Is All Technological Advancement Good

Lately there has been a lot of advancement in technology.  Along with this I have seen even more articles about up coming advancement in technology.  I don’t always agree with these articles.  A couple of them that I have read recently are about making humans able to access cloud/computing services and using “artificial intelligence” to solve problems.  Obviously these two articles are about two very different things so lets look at each and determine whether we, as humans, should really be advancing to this point.

First, having the human mind accessing the cloud and computing services directly.  To expand a bit this is something under development.  It uses the human mind connecting through technology to directly access the information stored on the cloud and other internet computing devices.  Being able to directly access the internet and its wealth of information.  Now many people see lots of problems with this.  Couldn’t this mean that anyone could tap into your brain and access your thoughts/memories or even current location?  Well not entirely.  After all security has come a long way and it is possible to have a very secure link (even wirelessly) that no one can break into (within reason).  Technology in the area of security has really been advancing as well keeping things more and more secure.  With that said it wouldn’t be an issue of other people accessing your brain.  Its more about what you are able to access with it.  With the huge amount of information out there, a large amount of it false, you can easily be inundated with the information that you can access through your computer which can only work so fast.  Your brain is essentially a super computer.  It is capable of doing more than your computer can do and in less time (provided it has been taught).  Your mind on a daily basis performs millions of calculations.  Every time you take a step your brain has to recalculate loads of information including impact, resistance, speed, balance, distance, etc.  This happens without us really knowing and in a blink of an eye.  A computer takes longer than that to make the same calculations (at this point).  So what would it do with access to a virtually indefinite amount of information?

Here I will move into the second article.  The second article was about the advancement of artificially intelligence.  This may sound contradictory to what I said in relation to the first article but research says that a computer can track more variables than the human mind and in less time.  To an extent this is true but to be fair we also haven’t taught our minds to do so.  If we practiced and really wanted to learn how we could track many variables with our minds and not really know we are (kind of like learning to walk).  With that said, should we.  This would stretch our mind to a point that we haven’t used it yet, but it may be beneficial to us as a race. 

So to answer the question posed at the beginning.  Is all technological advancement good?  I would say no.  Back to the first article I discussed.  Is it good to have this sort of access?  I wouldn’t think so.  The overload on your brain isn’t good for it.  We would be changing our bodies from the way that God made them which many would disagree with (I know many who believe that tattoos are against God’s will, but that is a totally different subject).  So based on that article I would say that no not all technological advancement is good.

On to the second article.  The advancement of artificial intelligence.  We already have it advanced to the stage that if given a question it can track it for valid answers.  The artificial intelligence that we currently have is well below the intelligence that humans have (as it is designed by humans it is created less intelligent then humans).  With that said in the near future (still looking 20+ years out) there are ideas of making the last of human technological advances.  That being the artificial intelligence that can advance technology itself is entirely self aware and search out problems/questions and answers them.  This is a whole new step where artificial intelligence can/will be more intelligent than humans are.  That is scary thought but at the same time decisions can be made entirely unbiased.  When a problem arises (or even potentially before something becomes a problem) the ability to fix that problem is already there everything can be calculated and presented in a purely factual sense.   Now is this really good, I would say yes this advancement is great.  It gives the ability to bring the earth back to a better state, we can, in a way create a more sustainable earth model.

So while I would say that not all technological advancement is good I would also have to say that it is not all bad either.  There is some of both and we need to work with that which is good and try to step away from that which isn’t.

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Christians in the Cannabis Industry

I am a Christian and I work in the cannabis/weed/marijuana industry.  There it is, I said it.  This statement is true.  How many of you are offended by this idea?  How many of you are thinking, “How can that be, Christians are supposed to be opposed to that stuff”?  I do wish to add a disclaimer here.  I do not use cannabis products because I don’t find I have a need to use them, at some point they may be a valuable medication that I might need but at this time they are not.  Oh and not only do I was a Christian work in the cannabis industry but my boss is a Christian as well and she owns multiple cannabis related companies.

I’m going to make bold statement and say that Christians should not be opposed to the use of cannabis.  I work for the Cannabis Training Institute (to go to their website click here).  This particular place works to educate people on proper use of marijuana.  There is education on the many benefits of its use and proper and safe consumption.  Cannabis is not inherently evil.  In many ways we could say that cannabis (when used correctly) is nearly a “miracle drug”.  We thought vicodin was amazing with how well it relieved pain, cannabis is so much more than a pain reliever.

Yes, cannabis is addictive but not more so than alcohol.  We know from the Bible that alcohol was openly used by Christians.  After all Jesus even turned water into wine. (For those who didn’t realize it, wine is alcoholic.)  There are very few things that we are actually told to out right avoid.  Everything else we are given the instruction to use within moderation.  Nearly anything in moderation is good, its when we use in excess that we run into issues.

At the time of creation we were given every plant on the earth to use for food except that which had the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil.  This means that, yes, we were even commanded to use cannabis in our food.  From all the research that I have been able to do there is nothing against the use of cannabis.  If treated and used correctly as God intended this could be a very good thing.

Some may say that the use of cannabis inherently leads you into unnecessary temptation.  In that case you could say that working in a kitchen leads to the unnecessary temptation to be a glutton.  Others may say that cannabis is a “gateway drug”.  This rings just as true has chips being a “gateway snack”, ever hear of that?  Didn’t really think so.  There is no evidence that cannabis leads people to use other drugs.  For that matter there is evidence that tobacco leads to use of other drugs (to a greater extent than cannabis) simply in that more users of various hard drugs first tried a cigarette then eventually moved up to more addictive, harder drugs.

So far you may be thinking, “I thought this was about Christians working in the cannabis industry.”  I’m getting to that.  Up to this point I have been laying out why cannabis isn’t necessarily as bad as many might think.  By doing this I have already proven against what many think is a great argument: you should not lead someone else to sin.  Well really if you understand what I have said so far, workers in the cannabis industry aren’t leading others to sin, at least not necessarily.  No more so than a fast food worker or grocery store worker is leading someone into gluttony.

So what about the idea of not causing harm to come to others. Well the idea that cannabis is dangerous is not true.  Up to this point there have been 0 (zero) deaths from the use of cannabis.  It is more likely that someone would die from the weight of it landing on them (assuming there is a stockpile available to do so) than through consumption.  It would take an incredibly large amount of consumption within a very short amount of time for consumption alone to be large enough to cause significant problems.

Then there is the whole idea of doing what the government says because they are the governing authority.  Well…. the government can’t make up its mind on cannabis.  Many local governments have decided it is ok.  The federal government (in the U.S.) has declared it a schedule 1 drug (meaning it has no medicinal value and shouldn’t be used by anyone for any reason), but they have also take a patent on a specific part of the cannabis plant.  How can they do this?  They are the government, they are taking on both sides of the same coin without blinking an eye.  So is the government really against cannabis?  We don’t really know.  More and more and we see a move towards change.  More and more aspects of cannabis are becoming ok.  We already have seen that the government is willing to turn a blind eye to those who are using for medicinal purposes only.  But does that make it right?  Then with this change towards acceptance that shows a move towards this being a non-issue.

So… where is the problem with Christians working in the cannabis industry?  There really isn’t an overarching problem with it.  Sure some people may have a personal preference against it, but that is personal.

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The Holidays Have Come part 4

We are told (in Christian circles) that Jesus is the reason for the season.  While this is true, due to his being celebrated, we need to consider what we are truly celebrating with this.
Because of Christ’s coming we are able to have eternal life in paradise.  He promised this throughout His life and the Bible professes this many times in both the new and old testaments.
Let’s consider though how we come to eternal life.  Simply by believing in Christ.  But what about Christ must we believe?  Everything! But most importantly His death and resurrection.
So when we celebrate Christmas we are celebrating the life that Christ gave to us.  This ultimately leads us to celebrating not simply Christ and his life but also look his death.
What do you do to remember the deepest reason for the Season?
This year I plan to more carefully consider what Christ’s life accomplished both for me and others.  I hope you will do the same.

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The Holidays Have Come part 3

With Christmas just around the corner (about 2 weeks away) this post is definitely due.  During this season many people are running about looking for that perfect gift for a specific person on their list.  While this is all good lets talk about what is behind those gifts.

I don’t know about the rest of you but for me around this time of year it is quite difficult to come up with a list for Christmas.  Part of this is that I have learned to live without many luxuries and I find that because of this I am quite happy not gaining more possessions.  I was asked to start thinking of what I wanted for Christmas a little while before Thanksgiving came, this is normal as some people like to try to get the best deals on whatever might be on the list.  For me this was quite difficult as I find it hard to think about Christmas before Thanksgiving and I find it hard to think about myself and what I need/want.

One thing I have really noticed is that when people write up a list for Christmas they put a lot of wants on the list and very few (if any) needs on the list.  This isn’t the way things are supposed to be.  This shows how self centered and self serving we are while not thinking about others.  I find that if you look at your Christmas list it will give you a good idea of just how selfish you really are.  I understand this isn’t really a complete rule of thumb but for many people since their list contains almost exclusively things they want and not things they actually need they are making a selfish list.

The true reason for Christmas is to celebrate the coming of Christ into our world.  This celebration is much like a birthday celebration that many would have in America but in this case the person we are celebrating doesn’t accept our monetary gifts as we would expect.  In this case He accepts many other gifts that we have to offer Him.  These gifts come in many ways and are really whatever we have to offer Him.  This simple fact brings up a few questions:

Why do we cut down a tree, bring it indoors, and decorate it?  One simple reasons is that the tree can be used to represent the life that Christ has given us with His coming.  This still leaves the reason for why we cut it down thus killing it.  This could represent the fact that with Christ’s coming we can “die” to our old lives and live a new life in Him.  These are a couple of simple reasons they are not the only reason that people have for having a Christmas tree.  Many people have their own reasons for having a tree.  On a side note I actually know someone who instead of having a Christmas tree they have a Christmas rock each year, partly to not blend in with everyone else and partly because of the symbolism they have placed on it in their house hold.

Why has Christmas become such a holiday?  This is simply because it has become less and less about Christ and more about other things.  I know plenty of people who don’t really celebrate Christmas they take the day off simply because the office is closed but they don’t celebrate Christmas as most people would expect.

Why do we exchange gifts with each other?  I have wondered this for quite a while.  I don’t know why nor how the tradition of exchanging gifts came about but it has and most people support the idea by following suite.  In some house holds (once again) the tradition is not to give Christmas gifts but rather to exchange New Year’s gifts (or end of year gifts) in celebration of another year closing and to bless others with something in the year to come.  While this seems somewhat weird that is because we have a standing tradition in America (and many other countries) to exchange gifts for Christmas and not for the new year.

These are just a few questions that have come up from the fact that Christmas is really a celebration of Christ.  There is a common thought that it is better to give then to receive.  The idea of being giving is important, especially in the Christmas season, though this should be common practice throughout the year.

For now this all I have to say about Christmas and I look forward to what others may post about their thoughts and ideas during this season.  If you have any fun, interesting, or unique family traditions feel free to share in the comments, I would love to read what others do during this busy time of the year.

Until next time, have a merry Christmas.

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The Holidays Have Come part 2

Prior to reading this post you should read my first post in the series.  To read this post you can click here.

During this time of the year it seems that the holidays get stacked on top of each other.  I was able to purchase Christmas themed candy a week before Thanksgiving.  Here in the US we don’t give any time between Thanksgiving ending and Christmas starting, frequently these two even overlap with Christmas starting before Thanksgiving even gets over.

With this overlap of holidays we have no time to be thankful and finish giving thanks before we consider the next holiday. (I plan to post more about Christmas later)  We can’t truly appreciate each holiday without being able to spend the time to fully consider each holiday on its own.

I have a rule of thumb that I follow personally.  I won’t play/listen to Christmas music prior to Thanksgiving dinner being completed.  This “rule” of mine is to ensure that I don’t mix my holidays too much.

A trend that I see coming in the US is that “Black Friday” shopping starts earlier and earlier.  This keeps employees from being able to spend time with family giving thanks and instead causes them to have to spend the time at work.

I would hope we could really spend the time to consider each holiday in its turn rather than simply skipping from one to the next as if they are tasks on a to-do list.

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The Holidays Have Come part 1

The holiday season is here.  I find many people don’t really get the meaning of what the holidays mean.  This post will focus on Thanksgiving, later I will do another post about Christmas.

Thanksgiving in the US has become more and more about eating more food than is necessary causing us to gain weight which we later work hard to loose again (while being full of regret).  After and during the big Thanksgiving meal a game is usually on.  Later that day many people even start their Christmas shopping.

This is not what Thanksgiving is supposed to be about.  Thanksgiving is supposed to be about exactly what it sounds like: giving thanks.  Thanksgiving day was originally started because the pilgrims were giving thanks for a successful harvest that year and having an abundance of food.  At this time the pilgrims also shared what they had.

Since this is how Thanksgiving started it only make sense to continue this tradition of having a feast of sorts and sharing with others.  Though the most important part of Thanksgiving is giving thanks.  We should be giving thanks to others for what they have done to help us in the past year as well as giving thanks to God for providing us with so much and watching over us.  Of course thanks should not be simply limited to this one time of the year, but rather thanks should be giving at all times throughout the year.

I am willing to admit that I was not as openly thankful this Thanksgiving as I wish I was.  I did not give a thank-you to every person that has helped me out this past year, though I also didn’t fall to consumerism and go out shopping for the deals that started late Thursday night.  Yes, I did watch the game the team I was cheering for did win and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  I was with family having fun and enjoying company.

During the remainder of the year I encourage all my readers to give your thanks to others who have helped you this year.  When you do try to be very specific as many people don’t always realize that they have helped others nor how.  If this blog has helped you just leave a simple thank-you comment for me.

Thank-you for reading this blog and if you haven’t already please go back through and read some of my other posts, maybe one of them will speak to you in a different way.

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Family Unit Living Versus Independence

In the United States we value independence more so than family (it seems).  Is this really how we should be functioning as a society?  Throughout the Bible we read that a son will leave his parents house and take up a wife.  This makes it sound like independence is right for society but are we really reading this in context?

Many countries have 3+ generations living in the same family home.  This is so that grandparents can help raise the grand kids and parents can be the money makers while grandparents “retire” to child raising.  This form of a family unit makes sense for many cultures since density can be extreme and housing is at a premium, in the US we don’t necessarily follow this model, though many families are leaning this way as housing prices raise and young adults continue to live with their parents due to unaffordable independence.

I can speak personally, it is a blessing to be able to live with my in-laws “rent free”.  Instead of paying for rent or other expenses typical of owning/renting a home/apartment I help out around the house and pay for some of the groceries to offset difference in costs.  In this way I am “paying rent” through services rather than currency.  I have found that I am certainly not in the minority in this but rather since many young people are continuing to live with parents young couples are seen doing so as well creating larger family units in homes.

Now which form of living is really better for society?  With the way that the American society is going having larger family units is turning into the better choice.  This allows the younger to help the older as they age and it allows the older generation (while they are still capable) to help the working age by assisting with childcare.  In this day and age we find that in many households both parents have to work to pay the bills and make everything work out, thus having the extra help around the house is ideal for where our society is at currently.

Do you agree with this assessment?  If you have lived in both situations (independent and with parents as an adult) which do you find to be the better way?  Any other comments to add? Let me know below in the comment section.

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