The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

swine!

April8

Preamble:

The (deservedly) immortal Dr. Nick Pappas at Radford Univerity called those of us that yearned to be learned “swine!”. This might mean brutish, possibly contemptible, certainly ignorant. But, a badge of honor, as it turns out, because Dr. Pappas knew we had merit based on the desire to change for the better. We sought enlightenment.

There! I’ve set the stage…

But, and just so you know, I started drafting this post on Sunday while it was, potentially, apropos. But, I wanted my thoughts around Bill Pope to run a certain course. And, so they have. Then of course, many of you know I struggle, and mightily so, with the Jesus element. Although the example, as established by those two men, both now otherworldly, continue to abound.

Thusly, I had these words that I intended to post. But, none of them seem sufficient in the face of the enormity of the events of which that day (Easter Sunday) is a commemoration.  I probably don’t have to tell you that Jesus was killed, in the worst possible way, for the stupidest possible reasons, by, as Chesterton has pointed out, elsewhere, and paraphrased here, an unholy coalition of all that was more or less the best in both government and religion at the time.

Travesty is an insufficient descriptor. Or, opportunity. Because, yet another stage was, therefore, set.

In the midst of this, a thought: Love is the visible attribute of an invisible God.

So… If you are a Christian then you are of the opinion that the Lord is Risen!  So, rejoice, ye swine, for something greater than we had ever hoped is at hand.  No grave could hold Him.  No earth could keep Him down.  Hell itself was merely a brief sojourn; and, He didn’t come back alone. (According to the Bible and Gale Jackson) After forty days of gathering darkness, and the great falling blow of Good Friday, we may finally stand up tall again with our splendid and appalling King.  He brings not peace, but a sword; He brings us to a fight, but it is a good fight and, well worth the trouble.

I’m not a Christian, mind. you. But, I WANT to believe this can happen – or, has occurred.

Many of you raised your glass Sunday (but why not each and every day?), wherever you were, in honor of the One who conquered death and gave us life in abundance.  Take the Bread and the Wine, if you are able.  Be in fellowship.  Love your families, your friends, your colleagues, and even your loathsome, miserable enemies.  You may fling them to the ground, when the time comes, but on this day of days it is best to hope for better outcomes, and more noble.

This might lead us to take the position that it’s apparently faith, not proof, that makes Christians believe in Jesus Christ’s resurrection, the central tenet of the religion.

Well… Possibly until now.

I offer this because it’s being reported that Oxford University professor Richard Swinburne (I don’t know if he is or was a swine, but close enough!), a leading philosopher of religion, has seemingly done the impossible. He is using logic and mathematics to create a formula that he says shows a ninety seven percent (97%) certainty that Jesus Christ was resurrected by God the Father. This information reported by The Age and Catholic News (However, I pulled it off MSNBC, again). NOTE: Meanwhile, nothing particularly original here, as I’m confident you’ve read about this elsewhere (on this very Blog, to be sure),

Nonetheless, as a reminder, this stunning conclusion was made based on a series of complex calculations grounded in the following logic:

  1. The probability of God’s existence is one in two. That is, God either exists or doesn’t.
  2. The probability that God became incarnate, that is embodied in human form, is also one in two.
  3. The evidence for God’s existence is an argument for the resurrection.
  4. The chance of Christ’s resurrection not being reported by the gospels has a probability of one in 10.
  5. Considering all these factors together, there is a one in 1,000 chance that the resurrection is not true.

“New Testament scholars say the only evidences are witnesses in the four gospels. That’s only five percent of the evidence,” Swinburne said in a lecture he gave at the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne. “We can’t judge the question of the resurrection unless we ask first whether there’s reason to suppose there is a God. Secondly, if we have reason to suppose he would become incarnate, and thirdly, if he did, whether he would live the sort of life Jesus did.” He says that even Jesus’ life is not enough proof. However, the resurrection is “God’s signature,” which shows “his approval of Jesus’ teaching.”

I’ve called the good fellow, to verify his sincerity, but he has yet to return my call.

By way of reference, the calculations that Swinburne says prove the resurrection are detailed in his book, The Resurrection of God Incarnate. Download it to your Kindle, or iPad, I have. Do it!!!

In closing, as I round out my point… We know why God took Jesus (providing you follow the Bible, and Gale Jackson). However, we are still asking ourselves why God felt He needed Bill and Bryce more than we did. Unless the simple answer is the establishment of a compelling example, driven home, if you will, with an awful and dramatic flourish. Our attention is caught. Now we have that scienter in our lives.

This means we need to be ready.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

The Truth: apple changes the world Before its technology is in your hands

March8

It’s all about perspective.

Business writers love hyperbole (I’m not one of those – I’m just saying…).

To wit…

…The ground will swell. The paradigm will shift.

But, what if occasionally a new tech gadget comes along that really does shake up society?

Apple’s iPad, may just be such a one-device-to-rule-them-all.

This is the vital difference between “rolling boulders up hill”, and “rolling boulders down hill”.

The timing certainly makes sense.

The iPhone is three years old, the U.S. economy is rebounding (I recognize this is a relative term), and gadget demand is pent up amongst Americans who held off on toy upgrades during the recession. By spring we’ll no doubt be past the holiday sales of the black-and-white e-readers that still look vaguely like medical prostate screening devices. I still like my Kindle (read more about that here: evil wireless empires (and their minions): a prudent and optimistic comparative Analysis), mind you, but it won’t surf the net or track my email like the iPad is designed for.

The world is recovering from its Wall Street hangover, and it’s looking for a new tech party invitation. The Apple iPad will be the guest of honor. Laura DiDio, an analyst at Information Technology Intelligence, has predicted the Apple iPad will be “the next big thing”.

I find that trite and obvious. However, it’s likely going to be true, for awhile, because we WANT it to be so. And, Americans must have progress. And, it’s gotta be big and profound. That’s our way. How we “roll”, as it were.

Other manufacturers such as Dell (DELL) and HP are preparing tablets, too, but Apple is the one to watch because Apple is best at making radical new hardware formats undeniably cool.

Yes… The “Jesus Tablet” will be available in April (there were some production delays that took it out of March). NOTE: I use “Jesus” instead of “Moses” (relative to tablets, eh) because Jesus was an actual trend setter, like Steve Jobs is, today – and, it’s all part of the setup around me trying to make a point, here.

But, there are going to be some other unexpected ripple effects as the iPad is skipped across a veritable sea of technology change in the coming year (Hey… I actually just engaged in some of that aforementioned hyperbole).

And, as that happens, the iPad, like the Ten Commandments, and the Bible, will change the world in at least six ways (I know the Bible changed the world in more than five ways. Just work with me, here):

Off we go, then…

Magazine and Newspaper publishing will bounce back as consumers rediscover paid subscriptions. Sorry, Chris Anderson, but not everything will revert to free. It’s no mistake Time Inc.’s (TWXSports Illustrated invested in a provocative dictating controlling what, and how, you want to watch on television. Rather than being a device to watch television, the Apple iPad is more likely to be an interactive advertisement opportunity. So, watch how all of this directly impacts mobile, and mobile devise-oriented advertising creativity. Here is an example:

Nielsen noted this trend of “concurrent media usage” this spring, in a $3.5 million study that recorded what hundreds of people actually do when commercials air. apparently when television advertising spots came on, people picked up laptops, magazines, or cell phones and did something other than watch the television screen. Expect that trend to accelerate when you (and everyone else) have an Apple iPad in your lap.

Augmented-reality views of the world will increase. If you missed this trend, it’s simple: Augmented reality puts computer graphics on top of live video feeds (similar to the yellow line you see on the field in NFL games). Here is an example:

iPhone users can already download applications that overlay a video feed from their iPhone camera, providing floating arrows on the screen showing you, say, the distance to the nearest New York City subway station. With a larger screen, provided by the iPad, such video overlays on reality will become even more compelling. Expect iPhone and iPad app developers to take advantage of this new platform that will enable them to create tools that might include giving construction workers 3D instructions at job sites.

Social Networking and Social Media will reach the next plateau. Look for iPad and iPhone developers to look for ways of providing consumers with product reviews that float over items on sale at the mall – or, serving daters a visual display of the job history, FICO score, and criminal record of that cute guy or gal they meet at a bar, or Church speed-dating events (yes, they are really doing that).

Telecommuting may finally take off. If you hate your commute and care remotely about the environment, then why do you still sit in traffic for two hours each day? Because society has decreed face time is better than phone time. But when Apple tablets make portable video truly accessible, plane tickets and poor coffee in cars may become things of the past. In truth, I feel this is a weaker example. I do believe the virtual work=place is inevitable. But, that will be driven more by technologies we can’t envision, just yet (because steve Jobs has not unveiled them, yet.

Service Providers. The earlier iPads aren’t expected to have video capabilities (at least the one we tested didn’t). However, eventually, two-way video on tablets will push communication costs even lower. I suppose, technically, you can already do portable video today, if you’re willing to walk around town with a laptop flipped open near a Wi-Fi zone. But, by and large, our North American infrastructure still can’t accommodate simple two-way video on the go (Clear might be trying hard to change that, but we still aren’t, well, clear, whether Clear is a scam, or not). Add an iPad with built-in Webcam, and suddenly video calls are as easy as holding up a mirror. You better believe AT&T (T) and Verizon Wireless (VZ) are sweating about the advent of Skype video in subway trains or on Hawaiian beaches. Perhaps Apple will throw its partner AT&T a bone by holding off on iPad Webcams for a few generations. Or it will throw AT&T under the bus by cutting an iPad deal with Verizon Wireless, a scenario at least under consideration earlier this year. My guess is that Verizon comes on-line with the iPad by 2011. And, by the way, Verizon is getting very aggressive, as evidenced by their recent deal with Google and the Nexus One (we’re trying that out, ourselves, through T-Mobile and Google Voice).

That’s sort of my point here… Apple brings technology on-line that you did not know you could not live without. However, I want to make you aware of a few more possibilities before I end this post. Quit rolling your eyes. All of my readers know I’m right. So, you might as well surrender to the truth, here. Apple is deploying technology today under a master plan, and within it’s own terms, of how Steve Jobs wants you to use (his) technology and be more productive. In the end, it affects Apple’s stock. and, now you understand the ultimate brilliance of Jobs, setting the example, beginning years ago, of taking his executive pay in the form of Apple stock.

Perhaps it’s too much to hope for: a world where Apple provides low-cost, two-way video anywhere that saves print journalism while reducing phone costs, augments reality while cutting your commute – even brings humanity closer together while stopping traffic jams and pollution.

You set the example; and, you lead the way.

Just no “padding”-while-driving, please.

I wonder if pad-centic terminology will go Verb like Google has?

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

there might be demons and there are ALWAYS questions

January10

By the time your finished with this post, you’ll have realized it’s less a book review, and more a reminder that I often feel lonely in a crowd of my Christian brothers.

Demons was written by Fyodor Dostoevsky. As an aside, he is much better known, in North America, anyway, for his frustrating and authentic The Brothers Karamazov, and the much lesser known The Idiot.

And, surely, you must read them all! And, on your Amazon Kindle, no less.

In any event, Demons is, essentially, and this is my interpretation, about how liberalism leads to socialism, then leads to nihilism, and how life, according to Dostoevsky, boils down to a choice between Christianity – and… suicide.

Well… Mister, that’s a barn-burning, possibly teeth-gnashingly dogmatic, position (if this makes you think in some terms of anything related to doggy-style, it might be appropriate, and you might have the emotional maturity of a twelve year old [like me, some times], but not in the immediate context).

Demons is a very engaging novel. And, more suspenseful than the others, as relayed above, of Dostoevsky – both because it’s more violent (being about socialist nihilist anarchists and all), and because it takes a long time to get a sense for what motivates the main character, Nikolai Stavrogin (and, that’s where I might draw a comparison to myself and my titanic and transparent struggles with Christianity as it related to the Jesus Christ element).

However, Dostoevsky clarifies his thinking, interestingly, through his mouthpiece Tikhon, in that absolute doubt immediately proceeds absolute faith; thus Stavrogin, as the quintessential doubter, is also the closest among the main cast of characters to true Christianity.

To wit…

This idea, that a person must not give in to his ideas; must strain against them to be a person, is a fascinating one…

But, see… There’s no word for it, this, effort. And, that my be the core of my own struggle. I can’t put my finger on what’s missing. Or, maybe why it’s missing.

Unfortunately, there’s probably a really good word for it.

It eludes me.

Not much does. And, this is a big one.

However, I think caring is important; as is the search for that word – possibly it’s meaning, all the more.

Stick with me. And, feel free to come and get me.

Along the way, I’ll likely read everything, and talk to everyone, I can to find that word. And, the light and truth I learn gives me scienter, and the necessity of my own requirement to be naught less than a beacon, for all. My Kobayashi Maru, perhaps not?

Listening to: Heartbreak Warfare and Free Fallin’ (the Live version) by the much too underestimated, John Mayer.

By the way… Look at the “possibly related posts” (below, minds you) automatically generated by the WordPress gods (demons?). What a hoot! Is irony afoot?

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

pieces of the apple Bits Puzzle

January5

While Apple’s new Magic Mouse did not seem to be well received at first, it has surprisingly helped the company achieve a twofold increase in its share of domestic mice sales, albeit for the November window period only.

This is a first for Apple, and the boost was apparently tied in with the rollout of new iMacs in October.

If you look at the graphic above, prepared by our own Heather Penman, this sees Apple move up ahead of HP and Targus, but needless to say, are way behind market leaders Logitech and Microsoft.

However…

Do you have Apple’s Magic Mouse and Bluetooth Keyboard together on your desk? Have you noticed any battery life problems with the keyboard? If you are, you’re probably not the first, as many folks out there with similar setups have been complaining of similar issues. Some folks are claiming that the Magic Mouse is preventing the keyboard from going into sleep mode, while others claim that it’s a Bluetooth driver issue.

What we do know is that users are experiencing problems, and hopefully Apple gets this sorted out fairly quick, because if the user comments are anything to go by, the keyboards are going through batteries really quick.

Meanwhile…

Could our search for Apple’s Wi-Fi software engineer be a hint that the iPhone 4G might sport 802.11n wireless?

The job posting indicates that the company is looking for a worker who can implement the 802.11a and 802.11n standards, along with the existing 802.11b/g technology.

With that in mind, do you think that the iPhone 4G and upcoming Apple tablet will be sporting 802.11n Wi-Fi, or will we have to continue waiting in order to get 802.11n Wi-Fi in the iPhone?

Speaking of the tablet (it won’t be called that shortly), the image here is not too different from the unit now in production.

And, by the way… This technology will put the Amazon Kindle, and related products, out of sight, while also changing the world in terms how you access, read and use information. You can read about my Kindle here: evil wireless empires (and their minions): a prudent and optimistic comparative analysis.

It’s true.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

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What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

brian cork by John Campbell





photos by John Campbell

 

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