Thursday, January 16, 2014

Goodbye Little Guy. Our Poodle Died.

My wife and I adore miniature poodles. Their personalities are incredible, they're smart, and playing with them brings about a very gratifying type of bonding.

In 2009, we adopted what had been a very abused chocolate poodle. We named him Jack Bauer in a twist of irony - he was incredibly shy and fearful of nearly everything. We didn't know he had a tail for the first couple of months we had him - no joke. I don't think he kept it down on purpose, I think it was frozen in place.

Over the next five years, Jack Bauer changed from that fearful dog into a happy, loving dog. He even tried to become a protector. If he thought someone was going to hurt my wife, Jack Bauer would charge that person in a barking fury. We had to work with him, in fact, to keep him from becoming too aggressive.

I've been married two and a half years. Jack Bauer has spent more nights with me than my wife has!

This little dog will always have a place in our hearts. Helping him heal helped us as individuals and couples - we're thankful for that little dog. And right now, there is a hole in our home.

Jack wasn't a person. If he was, we know he would have wanted us to help other dogs in need of rescuing. That's why even though we are hurting, we are moving forward to try and adopt at least one other dog. We have applied for a pair of poodles - brothers. If our application is successful, we will meet the dogs and make a prayerful decision on whether or not to bring them in our home

Jack Bauer, and Midnight I and II before you - thanks for the memories!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Wife, How I Miss You!

My wife has been out of town this weekend. Having her gone is always a reminder of how much I depend on her. I'm not talking exclusively in terms of having a heavier workload when she's not here.

I just flat out miss her.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Did Steve Jobs Create the iCloud to Eternally Hold His Consciousness?

In Star Trek: The Next Generation's Schizoid Man, a brilliant researcher who is conscious of his impending death meets Data, sees the potential of his advanced neural net, and uploads his consciousness to the android.

The theme of eternal consciousness through a computer or artificial life form is not limited to Star Trek. The Dr. Who episode Silence in the Library is about a girl trapped in a computer; it is a simulation created by her family to store her consciousness alongside all information in the universe. Literature, music, and art are to be her companions.

Steve Jobs knew he was dying but did not seek appropriate treatment; he distrusted modern medicine. But he had a tremendous amount of trust in himself. He worked on revolutionary new technology towards the end of his life. Jobs was also very cognizant of his impending death:
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.

What is more important to a man than his own essence? Very few things. Steve had ample time to create a system that would capture what was truly important to him.
Is Steve Jobs in the iCloud?

The storage technology does perhaps exist for such a system.

The ability to read and transfer the mind's information almost certainly does not. This obstacle would be enough to prevent even the most technologically genius billionaire from uploading themselves to an artificial device. Steve was not a doctor, an his statement regarding his pancreatic cancer, "I didn't even know what a pancreas was" reveals that he most certainly did not have the medical background to create a secret piece of technology. If he hired someone to attempt such a feat, the news would have almost certainly leaked out.

More difficult than that would be the provisions for processing power. The mind functions differently than traditional computers, with many more parallel operations. The mind isn't necessarily faster than a computer, but it has more hauling power, the way a dump truck would compared to a NASCAR vehicle. It is difficult to believe that anyone would have the control technology to parallel enough processors to simulate a full human mind, even if we did understand the mind enough to design such a system (which we do not).

Steve Jobs most certainly does not live in the iCloud, but it is a testament to his visionary genius that such a theory is even being circulated.

Addendum: Since this was originally published, some have begun to claim that Siri stands for "Steve is really inside."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Most Wanted Itunes Feature

I have a simply request for Apple: Let me choose where I save my iOS backups. Right now, they dump to the C partition by default, and there is no in program way to change that (you can set up what are essentially redirects, but that's no good, really).

What I really want is the ability to save my backups on an external or cloud drive - just like I can with my library.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Steve Jobs' Death

"Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose." - Steve Jobs

It is incredibly humbling to consider that one of most successful and wealthy men in the world has died from one of the most common killers in existence: cancer. In my family, cancer has been a major killer. Thus, I look at Mr. Jobs' as a dark mirror into what could one day happened to me.

Most likely, I won't die a millionaire, my death will make national news, and I will not be considered a world changer.

This realization does not trouble me, because I know that I was created for purpose and I will always do my best to fulfill that purpose with the help of the Lord.

It is important to remember that even the wealthy suffer in death. Mr. Jobs' family will miss Mr. Jobs as much as the family of a poor Chinese labor would miss its patriarch. It is also important to remember that death has a great equalizer: judgment before the Almighty. I will be treated no differently before God that Mr. Jobs or you would be.

Mr. Jobs' spiritual quest has been well documented. Jobs pursued Buddhism and psychedelic hallucinations. It is possible that Jobs rejected Christianity by lumping it together with the religion of his biological father (Islam) as a "desert religion".

As Mr. Jobs family suffers, we can only pray that Mr. Jobs was found by grace some point before his death. Were this the case, he would have found true and eternal success. Success at the foot of the cross. Success over death!