Friday, September 30, 2011

Video Response to Ravi Zacharias Let My People Think podcast with Dr. John Lennox on Tale-bearing, Partiality and Dreams

To listen to the podcast I'm discussing you can download the mp3 here.

My thoughts on Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) Let My People Think podcast  with Dr. John Lennox on Tale-bearing, Partiality and Dreams. Dr. Lennox addresses the question: "what is the biggest risk to institutions (nation or family)" by looking to the story of Jacob's partiality toward his son Joseph. Dr. Lennox proposes one of the greatest threats to institutions is favoritism but what I don't get is "what about Jesus's favoritism toward 3 of his disciples (Peter, James, and John)?" Matthew 17:1-9, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28-36, John 20:2

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Video Response to Philosophy Bites Philip Pettit on Consequentialism

To listen to the podcast I'm discussing you can download the mp3 here.

My thoughts on Philosophy Bites podcast on Philip Pettit's interview on Consequentialism. Consequentialism is closely related to the philosophy Utilitarianism. It bases it's means on the conclusions or the consequences of an action. Immanuel Kant was apparently a Nonconsequentialist. The question I keep asking myself is, "where is the hope?" Is choosing a lesser evil not still evil?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Video Response to Common Sense with Dan Carlin's "Savior Corp LLC" podcast

To listen to the podcast I'm discussing you can download the mp3 here.

My thoughts on Dan Carlin's Common Sense podcast on letting the rich and powerful just take control. It almost seems like Dan's just giving up if he thinks the best thing we can do is just let the super rich just take control. One could argue that we are already doing that. He's not the first person apparently to think this though. Ralph Nadar had a book called Only the Super Rich Can Save Us. Not all rich people are bad. Not all government is corrupt, incompetent or inefficient. Not all corporations are exploitative, greedy or environment destroyers like the Reds and Blues would have us believe. Not sure if I can agree with Dan on this but it does make us ask: "Who do you trust and what else can we do?"

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Video Response to RC Sproul's Renewing Your Mind sermon on "When Towers Fall"

To listen and view the sermon I'm discussing click here.

Why do bad things happen to good people? As we remember 9/11 RC Sproul looks to the scriptures to see what Jesus had to say about this question. We find the answer in Luke 13:4. Jesus' message is a stark reminder of our inadequacy before an almighty God. Perhaps we should ask, "Why didn't the towers fall on us?"

Monday, September 12, 2011

Video Response to Intelligence Squared's debate on "Is Islam a Religion of Peace?"

To listen and view the debate I'm discussing click here.

Part 1                                                                                                  Part 2


My thoughts on Intelligence Squared's debate on the motion "Is Islam a Religion of Peace?" This was the first debate where I actually changed my mind. My first thought was: "We can't judge a religion based on a few extremists" but those against the motion made a strong argument with "We should also judge a religion based on its founder".  This does beg the question though, "Is Judaism a religion of peace due to all its founders history of wars?" and "What about Christianity?" Jesus and his disciples were certainly for peace but following leaders of the faith were not.

Could Islam be a religion of peace though if it is not thought of one now? People think of the other faiths as peaceful namely because there are not as many wanton acts of violence by its followers so what would it take to make Islam peaceful (or at least viewed as peaceful)? My solution: Secularize it. i.e. Make it (the majority view) moderate by giving a platform for the more non-fundamentalist scholars. Encourage the majority to make extremist views taboo and suicide as worthy of condemnation in hell rather than a means to martyrdom to glory.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Video Response to TEDTalk by Joan Halifax on Compassion

To listen and view the the presentation I'm discussing you can go here.

My thoughts on Joan Halifax's TEDTalk on Compassion. What does it mean to be compassionate? How do we (or even should we) balance helping individuals with helping a nation? If an overpopulated nation is out of natural resources and can't feed itself does giving them food help or just prolong the suffering? No one would think its good to let the children starve though. What happens if our compassion and means to offering it conflict? E.g. Those who justify abortion to prevent children being born into families where they are not wanted or worse abused. What drives our compassion? Is it out of self interest? Do not all our motivations originate out of self interest?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Video Response to This American Life's epidsode of "20 Acts in 60 Minutes"

To listen to the podcast I'm discussing you can download the mp3 here.

My thoughts on This American Life's podcast "20 Acts in 60 Minutes". I feel for those of you who go to West Point. It must be like pledging a fraternity everyday of college. What better way to say "I'm sorry" then to put it into a song? Be sure to get to know your colleagues names. Sometimes we don't know why we are successful. Sometimes, its just an Irving (fluke).

Friday, September 9, 2011

Video Response to Stuff You Should Know on "The Future of the Internet"

To listen to the podcast I'm discussing you can download the mp3 here.

Part 1                                                                                                 Part 2


My thoughts on Stuff You Should Know's podcast on The Future of the Internet. My predictions: faster wireless internet, the slow death of apps and emergence of "web apps" in their place, cloud computing is nothing new but it will become more common. But all this could end if Net neutrality isn't taken seriously. My solution: turn the infrastructure over to a public utility and require ISPs to share their networks. The internet can makes us dumb by adding another useless distraction leading us further towards a "Brave New World" or we can harness its potential and use it for sharing knowledge or wisdom. It all depends on how we use it. I'm trying to use it to try to capture my scattered temporal thoughts. In summary: why I do this. Had to break this one down into 2 parts due to time constraints. I tried using Windows Movie Maker to split the video but it messed up the audio.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Video Response to TEDTalk by AlexSteffen on "The Shareable Future of Cities"

To listen and view the presentation I'm discussing click here.

My thoughts on Alex Steffen's TEDTalk on The Shareable Future of Cities. I've always wondered why we don't have "libraries" for all our tools or things we only want to use occasionally. Alex Steffen wonders the same thing and share's his vision of the near and necessary future of cities if we are to survive.

Video Response to This American Life's epidsode of "Million Dollar Ideas"

To listen to the podcast I'm discussing you can download the mp3 here.

My thoughts on This American Life's podcast on Million Dollar Ideas. Why do all Asian food places seem the same? MIT entrepreneurs make their best elevator pitches to potential investors; Cheese is the new heroin; Phillip Morris knows cigarettes kill and that's good for society since your early death saves money; Michael Larson proves you can beat TV game shows (while possibly doing one of the only honest things in his life).