Friday y’all. Friday and I don’t have to wake up tomorrow. But now, Thursday night, it’s getting late and I have only the Lindsay Lohan and World of Warcraft paragraphs done (read on, you’ll see what I mean) – and if that’s all I can muster, you’ll never read this. I have no real original content tonight, just links and link commentary.
My new Maxim came with a free 14 day trial of WoW, and I am so tempted to install it and give it a shot. So many people I know are obsessed with it, and it does seem to be right up my alley. See, these are the things my sedentary lifestyle allows me to think over: whether or not to install a free game and invest some sitting-on-my-ass time in running around in it. I’m no gamer, but I have a feeling I could become addicted to a large fantasyish MMPORG like WoW or EverQuest. And… why I’m writing about this, I have no idea. Let’s move on then.
Found an interesting link today while doing random browsing of del.icio.us, a free online book (in PDF format) written by Scott Adams of Dilbert fame. But, this is no comic strip, just what Adams calls “… a 132-page thought experiment wrapped in a fictional story,” and recommends that, “For maximum enjoyment, share God’s Debris with a smart friend and then discuss it while enjoying a tasty beverage.” So, I figured I’ve got plenty of smart friends, and the premise of the book does sound interesting: Imagine that you meet a very old man who—you eventually realize—knows literally everything. Imagine that he explains for you the great mysteries of life—quantum physics, evolution, God, gravity, light, psychic phenomenon, and probability—in a way so simple, so novel, and so compelling that it all fits together and makes perfect sense. What does it feel like to suddenly understand everything? Compelling, no?
I’m about 40 pages into it and already it’s struck several chords with me, Divine omniscience vs. human free will, the odds of choosing the “right” religion, what exactly quantifies “belief,” etc. The narrative style reminds me a lot of Daniel Quinn’s Ishmael, actually. To temp you even more into reading, should you be the temptable type, an excerpt I particularly liked:
“Let’s say that you and I decide to travel separately to the same place. You have a map that is blue and I have a map that is green. Neither map shows all the possible routes, but both maps show an acceptable—yet different—route to the destination. If we both take our trips and return safely, we would spread the word of our successful maps to others. I would say, with complete conviction, that my green map was perfect, and I might warn people to avoid any other sort of map. You would feel the same conviction about your blue map.
“Religions are like different maps whose routes all lead to the collective good of society. Some maps take their followers over rugged terrain. Other maps have easier paths. Some of the travelers of each route will be assigned the job of being the protectors and interpreters of the map. They will teach the young to respect it and be suspicious of other maps.”
“Okay,” I said, “but who made the maps in the first place?”
“The maps were made by the people who went first and didn’t die. The maps that survive are the ones that work,” he said.
“Are you saying that all the religions work? What about all the people who have been killed in religious wars?”
“You can’t judge the value of a thing by looking only at costs. In many countries, more people die from hospital errors than religious wars, but no one accuses hospitals of being evil. Religious people are happier, they live longer, have fewer accidents, and stay out of trouble compared to nonreligious people. From society’s viewpoint, religion works.”
Scott Adams, God’s Debris
And we all blog about the same things in the end, don’t we?
Finally, while I’m not a big pop-culture fan, I did get a chuckle out of Stereogum’s relating of the Lindsay Lohan / Jason Lewis thing (although, I must admit I didn’t even know there was a “Jason Lewis” to impersonate). I think I like it more for the 007 famous-people-infiltrating aspects than I do for any vicarious thrill from this guy’s brush with Ms. Lohan. You can read it, and then when you’re done you’ll feel like my blog today was full of good stuff – it’s the power of linking.
I thought you were gonna start a blog, pussy.
Give up Dave, you obviously have nothing to say. Goodnight.