On forgiveness

Forgiveness is hard. I’ve been talking to someone about that today and dug up these posts from around the blogosphere.

Franky does acrobatics

Turtles are the best pets. They’re funny. Clean. And they do cool stuff. Like this. Most of the fun finishes about halfway into this video. But it’s only 48 seconds.

Benny on equality

There have been many articles popping up the last few weeks on gender pay inequality, and I have noticed many contain the following analysis:


1. Get paid less.
2. Work fewer hours around the work office as they undertake more family related duties.
3. Generally have less work-related experience compared with a man of the equivalent age, due to having a more disrupted career (due to family commitments).
4. Have less super at retirement, due to working/earning less.
5. Have difficulty getting into higher work positions, sometimes linked to the impact of family duties on work commitments or a disrupted career path.
6. Are worse off financially, and do not have the same career progress as men.

Further, this can lead to second-degree problems, such as women being financially disadvantaged when involved in a relationship breakdown, due to losing the financial security built into the family unit and having lower savings/lower future earning capacity/less superannuation than the male counterpart.

This is all fair enough. However, I think it is important to recognise that the characteristics above are not necessarily evidence of different earning realisations due to pure gender-related pay discrimination. It seems that most of the arguments that stem from these points is misdirected, often mistaking inequality of opportunity or pure wage discrimination based on gender with different earning capacities due to circumstance leading to inequality of outcomes. A true example of discriminatory pay rates would be if, for the same inputs, there were differing outputs, as in for the same factors (including hours worked, qualifications, experience), there was differing pay. and at present, with the recognition of the above factors, I think the evidence being spread doesn’t align with the suggested problems, or required solutions, being touted.

However, the main point I want to make is that currently it seems that the pro-equality groups direct their anger at the businesses/employers for failing to ignite gender equality. Why is it the employer’s role to do this? Businesses should not be required to fulfil social welfare redistributive role. Employers should be required to pay an employee what their work-related characteristics require. Employers shouldn’t have to act on the idea that 10 years of life experience is equivalent to 10 years of on-the-job experience. If, as a society, we want to undertake wealth redistribution on whatever grounds, there are better institutions and better ways of doing this.

It is unclear exactly what the ultimate goal/solution of recognition of gender wage inequality will be. However, I think it is important to recognise the above distinctions, and most importantly, be careful what solutions are implemented, and not use business enterprises as a blunt weapon for attempting to right the perceived wrongs in society.


Preach or Perish

My grandfather (aka Fafa aka Donald Howard) wrote a book. About preaching. I’m reading it. It has been helpful. When I finish reading it I’ll post a proper review. In the meantime you should know that it did not win the 2009 Australian Christian Book of the Year – but it was an equal joint second prize winner with two others. A little like Townsville’s Rachel Finch in the Miss Universe competition…

It was self published. It features chapters from plenty of well known preachers. You can buy it here.

Scruntch time

A while back I posted a bunch of novelty toilet paper designs. You should check out that post – and these other fantastic bathroom fillers.

Sometimes you just really have to go at night. And finding the light switch is hard. Glow in the dark toilet paper is there in case of emergency.

Some people like to read while sitting on the toilet. My mum always warned me about hemorrhoids that occur as a result. You can take that warning, or leave it. If you leave it perhaps you’d like to have some brainteasers at hand (which reminds me of the one about the constipated mathematician – he worked it out with a pencil*).

Other people like to jot down thoughts and journal ideas on notepads. Artist Michael Gondry turned his notepad doodlings into toilet paper – I assume only the bad ideas made it.

*Not even my favourite toilet humour joke – which is “a doctor was walking the corridors of the hospital when a pharmacist approached and said “doctor, doctor, there’s a suppository behind you ear,” the doctor paused, checked his ear and said “oh no, some bum has got my pen.”


Photos without borders

Polaroids are dead. Apparently. They’re no longer being made. Which is sad. Who doesn’t like a bordered photo that you have to shake?

Turns out lots of people do. So much that you can get an iPhone app that turns your iPhone into a polaroid camera – you even have to shake it for it to develop. It’s called ShakeIt.

Then, thanks to the magic of the internet and the extensive collection of iPhone apps to cover every unimaginable possibility – you can mail it to yourself as a postcard. Using ShootIt.

Failing that you can jump onto Rollip – an online service that turns all of your photos into electronic polaroids. There are a few extra effects you can add…

Braindead Video Game

If you are worried about the impending zompocalypse then perhaps the best thing you can do is get rid of your brain. The best way I can suggest to partake in that kind of activity short of a super lobotomy is to play this proposed game… Guitar Hero for air guitarists… Headbang Hero.

“You are awarded points for your personal headbanging choreography… but you should be aware that your health is at risk! To stress this point Headbang Hero also analyses how hazardous your performance is. Using a wireless motion-sensing wig as game interface, anyone – regardless of how much hair they have – can become a Headbang Hero!”

Hip to be square?

Some haircuts make the bowl cut look good. I’m torn between thinking this is the most awesome haircut ever, and some sort of geeky hobo mullet.

From Flickr.

Preparing for the Zompocalypse

It’s just not right to let mathematicians have all the fun. Especially when it comes to modeling the impending Zombie Apocalypse. So this political scientist jumped on the zombie bandwagon – which I imagine looks something like the truck at the end of Shaun of the Dead, or a rusty ute… but I digress. This Polsci (that, like zompocalypse, is a portmanteau (which is a cool word but a crap way to name a church planting movement… I’m just saying…)) has explored the various possibilities of post zombie politcal fall out. Here’s the neocon response…

“While the threat might be existential, accommodation or recognition are not options. Instead, neocons would quickly gear up an aggressive response to ensure human hegemony. However, the response would likely be to invade and occupy the central state in the zombie-affected area. After creating a human outpost in that place, humans in neighboring zombie-affected countries would be inspired to rise up and overthrow their own zombie overlords. Alas, while this could happen, a more likely outcone would be that, after the initial “Mission Accomplished” banner had been raised, a fresh wave of zombies would rise up, enmeshing the initial landing force — which went in too light and was drawn down too quickly — in a protracted, bloody stalemate.”


New strategy for the new atheism

The iMonk puts forward a little insight into how the goalposts are moving when it comes to discourse with atheists. I tend to agree with his diagnosis of the problem.

Some great insights.

“One of my letters this week stated that a 17 year old raised in an evangelical family was now an avid atheist, with many of the hijinks of evangelicalism as evidence of manipulation and control. He couldn’t mean take off your shoes and spin your socks over your head while singing “Jesus mess me up?” Why would that bother anyone?”

“You see, evangelicals have made such outrageous assumptions and promises about happiness, healing, everything working out, knowing God, answered prayer, loving one another and so on that proving us to be liars isn’t even a real job. It’s just a matter of tuning in to an increasing number of voices who say “It’s OK to not believe. Give yourself a break. Stop tormenting yourself trying to believe. Stop propping up your belief with more and more complex arguments. Just let go of God.”

“Keller is still great. C.S.Lewis is still helpful. [William Lane] Craig is still impressive. But I’m not sure their arguments are on the right channel. Vast numbers of people aren’t asking for philosophy. They are asking what will let them live a life uncomplicated by lies, manipulation and constant calls to prefer ignorance to what seems obvious.

What we’ve said and written is fine. What we’ve lived in our homes, private lives, churches, workplaces and friendships has spoken louder.

We are the ones who appear to not believe in the God we say is real. We are the ones who seem to be forcing ourselves to believe with bigger shows, bigger celebrities and bigger methods of manipulation.”


Go with the flow chart

Diagrammr is pretty cool. It creates flow chart diagram things from sentences. I just used it to map out the logic of John 14. Because it’s a pretty layered little passage. It doesn’t quite get there… but it goes close. Check it out. It appears to save the stuff I’ve put in here – and I think you can probably change it all you like… which is a pain.

It only works with simple sentences. Here are the things I put in:

Jesus is in God
God is in Jesus
Jesus speaks words of God
Jesus is going to God
Jesus brings glory to God
God gives the Spirit
We are in Jesus
We are in God
We have the Spirit
The_World does not have the spirit
The_World does not love Jesus
We have seen Jesus
We have seen God
The_world does not see Jesus
The_world does not see God
Spirit comes in the name of Jesus
Jesus loves God