Through the air it goes.

While scanning the latest news, uprisings, shenanigans just now, the mind went back 30 some years ago to my first computer: a Compaq. Wow, how that inspired me back then to see a sentence I typed appear on the screen and to also be able to play Pack-Man.  Fast forward to now, and I don’t get excited at seeing a sentence, a picture, a video or playing solitaire; it’s just business as usual, and why is that blue circle going round and round. Do I need an update?

Growing up as a kid in the 40’s and 50’s we had one telephone, a wire connecting it to the wall and then outside to the telephone post through the back yards of the neighborhoods. You could talk through that one wire to someone in another town far away.

In 1960, I learned the Morse-Code, a simple system of combining dots and dashes into words leaving a tiny bit longer pause between each word, sending the di-dah combinations electronically over the airwaves to the ears of another.  Hmm?  Now, technocrats have learned how to combine 1’s and 0’s into a series of 8 units, a break and then more 1’s and 0’s being combined as the binary code for electronic computing. These typed notes are being converted into those digits sending the signals over the air, then converted back into words on the screens of millions of hand-held smart phones.

The strings of a piano each of differing lengths producing different sounds lower to higher pitch going through the air making music to my ears. Put seven pianos together in the same room, each doing their own thing; wouldn’t that become just noise bouncing echoes off the walls?

I hear your voice. It went from your lips thru the air reaching my ears and into my brain muscle interpreting what you said. Sound vibrations. I’ve been in restaurants where the sounds of everyone chatting bounce off the ceiling and walls adding to the festive atmosphere. Now that I’m partially deaf, those sound vibrations, the echoes all mingling together getting messed up because the ear is not working correctly: those tiny hair fibers are either missing or are not vibrating as they ought, or something like that I’ve been told. That blue circle going round and round.

Yes, my ears need an update. I’ve had 3 of those man made electronic updates and neither has been able to reproduce the original ability of hearing and discerning sounds coming through the air.

Consider that there could be millions around the world doing the same as I’m doing pressing the ‘send’ button at the same time, and yet those signals do not collide into confusion; no echoes as it goes through the air. All that talking through a wire not bumping into other speech patterns. Through the air and wires without confusion, without bumping into each other without echoes.  How is that possible? Better ask a scientist about that.

Shout out at the walls of a great canyon and you’ll hear an echo.

How is all this possible? Frequency multiplexing is what it’s been named. Waves through the air. What happens to those vibrations when winds whip up a flurry, tornadoes swirling the air, rain drops and snow-flakes dropping?  Does that not interfere with those frequency waves?

How marvelous this is. All part of that first ray of light penetrating the darkness at 186,000 miles per second.

The-heavens-declare-the-glory-of-God

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge” (Psalm 19:1–2)

Celebrity Worship

Oprah for president. She is reported to have received a thundering applause from celebrities attending the Oscar whatever. Yeah, yes, go for it. Her home was one of those hit by the recent mud slides in an affluent neighborhood of California. She’s a TV star. She hosted her own show entertaining millions of us for years. She’s African-American. She’s a woman. She’s known all over the world. Her name is familiar to everyone. She’s a world traveler. She supports civil rights. She’s been seen giving food to the homeless in Africa. She can give a speech without a script. She’s rich and famous. What more could we want.

According to some recent polls, Oprah would out star Trump in the 2012 elections by 10 points or more.

Trump was a celebrity. Obama was provided celebrity status. Clinton was a celebrity.

Merriam-Webster defines it as “the state of being celebrated.”  Society celebrates these icons, luminaries, megastar somebodies as standouts and super-stars because they’re a VIP, because one-day in the past they were a nobody, or they were born as a VIP.

One must be a celebrity to win the adulation of enough people to win an election. Your name must be known. Your face must be recognizable. What you have said must be popular. There must be an attractive nature to your voice. You must be good on the eyes. When the media likes you, they will hold back private investigators from digging deep into secret pages of your history.

If you’re not known well-enough to get the attention of the media, forget it.

The media? An entire cyclopedia collection could be and has been written about the media, about the effect of television and this global internet on the populace. Newspapers are losing ground, are looking for ways to keep and attract more readers. Newsmagazines are losing subscribers. Broadcast news finds something to grab our attention in-between commercials that grab our attention.

So, what are we doing with the time? Quietly listening to Beethoven and Bach is out and Hip Rap Rock is in. Kids are spending play time playing games on-line and the 60” screen. Riding a bicycle thru the neighbor hood is dangerous. Playing choose-your team games after school has been handed over to professionals. Education is common-core so no child should repeat a grade or get a “D”.

Technocracy has taken over. Social media is outdoing personal conversational time together over a hot cup of coffee.

We must be busy all the time. We must be involved in something all the time. To sit and just watch nature for ten minutes, for half an hour is not even imaginable. To be quiet enough to hear the trees whistle, the birds chirp, the waters ripple has been put aside for the noise on the screen.

In these retirement years I spend the mornings reading the latest that technology brings to my eyes. Push a button and there it is right before me to digest or just read passing the time: the newest and latest, the newest updates on yesterday’s new news. On and on it goes, day-in day-out 24/7. I have my favorite tabs ready to be opened to pass more time, and then saved in the history folder to be brought up to read and watch again.

We get irritated when someone offends our sensibilities. We write a comment if the writer of a post missed a point that was more important than the point the originator of the post was pointing out.

Are we there yet? Have we become a nation, a world that amuses ourselves to death? Have we become a nation of heretics?

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

  • Neil Postman | Penguin Books Publisher

Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics

  • Ross Douthat | Free Press Publisher

In need of Help

I needed help today. Help from fellow members of this human race did not, could not, would not, whatever. I was pondering the problem of technology beyond my understanding. A password was needed. I knew the one I have been using, but it was rejected. I tried another one close to the primary one, it was rejected. I tried an older one, it was rejected. I got on-line to the site after logging in and then requesting help on the “chat” line. Information given. To cut this short, after almost an hour of back and forth chats, printing out the ‘help pages’ to follow, I got nowhere except; “click” end of chat. Is it because, well yes, it’s because I am a user of technology which can get burned out just as I’m about to be burned-up because of this. Why couldn’t the programmers know something like this could happen? Or, their job is more secure when things like this happen: more chat times.

Am I pushing the wrong button? All I see is the result of the configurations of the 1 and 0’s. All I see is my fingers pushing keys on the keyboard resting on my knees which sends signals to the screen which shows in black on white the combination of keys punched combined into English words: “I need help”, then waiting for the answer.

Isn’t that the same position we the people are in?

We say and believe that God created this universe and all that is in it, and we didn’t have any input into its design, as there would have been a few things I’d have changed making it easier for us tech dummies to understand. I use basically the same sign-in code and password for all my tech—stuff. Have I been hacked? Is that devilish one unnerving me? That good book we look to for guidance and answers says He (God) is ready and willing to help when in need, just ask. And, often when we ask for help, nothing seems to arrive relieving our frustration. “End of chat. Click”.

Try someone else for advice. No, I got to figure this out on my own. Get into that closet on my knees and try again. What am I doing wrong? I used the password (the name of Jesus) and the closet is still just as dark as when I entered; no light exposing my asked for help. Try again. But where does my voice go? Where? Seems like it bounced off the ceiling. Maybe go outside and ask again. Shout into the air: “I need help.”  Swat the air; nothing there.

Advice I get is: “Patience brother. Did you miss-spell the password? No, tried it three times. Is there some area of your life you need to correct first?”  Well, yes, undoubtedly, I’m full of it, but I don’t recall anything specific at this moment. Hey, I try to treat all my fellow humans with the same kind of love. It’s me. Sometimes I must work at it, but it’s the way it is, I didn’t have anything to do with the creation of any of this. This technology thingy is the way it is. Hard to understand when something goes amiss. I want help now, yes NOW.

Hmm? Too many like me crying for help at this time and my number has not come up yet, so be patient. Sure, how can God answer all the requests for help at the same time. Could be the guy next door be wanting to chat also, and one down the block, in the next neighborhood, the next town, the pastor of the church, the rural farmer stuck in the mud, traffic jams in the big city, tornado in the next state, the governor, a rep about to lose the election, yeah and even homes across the seas. Millions of us wanting for a “chat time” at the same time. Wait your turn buddy, I’m number 156741. Others waiting their turn on the “chat line”. Be patient.  Yes, Okay, no doubt some of those cries for help are more serious than mine, even life or death, a child fell thru the ice, a witness life threatened, a woman buried under a crashed vehicle, a youngster about to jump. Yes, thousands more pertinent than mine. Let them be ministered to first. Now I’m # 846123.

I’ll go shopping a bit while waiting my turn.

While pushing the cart down an aisle a thought came: “go over to the technology section and select a new one.” Okay, what have I got to lose, just the $35, that’s all. I’m here. Why not?

I did. Spent the $35, took it home, unwrapped it, read the instructions, installed it, typed in the same code again and whoosh, problem solved. Throw the old one in the trash, no longer working as it developed a flaw. Answer received, but hold on, I was way down the list. Didn’t think I’d get an answer at all. It really was kind of quick and unexpected. Did a bunch ahead of me cancel out?

My summary.

Technology? Who can understand the interworking’s of technology? Only the programmers, not the users. Who can understand the interworking’s of spirit and physical? Only the creator, not the creation. The Almighty God is outside our time zone as that spiritual unseen world is without time. We as physical elements are restricted to time; the physical law of gravity keeps us in this physical time zone. For us time keeps moving. For the Creator there is only now: here there everywhere all the time, every millisecond of our time.

The creator, the programmer whispered thoughts to this mind of mine as I pushed the cart.

Like technology, I develop flaws and don’t quite work as well, so one day I’ll be down and out of this time zone being replaced by another.