31 October 2010
30 October 2010
Finally, an insightful YouTube comment:
This is the kind of speech you want to see quoted in future history books.Thank you psychicwoosh.
And these beautiful words were not given by a world leader, president, or congressman. They were given by a stand-up comedian who has a comedy show on TV.
We are at a strange time in the kingdom, when the wisest, sanest, most rational voice of them all is that of the court jester.
29 October 2010
I don't really like talking about things I want to do or plan to do because I end up not doing half the things I set out to. However, because I'm pretty dedicated to this project and because it's going to be fun, I will share just this one time.
I've been working on a top secret project (shh!) for the past two weeks. This is the reason I've been reading Kochan's Programming in Objective C-2.0, which is the main language used to program Mac OS and iOS applications. I've just about finished the book and I am now beginning preliminary coding.
I want to create a program to view and organize iChat logs. A similar program called Logorrhea was discontinued a few years ago. It can view iChat logs, but it isn't really what I have in mind. For example, it doesn't have the capability of displaying fonts, colors, links, etc., and it offers no help in organizing chats with actions like grouping, moving, or deleting.
My goal isn't simply to make Logorrhea 2.0 or to mimic the elegant log viewers of other chat programs like Adium. I want to make a program capable of sophisticated, statistical analysis of linguistic patterns. Essentially, I want to create a framework where I and others can apply complex algorithms to analyze people's social/thinking habits via their chatting/language habits. More on that later.
Most chat clients store their log files in plaintext, HTML, or XML, which are formats that are commonly viewed in web browsers. However, Apple, in an unusual fit of brilliance, decided to make things a tiny bit more complicated. They store the chats in something called a property list (.plist for short) which is a form of XML but written in binary (0's and 1's). This makes it inaccessible to web browsers for immediate use unless one day someone decides to implement an interpreter.
Anyhow, to show you what this means, I've included a dump of the raw data after translation from binary contained in an 8kb chat log I had with a friend. This is not something you can look up with a text editor, however, if you are interested in seeing it for yourself you can use the developer's utility Property List Editor which is included on all Macs.
This chat had a total of 8 lines. See if you can find them:
27 October 2010
If you can't tell, I love two things: reading and lists. And since I love lists, I will leave you with three.
Books I've read from cover to cover, since July:
- Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
- Ubik by Philip K. Dick
- The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
- Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick
- Visioneering by Andy Stanley
- The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson
- Erasure by Percival Everett
- The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
- Native Speaker by Chang Rae-Lee
- Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton
- Literary Theory (A Brief Insight) by Jonathan Culler
- Let My People Go: The Life of Robert A. Jaffray by A. W. Tozer
- Humility by C. J. Mahaney
- Programming in Objective-C 2.0 by Stephen Kochan
Books I am currently reading:
- ESV Bible divinely inspired by God
- The Knowledge of the Holy by A. W. Tozer
- The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
- Foundations of Statistical Natural Language Processing by Manning and Schuetze
- Universal Principles of Design by Lidwell, Holden, and Butler
- Portable MFA in Creative Writing by the New York Writers Workshop
And books I've begun, but have put on hold for the time being:
- Basics of Biblical Greek by William D. Mounce
- When I Don't Desire God by John Piper
- The Prophets by Abraham Joshua Heschel
- H. P. Lovecraft: Tales (Library of America) by H. P. Lovecraft
- Mortal Coils by Eric Nylund
- Cane by Jean Toomer
- Selected Poems by T. S. Eliot
- Public Philosophy by Michael J. Sandel
As far as my opinion on any of these books, I'd recommend them all. Haha. If you want more details, ask and I will supply. Also, I link to Amazon not because I'd get a cut (I don't) but because I find that they have the most consistently high quality and reliable reviews.
I think I try to read too many books at once. I'm so greedy!
24 October 2010
18 October 2010
17 October 2010
My good friend John once told me,
Our great need is to be and to feel loved (by God). In Christ God has borne witness that we are. And the beauty of grace is that his love for us is as solid as the rock of Gibraltar. Grace for the unlovable is the gospel! But the contemporary gospel of lovability diminishes grace.
Oh, the paradox, that we are unlovable, yet are loved. And do you see how I said we, and not I alone? Even in my language I'd prefer the company of others.
In need of great grace, we all are. But me, especially.
10 October 2010
It plays out like a Greek tragedy. You would think that by knowing your weaknesses and flaws you would be able to use that knowledge to prevent your downfall. Yet time and again we see the hero, keenly aware of the prophecy laid against him, fall victim to an inescapable fate. And the frustrated onlooker is left wondering if the hero has simply succumbed to self-fulfilling prophecy, or if we are truly bound to some unseen, unkind destiny.
Has the hero surrendered to his own fear and doubts in what actually is an underdetermined future? Or has he played out his part in a story penned by another's hand? Or, perhaps, is it a little bit of both?
It's the sense of fulfillment that will lure you. And the element of truth that will capture you. It's the longing desire that will bind you. And the never having that will destroy you.
04 October 2010
That was one of the titles we were considering for The Stand but it was deemed impractical because it was too long. Oh the irony that we, fools for Christ, would be practical.
My heart is broken. I have a friend who I had shared the gospel with for years, but she always refused. One day I stopped praying and I gave up hoping. Now she has joined a cult. And I can't help but think I've failed her. I know it's not up to me. I cannot change a heart. But prayer is powerful, and God can. Please show me the right way to deal with this.
I think one of the allures of a cult is the delight in a secret knowledge. People desire understanding so much that they will exchange the truth for a lie so long as it makes sense to them. But the mystery of the gospel—a phrase I steal from the passage below—is beyond our fullest comprehension.
There are some things that we will never fully understand. True things do not need us to understand them to exist. A third order differential equation exists whether or not I can solve it, and so does something like, say, the Trinity. The fool thinks he knows it all. The wise man understands that he does not.
On a more personal note, I have been caught with my britches down lately and I'm getting rocked by the schemes of the devil. It's time to suit up and battle hard. Ephesians 6:10-20:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.