birth, and baptism; both representing a transition, a newness, a transformation from old to new; from form to form.

2014 Cocoa beach
2014 Cocoa beach

The wedding started with the scene from the Princess Bride:  Mawage, Mawage is what bwings us togethwer today.  It was the perfect fit, a perfect couple: a farm boy turned pirate and a princess.  Two people, that were meant to be together.

Cocoa beach wedding 2014
Cocoa beach wedding 2014

On our last night on the beach, Amanda and I were taking a walk down the beach in the moonlight and we ran into a majestic but ominous looking foot long crab.  We were in awe at his size and amazed at his beauty, until we saw that he held in his claw a baby hatchling loggerhead turtle.

We immediately went into rescue mode.  I took on the crab (and he was vicious!) and encouraged him to drop the turtle (ok, I might have kicked him in the rear with my bare foot while Amanda kept his attention). Then, while I kept the crab occupied (he continued coming after me), Amanda guarded the baby turtle as it made it to the water.

In the end, we both were able to watch the turtle swim out to sea, and we then returned to the crab to take a picture of him.  He belongs on the wall of shame! This was one of the most amazing things I have experienced in nature.

Being saved from Crab
Being saved from Monster Crab

Attempting to eat a Loggerhead
Wall of Shame: Attempting to eat a baby Loggerhead

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are now preparing, after a full week of God’s beautiful nature to head back to the city of San Antonio.  We miss friends there, but honestly, we are not overly excited to go back; we miss the nature, the openness, the sea breeze of the east coast.  It’s hard to say what the future will hold for us, but one thing for sure.  Home is where the heart is, and there is no place like home.

Amanda and Jediah August 2014
Amanda and Jediah August 2014