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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Modernism and the Digital Age

The beginning of Modernism brought into question all that had been established before. Einstein questioned conventional ideas of Newtonian Physics. Darwin questioned the idea of Man as an important figure, but rather a result of Natural Selection. Art and Literature broke away from "the rules" and focused more on how we experience the world around us. War was changed.

Truth was brought into question. As Mike Lemon talked about in his blog, Modernism became detached.

The beginning of the Digital Age has brought into question all that has been established before. The internet has questioned conventional ideas of information. Crowdsourcing has questioned the idea that a single person helps to fix the world, but rather that we collectively can solve problems. Art and Literature have broken away from "the rules" and are changing the way writing and art are published and viewed. War has changed.

Truth is being brought into question. The Digital Age almost encourages us to be detached from the "real world." Then again, what is truth, and what is the "real world."

The wonderful part is that there is truth that never changes. The Gospel is there to embrace all truth. That is why I love being a Mormon!

What is a Mormon?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Google Reader

I'm just starting to use iGoogle, and have begun to use Google Reader. It really is quite an amazing tool. I'm not very proficient with it yet, but so far I've added a few websites, including MSNBC and an LDS news feed. It's really nice, because it puts a direct feed of content that has been written on the websites you are subscribed to onto your Google Reader. That way, you can see what's going on with important things in the world, without having to browse the internet. You just have to go to one website. Check it out! And, if you would like to connect with me on Google, my E-mail is

Thursday, October 21, 2010

What is a Mormon?

Historical Point of View:
Mormonism began during the period of history when breaking away from conformity, and exploring frontiers was beginning to be very prevalent. Many new religions had broken away from Catholicism. America had just broken away from the British empire. Historically, Mormons felt that religions of the day were not correct, and from their own views, "pioneered" a new religion, and even "pioneered" the western frontier to escape persecution, and tried to establish the ideal society. Mormons, from a historical point of view, could easily be a natural development of the ideas and philosophies of the time period.

Views of what a Mormon should be:
There are many in the world, and some in the church, that might have the view that Mormons should be "perfect" or a "goody-two-shoes". We hear terms such as "Molly Mormon" and "Peter Priesthood". Mormonism, in this view, is a type of conformity to a style.
Today, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is doing a wonderful job of showing the world that Mormons are not all the same. In fact, we are real people. What makes us different is that we have a strong belief in Jesus Christ and the Gospel, which brings us much peace and joy in a world of turmoil today. Check out this video for instance:

Definitely not your "typical Mormon" that many would think of. I love how the Church is promoting these videos. It shows that Mormons are human, that they have regular lives, but that they find more purpose, joy, peace, and fulfillment in life because they also follow Jesus Christ.

Now it's your turn: What do you think a Mormon is?

Monday, October 18, 2010

God and Evolution

While looking online to find scholarly articles about Charles Darwin and his Theory of Natural Selection and Evolution, I found this really great slide presentation that gives a quick overview of what Darwin Believed on
Darwin in Historical Context

Further, just trying to find scholarly articles to read about Charles Darwin and his theory on Natural Selection takes you to websites that are very heated in the debate between Creationism and Evolution. I found Curriki to be the best help; however, trying to find a blog that strictly stuck to the historical side of Darwin was nearly impossible. Take the blog written by "Human Ape" for example... Highly biased towards Darwin being right, and that we should not believe in God. I think it's important to try and find scholarly articles that try and stay away from the debate between God and Evolution, and just present the history and factual information in a way that we can develop an informed opinion on what we believe.

After reading and listening to a lot on the internet about Darwin, I have to post my own opinion. Many people would say that there is a distinct line and an absolute schism between God and Creationism, and Darwin and Evolution.Who was it that said we can't believe in both?

As Morgan said on her blog, about Darwin's theory: "And what a grand theory it is! Simple, universally applicable, and proven." I think Darwin's theory has validity to it and can be proven in the world around us. Historically, biologically, and through archaeology, there is too much evidence that supports much of Darwin's theory on Natural Selection and Evolution. I find it all fascinating.

However, I don't think Darwin's theory casts God completely out of the picture. I believe that one day we will understand how God, who is omnipotent and omniscient, used natural laws in the universe to bring about His eternal purposes. I may not know exactly how evolution ties into all of that, but I do know that I eventually will in the future. What I do know is that God operates under higher laws than what we have here on earth, and that we will eventually understand how our science fits in with the designs of God.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Changing the Future

Before reading my post, watch this video on the History Channel:

Jacquard's Autoloom

Isn't it amazing how many ideas in history have greatly effected the future, and yet the inventor had no idea at the time how much of an effect he or she might have on the future. Do you think Guttenberg realized how much his invention of the printing press would effect the future? Do you think Alexander Graham Bell realized how much his invention of the telephone would effect the future? Do you think Philo Farnsworth realized how much his invention of the modern electronic television would effect the future? Possibly not. In fact, many people can't see the results of their efforts during their lifetime. Many don't receive any recognition at all until many years after their death.

What effect will you have on the future? Who in our class will be a Thomas Edison of the future? Interesting to think about, isn't it?

What will your contribution to the future be?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Technological Frontier: Changing the world

Inspired by Kristen Cardon's post, I found this other YouTube video that talks about human capital and technology merging in the world we live today. In a way, the technological frontier has made it so that human capital is really only "capital" when that "human" understands technology. Therefore, "human capital" is really morphing into "technology capital".

However, I don't think this is absolute. As Walden talked about simplifying things, in many ways, we still want to hold on to the "simple things of life". There are still many people who love to go to an old diner for dinner. Or many who would rather hike a mountain trail then surf online for 6 hours. A lot of people still like simplicity.

But, the internet and technology are revolutionizing the way we do things. Just like frontiers of America revolutionized the way that Americans were and are, and how they acted and act today.

Pioneers still exist today. They are not pushing the limits of civilization, but they are pushing the limits of technology beyond what we think could ever be possible.

First Prezi ever!

As part of the Book Club sharing of what we learned, I had the opportunity to make a Prezi about the book we read "Carry On, Mr. Bowditch". It's the first Prezi I have ever done, and I quite enjoyed making it. Here it is, and hope you enjoy it.  : )

"Carry On, Mr. Bowditch"

In our book group, we discussed all of the books that we had come up with individually, and came to a decision on what we would read. It came down to either reading something on the "Great Works" list for honors, or something that we could read quickly and still get something out of it. As the majority of us are swamped this semester, we decided on something that we could read quickly, but would still be worthwhile and beneficial for us to read. The winner:

Friday, October 8, 2010

My Possible Book List

Book 1: The Wealth of Nations Book 1 by Adam Smith
This Book is where the reading was selected for our assignment on September 28, 2010. Interesting book on Capitalism and Economics. Considered one of the first major works on the field of Economics.

Book 2:The Renaissance, A Short History, by Paul Johnson

Good fast read to get a really broad view of the Renaissance. Gives the major facts and events of the artists and philosophers of the Renaissance era.

Book 3: The Roots of Romanticism by Isaiah Berlin

A compilation of lectures given by Isaiah Berlin just before he died about the Romantic Era. He was trying to write a book about the Romantic Era at the time, but died before he could finish it. Good overview of why the Romantic Era started.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Second Life and Romanticism

This blog is in response to Andrew's blog.

Second Life could easily be renamed "'Romantic' Life". The idea of being able to create a world and a "life" for yourself, the individual, with a rejection of many of the boundaries that we have in this world, are fundamentally a Romantic view of existence. Comparing Second Life with the life we live now in reality shows us that Second Life really is a form of radicalism, breaking away from the bonds of this life, and giving you a freedom unlike any other.

This freedom has allowed companies and educational institutions to even create an environment of learning and working that would not be possible within this world, but only within the virtual. The internet really is changing the way we learn, work, play, and even live.

However, I wonder how far this will go. What I'm scared of is ending up in a life depicted in Disney and Pixar's "Wall-E". Watch this clip:

Do you think this could happen?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Industrial Revolution: For Better or For Worse

"It contained several large streets all very like one another, and many small streets still more like one another, inhabited by people equally like one another, who all went in and out at the same hours, with the same sound upon the same pavements, to do the same work, and to whom every day was the same as yesterday and to-morrow, and every year the counterpart of the last and the next." --Charles Dickens, Hard Times.

What has driven society to where we are now? Why did people just accept the difficulties of the industrial revolution, and push onward with the way things were? Why haven't we ended up in a society like the "Steampunk" movement has fantasized? Why aren't we living in a Communistic Society that people like Karl Marx called for?

To sum it up in two words, I would say this:


People become comfortable in the society that they live in. They get used to it. That is why the middle classes and the working classes never really rebel; they become comfortable with where they are, and how things are going.

But this doesn't apply to everyone. There are those who want to make the world better. There are people who see the world that they currently live in, and develop new ideas, theories, and inventions, in order to make life better for everyone. Some of these ideas take off. The Crystal Palace.

Electricity. Telephones. The internet. All of these have developed out of our drive, as human beings, to progress.

But what has determined which ideas will "take off", and which ones will end up off the side of the road in the dust?