Monday, January 18, 2010

I Love Technology

The economy is in a slow recovery, but still in a slump. Economists are hoping that consumers will continue to spend more than they can afford in order to keep the economy propped up. It's a frightening thought that consumers might actually become rational and limit their spending to what they actually earn. That would cause another collapse and perhaps even drive us into a full depression.

I think that we should not hope to become an even more bloated consuming nation, but that we would return to being a supplier to the world like we were in the decades following World War 2, and I think that our hope could lie with a resurgence of technology. With that in mind, there are some interesting things going on in technology, according to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, an organization that I belong to.

Televisions will make the switch to 3D during 2010. Also some 4-color pixel (RGBY) TV sets are being introduced after a half century of 3-color (RGB) TV. An new LCD display can work without backlighting when ambient light is adequate, virtually eliminating the power consumption of displays, massively extending battery life on portable devices. A new microprocessor (the "Hummingbird") has been developed for cellphones and other portable devices that has the processing power of a PC, but consumes less than a watt of power at full speed. That's a tiny fraction of the power consumed by PC microprocessors. Google has introduced the "Chrome" operating system which could mark the end of Microsoft Windows dominance according to some industry experts. Ford has moved the basis of automotive competition to the digital instrument panel, instead of the mechanical drive train.

Digital technology was the engine of economic growth for the latter part of the 20th Century. It seems to me that it could provide exciting growth in the early 21st Century.

Friday, January 15, 2010

What I Learned From My Dog

My dog trusts in me. Of course he doesn't have any choice. He depends on me for everything. If I were an abusive or irresponsible master, he would have a miserable life or no life at all. But he has a good life because I protect him and care for him and provide for all of his needs. And he trusts me completely.

This is more than believing in me or believing that I exist. Of course he knows that I exist, but that's not the point. He has complete faith in me. He usually comes to me when I call him, although sometimes reluctantly. He doesn't always obey me, but he seems to want to please me and gain my approval. He seems to like to be near me. He follows me around the house. His favorite place to sleep is on my clothes. I think that is because my clothes are full of my scent, and he likes to surround himself in my aroma. (Crazy dog!)

I love him. This is not because he is good. He isn't always good. He is often disobedient. I love him because he has complete faith in me.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Who Made Pat Robertson God?

I believe that the most effective enemy to a cause is someone who claims to be a leader or spokesperson of that cause while committing abominable acts. Such a person can do far greater harm than anyone who is openly opposed to that cause. As an evangelical Christian, I am particularly sensitive to people who are regarded as leaders of evangelical Christianity. A case in point is Pat Robertson, who has joined Jerry Falwell in my personal list of the most damaging people towards Christian outreach in the U.S. (Fortunately Falwell is no longer around.)

Robertson is now in the news because he has stated that the earthquake in Haiti is the result of a pact that was made with the Devil by the ancestors of the Haitians. This is one of the most horrible natural disasters in modern history, with potentially hundreds of thousands of people in unimaginable suffering. It seems to me that the gospel of Jesus is based on compassion, not condemnation. Christians have not been called by God to judge and condemn others. Robertson seems to think that God has assigned him to condemn suffering people rather than call on Christians to help in this horrible crisis in Haiti.
I cannot blame people who think Christians (especially evangelicals) are uppity self-righteous judgmental bigots, even though that is the opposite of the truth. There are numerous evangelical churches and parachurch organizations (such as World Vision) who are mobilizing evangelicals to help in the Haitian crisis. A friend of a friend of mine is in Haiti right now. But I do blame Pat Robertson (and others like Jerry Falwell, and so forth).

Unquestionably I am with millions of evangelicals who apologize to all people for the insensitive statements of this man. Please do not think that he represents the sentiments of evangelical Christianity.