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The Gospel a la Joseph Choi

My friend Joseph is great. To understand the metaphor, you must understand what a poop dollar is. A poop dollar is a dollar on the ground. You go to pick it up, and you’re like, wow I found a free dollar! But when you pick it up you realize the dollar is wrapped around a bunch of poop, and there are some messed up people out there. With that knowledge, enjoy!

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First I want to ask you to ask yourselves what Christmas is about. A lot of you guys would probably say it’s about being a good person, being grateful for friends and family, giving to others, etc. Others might point out that it’s Jesus’ birthday – some really cool dude who was born 2000 years ago somewhere in the middle east.
 
To me, the idea behind Christmas is that it marks the beginning of the reconciliation of God and Man. You know, like that caroling song Hark the Herald: “Peace on Earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled.” It’s part of an underlying concept that a surprisingly large number of people don’t necessarily understand (including many “Christians”).
 
I’m not quite sure how to say all of this succinctly so I’ll just say it:
 
We are all poops in some way, and we’ve all done poopy things in our lives. Cheating, lying, being jealous of each other, hating each other, on and on. From the Pope to Hitler, the Red Cross volunteer to that guy on Breaking Bad, all of us have messed up somehow in our lives. Unfortunately, this means that we’ve all fallen short of perfection. Aaaaand there’s no place for imperfection in a perfect place, like heaven.
 
This is where humanity goes “Gr88888″. We try to be all holy and righteous, we try to do all the right things with prayers and chants and whatnot, but any dollar with poop on it is still just a poop dollar. When comparing the nicest, kindest, person ever (a lot of dollar!) and the meanest, vilest person ever  (not much dollar!) – they are ultimately still both poop dollars because they both have poop on them. They are both imperfect. Unfortunately, this implies that you and I are on the same boat as rapists, murderers, etc. “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” This is kinda sucks.
 
So imagine this: upon being born, you inherit a dollar with poop on it, and we learn that we need to give the bank a dollar. But the bank won’t take poop dollars – they only take clean dollars. So we keep trying to scrape the poop off our dollar. Some of us give up, but others manage to remove all the visible poop! Yet the bank still knows with their poop dollar scanner that there are still poop molecules on it.
 
This is where Christmas comes in. It turns out your bro Jesus was born perfect, so he has dollars with no poop on them! He comes up to you and asks you, “Hey bro, you wanna trade your poop dollar for this clean dollar? In fact, this isn’t just any clean dollar, this dollar stays clean. So if your hands still have poop on them from touching this dollar, the banked will still accept it!!” A lot of people would say “Yeah man! I’ll trade you my poop dollar for your clean dollar!”
 
And they trade dollars, and the bank accepts your clean dollar. Not the dollar that you tried to clean, but the dollar you received as a gift upon trading in your poop dollar with Jesus.
 
The true meaning of Christmas isn’t about trying to be a good person or being thankful for things. It’s about the day that Jesus came into the world to give us a chance to believe in Him, that he saves us from our sins, not our own works and deeds. It’s the reconciliation between those who have sinned (all of us) and God, at Jesus’ expense. The ultimate sacrifice.
 
I’m sorry if I came across as preachy in any way. The last thing I want is for you to feel like I’m stuffing religion down your throat. But it means a lot to me that you guys took the time to read this through. I love you all, and I hope you all have a very merry Christmas.

Why Thomas Kuhn should never aspire to be a referee

Haha. So I’ve never straight-up slammed a famous historian before, but my paper tonight is going to be my first attempt to do so. I also never usually post excerpts from my papers, but I thought this one was pretty cool.

In the world of sports, the referee serves the role of an unbiased judge who enforces the rules of the game by keeping vigilant watch over the proceedings and making decisions based on what he or she sees. In order to be successful, a referee must be keenly focused throughout the match and be able to quickly assess when the rules are being violated. Thomas Kuhn was given no such time constraint when assessing the Scientific Revolution from Aristotle to Newton, yet his results still make me want to stand up and boo him. Was he even paying attention to the Scientific Revolution? The prompt for this paper provides a summary of Kuhn’s hypothesis for scientific theory change, namely that “Kuhn argued that the course of scientific change is characterized by distinct epochs”, and that “[Kuhn] contends that transitions between these epochs are discontinuous and non-cumulative: the entire worldview changes, [and] facts from the preceding epoch are largely discarded”. I contend that none of these characteristics of scientific epochs hold when applied to the evidence of the Scientific Revolution.

Anyways, gotta get back to work.

Love you,

Andy

All-Nighter Pro Tips

So I’ve been running into a problem the past few weeks. I can stay up and work till about 5 in the morning, but then I start to reach incredibly diminishing returns on my ability to work. It’s 6 AM now, and I’m on fire, so I thought I’d share some fun and frivolry from this morning.

Step 1: 4 hours of techno music playing on Pandora through your TV speakers from a Roku. But why? Why do I need such a proliferation of technology? Cuz all night long I’ve heard one advertisement from the Roku version of Pandora. Eff the Texas lottery and their new games that they keep advertising to me.

Step 2: Every 2 hours, get a snack and some caffeine. I recommend some Archer’s Sweet Cajun trail mix (this stuff rocks my freaking world), mixed in with some peanut butter and Nutella sandwiches. For caffeine, I’m really into the Mountain Dew Code Red => V8 Fusion Acai Berry (technically not caffeinated, but it gives me a lot of energy) => Hot Tea => Snapple combo. It keeps the energy coming without getting too buzzed out all at once.

Step 3: After you get tired of techno music, listen to the Lord of the Rings soundtrack. The brass section makes you feel like a complete badass at staying awake, and the flutey/Shire parts will touch your soul and make you cry and wish you were back in the Shire (aka your bed). That soundtrack is so freaking good…

Step 4: Periodically, but briefly, distract yourself to go the bathroom, write blog posts, etc. Sometimes you think a lot better when you get up and move around.

Step 5: As the sun is rising, listen to Jeff Buckley’s rendition of “Hallelujah”. You should be feeling completely one with the world and possibly hallucinating at how awesome that song is, especially given your awful circumstances.

Step 6: Go back to work and finish the damn thing. Like me. Look at me. I have two buggy implementations to attend to if I want to make it out of here with a Computer Science degree. (Yes, I hyperdramatize every single assignment as if my whole degree depended on it. Success is earned anew every day.)

Later, internet.

A Woman’s Bill of Rights

Wow so it turns out that I’m not very well suited to blogging regularly. I want to write this, though, so here it is.

Disclaimer: I wanted to title this post “A Woman’s Bill of Rights”, but I think it stands more as just general dating expectations. (Ted and Robin would have saluted just now). I’m a straight guy, so I guess man/woman relationships are personally what I want to write about. Anyways… back to the words.

A WOMAN’S BILL OF RIGHTS

1. A woman has a right to terminate her relationship with you at any time, for any reason. She might be a real b-word for doing it depending on the circumstances, but you have to respect her decision. Don’t call her. Don’t email her. Don’t text her. Don’t show up to her work, class, or home. That is called verbal abuse and/or stalking, which are pretty much, like, crimes.

2. A woman has a right to privacy. Don’t look over her shoulder at her text messages. If they were for you, they’d be on your phone. Don’t stalk her wall, and especially ecially ecially don’t ask her for her Facebook password. If you don’t trust her, you probably shouldn’t be dating.

3. A woman has a right to exclusivity. Maybe I’m just hella old-fashioned, but, ain’t no such thing as a two-woman man. (or more than 2. I feel like that’s implied). I’m talking about faithfulness, and if you can muster it, I’m talking about what the internet is good for. It’s all just distractions to keep you away from true intimacy with anyone, if you ask me.

4. A woman has a right to chivalry. Yeah. I can dig it. So you probably will never have the reflexes to beat your lady to the car and open the door for her before she just opens it herself, but there’s a lot of stuff that people think is ok that is just bleh. Like seriously? Pay for her. You can do it. Treat her with respect. It’s in the Good Guy Greg handbook somewhere. (If that’s actually a handbook please let me know.)

Anyways, I have like work and things to do.

-andybiar

Why was I wearing a viking hat squawking at ducks on campus at 5 AM this morning?

Well, let’s start with the viking hat. I left for Hunt Library (Club Hunt, as we so affectionately call it) at 1:30 AM, and I saw a viking hat on the floor of the house on the way out. I was already on my way to go conquer my homework, so it seemed only fitting to put on the viking hat for MAXIMUM CONQUERING.

Now I’ve tipped my hat (hahaha good one, Andy) as to why I was on campus at 5 AM. I left at 1:30 for club hunt, got my usual 16 oz mocha latte from Maggie Murph (God bless their souls, those nighttime coffee maker people), and was doing my homework from then on.

So all that’s left is the squawking. First of all, I’ve never seen a duck at CMU before, so it was kind of awesome. But here’s the deal: my homework was to record the most interesting sounds I could find for an upcoming project. I’ve never thought like a sound designer before, but this morning I legitimately stopped what I was doing to experiment with the different techniques I could come up with play music on a street lamp. All of a sudden I had to touch everything around me and see what sounds I could make. What if I hit an object on its base or its side? Or scraped my hand across it? Or poked it with wood or metal? I spent some 3 or 4 hours just collecting random sounds from the University Center and the Center for Fine Arts, and it was awesome. I got greedy, though, thinking that the ducks would answer me so I could record them. They were all like, “talk to the tail” and just walked away.

In other news, we have a lot of earthworms on the sidewalk in the morning. It was cool slash gross to see the march of the worm brigade.

TIME FOR SLEEP

-Biar

Obligatory Uninteresting First Post

Hey there world,

I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for a while, and now that I own a domain name I feel like the time has come to act! First posts are like the first day of class, though. Just hand out the syllabus and say, “Ok. Next time we’re actually going to do something.”

-Andy Biar

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