Thursday, April 30, 2009

Virus Alert

No, not the swine flu.

Pretty viruses. Or are they viruses made pretty?

See more viruses rendered visual here.

And in a deeply ironic semi-related note, some downloads of the release candidate copy of Windows 7 may be infected with a trojan.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pot Pie

When I was a boy my mother would often make dinner by reheating frozen pot pies in the oven. That's not a criticism. To this day, I love chicken pot pies. The problem lay in that Mom buys things that are on sale or have the lowest price without regard to quality. I am prone to similar behaviour. This apple did not fall far from the tree.

As a child I noticed that the pot pies that were completely encased in crust were usually pretty good. The ones that were chicken cobblers, that is without a bottom crust were always awful.

We recently picked up a large box of pot pies at a discount warehouse. They are fully encrusted and are quite tasty. One of them is a satisfying meal. The other pot pies do not have a full crust and, as was true in childhood, are less desirable. They also do not fill me up. After consuming one, I'm always hungry. Which means that an hour or two after mealtime I find something to snack on. The snack is always something unhealthy and is usually something I do not really want.

I think that modern religion can be analogized to pot pies. Real religion, that is to say historical and orthodox Christianity is self contained and is spiritually satisfying. It provides a varied experience. Modern religion, that practised by many mainline churches, is religion without a complete crust. In an effort to make it available to more people, the ingredients have been reduced and cheapened. It provides less calories and nutrients, so that it can never fully satisfy. Its consumers either abandon it for fast food religion or supplement it with unhealthy spiritual snack food.

Like all analogies, this one breaks down if pushed too far. But it does explain why lowering the cost of faith does not actually result in more adherents.

The Intersection of Enthusiasms

The redoubtable computer review site, Tom's Hardware recently had what they term the "Biggest CPU Shootout, Ever". They held it in Austin, Texas, which just plain sucks, but there you are. To say that I am jealous of the participants is to understate the case.