vaecrius: a crude scrawl of a grinning, blazing yellow sun. (hier kommt die sonne)
Learning to the read the Scriptures, in which its stories reveal things to us about God is difficult. All Christian reading of the OT must be read through the lens of Christ. Those who do this in a backward sense fall into error.

The Fathers said that the OT is a “shadow” of the truth. Too many people try to read it as though it was a clear, literal presentation of the truth. It is not. That is the witness of the Fathers. It is shadow.

The New Testament is “icon of the truth” according to the Fathers. It is a faithful image and can be used to understand and clarify the shadow. The age to come is the truth itself, the fathers said, when all things will be clear.

Frankly, at a certain point in Christian history, an alternative gospel was created. This was not the gospel of Pascha, the primitive and abiding witness of the Orthodox faith. Instead, it was the story of the wrathful God and the infinitely indebted people of earth. We are the bad guys, deserving of every possible punishment. Etc.

The scope of Scripture and the message of Pascha is utterly foreign to that story. The true Paschal story is of a people who are in bondage, held captive. They are to be pitied rather than blamed. Christ comes to destroy the false debt of death and set us free. He leads us into the promised land. He tramples down death by death. He becomes what we are that we might become what He is.
Fr. Stephen's comment to his article "Getting Your Mind Right"
vaecrius: a crude scrawl of a grinning, blazing yellow sun. (hier kommt die sonne)
The best stupid pun ever.

But I don’t want to stop there. There a few deeper and more mysterious applications of this. The Lamb slain at the foundation of the world as a type of evolution.

That said, another, biologically more, philosophically less cf. colonials: more* ambitious take on the Nth Men story.
(Also he has thought out giant spiders :O :O :O||||~)


*2014-08-21 EDIT: The more I think about it, the more I think Bogleech is right. This is better in every way: humane where MAM was profoundly misanthropic, humble where F&LM was arrogant and certain, hopeful even in death where MAM and F&LM are ambivalent. This is what science fiction ought to be.
vaecrius: a crude scrawl of a grinning, blazing yellow sun. (hier kommt die sonne)
We Don't Go There At Night
Rules & Guidelines:
  1. The story text should be the only text in your comic.
  2. Use the text any way you like.
  3. Your comic can be as long or as short as you choose, in any medium, on any subject.
  4. Your comic must be spooky.


The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling by Ted Chiang
We don’t normally think of it as such, but writing is a technology, which means that a literate person is someone whose thought processes are technologically mediated. We became cognitive cyborgs as soon as we became fluent readers, and the consequences of that were profound.
A thing that needs to be read. Fiction, if I recall.



Eating indigenously changes diets and lives of Native Americans
History and health came together one dark November evening for Marty Reinhardt at Northern Michigan University.

Reinhardt, a professor in the Native American Studies program, was helping to serve up fry bread, Indian tacos and other offerings at the annual First Nations Food Taster, a fund-raising event for the Native American Student Association, when he had an epiphany: “Would my ancestors even recognize this as food?”

Much has changed between Reinhardt and his ancestors. Indians have long since been removed to reservations, and diets based on seasonal hunting, fishing, gathering and gardening have been replaced by government-supplied commodity foods. Indians have suffered a crisis in diet-related obesity and health issues.

These disparate threads converged that evening in the Lake Superior port city of Marquette, Mich., as Reinhardt, of Anishinaabe Ojibway heritage, turned his question inside out, “I wondered if I could eat what my ancestors ate.”

The spark of curiosity soon evolved into a formal, university-sanctioned research study, the Decolonizing Diet Project — a year-long challenge to eat only foods that were in the Great Lakes region before 1602. The initial food challenge ended in March but the research into indigenous diet continues.
I remember during one of those days on campus in September where various clubs had their stands and one of them was the First Nations Law club and they were giving out free fry bread. I remember quietly politely accepting, but being less than impressed in the end and wondering what had been lost. The memory of that flavour is vivid, as is my post-dinner memory of my mother's very Chinese, very good cooking, and it is that contrast that makes me pay so much greater attention to this article.
vaecrius: Duke2 Rigelatin overlord: "We'd kill you, you see, but our religion prevents the interruption of suffering." (rigelatin)
Before everything else, if you read nothing else in this post, take a mental health break. It will break your mental health in all the best ways.


Riotous Eater of Flesh

A carnivorous tribal warrior-race from ______, a sweltering, ecologically volatile forest/ocean planet revolving around a yellow giant deep in the Orion Arm. Naturally resistant to damage and poisons, they have no claws or venoms of their own but rely entirely on things fashioned from available materials or forcibly extracted from other beings. Most of their brain matter is optimized towards problems of food, weapons and territorial displays, with a small non-reproductive caste dedicated to inquiries not directly related thereto. Capable of some limited hivemind-swarming, partially coordinated through their otherwise primitive displays.

Their homeworld rotates on an unusal axial tilt that is just enough to create significant climate differences on the surface while preventing any part of it from being permanently frozen over the year; it is speculated that their natural aggressiveness created a need to rapidly spread out across their world and adapt to its numerous varied climates and sources of nutrients. Their legends say that the planet has been subject to several mass extinctions in the past, apparently the last one perpetuated by these creatures themselves.


...


The reverse furry's face would lack the muscles and coordination necessary to form human expressions, and its eyes would have almost no visible whites.


...


Two dichotomies have been on my mind about what realities exist for us:
  • Transcendental, Institutional Real, Arbitrary

  • Personal, Impersonal

By transcendental real I mean like a rock: no matter what you say, it - or at least the underlying matter constituting it - is still there. (And if what you say is "You with the jackhammer, break this rock and clear our path", the resulting multitude of rocks and dust remains.) There is underneath the surface perception that, if known, becomes a connection to a greater world beyond our subjective interpretation.

By institutional arbitrary I mean the fact that we would call a certain composition a rock and not a pebble, gravel, lava or dust.

Generally, to say it without making an authorial value judgment, people will prefer the personal over the impersonal.

I would rather not imagine a society of people who would categorically value the institutional arbitrary over the transcendental real, rather than valuing the latter as the important one and the former as a necessary evil to be tolerated. A predominantly urbanized, industrialized subculture with an economy where the biggest commodity is information can get very close to such a thing.

The world of the rationalist is transcendental real and impersonal. The personal is relegated to a separate universe, a multitude of isolated wills that observe and act upon a mechanical, passive it that constitutes our (however grudgingly) shared environment.

The world of the ancients, with their gods and ancestors and karma and appeasements, is personal and institutional arbitrary: it's all about who you know, and the what eventually follows.

The core of Christian belief, immediately beneath the Resurrection, is of a transcendental [let's keep "transcendental" here for what follows] personal Reality that is the only true and self-sufficient one over all the others.

Following a childish, Manichean logic, h Hell would then be on the opposite corner: institutional arbitrary and impersonal, a fungible anonymity in which love is literally nonsensical (not merely dismissed as irrational for being against self-interest) in which everything is dictated by arbitrary merely institutional, unaccountable systems of deeming and pretence that are real only in the injustice and suffering they create. A modern, comprehensive bureaucratic state is often invoked as an example, though there are less immediately brutal implementations.

A frequent apparent contradiction, that God made "the world" good but "the world" is also a sordid mess ruled by Satan for the malefit of all, is resolved when the references are understood to mean two distinct worlds on opposite corners of this simple grid.

Following a more traditional distinction, t The remaining two corners aren't that lovely either.



Anyway, here's a thing about how guns work:



[2015-11-11: Made some long-overdue changes to the terminology names. (Short words beat long ones.) Mostly motivated by Fr. Stephen going along similar lines.]
vaecrius: a crude scrawl of a grinning, blazing yellow sun. (hier kommt die sonne)
Eating In-Vitro: Meat, the Expectations
The Next Nature Lab is currently developing new visions on the production methods, designs and eating habits that might emerge around in-vitro meat. These speculative* designs vary from knitted meat, protein powder fondue and luxurious meat fruit, to kitchen based bio-reactors and colorful magic meatballs for the kids.
*(except the "actually eating" sense, I'm afraid.)
vaecrius: The blocky spiral motif based on the golden ratio that I use for various ID icons, ending with a red centre. (Default)
The power of Christ compelled him.


beside a stream there was a dwelling. Blackened by time and rain, the hut was piled up on all sides with taiga rubbish—bark, poles, planks. If it hadn’t been for a window the size of my backpack pocket, it would have been hard to believe that people lived there. But they did, no doubt about it…. Our arrival had been noticed, as we could see.

The low door creaked, and the figure of a very old man emerged into the light of day, straight out of a fairy tale. Barefoot. Wearing a patched and repatched shirt made of sacking. He wore trousers of the same material, also in patches, and had an uncombed beard. His hair was disheveled. He looked frightened and was very attentive…. We had to say something, so I began: 'Greetings, grandfather! We’ve come to visit!'

The old man did not reply immediately... . Finally, we heard a soft, uncertain voice: 'Well, since you have traveled this far, you might as well come in.'



Also, hell o. aka the best thing ever

(really the entire blog is certainly not unworth your while.)
vaecrius: a crude scrawl of a grinning, blazing yellow sun. (hier kommt die sonne)
"Arthur’s Britain would have been fairly multicultural, as the Roman Empire included Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and brought many people of varying ethnic backgrounds into Britain."
Surprisingly inspiring!
Seriously, just something about imagining an urban Round Table full of black, brown and yellow dudes suddenly brings the legends to life - honest to monkeys, I hadn't even thought of it in this way before reading this article, it was an instant gut feeling.

Also this:
http://www.kavehfarrokh.com/iranica/the-women-of-persia/the-persian-lioness-iranian-women-in-history/

Source:
http://fozmeadows.wordpress.com/2012/12/08/psa-your-default-narrative-settings-are-not-apolitical/

(Hat tip: [personal profile] conuly)
vaecrius: Duke2 Rigelatin overlord: "We'd kill you, you see, but our religion prevents the interruption of suffering." (rigelatin)
Just another day's work.

This media cycle we've got two teenage girls who fell violently victim to an ancient evil. One may yet be a martyr but let's hope she's merely an inspiration instead; it may be more interesting, simply due to there being room for actual controversy between not-evil-monster people, at this point to discuss the one who was a suicide:
"Why isn't anyone talking about the sexism and misogyny involved in Amanda Todd's life and death? 'Bullying' is important, yes, but it is a vague term that glosses over the structural reasons for why it happens, like race/gender/class/ability. If we don't start talking about the specifics of power structures in high schools, every ‘bullying’ campaign will be a waste of time."

Jiwa specified that the language of bullying “means little to students, and less to teachers. I can tell you that from both perspectives. The bullies laugh and text during every presentation against bullying, and then those who are bullied get bullied more. THIS case is one of many episodes of sexist coercion by men; what is also interesting is that the women in her life turned against her too even though they deal with the same pressures of capitulating to [...] internalized patriarchy. It makes me so mad how much money the public education system spends on campaigns [...] without actually talking about anything. The most effective presentation I have seen is one by a group called LOVE because it is real, artistic, and cool, and they actually talk about racism, poverty, and sexism. [Bullying] is not childish; not a thing that happens solely to teenagers; those same learned behaviours are the ones that circulate in the workplace, in clubs, on the street, and any other adult-inhabited place.”


In other news, a thing won a contest:
Because of should not be used to modify a sentence in the future tense, since it is a logical fallacy to impute a cause to something that is not (yet) true. Rather, a construction such as due to or owing to should be used, or the sentence should be rewritten to be more clear.
If Mitt Romney has a chance of winning this election, then there is no limit to human evil and stupidity and we need to actually keep this link handy when, not if, we encounter people rudely incorrecting other people's grammar over this.

And now a mental health break.

And another, for varying ways of parsing those words strung together. (By the way, where's that cover picture from? Definitely one of those pieces that sticks in your mind after a surprisingly long while.)

And on the topic of refreshing renditions of religion, here is Dr. "River Of Fire" Kalomiros nearly converting me to Christianity again, with of all things a more literal interpretation of Genesis 1 than I am normally comfortable with, in his typically vivid, Chestertonian uncommon-sense way. Never did think of Let There Be Light as signifying anything other than the Big Bang...
vaecrius: Duke2 Rigelatin overlord: "We'd kill you, you see, but our religion prevents the interruption of suffering." (rigelatin)
Okay, first, let's get the really horrible link over with.

...

The rest of it is not horrible I promise.

"How is it wrong that they are dead? A brand new insight, no. A good reminder, yes.

As is this. If I can get to this point before age forty it will have been a non-failure.
(an OP is fine too (like, go read it and stuff))

I want a version of this for a men's suit blazer. For blindingly obvious reasons.

This however is something I want, let's just say, somewhat less. D8
vaecrius: Duke2 Rigelatin overlord: "We'd kill you, you see, but our religion prevents the interruption of suffering." (rigelatin)
The poppies are wild, they are only beautiful and tall
so long as you do not cut them,
they are like the feral cat who purrs and rubs against your leg
but will scratch you if you touch back.
Love is letting the world be half-tamed.
That’s how the rain comes, softly and attentively, then

with unstoppable force. If you
stare upwards as it falls, you will see
they are falling sparks that light nothing only because
the ground interrupts them. You can hear the way they’d burn,
the smoldering sound they make falling into the grass.
--Jennifer Grotz, "Poppies"

Also I am using this icon in a way I had never intended, but in creating suspected might have been true.

[2017-03-22: Adding the author and title to this post instead of relying on the link because this poem is that good.]
vaecrius: A little yellow ant in the grass on a sunny day. (yellow ant)
Artist wanted. For what I have seen to be a quite worthy cause.

In other news: it's "watch Matt clear out half the tabs he's left open in the browser" time again! I'm going to deliberately leave out anything that would normally catch the Helm's Deep* tag for my own sanity - the way things are now I'm sure everyone reading this has seen their share of the heads catapaulted into Minas Tirith already.

Time to slow down and sail on the river...

*(that said, speaking of Helm's Deep... which I have just read with this overlaid.)

Note that I list each tag only once in the descriptions below.

On a better empathy )
personal: matt is dumb: many stories, political: sex and gender stuff: manly!, pyxolytical: clothed ape

In which a man is more legitimately sure of his own humanity than most of us can dream )
linkdump: aural masturbation focus, linkdump: death by awesome, political: hoplophilia, pyxolytical: not a vegan, pyxolytical: is-ism

On the everyday life of our everyday lives. )
pyxolytical: evolution, pyxolytical: evolution: ants
vaecrius: a crude scrawl of a grinning, blazing yellow sun. (hier kommt die sonne)
[137] If a s. 1 analysis were required, a point not argued, no s. 1 justification could succeed. The goals of the CDSA, as I have stated, are the maintenance and promotion of public health and safety. The Minister’s decision to refuse the exemption bears no relation to these objectives; therefore they cannot justify the infringement of the complainants’ s. 7 rights. However one views the matter, the Minister’s decision was arbitrary and unsustainable. See Chaoulli, at para. 155, per McLachlin C.J. and Major J.
A point of light in a darkening world.


Also, a post about people which should be read (and just very incidentally involves ants). And for those who can read Spanish (or skim a few lines of Latin and fake it... or just piece together what you can from Google Translate) here's a more indepth look at the subject linked from the comments.

I know this

if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content.

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