Friday, September 21, 2018

Equinox

Today is the last day of 2018 with more daytime than nighttime in the northern hemisphere. Tomorrow is the autumn equinox. There are two of these each year, one in the spring, one in the fall.

The equinox is a date with equal parts day and night. Sunrise and sunset are separated by 12 hours.

A few years back I realized this is true everywhere in the world. Even Alaska, the land of the midnight sun during the summertime, has 12 hours of sunlight and 12 hours of darkness on the equinox.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Launching Social

Gab claims it is “adding an average of 100,000 new users each month and becoming one of the top 10,000 websites.”

I would have thought that having hundreds of thousands of users would have meant a higher ranking such as in the top 1,000 Web sites. Note, they don't say how many of those users are active.

In looking at a list of the top 500 Web sites, I only have to get to number 23 before I see the name of a site I've never heard of before.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Schuller & State

I recently spent an hour reading through Robert Schuller's book, Prayer: My Soul's Adventure With God, A Spiritual Autobiography. I didn't approach it with any expectations, nor to spend a lot of time on the book.

There were three sections that caught my attention, and they all were at the intersection of church and state.

First, Members of Congress from both parties were members of his church. They and others advised him to steer clear of politics, advice he heeded. He noted criticism he took for limiting his ability to be a prophetic voice on issues of the day.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Father > Hero

I finished reading Rocket Boys this morning. While he never got to meet his hero, Wernher von Braun, his hero at one point had been by his exhibit at the national science fair and had picked up and appreciated his rocket parts.

Hickam realized that the person most important to him at his last amateur rocket launch was his father. He never got the fatherly encouragement he wanted, but then decided to give encouragement to his father instead. I found it to be a very powerful ending.

Monday, September 17, 2018

iOS 12 Out

iOS 12 is out today.

I downloaded it. Things I noticed:

  • Bedtime can now also trigger DND.
  • DND has a separate setting to be invoked by Bedtime that is not in sync with Bedtime's setting.
  • Measure looks like fun.
  • Screen time looks useful, though it will take some time to tell. It doesn't look like it tells me when I use my phone or apps, only how much.
  • Screen time has a today widget. It's on my default, and I'll probably leave it that way.
  • Cursor functionality looks useful, though is not active in all apps.
  • Voice memos has some new editing features, though my first pass in trimming a clip was not successful.
Things that didn't change:
  • Bedtime still confuses me. I'm not sure if I can get it to track bedtime without also waking me up in the morning.
  • Auto-shutoff still has nothing in between staying on for 5 minutes and staying on forever.
I've been wondering when Wall Street is going to notice that Apple is offering everyone on the previously latest devices a free upgrade. There's no upgrade supercycle this time around. Then again, apparently it was already dead.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

“What do you want to do?”

I've been enjoying reading Rocket Boys lately. Homer Hickam was a fish out of water shooting off rockets in a coal mining town. As he was growing up, and with input from his father, deviating from the town norm of coal mining was not without its moments of insecurity. The part where I left off today ended with him having won multiple science fairs and having been recognized at school his senior year. His day ended with him finally realizing his path was clear. He now was sure of who he was and what he was to do.

I was having breakfast with someone a while back who asked me, “What do you want to do?” Having virtually no experience with this person, and them knowing little of mine, that made this question easier than it usually is for me.

Friday, September 14, 2018

The Greatest Difficulty for the Rich

Jeff Bezos was in town recently.

This prompted “a supremely well-attended dinner marking The Economic Club of Washington, D.C.’s 32nd anniversary.” This has the Washington Business Journal gushing about how “Never had so many business leaders packed into the massive ballroom at the Washington Hilton” with “about 1,400 business leaders, politicians and local celebrities and 130 credentialed members of the media.” The event “was so large it required multiple levels of the Washington Hilton to fit it. A pre-event reception was so packed that organizers held a smaller, but equally packed, separate reception for sponsors and the biggest VIPs in a crowd of VIPs.” The praise for the crowd continued from there.

Some people make their money just studying people who have lots of money and assets. There's no shortage of articles on things rich people do, have in common, etc.

I don't remember the exact headline or title now, but I once saw something on Business Insider, if I remember correctly, that identified the most fundamental common thing among people of means or wealth.

They had all hit bottom at some point, and then they had all decided not to be at the bottom anymore. They put their hunger or desire to use, and became extremely self-reliant. Of course, they need to hire a lot of people along the way, but there is a transforming fundamental drive to succeed that is what truly sets them on a different trajectory than the rest of us.

With that understanding, and even with all their riches and assets, there is still something that is extremely hard for them to do.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Diversion or Delving Deeper?

I was reading in John 4 the other day, and a couple things really struck me from the comments of the woman. This is the story of Jesus and the woman at the well.

She refers to “our father” in verse 12, and “our fathers” in verse 20. “Our” is in both the father of the Jews and the father of the Samaritans—they both had the same father.

This may be a passing comment, but it also makes the point there's no real difference for the Jews to consider Samaritans as different or as other from them as they did.

When Jesus told the woman to call her husband, I had always read her response as being one of changing the subject. However, as I look at this again in the context of her “our” references, instead of this being a change of subject, it seems like it instead may be an attempt to uncover and address an underlying issue and barrier that she and her people have been facing—one that had been used to consider Samaritans as different or other.

She may have seen this time with a prophet as an opportunity to ask a lingering question. After all, she had been looking for Him (4:25-26).

Before we judge people, it's a good idea to listen to people fully, even if something seems like a diversion. Their comments are in context for them and may not be a diversion at all. It may simply be hidden to us that the person is more on topic than ever.

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You don't launch a popular blog,
you build one.
Seth Godin