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Empty-handed
Sunday. 9.7.14 12:11 am
I wish I had a little haiku or something for you guys, after not being around for so long.

I'm currently frustrated because I had this really beautiful thought about grace n' stuff, but I can't remember what verses it was actually based on so. I think I wrote it down somewhere, but I can't find it anywhere. guh

I'm quite peachy. I have...plans for the future. Neat plans. :D

...I think it's in Hebrews...

I'm just going to leave this here.

Wait. No.

I was thinking about words. And the brain. Honestly this isn't my forte so this might not seem very profound to you...but the brain is friggin' cool. So much of what we do is just done automatically by little parts of your brain without you needing to worry about it. Like words. We have a thought we want to express, and some part of your brain internally translates that into bite-sized chunks, and then into the actual words. And then some other part automatically translates that into the muscle movements that form the sounds that other brains will translate back into raw thought and emotion.

But what if we didn't have those embedded functions? I'm not talking about neglecting to learn language. I'm saying, what if your brain didn't translate your thoughts into words? What would you have left? If we can't order our thoughts into words, even internally, how much room for thoughts do we even have? Assuming we have souls that "live" outside of our brains, how much of that capacity is included in our souls? Speaking of which, if memories are chemically etched into our brains, and a soul is somehow non-chemical in nature, do our souls have memories? How does that work?

mmmm

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λόγος
Friday. 6.27.14 12:45 pm
It's a fantastic word.

Biblical usage: (Taken from blueletterbible.org)
of speech
> a word, uttered by a living voice, embodies a conception or idea
> what someone has said
> > a word
> > the sayings of God
> > decree, mandate or order
> > of the moral precepts given by God
> > Old Testament prophecy given by the prophets
> > what is declared, a thought, declaration, aphorism, a weighty saying, a dictum, a maxim
> discourse
> > the act of speaking, speech
> > the faculty of speech, skill and practice in speaking
> > a kind or style of speaking
> > a continuous speaking discourse - instruction
> doctrine, teaching
> anything reported in speech; a narration, narrative
> matter under discussion, thing spoken of, affair, a matter in dispute, case, suit at law
> the thing spoken of or talked about; event, deed
its use as respect to the MIND alone:
> reason, the mental faculty of thinking, meditating, reasoning, calculating
> account, i.e. regard, consideration
> account, i.e. reckoning, score
> account, i.e. answer or explanation in reference to judgment
> relation, i.e. with whom as judge we stand in relation
> > reason would
> reason, cause, ground
In John, denotes the essential Word of God, Jesus Christ, the personal wisdom and power in union with God, his minister in creation and government of the universe, the cause of all the world's life both physical and ethical, which for the procurement of man's salvation put on human nature in the person of Jesus the Messiah, the second person in the Godhead, and shone forth conspicuously from His words and deeds.

That's just its usage in the Bible. Before being pulled into Judaism and Christianity, where it tends to refer to the principals of will, order and reason that the universe is founded upon, (And, in John 1, it refers to Jesus!) λόγος was already a nifty word referring to discourse and logic. Logos (the English spelling) has a long history in Greek philosophy. It was nefariously hard to translate into Latin and still doesn't really have a solid English translation. Aristotle grouped it with πάθος and ἦθος, pathos and ethos, as means of communication and persuasion. Quoting Paul Rahe (Thanks, Wikipedia!): "For Aristotle, logos is something more refined than the capacity to make private feelings public: it enables the human being to perform as no other animal can; it makes it possible for him to perceive and make clear to others through reasoned discourse the difference between what is advantageous and what is harmful, between what is just and what is unjust, and between what is good and what is evil."

All in all, it's a wonderful word, and certainly one of my favorites. Especially because I have a hard time understanding and identifying my emotions, I tend to fall back to a logical way of thinking (which isn't always a good thing). I'm a thinker, and the idea that the universe was created with specific characteristics of order, and further that this founding order comes from and IS God is just a beautiful idea to me. That God would start the creation with his words, and that the Greeks would consider words to be the close to the heart of existence itself is beyond my ken.

So, naturally, this was the logical conclusion:



If I can get a better picture (it's healed up really well so far) I'll put it up.

Hope you're well.

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Of the mind
Monday. 6.2.14 11:30 am
So much.

I ended the semester with higher than a 3.0, which was nice. One of my final grades (statistical mechanics) was a 64.01, but the range for a B was 64-80 or something like that. Such is my life.

I went to Utah again for about a week. We would hike all day, then come back to a small condo in Moab to eat and sleep. One day we were supposed to go backpacking and camp right next to the Green River, but the day of our camping reservation it rained/hailed (what awful timing) so were weren't able to go out at all. No camping for us.

You may recall that on a previous trip to Utah, I lost most of my pictures from the trip. Specifically, I had photos from when my brother and I climbed a mesa over our campsite and it was beautiful. I'm happy to say that I was able to reclaim that particular memory because we happened to be passing our old campsite and I took the liberty of making that detour. Over all, I have about 260 epic photos from the trip, most of which are on Facebook. Check it out, if you're able.

I came back to Atlanta in time for a training program with my church. It was exhausting and convicting. A friend from a sister church in Clemson came and stayed with me, and we were able to spend a lot of time together. I am thankful for his friendship.

As soon as that was over, another friend came from Columbia SC and stayed with me for a weekend. This is a guy I've only spent time with briefly, but he's basically a taller and more-white version of me. We had a grand time, and I am VERY thankful for his friendship. He's great. I actually started feeling insecure around him because it seems like he's just such a cool guy, and I look up to him in a lot of ways. I hope that will pass.

I was finally able to get back to my job, and I've already made significant progress on our project. I'm coding up the system that's going to control temperature in these camera boxes. It's fun! I look forward to spending a lot of time on it this summer, because it's hard to prioritize it during the school year.

I've seen two couples get married in the past week, and this weekend I'm going to be IN a wedding for the first time. Summer, man.

-----

Jordan locked his keys in his car recently. We were waiting for AAA to come and let him in. We were talking about how he keeps forgetting his keys in his car, and he asked us how our minds work.

His is like a stage. It only really allows for one stream at a time, but he has total focus on all the elements and players. Sometimes he just leaves out some of the 'behind the scenes' details.

His girlfriend's is like a series of boxes. Everything has a place, and she can keep several things in the forefront of her mind at once.

I think...

I'm not big on psychology, so I tend to have a simplified understanding of how the mind works. The image I have is of the subconscious, which is really the biggest part of the mind, and the conscious "me" that sits on top of that and pretends it knows what it's doing. In computer speak, my conscious self is just a graphic interface, an abstraction layer that sits on top of all the crazy subroutines that keep the system going. It's my subconscious that handles all my sensory input, directs muscle memory, and does basic problem solving, on top of the obvious things like beating my heart and controlling my various glands.

I often feel like I'm on autopilot. I'm one of those guys whose head is in the clouds all the time. I can walk, drive, and even read and talk to people (on occasion) without really paying attention to it. I just let the subroutines handle it, while I think or worry about what the wind blows my way. That means I'm often forgetful, that I rely on habit. I try to break everything down into its simplest parts. Tasks and goals are only easy for me when I understand how to fit them into my subroutines. If I can't, I struggle. I think this is why I found college life so hard, and why I'm so anxious about post-college life. It's too much, too fast. I have so many things that I'm trying to fit into my life, and I can't adapt quickly enough to do it well. On top of menial day-to-day things like studying, work, my walk with God, and other stuff like that, I also have to worry about taxes and maintaining my car and preparing for graduation and being a leader...

I've said before that I didn't understand myself. I saw a problem with how I was trying to handle life, but I couldn't get to the root of it. I think this is the next step. Now I know that my problem is a matter of organization. I still don't know how to change that core idea of my self, but I CAN focus more on integrating new things into my life as they come, instead of trying to solve my problems with obsolete tools.

hmm

In the meantime, this song is the best representation of my mind that I can think of. If you can understand that, then you might understand me.

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heeheee
Monday. 4.21.14 9:19 am
I love this guy so much.

He's a quiet kid. Freshman. He rushed with the fraternity last semester, and even though he seemed a little less socially capable, we brought him into the fold. It can be unnerving, trying to talk to him sometimes, because he can take several minutes to come up with a reply, and he speaks VERY quietly. When we chat online, he used to use Emojis extensively, to my amusement.

A friend and I studied the Bible with him, and he became a Christian a few weeks ago. It's all very exciting but that isn't what I want to tell you right now.

The most amazing thing is watching him change. Guys at the fraternity are amazed when he speaks, and he's generally well-liked (even though he's not someone who "fits in").

He's SO humble. He asks questions all the time. He went from silence to Most Inquisitive Man. It's probably partly because he's just more comfortable around us, but it's pretty clear he looks up to us too. He was following me around in church recently. "I'm trying to learn how to fellowship with more people." He regularly texts me to ask how MY day is going, how MY relationship with God is, stuff like that. Man I barely do that stuff. Kid's a boss.

And he's starting to talk like me. I can't help but be flattered.

Do you know anyone like that? Someone who you've sort of taken under your wing? It's such a good feeling to see someone respond to love like that. I don't know what to do with myself; I imagine this is just a small piece of what parents feel like.

It's going to be a great summer.

EDIT:
In other news, some other dude just unfriended me on Facebook and I'm a little surprised.

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