Am still somewhat basking in the afterglow of a great class reunion. These are somewhat strange events for me. I am always conflicted in my approach to my former classmates: do we talk ‘old days’ or is the tense only on the present? Do I need to apologize to anyone here for something I may have done, or said, or an attitude that I had in our formative years? In previous reunions I had apologized to one particular person each time until he told me, perhaps wondering if I were starting to forget, that I had been over this in past reunions. My appreciation of “grace” and “forgiveness” has continually grown in that regard.
Finally got WP on my phone… watch out world!
[It could be my luddite leanings, but, after spending time exploring virtual reality, here’s what follows…]
IMAGERY, VR, Part 1
I will attempt to explain the internal conflicts within myself as it relates to Virtual Reality (VR).
There is a two-edged sword to all tools we use. There is the positive side of construction and instruction, then there is the negative side of distraction and destruction. Perhaps it is the distraction of VR that frightens me the most.
As I began constructing various worlds in VR, it began bothering me that I could fairly easily create a world of endless horizons and visualizations- worlds that could cause endless distraction, furthering a diminished populace’s efficiency. This is not a new topic, yet it has caused me to reflect on other forms of entertainment that have had similar effects: TV, movies, video games, and the internet. If I were to scale these from least to most distractive, perhaps: movies, TV, internet, then video games. I am wondering if VR may not up the ante significantly.
Many developers are looking to include haptic interfaces in VR which would further engage the participant. For those not familiar with “haptic devices”, engineers have made devices that allow you to interact with objects in a virtual world. Imagine you are seeing a ball on a computer screen but now you can hold a device that allows you to push on the ball you see on the screen. The device allows you to feel the ball’s surface or how inflated the ball may be. A practical application of this is for practicing laparoscopic surgery in which feel is an important component. On the distractive side, imagine a remodeling of the prototypical Pong game in which you can swing and hit the ball, as found in several current video games already extant. Including VR in that Pong game, you would be looking around you- the crowd, the court, the opponent who may be another similarly equipped player. On the destructive side of VR, imagine the haptic device in your hand is a knife with which you can stab your enemies, or a club, or, of course, a firearm. There is already good evidence that first-person shooter games may desensitize participants to the actual commission of such activities. Again, in the VR realm I believe that danger would increase.
But my main hesitation in the VR world is the effect it can have on the larger population, that being the issue of distraction.
Too many have drowned… it’s just not right. What can we do? Honestly, I cannot stand the thought of this happening… it is 2016 and nobody, but nobody, deserves to drown like this family of nine
I have never tried to raise any money before, but I cannot help but begin.
Please join me… and try to donate to agencies attempting to prevent these drownings!
I dare be honest here… back in April I had a disagreement with a supervisor which has led to an ‘Administrative Leave’ for me. An odd turn of events, no doubt. The extra time has led me to rethink my life’s journey, and has been healthy in spite of the institutional restraining order.
For me in this experience, Time as a gift came in strange wrappings… I must make the best of this gift.
I’ve been studying prayer, and praying… and doing some soul searching-
And it has been good… lemonade, right?
Had quite a trip home to Willows this past April, 2013
… a sad/happy reunion with the Fleming family as we celebrated the phenomenal life of Barbara Fleming who had passed away… my heroes are falling, and it’s hard to think of life without their guidance.
To her surprise, Barbara Fleming had become a Christian at Wheaton. She then felt that God wanted her on the mission field, and dumped her current boyfriend who was not so inclined. Enter James Fleming, who I believe was a chemistry major at the time. Barbara, at the age of 19, became one of the many infected with the polio virus. Her disease course left her in a wheelchair for the remainder of her life.
I wrote to both of my US House Reps regarding sex-selection abortion… one, Rep Hanabusa, responded (I am still pondering this response):
June 12, 2012
Thank you for your letter regarding H.R. 4624, the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act. Your views are very important to me.
The Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act would impose criminal penalties on individuals who provide abortions based solely on the sex of the fetus, and provides the ability to seek civil damages against such an individual. Congressman Trent Franks (AZ) argued that these provisions are aimed at immigrants from other countries, such as India or China, where cultural and economic factors have led to numerous instances of abortion or abandonment when it is learned that a fetus is female. Because the United States does not currently have a prohibition on this practice, supporters of the bill stated that such legislation is necessary to curtail immigration for these reasons.
However, I have always been a strong believer in a woman’s right to choose, and this bill is simply another step in undermining women’s access to reproductive health care. This legislation is not only discriminatory, but it also seeks to intimidate medical professionals from performing abortions as they are legally permitted to do. H.R. 4642 was considered on the House floor on May 31, 2012 under suspension of the rules, which requires a two-thirds majority vote for passage. I voted against this measure, and I am pleased to report that the bill ultimately failed to garner the votes of two-thirds of the House.
Thank you again for taking the time to write in with your comments on this critical issue. I hope you will continue to contact me about federal issues of concern to you. If you would like regular updates of my work in Congress, please sign up for my e-newsletter at http://hanabusa.house.gov .
Member of Congress
It came up yesterday, in the lunchroom, it started with a story about putting microchips in dogs. The computer specialist, a junior staff member who has high regard for technology, was making the case for the efficiency of chipping humans. We had heard it before, our previous medical director had also harped on this technology. I’ve been told that some folks in England are being chipped so that access to certain nightclubs is easier.
A company, Applied Digital, used to tout their product, Digital Angel… a subdermal chip that not only provided location services, but heart rate… imagine that, the safety and security we could have with such a system… Okay, I’m being facetious and am figuring that if you include health records into the picture along with economic power, I am sure most Americans wouldn’t think twice. I mean its the whole integration, or fusion, of technology with the human body. The ultimate cellphone: it becomes a cell in your body, right? Oh yes, and throw in the mix a convenient way of passporting… and definitely national security.
It’s probably closer than we think… and would most likely come from the financially secure nations who want a strong democracy, or technocracy.
Being fearful, people will do things they shouldn’t (I know, I once was fearful)… funny that most people look at the obvious sins that seem to bar us from eternity, yet, take a look at Rev 21:8 and what is found number one in a such a list: Being COWARDLY…
I pray: reader, learn to fear God only!
Okay. Yesterday, cruising Tweetland, I came across a tweet-
To which I responded quite quickly with a few choice tweets…
“Wait- did I see a tweet earlier from ed stetzer to the effect that Mormonism is not a cult?! Walter Martin doin’ 360s…
“Marriage has been re-defined… and now Mormonism is NOT a cult?! Whoa – or, WOE? – Holy radioactive mackerel!”
Which prompted the following tweets: