Question-Interesting point. I think too about other ways some religions really work for that don't-get-comfortable-with-them approach... even non proselytizing ones like Judaism, maybe all the food restrictions are there in part to discourage sitting together to break bread... (Also I think of E.O. Wilson's remark "The illogic of religions is not a weakness in them but their essential strength. Acceptance of the bizarre creation myths binds the members together.")
Why do people get angry when I try to share the word of God with them? I only do it because I care about them deeply and don't want them to end up in hell. I feel like some people avoid me because of this. Is there any way to get through to them?
The entire process is not what you think it is.
It is specifically designed to be uncomfortable for the other person because it isn't about converting them to your religion. It is about manipulating you so you can't leave yours.
If this tactic was about converting people it would be considered a horrible failure. It recruits almost no one who isn't already willing to join. Bake sales are more effective recruiting tools.
On the other hand, it is extremely effective at creating a deep tribal feeling among its own members.
The rejection they receive is actually more important than the few people they convert. It causes them to feel a level of discomfort around the people they attempt to talk to. These become the "others". These uncomfortable feelings go away when they come back to their congregation, the "Tribe".
If you take a good look at the process it becomes fairly clear. In most cases, the religious person starts out from their own group, who is encouraging and supportive. They are then sent out into the harsh world where people repeatedly reject them. Mainly because they are trained to be so annoying.
These brave witnesses then return from the cruel world to their congregation where they are treated like returning heroes. They are now safe. They bond as they share their experiences of reaching out to the godless people to bring them the truth. They share the otherness they experience.
Once again they will learn that the only place they are accepted is with the people who think as they do. It isn't safe to leave the group. The world is your enemy, but we love you.
This is a pain reward cycle that is a common brainwashing technique. The participants become more and more reliant on the "Tribe" because they know that "others" reject them.
Mix in some ritualized chanting, possibly a bit of monotonous repetition of instructions, add a dash of fear of judgment by an unseen, but all-powerful entity who loves you if you do as you are told and you get a pretty powerful mix.
Sorry, I have absolutely no wish to participate in someones brainwashing ritual.
(I'm thinking about how my history with The Salvation Army fits into it. From its origin in the mid-1800s on through the mid-1900s, it was doing a TON of streetpreaching, going to the pubs and using brassy music and fervent words to bring people away from the devil and demon rum, and its tales of its own history were full of successful conversions. The church was more sedate by the time I got there. (Or as it asked itself, "Has The Fire Gone Out?") but non-crowd-blending trappings like the militaristic uniforms remained, at least for those most intensely involved in the church... but generally, only on Sundays, while historically some folks might wear the uniform daily.)
The Tufts Concert band went to Bermuda, I went to Gala, I graduated and then... I guess i switched to digital photography...
October 19, 2018
Open Photo Gallery
ship in drydock in bermuda
bermuda.blue water 1996
band buddies on the beach
in the chilly ocean
band climbing up to lighthouse
view from bermuda lighthouse
with juj on top of lighthouse
show and cars off of lighthouse
band reflected in bermuda
band posing in chapel
band walking to school on hill
before we learned the macarana at the fort
lisa sanchez with a flower in her hair
harbor view from hotel
before ballroom dancing at the princess hotel scott mary me lisa eric cindy
scott and lisa in hotel room
dan and cindy at center of first lemming event
rebekah on bus before gala
with rebekah on bus before gala
in tux at gala
rebekah at gala
with rebekah at gala
rebekah and erica
rebekah and erica
todd and erica
rebekah by railing at gala
back of rebekah at railing
tufts packed senior gala 1996
rob kogan at gala
gal with fork dress scott korvek
emily and eve
mo and marieke at gala
outside of metcalf the day after gala
in bridge metcalf with rebekah
rebekah on metcalf stoop day after gala
with jen tsang before dance
with aunt ruth and grandma at commencement
happy to graduate
family reunion young cousins
rebekah with puppy at rockport
climbing rocks in rhode island
fourth of july 1996 with the lemmings
with jen at fourth
jen in her hat
lemmings hide out from rain on fourth
"It's special in every aspect. Not only as a manager, but as an individual. Just to manage this team. Everybody knows the history of the city, and history has positive sides and negative sides. And for me, as a minority, to be a manager in Boston hasn't been a challenge. ... And to be able to led this team, it's amazing. It's a great group, very talented, very humble, very hungry."
--Alex Cora in the Minute Maid Park interview room, after leading the Red Sox to a pennant. Also, what a fine last name he has.
Decided to watch a little Brewers/Dodgers and th--WHAT THE HELL IS THAT SERIF FONT DOING WITH THE NAMES ON THE BACK OF THE BREWERS UNIFORMS
seriously what is that??
Make the rounds is how MA (and about 20 other states) aren't in compliance with the "REAL ID" act
1. That state compliance map looks a lot like the red/blue split
2. I wonder what MA IDs are lacking feature wise
3. In trying to find out "2" I ran into
New applicants for identification would also have to obtain a "Real ID" compliant card, which would be marked with a yellow star and require applicants to prove their full legal name, date of birth, residence in Massachusetts and provide a verifiable birth certificate, Social Security number or other proof of lawful residence.
marked with a yellow star, huh? Superb optics there.
In the back room Melissa and I use as an office and my dressing room, I replaced a boring (and too small) IKEA chest-of-drawers with big ol' IKEA KALLAX (formerly "EXPEDIT", more or less) blocks.
It's funny how IKEA, clean Scandinavian design seem timeless to me. I remember looking at IKEA catalogs in the 80s and to the best of my recollection that stuff was pretty much like the stuff we have today. And even though interior design has never really been my jam, I remember being fascinated with those IKEA catalogs, along with "The New House Book". Or maybe it's just a matter of timing? Like, just how the Gap sort of permaset middlebrow clothing into a semi-aspirational, khakis look, maybe after the 70s things have just been largely settled.
Or maybe it's demographic? As officers in The Salvation Army, my parents were generally assigned pre-furnished houses or apartments ("Quarters")... at one time when they had a rare opportunity to buy all new furnishings, they went the "clean Scandanavian look". Reports were that the Officers who lived there after HATED that, and generally let everything go to crap so they could replace it with classic Colonial...
I suppose to people who like that Colonial look, IKEA stuff just looks cheap (and it can be... I mean there's no way it was meant to be moved around from apartment to apartment in the way Americans use it) and dorm-ish, while the Colonial stuff is true class... not stodgy and boring as it seems to me. As usual, I suspect a red/blue split on that, and correlations with politics etc.
The 7 Deadly sins of AI prediction, or why the robots ain't coming. As impressed as I am by Watson's success in Jeopardy, say, it's not clear that at any electronic mind is really doing a great job of modeling the relationship between things.
"Conservatism never fails. It is only failed."
--Rick Perstein explaining how any failure by a conservative is always reframed as "they weren't conservative enough." (from Slate's Conservatism Never Fails: How the GOP Will Explain Away Trump‚Äôs Disastrous Campaign)
New poll: Agree personally immoral politicians can still fulfill duties.
(summary via this tweet - larger source cited is this page )
HUH I WONDER WHAT CHANGED.
Colts had an amusingly weird and absolutely terrible play last night against the Pats.
Is this how the Zombie Apocalypse starts?
As the weather takes a turn for the chilly, I would encourage everyone to turn their minds back to when Spring emerged after that super snowy winter... on the one hand it can feel like "summer went by so fast" but on the other hand, we've been enjoying warm temperatures for what felt like a long time... if you bring a little mindfulness to things you can better savor the abundance of time almost all of us are given.
David Byrne on Internet Music and how it hurts artists. I really don't "get" the appeal of streaming music. If you had told me fifteen years ago: "here in the future people can buy any song they want - as a single even! - for around a buck, and have their whole music collection on a lil' walkman-like gadget!" I would have been even more surprised by the follow-up: "But the trend is to use those same gadgets as a fancy, heavily-customized-station radio that you have to pay for on a monthly basis" The latter sounds even more nuts than the former. (Good thing I don't try to explain to my 2000-era self about Shazam and SoundHound; that stuff just feels like black magic.)
This is an autotuned version of that Apollos Hester post-game interview that was making the rounds a few weeks ago:
You can see the original clip with partial transcription. Honestly I like the way the video condensed and focused and fluffed the message.
Officemate Nick and I are squeezing in a day or two of London into our business trip to Cardiff. I took so many crap photos today. Here are some of the ok ones, including a fortuitous rainbow over the Thames.
October 19, 2013
Quote of the moment, from a placard at the Tate Modern:
"For example, most of the cells in our face have migrated forward from a region at the back of our head."View from the London Eye Ferris Wheel:
Nick took this shot as we went around the London Eye Ferris Wheel in the moring. Not the way I would have framed it but I kind of like it now.
Panoramic shot from a Tower of London walkway. I really appreciate how London is striving to make a modern skyline.
Pikeman statue on a Tower of London walkway.
Random totem-pole-ish thing walking to the Tate Modern. (UPDATE: My mom says it's the "Seven Stages of Man", she used to walk by it on her daily commute.)
View outside the Tate Modern - rainbow panorama!
"Rpgs are a terrible genre for romance. Relationships aren't guaranteed if you do all the right things. They're more suited to roguelikes..."
I'm reading a book of Nicholson Baker's essay, and in his review of "The Historical Dictonary of American Slang" he says he spent several hours assembling the following matrix:
October 19, 2012
"You know, when you go upstairs to poop thatís some Next Level Shit"
"Some suggestions for Mitt Romney's rap name: Rmoney, Rom Com, Seedy Rom, MC Douchefuck"
http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/330851/iwsji-syria-awash-advanced-antiaircraft-weapons-patrick-brennan Mark my words: we'll see an airliner down by missile before anything smuggled onboard. (Also. "MANPADS"? Really?)
October 19, 2011
--I liked kottke's description:
There is a sense amongst my generation that Michael Winslow's best performing days are behind him. (You'll remember Winslow as Officer Sound Effects from Police Academy.) After all, we live in the age of the beatboxing flautist. You might change your tune after watching Winslow do Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love. The first 28 seconds are like, oh, I've heard this before yawn zzzzzzzzzz WHOA, WHERE THE HELL DID THAT GUITAR NOISE COME FROM??!
"It's ironic that the 53% don't think they're part of the 99%, when it's being bad at math that got us where we are today in the first place."
"If tickling is illegal only criminals will hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee"
"I can't complain, but sometimes I still do."
Generation X is used to disappointments. Generation X knows you didnít even read the whole thing. (via Amber)
"Historically, a story about people inside impressive buildings ignoring or even taunting people standing outside shouting at them turns out to be a story with an unhappy ending."
--Lemony Snicket with 13 observations on Occupy Wall Street
So Amber really likes the group Phoenix -- a few weeks ago cmg noticed they were playing at BU so I surprised Amber by getting tickets.
October 19, 2010
I'm not quite the huge fan Amber is but they put on a rockin' show.
One of the least enforced rules there is against cameras, so I had some fun making concert shots, concluding with one of the audience.
Open Photo Gallery
"Capitalism conquered communism, and now it's got democracy on the ropes. †- David Swift"
"PERVERTS ARE LIKE COCKROACHES YOU TRY TO STEP ON THEM BUT THEY LIKE IT"
http://gizmodo.com/5667682/twitter-can-predict-the-stock-market-six-days-in-advance - holy cow, could someone get rich from this?
Trying to grind my way to "inbox zero". 13 starred items, 7 non- in my gmail priority inbox. Here's hoping.
-- I cringe every time I need that, in part cause the tag is so damn ugly.
Kjersten sent this along:
October 19, 2009
I'll use this to ramble a bit about something which will sound insanely stupid but: I really love my iPhone. To the extent that sometimes it's a motivational tool; I urge myself to be worthy of having such a nifty device.
And it's not just its beautiful and elegant design that I want to be "worthy" of- though that plays a part of it. This little, well-night featureless (and Star Trek TNG "PADD"-like device) also acts as a focus for nearly the whole of the web. And all the good parts of the music collection I've amassed over the past 20 or so years. And the ability to keep ToDos and a datebook and random notes with me, though Palm had that pretty well covered since 1996. So it's all those things to live up to, that I should hunker and focus down and be a worthy recipient of so many of humanity's creative fruits.
Relationships have a similar effect on me. I make my bed, try (marginally succesfully) to keep my apartment and car neater, try to make more interesting and pretty things all 'cause I'm smitten with Amber.
I suppose Religion, getting right with God, can have a similar effect for some, though that can be so abstract, and Jesus et al provide such a high target to shoot for...
(Sigh. I think I've managed to roughly equate, or draw big parallels among, the iPhone, my girlfriend, and God. This is likely to displease at least someone...)
"If you aren't fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm."
http://wallofpaul.com/swiss-krissly-yours - I'm kind of weirdly fascinated with Louis Armstrong's love of laxative.
Wow - just got a backup for my Fujitsu P1510D, old but durable netbook-sized tablet, for $260 buy-it-now from Techreplay@ebay. Good deal!
Wow. 24 hour comic day was a pretty amazing experience. Usually I'll get sleepy and drift off, especially if I'm doing something passive. I'm not sure if it was somehow finding just the right balance of sugar and caffeine, or just being highly focused on a mental task, or what, but I never felt sleepy, just weary and goofy.
October 19, 2008
Despite my valiant attempts to be funny on Twitter, Miller by far had the most detailed liveblogging of our mini-event. (Including "sleep deprived Kirk thinks he's funny" quotes) I hope he posts some examples of what he produced, by far he was exercising the most talent in terms of, you know, art that really looks like stuff and people, and also had an interesting story. He didn't finish but got significantly further than on previous attempts. (Also, he was a great host, with his signature pseudo-menudo and a lot of a lot of snackie goodness.)
Kate's had an intriguing shamanistic creation myth thing going, and when she decided her story was pretty much told around page 13 (short of the recommended 24-comic-pages or 100-webcomic-panels) she switched to this amazing artificial language puzzle game event thing she plans to utilize the story for.
Me, I doodle. But I finished! 100 panels, each individually drawn and then colored on my two Tablet PCs. On the one hand, it was kind of a shortcut to keep the narration under the art, and my style is what other people might call thumbnails. But I tried to polish pieces up the roughest spots, and I didn't duplicate art. And I got done, done, finalish webpage and all, right under the wire.
I'm so glad to have done this story. Ever since the goofy single panel I came up with 6 frickin' years ago, and then some test panels I composed 2 years ago, there have been some things I wanted to say through these intrepid explorers. I don't explain why no one is out of their spacesuit; in some ways it's always been a rough (and kind of obvious) metaphor for the extreme difficulty of really connecting to other people.
There's an almost retartedly blatant bit of drawing from some of my own experiences here, but it's an amalgamation. And it's so rough in parts... I'm terrible at plots, unable to resist the trop of the Tower-of-Babel like pursuit of a culture of group, and the people swept along in that. And that's before you get to the art.
So, after having gone on for way too long like someone had actually asked me for an aritst's statement, here is part 1 of 4 of Young Astronauts in Love.
space... the... frontier
not the final frontier, probably. but it's a frontier and it's pretty big
i'm an astronaut. always had been.
the academy was... pretty great actually
i got my degree, and my first assignment
i'm a federation technician, first class
my first assignment was on GHIBAL 3
GHIBAL 3 is the famous home of the ghibal anomaly
and ghibal city, set up for the scientists to study the anomaly and the corporations hoping to cash in.
it was even more of a happening place back then!
it was a long journey there
you can only ionski a few hundred times before it gets old
finally we were there!
unfortunately my assignment wasn't the city
or the suburbs
or that area surrounding the suburbs
it was an outpost. scanner outpost gamma-222.
a monitoring station, for technical reasons as far as possible from the city and the anomaly, the anomalyobverse.
little glitches were happening all the time.
that's why i was there! one of the most qualified technoplumbers in the history of humanity
i had a few small rooms, 'net connection, coffee maker, a GIANT PILE of spare parts...
it was lonely, but with minibreaks to the city and holocoms with old classmates, not too bad.
October 19, 2007
This evening I'm heading out on a last-minute business trip...I'm taking the Acela to Delaware. I've heard people speaking highly of travel by train, and I haven't taken one since this one terrible red-eye with Dylan back in the day, like in the late-80s, so I'm looking forward to it over all.
October 19, 2006
Cars of the Moment
I was gratified to see my car (albeit in a different color) as the big front-and-center image on Slate.com yeserday with the teaser My Teeny-Tiny Supercheap New Car. The article explains that the "low-end" for cars ain't as low as it used to be in the bad old Yugo days, even accounting for inflation, but still.
The Scion xA does well (though I think his concerns about the after-market-mod branding is a little unfounded)
the scion xA
the honda fit
(It's funny how foreshortening affects cars like this. I have a short and stumpy automobile but from the side, it seems kind of long...)
I barely understand why there's a "midsize" market... small cars just make so much more sense to me, and they've really gotten good over the past few decades. Cheaper to buy, cheaper to run, quick off the line, park like a dream, and hatchbacks carry more than their fairshare of stuff. I think my xA is fine for the highways, like the guy at Slate says. And my Scion has more headroom than a lot of much larger cars I've been in... but I guess I've always just liked small cars, like Veronika's Renault Twingo when we visited her in Germany. (Heh... though Smart is coming to the USA soon... I'm not sure if that would be ok on the highways or not, but if I ever get more money than I know what to do with, I'd consider their convertible as a kind of toy car to have around on summer days in the city...)
Vacation Filler of the Moment
October 19, 2005
Usually if I'm going away on vacation I prepublish content on kisrael, just in case I can't get to the Internet. When I'm vacationing at home, as I am this week, it's a little different. I just get lazy about updating...so I've decided to dump 32 images I made with doodle for Palm, a delightfully minimalist little drawing program. So for the next 4 days I'll post them in groups of 8...if I'm feeling lazy, that'll be about it for the day. And today...I'm feeling lazy. Just dumping the files to my computer, renaming and uploading took it right out of me.
Kinda Feeble Fables of the Moment
October 19, 2004
In middle school and high school I entered some plays in the Marilyn Bianchi Kids' Playwriting Festival at Dobama Theatre in Cleveland Heights...the first one, "Star Pox", was a fairly blatant ripoff of Douglas Adams. This one, "Kinda Feeble Fables", was a bit better, though it's still dorky as all get out. I'll be presenting one Scene a day for the next 5 days...and then an extra special bonus treat!
SETS: All five scenes use variations on the same set - a lot of rocks and really kind of dark. It's supposed to look like the inside of a cave.
Marcus: a regular type brave adventurer (male)
Valkyrie: Same, but female (a.k.a. Valk)
Bruno: Slow, almost stupid hack and slash 'em type
Wimpy looking Monster, armed with Photon slinger
NARRATOR: This play is a bunch of fables. Like most fables, they all have morals. However, the author of this play ain't Aesop, so don't expect miracles.
(The heroes are standing in the middle of the stage, looking lost.)
MARC: OK, here we are in the middle of a deep, dark, slimey cavern. There are ugly, icky creatures all over the floor, we are almost out of food, and Bruno the Wonder Nothing has lost our map.
BRUNO: Duh, no I didn't, Marc. I traded it for these three magical beans.
VALK: Real smart! And where are we gonna plant them in a cavern?
MARC: Forget that, Valk! How are we gonna get out of here?
BRUNO: I know, I know. I been leavin bread crumbs in our path.
VALK: You mean like the one that slimey scumsucking rock blob just ate?
BRUNO: (disappointed) Uh, yeah.
(Lights fade, curtain, etc. Narrator walks out.)
NARRATOR: Ok. Here's the moral of our first fable...Never let people who are likely to trade what you give them for magic beans carry the map. Simple, easy to remember, yet so practical. (Narrator exits.)
Not going to be a big kisrael-ish weekend, I'm afraid...I'm working on porting the Blender to a new host, but really I keep coming back to this brilliant 1999 N64 game, Rocket: Robot on Wheels. It's a really nice platformer/puzzle game that makes great use of a terrific physics engine. The main character design is great as well...you control this little robot that's basically Marvin the Martian melded with a unicycle. (Hmm, shouldn't it be "Robot on Wheel" then?) With a tractor beam instead of arms, that you can use to swing from various hooks, or carry objects around. I was reminded about this game when it showed up on Gamespy's Top 25 Underrated Games, and I'm glad I picked it up from half.com.
October 19, 2003
Quote of the Moment
"...if the church put in half the time on covetousness that it does on lust, this would be a better world."
--Garrison Keillor, Lake Wobegon Days
Quote and Link of the Moment
"After the first few times I played [this Japanese 'drumming' video game], a strange new screen began to flash after nearly every game. I could not figure out what this screen was at first, because it was in Japanese. Then I realized: It was the high-score screen. I was setting new high scores every time I played. You could tell because it was asking me to select three kanji characters, and then these would display next to my score at the top of a list. This was deeply satisfying, because it demonstrated how beautiful was my gift. It was also deeply frustrating, however, because I don't know how to write 'ASS' in kanji characters."
--Seth Stevenson, from the conclusion of a fun weeklong series, Tokyo on One Cliché a Day. The article is a great read for anyone interested in Japanese culture. I was amused by this ending, refering to a sophomoric, profane urge every videogamer in the 80s felt at least every once in a while.
Geek Note of the Moment
Not sure if anyone else will find this useful, but sometimes I like to leave little technotes to myself for future reference (come to think of it, I have a seperate database for this kind of thing, but whatever.) Anyway, to do a recursive "search and replace" in Unix (that has Perl installed), try
perl -e "s/oldstring/newstring/g;" -pi.bak $(find nameofdirectory -type f)
According to this CoolComputing page, this will replace oldstring with newstring in all files, making a ".bak" backup.
Followup: obviously it helps to know a little about perl and/or unix to full use this...Like if you're substitution involves funny characters or slashes, you needed to escape 'em thusly: \/
Or, in my case, it was loading up too many files, so I had to add in a "-name *cgi" after the "-type f".
Yes, Virgina, there is a Great Cthulhu. He exists as certainly as the cold unfeelingness of the cosmos exits, and you know that this meaninglessness abounds and gives to your life its highest absurdity. Alas! how comfortable would be the world if there were no Cthulhu! It would be as comforting as if a Santa Claus truly did care and reward children for doing good. There would be childlike faith then, a world of sweet believable poetry and romance to make existence idyllic and appealing. The external light with which childhood fills the world would never end.
October 19, 2002
--Steve Harris on rec.humor.funny/alt.horror.cthulhu...he actually wrote up the entire letter. Funny if you know that whole HP Lovecraft shtick.
Quote of the Moment
"The mature man lives quietly, does good privately, assumes personal responsibility for his actions, treats others with friendliness and courtesy, finds mischief boring and keeps out of it. Without this hidden conspiracy of good will, society would not endure an hour."
Eat Poop You Cat of the Moment
I liked this drawing from the middle of a round of Eat Poop You Cat at Peterman's birthday shindig last night. Eat Poop You Cat is a game... well... here, let this pirate explain it to you (along with some good examples.) I'm toying with the idea of trying to make an online version of this game...another site that has the same idea has a clearer explanation. I think this image was ultimately derived from "Milk: It Does A Body Good"
Small Gif Cinema of the Moment
Oy...the one thing about starting your day by bringing a blood-laced kitty pee sample to the vets: you can have high hopes that everything else in the day will be an improvement.
October 19, 2001
Gaming Link of the Moment
Cool! ClassicGaming.com published my review of Crossroads I & II, with emulator downloads. This was a great pair of games for the Commodore 64, but not very well known, since they were released with a magazine COMPUTE!'s Gazette. I'm glad they'll be getting more attention on this site, they're kind of a pet cause of mine.
Link of the Moment
On slate.com: somewhere between the rosy future of Idealism and the throw-up-your-hands-hopelessness of Skepticism lies The Practical View of Negativism. I think it's a pretty good outlook.
Quote of the Moment
"'They can ta'k our live but they can never ta'k our freedom!' Now there's a battle cry not designed by a clear thinker..."
--Terry Pratchett on Braveheart in alt.fan.pratchett
"'Tis better to have loved and lost, then to never...oh, give me a drink"
--Major Charles Emerson Winchester III,M*A*S*H
Haven't written here much lately.
Presidential campaigns are underway. Except for possible prolife / prochoice issues I don't see life being much different under either of the leading canidates.
Things are shaking up in the middle east. Those idiots make me so irritated. Chill the fuck out Motherfuckers! I know, lets remove all the guns and rocks from the area.
Worried about spreading hsv to Mo... kind of a scare the other night.