Saturday, August 25, 2012

My Favorite Gadgets

Too many serious posts of late, so I thought I'd write about... MY FAVORITE GADGETS!!! It's no secret I'm a super-nerd gadget lover. I keep up with the latest rumors of new gadgets, and I love the ones I've got already. So here are my favorites:

Kindle DX

I LOVE my Kindle DX. I like to read a lot: books, random articles, academic papers, whatever. I also spend a lot of time staring at LCD screens, so reading from e-ink is a welcome relief. If I find a long article on the internet I want to read, I often copy it into a text file and put it on my Kindle just because it is so much more comfortable to read there. I also read a lot of academic papers and PDFs, so having the large screen is really helpful. It's my favorite gadget.

Nexus 7

I LOVE my Nexus 7. The 7" size is super convenient, Nvidia's Tegra 3 processor and Jelly Bean makes it super smooth, games run great on it, it has great build quality and a great screen. It's by far the best 7" tablet out now, and in my opinion, the best Android tablet as well. Far better than the Kindle Fire or the Nook, and cheaper than anything else, and the best bang for the buck tablet available anywhere. I was surprised at how much better the video call quality was from my HTC One S, and the One S really should be just as good as the Galaxy S III or any other phone out there. The speakers on the Nexus 7 are way better, the microphone is way better, the front-facing camera is way better, and the processor is significantly better. I don't mind not having a rear camera because my phone has a very nice rear camera already. Most of all, I love having the latest and greatest version of Android, and knowing that when the next version of Android comes out, I'll be the first to have it. Google takes care of its Nexus line. It's a tablet that will be awesome for years to come.


I like my HTC One S. It's very slim, nice-looking, pretty fast, and has a great camera. It runs Android 4.0, and HTC is pretty good about updating their phones' software. But it's had some weird problems with wifi calling and skype, and I don't like Sense, HTC's custom skin for Android. It has the best rear-facing camera out on a phone today (other than Nokia's Pureview 808), but it's still nowhere close to the quality of even the cheapest DSLRs (which is true of any phone's camera). It's the perfect phone for someone who loves taking pictures and videos with their phone, and even though I'd rather have vanilla Android or Windows Phone, it's one of my favorite gadgets.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Natural vs. Supernatural

In a discussion about my post on the Atonement, a couple of people didn't see why I don't think the Law of Justice that necessitates the Atonement could be a natural law. This gets right to the heart of the difference between the natural and the supernatural worldviews, so I thought I'd try and answer that more clearly.

The naturalist, or scientific, worldview asserts that things behave the way they do because they are following laws. The laws of quantum physics appear to fully describe the behavior of certain particles, such as protons, neutrons, electrons, photons, and others. Because these laws have been accurate in predicting the behavior of these particles in virtually every case, it seems likely that inside anything composed of these particles, the particles are behaving the same way. The behavior of whatever is composed of these particles is therefore almost certainly the result of all of its particles following the laws that govern each particle's motion.

Everything we've learned seems to confirm this conclusion. The laws of chemistry conform to, and can even be derived from, the laws of quantum mechanics. The behavior of cells can be explained using the laws of chemistry, and so on. Our behavior, and the behavior of everything composed of matter, can ultimately be explained, at least in theory, even if not in precise detail, by the laws of quantum mechanics.

So now back to the Atonement: it's necessitated by a Law of Justice, that apparently governs us, but can't be derived from more basic laws like the laws of quantum mechanics, even in theory. What could you possibly decompose the Law of Justice into that could be derived from more basic laws? That's what I mean when I say that it couldn't be a natural law, and it can only make sense if you accept the supernatural.