Showing posts with label Articles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Articles. Show all posts

Monday, 8 October 2012

Faith = Credulity? Part 3


PROPHECIES

I went on Wikipedia and looked at the heading “Prophecy”. You can check it yourself but this was an interesting comment which I think is shared by the majority:
“According to skeptics, many apparently fulfilled prophecies can be explained as coincidences (possibly aided by the prophecy's own vagueness), or that some prophecies were actually invented after the fact to match the circumstances of a past event ("postdiction"). Whitcomb in The Magician's Companion observes,
One point to remember is that the probability of an event changes as soon as a prophecy (or divination) exists. . . . The accuracy or outcome of any prophecy is altered by the desires and attachments of the seer and those who hear the prophecy.


Really?
Let's see.

 Each confession tends to have its own prophecies. Even the ones professing believing in the bible have their own interpretations. So let’s take something we can all agree with.

Once upon a time the bible was translated from relatively recent manuscripts and one could question whether they had been gradually changed over time and become completely different to the original (written version of Chinese whispers).
Then the Dead Sea scrolls were discovered in 1947 and surprisingly, although at least 1000 years older than other copies,  no fundamental changes were found. Just spelling and grammar variations. The scrolls are digitalized now so you can actually see them http://dss.collections.imj.org.il/ .
I will focus on the Isaiah scroll which is dated circa 125 BCE (so clearly written BEFORE the events).

Interestingly, Jesus was not considered to be the Messiah foretold in Isaiah by most of his contemporaries as they were not waiting for a son of carpenter. They were expecting a leader that would deliver them from Roman rulership But most converts to Christianity after Jesus ‘ death became so after studying the book of Isaiah. One of these is the Eunuch Ethiopian in Acts 8:32 who read a passage of Isaiah saying “As a sheep he was brought to the slaughter, and as a lamb that is voiceless before its shearer, so he does not open his mouth.” He wanted to know if Isaiah was talking about himself or somebody else. His answer came from Philip the Evangelizer who in verse 35, “ starting with this Scripture, declared to him the good news about Jesus.”
This is one prophecy about how the Messiah would be silent before his accusers. So OK. Say Jesus would have known this scripture and strove to keep silent. Fair point. Let’s delve a bit deeper.
What other scripture might Philip have used? Just a few more from Isaiah, maybe:
Buried with the rich                               Isaiah 53:9    applied to Jesus Matthew 27:57-60 (How could he have any control over that?)
Descended from King David                Isaiah 9:7    applied to Jesus in  Matthew 1:1, 6-17 (Again, you either are or you are not, the Jews would have known if he wasn’t)
He would not believed in.                    Isaiah 53:1     applied to Jesus in John 12:37, 38
I find interesting that the Israel Museum’s only comment about Jesus is that the manuscripts do not contain “Messianic prophecies" per Se.  It’s ironic, they themselves are fulfilling this prophecy about Messiah not being believed in.
However, there are numerous Hebrew Scripture texts that do not specifically mention “Messiah” but were understood by the Jews as prophecies applying to that one. Alfred Edersheim located 456 passages to which the “ancient Synagogue referred as Messianic,” and there were 558 references in the most ancient rabbinic writings supporting such applications. (The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, 1906, Vol. I, p. 163; Vol. II, pp. 710-737)
When Jesus was around but had not manifested himself as such yet, the people in Palestine were in expectation of the Messiah (Luke 3:15 “Now as the people were in expectation and all were reasoning in their hearts about John: “May he perhaps be the Christ?). There is a prophecy in the book of Daniel that said that “from the going forth of the word to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Leader, there will be seven weeks, also sixty-two weeks.” (the 70 weeks prophecy, Daniel 9:25). So the timing had to be right.
There was a total more than 300 prophecies regarding Jesus, including his place of birth, the killing of babies after his birth, his betrayal by one disciple for 30 pieces of silver, his being struck, spat on, accused with false witnesses, abandoned by his disciples when struck, things Jesus had no power on.

300 vague coincidences? You be the judge.
Some go as far as argue that Jesus did not exist. Was Jesus only referred to by Christians? No. Cornelius Tacitus, a respected first-century Roman historian, wrote: “The name [Christian] is derived from Christ, whom the procurator Pontius Pilate had executed in the reign of Tiberius.” Suetonius and Pliny the Younger, other Roman writers of the time, also referred to Christ. In addition, Flavius Josephus, a first-century Jewish historian, wrote of James, whom he identified as “the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ.” 

MY CONCLUSION

The Evolution theory has yet to complete all the steps of the scientific method so it simply does not qualify as a scientific fact. You can call it anything you wish but saying it’s true science would be incorrect. Just a passing comment, if you can will something into existence as suggested by the second statement at the outset, we would have found several conclusive missing links. There are enough evolutionists looking for them and believing they will turn up.

As there is true science and pseudo science, there is also true faith and pseudo-faith.

True faith has a basis that can be defended. Pseudo-faith cannot defend itself, it just is.
Evolution does not connect all the dots for me. In my opinion, it has too many gaps, it belittles our humanity, does not give us meaningful purpose, or provide satisfying answers to the big questions that strike sooner or later : “Who are we, where do we come from and we are we going?”
On the other hand I find that creation explains all of this. And amazingly, true science and true faith are not at loggerheads. One complement the other.  What makes them look incompatible is human error and vested interests.

Monday, 1 October 2012

FAITH = Credulity? (Part 2)


LANGUAGES



I have always been fascinated with languages. 

There is something magical about them. By opening our mouth, uttering a few sounds with our lips in different shapes, we can communicate feelings, emotions, knowledge, an epiphany, even an entire world view directly to someone else’s brain. Even more extraordinary is that this transfer can occur through the written word and access dozens, thousands, even billion other brains, without our being physically there with them.
And then there is philology, the comparative study of different languages, which has helped us unlock the mysteries of Egyptian hieroglyphs and open the door to the world of the Pharaohs.
We take it for granted but language is still quite a mystery. How do we acquire it so quickly at a young age? And why have we got so many of them (over 6000)?

Anyway, if we have evolved, it's only logical to think that languages have started with grunts then gradually became more complex. It would also logically follow that this trend should continue.

But what does the most ancient recorded language reveal? Sumerian, the oldest written language (dated about 4000 BCE I believe), is more complex than modern languages with its infixes, suffixes, prefixes.

Also is language becoming more complex? New words enter language, but some turn obsolete and are dropped. Grammar stays generally the same. One would argue, however, that languages tend to be bastardised, rather than complexified. Abbreviations, lazy grammar and pronunciation, text-messaging language are preferred to the contrivances of correct syntax and fully formed sentences. Am guilty ov it 2. C wht I mean, dnt ya?

Joke aside, Ancient Greek which is one of the languages the bible was written into, causes problems to translate into our modern languages. Some Greek words do not translate. Take a simple word like “LOVE”. In Greek, there used to be 4 nuances of this word: "agape", "philia", "storge" and "eros". Most of us would only recognise “Eros”. Eros is just romantic love. There are 3 other types of love. As far as I know (correct me if I'm wrong) but we only have one word for "love" in English, French, Spanish or German. If we are talking of a less intense feeling, we have another word ("like", "aimer bien" "gustar" "mögen"). But we have no real translation for the other nuances. We have to deduce which type of love (friendship, family love or unselfish principled love) is being described by the context in which the word is used.

The trend I am seeing is simplification of languages. It doesn't seem to fit the evolutionary model.

Linguists are searching for the ancestor of languages, but they have not found a simple language with characteristics of all modern languages yet, however hard they have tried.
The bible’s reason for this is that God skilfully confused the languages in Babel, around the second millennium BCE. This means there was one language at the very beginning; then at Babel, God suddenly created several so people would have to disperse to the 4 corners of the Earth and populate it . It was not a gradual process; otherwise they would still understand each other and would have stayed in one place.

Mad thought?




Have you tried learning a different language? It's quite hard. You have to adopt different rules of syntax, grammar and pronunciation that generally do not seem to make sense, you just have to absorb them. This is the conclusion I have drawn only from my experience of Roman or Latin-based languages, which are considered to be the same Linguistic family..
But what about Arabic and Chinese? Where is their common denominator with our Roman alphabet? Why do some languages require writing from left to right and others from right to left? It seems far-fetched to think that all of these evolved gradually from one common language. Why do some languages have an alphabet and others have logograms, pictograms, phonograms or a combination of these? Did someone decide in each case that they were fed up with the universal way of writing and speaking and invented a completely new way? How did he/she convince people to embark on this mammoth task and lead them to success? How long would the education programme have taken and what would be the cost to the community?
I can imagine a riot about a smaller change than this. It’s human nature, we resist change. We need a pretty good reason to embrace it. And even when we do, societal change is usually slow unless we have no choice in the matter.

One would expect that we could find records of this change happening. But as is true with the fossils, languages seem to appear in a short period of time, fully formed, all different. No record of transitional period.

So far the linguists have no scientific alternative to the Babel account to provide and yet they reject it.





A last note: we tend to think of ancient civilisations as archaic in their thinking, not civilised. Maybe they were in some ways. Maybe they did not have our modern technology, maybe they didn't know so much about the universe as we do. But how did the Sumerians build their Ziggurats so efficiently without cranes, calculators and Computer-Aided Designs? What about the Egyptians and their immense pyramids? These were beacons of mathematical precision and architectural genius. Some of their work endured millennia. Maybe our ancestors were not as dumb as we think. In fact, I am sure they had insights that we have lost.

If you have read this far, I am impressed! Thank you!
And if you feel so inclined, go there where I finish off with a little piece on prophecies. I'll be talking about the Dead Sea Scrolls.

:)

Saturday, 29 September 2012

FAITH = CREDULITY? (Part 1)





I won't be obnoxious, I promise.

On either side of the argument (there IS a God, or there IS NO God), it seems to me that there is a tendency to stick to one’s guns as it were, dismissing the other side’s view without even trying to gauge it. It transpires in comments like “I don’t have to prove anything. I have FAITH, you don’t” or on the other side “you believe in NONSENSE, it’s been proven”.
If you are willing to read further, I will share with you my take on this.

First, blind faith is not true faith. The bible’s definition of faith is this: "Faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities though not beheld" (Hebrews 11:1, New World Translation)

 Or, as the Common English Bible Translation puts it: "Faith is the reality of what we hoped for, the proof of what we don't see"

The bible doesn't encourage believing without sound foundation, believing just anything we are told (credulity). Instead, it tells us

“Put all things to the test.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21, Today’s English Version)

I did this and this is the first part of my thinking process. I will blog the second part and my conclusion next week.

OUR PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT
Celestial bodies follow mathematical laws so their movement is predictable, which is why we are able to send probes into space and make sure they hit the right planet/moon etc…Every celestial body (except black holes I believe) moves around in ellipses. We are part of a gigantic ballet. I say "ballet" because it seems quite graceful, well executed and beautiful. We don’t see many collisions on our blue planet. One would have thought that with so much debris in space, we would have been on a deadly collision course with something much more often (apparently, we have Jupiter to thank for that).

The second law of thermodynamics stipulates that anything left to its own devices will fall into disarray. So why is the universe still so orderly after almost 13.8 billions years?  Should it not be ostensibly more disorderly? Also, the universe is expanding but the pre-existing order doesn't seem to be affected.

The famous equation (E=MC2) suggests that energy is transferred into matter and vice versa. The abundance of matter around must therefore have originated from tremendous energy. Where did this energy come from is still a mystery for Science. The fact that the universe is also expanding at increasing speed puts this energy problem in sharper focus. 

Since Louis Pasteur, we have proof that spontaneous generation does not exist on Earth. Life only comes from pre existing life. There has been no experiment proving that life can come from the inanimate, only inconclusive attempts so far. 

WHAT MAKES US HUMAN: FEELINGS 

If  there is no God and that survival of the fittest is what drives us, what is the reason for our sense of justice, fairness, love? What is the problem with killing or robbing someone weaker? Were feelings an accident of evolution?
Physician Dean Ornish said “love and intimacy are at the root of what makes us sick and what makes us well”
If feelings were an accident and therefore not belonging in our evolution path, should we have survived that long with them? What's the use of laughter too? Beauty? Music? Do they make us fitter for survival?
We don't just live, we enjoy life or at least aim to do. We are definitely driven by something else than pure survival of the fittest. Well, at least  I am. Are you?

THE MISSING LINKS
The fossil records is still being scoured for “missing links”. I remember the last big fuss that was made after a scientist thought he found the missing link, round about August 2009. It was quickly abated when counter evidence showed that the specimen found could not be proved to be one of our “ancestors”. The media hype is unfortunately all that is left in people’s mind. I had to research the truth afterwards to realise that the media, in an effort to make sensational news, had blown the truth out of proportions.
In fact, there is no real convincing evidence that we have slowly evolved. Darwin’s theory of evolution was produced at a time where many discoveries were yet to be made. No idea about microscopic life at the time, spontaneous generation (the fact that life can just appear out of nothingness) was viewed as a fact of life.
But now we know that life is much more complex and organized. Since Louis Pasteur, we know that there is microscopic life and that life only comes from life (For instance, corpses don’t generate worms as previously thought. Flies lay their invisible eggs which hatch and release the devouring little beasts).
A little digression here. With the advent of the microscope, the more we looked, the more complexity we found. That would have surprised Darwin. People thought that the building blocks of life would be very simple. What was later called “cells” were little more than greasy blobs in their eyes. How far from the truth they were.
Cells are where lies a complex library of genetic code.

I haven’t found any solid evidence that species evolved into another. All things seem to have a master plan in their cells: the DNA. This also prevents a species to perpetuate a hybrid race with another species. Changes, mutations occur, but are very limited and only in movies do they result in super species.
For instance, donkey + horse=Mule. Mules are infertile. Tiger + lion = Liger. Bigger than lions or tigers but their lifespan is shorter and they are very prone to birth defects.

Another thing. If we evolved, then our ethics should have too. But have they?

EVOLUTION OF ETHICS?

Some time ago, I heard on the radio that Ofsted reported children aged 4 to 6 were exhibiting what was deemed “sexual behaviour” for which some were expelled from their school. (A couple of months later, I saw it myself. A little boy in my neighbourhood, probably aged 8, was showing his penis to all people driving by, cheered on by his mates, including a girl)
I found quite surprising how one official (I think a doctor) appeared to belittle this behaviour by saying those children were probably bored or looking for attention and not being sure about what is socially acceptable, being unaware of the boundary between things you do in private and things you do in public. More to the point though, another official said that those children were fed this behaviour, probably through TV and the Internet; the official added she was amazed at the crudeness of some material that children can be exposed to. 

The bible says that morals would decline (2 Timothy 3:1-5, 13). Most people that I have spoken to (who have lived much longer than me) confirm that they have.

The next post on this theme (Part 2) expands on one of my favourite subjects (languages) and the one after (Part 3) deals with prophecies.


Monday, 24 September 2012

The most unscientific belief EVER...





I got sucked into a debate on Youtube [i] a few days ago. It disturbs me how people can claim holding scientific views and still voice them in such an unscientific, obnoxious and downright vile manner.
I am not a scientist. But I respect Science, am fascinated by it. I have an odd personality that seem to account for that: I have a drive to understand the meaning, the underlying value of things. I am an “ INFP “according to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), if you believe such things...
Anyway, I digress, here’s a memory more to the point:
My biology teacher in secondary school drove into us that the scientific method of inquiry is this:
1          1-      You observe a phenomenon, say life. You ask a question about it, say "how did it get here?"
2          2-      You do your research, go deeper into what you are observing.
3          3-    You postulate one or more hypotheses to explain what you are observing, say "evolution,  creation"
         4 - You devise experiments to measure whether your hypothesis/hypotheses is/ are true and carry them out.
4          5-     You evaluate the results
6          6-      If, and only if the results confirm your hypothesis, then that hypothesis becomes a scientific fact (and you can shout about it on the rooftops and expect receiving accolades from all over the world and maybe even a Nobel prize!)
5        
This is of course a simple outline. It doesn’t cover everything you have to do but these are the crucial, basic steps before you can shout “Eureka!” and share your scientific breakthrough. That is why I respect true science. It supposes rigour, a sincere desire to get to the truth and be able to demonstrate it to be so without a shadow of a doubt.

Not a single one out of the people I was debating with was familiar with this method and blimey, it certainly showed in their comments. It was a plethora of verbal abuse, bullying tactics only sprinkled with pseudo scientific thinking . The only valid points that they made were the following:
When scientists use the word “theory” as in the phrase “theory of evolution”, they mean the set of principles on which Evolution is based. The phrase “theory of evolution” isn’t a confession that it is an unproven idea. My mistake.
I also learned that Michael Behe is a creationist. Therefore I was mistaken when I thought “Here’s a chap that doesn’t believe in God but still points out the pitfalls of evolution. Surely an evolutionist would consider his views at least worthy of attention”. My bad.

But none of my other arguments were countered rationally. Coming back to the scientific method mentioned earlier, Evolution hasn’t completed all the steps. Nobody has been able to recreate the evolution process in its entirety on a small scale in laboratories (or any other scale for that matter). As far as I know, scientists have only been able to recreate the “primordial soup”. No living thing has sprung from it. What about the supposed “missing links” that seem to come to the rescue of Evolution every now and then? They all turn out to be insufficient evidence after reasonable scrutiny. So why is Evolution taught as a fact? What happened to the remaining steps? Swept under the carpet? How is that scientific? One would argue that it is impossible to recreate something that has taken billions of years to happen. Well, surely having millions of scientists trying to help the process in their laboratories would cut this time short? Or more to the point, how do we KNOW that the process took billions of years? Carbon dating? Lately this process' reliability has been called into question. 
Now, I said it before and will say it again: I make no apology for believing in God. I have my reasons albeit not measurable in test tubes; I have researched them, assessed them, re-assessed them in the light of new insights and I still think that you can be scientifically minded and believe in God. Believing in Evolution is not a guarantee that you have a rational mind at all. Otherwise the individuals I debated with would have preferred reasoning to the use of expletives and all manner of verbal abuse.
Conversely, believing in Creation does not necessarily mean one is irrational. Otherwise why would pillars in Science like Isaac Newton (he was a theologian as well as a scientist) and Albert Einstein (author of the famous quote “God doesn’t play dice” with the world) believe in God?
Here is the worst though: if Evolution has not yet gone through all the steps of the scientific enquiry method and come out on top with the facts and figures, the missing links, the experiments, peer reviews etc, it is NOT an established fact. Saying it is does not MAKE IT science. Not true science anyway. Not the sort one can entrust one’s lives with unreservedly.
 I sincerely hope that science does not jump to conclusions like that in other fields like medicine...
I reflect a bit more on faith in other posts. I wrote a series I called "Faith = credulity?", if you want to delve deeper on the subject.





[i] Find my comments posted as “DidyJay” under the video "Creation / Evolution debate on Michael Corel Show"

Friday, 16 March 2012

Variety, the spice of life


I love dabbling. Been working on my various music pages, spacebook and myface pages...er... You know what I mean, right? Been working on my upcoming summer release. Got the general melody sorted out.

I also enjoyed doing lawn treatments yesterday. We had good weather, so what better than some useful physical activity outdoors? Better than the gym,right? Caught much needed sun rays on my face and got paid for it!

My writing projects are on the back burner at the moment but I just can't help having several things on the go... I love it!

Monday, 20 February 2012

The body parts contest - On recognition



Can you find the moral(s) of the story ? (not for the squeamish)

One day the prominent parts of the body were arguing about who was the most valuable. The head led the argument. « I have the eyes, without which you lot couldn’t see any danger or enjoy any of the beautiful things out there, also have the mouth without which you would die of hunger, the nose and tastebuds, without which you would have no concept of tasty food or nice scents…And don’t get me started on the value of the brain I carry. I think without me you’d all be dead »

The arms uncrossed and the hands clapped in anger
« Typical of you to think the world revolves around you. There’s a reason why people call a proud person big-headed and not something else ! May I remind you that without us, you couldn’t protect yourself from a threat, you wouldn’t be able to take food to your mouth, you wouldn’t be able to pick a flower and enjoy its scent ! And don’t get me started about how we dutifully spend much time on making you presentable each morning. So you see, you’d be quite as bad without us »

The legs were pacing all during the conversation then decided to jump in
« Well, you may all have your uses, but we’re the ones supporting all of you all the time. I’d like to see you carrying all the rest around with half our dignity. We work all day, taking you away from danger, taking you to your favourite restaurants, your favourite places, your least favourite places…whether we want or not. We cater to everyone of your whims without any recognition. So just shut up ! »
Other body parts joined in the debate, each as articulate as the next but one body part was listening intently, silently..

The...(ahem...)pooper is nothing like those extroverts. It had no desire to be adulated but it decided to break the rules and make its voice heard.

«If I may please add my iota about the matter of recognition…. »

The others didn’t even pay attention as they were discussing. They were used to this lowly part saying a few words and just retract, apologizing profusely. But this time it continued.
« We all know my job is the lowest of all but it is an important one so it would help if I too felt valued…. A little bit…. sometimes»

The body parts’ surprise turned into laughter, then anger and disdain.

« You ?! You are the ugly duckling. Actually no, Even the ugly duckling is ashamed of you. Let’s just pretend you didn’t say what you’ve just said.Go back to being invisible ! That’s the most important part of your job»

The pooper listened silently, despondent, shut tight. It remained so for several days, refusing to do its job. The body’s waste piled up inside and began poisoning all the members. But they were too proud to recognize a pooper's importance. The very thought revolted them. So they eventually all died.

So next time you think of getting out of or scoffing at a lowly unglamorous task or worker, think twice. The tremendously valuable is not necessarily sexy.

Now. Aren't you glad you read this?
:P

Friday, 11 November 2011

"I'm gonna make a change"



I’ve been doing Nanowrimo (National November Writing Month)again this year. The aim is to write a novel (50000 words) by the end of the month (for details, go to www.nanowrimo.org). Last year, I was working full time in a stressful job (truth be told, the job wasn’t nearly as stressful as the workplace) so when I gave up at 1000 words or so, I could blame it on the huge boulder in the way. This year I am much freeer and yet I see more hurdles to clear. They are smaller though so they are easily negotiable. It seems to take more from me because it takes little and often. The world is full of distractions. One day I will have planned to do this and that and the other but a minor crisis here and there will throw a spanner in the works.
Right now while I’m writing this at the library, a group of kids is entertaining themselves by repetitively hitting a table leg. So much for trying to get some peace and quiet cause I can’t get it at home !
I heard it said that when you try to change something in your life the universe tries to fight you back before it cooperates. I don’t think that’s exactly what happens but I certainly share the sentiment.
But anyway, I’ll break the 10,000 mark this weekend. Then 40 more to go ! I will have to keep going because I fear that if I take too long to do the first draft I will lose interest soon. That’s what happened with my previous projects. In the words of the late king of pop MJ, in the intro of his song Man in the mirror, « I’m gonna make a change, for once in my life »

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Seasonal Rambling


Acclimatising is not for me, it seems. 10 years on British soil and I still can’t stand winter. What were they thinking when they called this climate « temperate » ? There’s nothing temperate about going from baking hot (however rarely that happens) to freezing cold temperatures within hours. If it was up to me I’ d rename this climate "extreme" and give the "temperate" title to lands in the tropics. Admittedly it's hotter there but at least, because it's nearer the equator, the day length and temperature is about the same all year round. You know, it's pretty regular all the time. Well, OK, I’m leaving hurricanes out of the equation.. Minor detail! Even in hurricanes the temperature doesn't get anywhere near zero so the ups and downs on the thermometer are still negligible compared to over here.
Anyway. What a whiner, eh? I should go back to the caribbean eh? Nah. At least I love Autumn. You don't get that in the tropics. Colours everywhere, golden and red leaves carpetting the ground. It’s got something magical and warm about it. If you happen to see this through mist then you are looking at giant surreal paintings. It feels like stepping into a new dimension almost.
I do love summer for the heat but I think I love Autumn as much if not more, for its visual spectacle.
Begs the question « How could all this artistry be a product of blind chance ? » Mmmmhh :P

Friday, 30 September 2011

The write motive?


Why do I do it ? Well I guess it’s because I have the « urge ». The urge to create.It has taken many different guises. I just can’t fight it. As a toddler, I invented stories to tell the local pharmacist to get free treats. Always had a fertile imagination as a kid. There’s something both comforting and exciting in living in a world that you have made up exactly as you like. Then I started growing up and it all went downhill! I wrote my first love song to an unexpecting – and underwhelmed – crush when I was probably 12. Wrote a few rap songs then started break dancing, performed to a few audiences but mainly copying popular moves (windmills, waves..) Then 4 or 5 years later, I caught the novel writing bug. Most people want to write because they love reading and want to copy their favourite authors but for me it was different.
I was in Guadeloupe. A hurricane was ravaging the island so we were all barricaded inside the house, waiting for it to pass.
Hurricanes bring another world to your doorstep. Power is cut. Water is cut. It’s actually like you’re stuck in a time warp, back a few hundred years, no running water (well running alright but not from the tap), no TV, only light you have is produced by candles…

Somehow this hurricane inspired me to take my fountain pen and my schoolboy book and start penning this dark story about a guy with an odd genetic flaw that provided him superhuman strength but that was accelerating his aging process. Its in French, and unfinished by the way – as are my other 3 subsequent projects.

I have been waiting for another hurricane to inspire me to finish them. I don’t actually need a headline material hurricane. Just a storm will do (a brain storm ?) :P

But writing has taken a different meaning as I have come of age. I used to write songs mainly about imaginary situations. All my songs are now drawn from life experience. And my objective for my novels is to pass on a message. Not sure what message yet but it will come to me….some day….hopefully !
If you want to write but are a bit stuck like me, why not write a piece about how you first got "the urge"?

If you want to take it further, create a video about it free on Animato like I did!
Make your own slide show at
 Animoto.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

The limitations of positive thinking



If you believe the talk, there are 2 sorts of people in life : the negative and the positive
The negative say we are heading towards a catastrophy of epic proportions. We are failing on so many levels economically, environmentally, morally.
The positive say that this is just nonsense. We will survive, global warming will be contained.The economy will pick up, growth will continue.Human ingenuity will prevail.
We are way too clever to die. Are we ? I’m sure the Mayan civilisation didn’t think they would vanish but vanish they did. I’m sure the Arawaks didn’t think they would be wiped out as a civilisation but wiped out they were( You didn’t even know they once existed, did you ! ;P ).
But what do I know ? I haven’t lived long enough to form an amazingly clever opinion, have I?
Still, I can see patterns, and there is wisdom in patterns. For every action there is a reaction, whether we can see it at the time or not…
Don't get me wrong, I think positive thinking is a great tool. It certainly helps accomplish great feats that negative thinking would never dream of attempting, quite litterally.
Nevertheless, positive thinking cannot override the laws of the universe. Sadly, no amount of positive thinking will enable me to jump off a bridge without a parachute and not plummet down to my death.Causality is inescapable. My senses may deceive me into believing that I’m gliding in a straight line perhaps. But gravity will be at work. The ground will eventually look closer then when I realise what’s been happening…SPLAT !
Too little too late.
Am I being negative ?
Prevention is better than cure, right ?? Is having a plan B negative thinking ? Is having a parachute negative thinking ?
Don’t think so. It’s prudent planning. No, better even, It’s health and safety.
So why not exercise prudent planning on a global scale ? Why is it that we become complacent, sceptical, expedient when it comes to the economy, the environment and moral issues ?
I fear - and not just me actually, also some clever people like Stephen Hawkins and Noam Chomsky -that we are putting our heads in the sand by carrying on hoping things will get better without having to change one bit.

Am I crying wolf unnecessarily? Perhaps. But would you bet your life that I'm wrong?
Really? Really really? Quit your jibby-jabber, FOOL!!!
;P

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Knowledge : the never ending story


I don't know how people could ever think that we now know all there is to know...
I mean our understanding of stuff is constantly refined.
Take for example Newton's law of Gravity. He thought gravity was a force pulling things towards the center of the Earth. We now describe Gravity differently: Each large celestial body has its own gravitational pull because its mass bends the space around it, a bit like a basketball on the roof of a gazebo...
We used to think atoms were the smallest things on Earth but then we discovered electrons.
We used to think we could do all we wanted to the Earth and it would self-repair. Then we discovered global warming and the decline in biodiversity. We thought the US were filthy rich. We then discovered that they're trillions in debt.
Anyway, all i'm saying is it's easy to have an uninformed opinion, a gut feeling, but then when you actually inform yourself, you realise that the more you know, the more there is to know...
What prompted this long winded reflection?
Well, you see, I'm still researching about the backdrop of my book. There is so much to research to make things reasonably credible. I hope i won't give away my foreignness too much in the pictures I'll paint!
Init.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Why we shouldn't lap up the idea we come from monkeys


I tell you what, Science has Tourette's.
Good character in general, coming out with really fascinating, logical and useful stuff, but peppered with uncontrollable tics. Let me explain.

My Biology teacher always stressed that the scientific method is to observe a phenomenon, formulate assumptions, test the assumption's validity and then go with what the results tell you.

If vaccines were not properly tested before use on a massive scale, what disaster may have ensued? What happened when Asbestos entered the commercial world without thorough testing? Thousands of deaths. People were obsessed by what they could get out of it, never mind the consequences to themselves or others.

I feel Science kills people too. It has enabled tremendous technological, medical advancements but in the same breath, it had snuffed out people's belief in a higher purpose, turned them into meaningless beings who really just ought to be concerned with their own individual survival...and guess what, that's not even scientific. All that has been discovered since Darwin doesn't validate the theory of Evolution. And yet the majority of the scientific community still promote it as an established fact.


There is a burden of scientific proof against evolution out there though. Here is just a part of it.

Mathematics
An occurrence is considered to be impossible if it has a probability of one chance in 10 to the power of 50 (1 followed by 50 zeros) to happen. Bear this in mind... Let's call it "The impossibility figure".

The probability of a simple protein appearing by accident (that’s just ONE important part of the living cell, found in DNA for instance) is 10 to the power of 113 (1 followed by 113 zeros), even less possible than the impossible!

The probability of ONE other simple yet crucial part of the DNA, the histone, appearing by chance is calculated to 20 to the power of 200... 2 followed by 200 zeros!!! Now what was the impossibility figure again?

Biology
Spontaneous generation has been proved to be false since Louis Pasteur. Life cannot spring from non living matter.

Physics
E=MC2. Energy transforms into mass and vice-versa. The tremendous energy needed to kick start the universe must have come from a source, perhaps a mass, perhaps something or someone. It can’t come from nothing.

Geology
There is no documented evidence in the fossil records that species slowly evolved. It actually shows that different species appeared fully- formed and distinct to each other, rather suddenly in the pre-Cambrian layer

TBC….

Well really, this is worse than Tourette's. Tourette's syndrome is not deliberate and the person suffering from it is only too aware that it is a disease.

Init.

Friday, 1 October 2010

5 mistakes I really don’t wanna keep making


New month, new season…Autumn’s definitely upon us…The days are getting shorter, chillier, darker. The year is relentlessly drawing to an end and I can’t help thinking I may not have made much progress. Time’s flown by. Perhaps I should re-assess and make the most of the time that’s left.

I sound like I’ve got a terminal disease don’t I?
Yeah. I got one. It’s called foolishness. Too many mistakes! Gonna have to tackle them little by little before they end up killing me!
Yeah, it’s a bit drama-queenish but taking everything casually is the best way to end up in casualty.

Soooo… I solemnly declare I will do all I can to avoid the mistakes below. If you know me and it’s clear that I am not following this, permission is granted you to slap me on the wrist! Also, if you think these are not my biggest faults, You're right! Let me know what you think they are.

Here goes


5 mistakes I really don’t wanna keep making

Give in to impulse buying just because I've got paid. Indulgence at the beginning of the month means 3 weeks of poverty! Duh!

Mistake friendship for love and love for friendship. There’s only so much disappointment and embarrassment you can take. DUH!

Have goals and think about fulfilling them but not grasping the nettle
. What’s the point in thinking about a garden and how to grow stuff but never actually do any of the planting? DUUUH!

Bottle things up
. It’s a time bomb. Don’t really want to carry such a thing and blow up on people. I’m no terrorist! DUUUHUUH!

Start many things just to be busy but not follow through
. Splashing around and making noise is hardly what one would call swimming. Exhaustion may ensue while you haven’t even made it to the other end of the pool! DUH DUH DUH!

DUH!

DUH!
(broken record)

D'oh!

Thursday, 23 September 2010

How to be creative and innovative in 5 steps.



In my last blog I was a bit harsh on the music industry. I don’t think their problem is lack of creativity. I think it may well be that creativity is being hampered because it has to be profitable. New tunes have to have the right mood and package to appeal to the masses. It can’t be too retro or too ahead of its time because the aim is make millions. So what's on the charts is just the tip of the iceberg. Much innovation and creativity is taking place but it doesn't get to go mainstream.

But those of us who aren’t working in creative jobs could do with a little creativity. It would make our day jobs more fulfilling and in the long run more profitable….or in the worse case scenario at least more bearable!

However there’s a problem when you suddenly want to become more creative.
Have you ever gone back to the gym after say, a 3 month break? Remember how you ached afterwards? It was as if you had never been to the gym before, right?
Creativity is like a muscle. If you don’t use it for a prolonged amount of time, it becomes weak and painful to exercise.
Do you remember what it was like when you were a child? You saw things adults couldn’t see, conjured up intricate worlds with your imagination. Children are naturally creative. Then what happens? We grow up. We become rational, practical.... limited by preconceived or inherited ideas, stuffy, boring…

Here are 5 steps I’ve made up in order to kick start your creativity:

1. Break out from your auto-pilot mode
. Watch your environment, listen to people, notice noises, colours, textures around you, anything. Witness yourself going to work, perform the tasks you do, the things you say.

2. Broaden your interests. Do something new, perhaps try learning a new language, learn a new instrument, take a new hobby. This will help your brain to stay fresh and flexible.

3. Use your imagination to make wacky connections. Think of people that annoy you as instruments for example…One person would be a counter bass and could use his strings to fire arrows at you. But he can only fire once so you’re off the hook as he can’t aim. Or perhaps this other person is a trumpet always starting great tunes in an orchestra and finishing them all terribly off-key…These are just ideas to get you started but you catch my drift


4. List the things you would like to improve on or change in your personal or working life.
Pick one each week. Then with a glass of wine or tea and biscuits (or whatever you fancy). Write your ideas about it for at least 30 minutes non-stop. Anything that comes to mind. Don’t censor yourself, you’re just brainstorming ideas. Then during the week or month, implement the feasible ideas if you feel like it.


5. Rest well. A good night sleep is good for your brain. Not enough sleep (or too much sleep) will hinder your imagination and creativity. Fact. Your brain is a wonderful machine. It needs TLC in order to give its best.

Sounds fair?

Try'em and lemme know, pretty please!

;P

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Lighter stuff about languages



A wise man remarked that if you bring together animals of the same species but normally living from different parts of the globe, they still understand each other. They have exactly the same language. A dog from China won’t need an interpreter to understand a dog from Blighty. Humans are the only species with different languages. Odd, init?
Although, I know this one animal who learnt to speak dog and that saved her life and that of her family… Mind you, that was a mouse and she learnt dog to frighten a cat….and I forgot to mention she was fictitious for the most part…Which part? Well…erhm…pretty much the whole part…part…
Oh, and that wise man I mentioned at the outset, well his name is Iron man (nah, not the real one, he looked more like a pirate of the Caribbean to me) …

Oh, and while I’m at it, I must confess my name is not Rudiano Bambino…My name is even weirder looking, weirder sounding….and it does not rhyme…. My profile picture on the right isn't my real picture either. This is a recent picture of me (above). Kind of explains my experience in the dog world init.

What a disappointment of a blog eh?

Oh well, the truth had to come out one way or another!

Peace.

Rude-Doggy-what-doggy-who-Doggy-Dawg


:P

Friday, 13 August 2010

Heavy stuff about languages


Languages fascinate me on many levels. One thing I find quite interesting (even puzzling if you cross reference it with the ideas in vogue nowadays) is the complexity of ancient languages.

You would have thought that the further back in time you go, the simpler the recorded languages get because apparently, we all started in grunts …. Hunh? Hungawa! (And all that jazz)

Take Sumerian for instance, the oldest written language (oldest records of it date about 4000 BCE I believe). It’s more complex than most modern languages with its infixes, suffixes, prefixes….
Take another one, Hebrew (one of the languages the bible was written into). It causes challenges to translate into our modern languages. Words that existed back then do not exist anymore. Consequently, in order to translate the idea, more words are needed or a close one is used with a long explanatory footnote!
Compare this with what we put in r txt msgs …Str8 2 da point, no literature, all bout speed init… Spelling has less and less importance. Have you also noticed it’s creeping into emails (“Knd Rgrds”)?
It looks to me like languages are getting simpler rather than the opposite.

I get the feeling it’s not just in languages. I’m not sure we are immensely cleverer than our ancestors. Remember the tower of Babel story?
Babel was ruled by Nimrod, the first power hungry man in history that made it big. He proclaimed himself emperor and had a tower built that would touch the heavens. Sounds like the first skyscraper doesn’t it? Pretty amazing since this guy had this built millennia before Christ!
Some would say, it’s just an old story. Does it really sound so far-fetched? Well consider the artefacts we have left from Babylonian Advanced Mathematics and architecture. No motorized crane or other powerful machinery available, no 3-D computer designs. Still there were the Hanging Gardens of Babylon built in the 7th century BCE. Critics say that it would have been a masterpiece of engineering, even by today’s standards. It was one of the 7 wonders of the Ancient world for crying out loud. They were great mathematicians, great designers. Look it up!
The colours on some of the ziggurats (Babylonian building) discovered by archaeologists reveal something interesting too: To obtain the glazing blue colour seen on the ziggurats palisades, a precise quantity of specific materials have to be heated at a constant temperature for a precise period of time. How did they manage that without a high tech modern oven? How did they know how to do that in the first place? Perhaps ancient civilisations knew more than we want to credit them for.

The ultimate puzzle is this: The bible account says that God confused languages in Babel. Old story again, people object. How else do you explain that language families are so different? To name but a few differences, some languages are written from right to left (Arabic for example) instead of left to right, some use an alphabet whereas others use pictograms instead (Chinese for example). Is the transition documented? No. As far as I know, linguists are still divided; they haven’t found the missing links. Incidentally, the missing links in the evolutionary chain have not been found either, contrary to all the hype that was whipped up about it last year. But that’s another story.

Okay, enough. I’ll try tackling something less heavy next time, promise!
:P

Friday, 6 August 2010

The Equation of Everything


Whether or not the Equation of everything exists, it is interesting to think there might be a unifying principle that explains the mathematical order in the mind bogglingly big things of the universe down to the minuscule things on Earth…

I mean the whole thing seems to be a ballet of order, intricacy, beauty and movement

The universe is generally precise like clockwork. Orbits follow mathematical laws. Scientists can predict and calculate many things in the universe thanks to this mathematical order. We know in advance when the new moon, full moon, etc will be, theorists make sense out of the movement of celestial bodies because they obey rules. Why this order? Why doesn’t the whole system crash every now and then like Windows and other man-made programmes? Well, that’s another question.

However, if many cannot compute the concept of a Great Designer, at least we all agree on the mathematical precision mentioned above.

Other manifestations of this precision are rife on our blue planet...Take the composition of the atmosphere for instance–exactly what is needed to support and sustain life (78% Nitrogen, 21 % Oxygen, 1% other gases, if the balance was different, life would be impossible): the water cycle, the conveyor belt (warm and cold current making sure oxygen is distributed in the oceans all over the globe), the oxygen cycle (carbon dioxide to oxygen and vice –versa) the land cycle (from magma to crust and back to magma) Everything is interconnected and pefectly balanced - before we mess it all up. Wouldn’t it be great if we knew a mathematical equation that explains why this had to be this way?

But most importantly, if this equation was abused, because it fell into self-serving hands, what could happen to mankind?
Well yeah, there has to be a baddie, right? Otherwise there’s no crisis, no tension, no resolution, no hero, no good story init!

Monday, 26 July 2010

The second blog!!!


Well yes, it's only been a couple of days but this blog thing is too enticing so here I am again!

So.... In the last blog I attempted to explain why I write. I say "attempt" because really, I'm only reacting to an impulse. Simples!

Now, WHAT am I currently writing? A Fiction novel called " The Equation of everything".
Sounds a tiny bit ambitious doesn't it? Maybe. I'm no scientist so I've been researching this elusive equation. No one seems to have cracked it yet, so I guess this leaves plenty of space for imagination.

The Equation of Everything would predict how everything works in the universe, on the sub atomic as well as the galactic scale. It would be a principle that is found to be true in every situations without exception. To the person working out this equation (It's definitely going to be longer than E=MC2), the physical Universe will have no secret. He/She will be able to predict everything, in every situation.

That's all I'm gonna say about the What.

Peace out
;)

Friday, 23 July 2010

The first blog!!!


Where shall I start? I guess by the first "W": WHY?

The why is in progress, as almost everything in my fluid self. I'm definitely not solid, I'm changing all the time, constantly on the move internally although you'd hardly notice. I appear relaxed, laid back on the outside. I guess I am. Must be because of my Caribbean background (lived most of live in Guadeloupe, or"Gwada", French West Indies). Many volcanoes there. Just looking at them, you'd never think there's so much activity inside, would you!
But anyway, I seem to have an obsession with creating stuff. It disguises itself all the time so I've only realised this in hindsight. I've had the cartoon drawing phase, the photography phase, the music composing phase and now it looks like I'm in the writing phase. It started in 1995, calmed down then came back with a vengeance when I was in and out of work during Spring 2009. I guess it was my way of taking stock, re-evaluating and energizing myself to survive the battering life was giving me.
It's definitely been therapeutic .It filled a need. So much so that at some point I've compulsively bought more notebooks and pens than I could possibly use, being so excited about writing at any time any place - which hasn't actually happened, shame on me.
However, I feel it may be time to turn this into something that makes me connect with peeps: A novel!
I have 4 writing projects. I'm focusing on one at the moment, called "The Equation of everything".

Si Dieu me prète vie, I will be talking more about the "WHAT" in the next blog.

Stay tuned

Peace out.

 

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