Friday, February 23, 2007

Unintended Consequences

If there is no God, then this world is a scary place to live. Without knowledge of everything and every relationship between everything, one cannot have sufficient knowledge to, in absolute confidence, answer anything.

This truth is highlighted in that cliche: "unintended consequences".

And this cliche was amply illustrated in one of my favorite news programs (and I really mean news!), John Stossel's 20/20. In this night's topic, "I Am Worry", he went through the many areas of life that American's live in fear because of exaggerated facts or mis-leading facts. And a number of laws and lawsuits included the nefarious unintended consequences. Safety lids on prescription bottles statistically encouraged open lids for the elderly (who did not want to try that ordeal again!) or sloppy supervision over the medications from parents who thought the bottle to be Johnny-proof. Helmet-wearing laws in Australia produced a noticeable decline in bicycle riding. Which in turn may mean less exercise.

Of course, even without Stossel's report we can see these problems in everyday life. For instance, "sin" taxes do not discourage smoking, rather they drain the smokers income. Or the use of prison time instead of death for murderers. This drains the economy, encamps the same criminals in the same spaces with (now) obvious consequences of rape, expansion of criminal skills and basic isolation from any good influences. The list of socialistic ills could easily be added.

However, if these laws and ideas took the Bible more seriously, then some of these consequences would be more manageable. After all, would not the Creator of the universe and all the consequences that attend it know best? Thus, as our founding fathers attempted to build into our Constitutional system, the government has a limited role. Just as in the Bible.

If we are to avoid the unintended consequences of an ever-increasing regulated economy, amoral politicians and confusion over what laws should be enacted locally or federally, we need the Word of God. The Bible delimits the choice of law because the Creator wrote the laws and the consequences that attend them. He knows what is best.

The unbeliever lives in a chaotic world in which he attempts to impose order. This is why many laws are in flux: the socio-economic leaders have decided the previous leaders impositions were not working. As new variables arise new implications arise. Debates over nature versus nurture or even medical usage and imposition ebb and flow as more information arises. Yet without a consistent framework in which to interpret said facts the answer will never be forthcoming. Man knows least.

If unintended consequences teach us anything, it should teach us that we know very little of the relationships and results of our sciences, economies and policies. It should humble us. It should turn us to the All-Wise Creator who already has the answers for us: His Bible.


Monday, February 19, 2007

Germany Vacation 5: Deutches Museum

Astounding. Amazing. Awesome.

Well, at least for an ex-engineer. This is the world's largest technology museum: generators, automobiles, ships, bridges, airplanes, clocks, musical instruments, cryptography & computers....just to name a few!

The aerospace section was my favorite:

The time-piece room was spectacular--who would have imagined that clocks could be so colorful!

Only a tech-geek could find 50-year computer technology worthy of a blog notice!

I took a video of my wife using some of the electronic demonstrations...even for a non-techy like her, she thought they were amazing. I had an opportunity to recall all my college training, explaining to her Maxwell's equations and demonstrating the functions of XOR and NOR gates.

The fluid dynamics and construction section included many miniatures, showing how the old bridges were constructed. The detail was incredible.

I thank the Lord of Love for blessing my wife and me with such a vacation!

I hope you enjoyed the pix!


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Germany Vacation 4: Salzburg

The city of salt. Yup, that's what the name means. That is why it was such an important city in the middle ages (1100s) into the early 1800s. The city castle (hohensalzburg) sat upon the hill, a silent sentinel never to be conquered. It finally surrendered, without a fight, to Napoleon.

Here is the castle viewed from the palace grounds in the city.

This is what we had to climb to enter the castle!
The castle was amazing, even more so in some ways than neaushwanstein if only because this was actually used.

Here is the view from the top:

Proof I was truly in Austria!

Pictures from within the amazing castle:

Here are a few gnarly trees:

This is the inside waiting room for the royalty; note the studded ceiling!

It was virtually a small city:

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Germany Vacation 3: Augsburg

Luther stayed out at Augsburg. It was a quaint city, even if the paganism makes Luther roll in his grave...

Our friends on the right: Ulrich & Sigrid!

The colorful Germanic domiciles!

Luther was here!!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Germany Vacation 2: Neauschwanstein

That big German word is the name of the famous Cinderella castle, meaning "new-swan-stone"--the primary artistic motif inside the castle.

Now, before you get all excited, I do not have inside pix--they are forbidden.

Here are more awe-inspiring pix!
We walked up the mountain path--about 20 minutes at a good speed. But with such a view who wouldn't want to walk!
It was a beautiful day!!

This is the back end.

The front gate:

It's immensity was staggering! This is on the way up. The right side is what most people see; the left side is the gate.

We also visited the smaller castle down the hill/mountain were prince/king Ludwig grew up, Hohenschwangau.

This castle was beautiful as well, although smaller. As an American, I think any castle is amazing!

It was about a ten minute uphill climb to the top. This is why rich people owned horses...

The view was breath-taking!

Germany Vacation 1

I did not forget!

Here for family and friends are the exciting pictures of Munich, Augsburg & Salzburg.


You gotta drive in style on the autobahn! (Sorry, it was the company rental...)

It's the Audi TT
She moved so fast in that baby that is was all a blur...

This is where we stayed a few nights.

Here is the famous glockenspeil at Merianplatz, downtown Munchin.

It is a wonderful city to visit, strolling pleasantly around the quaint buildings. We were blessed of God to be able to even afford travel (just myself, Jody's company paid for her part!).

More to come: Augburg (the place of Luther); Salzburg (the place of Mozart); Neauschwanstein!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

I'm baaaaack!

That's right. I was on vacation for a week. Got back last....night...and....

I don't

have jet

lag ......yet