Thursday, January 31, 2008

post-capitalism and beyond

Theres a componant of doing somehow missing from education. I think it's the space between thinking you knowing something and actually knowing it. Much info can be known about, but those consepts aren't fully known. Not 'till the've been tested and lived from multiple angles.

The reading material in two of my classes has concerned slavery. One of the articles I read was an interesting one that discussed a slaves ideals and longing in terms of capitalism. Slavery was based on the idea of owning people, you protect and manage your slaves, and they do the work in gratitude of being cared for. But people are evil so this didn't work out for most slaves. Capitalism is based around volitional contracts and market economics. You mutually agree to work in exchange for compensation. Or trade goods for money. This has worked better, but is still hampered by the human desire to cheat others. I think that the problems are mainly moral, but it will be interesting to see what economic system will replace capitalism. This seems to be in progress, only time will tell.

What I have realized is that people who become famous for influential works create them from an environment that is ripe for that new idea. Darwin wrote Origin in a climate that was discussing those issues of biological and social change. So look around for what you are in place to suggest!

Grady Houger ~ wants to earn money

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


I've been reading a lot of depressing science fiction, for class and in what I've had available for fun. One topic that came up was how a person, when suddenly bereft of their computerized tools, isn't the person they where before. Their identity and skills are tied to those things. So yesterday one of my classes was canceled. This was nice since it gave me more time to finish a due project, but since I wasn't in that class, I couldn't remember when my next class was! It didn't take long to remember, but there certainly is a part of memory that gets stored not in facts but in procedures. This is a known phenomenon where place memory isn't accessible to random access memory. It's probably because of how much info we need to remember these days. I can't really say if its bad or not.

What is bad is not getting enough sleep! I got nine hours today, and feel much more capable than yesterday.

Grady Houger ~ lots of carefully scheduled homework

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


What's there to say? Nothing seems interesting today.


Monday, January 28, 2008

more bus stories to come

I have a lot of little bus stories. I'll be telling them, especially on days when I can't think of something better. I will be using the bus alot, especially since my front tires haven't been staying inflated.
Today on the bus:
I wore brown and camo today, and the bus driver almost missed me. Talkative riders joked about that.
Go work hard on whatever is your metaphorical annotated bibliography that is due tomorrow!
Grady Houger

Friday, January 25, 2008

did you know outside the sun is shining

Well, I was going to write more about cigarettes and government roles, in that people use things like cigarettes and alcohol to kill themselves, and it is a fairly standard belief that government is authorized to make decisions about mortality. Homicide is illegal, it is a direct ending of life. That aspect of direct and purposeful death by another is why I believe the government would not be out of place to make abortion illegal. Cigarettes and alcohol on the other hand, are gradual and self inflicted personal choices, which do not necessarily end in death. So something dangerous, but gradual and variable should remain a personal freedom.
Should a woman have the personal freedom to choose abortion? I do not think so. To end someone elses life is not for a private citizen to decide. Would you support a beauroh of murder permits, so that people could apply for permission to kill someone they did not want around? That would at least be under the law. Instead, I think having a child is a role only available to a woman. If a woman does not want to participate in bearing a new person, then she should not participate in creating one. But if she does, it is a person, or will soon be one, and she has no right to kill another person.
I started by saying I was going to write about this, and did despite the reason that was going to dissuade me, which is still a present problem to this moment. You see, all the normal computer labs where full, so I am at a computer in the language lab. First, someone started watching the movie "Shall We Dance" on the projector, and now, a class has started, and it is not in English.
I do not like awkward situations sam-I-am!
Grady Houger ~ is preparing to flee

Thursday, January 24, 2008


So how about cigarettes?
It's nasty to walk through someones plume of exhaust.
Some people think smoking should be banned in outdoor public areas.
While I would personally enjoy that, I can't get over the issue of personal freedom.
Should the government make it illegal to use a legal product?
Should people be allowed to make individual choices, or should social preferences be enforced on everyone?
What do you think?
Grady Houger

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I got nothin'. I feel terrible.
Came down with a flu, but thankfully I'm not throwing up.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

remembering to live well

It was worth spending a $100 on gas to go see a group of the people who made me a better person. I immensely enjoyed the alumni reunion. It reminded me that people and interaction are what's necessary to fight of grey depressing hopelessness. Relationships give context and purpose: space in which to act on lofty abstract principles. Both are necessary, without reasoned understanding, there is no purpose to interaction, just emptyheaded silliness. With no interaction there is no context for principle to be meaningful. By itself it can only be empty madness or highlevel math.
So Together therein lies a meaningfull and satisfying life.
Now, if I drove a car that got 40mpg instead of 19, It would have cost $55, even though 40mpg cars are often desel costing 30c more.
Ah well, can't enjoy life if I live for money.
Grady Houger ~ getting sick, and reading Descartes discuss the mind's separation from the body

Friday, January 18, 2008

limits of comprehension

If someone understands something, it is a gift from God. Whether they know that origin or not.
Nor can thought be separated from the biology of the moment, but concepts must be carried through many cycles - seasons and the tempers of the blood - to be fully understood. Like trees and ermines, seeing them in one season is not enough to know them, you must know how they are in all the seasons. Likewise for the concepts that exist most wholly in the abstract -in God- we cannot know grace, mercy, and judgment except in how it is in the various seasons of life, in good times and foul.
Doubt is one of those transiant humors, but to be a doubter is a conclusion presented too soon.
Grady Houger
Blogger now has right-to-left text capibility, if you switch the language setting to Arabic, Persion or Hebrew. This is great, because changing prospective is beneficial; It lets you think about ordinary things in a new way. This is one of the fundimental goals of poetry. I don't have poetry to show you, but I can make this prose look funny!

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Whats it take to be a really great person?
You have to be above and beyond the efforts of most other people.
While I don't know If I can be great I have to try. To try and strive is the least we can do, it is our duty seeing as how we have been permitted to exist.
Being great is also something we cannot expect to attain. It should be our intention not to be disappointed. The striving is the object, not the destination. Where we end up is out of our control, God and nature* decide our end.

If we cannot find satisfaction in the results of our labor (for it is a fiction to think so, and such illusionary satisfaction is far off and will be brief if it can be attained) that what should we rest our mind in? Let them rest in the goodness of God. Trusting in God is not the end but the place to hang our hopes.
So if we need not strive and worry in life seeking after hope and rest, what should we do with our time? Pursue greatness. Not for pride but to create something worthwhile.
After death can we say anything better than "I was useful."?
This does not oppose what a Christian should seek in life. Look again at what the Bible recommends we do: It does not say to rest in any sort of spiritual satisfaction. Nor does it say that believing is our goal. Believing is the beginning; our instructions are to obey. The activities of obedience are all the things at which we can strive for greatness.

So smile on those around you, that they may learn to smile as well, invite in strangers, fellowship with friends, learn deep that you may be useful and amazed, build for joy, work with all your might for that is the most noble thing to do.

Grady Houger ~ You really need to read Pensees

*God and semi-random chance (nature (chaos, which we glance into with chaos theory and imagination, it must be a natural function subservient to God along with the rest of nature. Certainly a identifiable category which seems to gain its own quality due to its size and power)) decide our end.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Worried about function

It is distressing to find that I cannot think clearly. There is much work to do, reading philosophical and literary works, writing about them, but I am distracted and tired. I want to think my way out of his problem but haven't the strength. Times like this are when I wonder if I'm fit for scholarly endeavors. Just because I like reading the books assigned for my English major classes, doesn't mean I'm good at understanding and writing about such things. But I'll just keep working on it, can't say I'm done for yet just because I've never succeeded in the past.

This may be a problem that is not intellectual, but physical. If I get a bread maker recipe then I can take sandwiches to school instead of going hungry. And even though it bothers me to take caffeine pills every day, I can't afford drinks, and have yet to find some alternative to alertness.
It disturbs be how people laugh and joke about caffeine, coffee and energy drinks. Maybe that's just their mechanism for not being disturbed themselves, laughter negates and covers the fact that most of the nation is on a stimulant drug. While there are no obvious side affects physiologically, its a statement that I, as a human being cannot be at my best capability without some external agency. If you can't trust your mind, how are you going to figure things out?

And there lies the problem, and I can't think well enough at the moment to rethink this issue, and edit it to become a more clear, orderly argument, following the implications and results of each clause. We'll see what I can do tomorrow.

Grady ~ bleh

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Something to try eating

I have been experimenting with breakfast foods. A batch of waffles turned out very dry and hard but not burned. Not much fun to eat, but the taste was fine. What would happen if I used such a waffle as bread for french toast? The result was edible, but needs to be refined to become delicious. I've learned to make waffles where their consistency turns out the way I want, which is a function of heat and timing and making the batter in a fit ratio. But my french toast batter needs work. Just beat up eggs isn't quite right.

The french toasted waffles cooked without burning, but where a bit tough. The heat does not cook the inside at the same rate as the surface - might need to use a lid. I wonder what sort of flavorings would work for french toast; cinnamon and vanilla are the traditional ones, but there must be others that would be fitting. I've been putting ginger in waffle batter, it takes the plainness out of them, but is not unobstructive.

More experimenting should produce something worthwhile. Any suggestions?

Grady Houger ~ enjoys the useful science of food

You should try it yourself!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Wondering about writing

Literary theory is an interesting class, since the questions of 'what does literature do, how does it operate, what should it do, ' raises larger questions of belief and morality.

Plato found the telling of 'untrue stories' to be suspect, generally lacking in knowledge of the truth and encouraging unhealthy emotions. Yet Plato's purpose for writing was educating citizens and kings to become philosophers like himself. We now have a good many more reasons to write fiction, but his purpose influenced all of Western society. It is hard to argue against the idea that 'fiction' is only good if it illuminates higher truths.

Plato's great example is the people trapped in a cave where all they can see is shadows on a wall, and this is what they believe to be reality. Leaving the cave to see real things is a shock, and going back the people still inside will not believe what you have seen. Plato's elaborate philosophy of the world being unreal and the true reality being beyond it accessible by math and philosophy is not one I believe. But it is a good story, and illustrates his difficult and abstract philosophy very well.
For a great version of the story told in cartoon style, look here , ( on the page, use the single arrow with the red circle to advance)

If fiction is just talking about the shapes of shadows from a campfire, instead of real things under the sun, then fiction is pretty worthless, except for distracting you from pursuing real truth. But I don't want to stop reading and writing fiction. In its defense, the creation of histories can contain just a much erroneous information, given its lack on documentation and inability to get answers to why things happened, or why people acted the way they did. There is a fixed vagueness to all of human writing. Which is why Plato suggests writing itself is suspect, and a person should stick to oral teaching face to face, where a person can know with certainty their ideas are transmitted and remembered correctly.
It's too late for going back to the precise memory of an oral society, nowadays we only have to remember where we left information, not what it is, or what it means.

I will have reasons for supporting fiction, and will be writing about them, at least in class, but that's not the point. I will find convincing arguments just because I don't want to live with out it. It's has positive social value after all, and somebody has to write stuff.
Perhaps the day will come when I don't hardly read anymore. It's hard to imagine, with how populated the world has gotten, it may be that a person has to read, not for enlightenment, but just to keep up.

Grady Houger

I would be a different person entirely in an oral culture. Would you?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

the importance of how stuff works

The best example of beneficial mechanistic knowledge I can think of from my skills, is computers. A better example is what walls are made of (paint, nails, clay-in-paperboard, wood sticks which once you have torn apart and build one alters your perception of all buildings you go in and reminds you how fragile it all is) but computers have been my hobby and job for years. Really, knowledge of computers is quite unnecessary, as they are just tools for the rich and vacuous, and have only been useful to consumers for 20 years. But for all the time we spend with them, it is frustrating to see people so ignorant of what they are doing. Computers just doing a lot of simple things really fast, and does so with parts that are very small. And the computer operates in moderately difficult arithmetic on its base level. On top of those layers of calculations and lists of logic statements (things like IF the key “F2” is pressed, launch help window, OTHERWISE, do nothing. IF “help window” launched, load “poorly_written_and_frustrating_help_file.hlp” into “help window”.) are a bunch of pictures, which the user things are controls, but are really just a bunch of pictures of things called buttons and links, put there to make the user think the computer looks easy. When something doesn’t work, or the user does not know how to do something, there is nothing about what they see that has given them any useful information about what is underneath that could be the solution.

Oh-Kaaaayy, I don’t want to talk about that any more, I’d really rather talk about how Reason and Rapture seem so hard to have work together, but instead lets look at grocery store reader boards. The ones that are huge and outside and make a ‘shrakkk’ sound each time the display changes. The way those work is that they are just a box with lights inside, and each dot on the sign is a flap. Each flap can be switched separately, black or orange. That grid of off or on flaps is controlled by a tiny computer. It has a file that contains a grid 1:off, 2:off, 3:on, just like that, and so the computer turns each flap to match the setting indicated in the file. That’s also how an LCD computer screen works, except instead of having mechanical motors and flaps; it has thin sheets of plastic and liquid mineral that change see-through or block-light when an electrical signal energizes that spot. The light behind the liquid is always on, the computer just signals which spots to switch, each pixel contains a red, blue and green spot, All activated makes white (see through all), no energy makes black (see through none), a mix gives you color.

So what use is knowing that? Not really much at all, if you where to confidently repeat it to a friend it would help to know more, like how you can see the pixels under a magnifying glass, or more specifics about how the computer signals the correct voltage to a pixel by a grid of conductive traces printed on the sheets of plastic. You might want to learn about conductive traces which is easy to do by dismantling a keyboard, and seeing how that works, and this desk is made of plastic sheeting glued to particle board which is basically large pieces of sawdust glued together, and the glue is probably petroleum based but synthesized (cooked and filtered) to be a particular stickiness, and stickiness is a relation of how the molecules of different kinds cling together, sometimes making different molecules, which is why when you remove stickers from some things, the finish is ruined. The glue either held on to it and ripped off whatever the finish is, or it changed the finish into something that comes off instead of staying on and looking nice.

None of this helps yesterdays statement that knowing physical reality helps improve your life, except hopefully you will be a little more open to looking up ‘why’ and remembering the answers. At least so you can tell others and sound smart! Learning about computers is lucrative, at least in being efficient at something else. The more you can manage to learn about computers the less likely you are to think they can think. So don’t be mad at your computer, realize it is a brainless bunch of readerboard images and poorly written display instructions that’s all based on 1980’s calculator chips. (Actually, there are some more advanced systems out there, but nobody seems interested in writing software for them.) So please don’t talk to your computer. It’s not sane.

As I think about it, there are many fields that can claim to improve you if you learn them. If I had applied my writing skills better when writing this, it would have made sense and been a real argument instead of a ramble. You should learn to be a professional writer too, along with being a scientist, philosopher, Bible scholar, and computer expert. Everything I’m interested in seems so vitally important. But it’s not really. What’s really important is to believe in Jesus and obey God. People can go around making up ideas, and building objects that are useful, but knowing God gives life a purpose that brings about true success. Plus God likes you - well, God likes everything - but you, as a unique entity that thinks, God has a standing offer to help and love you. No great knowledge or reasoning required, just believe, obey and talk to Him.

Grady Houger

Saturday, January 12, 2008

peace in solvibility

Complexity needs a payoff. That it's not just complexity but a mystery or puzzle that has a solution. Otherwise it’s just frustrating and contemptible. The puzzle's solution may not be known by you, but the fact that one exists makes it acceptable. This is the prime problem with naturalistic theories for the meaning of life; most end with there being none. All this complexity in life and no meaning or purpose to it? Terrible! Thankfully I don't believe that.

I can tell you that because of my great education, and clear thinking, I don't immediately believe the conclusions scientists give. But without having read the books I have, you only have my repudiation or charisma to believe, not that I actually know anything about science. It's natural to do this, I do for lots of issues, like what movies are good, what businesses to avoid, and how to vote. I trust other people who tell me they know what’s the right choice. Not so much with religion and science. (And religion basically contains all of philosophy as well.) These subjects are so important I believe you should know them first hand, as completely as possible, rather than going on others opinions. Things like restaurants and voting are about how to sort things, but topics of God and physics are about how reality is! Doesn't it seem reasonable to know for yourself how the matter that makes up our reality works and acts? And what our purpose in life is as creatures that exist?

Without and understanding of how the world turns, and what is under our feet, a person is prey to all sorts of delusions and misinformation. Tomorrow I'll look at some examples of how accurate knowledge will improve your existence as a human being.

Grady Houger ~ 70% H2O

Knoledge puts control of your mind in your own hands!

Friday, January 11, 2008

science is just a word you can't define

To continue yesterday’s discussion of science threatening religion; I want to look specifically at what I mean by "Science".
The study, research and speculation done according to the scientific method of testing and theory making get applied to many different subjects. The results of chemistry are hard facts; we can say with certainty that matter is made up of the atomic elements, which are different from each other, and interact in regular specific ways. Aerodynamics of wings can be tested and formulas can be found that are absolutely true when wind flows over a shape at specific speeds. There are many provable facts that can be proven true within their set of conditions. Math is full of this. What gets confusing is that each field has its limits, beyond the edges of fact which is only reached by great study. You have to know all the known aspects before you get to the known ones and by that time you are so far beyond what the average person knows that they will believe anything you say. This is the authority problem for scientists, and also priests. (I'll be using the term priests interchangeably for any sort of religious leader.)How can you trust the conclusions of the scientist or the priest? It is really because of their community status and your great ignorance of their field. If you don't know how to understand the content of their top level theory’s that you have to assume, that since they have mastered all the entry level and advanced info, then they must be able to build the great conclusions. Essentially, you can't check their work until you become one yourself.

So experts go about telling you what to believe. But some branches of science don't have the hard facts that are present at times in math, physics and chemistry. Psychology contains very little hard data, and lots of talk. How do they interpret the data on human behavior? With theories, which can seem to fit the data at times. But nothing can be proved. The whole things a sham really, because psychologists are humans and don't want to admit their lack of answers. What they have is interesting, and sometimes plausible, but in the end they end up handing out answers just because people are expecting answers, not because they really have any, and who wants to disappoint the people who think you're the expert?

Really the human desire for certainty throws off all of science, so most everything is a temporary answer, just a place holder till a better one can be devised. A math formula may be absolute truth, but the inputs going into it are from measurements that may or may not be accurate. For example, the distance between stars. It seems fairly accurate, but there are several key measurements that can be questioned, although they haven't been corrected for quite some time. Such possible variation underlies much of science, and it's normal to just make note of the issue an carry on, and then if later info proves it wrong, just go back and revise everything. This is a good and useful procedure for doing science, but the problem is for the average people, who don't do science. They just read about the conclusions and believe them just like religion. Then when disagreements arise, there is anger and fighting, and people distrust each other for believing this or that. The fight is all in words, believing not in the science data but the reputation of the scientist who told them his conclusion.

So, once again I failed to be specific, and write a mess of vagueness. I don't want to look at unprovable and controversial theories and fields like evolution, global warming, psychology, earth and universe age, those things are fun and/or frustrating to discuss, but what we really need to consider is the parts we do accept; how do they change our thinking about life, the world, and religion? Let’s think about the changes in thought caused by real, factual science, and how we ascribe authority to ‘science’ in general.

In other news, I walked by a tree today, heard churring sounds and looked up to see a tree full of black and grey squirrels! There where at least six, and a few more in the next tree. It was quite surprising.

Grady Houger ~ wishes he could think better

So there is too much information out there to learn it all right? Some of it's incredibly useful, particularly the history of science over the last 350 years. For a child to have an advantage over the next tv watching slob, girls and boys should be taught and encouraged to learn real things rather than empty headed kiddie nonsense. There are lots of age-appropriate biographies and science books that are interesting, and then when they grow up, it's money. Real money, people! You don't get money for knowing tv trivia.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Can Religion adapt to Science?

Christianity is a coherence of ideas, from events, words and thinking. There is a whole system of understanding that it existed in.
All through history humans have lived in groups that said “this is how reality is”. Religion is a part of that. Change in religion, history and science shows beliefs of the past to be based on falsehood and ignorance. Thus it is the thinker’s lot to question his own current beliefs. Christian teaching and its underlying assumptions is a coherent entity, but what can be removed changed and proved false before the entity is destroyed?

I think these things because of a class in which a historical prospective on scientific discoveries was discussed. Modern science has been around for 350 years, before then, what did people believe?

The stars are just points of light when the sun is not present. Nothing about orbits and the solar system was known. It was believed by many peoples hat above the earth where the stars sat and the ‘wandering stars’ (planets) moved was the place of the divine. What moves things, comets for instance? Well for something to move, doesn’t some one have to move it? Thus it was a general belief that spirits moved such heavenly objects. They do so at the order of those higher than they so angels and God. The age of the earth was the age of however long people have been here, and the stars where in a sphere above, no notion of great distances where present. It was a common idea that humans where the most important creature and the main reason for which events happened.

Now, science has replaced, reexplained, or rejected most of the ideas about reality previously believed. There are controversies and debates to be had over specific teachings in science, but the overall fact is that we think differently now. Christians have came to accept and believe that nature has logical properties such as gravity, cause and effect, processes that do things as a matter of elements reacting rather than at the impulse of God and angels. God is no longer thought to live up in the sky looking down. Now that we know the physical universe is full of stars large distances apart then for God to have created all that he has to be outside of it looking in. For God to be greater than all the phycial laws of space and time we have learned so far, then he must be out side all that, controlling it of course. These sorts of concepts have to be added and adapted to religiously. Instead of saying ‘God did that’ when volcano erupts, it has to be said ‘God caused that mountain made of tectonic folds to be under pressure from magma and steam underground that expanded and exploded when the pressure reached beyond what the rock matrix could hold.’
As we discover how the parts of physical things work and interact, such as the process of disease and immunity in a human body there comes a idea that physical explanations can be found for all things and spiritual reasons are suddenly hard to accept with this new system of proof and evidence that makes science so verifiable. Science in many ways gets used as a new religion, such that it is important to separate actual facts that get discovered using science, from the way people talk and order their lives around what they think of as ‘scientific truth’.
Also, where people put their feeling of certainty changes. In a religion, one can say, ‘rest assured this is the how and why of your soul’. In science one can say ‘many things are unknown, but his is the how and why of this physical world you can see.’ Think about the shift in meaning. In a religion meaning is assured, though how things work is a mystery. In science, physical causes and such can be determined, but the meaning of those is unknown. “What is the propose of human life?” A Christian can say it is to enjoy obeying God. But someone who only believes science is true would have to say that the meaning of existence is to reproduce, and find something you like doing until you stop existing.

It is important to NOT go crazy in either direction. I have spent my life, and now consider it the purpose of my life to study science and religion (as it turns out there is little that does not fit under those titles), and both contain more than can be easily spoken of with authority. That is, scientific conclusions that lead one to think life is a random struggle and the soul does not exist are really beyond what science can prove. Nor does it work to take religion to heart and refuse to believe anything can modify religious meaning. Science and religion have their limits. Sometimes they overlap, but the only thing about them that is exclusive and opposite is what people do with them.

All this I have said is very vague and perhaps odd and unclear. What I am really trying to say is the most important topic I have thought of in a great long while, and I don’t know that what that is is even clear. Let me try again; “Do I stop believing in God because of what I see in science?” Or “Do I stop believing in science because of what I want to believe about God?”
Really, neither.
I think that both can have their place and properly coenside, and still leave room to acknowledge that there is much I do not know. So for the next while, I will continue with more specific and detailed topics that illuminate this subject.

By the way, if you actually read all this, then please leave a comment, even just to say that I didn’t make much sense.

Grady Houger ~ man who feels that everything relates to this

College sure is a mind expanding experiance. By virtue of learning so much new information, what and how I think are changing! When a person stops learning, things get set for life.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

I hope you find something interesting to read

Well constancy didn't last long, only 6 days in and I missed posting two days in a row! But that's no reason to quit. My excuse is that I didn't have net access when I was moving back to college.

Recently I conversed about Bible codes, where people try to find anagrams and such in the original languages that spell out some sort of prophecy. Today I read that this sort of research has its roots in the theology of Jewish cabalists. Their theory is that if the scriptures are the work of an absolute intelligence, than nothing would be left up to chance, thus the placement, number and count of all the words, characters and lines would be placed exactly, and may contain hidden mysteries just as the meaning contains hidden mysteries.
I have my faith that God is absolute in all attributes. Since here have been no clear messages to be found encrypted, lets us make conjecture about how God uses chance and variable elements. One reason would be the principal of faith alone being our way to God, not external mathematical proofs. Or perhaps God does not have an inherent love of cryptography, and only intended scripture to have word meaning. Also, the very idea of worshiping text instead of meaning is condemned by reason itself. The truths of the bible where transmitted orally, and that is good enough. The convention of writing is not sacred in itself. The argument could be made that gardening is. (and shepherding, and raising children.) Even with a list of divinely utilized jobs, it is not the job, but the obedience and character of the individual that is important, and the use of physical activities as metaphor of truths spiritual and abstract. We should consider all the things God didn't do, nothing forceful or insistant to compell us to believe in him. This is not so exciting for those who do not believe, but for those who do, I think it is worth considering how the things we think up to force obediance are not methods God uses.
These are my thoughts, putting what I read skimming through a book into my recent considerations. That book is Labyrinths: selected works - by Jorge Luis Borges, particularly -The Mirror of Enigmas.

Funny story: I'm sitting in the library, and everything is silent. Then ringing out someone crunches a chip. Then behind me, someone starts crunching an apple. In stereo I hear them! Hungry I become, and leave to go somewhere It is permitted to eat my sandwich that promises to be particularly crumby.

Grady Houger ~ I must enjoy homework

By saving money at the rate of $30 a week, I will have saved about $3000 at the end of two years. What would you do if your hands could hold an extra three thousand dollars?

Saturday, January 05, 2008

I will walk bravely into the dark, and not stop!

Tomorrow I will be leaving the ancestral mansion for another term at the university. Slowly I am moving furniture and books from the room I grew up in to the college house I bought, and so I look upon all the half finished hobbies that had filled my life.

While I still like all the same hobbies, I don't have time or money to collect rocks and bugs, make ammunition, buy guns, build electronics out of scrap parts, carve wood, study chemistry, track animals, and read old magazines. Plus there's the two model airplanes and the model ship I never finished, and the bobcat skeletain that I didn't mount. I wish I had my childhood over again so I could actually finish some of those things. But all I have is memories of how cool it would have been to do this or that. All I have is a little sadness, and a room full of junk. Fortunately, my college home isn't large enough to hold the ghosts of my past, so I won't bring them with me. And hopefully I'm adult enough to take that remorse and actually go out and *finish* something!

That's my goal.

Grady Houger ~ The time has come!

Yes, it's time to run while I have the spirit, and when that's gone, at least walk.

Friday, January 04, 2008

a vague walk around a seemingly large issue

This morning I woke up and wrote down an amazing philosophical theory. Then I forgot it. Really, it's the end of the day, and here I am trying to think of something interesting to write, and I can't remember. I can't wait to get back to school so I have something urgent to do and this endless vacation can end.
I'll have to go find my notes.
So. It appears that what I thought so interesting this morning was contents of the human mind. What do we have? Only memory, the sensation of a body and the present moment. From these inputs all human thought is generated.
All human societies value great thinkers; those who taught the religion and philosophy that influenced billions of others. All the abstract concepts like goodness, truth, and injustice have to be learned and defined by what's in our minds.
What would we have without body, memory, and senses? An active mind would have nothing to act upon. There would be no symbols with which to do math, or label and arrange thoughts. All the most technical and ‘high’ abstract topics could not be reached without the more basic elements of each field. The edges of math theory where equations are created and proved is an extension of our need to count and measure physical objects. Philosophical concerns that seem strange and pointless are built from pursuing questions of why the world is how it is and how can we make sense of great difficulties? Strange science concepts in quantum physics and plasma research that have no currently known practical use are looked into by those who have already learned the other sciences and want to look further than making improved plastic molding equipment. And lastly, there are those crazy amazing musicians who play technical music beyond the skill of anyone else, yet they aren’t enjoyable to listen to, unless you are one of those who knows what they are doing and have tired of the less complex stuff.

Perhaps this concept of abstract great thoughts being built on the simple immediate things of life is not a great revelation. I think it captures my curiosity because for so much of my life there has been the influence of a preference, that the great moral concepts where to be revered and the base things of life where not worth notice, or where negative elements to be ignored. But I now see there is more of a connection between the two. Now isn’t unimportant just because it’s passing away, and the afterlife I hope for needs something that can only be created here. There is a mystery here, at least for me. I need to think other angles to this.

It will be interesting to see what I remember tomorrow.

Grady Houger ~ man who expects awkward surprises

When thinking about such difficult ideas, I tend to frown and tense up my face. I wonder if it helps or hinders me from thinking clearly?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

wanting things bad enough to cry

I have a younger brother. Today he believed it was the last day to get something he wanted, and being without a credit card, he made a heroic effort at wheedling it out of the taller people in his life. It was really quite the display of new and creative methods of persuasion, for him. He wanted what we considered to be a worthless toy so badly he was willing to modify his behavior in hopes of getting it.

My brother went to bed disappointed; which builds character though I didn't tell him that. I used to want things that badly, but now that I've thought about it, there isn't much I so strongly desire these days. I've had my toys that broke or became boring. The few things I would like to own I can comfortably live without: $1800 cameras, $3000 lenses, and a titanium spork. I expect as I age even more things will become silly and unnecessary. I hear tell that past 90 years old, just waking up and getting to breath air is satisfying enough.

What do I really want out of life? Nowadays I think of bold abstract concepts like a job that will be useful, happy marriage, justice, tranquility, understanding, wisdom. But now, I have reservations about my desires, unlike when I was a child and could not imagine living without the big $100 lego pirate ship. I hear people say wanting things like justice and wisdom will be just as unfulfilling as the toys where. We'll see. A man has to have something to dream about, just like the boy does.
Though I did survive with just the small lego ship. And justice can wait till the end of time if necessary.

Grady Houger ~ man who no longer has time to play with legos

I wonder how I should feel about wanting things? What should I really get out and try to get? What will I wish backwards for when I'm 60?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

lying down expecting to sleep - while the world spins round

What's there to be said when there isn't a statement I have to be said, no message of life change and reform?
I just feel tired. I want to lie down and sleep. Today I did alright. Last night I was awake reading science fiction about how machines that could duplicate anything would destroy a civilization. Sleep is worth skipping for a good enough story, but not every night. I learned that.

Tired but fairly well satisfied, without much cause to be. Sometimes I wonder why I'm not more bothered by my lack of remorse for poor performance. Maybe that's a separate issue, but I would be more worried if I felt I had earned that right to be satisfied. I'd rather think my enjoying life was a gift from God.

Sometimes the only idea that makes life interesting is that I know the world will end. But will it end soon, or after I am dead? Sure it's an uncertainty that could be disturbing. To me it's an excitement that just can't be bought some way else.

Grady Houger ~ man of occasional thoughts

Why yes, I did just listen to The Postal Service - Sleeping In.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2008 resolutions :-/

Its been a year since I put up a facebook note, and of those resolutions I only managed to loose weight, which was easy once I had to buy and cook my own food. Candy and cheese are expaensive! Eating in out is no deal when 25lbs of rice is $13.
This years resolution is to write something here every day. Now that I'm back in college hoping to be a professional writer, its unpleasant to discover that I actually am a lousy writer! Practice is the key according to all the advice I've read, so I'm going to do the blog thing like every other boring yaker on the internet.
Since facebook pops up notices of friends posting notes I have a build in audience for at least the note titles ha ha!

So happy new year all you friends, relatives and acquaintances! I look forward to having my text past through your vision soon!

Grady Houger ~ man who knows he is foolish

but wait! this is not facebook! For you few, happy few, you non-social networked readers of my blog you get these extra lines. Thats right, special content, just for you! and if you don't have facebook, don't bother signing up for it. It's only the best of the popular social networking sites, but there's a hundred more worthy ways to spend your time. And you can always email me.