The Big Think

August 19, 2005

Current Reading

Filed under: Current Reading — jasony @ 12:19 pm

Finished the 700 page book I posted about below (verdict: meh). Went to the personal library in the next room to wade through the TBR stack. My eye fell on the Pulitzer winning epic Godel, Escher, Bach by Douglas R. Hofstadter.

Cover me, I’m going in…

This thing is a huge, far-reaching traipse back and forth between the ol’ cranial hemispheres. Sat up until 1:30 or so plowing through the preface, introduction, and forward. Looks like I’ll be at it for awhile. Kinda feel like I feel before a long road trip. I love driving long distances, but I definitely have to get myself into the zone.

95

Filed under: Disclosure — jasony @ 10:06 am

Katherine points to an interesting and thoughtful article about the differences between Catholicism and Mennonism (I also include Luther’s Reformation offspring). An excerpt:

I understand the priesthood of all believers to be…the notion that we all administer, embody and mediate the presence of God to one another. The great mystical privilege and responsibility of the priestly role is decentralized. The gatekeeper function is eliminated. It is church of the people, for the people and by the people…
…Many Catholics I’m sure would find the practice of this decentralized priesthood somewhat mundane and devoid of reverence or ritual. Some non-Catholics would agree. Yet the trappings of the Vatican—which make it look too much like an enclave of power—increase my sympathies for my forebears [who left the Catholic church], many of whom had been priests…
…sometimes I wish the Reformers wouldn’t have thrown the proverbial baby out with the hierarchical bathwater. But so swings the reactionary pendulum of history; not unlike the vacillation in my personal navigation of ecumenism. One week I’m discovering new respect for an old Pope, the next week I can’t believe the “Princes of the Church” are sequestered in ancient opulence when they might do better to couch their decisions in a Central American slum.

read the whole article here.

Nano Sheets

Filed under: Science — jasony @ 9:47 am

Carbon nanotubes, basically carbon buckyballs stretched into microscopic long hollow tubes, we discovered about ten years ago. They were heralded as the solution to technological problems from increasing the speed of computer chips to building a space elevator. Problem is, they were really hard to produce in significant numbers.
Today a group of scientists have announced the discovery of a way to produce sheets of carbon nanotubes at an incredible rate. This marks a major discovery on the scale of the mass production of transistors. Exciting times ahead.
Go here for the full story and cool video.

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