Sunday, May 31, 2009

language is...

Today we were folding laundry and trying to match all the socks into pairs.

Dad: "These all singles?"
Me: "Yup. We'll have to get them a date."
Art: "No, why not we exchange them for a twenty?"
Dad: "Oh look, there's the match for this sock."
Me: "No need for a blind date!"
Art: "Yeah, they're sole mates."

Language is imprecise. So many words have more than one meaning, yet are spelled the exact same way. 

Of course, language's imprecision can be funny, but sometimes it is just depressing. You can say what you mean, but because words have so many meanings and connotaions, your listener may get a completely different picture.

Take love, for instance. I am have been learning so much about love recently. I talk about, think about, and seek to understand love as much as Art likes to do the same about truth. (I am even considering writing "LOVE" on the side of my notebook.) Whenever I use the word love, it means so much to me and I am always careful how I use it. Love is a value I have,  a goal I yearn for, an abstract I cannot comprehend.

But, it sadeness me that love has such a bad rap, so to speak. I can't talk about love without people in general automatically thinking of sappy, emotional, romanic love, and often of Need-love. If I see the word "love" in people's status messages, I wonder do they know what they are talking about. Do they mean the self-sacrificing example of love God gives us, or do they mean the momentary, fuzzy-inside feeling?

That is certainly not what I mean, but love has been dumbed down and lame-ified to a point of gross error. 

The music, the TV, and the movies I consume are full of romantic love. Even Christian artists like Relient K sing about human love more than the Lover of our souls. Sure, romantic love and all that is important, but love is so much more!

Then you have all the college students who care about purity about as much as they cared for spinach when they were six. They say it's love. Short-lived and selfish, this love always takes and never gives. I think, "if this is love, this is lame."

All of this though, is just me being frustrated. I guess I would rather blame language for making love sound silly than stand up for real love. 

By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. - John 13:35

Does imprecise language frustrate you?

Monday, May 18, 2009

miss-out-a-phobia

A severe case of miss-out-a-phobia attacked me this morning and, now, I have a new blogger template too!

I found an awesome template which I was going to use... but it is coded in French and is thus rather difficult to use. I will need to work on that one some more first. 

While the process of editing my French template, I have figured out the basics of coding templates.

For example, that wonderful bright orange "pyzam.com" bar on the top of my blog? I made it dissapear!

If anybody wants me to edit your template, just send me your xml file.

[/geeky post]

Friday, May 15, 2009

maximizing my profits

My life wouldn't be the same without economics. I don't think I'll be majoring in economics in college, but I certainly do love it.

Quotes and articles about economics make me happy.

"Knowledge is the only instrument of production that is not subject to diminishing returns." - John Maurice Clarke

More than effecting my emotional (and hopefully academic) self, economics has changed the way I think.

I was on Facebook the other day, bemoaning the fact that I never can seem to spend the "right" amount of time there. As I continued to think about it, I realized economics would explain my issue perfectly (I recommend opening this photo in a new tab):


So, the idea is to "maximize your profits." Choose to spend the amount of time where you get the most profits (benefits from being on facebook) and the least costs (in wasting time). Of course you have to realize I am putting a numerical value on the benefits of using Facebook, which isn't really possible... but hey, this is economics and they do that.

I think I usually spend 10 or 40 minutes on Facebook, neither of which are satisfactory. If I spend 10 minutes, I catch up on the social basics and reply wall posts, but never have any time to show people I really care. If I spend 40 minutes, I have taken too much time off from working and it is hard to go back to work. Besides, the "communication" starts to seem meaningless. I see words and pictures in abundance... but does anybody really have anything to say that's worth hearing?

In my opinion, Facebook has two redeeming points:

1)Facebook chat! I don't have the emails of all my friends and not all my friends have gmail, but now, I can still talk to them! To me, conversations over chat are so much better, so much more real and meaningful, not to mention more FUN! than writing on your friends' walls.

2)Messages. For those of you not on Facebook, each Facebook user has an inbox for private messages, the same way the Reg10n forum does. The ability to message other people has actually been useful to me, not just fun. Earlier this week, I was trying to get my article for the ICC Chapter Chatter written and I couldn't get in contact with anybody over email. So, I messaged one of my friends over Facebook instead and I got reply soon after!

Okay, back to economics. I think I would enjoy facebook for if I tried harder to maximize my profits. Or, I could still spend my 10 minutes and use Facebook more intentionally. I don't have a suggestion of how to do this yet... it's just a thought.

How about you? Do you maximize your profits on Facebook? (Or, we can start simple, does this chart make any sense?)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

NaQuesWriMo

This month I am embarking on a journey to make me more balanced, understanding, and thoughful. I am participating in NaQuesWriMo.

Yes, you got that right: the National Question Writing Month.

While many of you are off writing novels and poems, I am going to spend this month learning how to ask good questions.

Knowing how to ask good questions means one can contest logical errors effectively, discover essential information, solve problems quicly, and build a deep friendship. It means one is alert, incisive, and interesting. 

Currently, I have very little in the question-asking skill-area. 

I tend to take things as they are presented. I rely on facts. Once I gather the information I need, I work with that. I am a sensor.

Also, I tend to believe whatever you tell me. Even if I don't believe it, I probably won't tell you because I don't want to add to the confusion or hurt you. I am a feeler.

So, questions really aren't my thing.

However, at the beginning of this year school year, I told myself that I would learn how to ask questions before I graduated. Back then, I still thought I was an introvert and knew nothing about braintypes. My motivation to learn how to ask questions based on a desire to become more "well-rounded" and prepared for life.

This spring, I figured out that I was not an introvert. I also listened in on many conversations my "N" friends had and figured out that they have quite a leaning towards asking questions all the time. Their converstions were deep and interesting, varried and insightful. I wanted some of that.

So, I decided that I would ask more questions. At first, the only thing I met with was misery. I simply didn't have any questions.

Thankfully, that didn't last. Recently, I've been working on breaking the bonds of my braintype and trying to look at things in new ways. I have found myself running to grab my little notebook to write stuff down. 

To make sure I don't slack off in learning to ask questions and to help me accomplish my goal before I graduate, I have begun NaQuesWriMo.

Here's the rules for NaQuesWriMo:
  1. Write down at least one (1) question per day. Yes, you must write it down. For best results and simplicity, write all the questions in one place. I am two days behind so far. 
  2. Deep questions only. "What's for lunch?" doesn't count. My deep questions aren't very deep, but I am working on it.
  3. Extra credit: ask somebody your question and discuss it.

I'm guessing that for some of you, this challenge is not at all difficult, but all the same, this is where I am starting. Anybody want to join me?

Friday, May 1, 2009

unworthy

I don't deserve the ability or the freedom...

~to admire
~to blog
~to create
~to dream
~to eat
~to feel
~to giggle
~to help
~to inspire
~to jump
~to keep
~to love
~to move
~to nix
~to operate
~to praise
~to quip
~to rejoice
~to speak
~to think
~to understand
~to verbalize
~to walk
~to explain
~to yearn
~to zoom

I am fallen. I am bent. I don't deserve anything but failure.

And yet, I still have no problems misusing and twisting these abilities which I don't deserve and aren't mine. Whatever happened to "By grace, for glory"? Or has it turned into "By grace, my glory"?

He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 
- Titus 3: 5 - 7
{and hope does not put us to shame}