Moving On

So… I guess I should tell you guys a bit about myself. Right? I guess that’s what people do these days: reveal our darkest and deepest secrets. Maybe I’ll avoid those topics today, but I’ve definitely got some deep stuff.

Now, when I say deep, of course I’m referencing the different kind of deep than what we’re used to. A very inspiring preacher once said,

You know, people listen to my sermons, and then they come up to me afterward. They tell me, ‘Brian, that was real deep.’ Of course, what they really mean is confusing.

Sometimes life is a whirlwind. And we’re just tumbleweeds thrown around in the sky. Sometimes life catches up to us and we realize we don’t have as much time to “live” as we thought. I turned 18 last fall (October 31st to be exact), and I realized right then that things would be changing. For one, my summers were to start looking much different.

Every year, around July, I would go around the states with my youth group to different FUGE camps. If you’ve ever been to a FUGE camp, then you know that it’s one of the best life experiences you can get under your belt.
This year is when I start to feel nostalgia, and the regret of not doing some of the things that I’d wanted to, or the things I hadn’t wanted to.
But most of all, I miss being around some of the best friends I could ask for every year, hours at a time.

Just a small list of some things that have happened to me since turning 18:

* the most significant is that my very best friend moved to another city, hours away. It definitely sucks, but such is life.

*another notable thing: I bought a car.

*yet another, camp life came to a clattering halt.

All of these things suck. Turning 18 hasn’t been the greatest adventure so far. Why was buying a car not so great, you say? The clutch crippled about a month after purchasing the car.

So yeah, this year has been crap so far.

You’re waiting for a “but,” aren’t you? Oh alright, since you asked nicely. 🙂

The big But of the day is that even though all of this crap has happened, perhaps it’s not all pointless.
That first crappy thing, the one about my very best friend moving away and therefore cutting a lot of communication between us, is actually something that God is shoving in our faces. My friend (temporarily let’s name him Greg) has found that he is closer to his love of nature where he’s at. That’s just one reason, if not a selfish one, but a reason nonetheless. He has also found that he can help out in an old church immensely, and they sure need it.
3rd and probably most of all, his father, the reason they moved, has been church planting like crazy as head of Indiana’s something or other organization something blah blah. Great job title, eh? Anyway, these are a few examples as to why it was good for Greg and his family to move where they did. I may not like it, but God knows what he’s doing.

Now the car thing is a bit tricky. How in the world can a broken down car be any good? At all? I look at it like a puzzle to be solved. Or maybe a small math problem. There’s always an answer, no matter what. So if you work at it hard enough and use your resources, you’ll figure it out. Now that’s not how it’s beneficial. I say that any chance to learn a new craft or skill is beneficial, and since I’ll be doing a lot of home-work on this car… Well you get the point.

Why is it a good thing that camp is over? I’ve got a life to live. I just got an interview for my first *real* job (in my opinion) and I’m hoping it goes well. If I’ve gotta take a week or more to go to a summer camp, go to college, and take on a part time job…. Yeah. Not happening.

So yeah. Life stinks, life sucks, and life wreaks. Yup.. Double stinkage. But it’s usually worth it. I know this was a short one, but it was just on my mind.

Thanks for reading!

Harshness to the umph degree

Okay, so it’s just a game. I get that, and I’ve accepted that it really doesn’t matter. But there are children on this server, getting banned for no reason at random times, that don’t deserve what they get. Children, mind you, need rules, regulations. But there is such a thing as too harsh of a punishment. Banishment means that you cannot return, you’re shunned. You are not allowed to come back. I play a game called Minecraft, on a server called Mine Builders. This server has a moderator that does not care about the many children that he has wronged by banning them without reason. I really don’t care about myself, I can get over it. But three-ten year old children deserve a second chance when they’ve done something wrong, right? Not according to this moderator on this server. Yes, it’s just a game… but it matters to children, and it’s not fair to take something away from them that they really don’t deserve getting taken away.

I sound a lot more serious about this than I am, but I care because little boys and girls are losing the ability to do what they love and have fun with all because of an inconsiderate moderator.

If you want to read what I have to say on the matter and the context of what I’m talking about, then read about it on their website.

http://minebuilders.info/index.php?/topic/11982-the-fate-of-the-server/

Again, I could care less about myself. I’m done with the server in result of this power-hungry 15 year old kid that bans everyone at any hint of maliciousness.

I’m more concerned about children that think that their big lego pillar makes them the next Monet. If you have any experience with kids, they love their legos and any hint of their creation being taken apart or destroyed is terrible to them. In their opinion, it’s the best thing ever made. And that’s how it should be. In my opinion, they are the next Monet. Every one of them. No matter what. Every child that is ever born is the next best artist. And that’s because children are precious, and what they think is precious. Any one of them is capable of creating anything they want. And so taking that tool away from them is a crime. If they’ve done something bad, they get a timeout. When a child leaves a mess on the floor, you don’t say no legos again ever, you give a much lighter punishment. No legos for a week? That’s a bit better, right? What would you have done if your parents took things away forever, instead of just until the end of the day? You hit your brother because he’s bothering you… the parent doesn’t punish you with taking things away forever. At least, not in my experience they don’t. No, they generally do temporary punishments. After all, the punishment is to teach a lesson, not to be cruel.

Research stuff

Was researching some stuff on the existence of Dragons and found this conversation.

Go here to read it from the source, but fair warning, it is in some sort of slide show format.

Comment 1

I think that the only “proof” that we have that they don’t exist is that we don’t have any evidence of them… no fossils, no living examples. That’s the best reason that I can give. Other things seem implausible. Some dragons are said to breathe fire. If that were literally true, wouldn’t they burn themselves, especially the inside of their mouths? But I have read interesting Science Fiction explanations of how a creature like that could exist, so… who knows? I have also met people who believe that they do exist, and I’m sure that there are other people out there. I don’t believe that they exist, at least the way they are portrayed in many stories… gigantic, intelligent beasts who breathe fire, or other things like ice, acid, etc., who terrorize the countryside, but who are also literate and wise. I’m also not sure where so much literature came from… is it all based on some original fabrication that caught the imagination of multitudes of people from many different countries, or was there something that actually existed that people base the dragon myth on? Are there giant sea serpents? We have no evidence, but is lack of evidence always proof that something does not exist? On the other hand, the Komodo dragon exists as an actual creature… so what is your definition of dragon? If it is just big lizard, they do exist.
Comment 2

There have been thousands of species of animals we didn’t know about for so long and who can’t say that dragons haven’t been discovered yet? Some people may have discovered them, like Dr. Ernest Drake (a dragonologist), they may have found them and told someone but they didn’t believe them because the fact that there are huge flying lizards around is hard to believe.

 

Agnosticism?

Agnosticism, for those who don’t know, is the word people use for those who are in neither belief nor disbelief of a deity, or in other words, a god/gods. An agnostic person claims that they are neutral. How does this make any sense? How can you neither believe, nor disbelieve? Aren’t you claiming your disbelief by not believing? You either do or you don’t, you can’t have it both ways. It’s quite simple! I can either say that I do believe in God, or that I don’t. I can’t stay in the middle, as the middle is non-existent. Disbelief means you don’t believe. Belief means that you don’t disbelieve. So how is Agnosticism an actual term? In my opinion it’s impossible to say that you are Agnostic. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say you’re a liar. You can’t look at an egg and decide not to choose whether it is an egg or not. Inside, you know your answer. You either say it’s an egg or you don’t. So here is my question to you… is it an egg?

 

For a much more insightful blog, check out this very informing post by none other than the Ignostic Athiest! He has some great things to say about this huge topic, and I could never hope to scratch the surface! Be sure to check the comments over there, as that’s where most of the conversation goes on! It’s really quite awesome. Click Here!!!

Black is the new Orange… I mean.. um… oh.

I totally just read this as black is the new orange.  Like, not only did my brain process it, but I also saw it. The word Orange was read out Black. How does that make sense? Our brains are so weird! I SAW the word Black in the color black. Orange was literally in orange. Like, my brain had photoshopped the image into something else. Isn’t that strange? How our brains can manipulate time and space without affecting a thing? I can picture myself writing this message in slow-motion, actually play it out in my mind, but it Imagenever happened like that. I never saw it in slow-motion, so how does our brain know what it would look like? How does it show it to us? How can I imagine graphics that are well beyond our century? Something that doesn’t exist can be formed instantaneously in our minds. I can will myself to imagine what the new iphone will look like, and come up with a design that has never existed. It has never met human eyes or ears. I’ve never heard it described, and yet there it is… floating in the inner thoughts of my mind. Another thing… how do we SEE what is in our mind? How can we recall a memory? How is it that I can visually picture a work by van gogh, and it magically appears in my eyes supposedly? What makes it possible? I seem to be limiting myself to the screen. The tiny pixels that are placed side-by-side to create the illusion of a physical object. What then, is allowing our eyes to see such things? I don’t buy into the fact that bent light and irises are what creates sight. No more do I buy into the fact that our brains are capable of producing such an image. No… this is truly by the Glory of God. There is nothing so remarkable that we could do these things by our own accord. First of all, we are incapable of such a thought as to work out how to produce such a thing. Our minds cannot fathom how our eyes can let in light, remember it, and show it to us later. When I’ve read a book, I don’t remember the words on the paper. I don’t remember flipping through the pages to continue the story. I remember fluint movie-like memories of events I’ve never experienced. Of deaths I’ve never witnessed. Of miracles that never took place. I remember falling in love, getting my heart broken, feeling the despair… the triumph. I remember these things, and they are no more real than the box I am typing this message into. They are no more real than the design made up in our heads for that next iphone. The image that was never constructed. And yet, in all of these ways, they are as real as you and I. Every little thought that passes through our head, be it an opinion or realization, or even imagination, it determines who we are and what we stand for. Every little thing, every little hint, is one more step. Our minds interpret what we’ve read, and we are changed because of it. Those images that we draw up in our heads are just one more tiny, enormously significant piece to the puzzle. So surely, we are not capable of such an intricate design. Something that exists such as this is not controlled by us, or even monitored. It is used liberally, and most likely with the gratitude of a snail.

Aside

Hashtag War

Hashtag War

Hashtags have been growing recently, and it is becoming a problem. Surprise is imminent if it is believed that sports and similar aspects have nothing to do with conflict in the digital world. Such small, and yet significant issues have affected even a football player. Reporters are feeling the turmoil, as well, as their feed is barraged with unrelated tweets. Even average “Vloggers” are getting bad vibes about hashtags, and are definitely looking for a way out of the mess. Something needs to be done about these high-power organizations, companies, and individuals that take over the “little guys” and blot them out of existence. Even in the world of football, things like this are going awry. Jonathan Martin, an ex-Miami Dolphin for the offensive line, knows this good and well.

In November of 2013, Jonathan Martin the reporter and Jonathan Martin the football player started getting many tweets that were unrelated to their persons (Goldman). People were saying things like, “The Dolphins have given up the 2nd most sacks in the NFL, so it might be worth a try giving @jmartNYT a tryout at Left Tackle” (jmartNYT Nov 11). Goldman speculates, “It’s a case of Twitter mistaken identity, and it’s not the only one.” The reporter quickly realized and addressed the issue casually, just barely mentioning it in a regular post. His fans and followers caught on, too, and were posting many articles and whatnot in response and speculation of the matter. The article by Tom Ley on its own covers most of the posts in relation to the matter. The article includes direct images of tweets that were complete, absurd negative comments about how Jonathan was supposedly losing money by what he was doing. Of course, they were talking about the other Jonathan Martin. This was surely a terrifying confusion as the reporter read such comments on his work… or so he thought they were. What else can a person do, trying to please his costumers and fans, than believe that his followers have turned on him and are rebuking his posts? If the comments on his twitter page had not been so clear and specific, this would have been exactly the case. This just goes to show that more and more people are being confused with others, and it usually is in a negative way. This kind of thing happens all the time, and wasn’t the only thing in its category to be happening at the time. Twitter confusion strikes again with the Arabic Telecom Company.

Chris Rowland is a “web programmer from a small town in New Jersey” (Ortiz). In 2007, he joined twitter with the handle, or username, “@StC” (Ortiz). The event believed to be around two days earlier from the publication of the article; he gained over four thousand followers in just two days, which to a not-so-well-known web programmer is amazing. (Ortiz). Of course, he quickly realized that they were not at all his crowd. Some of the first tweets gave it away with the Arabic script, confusing him thoroughly. After a few days, he found out that an Arabic Telecom service had the same initials as him, and the users often followed his account thinking they were in the right place. Of course, they weren’t. The Arabic service has three twitter accounts, and none of them were named StC. However much Chris tried to convey this, however, not much happened in response. He would say things like, “I am not the telecom company, I’m a guy in New Jersey,” with little success in expressing himself to the public (Ortiz). People would often complain about the service and otherwise related topics, to which Chris replied, “You guys are great, I wish I COULD fix your phone company” (Ortiz). Although Chris had as many followers in a community as he could want, they did not belong to him. This was the main reason that simple things such as hashtags and usernames upset people. If you choose the wrong one, it ends up flowing in people that don’t care about what you have to say, but what somebody else has to say. Even if it wasn’t intentional, this is another example of how the higher power can blot out the “little guy”. Some people may have argued that Chris benefited from the incident… but the truth is that the only thing Chris gained was four thousand foreign followers mislead by his username.

So with all of these unfortunate happenings and misleading’s, has anything been done about it? Yes, and no. Twitter themselves has made a “Trademark Policy” that addresses many of the issues involving usernames and personal names. However, they have NOT addressed issues about hashtags that seem to be becoming a sort of signature for organizations and individuals altogether. The Twitter Help Center (THC) has a section all about it; it clearly states, “Using a company or business name, logo, or other trademark-protected materials in a manner that may mislead or confuse others with regard to its brand or business affiliation may be considered trademark policy violation” (THC). This basically means that things that are already legally trademarked still hold grounds in the twitter world. Say somebody would like to use the name “Doctor Who?” but have no knowledge of the BBC America TV show that already exists… This could be very misleading for other people, and twitter would probably warn them to specify what they are talking about somewhere on their page. Then, somebody else creates a page that is claiming to be the official twitter account for the name brand “Oxy Clean”. If they are just creating such a site and are not the actual owners of such a site, then this is considered fraudulent and would be either removed immediately or the name transferred to the rightful owner of the brand name. Although these services are useful in the twitter world, it still does not address the fact that hashtags are being written by more and more users for the soul use of signatures and references.

So, really, has anything been done about these issues, and what could be done about the hashtag problems? As it’s been in plain sight, nobody has done anything about the hashtag issue. The main thing that could be done with the hashtag is applying the same policy as usernames that twitter has set in place. With exceptions, such as emotions, you should be able to “verify” a hashtag just as you can with usernames. Or, perhaps, there could be multiple hashtags of the same type, but with a bit of a symbol for that designated person or organization. With this policy, people could stop having to worry about the big-shot-companies and organizations taking over their audience, and instead worry about their actual content. People might actually be able to just search one hashtag, such as “#GMM”, and only get exactly what they are looking for.

So will anything be done about hashtags and their issues in the digital world? It is unlikely that anything will be done about hashtags. The twitter website says nothing about the reservation of such elements, and there aren’t a lot of people addressing the matter on the Interwebs. Many people are concerned about the name policy, but nobody seems to think that the ever-growing use in the hashtag is a problem. This is going to end up coming back around, as hashtags are what define both emotion in a post, and who that person is. The digital world needs a better policy when it comes to hashtags, and it isn’t getting better any time soon.

Works Cited

Goldman, Russell. “Football Player’s Mistaken Identity Leads to Twitter Confusion.”ABC News. ABC News Network, 12 Nov. 2013. Web. 19 Nov. 2013. <http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2013/11/football-players-mistaken-identity-leads-to-twitter-confusion/&gt;.

Ley, Tom. “People Keep Tweeting Hate And Support At The Wrong Jonathan Martin.”Deadspin. Tom Ley, 12 Nov. 2013. Web. 19 Nov. 2013. <http://deadspin.com/people-keep-tweeting-hate-and-support-at-the-wrong-jona-1462380461&gt;.

Ortiz, Erik. “Twitter Account Confusion Gives New Jersey Man Thousands of New Followers from Arab World.” NY Daily News. NyDailyNews, n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2013. <http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/twitter-account-confusion-new-jersey-man-thousands-new-followers-arab-world-article-1.1131408&gt;.

“Trademark Policy.” Twitter Help Center. Twitter Inc., n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2013. <https://support.twitter.com/articles/18367-trademark-policy&gt;.

Extra Sources

https://twitter.com/jmartNYT , 11 November 2013.