*If you were thinking and breathing in 2017/18 you probably heard of BitCoin**. The illusive cryptocurrency is shrouded in mystery for any number of lay people, but with a whispering promise of a future paved in gold for anyone who invests. Not quite. BitCoin is at its core just another form of money. Let’s talk about money for a moment.
There are three types of money, each embodying another form of exchange. The first and least common in today’s world is commodity money. This means money that has inherent value. Commodities like tea, salt, and tobacco are the most famous of the commodity monies. This basically represents a barter economy where you trade goods with a value for other goods with a value. However, this is not very effective in the long term. There are two functions of money that are not met with commodity money, the measure of value and the store of value.
Being a very discombobulated man in Milwaukee, Christopher Sholes was strange. He often wore trousers inches too short for his legs. Working on and off in print journalism throughout his life, with some time away after accepting a position as Collector of the Port of Milwaukee to which he was appointed to by Abraham Lincoln, he had a knack for invention and innovation. Originally looking to come up with some sort of pagination machine, and with a few patents under his belt for small mechanical devices he had created, Sholes, on what I imagine to be a dreary Monday afternoon, came up with the typewriter, and with it, the QWERTY keyboard (Britannica). Darren Wershler-Henry in his 2007 book The Iron Whim explains how our modern view the typewriter is as a symbol of unadulterated truth in what he believes is “a non-existent sepia-toned era”, where “people typed passionately late into the night under the flickering light of a single naked bulb, sleeves rolled up, suspenders hanging down, lighting each new cigarette off the shouldering butt of the last, occasionally taking a pull from the bottle of bourbon in the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet.” Now, as any passionate historian of early typography will tell you, that is not quite the whole story. With around fifty fathers of the typewriter, “there was no single moment of discovery, no lone inventor crying “Eureka!” in a darkened laboratory” (The Typing Life), as one New Yorker article describes. No, this innovation was slow and painful, long and exhausting, and at the end of it… we had the typewriter. Months, years and decades of work for something as routine as a typewriter. My how times have changed. “A chicken in every pot” as the expression goes, suggesting mainstream affluence is the end goal of any progressive, modern society. What happens when all the pots are full? Where do we go from there, because we are a long way from the innovations of Christopher Sholes?
It’s easy to sit back in ones rocking chair, knitting needles in hand, with the radio blasting in the background while viciously condemning the technology of the new age. A familiar and vivid image for some, completely unfounded for others. For years the gerontocracy has been sounding the alarm of the effects new technology has on the brains of the “young ones”, warning that without severe moderation and control of this infernal technology the fabric of our culture may wash away. On the other hand, perhaps not. What if our improvements are actually that? What if the aids and advancements in technology actually lend aid to further advanced educational pursuits? Well, that would change everything. Continue reading “Technology: and the fall of the gerontocracy”
Over the past few weeks, I have been reading about the Bahá’í Faith. I find it to be a very compelling religion due to the core messages of the Faith and the principals taught by its leaders. I look forward to learning much more about it. The following is a brief summation of everything I have learned thus far: Continue reading “Bahá’í Beliefs”
Recently I have been reading about “les années folles” also known as the Golden Years. It refers mostly to 1920’s France and the rise of the Modernism, Surrealism, and Cubism as well as an increase of nihilism and a general return to the principals of the enlightenment. art movement and the avant-garde. The modernist movement never made much sense to me before now, and even now all of the pieces haven’t quite fit together yet. Its strange to me that from the same movement you get Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, and Salvador Dalí. There was so much going on. Mostly, everyone was trying to resolve the pit in their stomach that came from the end of the first world war. Cut to, Un Chien Andalou. Continue reading “Un Chien Andalou”
The loud voice of a spirit led, Jamaican raised professor filled the small auditorium this evening as Dr. Pedrito Maynard-Reid gave an invigorating and lively call to academia (WWU specifically) and the Pew (the Adventist Church primarily). Dr. Maynard-Reid hearkened back to the old days of the Adventist church and called upon strong messages of both the old and new testament to carry his message: that religious institutions can and should get involved in secular politics for the end result of JUSTICE. Continue reading “Justice: A Radical, Prophetic Call to the Academy and the Pew”
I have recently come across a media production/consumption app called Anchor. The app can be explained beautifully by the tagline of the application, “Anchor – Radio, reinvented”.
Anchor provides a platform for people to record their own voice or the sound around them and upload it to their channel. This creates an environment much like Twitter, but one in which it can be turned on and listened to for hours. There are already many platforms moving to anchor to publish media.
A few years ago I had a strange notion that I wanted to build myself a computer. I work with computers a lot day to day and I have come to understand a fair deal about them, but I was naively unaware of what lay ahead. The different aspects of computers are vast and complicated. Luckily, in our modern age, we are able to access wide opinions and recommendations through the internet.
I usually prefer Macs. I find their user interface and built in programs easy to use but not sacrificing performance. However as anyone will tell you, if you are going to build a computer, make it a PC. In addition to that, I work with PCs and can utilize software licenses that I could not get on a Mac. So, PC it is.