Saturday, March 30, 2013

NOT Dimensions, Planes, OR Geometry! Oh boy.........

You now have a "Back to the top of the page" arrow. It takes you to the top of the page.............yeah.
I have not worked out how to get it to go to the bottom of the page, yet. The green arrow will appear on the bottom right when you scroll down the page.
Oh, and Happy Easter. (o^-’)b

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Dimensions, Planes, and Geometry! Oh My!

(disclaimer: This is the rough draft for my honor's essay so I may attempt to wax "collegey" at certain points. Maybe I can fool the professors into thinking I am actually one of "them". :D That would also be why I didn't bring out any spiritual aspects, but there are a few to be had.)

[View of my house]
         This Work is Dedicated
By a Humble Native of Flatland
In the Hope that
Even as he was Initiated into the Mysteries
Of THREE Dimensions
Having been previously conversant
With ONLY TWO
So the Citizens of that Celestial Region
May aspire yet higher and higher
To the Secrets of FOUR FIVE OR EVEN SIX Dimensions
Thereby contributing
To the Enlargement of THE IMAGINATION
And the possible Development
Of that most rare and excellent Gift of MODESTY
Among the Superior Races
Of SOLID HUMANITY




There are few books that provide a universal application like Flatlands: A Romance of Many Dimensions. Written by Edward Abbot in 1884, this novel not only acts as an allegory of the social conditions in Victorian England but also gives a principle that can be applied to almost any discipline. Reading this novel gives a glimpse into the idea that assumptions are only as valid as the information that they are formed upon.  
  Flatlands begins with an in depth explanation into the 2-dimensional world where the narrator, A. Square, exists. The denizens of this plane are geometric figures with length and width but without height, and everything appears as a straight flat line to them. They must distinguish themselves and objects through the number of angles that something has, which they ascertain through either feeling the angles or through the “art of seeing”. These arts are important to the Flatlanders because too sharp an angle can kill them.  
   This leads to the explanation of their social system. Male Flatlanders are divided into the four classes which are dictated by the amount and degree of angles a figure has. The most numerous figures are the isosceles triangles that form up the soldier and laborer class. Next highest are the equilateral triangles which represent the middle class and tradesman. The gentleman class is comprised of squares and pentagons. Hexagons form the nobility class. Finally, once a figure has so many angles of small degree that it is nearly indistinguishable from a circle, it joins the ranks of the priestly class, who rule over every aspect of Flatland. This is not an absolute static system. There is a natural law in Flatland that every generation should have one more angle than the previous generation. While this is not always the case, the law does allow a method of social mobility. Although this mobility does not apply to females, they are not figures but appear as straight lines. Because it is a hazard for a figure to be of irregular size and shape, any person that has a misshapen angle is put into a penal institution, and it can impede the aforementioned natural law.
  At this juncture, the author explains more about the circles and the events surrounding their dominion. The higher up a figure went in the social ladder the faster that figure’s successive generation would gain angles, but this advantage has a parallel handicap. The more angles a figure has the less fertile it is, and the harder it is to create non-irregular offspring. This fact makes the ruling circles, which we are told have monopolized power based on “perfect configuration of angles”, conservative in the extreme. They fear revolts and the disappearance of their mandate, and this is the context for the main part of the novel.
  Part two of this novel is about the enlightening adventure of the narrator. He is living through the passing of a new millennium in Flatland, and he has a vision that takes him to a realm of 1-dimension, length. Called Lineland, the Square observes, through interaction with the king of Lineland, that the inhabitants of this plane are completely unaware of other dimensions, and they are unwilling to even consider the possibility. A. Square tries many ways to convince the king of a second dimension but ultimately fails, is shouted down by the inhabitants, and wakes to his own home.
  Further on during that night, the square meets a sphere which is likewise visiting him as he visited Lineland. Just as A. Square attempted to enlighten the King about a second dimension, the sphere tries to explain a third dimension. This is ultimately just as fruitless, and the sphere is forced to pull the square out of his 2-D existence into a 3-D plane called Spaceland.
  In this plane, our narrator is shown the “wonders” of Spaceland. He also observes Flatland in its 2-D state from a 3-D perspective. This has the effect of creating an insatiable curiosity on the part of A. Square. He pushes his guide for a 4th and 5th dimension, exasperating the sphere to the point where he returns him to Flatland. This does not last long as our narrator is again given a vision by the sphere to another new plane, the plane of 0-D. This plane is contained within one point and one Solipsistic inhabitant. This inhabitant can conceive no other being, existence, change, or movement. In fact, the very intervention of the Square is taken by the Point as a manifestation of his own mind.  
  At this point, one should begin to grasp the universal application of this novel. In any profession, relationship, or science that humanity has, there are assumptions and biases that have developed about the way things are done. These provide foundational tradition on the methods employed in those areas. But, it is important, imperative, to realize that these assumptions are based upon the observable knowledge present, and thus that premise is limited to that same observable knowledge. One can draw a parallel in this respect to these assumptions and the dimensional planes of this novel. Each indigenous life form of the respective lands drew their view from the knowledge that was available to them at that point, and the incorporation of these “extra dimensions” was incomprehensible to them until the proper observation of it was able to be found. If this idea is applied to historical examples, there are numerous references to be drawn.
  The development of science is just one such reference. Until the Copernican Revolution, it was widely considered that the universe was arrayed in a geocentric model. This was postulated with the observable data at hand, thus it was valid but still wrong. The discovery of the heliocentric universe was one instance where the “plane” of astronomy was lifted upwards to a better understanding. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek opened a similar transition when he unveiled the cellular construction and biology. This opened the door to a whole new understanding of biology.
  Science is not the only area where this thought can be applied. Business and economics also reflect this pattern. The understanding of the way money and production flow has moved from different “dimensions” of understanding across history. While there are many different views on this subject, that doesn’t invalidate the idea the perspective on the subject has changed considerably.
 In addition, it is worth noting that when this understanding is reached it doesn’t mean that all previous information is thrown away. Many times the facts we know are part of the larger truth.
  This is relevant, not only to the study of historical transitions, but also to modern individuals’ lives. If one analyzes the assumptions he holds, there is every chance that he may realize his own limitations. Through this realization, one can to look beyond this limitation for a solution to his own limited observable data.
  Flatlands can teach SUNY Fredonia students this universal principle of challenging assumptions to find the truth. It could be promoted through the series of special objectives for students in individual departments to find new ways of looking at problems and developing abilities. To motivate students for reading the book and achieving this goal, each department would provide a challenge for their majors. The winner would be the student(s) who were able to create the most creative solution to the problem. Winners would have this count towards their cumulative GPA, and would be given an award.
   While many books attempt to inspire the reader towards creativity, I haven’t read one that could do it better than Flatlands. This novel, while entertaining, shows a greater moral of expanding one’s understanding towards truth.
   

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

“Of all the knowledge that we can ever obtain, the knowledge of God, and the knowledge of ourselves, are the most important.”
                Jonathan Edwards

     A focal point of the First Great Awakening, Jonathan Edwards was a puritan minister in the New England Colonies around the 1730s. It could be argued that the First Great Awakening was one of the pinnacle moments in American development, and, because Jonathan Edwards played such a large part in it, he also is worthy of some praise for carving out a part of the American identity.
    Throughout the early years of the 1700s, a spiritual deadness had crept into the American colonies. The Age of Reason had affected the collective belief system across the colonies. Deism, the idea that God had made the world but didn't interfere with it after, had become a popular way of thinking among the elites, and even many ministers were unconverted. Materialism had infected the American youth, and they cared more for the pursuance of opportunity than for spiritual matters. This is the context in which Jonathan Edwards begins his ministry.
   Jonathan Edwards was the only son in a family of thirteen. Something of an intellectual prodigy in his youth, the young Edwards was rigorously taught by his father and sisters at home until he was thirteen at which point he was accepted into the University of Yale. It was during this period that Jonathan had his conversion. The young scholar had always had trouble accepting the sovereignty of God, and he often wrestled periods of spiritual coolness and doubt. During this period, Jonathan felt convicted of his sins, and he made the decision to believe in Christ and be saved. This conversion would be the first act of a long plan.
   Graduating Valedictorian of his class, the fervent Edwards continued theological studies to complete his masters degree in three years. After the completion of his schooling,Jonathan took some time to study the Bible, and he wrote multiple treatises and sermons on varying subjects. Seeing the intellectuals and theologians of his day drifting towards the heresy of Deism caused a deep disturbance in the recently graduated theologian. He considered the beauty of nature and the orderliness of its laws as proof of God's greatness, and it alarmed him that others would raise the created above the creator.
   Eventually, Jonathan Edwards was made minister to the church at Northampton, one of the largest churches in Massachusetts, and assistant-pastor to his maternal grandfather. Edwards was shocked at the spiritual deadness he found in his parish. He was particularly dismayed at the hypocrisy that had crept into the these large institutions. Seeking to revive the zeal of his church and combat immoral practices he saw, Jonathan Edwards preached fiery sermons and lived what he preached in the community. It was common practice that he would visit those that he saw wandering to help them. His most famous sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" was preached in this environment. Stressing the absolute depravity and lost state of man, the sermon showed the mercy of God in extending his saving grace to sinners deserving of Hell. The concise, soft-spoken, and intellectual preaching of Jonathan Edwards touched the hearts of his parishioners. 
  Beyond simply preaching, the life of this devoted minister reflected his preoccupation with the eternal. He often rose very early in the morning and studying for thirteen hours a day. Believing in submitting his whole being to his service for God, Jonathan attempted to harness every moment of the day towards the use of his ministry and testimony.This dual action of both preaching God in Church and following him in life sparked a great revival in Edward's Church, and this revival spread throughout much of New England. These are the beginnings of what is now known as the First Great Awakening.
   Stressing personal salvation over institutional membership, it has been speculated that the Great Awakening completed what was started by Luther and nurtured by Calvin. This movement also stressed the equality of all men before God and the need for Christians to dwell in the scriptures. The logical conclusion to these ideas gave American Christianity more of an emphasis on an individual's standing before God and his equality with his fellow man. The promotion of these qualities led to the developing idea of religious individual liberty, a concept central to the foundations of the American Bill of Rights. It wouldn't be long after this time that Americans would begin to ask themselves, "if all are equal before God, should they not be equal before Government?" The results of these teachings were of great importance to the future American ideal which would be heavily influenced as a Christian nation.     
   Unfortunately, the central role in the Awakening would be carried on by Jonathan Edward's fellow revivalist, George Whitfield. The successful and prestigious Puritan minister had became a leader of the "new light" Calvinists, and his many connections gave him a wide voice. While this voice led to great gains, this voice also meant that any criticism of his would have far reaching consequences. One such criticism that had become embarrassing for the Northampton Church was  Edward's disagreement with his Grandfather. This conflict came about the nature of the Lord's Supper, which Edward's father believed was partially saving and open for everyone. Eventually, Johnathan's grandfather sent him out the church for refusing to give the Communion to known sinners. The still popular Johnathan didn't fight this edict, but instead he went quietly to a small congregation in the border wilderness. There, he acted as a missionary to the Indians and devoted himself to sending out correspondence and drafting treatises. During this period, Edwards drafted what is considered his greatest writing, The Freedom of Will. While his successor George Whitfield continued the message throughout the colonies, Edwards persevered in absentee, and continued a fruitful ministry in margins of society.  
   Edwards may have been banished, but his determined work for the Lord did not pass unnoticed. He was offered the Presidency of Princeton University. Two months after he accepted, he died of the fever.
   From child prodigy, to minister of a revival, to faithful missionary. Johnathan Edwards had incalculable influence on his own age, but also that of the future Christian influenced nation of America. Freedom of Religion is a concept that can be traced directly back to the fruits of the Great Awakening. The independent churches of the American frontier were descendants of the "New Light" Calvinists, and many great doctrine of the Christian faith were reaffirmed for all to see through Edwards' works. But, it is worth noting that the greatest achievement that we can award Edwards is that he was used by God to spark something great.

P.S: Here is the first of hopefully many more posts over this week. I am trying to be ambitious.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Now why dose this sound so prophetic ?

"They should look forward to a time, and that not a distant one, when a corruption in this, as in the country from which we derive our origin, will have seized the heads of government, and be spread by them through the body of the people; when they will purchase the voices of the people, and make them pay the price. "
Thomas Jefferson Notes on the Constitution of Virginia.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

if you have any .22 ammo hang on to it !!

I just spent 2 hours online and on the phone Cabelas, Bass Pro, Bulk Ammo.com, Walmart  and 10 other Ammo sites  then I called 3 gun stores they all said the same thing "We don't have any .22 ammo left" some followed that with  " no you can't back order some. We don't know when will have more." I can't help but wonder were is it all going ?!

Friday, March 8, 2013

The first peace of a long project.

This is the first thing I did on the next film project ! I did the design for the uniform but some vary talented people did and the hard work :)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Prayer

Hi every body I would really appreciate it if you would pray for me when ever you think about me. I really need some extra pray right now.
Thanks in advance.
 Rennuke