Traffic engineers should be required to live in the cities they work for.
What's on my mind?
For my friends, family, and indeed you the readers. Get off your computer and go enjoy some turkey!
It's very rare that I disagree with Roger Ebert, but on Australia, I do. Of course, I have a thing for Baz Luhrmann pictures, so that might have something to do with it. If you can stand the length, I highly recommend checking it out after your turkey tomorrow.
Do you think news anchors resent being turned into Vanna White?
Traveling for work, preparing my ETS paper, delivering my ETS paper, looking through discounted books at ETS, and discovering that the paper I've delivered, which is the basis for my thesis, which is the basis for a chapter I'm submitting for a book coming out next year, is very, VERY similar to a new publication from the German Bible Society. Not awesome.
Also, now I begin traveling for Thanksgiving, going from weddings to family to more weddings, driving all the way with my soon-to-be-fiancé. Should be interesting.
every once in a while i forget why i spend all my time on dead languages and ancient texts. and then i discover an awesome unicode coptic font, coptic keyboard, and a whole slew of unicode charts.
p.s. if anyone has the gospel of thomas in unicode, please send it to me. if not, i should have one here soon.
The day after Barack Obama is sworn in as President of the United States, I will be in front of a television for another historic event.
Do not read further if you have no interest in the frequency with which I post.
I've been doing a (very) little statistical analysis in the ifiwereabellidring-o-sphere. I started this incarnation of the blog in earnest in September of last year. Not including this month, that's a 14-month sample. My median posts-per-month (PPM) is 34.5 (approximately one post per day [PPD]). My mean PPM is 48.9 (approximately 1.5 PPD). However, the months appear to obey only one discernible rule: if I exceed my average PPM in any month, I'm going to exceed it by a lot. Ten of these 14 months have fewer than the average PPM; the four exceptions are: Jan '08 (95 posts), Apr '08 (137), Sept '08 (85), and Oct '08 (112).
The first two are explainable anomalies. January of this year was the first time I had a significant amount of free time with which to post. Additionally, I was coming off my first dive into other blogs with the inerrancy discussion. April was the Greer-Heard forum, which by itself took up something like 20-25 posts. Additionally, I had presented a paper the week before G-H at the regional ETS conference, and I think I posted on the PA that month as well. So there was a lot going on. Lately, I've just been blogging a lot more. In fact, October was the first time I've ever followed up a big month with an even bigger month. Of course, the election was a big part of that, and I don't know what will happen to the amount I post with it being over.
I also don't know what will happen this month in terms of the fact that I'll have more non-school/work time because of the holidays, but I'll also be presenting at national ETS, and obviously my family will want to see something of me over Thanksgiving. So far the year-to-year trend is 600-700% jump, and that certainly won't be hard to match or exceed this November, being that I only posted 6 times last November. But, anyway, we'll see how it goes.
Go here to watch it live.
Wow. The McCain camp must be pissed!
Let me see if I understand you. Evidently, the definition of Christian is unknown and unknowable, a chimera beyond actual definition? So, if I dare to say, "That Cone fellow sure does violate every cardinal, defining truth of Christianity, as does that Wright fellow," I am somehow sinning? How about interacting with the reality of the Scriptural command to save life? Against homosexuality? If you are going to pray for my repentance, you might wish to give me a biblical foundation for believing I have sinned in speaking God's truth. Think about it.
Thank you for writing! I'll take up your comments one at a time.
The definition of Christianity
I do not believe I claimed (and I do not believe it true) that the definition of Christian is unknown and unknowable. I think you're making a relatively common mistake among critics of post-modernism: that is, because I've claimed that there may be more than one expression of Christianity, I must mean that there are limitless expressions of Christianity. That, however, is not what I claimed, nor is it what I believe. I do believe that within orthodox Christianity (which I take to be belief in the Trinity and in the death, deity, and resurrection of Christ) there are many perspectives and viewpoints, and that yours, as expressed in the video on your site, was particularly (and unnecessarily in my view) narrow.
What we should criticize, judge, or discern as Christian
Though I may have been unclear, and certainly I was too brief (leading, possibly, to some understandable confusion your part), I do not believe I criticized you or claimed you were sinning for your comments about Trinity United Church of Christ. However, if you have a moment, I would like to ask you a question. How is it, exactly, that a church that declares:
We believe in you, O God, Eternal Spirit, God of our Savior Jesus Christ and our God, and to your deeds we testify: You call the worlds into being, create persons in your own image, and set before each one the ways of life and death. You seek in holy love to save all people from aimlessness and sin. You judge people and nations by your righteous will declared through prophets and apostles. In Jesus Christ, the man of Nazareth, our crucified and risen Savior, you have come to us and shared our common lot, conquering sin and death and reconciling the world to yourself. You bestow upon us your Holy Spirit, creating and renewing the church of Jesus Christ, binding in covenant faithful people of all ages, tongues, and races.How is it that that church and her pastors "violate every cardinal, defining truth of Christianity"? Again, that was not actually the focus of my concern, but I think at this point it's an apt inquiry.
What was the focus of my concern was your declaration that Barack Obama was not a Christian, and that we ought to pray for his salvation. I do not believe it is for us to judge a man's heart, salvation, or repentance. I believe this to be particularly true of men we don't even know. And unless I am mistaken, you do not personally know Barack Obama. As far as a biblical foundation for such a view, I must confess myself a poor proof-texter. But, I do know that "if anyone confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God resides in him and he in God" (1 John 4.15). I do know that it is not my place "to pass judgment on another's servant" (Rom 14.4). And I do know that I do not have any special apostolic gift to understand what is "bound in heaven" (Matt 16.19, 18.18; John 20.23). If you feel that any of those passages do not apply to you, or that I am misusing them, please let me know so that I may clarify.
In closing, however, let me apologize. It is and was wrong of me to say that I would pray for your repentance. In doing so, I made myself guilty of the same presumption I called you on. And indeed, when I prayed later, I prayed only for your understanding. As I said above, I think your conception of Christianity is unnecessarily narrow. And I continue to think that it takes quite a bit of arrogance to declare that a confessing Christian must not really be saved, and so we should pray for his salvation, particularly when you have no personal knowledge of that person whatsoever. If you happen to feel that whatever pride or arrogance that action requires necessitates repentance, let that be on your heart. I will take care not to presumptuously cross that boundary again.
Dear Dr. James White:
Your way of viewing this country is not the only way to view this country, and it's certainly not the only Christian way to view this country. Your claim to be able to discern another's salvation is the height of presumption. I will be praying for your repentance.
If you just keep saying the country is "center-right"...maybe it will be?
The debates unnerved both candidates. When he was preparing for them during the Democratic primaries, Obama was recorded saying, "I don't consider this to be a good format for me, which makes me more cautious. I often find myself trapped by the questions and thinking to myself, 'You know, this is a stupid question, but let me … answer it.' So when Brian Williams is asking me about what's a personal thing that you've done [that's green], and I say, you know, 'Well, I planted a bunch of trees.' And he says, 'I'm talking about personal.' What I'm thinking in my head is, 'Well, the truth is, Brian, we can't solve global warming because I f---ing changed light bulbs in my house. It's because of something collective'."How can anyone not be excited about that guy?
Also from Newsweek...wait, what's that? Someone's been thrown under a bus?!
The McCain campaign found out last week when the aides sought reimbursement. One aide estimated that she spent "tens of thousands" more than the reported $150,000, and that $20,000 to $40,000 went to buy clothes for her husband. Some articles of clothing have apparently been lost. An angry aide characterized the shopping spree as "Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast," and said the truth will eventually come out when the Republican Party audits its books.
I'm not one of those who hate President Bush, or think he's an evil man, or THE WORST PRESIDENT EVAR!!11!!. In fact, I likely would have voted for him in both 2000 and 2004 (too young in 2000, absentee ballot problems in 2004). So, I hope he truly makes sure that the transition to Obama goes well over these next couple months.
So, it looks like Obama will win either 364 or 365 electoral college votes, depending on how one of Nebraska's counties turns out. He's sitting on a solid 6 point popular vote lead with 52% (ahem) of the vote. As Matthew Yglesias points out, that's the best showing for a Democrat since LBJ in '64, and the best showing for any non-incumbent since '52.
I have to admit, I'm a bit disappointed. Not with Obama's win. That feels fantastic. But with the general reax around the Christian blogosphere. Is it really so awful that a Democrat won the presidency? Can we really not celebrate together upon this momentous occasion? I suppose I should've expected it. After all, I probably wouldn't be jumping up and down at the prospect of a McCain presidency. But that's really not the same thing. Oh well, it's a democracy, and the people have spoken, and they want Obama in the White House, and Democrats in control of both houses of Congress. Some center-right nation we are.
As is being said all over this morning, now comes the hard part. Obama inherits two wars, a crashing (pessimistically)/slowly recovering (optimistically) economy, and an electorate eager for him to deliver the change he ran on. I have no misgivings. I do not think Obama is the messiah (honestly, how many of his supporters really did?) and I do not think that merely the fact of his election will fix our deep problems. But it's a good start.
Some links for your patience!
- President Bush on his successor's "impressive victory."
- Mark Cuban talking some sense about taxes and the new Obama presidency:
As any successful CEO will tell you, leadership, vision and motivation has far more impact on results than any tax cut or increase. While I prefer lower taxes, I can tell you that no entrepreneur or CEO worth a damn in this country gives up or works less because of a change in tax policy. In this country you work harder to achieve your dreams and goals.
- Paul Krugman's annoyed with all the over-explaining that's sure to go on for the next few months.
all the talking heads are being really careful about not officially calling or projecting the race, but they all know obama's gonna win, and they're all talking about what he needs to do as president. weird.
Obama takes Ohio. Ladies and gentleman, your next president, Barack Obama.
desperately hoping that on one shows up for my class so i can go home and watch the election...wait...too late. blast.
For all those (conservatives) now freaking out about "one-party rule," there are various reports about (insert your favorite percentage here) of people also freaking out with them. On the other hand, about 85% of voters stick with the same party for their presidential pick and senatorial pick. So it's not so much that people don't like single-party rule; it's that they don't like to be the party out of power if that happens.
I do not count myself among the ranks who can't stand EndNote. I can't always get it to do what I want, but I usually can. When I reinstalled my operating system, however, I briefly flirted with the idea of going totally open source. Between Open Office and Zotero, I figured I could do it. Unfortunately, I've got too much going on right now (read: thesis) to switch things up midstream. Anyway, it looks like it may all be moot if EndNote wins their lawsuit against Zotero.
A second, normal-sized egg popped out of a giant egg laid by a chicken raised at a high school in Shiga Prefecture, a school official said Saturday after breaking open the shell. The huge egg, which was 8.1 centimeters high and weighed 158 grams, was laid at the Yokaichi Minami High School in the city of Higashiomi in late October. The egg was scheduled to be displayed after grabbing headlines in local and national newspapers.
But school teachers decided on Friday to remove the shell by using a scalpel and tweezers after finding a crack. They later discovered another medium-sized egg inside the giant egg as the yolk and the white portion spurted out. Word of the second egg spread quickly after assistant principal Toshitaka Minami made a school announcement on making the surprising discovery. The hot topic at the high school now is whether another egg is hidden inside the second, medium-sized egg. To find out, Minami said the school plans to break open the second egg next week.
I think there are an awful lot of really good reasons to dislike Sarah Palin politically, and to think she would make a horrible vice-president, and an even more horrible president if it ever came to that. But the fact that she has an incompetent staff that got tricked into putting her on the phone with a couple prank-callers is not remotely near that list.
...surely we can all agree that Tucker Bounds is an idiot:
Garry Trudeau's "Doonesbury" is predicting a victory for Barack Obama, and newspaper editors around the country are debating whether to publish the comic no matter the results of the election.If you're following along at home, that means one of two things. Either the strip is REALLY lame, and also REALLY predictive, or the strip is REALLY AWESOME but not very predictive. Another blow is struck against those who understand comparative language.
"We hope the strip proves to be as predictive as it is consistently lame," says McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds.