Postmodernism isn’t post modernism

Bugs Bunny

Bugs Bunny (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have long been bothered by the notion of “postmodernism”. Outside of architecture it does not have a coherent definition. Applied to literature, culture, and philosophy it doesn’t come after modernism, modernism and postmodernism are contemporaneous and difficult to separate.

Characteristically modern are: Hegel, Jane Austen, Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, Sherlock Holmes, John Steinbeck,H. G. Wells, Robert Frost, Scooby Doo, and Cormac McCarthy. Characteristically postmodern are: Rousseau, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Kafka, Peter Pan, Oscar Wilde, Bugs Bunny, Steve Martin, Catch-22, and Chuck Palahniuk.

No temporal order is present, that is neither is “post” the other.

The missiologist and anthropologist Paul Hiebert has a much better way of reconciling such tensions as Modernism vs Postmodernism.

Hiebert explains relying on Opler that world-views are not reducible to monolithic patterns, rather they are composed of multiple theme and counter-theme pairs. Themes lacking counter-themes would topple a culture, counter-themes provide necessary balance. This framework relieved a tension in my mind.

When reading Hiebert on Opler I had an epiphany. An epiphany that so-called modernism and postmodernism are not two different world-views. Rather these are a theme and counter-theme within a worldview; these are components of secular materialism the dominating world-view in the West since the West ceased to be called Christendom. The modern postmodern divide is really the theme-pair of objectivism and subjectivism that goes back as far as the Enlightenment and Romanticism. This framework is most helpful for me here, in my society. Not being particularly (post)modern, with themes and counter-themes I can better engage post-Christendom Westerners rather than relying on the too-easy categories of modernism and postmodernism.

Objectivism and subjectivism have been in a tug of war since the rise of secular materialism, of course nothing is secular. We should reject both sides of the secular materialist coin.

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Meet the New Boss Same as the Old Boss

Meet the New Boss Same as the Old Boss

Meet the New Boss Same as the Old Boss

“I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again
Don’t get fooled again
No, no!,

Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss” – The Who, “We Won’t Get Fooled Again

NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily

NSA phone records collection: anger swells after data revelations

Verizon forced to hand over telephone data – full court ruling

Verizon court order: telephone call metadata and what it can show

US spy chief Clapper defends Prism and phone surveillance

Confirmed: The NSA is Spying on Millions of Americans

Timeline of NSA Domestic Spying

Obama’s defense? Bush did it first! It’s for your own good!

Of course all of this has been true since at least the 70’s

Church Committee

We keep getting fooled again.


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Backpacking gear guide for the beginner, a bibliography

If you have answered a question by email more than once you should probably turn it into a blog post.
This is the Boy Scout “Field Book” Which covers most everything outdoors related:

Gear Reviews: -good systematic reviews -better non-systematic reviews

Stores: -about like the above -the outdoor -like for camping -a less focused campmor -for the hook & bullet (therefor heavy) crowd not cam and sprocket -the walmart to cabelas target

This is the “ultralight” perspective, where you trade comfort and gear for knowledge and experience it is the hardcore of backpacking:

Gear in general, great but infrequently updated:

Clothing philosophy:

Andy Kirkpatrick for good clothes for bad weather:

Skurka for good clothes for good to middling weather:

A response to Skurka by Dave Chenault:

How far we have come, not far at all:
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I was in Sam’s Club recently and saw that the Christmas Decorations and gift baskets are on display and for sale a full month before Halloween. I was reminded of a C.S. Lewis essay.

Xmas and Christmas — A Lost Chapter from Herodotus

By C.S. Lewis

And beyond this there lies in the ocean, turned towards the west and north, the island of Niatirb which Hecataeus indeed declares to he the same size and shape as Sicily, but it is larger, though in calling it triangular a man would not miss the mark. It is densely inhabited by men who wear clothes not very different from the other barbarians who occupy the north-western parts of Europe though they do not agree with them in language. These islanders. surpassing all the men of whom we know in patience and endurance, use the following customs.

In the middle of winter when fogs and rains most abound they have a great festival which they call Exmas, and for fifty days they prepare for it in the fashion I shall describe. First of all, every citizen is obliged to send to each of his friends and relations a square piece of hard paper stamped with a picture, which in their speech is called an Exmas-card. But the pictures represent birds sitting on branches, or trees with a dark green prickly leaf, or else men in such garments as the Niatirbians believe that their ancestors wore two hundred years ago riding in coaches such as their ancestors used, or houses with snow on their roofs. And the Niatirbians are unwilling to say what these pictures have to do with the festival, guarding (as I suppose) some sacred mystery. And because all men must send these cards the marketplace is filled with the crowd of those buying them, so that there is great labour and weariness.

But having bought as many as they suppose to be sufficient, they return to their houses and find there the like cards which others have sent to them. And when they find cards from any to whom they also have sent cards, they throw them away and give thanks to the gods that this labour at least is over for another year. But when they find cards from any to whom they have not sent, then they beat their breasts and wail and utter curses against the sender; and, having sufficiently lamented their misfortune, they put on their boots again and go out into the fog and rain and buy a card for him also. And let this account suffice about Exmas-cards.

They also send gifts to one another, suffering the same things about the gifts as about the cards, or even worse. For every citizen has to guess the value of the gift which every friend will send to him so that he may send one of equal value, whether he can afford it or not. And they buy as gifts for one another such things as no man ever bought for himself. For the sellers, understanding the custom, put forth all kinds of trumpery, and whatever, being useless and ridiculous, they have been unable to sell throughout the year they now sell as an Exmas gift. And though the Niatirbians profess themselves to lack sufficient necessary things, such as metal, leather, wood and paper, yet an incredible quantity of these things is wasted every year, being made into the gifts.

But during these fifty days the oldest, poorest and most miserable of the citizens put on false beards and red robes and walk about the market-place; being disguised (in my opinion) as Cronos. And the sellers of gifts no less than the purchasers become pale and weary, because of the crowds and the fog, so that any man who came into a Niatirbian city at this season would think some great public calamity had fallen on Niatirb. This fifty days of preparation is called in their barbarian speech the Exmas Rush. But when the day of the festival comes, then most of the citizens, being exhausted with the Rush, lie in bed till noon. But in the evening they eat five times as much supper as on other days and, crowning themselves with crowns of paper, they become intoxicated. And on the day after Exmas they are very grave, being internally disordered by the supper and the drinking and reckoning how much they have spent on gifts and on the wine. For wine is so dear among the Niatirbians that a man must swallow the worth of a talent before he is well intoxicated.

Such, then, are their customs about the Exmas. But the few among the Niatirbians have also a festival, separate and to themselves, called Crissmas, which is on the same day as Exmas. And those who keep Crissmas, doing the opposite to the majority of the Niatirbians, rise early on that day with shining faces and go before sunrise to certain temples where they partake of a sacred feast. And in most of the temples they set out images of a fair woman with a new-born Child on her knees and certain animals and shepherds adoring the Child. (The reason of these images is given in a certain sacred story which 1 know but do not repeat.)

But I myself conversed with a priest in one of these temples and asked him why they kept Crissmas on the same day as Exmas; for it appeared to me inconvenient. But the priest replied, It is not lawful, 0 Stranger, for us to change the date of Crissmas, but would that Zeus would put it into the minds of the Niatirbians to keep Exmas at some other time or not to keep it at all. For Exmas and the Rush distract the minds even of the few from sacred things. And we indeed are glad that men should make merry at Crissmas; but in Exmas there is no merriment left. And when I asked him why they endured the Rush, he replied, It is, 0 Stranger, a racket; using (as I suppose) the words of some oracle and speaking unintelligibly to me (for a racket is an instrument which the barbarians use in a game called tennis).

But what Hecataeus says, that Exmas and Crissmas are the same, is not credible. For first, the pictures which are stamped on the Exmas-cards have nothing to do with the sacred story which the priests tell about Crissmas. And secondly, the most part of the Niatirbians, not believing the religion of the few, nevertheless send the gifts and cards and – participate in the Rush and drink, wearing paper caps. But it is not likely that men, even being barbarians, should suffer so many and great things in honour of a god they do not believe in. And now, enough about Niatirb.

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The Moto X Sucks (The 2014 version)

Subtitle: FYI: Don’t buy a 2nd Gen Moto X. 1st Gen built like a tank, 2nd Gen built like a  Christmas ornament.é_-_Rose_Trellis_Egg_-_Walters_44501.jpg

A Faberge Egg from Wikipedia


I have been with Republic Wireless for a year with a first gen moto x and loved every minute of both the phone and the service. Republic really is awesome.

Like many people who have switched from a big carrier I became something of an evangelist trying to free friends and family from those big carriers.

Adding it up I have convinced 8 people to join Republic with Motorola phones telling them how great my phone was, noting every time the build quality.

That all changes now that I have a second gen moto x. I will no longer be recommending the phone I have (now the second gen). I will tell them to get a 1st gen while they can or get a moto e (their cheapest offering) because motorola makes poor quality phones and thinks that is to be expected.

My first gen that I loved survived many drops and bumps and weathered them like a tank. One or two dozen times was it dropped from standing height onto hardwood and tile, and several times it survived drops onto the street as well. For a while I was doing a lot of construction work renovating an old house. The phone I had before that (an iPhone 4s pre-republic) I dropped maybe a few times in 2 years.

The Moto X first generation was remarkably durable and I did in fact make such remarks repeatedly, I sang it’s praises in that regard. I never placed the first gen in a case and it was bulletproof.

Being so impressed I decided to sell my previous phone to someone I convinced to join republic and upgrade to the newer supposedly better 2nd gen. That was two weeks ago.

In the past two weeks I have babied and coddled the new phone as it seemed too pretty too use. I was right about that. It is in fact too pretty to use.

The first gen is built like a tank, the second gen is built like a christmas ornament. Pretty, shiny, bright, and so delicate that if you dare to touch it the phone will shatter.

This morning I set my new, still pristine phone on a chair, I didn’t know that a) there was a slight slant to the chair and b) the moto x was so slick. The phone slowly slid off the chair and from about 18 inches off the floor.

I thought to myself that I shouldn’t have been so careless and I hope the decorative metal border is not scuffed.

I picked it up and to my shock the screen was shattered! I thought: I must have a defective phone! There is no way motorola would build such a delicate piece of crap! The first time it had been touched by anything but a loving caress destroyed it!

But I was sure that motorola would stand by the quality of their product and replace a defective phone that was waiting to shatter like this one.

I spent almost an hour with their support/warranty department first by online chat and then by phone.

I was wrong. Motorola does not stand by their products.

According to Motorola phone that shatters when you use it is expected! Something like the exploding gas tank of the Ford Pinto, it is a design feature!

In paraphrase such defects and frailties are to be expected in Motorola phones and the shattered screen is not covered by warranty. The shattered screen from an 18 inch drop the first gen (or a fresh egg) would have laughed at.

When I asked him the guy I talked to on the phone in customer support (name withheld I don’t want to get him in trouble) even admitted the new moto x has lower build quality and is much more delicate than the first gen.

Republic is still great, Motorola is not.

In the future I will tell people how great Republic is despite the low quality phones and that they should get a first gen moto x that made Motorola worth noticing again, not the worthless low quality sequel cashing in on the good name of the first.

I will tell potential converts to Republic Wireless to get the cheapest moto e because anything else is a waste of money.

I wonder if this low quality is standard now that Google sold Motorola off to Lenovo.



  • the X2 is particularly delicate
  • this is a degradation from the X1
  • that the build quality is lower in the X2 than the X1
  • and that Motorola knows it.
  • I would have never purchased such a delicate phone had I known, and recommend you don’t now that you know.
  • Buy a 1st gen while you can or don’t waste your money with Motorola and get the cheapest phone you can to access republic.
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That’s the best the NSA has got?



“He was a San Diego cab driver who fled Somalia as a teenager, winning asylum in the United States after he was wounded during fighting among warring tribes. Today, Basaaly Moalin, 36, is awaiting sentencing following his conviction on charges that he sent $8,500 to Somalia in support of the terrorist group al-Shabab.

Moalin’s prosecution, barely noticed when the case was in court, has suddenly come to the fore of a national debate about U.S. surveillance. Under pressure from Congress, senior intelligence officials have offered it as their primary example of the unique value of a National Security Agency program that collects tens of millions of phone records from Americans.” (emphasis added)

See the whole story.


So the end that supposedly justify the government’s evil means is a cab driver wiring money home to one of many factions vying for control of his home country?

Al-Shabab sounds pretty evil as well, but, the NSA’s best example to justify the Stasi’s wet dream is not foiling a threat to Americans, nor even a threat in the western hemisphere, nor even a terrorist plot or plan at all, but wiring money home so Al-Shabab could buy perhaps 20 AK-47s.

That’s the best justification they have.

It makes me wonder if the government’s evil outweighs its incompetence or its incompetence outweighs its evil.

Addition: Perhaps you are not convinced a total surveillance state is so bad, read this.

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A Better University Term Schedule

It seems that university term scheduling is broken. Why are summer terms relegated to second tier status if they are even included at all? With a standard 14 week plus one week break university semester you can comfortably fit in 3 equal terms and even have space left over for 5 one-week intensive miniterms if you wish.

Every professor need not teach a class every term, but can spread existing course-load over a wider array of options.

Even better would be 6 seven week terms where you attend class twice as much per week but take half as many classes at a time. The tradeoff here, of course, is that you have less time for extended projects and papers, and less time to bring up to speed students who fall behind before the final.

  1. Spring
  2. Spring
  3. Spring
  4. Spring
  5. Spring
  6. Spring
  7. Spring
  8. Break (Actually move for easter)
  9. One Week Intensive MiniTerm1
  10. Spring
  11. Spring
  12. Spring
  13. Spring
  14. Spring
  15. Spring
  16. Spring-Finals
  17. One Week Intensive MiniTerm
  18. Summer
  19. Summer
  20. Summer
  21. Summer
  22. Summer
  23. Summer
  24. Summer
  25. Break (actually move for july 4)
  26. One Week Intensive MiniTerm
  27. Summer
  28. Summer
  29. Summer
  30. Summer
  31. Summer
  32. Summer
  33. Summer-Finals
  34. One Week Intensive MiniTerm
  35. Fall
  36. Fall
  37. Fall
  38. Fall
  39. Fall
  40. Fall
  41. Fall
  42. Break(actually move for thanksgiving)
  43. One Week Intensive MiniTerm
  44. Fall
  45. Fall
  46. Fall
  47. Fall
  48. Fall
  49. Fall
  50. Fall-Finals
  51. Christmas
  52. Christmas
  1. That is a one week class in which you complete all of your readings by the first day, you attend 8 hours a day for 6 days, you take your midterm on monday and you take your final exam on saturday with your term paper/project due X weeks after the class.
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Communion Devotional 2013/03/10

Jesus tells us: “I am the resurrection and the life” John 11.25

Early Christians switched the day of worship not to the day before the Sabbath, Friday, when Jesus was crucified but to the day after, Sunday, when he rose from the dead. Today is Sunday and we are Christians:

Why do we do what we are about to do?

In our quest to remember what the people in Jesus’s audience forgot about the messiah we have forgotten what they remembered.

Psalms 132 tells us that a Descendent of David would be enthroned forever

Psalms 16 tells us that this King will not undergo decay

Psalms 110 tells us that this King who is of and yet above David is also a priest and that he will conquer and judge the world

The Old Testament does say that the Messiah was going to be a king; it said it over and over. Most Jews in first century Palestine were comfortable with that kind of Savior-King. But they had the wrong sort of king in mind.

What they couldn’t wrap their minds around a savior who was suffering servant despite what is written in Isaiah 53, that the messiah was to be God’s Suffering Servant.

Jesus had to spend most of his time teaching what the kingdom is like, not that it wasn’t a kingdom. Jesus had to make the crowds and his disciples understand his vicarious suffering as a ransom for our sins.

We however love the sacrificial Savior and the crucified Christ.

We love the suffering, and rejoice in the gift of forgiveness through Jesus’ sacrifice. The biggest Christian blockbuster film, Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ, as the title suggests, is 2 hours about suffering and a 30 second postscript about the resurrection. Modern Christians understand the Messiah’s suffering and sacrifice.

BUT. We can’t wrap our heads around a king. We don’t want anyone to tell us what to do.

Aren’t we the Wealthiest, best Educated, most Enlightened people the world has ever known?

We don’t tolerate Kings, or Queens, Chieftains, Dictators, or Presidents for Life. We are proud citizens of a republic and we have rights.

We bow to no man

We bow to no God-Man.

You shake hands in a democracy. You kneel before your king.

Christians are NOT proud citizen of a republic with rights

Christians are humble subjects of a king with grace given privileges and duties and responsibilities.

This tells us something about what the resurrection is for.

The resurrection wasn’t necessary for forgiveness. Before the Crucifixion there were Countless guilt offerings in the temple. As revealed in Leviticus God graciously provided these sacrifices as a way for repentant Israel to be forgiven of their sins.

And no sheep ever came back. All of those sacrifices stayed dead. It’s what sacrifices do. When you kill an animal, or a man, it isn’t coming back.

Jesus is more than a guilt offering. Jesus is more than a sacrifice. God raised him from the dead with an immortal body. Jesus ascended to the right hand of God. God enthroned him.

The resurrection gives me more than the forgiveness of the sacrifice–for which I am incredibly thankful–it gives me hope. It gives me hope that I like Jesus and unlike those sheep might “come back”.

It gives me hope that I will not face the corruption of death, that I will have a resurrection body like Jesus who is both Savior and King.

It is tempting to stop here, with another “privilege” and ignore the “responsibility”.

We will have resurrection bodies like our resurrected king. This turns me (all of us I hope) away from moralistic therapeutic deism towards obedience and submission of my will to a risen and enthroned king.

This is how we reconcile Jesus sayings that it is both easy and difficult to be his disciple. Entrance into the kingdom is easy. God is gracious indeed. But the standards for those inside the kingdom are much higher than we might like, if you don’t find it difficult to be like your king, you are doing something wrong.

Living like Jesus lived is the expected response, responsibility, to God’s grace not a legalistic condition to earn God’s grace

I shall not just be thankful for Jesus taking one for the team so I can wallow in cheap grace.

I shall, as a member of his kingdom, serve my risen and enthroned king and work to improve and expand his kingdom.

The resurrection and enthronement of Jesus makes me serve a king not merely benefit from a sacrifice.

And NOW, just as Jesus resurrection is the first fruits of our promised resurrection the Lord’s Supper we celebrate now is an appetizer for the heavenly banquet we read about in Isaiah 25.6-9.

On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples,
a banquet of aged wine the best of meats and the finest of wines.On this mountain he will destroy
the shroud that enfolds all peoples,
the sheet that covers all nations;he will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears
from all faces;
he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth.
The Lord has spoken.In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God;
we trusted in him, and he saved us.
This is the Lord, we trusted in him;
let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”

Jesus told the twelve at the last supper (in Luke 22.16 and 18 and parallels Matt 26.29 and Mark 14.25) that he won’t eat the Passover again until it is the wedding feast of Revelation 19 when his bride, the church, joins him in the resurrection.

Join me in blessing the bread as we look forward to that wedding feast.

“Father, bless this bread, Jesus’ body, as we remember the body that he sacrificed so we might be forgiven as well as his resurrection body, the immortal body of our living king that gives us hope of joining the feast that has been promised to us. AMEN”

“Father, bless this cup, Jesus’ blood, blood that he shed to wash us of our sins, a sacrifice which we did not deserve. I pray that we will all mimic Jesus sacrificial life until we hear the words ‘well done good and faithful servant’ AMEN”


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Merry Christmas

2004 banksy_christ

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Remember the Fifth of November.

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