Sunday 19 December 1999


Pic of the day: A familiar sight to a Daggerfool: Approaching the pawnshop by air. This is the pawnshopt on the southern edge of Grayidge, Tulune, but there is a similarly positioned shop in Longwark, Daggerfall. The prices in Tulune are better, though.


So I actually downloaded the StarOffice yesterday. And I actually installed it, and it ate up quite a bit of space. I deleted the temporary files after the minimal installation (don't even want to think about how big the full installation would be, with documentation and all). So now I have a office suite on my portable, for nothing (except a couple dollar to the phone company). Not a bad deal, if you want a big bloated software package, most of which you will never ever need and probably not even know exists.

Now you know I am traditionally a non-pussy web coder. Though not a member of the non-pussies burb, I have made my web pages in Notepad or PFE (Programmer's File Editor). I resent the convoluted code, the browser-spesific extras, and the hidden messages in the meta part of the web pages. I have written a couple of my funniest entries in MS Word for Windows, but I had quite a job fixing the code afterwards. Now, as a test, I am writing this diary in StarOffice Word. Already I found that editing an existing hyperlink is quite a bit more hassle. On the other hand, I see while I type what the result will look like. What it will look like on my computer, that is. I am not convinced that this is necessarily a good thing.


Today I woke up from exhausting and convoluted dreams. I remember little of them. There was a printer problem, I remember. The people were not people I know in my waking life. The large office building was not too familiar either. There was also this young girl who was a ghost. I woke up and in my mind was left this one line: "It's a thin line between love and hate." I don't remember any of that from my dream, but there it was. I know it's part of a song, or very close to that, but I have not tried to find out which. Neither love nor hate figured prominently in the dream, nor do they in my life.


I promised to say something about prayer. It is a quite controversial topic. As one scientist said, "I would not believe it even if I saw it". The idea of any supernatural intervention, be it from prayer or magic, is highly disturbing for those who want to find a pattern and discern the laws of nature. What help are laws of nature, after all, if they can be broken on the whim of some higher being? Wouldn't God, if any, do us all a favor by keeping his actions to the spiritual plane and don't mess up a perfectly fine working nature?

Even so, lots of us pray, and not just the strictly religious ones. For some it is more like a kind of meditation, practicing the presence of the Lord (or the Universal Love or something). Others have quite spesific wish lists for God to listen to. Sometimes strange things happen: Cancers go into remission, criminals repent, and addicts come clean. Other times, there is much prayer and declaration of faith, and nothing happens, or worse than nothing. We can tentatively conclude that prayer does not lend itself well to the scientific method, the way electricity does. It remains within the realm of faith.

Jesus explicitly allowed use of his name for thaumaturgy, though he also made it quite clear that this did not indicate any acknowledgement of the people practicing this. I keep reading about experiments in which plants are influenced by prayer, blessings and curses. I can't say that this looks like anything but magic to me. I also feel rather strange about sports teams praying that God let them kick the shit out of their competitors. Which team should God listen to? And would the God of the Bible really like people to pray for family members etc to behave in specific ways? This was the same God who planted the Tree of Knowledge in Paradise, despite the rather obvious risk to the innocent humans there. It seems that to him, freedom to choose was more important than salvation. I doubt he has suddenly changed his mind lately.


OK, that was this Sunday's sermon. And today's entry too, by and large. If you are a regular reader and you notice that today's entry somehow looks better than usual, I ask you (pretty please) to e-mail me and tell me so. Otherwise, chances are that I will revert to my non-pussy way of writing entries.

Sunny sunday.

Soon full moon.

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