I Almost Forgot How to Tie a Bowtie

My oldest daughter made a comment about how I resemble The Librarian in my mannerisms and philosophy on things, except that I didn't wear bowties anymore. That was good enough inspiration for me to open up my dusty drawer of memory-imbued bowties I have collected, bought, been given by students, and gifted by friends over … Continue reading I Almost Forgot How to Tie a Bowtie

When you tell your daughters that you collect images of Jonah and they send you one from a Basilica

Pretty cool kids... It's always been my conjecture that the Dura Europos Baptistry had images of Jonah present as a representation of the 3-day Resurrection event in a Jewish/Chritian context. There were depictions of Adam and Eve in the Baptistry area (along with Jesus as the Good Shepherd as well as other common representations from … Continue reading When you tell your daughters that you collect images of Jonah and they send you one from a Basilica

YouTube and “Reinforcing” Psychologies

"The new A.I., known as Reinforce, was a kind of long-term addiction machine. It was designed to maximize users’ engagement over time by predicting which recommendations would expand their tastes and get them to watch not just one more video but many more. Reinforce was a huge success. In a talk at an A.I. conference … Continue reading YouTube and “Reinforcing” Psychologies

Unexplainable Experiences and How the Church has Lost to YouTube and Netflix

"The Church" (admittedly generically speaking here) has become a community center / garden club / singles bar / country club / music venue in the modern American experience. There's generally little to no real examination of the unexplainable or mysterious (especially in my Baptist circles... because of job security). So people who still go to … Continue reading Unexplainable Experiences and How the Church has Lost to YouTube and Netflix

Don’t think that we can’t remember

When undergraduate students at Peking University, which was at the center of the incident, were shown copies of the iconic photograph 16 years afterwards, they were "genuinely mystified". One of the students said that the image was "artwork". It is noted in the documentary Frontline: The Tank Man that he whispered to the student next … Continue reading Don’t think that we can’t remember

“Change within a lifetime”

Climate change is the ghosts of impacts future.... And so the most effective guard against climate breakdown may not be technological solutions, but a more fundamental reimagining of what constitutes a good life on this particular planet. We may be critically constrained in our abilities to change and rework the technosphere, but we should be … Continue reading “Change within a lifetime”

Roman Earthquake Cloaking

I tend to agree with the physicist from UNCC here that the Colosseum and other buildings that exhibit these "metamaterial" designs were probably self-selecting (in that they didn't fall down during earthquakes), but we definitely don't give the ancients enough credit with their engineering and scientific prowess... Scientists are hard at work developing real-world "invisibility … Continue reading Roman Earthquake Cloaking

Intelligent Voice First Interactive Advertising

"We are in very early days of the Voice First revolution and Intelligent Voice First interactive advertisements along with true Voice Commerce will form the new backbone to Voice First AI just as pay-per-click and shopping carts formed the last revolution. In the next 10 years “Dumb Pipes” of audio and video channels that do … Continue reading Intelligent Voice First Interactive Advertising

New Reading of the Mesha Stele

Potentially huge (I appreciate Thomas Römer's scholarship a great deal): A name in Line 31 of the stele, previously thought to read 'House of David', could instead read 'Balak', a king of Moab mentioned in the biblical story of Balaam (Numbers 22-24), say archaeologist Prof. Israel Finkelstein and historians and biblical scholars Prof. Nadav Na'aman and Prof. … Continue reading New Reading of the Mesha Stele

Stanford to cut Stanford Univ. Press

Just wow. The Stanford press actually brings in about $5 million a year in book sales, a sum that is impressive compared to sales of many scholarly publishers. But it has also depended on support from the university, which in recent years has provided $1.7 million annually. Provost Persis Drell told the Faculty Senate Thursday that the … Continue reading Stanford to cut Stanford Univ. Press