Tuesday, August 25, 2009
"In its third annual list of the most dangerous celebrities in cyberspace, McAfee has found that 20% of searches for "Jessica Biel," "Jessica Biel downloads," Jessica Biel photos" and the like lead to Web sites where malicious content has been detected," writes Claburn.
The "virus spreader" herself.
McAfee was in the news again...
for something completely different. A massive airplane hangar give away by founder and namesake John McAfee sparked renewed debate over the relative suffering of multi-millionaires in the economic downturn. While McAfee's staggering losses unsurprisingly garnered little sympathy, his response was gracious and refreshing. To see the full text, to the follow up NY Times article.
"The Entrepreneurial spirit is what made America great. But we have over time equated entrepreneurism with the drive to accumulate wealth, which is a perversion of this spirit. Whatever the entrepreneur creates should be the reward, not just for the entrepreneur, but for everyone..." -John McAfee
I think that McAfee's point is more profound than he may even realize. At the center of the human heart is a desire to create (man in God's own image). In creating, the creation itself is the natural reward of the creator. Creation is hard work (on the seventh day He rested), but worthwhile, especially when the creation is good. The creator creates because it is in his\her nature and because it brings them glory and credit. Creation for the sake of anything else, even personal gain beyond the natural glory is not creation but prostitution of the self. And the perversion of creation brings dishonor and shame.
Monday, August 24, 2009
The young and healthy are the most likely to foot the bill for the health care plan, in all of its current forms, but this may not be what is behind the lack of enthusiasm. Fouhy suggests something that made me wonder, and that is with college on break until this week, some until mid September, there hasn't been much opportunity for engagement.
But because the young also do not have a seat at the table in health care reform negotiations, I don't know that they will get involved anyway. It will be to their detriment, as they are forced to pay for treatments they do not need or for the the treatments of others they do not know
Sunday, August 23, 2009
We got to Little Italy just as the roads had been blocked off and the restaurants were busily setting out tables and chairs. We couldn't so much as make eye contact, even peep at a menu without being assailed by a smooth talking Italian (or Hispanic, or Eastern European- you can't always tell).
Friday, August 21, 2009
At the suggestion of our remote hosts, Logan and Laura, my wife and I had dinner at Siggy's Good Food on 76 Henry Street. The place had an excellent dinner vibe, thanks to the outdoor seating. Although it was muggy out, we weren't up for the loud and upbeat music in the small dining room.
The menu is 100% organic including wine and beers, and also offers a number of gluten free options. I went for a basic but delicious spaghetti and meatballs with a bottle of New Grist beer- all gluten free! Laura had an excellent Chicken Melanese. Dessert sounded gooded- two pies, brownies with chocolate sauce- but we passed in favor of a mad dash to bed after a long day.
Getting to NYC was a snap using Mega Bus- we left our car at the White Marsh Park and Ride (free parking). The bus did arrive an hour late and then the heralded WiFi access worked only for the first 45 minutes of the trip. We managed to grab a few snippets of airtime from the competitors Bolt and Greyhound while they were driving alongside our nearby us! Even given these problems, I'm glad we left the car behind.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I can believe that a similar but very different situation occurs all the time at present. People come to the end of their personal and family resources and doubtless that is the argument for fairness. People also run into unfairness in the system, dishonesty amidst bureaucracy, and other difficulties that are unacceptable when life is in the balance. Here's an example, though different in that it is an individualized experience:
But Klavan has an interesting and insightful answer:
"Free people can treat each other justly, but they can't make life fair. To get rid of the unfairness among individuals, you have to exercise power over them. The more fairness you want, the more power you need. Thus, all dreams of fairness become dreams of tyranny in the end."
You teach a child, "Life's not fair." Mostly it is in the context of trying to explain this tension between justice, power, and fairness. Yes, you actually could insure fairness for your kid if you wielded enough power- to change soccer schedules, to give everyone a part in the play, etc. But then you wouldn't be very just. The child with a lead foot would be out in front and center while the prodigy sat on the bench. People are different.
We teach children that life isn't fair because we want them to get the point that there are many things in life that cannot be controlled, or at least are not worth being controlled. We want our kids to grow a self-efficacy that takes responsibility for the kind of life they want to have- and a sense of realism, for what they cannot.
Ultimately, only a beneficent God can be truly powerful to justice. Yet in our kingdom on earth, we don't yet know what it is to say, "It is well, It is well with my soul." We should not give up on a fair and equitable society altogether, within our limited means. But we must recognize that
Monday, August 17, 2009
The vicissitudes of the public school system have a detrimental effect on progress. Principals spend an inordinate amount of time attempting to mollify teachers and staff who resent sudden and unexpected changes. The principals must perform a galliard, or lively dance, between following system protocol and supporting their staff. One gets the feeling that each new innovation or policy that comes down from the system is nugatory and of little value but rather a nuisance. The perceived truculence of the system does much to disillusion teachers and promote the ignominy of public schools. This problem could be obviated by the effusion of cogent justification for changes in practice and policy and an overall reduction in the flux to which teachers are subjected to. Understanding the reasoning behind changes may serve to palliate them.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
"What the president has always talked about is that we inject some choice and competition into the private insurance market."
Read more in the New York Time article:
It appears that Obama may be more of a pragmatic populist than he has been given credit for. The White House seems to be very open to negotiation. I wonder if this pragmatic tendency is backfiring in that conservatives in Congress, knowing that Obama will negotiate, are driving a hard bargain. I also think that the crisis mentality that has been created at least in part by Obamas own campaigning has been co-opted by those un-friendly to the finer points of his reform. Having brought the essential members to the table- largely Healthcare and Business lobbies and Congress, with a splash of grasroots furor, they are now writing their own healthcare reform without the White House.
This is not the only sour thing that has happened in the past two years involving the children on the street. Often there has been a level of dishonesty on the part of adults involved too- or at least a lack of cooperation. The situations have become public though, and we've gotten a lot of sympathy from neighbors as well. We don't want to become the poor white couple that the neighborhood feels bad about. It does seem like every time something happens our friends on the street feel embarrassed about it a little. They feel like they have to vehemently condemn it, shake their heads, and commiserate with us. Maybe they are just being good friends. I am worried though that there is more to it. Race is woven throughout our interactions as surely as it is not discussed.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
As I have been considering a graduate school application to Notre Dame among others for history (Early America and Religon), I've been digging in the trenches of quite a number of topics. I am most interested in studying the persistance of Protestant orthodox belief since the early 1600s. By "Protestant orthodox belief" I mean Protestant belief that affirms the basic historical tenents of the Christian church. Some of these beliefs include, the deity of Christ and the preeminence of scripture as the divine word of God, Underlying this interest of course is an assumption, that belief has persisted. If it has, it has overcome some significant odds. Many intelligent people in many generations have predicted its demise.
As a side note, I don't think Galli meant to suggest by his syntax that Dobson and Noll represent two sides of the good and bad coin or even operate on some sort of continuum between good and bad. He is just suggesting, and I agree, that there is a very large variety of self identified evangelicals out there. Dobson and Noll are certainly very diferent.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
The key is the underlying assumptions- there are many good people smarter than most of us to then make it work. But we must start with, What is the nature of human beings? leading to How are people best motivated? leading to Who is responsible for healthcare? When we get these fundamental questions wrong, we end up with a lot of nice sounding policy that is completely off base. Intrepid men and women with long term vision see the writing on the wall. The less than brilliant of us can only instinctively know, deep down, that something is off. The fundamentals are wrong. And some of us, in panic, cry "Socialism!" Not necessarily because that's what Obama's reform would give us, but because it is the classic example of getting the basic fundamentals of human nature wrong, and building a house of cards on it.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Buttons is celebrating his 55th birthday today. He asked for our folding table and tent this morning in his Pajamas. At 4:30 PM, he still had his PJs on. He gave us two cards to sign for him, to him. So I guess he is planning his own party. We gave him a T-Bone steak to grill. Happy Birthday buttons.
Waiting for Robert Randolph to begin his set at Artscape, I caught a few faces in the crowd. A group of high schoolers gathered to our left, sharing joints and a few beers. Two adult mothers (or teachers from the school?) joined them at some point and one boy begged gulps of his moms beer.