Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Complexity and Truth

Here's a new aphorism that I'm still "testing the waters" on:

"The truth is kind of like computer security. You can never have it in its ideal. You can only hope to have enough complexity to earn its rewards."

In computer security (my vocation), you can never really reach the ideal of creating the perfect security system that keeps the bad guys out. Instead, the best you can do is make the system complex enough that it becomes too much trouble for the hacker to break in.

So it is with home security. Locked doors can't keep the bad guys out. They can only make it too risky for the bad guys to bother. I'm calling this riskiness complexity.

This doesn't mean that the ideal shouldn't exist. I don't think a security system (whether computer, or home) designer would be worth his/her salt if he/she didn't have the ideal to shoot for. The ideal serves a purpose as a goal. But in an imperfect world, it is rarely, dare I say never, achieved.

What are the rewards of truth that I speak of? Truth equips the "knower". To know the truth that a tornado is coming, rewards the truth-holder with the option to take cover.

I ask this question though: Does ALL truth reward?

The second thing that I'm battling with this aphorism is Occam's Razor. Occam's Razor says that the truth is usually the simplest explanation of an event. If such a statement is true, than how can I say that we can only hope to have enough complexity to earn truth's benefits?

Today I have demonstrated that I have more questions than I have answers.

Ashamed of Christians, NOT Christ

I've discovered that I'm not ashamed of Christianity. I'm ashamed of being associated with popular Christianity. I'm ashamed of being associated with many Christians who have misunderstood the message of Christ.

I'm not ashamed of Christ's message. It is both profound and logically defensible. I’m ashamed of many churches that have not plumbed its depths and have thrown out their minds all in the name of faith.

I'm not ashamed of Christ. I'm ashamed of many people who call themselves by His name.

I’m therefore bold in my faith. However, I rarely get to really speak about it. That’s why I blog and post on the Usenet and forums.

Most of my friends are Christians so that’s my problem. I have a friend that calls me a “renaissance man”, but I’m not so sure that label applies. I think of myself as being only three dimensional. I can talk philosophy/theology, music and computers. I’m acquainted with sports as a passive observer, but can’t “carry the ball” too far. So there aren’t a lot of bridges to build relationships with me.

The other problem seems to be with people. It seems to me that most people don’t want to talk about the deeper things of life. It seems that most of us get wrapped up in our “little stories”, drawing our life’s purpose from sports teams, our kids, school, our jobs, our hobbies or our possessions...

As a musician, I can see how that might happen. I do spend a lot of time surfing the web for gear, instructional resources, and other interests common to musicians. But for me, my music is a smaller story enclosed in a larger one.

I once heard Steve Brown say, “Everyone needs a stable meta-narrative”. A meta-narrative is a large story to explain all of our smaller stories. I play music not simply to entertain myself and others, but for the glory of God and to touch to people. That’s so much more meaningful than providing ear candy.

What’s your story?

Do you have a meta-narrative?

I’m not interested in preaching to you. But reply to this blog and perhaps we can start a dialog on these things. After all, aren’t the big picture questions the most important questions of life?