Jul 7, 2012

How we play dice with the universe

Last time I indulged in far-ranging speculation about how God intervenes in the universe. Now I’m going to toss around an idea on how we ourselves also manipulate physical reality.

Many people believe that our immortal souls are comprised of a physical body and an intangible spirit. As I speculated last time, God might intervene in the universe by directing the apparently random interactions of particles at the quantum level. Suppose that we, or the part of us that some call our spirits, also intervene in the physical universe the same way?

Feb 29, 2012

Maybe God does play dice with the universe

As the poet hath said, “A little learning is a dangerous thing”. I just read Stephen Hawking’s A Briefer History of Time, and I’m ready to do some damage.

Hawking has written of scientists’ progress toward a unified theory of all physical forces (gravity, electromagnetism, forces within the atom). I’m going to leap beyond the bounds of science and brazenly put forward a unified theory of my own, on the physical means by which God intervenes in the universe, and how we can truly have free will.

Hawking’s explanation of quantum theory is probably about as lucid as we laymen will get. I’m not going to summarize it here; read it for yourself. But I will quote this example:

Jul 31, 2010

Reading about guns isn't playing with guns

My son likes guns. Given a handful of Legos, Quentin is more likely to make a gun than anything else, even a car, his second favorite. Virtually any object becomes a gun in his hand as he runs around the house or yard pretending to shoot things.

We don't know where he gets it. We haven't watched broadcast TV since before he was born. We watch only DVDs (and earlier, videotapes), and we strictly control what he watches. No doubt he's seen a little gunplay on the tube, but he's seen a lot more "playing house" and yet that doesn't appeal to him as much.

Jun 18, 2010

Can "not sleeping" be a superpower?

When I was a kid, my friends and I would sometimes talk about what kind of house we would have when we grew up. We never talked about practical things like the number of bathrooms, but instead about the amenities. A typical dream house might have an indoor pool, an outdoor pool, and a disco floor. (Can you guess my approximate age?)

Another recurrent topic was what kind of superpower we would prefer: flying, super strength, X-ray vision, etc. One superpower that I never thought of back then, but looks ever more appealing now, is the ability to get along without sleep.

May 28, 2010

First shot at a humor column

Several years ago I was laid off from a software development job, and after months of failing to find another, I desperately applied to any job I saw advertised, whether in my field of expertise or not.

An announcement for a newspaper reporter asked applicants to send in writing samples. Not having any journalism education or experience, I didn't know this meant clippings of one's published work. Instead I wrote two samples from scratch: a report of an actual event (based on an interview I conducted with a firefighter I knew), and a piece that aspired to a humorous column.

Somehow it worked. The newspaper hired me on a temporary trial, and I lasted through the trial and continued as a reporter for two more years.

Here is the column I made up for my job application: