What's on my mind?
And that same sort of sensation washed over me today when I read Mark Goodacre’s ‘What if we are taking pieces of data [about the Historical Jesus] and misapplying it?’ (though by rights Mark should have written ‘them’ since ‘data’ is plural, isn’t it).This is truly nit-picking, as Jim is both right that 'data' is plural (though in modern English usage it can be singular) and that Mark should have written 'them.' But he's wrong about why Mark should have written 'them': 'It' is referencing 'pieces' not 'data,' and because 'pieces' is plural, that's why the pronoun should be 'them.' Either way, Mark has corrected the mistake, and all is well.
C'mon, he was asking for it!
I still plan on blogging about the LOST finale last week (though we all know how well planning works out around here). In the meantime, though, here's an interesting challenge from EYE M SICK:
I got this idea from a poster on the fuselage.com. Can you express your theory of what's happening on Lost in three sentences or less? Aphorisms, metaphors, and analogies are welcome, run-on sentences are not. Here's my own attempt:My own attempt:
1) None of this was supposed to happen, but all of it must or "every single one of us is dead."
2) Both players, light and dark, must die to end the game for good.
3) Aaron and Ji-Yeon are the Omega Point.
- Everything that happens always happens, no exceptions, no take-backs.
- Desmond might be the exception to Rule #1.
- Light and dark are two sides of the same coin.
I'm a bit agnostic on the whole "American Patriot's Bible" that's been the subject of (a very little) debate in the biblioblogosphere as of late. But when Ryan posted the publisher's description ("Never has a version of the Bible targeted the spiritual needs of those who love our country more than The American Patriot's Bible. This extremely unique Bible shows how the history of the United States connects the people and events of the Bible to our lives in a modern world."), I couldn't help but think of this exchange from The West Wing:
[reads] "Good morning! I'm speaking to you live from the West Wing of the
White House. Today we have a very unique opportunity to take part live in an extremely historic event which..." Whoa, boy...
[waves and smiles] How you doing, Mr. President?
Who wrote this intro?
I did, sir. I'm Scott Tate from NASA Public Affairs.
[gets up and shakes his hand] Scott. "Unique" means "one of a kind." Something
can't be very unique, nor can it be extremely historic.
While we're at it, do we have to use the word "live" twice in the first two
sentences like we just cracked the technology?
We're also broadcasting in living color, right?
[to Tate] He's gonna make some changes.
[following Sam] You're going to clear them with me?
I doubt it.
I thought this was an article about LeBron James at first.
More Ehrman-love (catch the fever!). Says CNN, "Former fundamentalist 'debunks' Bible". This is a quote I wish a number of my fellow Christians would take to heart:
"Christianity has never been about the Bible being the inerrant word of God," Ehrman says. "Christianity is about the belief in Christ."[Via Higgaion]
There was an article about the debate surrounding torture techniques a few days ago entitled "Does Rape Work?" As can be seen from the title, the article attempts to make the case that asking whether or not torture works would be like asking whether or not rape works: it doesn't matter, 'cause we shouldn't do it, and in the case of rape, would presumably not do it. Well...presumably.
[Via Ta-Nehisi Coates]
It seems clear at this late point in the day that real life (moving) has gotten in the way, and I am not going to be able to satisfy my legion readers with a heady post on the time travel spectrum, where LOST falls on that spectrum, and what I expect to happen over the course of tonight's episode, and the next season. Suffice it to say that I am a strong believer in the "whatever happened happened" school of time travel, particular with respect to LOST, and I don't expect anything tonight to change that. But, LOST does have a way of messing with people's expectations...
So, now that I'm officially a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, I've returned to the classroom for the first time in about six months to learn about Human Sexuality (figure it should come in handy in a few weeks).
As the women in the class complained about men on campus, and how socially awkward they are, I asked a friend of mine who was in the counseling program if this is what all his (mainly female) classes were like. "Yep."
Later on, as we debated the meaning of the word "flirt," he asked me if this is what my (mainly pretentious) classes were like.
Introduction, Post #1, #2, and #3.
Adam and Eve
So, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse have emphasized that they've known the basic outlines of what they wanted to do with the show from the beginning. Presumably, that means that they knew it would have something to do with time travel. And, they've also consistently stated that the two corpses found by Jack at the caves would vindicate that they've planned this thing from the beginning. I've no reason to doubt them, and so it's worth thinking through some possibilities for Adam and Eve:
- Rose and Bernard (mentioned above). We meet Rose in the very first episode. She's sitting right next to Jack on the plane. And Rose and Bernard were Desmond and Penny before Desmond and Penny were. Speaking of which...
- Desmond and Penny. I would like this possibility more except for their son. That is, what would happen to him if D&P came to the island to die. Of course, he is named Charles, which would be an interesting (if paradoxical) way to get a Charlie Widmore on the island.
- Jack and Kate. I think this is most likely. There would certainly be an awesome time-traveling symmetry to Jack and Kate laying down to die in the very spot their younger selves would discover 50-70 years later.
- Sawyer and Juliet. Don't think so. I revere the LOST writers as much as anyone, but I don't think they had planned so far ahead that they knew they would redeem Sawyer completely, much less do so through a Season 3 character named Juliet.
- Sun and Jin. Same problem as D&P above, namely, what about their daughter?
- Anyone else? The zombie bodies of Nikki and Paulo?
Time-travel, of course.
See Parts #1 and #2 as we countdown to the LOST Season 5 Finale on Wednesday night.
TONS O' SPOILERS!
"I watched them all die."
Was Richard telling the truth? Do all of our 1977 Lostaways bite the bullet in the Season 5 finale? Clearly not. As I said above, I don't know if there's another way Richard meant what he said, or if he was lying, or if he was mistaken. Richard doesn't seem big on deception. On the other hand, he does what's necessary (e.g., telling Locke about Sawyer's relationship with his father, taking Ben into the temple, etc.). Regardless, there's no way we're losing Sawyer, Juliet, Kate, Jack, Hurley, Sayid, Miles, and Jin in one fell swoop. There are rumors all over the place of a "Charlie-level death," which I presume to mean one of the original 815ers. We can safely cross-off the following:
- Locke. Just got killed and resurrected a few episodes ago. That's a whole lot of trouble to go through just to kill him again a few episodes later.
- Jin. He was the big Season 4 fake-out (which I called, thank you very much). Don't think they'd do that again.
- Sun. If there's one thing to bet on, it's a big reunion of Jin and Sun next week.
- Rose and Bernard. I don't think they're dead yet, and I don't think they'll die next week. I think they're the likeliest candidates for Adam and Eve (this kind of deserves its own section. See tomorrow!).
- Hurley. If Hurley were killed, there would be mass riots. And Season 6 would be the most somber affair ever.
- Jack. Regardless of his post-island drug addiction and alcoholism, Jack is the center of the show. I know he was supposed to be killed off in the very first episode, but the producers decided not to do that, and he's been involved in every major development on the show since. I don't see how a season 6 could happen without Jack, or even with a kind of dead Jack. And, regarding that, I think this is an important point to make: characters on LOST (for the most part) REALLY DIE. Charlie is REALLY DEAD. Boone and Shannon and Michael and all the Tailies are all REALLY DEAD. The only people this hasn't applied to are Ben (who clearly couldn't die since he exists in the future), Locke (who is his own thing altogether) and the indestructible Mikhail. Claire is in a kind of middle realm, where it didn't seem like she died at the time, but in retrospect, maybe she is dead.
- Sawyer. This would be a Charlie-level gut punch to fans of the show. Sawyer has been completely redeemed, taken out of the Kate-Jack love triangle, then forced back in against his will. I hope they don't kill him, but I could definitely see it happening.
- Kate. I doubt she gets killed. She's still gotta find Claire, remember?
- Sayid. Kind of the anti-Sawyer. He's been taken from bad to good to bad again, and it seems like his story is winding down. I think that if there really is going to be an 815er who dies in the finale, it's heads or tails for Sawyer and Sayid.
In February, Rev. Stewart traveled to Assyrian and Chaldean Christian communities in Kurdish villages in northern Iraq, where he hopes to soon begin work on collections in ancient monastic libraries. "You have these ancient Christian communities, there since the beginning of Christianity, which are evaporating," he says He's now seeking access to manuscript collections in Iran and Georgia.
With his black monk's habit, trimmed gray beard and deferential manner, Rev. Stewart has been able to make inroads into closed communities that are often suspicious of Western scholars and fiercely protective of their texts. Armed with 23-megapixel cameras and scanning cradles, he sets up imaging labs on site in monasteries and churches, and trains local people to scan the manuscripts.
Once the labs are set up, the projects cost roughly $20,000 a year in private donations. A similar effort to digitize Greek New Testament manuscripts by the Texas-based Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts costs roughly $10,000 a week for staffing, travel and equipment.
For now, curators and conservationists say capturing endangered manuscripts should be a top priority.
"This could be our only chance," says Daniel Wallace, executive director of the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts, the Texas-based center that is attempting to digitally photograph 2.6 million pages of Greek New Testament manuscripts scattered in monasteries and libraries around the world. The group has discovered 75 New Testament manuscripts, many with unique commentaries, that were unknown to scholars. Mr. Wallace says one of the rare, 10th century manuscripts they photographed was in a private collection and was later sold, page by page, for $1,000 a piece. Others are simply disintegrating, eaten away by rats and worms, or rotting.
Watch out, Brian!
Who is Jacob?
I haven't read this post by James McGrath 'cause it seemed a bit too spoilerish for me before the finale, but he speculates on the same question with respect to some recent casting news. We're no closer to this answer than we were at the beginning of the season. Really, we're no closer to it than we were in Season 3 when Jacob first appeared.
I do think that Locke is mistaken if he doesn't believe Jacob exists, however. Whether or not Ben has really ever seen or heard Jacob is up for grabs. Whether Ben believes he exists isn't. There's no other explanation for the scene where he turns the FDW and exclaims "I hope you're happy now, Jacob."
So, let's assume there really is a Jacob, and Ben and Richard really do believe in him. Who might it be? The fact that Claire and Christian congregate around him would seem to point toward Jack, or at least someone related to Jack, but I think it's more likely Jack will end up with Kate at the caves (see two days from now on Adam and Eve). Well, maybe it's not more likely, it would just make me happier. Other than Jack, I don't think there's a good candidate on the show right now. Possibly Locke: sending himself on a mission to kill himself would be very Lockian. He's already done it once!
I don't know how I feel about Jacob being someone we've never seen before. From one perspective, it makes perfect sense: the 815ers can't have been involved in absolutely everything we've seen so far. But from another perspective...of course they can! The show is demonstrating in Season 5 that they are the cause for many of the effects we saw in the first two seasons.
On the other hand, speculation since Jacob first appeared has assumed that it was one of the 815ers, without the benefit of the knowledge that the show would turn out to be about time travel. So, it'd almost be disappointing to find out that the fans were perceptive enough from the very beginning to figure out that Jacob was one of our own.
Next up: "I watched them all die."
I moderate comments. Meaning, mainly, that I look at the comment before publishing it to make sure it's not spam. What I don't do is wait to publish the comment until after I've already formulated a response. That's annoying.
This requires so much unpacking. First of all, does Locke mean what it seems like he means? That is, the most obvious reading of Locke's statement would be that he intends to end the life of the man known as Jacob. I think that's what the writers want us to think Locke means, but I don't think that's what Locke actually means (similarly, I think there's probably some other way Richard means "I watched them all die." That, or he's lying.) I think the most likely thing Locke means is that he's going to demonstrate to the Others/Hostiles that Jacob is a myth.
What's strange about this, though, is that, arguably, Locke has had the most concrete experience of Jacob of anyone on the island. He heard Jacob ask for help; he (and we) actually saw Jacob for a moment. So, why would he now be such an unbeliever in Jacob? And if he's not an unbeliever in Jacob, is he still on a mission from Jacob? When Jacob asked for help, he certainly didn't seem happy to be trapped in that cabin with Ben around. Does he want to die? If so, why would it be necessary to take along the entire troupe of Others/Hostiles? And why would they be so interested NOW in finding out more about Jacob? Not a single one of them ever voiced concern before now that they were taking orders from a man that only a few "special" people could see or hear?
Of course, it's possible that he doesn't really intend to kill Jacob in any sense at all, but it's what he needed to tell Ben. It's also possible that he has no intention of showing all the Others/Hostiles Jacob, but that he needs to take them on a journey. A lot of this depends, I think, on the identity of Jacob. So, next up: Who is Jacob?
Another season of LOST just about up. There's been some speculation on the identity of Jacob (and other LOST musings). In honor of the coming season finale, I thought I'd try to write a post a day on various LOST happenings, and what I think is their most likely explanation/possibility. First up: Locke's decision to kill Jacob.
Just shuffled onto my iPod at the gym: gangster's paradise. Awesome.