Here's a sample of some that are coming in.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Here's a sample of some that are coming in.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I leave this Saturday for a 9 day conference with the students, and then when I get back I'm packing and moving house!
This week, i'm out every night, except for friday, when I need to clean our house for an inspection on monday (when we're not home - argh!) and pack for the next day.
So yeah, basically I'm a bit time poor.
Things are a little stressful, and real estate agents are being a bit difficult. I really hope we get our bond back, and have enough money to move etc. Alas, we've put ourselves in this position (ie moving), and now we have to face the stress!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
I’d never heard of him before, but he was famous in the 70s for doing an experiment to discover whether “good people” would turn bad, if they were put particularly bad circumstances.
Here’s a description of the experiment from a website called “Edge“:
I’m both fascinated, and shocked by the study. Shocked that it got through the ethics department (it certainly wouldn’t these days), and shocked by the results.
In the summer of 1971, Philip Zimbardo and his team of reseachers at Stanford University designed and conducted a landmark psychology experiment that would forever change our understanding of human behavior.
24 volunteer college students were randomly assigned to roles of prisoners or guards in a mock prison located in the basement of the psychology building at the
The results were shocking. Within days, the “guards” turned authoritarian and sadistic while the “prisoners” became passive and started to show signs of severe depression. What was supposed to be a 2 week experiment had to be shut down after only six days.
But at the same time, I’m not completely shocked. Zimbardo was hoping to discover the essence of human nature, and I guess in some ways I should’ve known the result of the experiment before it was revealed. Humanity is flawed, and while we are capable of many great things, we are also capable of evil.
I don’t use that word lightly - evil. You may well ask, “what is evil?” And I’m not entirely sure I can define it, but I know that humans are capable of it. And this is one of the basic understandings of the christian worldview. Humanity has rejected God, rejected his ways and tried to live by our own standards. This hasn’t worked for us, and we consistently stuff up - and sometimes, it is evil.
The great hope of the christian worldview, however, is that we have an example of someone who is utterly selfless. Selfishness is the embodiment of evil, so selflessness the reversal of evil. Jesus, in his death on our behalf, defeated evil, in the ultimate act of selflessness - taking the wrath of God towards us, upon himself.
Perhaps the most interesting thing to me about Zimbardo, is the twist that his work has taken. He is now a promoter of ‘heroism’, in other words, fostering selflessness among humankind. He believes that while we are capable of evil, we are also capable of heroism.
And Denton, in his interview with Zimbardo asked him about his latest campaign. I googled it, and found some more material on the Edge website.
The thing Zimbardo said which struck me most was his plan to inspire people towards socio-centrism rather than ego-centrism’. Basically, looking to put others first. This is not a new thought - it is the foundation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, but it’s fascinating hearing it in another paradigm - that is the social scieneces.
When I think about what he’s saying, and trying to promote, I can’t help but think of Jesus, and his example to us. I also think of christians who fearlessly helped jews during the holocaust. At the same time, I think of my own failure to protect the vulnerable, and of the many christians like me who drop the ball. For a people who have claimed the grace of God, I think it’s sad and disappointing that we don’t do as well as we could at defending the helpless.
I’m trying to think of ways of doing this in my sphere of existence. I've started helping out at a local drop-in centre, but it feels like a drop in the ocean. Sometimes the challenge just seems so vast. When I think globally, it challenges frighten me - injustice and poverty is everywhere.
I'm challenged to think am I just a passive bystander? As a Christian I have a responsibility to stand up for these people, to demand justice, but what do I do?
I'm going to keep thinking about this stuff, and looking and praying for opportunities. If anyone has any practical ways of putting these thoughts into practice, please comment.
In the dream, my friend Kat, who is a fashion student (hey kat if you're reading this!) asked me to enter a competition being run by her fashion label. The comp was being held at Annandale North Public (where I teach scripture!).
I had to write down in order, the colours that Chuck Taylor Converse hi-tops are available in... then I had to write a paper on the civil rights movement.
I did both, and thought pretty poorly, but then I won!
The prize was some white board thing signed by famous people.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
Either way, I'm trying to think of what would be suitable for all members of my family. It's hard to think of a universal gift.
I can knit, do photography, hand sew (badly!), draw things (badly!), and cut stuff out. I just need ideas. Anyone?
I studied American history in high school, and I really enjoyed it, but these photos just bring it to life.
They're so timeless I'd quite like to print them out, and I think there are no copyright restrictions.
1939 - Day laborers picking cotton, near Clarksdale, Miss.
1940 June - Boys fishing in a bayou, Schriever, La. Cajun children in a bayou near the school. Terrebonne, a Farm Security Administration project
1940 - Bayou Bourbeau plantation, a FSA cooperative, Natchitoches, La. A Negro family (?) seated on the porch of a house
1940 - Negro tenant's home beside the Mississippi River levee, near Lake Providence, La.
The last three days I've woken up with a fever and taken panadol every four hours for the rest of the day, and yet the fever would still spike. I've also not tasted food for four days, because my sinuses are blocked, which makes eating really tiresome..
Today though, I'm a bit better - no fever, and I think my body is saying "get out! Nasty virus get out!" because my sinuses are really sore and my cough has worsened. Anyway, don't want too many details, do we!
The downside of all of this is that I missed the last week of uni. The girls and guys from Christians in the Media are heading off to Cockle Bay Wharf, Lindt Cafe as we speak.
Anyway, here's hoping I'll be even better tomorrow. I'd like to just get outside for more than 30mins without feeling light headed.
The strange thing is I pretty much had exactly the same thing a couple of months ago, and it knocked me for six like this flu, but I think I got over it quicker. I thought I would've had immunity to it by now!? Oh wells...
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I've had a fever for the last two days, and have a sore throat and a gross cough. I'm really over having a temperature and being unable to taste anything.
I was sad to miss going in for the last God in the Loft today, which is our public meeting at UTS... hopefully I'll be ok to farewell everyone on Friday.
The only upside of being sick was watching the election coverage ALL DAY. I'm really electioned-out! But it was pretty exciting seeing Obama win so convincingly, especially when he took Ohio. His victory speech was marvelous, don't you think? McCain was very gracious in his concession speech too.
Who knows how many of the promises Obama has made he will keep, who knows how much he can change things. But the sheer reality of a black man being the President of the US deserves a celebration. What a milestone.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Although, I thought Lairdy's comments on Sunday night were quite pertinent. His words were to the effect that people's support for Obama is not so much to do with his track record, but to do with the hope that he represents. And then Lairdy told the story of how his wife then said "A lot of people are going to be disappointed then..."
I'm an Obama supporter, and I was a Rudd supporter, but I think both men will suffer the same fate - ultimately people will be disappointed when the unrealistic hopes and ideals that they've associated with either man are dashed. Afterall, they're human. But I don't think that's a reason not to be optimistic.