Saturday, October 08, 2005

Geeking out on a Saturday

Ah, Saturday, how do I love thee. Sadly, it's yet another day I told myself I would spend studying, and another day I did absolutely none at all. Motivation? None. Am I depressed? Don't think so. I just have a flippant sort of disregard for learning. It's a big problem--I have exams and quizzes all over the place next week. I don't know how I'm going to prepare for them all tomorrow, especially if I goof off again.

Instead of working, I spent almost all of my time networking my pocket pc to the laptop. I can now gain exclusive access to select folders on my laptop's hard drive from any wireless access point on campus. That means that I can save typewritten documents to the shared folder right after class. On top of that, I no longer need to store any music or movie files on the pocket pc at all--having mounted my "music" and "movies" folders as network drives, I can stream them remotely.

If I had a portable access point I could plug in wherever I happen to be, I'd never have to go searching for wireless signals again. Hmmm...

I also learned how to ad-hoc connect the PPC to the laptop... and, usefully, how to ad-hoc connect any two computers, although I haven't tested it with any non-Windows XP PCs. That was something I tried to do over the summer with a friend's laptop, without success. It's actually not that difficult.

October 8th, 2004

More debate with the atheist...

Me: [Referring to the understanding bestowed by faith] "Yeah, well, sometimes you have to speak a language for a while before you can understand its poetry."

Atheist: "That metaphor... is completely inapplicable."

Me: "It works more than you know. Like individual languages, or, for example, a piece of music, faith has an internal 'logic' or consistency. This is not to be confused with the logic of "modus ponens" and such; within Catholicism it's given the name "sensus fidelium" ('sense of the faithful')--John Henry Newman called it the 'illative sense'.

You'll surprise me if you don't simply scoff and jeer, "It all just means you're brainwashed and will believe anything!"

Languages are not wholly independent, but neither are they wholly accessible to each other. Expressions, ideas, distinctions, abstractions in some or one language may never be adequately translated into another; the process of learning the meaning of another language's word is deeply involved. Take Heidegger's "Dasein" for example. Well, ok, it means "Man." But it also means "Being." But to know it has Heidegger knows it, you have to trace his steps. Sometimes, it's not enough to trace the steps of the individual who coined the word; you have to trace the steps of an entire linguistic group. No shortcuts via dictionaries.

In a similar respect, non-Christians, while certainly open to some of the basic concepts of Christianity (enough that conversion has been desireable for a good number), should not expect to have the same access to understanding certain things as long-time, knowledgable Christians.

The significance of this is that only too many criticisms of Christianity are precisely of this nature. The French think that Dutch is an inferior language because it has no poetry; in fact the truth is that the French only think Dutch is inferior because its poetry isn't in French."

A year later...

Um, yeah... When I was writing this, I was kind of in the heat of battle, and now looking at it I see where it was sort of shallow. Oh woe are we Christians, so misunderstood. Of course, I couldn't say everything I wanted to say, given that the audience of the Megatokyo forums isn't going to be receptive to the notion of faith as a sense. For me at the time, I had no interest in convincing anyone that they were missing out on ultimate truth--rather, I just wanted my opponents to speak less infallibilistically about Christianity.

I like the last line, though. Anything that pokes fun at the French deserves to be preserved in the archives.


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Br. Thomas said...

Was that ad-hoc computer connection accomplished through a cross-over ethernet cable? They're cool. So are you.

Jeff said...

Heh, no. It was totally wireless. The bad thing is that you have to turn off the firewall in Windows XP, so the only security you have at that point is WEP--easily breakable, so I'm told. Still, just to see if I could, I tried connecting the laptop to the network AND the adhoced PPC at the same time (I figured this was the best way to maximize transfer speeds from the laptop to the PPC). No luck.

On the upside, I can now use my laptop like a 40GB wireless hard-drive for my Pocket PC.