Character is Growth

In my view, the goal of growth is character, and in the Platonic sense of forms, but not aligned with Platonic morality, the form of growth is a positive transformation in flux. The reader may inquire what is positive, and this writer would say that doing the right action even if it does not result in the best outcomes is positive in a deontological sense. Therefore, the views of this writer differ from the Greek form of character in that they support deontology, and they are also that of a born again Christian. N.T. Wright shares insights related to the kind of character that Aristotle believed all should aspire to in life in the form of dedicated behavior transformation. N.T. Wright said, “Sooner or later, you’ll be acting naturally. Second nature. That’s how virtue works” (Wright, 2010, pg. 262). Wright argued that the Christian theory of virtue is, to paraphrase, “to be learned” (pg. 223). Moreover, character in the Christian worldview or belief is the development of the God’s royal priesthood, prophet kings rather than Platonic philosopher kings. Wright’s distinction was between the theological view of character that Christians should aspire to and the prior Greek view of repeated cultivation of strengths.

N.T. Wright asserted that character transforms by a process of steps. Wright argued, “First, you have to aim at the right goal. Second, you have to figure out the steps you need to take to get to that goal. Third, those steps have to become habitual, a matter of second nature” (Wright, 2010, p. 29). Therefore, it is the view of this writer that the goal of character transformation is a consistent process of behavior. This is in agreement with Wright’s view on teleos, the goal of humanity in the world after Christ lived on earth.

In my view, the opposition of this position may be that humanity has the autonomy to decide whatever it wants in a Sartrean form of identities, that humanity is simply the result of behaviors. However, this argument excludes the morality of behavior transformation in favor of the concept of free will. Without morality, behavior alteration can be described as a story foregoing structure in that people may behave in life with certain views about humanity and the world, but this view lacks the understanding of human reason as necessary, though not sufficient to be aware of true duty. Andy Crouch shares this position in relation to cultural behaviors. To paraphrase, Crouch stated, “culture is not finally about us, but about God” (Crouch, 2008, p. 13). Therefore, starting with faith will lead to understanding of objective morals in an Anselmian sense.

During the process of leadership, students ought to consider those who came before as stated in the Biblical Scriptures as the Kouzes and Posner model asserts. An anonymous writer wrote, “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith” (NIV, Heb: 13:7). Step one of the Kouzes and Posner model consists of “Model the Way” (Kouzes, Posner, 2004, p.38), and my understanding of that begins with the formation of a personal stance that agrees with the shared values of others. In a Christian context, this likely forgoes the corruption of Scripture that those who believe in God should worship other gods, breaking Mosaic law; rather that leaders may share the love of liberty with fellow United States citizens, for example, and can inspire the protection of that very same liberty. While the Christian view is that freedom comes from God, non-Christians can share in the care for liberty in promoting the freedom to have differing views without persecution by the law of the land. As Paul defined, to paraphrase, “for there is no authority except that which God has established” (Rom 13:1). Having that in mind, this writer’s view argues that character relates asymmetrically to the various consistent personal views that an individual person holds. Therefore, who the reader reflects on ultimately describes our own character when views undergo inversion.

While Joseph L. Badaracco Jr. wrote about the flexibility of a personal moral code, he asserted a critical point about receptiveness. The question Badaracco asked was, “Do I Have the Courage to Reconsider?” (Badaracco, 2006, p. 45). By observing Okonkwo, Badaracco defines moral flexibility as the ability to persevere through tumultuous moral dilemmas, reflect on personal failures, respond to ethical surprises, and improve personal conviction. In essence, there may be the thought that it conflicts with the Christian view of the Kouzes and Posner modeling of the way in that Jesus the Christ gave a warning of judgment. The Christ spoke, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged” (Mat 7:1), there may, therefore, be a common view that argues all judgment should cease, but to stop all practice of considering decisions probably contrasts Jesus’ purpose in saying that. A way of interpreting this is that those seeking to learn from others should be willing to allow others to reflect on them correctly. As the Kouzes and Posner model asserts that of the Christian worldview, which considers the Christ as an authority on morality, they probably considered this to a certain extent. Furthermore, Badaracco’s reflection on Okonkwo includes the intention of others reading Badaracco’s views thus he willingly submitted to judgment, himself. Therefore, there should be no tension between the Kouzes and Posner model and Badaracco’s views on moral flexibility.

It follows that there should be flexibility in the reader’s moral code. When speaking of flexibility, this writer views that there should be, in the economic sense, substitutes for consideration with respect to the objective morals of God. For example, when King Solomon heard a dispute between two prostitutes in 1 Kings 3, he considered the substitute for the first female’s argument in the form of the second female’s argument. The lying prostitute had an inflexible moral code in that she willingly accepted the death of her own would-be baby divided by a sword in favor of the argument that she would have any portion of the baby only for herself after demanding to retain a relationship with the baby. This directly contradicts her supposed motherly behavior. Differently, the true mother had a flexible moral code, willing to lose her baby’s guardianship to save her baby’s life. This reflected King Solomon’s true intention thus the mother and baby reunited. In the Biblical context, flexibility in moral code can be the defining trait of a person’s life thus character is a goal in flux.

Bibliography

Badaracco, J. L. (2006). Questions of character: Illuminating the heart of leadership through literature. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Crouch, A. (2008). Culture making: Recovering Our Creative Calling. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books.

Kouzes, J. M., Posner, B. Z., & Kouzes, J. M. (2004). Christian Reflections on The Leadership Challenge. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Wright, N. T. (2010). After you believe: Why Christian Character Matters. New York, NY: HarperOne.

 

Reflections on 2016

Over the course of 2016, I learned about various topics related to natural and transcendent aspects of existence, and I think that reflecting on them is important for understanding why I should continue on my academic journey. Since January, I received admission to Regent University, and I call myself a Regent: someone who represents a ruler before He returns. This ruler is who I believe will be called “Faithful and True” (KJV, Revelation 19:11). Starting from that belief, understanding all truths related to the Biblical Scriptures and therefore all man might be achieved. This is only in the context of man’s understanding, for the Father said that man’s ways are not his ways (Is 55:8). For example, microeconomics might be commonly thought of as a “dry science,” but it comes alive when noticed in the Biblical Scriptures. Information Systems contextually affect every part of contemporary society, and the ethical relevance related to those who would guide or control people with them might result in efficient results if the epistemological structures that the faiths of the people conceptualizing and engineering the science and its applications are built on are understood.

Besides that, computer science has theories, but without a constant standard, values may progress while many vulnerable groups who I think are marginalized people remain those who will not have the opportunity because the best in us would not be represented over time. Next, theories about data relate to information. The Bible says that “Word of the Most High pierces even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit” (He 4:12). For the lives of people, I think that strengthening hermeneutical understanding for exegetical results is the best way that data may be utilized. Although there is the notion that pleasure should be maximized as an evolution of lasting happiness, the most widely respected nation-state in contemporary history holds, among other truths believed self-evident, that the pursuit of happiness is granted to all men by our Creator (US 1776). People may argue the details, but I agree with the contemporary view that teleological theology helps understand the context of data more than derivations to a point alone may seem. Hence, integrating faith with reason builds general relatability to what is important: the transcendent standard of morality and people who may work with His concept of right and wrong even if without a direct relationship with the Son of Man.

While ethical understanding has relevance to isolated groups, there is strength in greater numbers that morality may persuade. When volunteering for a video game website, for example, I realized that the niche ethical code of conduct that people accepted for membership was a bubble that reflected reality in an exponential form, so subjects quickly gained and lost relevance, but the moral principles related to it are inversely conserved over time with a slow rate of change in understanding. I think that experience is a sign that knowledge is and will increase, but wisdom remains an outcome of looking outside ourselves for guidance and reflection. Furthermore, mathematical understanding comes at the cost of time and effort, but the reward is a refined theological understanding of the sovereign who created the world and is blessed from everlasting to everlasting (Gen 1:1, Ps 41:13).

In Parallel and Distributive Programming, the superiority of relatively larger datasets being handled by a distributed set of nodes in comparison to the superiority of handling relatively smaller datasets faster with shared memory is relevant for understanding the logic of people seeking moral and ethical understanding of the world and what is beyond it. This is because the Tower of Babel, for instance, was built with a people speaking one language, a relatively smaller dataset than what languages exist, today, and they might have reached heaven had it not been for the Most High’s intervention (Gen 11:1-9). In contrast, people are reaching towards the heavens in a distributed way over the course of thousands of years with man eventually stepping foot on the moon itself with common ambitions in popular culture and in government-funded programs beyond the earth’s orbit.

With these courses, I do think that the most important aspect of my education is ethical understanding related to how scientific theory and application might benefit the common man in a way better than pleasure can provide that would be recognized as victory. In the light that right beliefs shine in the world, the engineering applications of the world may benefit all of us who accept the responsibility that understanding what truth, goodness, and beauty are require in us. Biblically-based education provides the opportunity for that.

A Proposal for a Power Management System

For the stability and efficiency of power supply and power grid management thus for the benefit of daily human life and work, a power monitoring system was designed based on a smart grid management platform by Jianwei Zhang and Hao Yang. From various data, the mobile service aware opportunistic embedded architecture of mobile crowd sensing networks for power network measurement automation is discussed. Its parts include a mobile crowd sensing network for power grid management, the mobile service aware opportunistic embedded system, and the grid intelligent management of the embedded systems as well as the performance analysis of the embedded system. The core of the intelligent network management is the operation and control scheme of the embedded equipment related to the intelligent power grid. Based on its aspects, including embedded devices and an equipment group of cooperative control among other things, the grid management of intelligent electric power dispatching and intelligent substation of the crowd sensing network management could be realized through the deployment of embedded equipment and a communication network along with singular front-end embedded devices of data perception. As I understand this, the operating system of an Embedded System could communicate with the embedded equipment for the purpose of dispatching electric power. There would be an embedded control equipment testing. Then, embedded logic control followed by a distributed Embedded System (ES) point to point that leads to the connectivity of mobile crowd sensing networks. Then the Mobile Crowd Sensing Networks would communicate to the ES while also sending data to an electric grid server that would, in turn, update the ES. The experimental system has a grid management scope of ten kilometers by twelve kilometers, a power grid management system running time of twenty-four hours, and also a maximum communication distance of one kilometer for embedded mobile devices.

Essentially, this asserted scheme is in a position of superiority to the distributed power management system because of framework complexity, utilization efficiency, and intelligent power grid management level among other aspects. The Biblical Scriptures say much about choice. The Bible says, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” (NIV, Mat 6:24). Jesus the Christ was saying that people must make a choice between the LORD and the desires world. This can be interpreted as accepting the moral imperative of serving the world for the Father. Therefore, I think that this may be applied to the relevance of mobile service aware opportunistic embedded architecture of mobile crowd sensing networks for power network measurement automation, well. The essential data about this are that it offers a more robust framework for applying more efficient energy products for people that are at a greater level in the category of power grid management. With these data, people have an opportunity of experiencing improved lives. I say this because God does not want us suffering. The legal requirement for sin that is death was paid with the life of His son, Immanuel. Therefore, I think that this is a good system that should be considered for better life and for God’s namesake. This is in agreement with Zhang and Yang, and with the integrated faith position that the morality of technological advancement validates the existence of its state of change throughout history.

Zhang, J., & Yang, H. (2016). Mobile service aware opportunistic embedded architecture of mobile crowd sensing networks for power network measurement. EURASIP Journal On Embedded Systems, 2016(1), 1-9. doi:10.1186/s13639-016-0023-0

 

Computer Locks and Threads

For this post, an area of threads is discussed. On January the first of 2015, Davidlohr Bueso released a paper called Scalability Techniques for Practical Synchronization Primitives dealing with locks. According to Bueso, locks are a method of concurrent execution of more than one thread. The importance of these locks is that they provide security and accuracy for the context of execution through excluding mutually. Furthermore, the efficiency and accuracy of locks are dependent on hardware architecture. Bueso continued by explaining that the Linux kernel utilizes pointers with locks, an attribute of the C programming language that others such as Java and Visual Basic do not contain. The reasons for this are that the computer is aware of when to stop spinning, and as a debugging tool it allows for deadlock detection. As Bueso mentioned, previous strategies as old as 1975 conceptualized lock ownership within databases. This is useful for deciding for or against reentrant locks that usually utilize a counter field. There are multiple lock paths including Fastpath, Midpath, and Slowpath. All of these can block, the aforementioned primitives require a sleeping context for safety. These locks can be a determining factor in performance. Along with the previously mentioned information, there is a resource cost of utilizing a certain lock that is determined by the size and latency. Essentially, structure size determines CPU cache and memory resource allocation. This becomes increasingly relevant as a structure is utilized with increasing frequency. Fairness is determined by the strictness of semantics. Bueso concluded by explaining the cost of not optimizing with having initiative as greatly important.

While reading this, I thought of the Biblical Scriptures. The Bible has much to say about fairness and the cost of not caring for the resources that our blessed Father in heaven has given us. The Bible says, “The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (NIV, Gen 2:15). The blessing of God is for man, male and female, to properly care for God’s creation. This can be interpreted as the bestowing of a responsibility and a privilege. This has helped me understand more about how computer hardware is directly affected by software. Particularly, strictness of semantics determines the prevention or allowing of resource starvation. In my personal experience, software applications starving other parts of a user experience from correct use can be burdensome, and efficiency of thread use may prevent that.

Bibliography

BUESO, D. (2015). Scalability Techniques for Practical Synchronization Primitives. Communications Of The ACM, 58(1), 66-74. doi:10.1145/2687882

 

Excessive Autonomy or Excessive Control in the Digital Age

While reading through Egypt’s national mobile phone ethics code, I noticed some aspects that I think are pernicious. Particularly, the rules number one and fifteen. From ITP.net, “1. The mobile phone technology is considered one of the greatest technologies that emerged in the last few years to serve humanity, so do not ever use it to annoy or tease others” (Sutton 2009) and “Don’t respond to text messages or calls you receive from unknown numbers or sources because most probably they aim to swindle on you” (Sutton 2009). The idea that something as subjective as annoyance could be put an ethics code is potentially paralyzing because the annoyed are not homogeneous. Further, the idea that someone probably has nefarious plans for another because they are calling from an unknown number is self-defeating because it encourages paranoia.

When utilizing a mobile device, I consider its purpose. Today, mobile devices such as smartphones, tablet, and laptops are designed for human requirements. I wonder what those requirements are at the meta level. Jean-Paul Sartre shared his thoughts. Sartre thinking was, “Lived narratives comprise a succession of events and the responses one makes to them, and they are the basis of our identities” (Gillett, 2009, pg. 337). I think that the framework or narrative of the mind of the Messiah should be the basis of a Christian identity.

As Paul said to the Corinthians, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (NIV, 2 Cor 10:5). I think that this is an argument for internal thoughts more than external confrontation because the mind is what Christ sought for humanity rather than our bodies. I think that people should care about why they are utilized so that ideas like Egypt’s aforementioned code, frankly, do not propagate. When seeking safety, people are sometimes willing to give up freedom because the deluge of discomforting information overwhelms. However, I think that excessive control is as unacceptable as Sartrean identities without a true moral standard as God is.

Bibliography

Gillett, G. (2009). Intention, autonomy, and brain events. Bioethics, 23(6), 330-339 10p. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8519.2009.01726.x. Pg. 337.

Sutton, M. (2009, October 31). Egypt introduces mobile phone ethics code – – ITP.net. Retrieved March 30, 2016, from http://www.itp.net/578306-egypt-introduces-mobile-phone-ethics-code/?tab=article

Nicomachean Ethics Book I: The Good for Man

In the days of Ancient Greece, before Christ walked the earth in the flesh, a philosopher named Aristotle of Cyrene wrote a worked titled Nichomachean Ethics, and this entry is about the first book. The first book, THE GOOD FOR MAN, Aristotle begins with an assumption about all men. Steven M. Cahn and Peter Markie wrote that Aristotle said, “All human activities aim at some good: some goods are subordinate to others” (Cahn, Markie, 2012 p. 124). Aristotle was claiming that every personal and professional action throughout history can be assumed as working towards some end goal from a purpose. This may be interpreted as people having any particular end that is a personal philosophical argument. In the post-modern age, this is called a worldview. After this initial assumption, Aristotle derives an answer. Aristotle said, “The science of the good for man is politics” (p. 124). Further, Robert C. Bartlett asserted his stance about Aristotle. Bartlett said, “And in order to grasp the most important arguments of Aristotle’s “philosophy of human matters”—for example, to understand the ground of the superiority of intellectual to moral virtue—such reflection on happiness proves to be crucial” (Bartlett, 2008). With the words of Aristotle and Bartlett’s analysis, superior mental ability may be surmised as the means for attaining a particular good according to Aristotle.

Before this, the Biblical Scriptures contrasted this assertion. For example, the Book of Micah says, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (NIV, Micah 6:8). This is after the Exodus date asserted by Ralph K. Hawkins. In paraphrasing, Hawkins said, “Both biblical and extrabiblical evidence pointed to a mid-15th century BC date” (Hawkins, 2007). Andrew E. Hill and John H. Walton assert an approximate date for Micah. Hill and Walton wrote, “He [Micah] is said to have prophesied during the days of kings Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. These three kings reigned during the last half of the eighth century BC, and it is a safe assumption that the prophecies would have been recorded at that time” (Hill & Walton, 2009, p. 642). During the time of the divided monarchy of Israel, Micah prophesied that God’s law is a reflection of His intelligence.

Although God is thought of in contemporary times as all knowing, the Hebrew Bible saw him particularly as infinitely wise in contexts of morality that exist in all things, and that is the distinguishing trait that separates Yahweh from all other gods. This may be seen with God’s position of lifting up people out of slavery and making them leaders of the ancient world; God is best noticed in his blessing of the meek. Therefore, Aristotle’s good for man is probably challenged the most in helping those who are meek. In my experience, the political good of a group even if refined from birth is not always moral in the eyes of Christ.

Bibliography

Bartlett, R. C. (2008). Aristotle’s introduction to the problem of happiness: On Book I of the Nicomachean Ethics. American Journal of Political Science, 52(3), 677-687. doi:10.1111/j.1540-5907.2008.00336.x

Cahn, S. M., & Markie, P. J. (2012). Ethics: History, Theory, and Contemporary Issues (5th ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

 

Hill, A. E., & Walton, J. H. (2009). A survey of the Old Testament (3rd ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House.

Reflections of Previous Semesters, and Thoughts on Moving Forward

Since January to August, my course schedule has been steady every week except for a couple times when there was a week break during or after the semesters, and more is here. During the Spring and Summer 2016 semesters at Regent University, I experienced an introduction to 8-week accelerated courses. They were very challenging with a promise of gaining knowledge of how I may approach various fields with Biblical thinking. In-depth studies of Christian theology was the start of my journey at Regent after transferring from a local public college. It was the first time that I had ever sat down and read the works of leaders of Christian thought throughout history from St. Anselm to Thomas Aquinas about arguments for the existence of God, and to topics such as friendship, art, and marriage from Biblically-based perspectives both from centuries in the past to our contemporaries such as Aelred of Rievaulx, St. Augustine of Hippo, and Richard J. Foster. I learned the significance of the superior quality of Biblical prophecy with research into Jesus the Christ’s life on earth. Old Testament studies further built on these understandings.

After that, I faced testing with the understanding of this Biblical foundation in the form of applied dialogues in every course from Microeconomics to Introduction to Programming, and from Making of the Christian Leader to Operating Systems. Each course required rapid integration of faith with the study of reason. With these completed, I became accustomed to this eight-week format.

After a business week and a couple weekends for a break between semesters, Fall classes began, this Monday, the 22nd. Interestingly, I enrolled in a Calculus III course for my program that is fifteen weeks in duration. I say so because the study time was estimated for about the same amount of time as the eight-week courses; there is the same study challenge as an eight-week course, but that duration is doubled. Calculus being the study of infinity is a relevant topic for the integration of the Biblical Scriptures. As one of the Psalmists wrote, “But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children” (NIV, Ps 103:17). According to Andrew E. Hill and John H. Walton, the relevance of this chapter is related to the agenda of the editor of the Psalms. About what its purpose is, Hill and Walton said, “Critical discussion of God’s forgiving the sins of the nation” (Hill & Walton, 2009, p. 429). The Psalms verse and Hill and Walton stated that God Almighty grants his servants blessings of mercy that are collectively grace. This may be interpreted as the privilege of understanding His justice and infinite wisdom, though that does not mean God, himself, is understood beyond his character. Even when Immanuel walked the earth, God the Father reigned in heaven thus his character is known in the flesh, but his infinite Spirit is not fully known. I think that this may apply to Calculus III well as the concept of infinity may be known, but true infinity is not. It is an appealing dichotomy that may be studied for the purpose of growing in true faith for we all assume something as the basis for our worldviews. While this truth about humanity persists, the study of conceptual theory should continue in my view. Having said that, I have more courses this semester.

In general, my other courses are computer science topics, and they are Database Fundamentals, Ethics for Computer Science, and Distributed and Parallel Programming. Each of these eight-week courses required for my major are what interest me. In particular, the research that may equip me with a purpose-driven education is appealing, and I believe that this is the right path for me. Having said that, as these three eight-week courses are accelerated, I chose them two at a time at most. Towards the halfway completed date of the Fall semester, Database Fundamentals has completion as part of its scheduling whereas the remaining two have the beginning of their scheduled coursework for students. While this is work for me, I believe that any truths that I learn from these courses come from God, so I receive blessings then He receives glory. Therefore, my goal in this study consists of working for God Almighty.

Bibliography

Hill, A. E., & Walton, J. H. (2009). A Survey of the Old Testament (3rd ed.). Grand Rapids, MI, MI: Zondervan Pub. House.