Currently reading: Lord, I Don’t Want to Die a Christian by Chandrika Phea 📚

“I have heard that the ultimate expression of worship is obedience to a God-given command, submission, and giving. I have also heard that the ultimate expression to God is serving. But personal evolution leads me to believe that the ultimate expression of worship to God is being—being whom He created me to be. It is doing what He created me to do, being my purpose, and therefore doing my purpose. If I were asked, today, “What is worship to you?” Worship is doing what I’ve been created to do, what I am purposed to do and that is, to just be.”

Writing Microblog Posts Using Drummer

The three posts below were intended to be part of one post. I wrote them using Drummer, forgetting that the publish script I use treats each node as a separate post.

I suspect if I want everything in one post I need to write them as a child of a parent node in Drummer. This is a quick test. Confirmed.

Truth is, iPads and Macs are tools, and the choice between which one is used is not life and death. It’s ok to choose a Mac over an iPad, and vice versa, and there is no real reason to try and convince someone that their choices are wrong. Apple does not expect either device to be the best for every single use case, otherwise they would only sell one device.

As the iPad has never been intended to function exactly like notebook and desktop computers, I doubt Apple will ever make them work exactly the same. You are never going to see MacOS running on iPads even if it could. Power users have been pushing Apple to make the iPad function more like Macs, and honestly iPadOS has moved a long way toward that direction. Much more than I would have ever expected. But the reality is, the iPad is never going to be a MacOS tablet and so one needs to come to terms with that reality. (Do you really want a Windows Tablet?)

Interesting thread of discussion regarding (once again) the limitations of iPadOS in comparison to other operating systems. Those who wish to use the iPad for use cases for which it was not originally intended are caught between the possibilities for how iPads could be used and the realities of how iPads can be used. The possibilities are driven mostly by the iPad hardware that is just as capable as Apple notebooks and desktops while the realities are driven by iPadOS that defines how Apple intends the hardware to be used.

During the process of moving my outline files to Drummer, I created a new outline for the books I’ve read this year and added 2023 to my main book index.

Today I learned that Twitter is shutting down their public API, which may impact Dave Winer’s outlining apps that I use. I have been using Little Outliner, which you can think of as an older iteration of Drummer, to maintain my Now page along with outlines that I maintain for the technology I use and the books that I read. Because of the news, today I moved all of these outline files to Drummer so that I can continue editing them. Fortunately, because I am using DNS and an alias URL to forward to the public rendering of these files, none the links to them from here should break.

It’s shocking to me that so many Christians could read this article and not realize that Jesus enountered this problem and taught the answer. We Christians do not live out what Jesus taught, and thus provide no example to and have no moral authority with those with whom we occupy this planet.

P.S. Note that Jesus did not say, “love your neighbor like you love yourself,” he said something even more profound, “love your neighbor as yourself.” You are a part of me that I do not yet know.

Finished reading: Journey to the Common Good by Walter Brueggemann 📚

“I believe it is impossible to overstate the defining nature of the empire of force among us, if empire is understood as a political, economic, military, ideological practice of self-security and control. It is not clear that life can be construed beyond empire; but the poets have to try. The poets, because they are poets, never arrive there, for their poetry would then become program. That, however, does not render the poetry as a failure or as an irrelevance. It only affirms that alternatives to the lethal reductionism of empire require imagination and courage and staying power. In that ancient world, it was required that old Jerusalem be relinquished and new Jerusalem be undertaken. It is no less required now that there be relinquishing and undertaking.”

“It is all good news … but you have to go! Israel has always been departing empire. That is how it began back in Egypt and that is how Nebuchadnezzar became the dominant metaphor for imperial power vis-à-vis the peculiar destiny of Israel. That has been the summons of Jesus to his people since his first “follow me.” He summoned away from all old regimes into the new regime that he inaugurated. To make a large, imaginative move, I suggest that it is the task of followers of this gospel in our society—who live in the totalitarian regime of military consumerism with all of its hopes and violences and anxieties—to depart.”

Journey to the Common Good: Updated Edition by Walter Brueggemann

United States Empire

Dave is pointing out the relationship between the United States paying its bills, the value of the U.S. dollar as the the world’s reserve currency, and how that all translates to life as we know it in the United States. What Dave does not point out is that the the U.S. dollar being the world’s reserve currency is a fundamental part of the United States Empire. It’s how we can punish other nations like Russia and Iran with “economic” sanctions or why cutting Russia off from SWIFT (which is the network that all banks, including national banks use to move money around) is in fact punishing.

While (like the Roman empire) we have built U.S. Armed forces bases all around the world, U.S. citizens, let alone the world, will not accept frequent military intervention, so the bases are mostly for show of power and rapid deployment capability. Consequently, the economic tools, like the reserve currency, are the tools of choice that we use to flex U.S. might.

I think most nations know exactly how the U.S. uses the reserve currency status to imposes its will upon them and that is why some of them are considering using something other than the dollar. The U.S. missing payment on its bills will provide good reason for the nations to pull the trigger and that could start the fall of the U.S. empire. If this happens we will find out quickly just how much our way of life has grown to depend on empire.

P.S. The United States is the only country in the world to have dropped nuclear weapons on another country. The fact that we were willing then to do such a thing and the fact that we use our economic muscle to enforce our empire makes us the bad guys for most of the world. The good life we enjoy keeps us from seeing our shadow self.

It's All By Design

Much that is wrong in the United States can be traced back to Milton Friedman, because he created and taught the doctrine in place in corporate America that everything, absolutely everything, is about making the wealthy class wealthier. Corporations exist to make wealth, and labor is simply the disposable batteries needed to fuel their wealth.

And, of course, the wealthy class fears the labor class, which is why they own those bunkers and houses on islands as far away from civilization as possible. For some, Mars or the moon may not be far enough. (And definitely do not allow labor to organize against us!)

The United States was founded upon and institutionalized class structure. White men ruled and controled Europe in the seventeenth century, how could anyone think that was not how America was structured? Madison, Jefferson, Washington, and Hamilton knew no different, it was and has been the “norm of society.” (By the way, this structure goes back well before the time of Jesus and he was killed by the state and the religious ruling class for preaching an alternative to the structure. Consequently, the U.S. might be called a christian nation by the defintion of institutionalzied christianity, but would not be called so by Jesus.)

Ours in the United States has been a more than 200 year struggle over the question of liberty for whom? Explicity at the founding liberty was only for white male property owners. Over the years laws and Constitutional ammendments have been passed to try and expand liberty to more people, but really, the class structure remains. The people at the top benefit so much from the way things are there is no real incentive to change. How else can the right hand of the U.S. institution, the Supreme Court, think that structural racism is no longer an issue, thus voting rights are not longer needed, or that anti-abortion laws are not a infringment on the liberty of nearly half the country, or that corporations (which is THE insitution of the wealthy class) have the same rights as citizens and should thus be allowed so spend as much money to buy politicians as they wish?

Mass layoffs are the dopamine of the wealthy class. No CEO is ever going to be fired for announcing such a layoff because it is exactly what the wealthy class demands. Any CEO and board of a U.S. corporation knows that the quickest way to boost their stock price is by announcing a round of layoffs or buy announcing stock buy backs. Few CEOs know how to build anything, they only know the financial engineering they were taught in business school and what they see done all around them.

P.S. If you are invested in a 401k, you are being told that your interests align with the wealthy class. Assimilation is a very powerful tool of those in power.

There are a couple of inches of snow on the ground, and if it can continues at this rate I can see us getting four or more inches in total.

The Yooper in me gets amused by the reaction to snow storms in southeast Michigan. Yes, it’s snowing, but if you look outside and you can see buildings and trees and the snow is falling, that’s just a snow storm it’s not a catastrophe. I know that most people here don’t know how to drive in snow and therefore it’s best folks stay off the road, but most times the reaction feels extreme.

Snowfall

“It is our propensity, in society and in church, to trust the narrative of scarcity. That is what makes us greedy, and exclusive, and selfish, and coercive. Even the Eucharist can be made into an occasion of scarcity, as though there were not enough for all. Such scarcity leads to exclusion at the table, even as scarcity leads to exclusion from economic life.”

Journey to the Common Good: Updated Edition by Walter Brueggemann

Love Michigan. Nothing like a gentle snow fall.

Hidden in there is a woodpecker checking out this cedar tree. Can you see it?

When I read articles about AI, more and more I am thinking to myself, just because we can do something doesn’t mean that we should do it. Corporate America needs to be mindful that if everyone is layed off in the United States there will be nobody buying your products and making you rich. We need to start learning to curb greed or it is going to lead to our demise.

I have a dream for an integrated web reading and writing application. Some will say the web browser is the application that I describe, but for some reason I prefer an application that integrates the two.

I must be the only person in the world who doesn’t care about his follower count. Or maybe I am just a narcissist because I mostly write and publish for myself.

Building Versus Buying

I’ve finished reading a fantastic three part series about the history of ARM written by Jeremy Reimer for Ars Technica. Here is a quote from the end of the series:

But the key to Saxby’s management approach was simple yet uncommon in the business world: ARM grew because it helped others grow. It treated its employees more like people and less like human resources, giving them chances to learn and succeed along with the company. “I’m a great believer that in any team,” he told me, “any member is better at something than somebody else, so to get the team to perform you want everyone to perform on their best axis. Teams that work well together work better.” He emphasized the importance of being honest with employees and not overpromising what the company had to offer.

The above resonates with me because the company I hired in to out of college, Electronic Data Systems, had the same business model, treat employees in a similar manner, and had success. Unlike ARM, EDS went through several different owners (GM, HP, HPE, CSC/DXC) and CEOs and each change moved further from the founding vision to the point at which it no-longer really exists.

The story also calls to mind The Infinite Game by Steve Sinek. Using Reimer’s comparison of ARM and Commodore, ARM was playing the infinite game, Commodore the finite game. In the book Sinek describes the reletively few businesses playing the “infinite game” versus the vast majority playing the “finite” game. He writes:

Infinite games have infinite time horizons. And because there is no finish line, no practical end to the game, there is no such thing as “winning” an infinite game. In an infinite game, the primary objective is to keep playing, to perpetuate the game.

Having been hired by EDS and surviving through the multitude of transitions that has occurred, I have seen first hand the differences a building a company, which usually has a founder, and buying a company, which usually has a manager. In most cases bought companies are separated from their founding, has no leadership and thus no culture.

It amazes me that given all the evidence of how to achieve long term success, such as ARM’s, that so few U.S. companies are interested in the infinite game. The finite game rules business, thus it rules capitalism, and given relationship of capitalism to the United States, the finite game rules the U.S. I don’t think prospects will change in the United States until we find leaders who are builders, right now our political, economic, and religions cultures appear to all be playing the finite game.

Checked in on the COVID status for my county. We are having a much better January this year than last, although the infection rate remains at 1.02 and it best be below 1. Noticed that COVID Act Now has changed the vaccination reporting to indicate the percentage of the population that has taken the latest, bivalent, booster.

It’s a very different winter than the one we had two years ago, with no snow on the ground right now. In fact, so far we are on pace for a record low amouint of snow for a winter. Temperatures this week remain well above freezing.

I’ve updated the outline of books that I have read (16) in 2022, which is now an index of three years of reading.