11 September 2011

Steve Jobs 2005 Stanford Speech

I love my MacBook Pro and since having it for a couple of years am a bit of a convert to all things Apple. I love that they look so nice and work so well. These things are not at odds! I know that the niceness of the looks doesn't make it work any better, but why not have something that does both!

Anyway, Stephen Fry tweeted this YouTube video of Steve Jobs delivering the commencement address for Stanford University from 2005.

I found the speech very inspiring even though I don't agree with him on everything. For instance one of his messages is to pursue your dreams, and if you are not loving what you are doing then change it. Now there is some truth in this, but I think there must be some boundaries. If I followed all my desires, without holding them in check then I'm not sure it would make me a very likeable person! As a Christian, holding them in check means measuring them up to the demands of Jesus and the bible.

I found his honesty very engaging, and his creative energy inspiring.

10 September 2011

Hand-animated v computer-drawn

Hand drawing

An interesting thought is why are hand-drawn images often more engaging than computer-drawn?

This cannot always be the case, otherwise we wouldn't be wowed by films such as Pixar's Toy Story 3 and Up, and how realistic they look. Although these still maintain a cartoon quality, perhaps unlike Avatar with which I didn't really engage.

But there is a something in it, that the rougher something is drawn then it often appears more engaging, more human. This article got me thinking. I suppose I wonder how it applies to images I may use in my work at school, and in any graphics I use in sermons and talks.

I wish I could draw!

09 September 2011

Carbon Footprint

I've been thinking about about looking after the environment, and I wonder how my consumption of the earth's resources matches that of parents when they were my age. I guess we are more than them (on account of having more gadgets) but as we try to live simply, I wonder if it is much more?

Google's published carbon footprint caught my eye in this respect. They have taken drastic steps to minimise their impact, which seems to me to be a laudable thing to do.They are employing three simple strategies to do this: saving energy, using green energy and offsetting the carbon they use. I would like to implement these strategies in my life too.

We try to minimise the amount of energy we use by turning things off, using energy efficient lightbulbs, only running one car and cycling where we can. I'm sure there is more we can do, especially with the latter.

We were on a green tariff, but my energy company stopped that ages ago and we've not switched to another yet. To this end, I came across Energy Share and would like to use their services, I just need to get it sorted out.

I haven't offset our energy yet, because I'm not convinced of the value of it, and I'm not sure of the reputability of the companies offering that service.

01 June 2010

Myers Briggs

I have just taken the Myers Briggs personality test and I came out as ENFP. I have no idea what this means but it is the same as Oprah Winfrey. Maybe I'll post about this in the future.

28 July 2009

Alain de Botton: A kinder, gentler philosophy of success

Here is another of these TED lectures, this time from a secular philosopher called Alain de Botton. In it he talks rapidly about success and failure and different approaches to it. What interested me was how he had to draw on theistic themes to drive home his points, namely:
1) We shouldn't judge other people too harshly. (8 min 27 sec)
De Botton quotes Augustine's The City of God, talking about folly of judging people and how we should leave that up to God.
2) We have lost any sense of transcendence. (11 min 23 sec)
De Botton says "The other thing about modern society and why it causes us anxiety, is that we have nothing at its centre that is non-human." He goes on to say that we need something beyond ourselves to worship.

De Botton is a secularist (he says so in his talk) but it is astonishing how theistic his secular philosophising is. Now clearly this is a million miles away from being even a theist, or more to the point, a Christian - but I just thought it was worthy of note. Along the way he mentions Tragic art, snobbery and a whole host of other stuff.

De Botton seems like and interesting guy and has his own personal website. He is an author of numerous books on an eclectic mix of topics (reaching polymathic proportions). One of his projects is The School of Life, which "...is a new social enterprise offering good ideas for everyday living." It is refreshing to find people willing to engage in thinking deeply about life.