His Majesty: “Yet another reason to favor cloning.”
In the morning, a crescent moon in the dawn blue. In the evening, a dust storm has left your area clear, but turned the horizon a strange yellow. The setting sun is a vague ball glowing in a strange, uniform pale.
The sense you have is the sense you have after reading the best science fiction. Wonder and awe. But beyond what mortal science fiction can do.
Sex selection is a big thing in evolution. Why does the peacock have a gaudy, useless tail? The only reason we can think of is that drab little peahens like the macho display. The tail says, “look at me! I’m (bird)man enough to survive and thrive while carrying all this useless junk around.” So generation after generation the drab little peahens flock around the guys with the biggest tail and cluck over his eggs, and so generation after generation the little male peachicks are the ones with the genes for the biggest tails. So every generation the pea race gets bigger tails, tempered only by the fact that, you know, a lot of the peacocks sporting big tails probably get eaten.
That’s the theory anyway. It’s the best explanation we can come up with for features that otherwise don’t make sense. (more…)
The original book, Colossus, by D. F. Jones, upon which the 1970 movie was based, is free in Kindle (epub) format for a few more hours, or a day or so, at Amazon.
Copyrighted in 1966, it describes artificial intelligence run amok.
One practice of the Latter-day Saints is to bear testimony of the gospel. In particular, one worship service each month is devoted to members bearing testimonies to their wards. Another practice is to joke about baring testimony. That is when instead of carrying an edifying message to hearers, saints lose track of their purpose at the pulpit in excessively revealing ways, sharing stories of family trips, or health concerns, or experience with sin that others may not feel at ease hearing about so intimately.
Last week I spent several hours with the first chapter of John (“In the beginning was the Word, . . .”), and a minor repeated detail of John the Baptist’s ministry was noticeable:
“John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.”
“And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.”
“And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.”
So, the homophone isn’t so wrong after all.
The Golden Thread is a person’s real autobiography – the sequence of deep, significant, mythic-seeming, remembered experiences stretching back into childhood like a Golden Thread
The thought came into my mind that presence is the ultimate masculine quality. Call it charisma, gravitas, power, authority, what have you. Whatever it was that George Washington acquired and Jesus had. (It occurs to me that the same is probably true of feminity. We, groping our way in the dim light of our own reason, can get ahead a little by defining manliness and womanliness in terms of other qualities. But ultimately they are their own things and they themselves can be felt.)
God has presence. Revelations says that God doesn’t act to cause the end of the world. He just reveals himself. It is his presence that causes the earth to flame and the mountains to run down into the sea. He is hell for the sinner and heaven for the saint, without pronouncing a word of judgment.
A bunch of Yalies–our best and brightest! the future!–are exercised because someone wrote an email suggesting it would be OK to have a conversation about the permissibility of wearing an ethnic halloween costume. As P.J. O’Rourke once said, I feel a spate of better writing coming on. (more…)
(Trigger Warning for…everything)
Terrorist: Let everyone on this list of political prisoners free by midnight Friday or I will blow myself up in a public place and kill innocent bystanders.
Society: We don’t negotiate with terrorists!
Abused wife: He says if I ever leave him, he’ll kill himself, and I believe him.
Society: Girlfriend, you cannot let him blackmail you into spending your whole life with an abuser just because he says he’ll kill himself. He’s accountable for his own decisions, and you need to do what’s right for you and your kids.
LGBT Activists and Fellow-Travelers: If you don’t change your whole belief system to accommodate every conceivable sexual orientation and paraphilia, teenagers will kill themselves and their blood will be on your hands!
Society: Sounds serious, you’d better give them what they’re asking for unless you want kids to kill themselves. (more…)
One of the sisters had an interesting insight. She said that Satan fills vacuums. If the home isn’t filled with something, Satan will fill it. She recommended using light and truth as the filler.
Here’s the thing. My wife and I used to help run our community water system. We learned there that the best way to avoid contamination was positive pressure or overpressure. It’s hard for something to sneak in when the water is constantly trying to burst out. Clean rooms operate on similar principles, I’m told.
The man annoyed me. I hadn’t the slightest objection to his spending his time planning massacres for the bourgeoisie, but I was dashed if I could see why he couldn’t do it with a bright and cheerful smile.
That’s one of mine. Pretty fruity, eh? Even Jeeves let on that it was one of my bonnier mots.
What gives me a rummy feeling is how dashed prophetic it turned out to be. We Woosters have always been humble and unassuming. Not the sort at all to thrust ourselves forward into presence of the Lord of Hosts, I mean to say, for a bit of chewing the fat. (“Lord of Hosts” is a bit of scripture lingo). But much to my surprise I find I’ve been oracling away with the best of them.
I mean, dash it, survey the good ol’ modern scene and what do you see? Bounders of all descriptions chivvying everyone hither and yon, working themselves up into a frightful pother. One wishes that a suave man of the world would take them aside and tell them, “my dear perverts, my good socialists, sit down and have a soothing cup of tea.”