Thursday, April 8, 2010



It seems that every time Charlie Brown goes for a kick at the ball, Lucy always gets the last laugh. The classic "bait and switch" idea of getting someone to do something seems to always grab some gullible consumer's attention. It is sad to see people being swindled into investment in something that is really false. The Book of Mormon gives an example of Zeezrom trying to trick the Alma into denying his testimony for money, when the money would not be given to him in the first place. Seeing these instances cause people to be cautious and reserved, rather than openly trusting. Pulling the football out from under someone else is not nice and ultimately does not help. Don't do it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Mormons and Technology

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has come to embrace technology, for it has helped moved forward the purposes of the Lord. The Music and the Spoken Word broadcast, for instance, has used audio and video broadcasting technology since 1929 to deliver the message of the Gospel across the nation. The Internet technology of today has been used to give the words of the apostles and prophets to the world, through videos, blogging, and audio tracks, to name a few. This technology was not found by the Church, but the Lord saw a need to proclaim His message worldwide; as such, He gave us these things to help preach the Gospel to every nation. I see this technology as useful and hope the Church (and its members) will use it to convey the Gospel message through means the Lord has provided.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Councils and Productivity

As a software developer, I have seen many problems that have taken hours, days, and even weeks to fix. I often get sidetracked, start daydreaming, or become ineffective working on bugs and issues for extended periods of time. But, my experience has shown that working with another to achieve an objective helps immensely. Just yesterday, I regained focus on a problem by going over the problem with another person; the explanation process helped me organize the situation in my own mind and then take necessary action. I have, therefore, found truth in the statement "many eyeballs tame complexity."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Building Zion

Among the Latter-Day Saint community, Zion is defined as a place where the pure in heart dwell. The people that dwell in Zion are of "one heart" and "one mind". Building Zion requires that others are able to communicate sufficiently to understand one another, though individual likes and dislikes are still present.

Thomas Friedman's book The World is Flat implicitly made it clear that his thesis of a flat world enhancing communication has helped build Zion. With the advent of of personal computing, and later, Internet technology, the barriers of communication began to break. People began to send E-mail, chat, and share pictures and experiences and anything else desired.

This expanded into developing television programs (like Higglytown Heroes) remotely (Friedman), as well as software packages like Linux and OpenOffice. Once the barriers of communication were gone, people could, as Friedman puts it, "upload" their content to share with others. This technology has evolved into things like Facebook, Flickr, and Blogger, allowing more people to share their ideas and their important moments with others.

It seems convincing, then, that if communication has increased, then this Zion-like community is more readily established.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Positive Effects of Sharing

Our society has become one where average people like to watch commercially-produced movies using YouTube. We also listen to music using the radio, and some might tape music from the broadcast for later listening. The law clearly states that such activities are illegal, but has that stopped anyone? Absolutely not. Orson Scott Card argues that sharing media has actually helped people earn more money. As he emphasizes, however, this needs to be controlled; limitless file-sharing is of no real value and does not give credit to the appropriate creator. But, a sampling of available works could give enough exposure to look into purchasing the real thing. Good judgment is required in order to say what is enough, and ultimately one's intent is the determining factor.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Power of Facebook

Congratulations Facebook—you have earned a patent. Potentially, you have great power: The now patent-protected idea of an updated list of friend's statuses can either be “open sourced” to the world, or used to strike fear into competitors, the clouds of lawsuit looming over their heads. One option would give you the fame and glory of “discovering” a news feed, while still maintaining healthy competition between a few other groups; the other option would potentially eliminate a major portion of fellow social media companies: you would earn a monopoly on News Feed Place and Social Mediawalk. And we all know what happens when a player gets a monopoly. If the monopoly is chosen by the general populous, it's a great thing; but, when forced upon by others, it leads to resentment. Indeed, legal muscle is a great power. But, with great power comes great responsibility. Use it wisely.

See also this link and this one.