Ever since I being a teenager, I can remember being interested in religion. No one religion in particular, just religion and theology in a historical sense. I find myself fascinated with the various ways mankind dealt with the unknown throughout history. How beliefs developed, how they theological issues affected culture at the time, and just the sheer amount of beliefs and ideas that are out there. I routinely try and trace the branches in the family tree of religious and philosophical thought, going back to the “beginning” and working forward through names like Hermes, Zoroaster, Plato, etc. There are so many interesting insights that can be made into how certain lines of thinking either came to prominence or got squashed. It’s not just age-old religion and philosophy that I enjoy, I also enjoy reading up on the more modern developments. Everything from Mormonism to Scientology, and as far-reaching as modern Freemasonry and Extreme-Right Militia nuts. There are nuggets of wisdom to be found in all of them I guess, even if they are the Berenstain Bears “what not to do” kind. Example? While reading about post- and pre-Christian Gnostic thought, I found a very interesting redux of the Gnostic creed: “Gnostics do not seek salvation from sin, but instead seek to escape ignorance, believing that sin is merely a consequence of ignorance.” Sounds relatively right to me.
Thanks to the great free online encyclopedia Wikipedia for all the reference links in the above paragraph.
The creepiest thing happened the other day at work. I got a phone call from what I think was my dad’s cell phone. However, instead of my dad on the other end, it was a kind of radio-static sound, like someone switching stations. There were several voices talking over each other at first, and I couldn’t make out much. After a couple minutes the signal cleared up and I could hear a child’s voice reciting a list of dates. It sounded like a little girl, and she was just reading dates: “January 15th, January 26th, August 12th, etc.” She read dates for about 5 minutes (I copied most of them down in case it was a message about my future or something). As the call went on, it became clear that the child was talking to her mother, and I could eventually hear a woman replying. I heard some brief talk about money and insurance. Finally I decided that my dad must’ve inadvertently called me from what I figure was most likely the pharmacy. So Pop, either you’re gonna get a huge cell phone bill for accidentally calling me and not knowing it – or I got some freaky Twilight Zone call from the future, with some child letting me know important dates-to-come. Weird.
So, to kinda follow up on the whole Super Bowl thing, some news outlets are carrying a story about how TiVo says the halftime show “wardrobe malfunction” was the most replayed TV event in the company’s history. Now, call me dumb – but I didn’t know TiVo was tracking my viewing habits. I don’t remember signing any kind of agreement about that, although I’m sure it’s in some EULA somewhere that I “accepted” by getting their service. Seems strange that they can just watch and monitor what I watch and when, even to a level of detail to see what I rewind and pause the most? Big brother truly is watching. Although I try to watch as little TV as possible, I have found that TiVo has totally changed my habits. I no longer “have” to see anything, I just record it and watch it when I want. If something sounds even remotely interesting, why not record it and check it out at my leisure? I can always fast-forward through it or erase it. Plus, jumping through commercials makes the whole thing that much more rad.
Reading another of the online journals I keep up with, I found this “President Match” test. By answering the questions (it’s pretty short), you can see which candidate is most compatible with your thinking based on where they stand on the issues. When I took the test, Bush scored dead last with 55% commonality with my answers. Edwards was 100% aligned with my answers, and Kerry was 98% aligned. Kind of an interesting survey in that it really boiled down some major issued to nice, pointed questions. There was a lot of stuff on there that I really have no opinion on, like some of the Medicare and prescription drug coverage stuff, as well as things that I’m just ignorant about like NAFTA and certain aspects of foreign trade.
Looking at the questions and issues the survey covered, you can really see a dichotomy in the thinking that must be prevalent here in the US. While it’s never as simple as black or white, there are just some issues that will never be decided: abortion, capital punishment, religion, etc. They will always be fiercely opposed to each other and almost certainly never be able to find a happy medium. It seems the US is still a pretty conservative country on average, with things like a national furor over the Super Bowl halftime show showing just how not ready we are, as a country, for that type of display. Whereas in Europe, soap operas show more than that on a daily basis.
I’m not saying that all conservative viewpoints are wrong, nor am I allying myself with all liberal ideals. Hell, for the most part I don’t really care that much – but I know a nut when I see one, and I can spot a crazy idea, liberal or conservative, fairly easily. Politics aren’t really my cup of tea, but I do respect the fact that I can play a role in how things go by voting. While my prevailing attitude towards politics is one of apathy and “who cares,” I do try and keep abreast of things so I can at least know what’s going on. I guess that’s better than most of the Reality TV generation coming up now. Sorry Reality TV generationers, but it’s my duty as your senior to look down upon you as the eventual downfall of this world. Because as we all know, each generation’s junior generation is always taking this world to hell in a handbasket? it’s just your lot. Prove me wrong.
Well, I had some other stuff written which I e-mailed to myself, but it has apparently gotten lost in cyberspace. Guess I can post it tomorrow instead. Dave out.