Living Outside The Box Born-Again Techo-Geek Renaissance Man


The Nine Laws: Part Four

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

If you haven't read them, start with my review of The Nine Laws, and subsequent part Onepart Two, and part Three.

The Fourth Law is Endurance.

The word "endure" comes from the Latin root word "indurare" which means "to harden." To Endure means to go through something "difficult, painful, or hard." As opposed, of course, to not going through it, i.e. giving up.

Endurance is what separates good athletes (or warriors) from great ones. Most people have the capability to run, or to lift heavy things. But when you can do it repeatedly, or for extended periods of time, then you have endurance.

There are millions of websites that can show you how to develop physical endurance. It's not that difficult, actually- the human body is phenominal at adapting to a repeated exercise. If you progressively push yourself longer and longer, your body will gradually learn and adapt.

What there isn't much information on, sadly, is Mental Endurance. And the most tragic thing about this is that without Mental Endurance, your physical endurance is practically worthless.

The principle of Mental Endurance can be embodied in the trait of Psychopathy: a complete removal from emotions. It is acceptance: not wishing things were different, but accepting them as they are.

Let's ponder on this for a moment.


What I learned from Shounen Manga & Anime

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

"Shounen" is a term coined to describe Japanese comics and cartoons that are aimed at young men. The majority of these shows are targeted at teenage boys aged 12 to 18, and they all tend to gravitate around a common plot point: the ordinary main character becoming stronger and overcoming some seemingly impossible obstacle, and eventually unlocking his inner warrior/strength/purpose/champion.

These shows almost always center around competition- sometimes actual fighting, as in Boku No Hero Academia, and sometimes in sports, such as Haikyuu!! or Yowamushi Pedal. Sometimes it's goofy stuff like Beyblades, or even cooking, like Shogekogu No Soma.

The idea, though, is that in each of these shows, they focus on sportsmanship and healthy competition. They don't shy away from topics like ethics (in fact, there's almost always a character who "bends" the rules and is frowned upon and shunned as the Bad Guy). They address things like motivations, purpose, personal development, strength, and training. And even in the case of the "Bad Guy" that nobody likes, their own motivations are usually revealed to be not entirely selfish. They also just want to win, they just don't care what other people think of their methods (which is why nobody likes them).

I think one of the funniest things about the dialogue is when one character says "I will defeat you!" and their nemesis (usually the main character who is coming up through the ranks) says "I will defeat you, too!" It's preposterous, but also kind of cool how their resolve allows them to each say "I will win" even when they both know one of them won't. Maybe that's a Japanese thing, but I like that it shows how each character honestly believes in their chances of success.


Free Speech As We Know It Is Dead

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

In the recent fallout after was banned from both the Apple App Store *and* Google's Play Store, things have gotten interesting, and dangerous. At the same time, a well-known, notoriously antisemitic Neo-Nazi website was effectively erased from the internet without due process. During this whole debacle it was revealed that the entirety of the internet is controlled by only a few companies who can essentially censor the internet with impunity. And no one can stop them. (I'll probably post more on this soon.)

Fast forward a few weeks: the "internet refugee" who was essentially erased from posting anything on the internet ends up on, which bills itself as a "Free Speech" platform. But when you look closer, you discover that the Terms of Service exclude posting content that is illegal, as subject to different jurisdictions. "But muh Freeze Peach!" you can hear the trolls crying. Sorry, but if you post something straight-up illegal, cannot protect you. And of course, everybody who could think more than a few steps ahead knew this was going to be tested (and proven) at some point. We're not that surprised.

Now, this recent incident with the Neo-Nazis and Gab (and an unnamed Sci-Fi author) has sparked flames of indignation with the trolls: "How dare we get sued for posting whatever we want about anybody we want! Isn't this a Free Speech site?" To which the answer is, There is no such thing as completely 100% free speech without consequences.

It means Free Speech, as they *thought* it was defined, does not exist. And the interesting part is, it really never did.

So what does that mean for people like me and you, who don't necessarily espouse the ideals of radicals on either side, but still want the freedom to speak our mind?


Becoming The Character: Sun Wukong

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

Over the last few months, I've been sucked into the show RWBYproduced by Rooster Teeth, the same guys who made Red Vs. Blue and Lazer TeamIn essence, the show takes place in another world where monstrous Grimm roam the countryside, and evil threatens to rip the world apart.

Besides it being animated, the fight scenes are extremely well done. Most of the fighting was choreographed based on actual martial arts skills, which gives the show a wonderful real-world quality. Several of the martial arts scenes were actually motion-captures of the show's creator, Monty Oum. There are several excellent heroes and villains in the show, but when I was thinking of candidates for whom to emulate, the first one that came to mind wasn't one of the main characters, but a supporting character: Sun Wukong.

Sun is a laid-back kind of guy (a large part of why I like him) and is also a faunus, which are part-animal humanoids. He's a bit of a scoundrel, but we also see him being very devoted to his friends. He fights with at least two distinct martial arts disciplines, and executes several slick parkour and gymnastic moves as well. Plus, it doesn't hurt that he's got killer abs and nice hair. He's mischievous, but not rude or mean. He's confident, smart, and loyal. The area he hails from isn't big on dressing up, and he's not overly concerned with impressing people. He's comfortable with who and what he is. In short, he's the kind of guy I would want to be. (Some would say we have a lot in common: sadly, abs and nice hair aren't among those things).


Social Media Fast

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

After some extended time of prayer yesterday, I realized that I hadn't been spending enough time reading Scripture or praying.

Since I started a new job a few weeks ago, I've been pretty busy. I'm still trying to do the same amount of things I did before, but with 9 less hours a day to get it done. At least I don't have to work weekends!! Thank God for that- but I have to focus more to get the same amount of stuff done.

God brought to my mind the fact that in September, we're going to be helping launch a new church campus here. And He (ever so gently) reminded me that I need to focus on preparing for that, to which I replied "God, what can I do to more fully focus on this new church plant?" to which He replied "you don't really need to be on social media, now do you?"


"God, do You mean Twitter, Google+, Facebook,, and internet forums? Those social media sites?"

Yeah, those.

So, I'm going to be taking a (mostly) sabbatical from social media in order to focus on the task God has laid before me.

"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12:1-3

I won't completely isolate myself from social media (and I'm not even sure that's possible in this day and age) but I'm severely scaling back my time spent there. I don't need to have news stories, drama, stupidity, and whatnot distracting me from my purpose. Yeah, there's plenty of encouraging things I see there too, but I have almost no way to filter that, thanks to Big Social's inability to discern what's good and what isn't.

In the meanwhile, I'll be able to work on music, prayer, and writing. This is probably for the best all around. I'll post updates here as things go, so stay tuned!


Done with Adobe (and Google)

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

One of my most popular articles, "How To Install Adobe Air on Ubuntu 12.04" was hit by another bulk DMCA takedown. To say I'm unhappy is an understatement.

You can read more about it here.

Please, I urge you, don't waste your time and money with Adobe products. There are plenty of free and/or affordable alternatives out there.


Thoughts on Wisdom and Intelligence

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

I was reading in the Bible the other day, and I ran across this passage:

"6 Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory" - 1 Corinthians 2:6-8

This rings true, even today. The "wisdom" of the World is at odds with God's wisdom. And I'm not talking about science- I'm talking about worldly "wisdom" that says the only purpose of man is to acquire wealth and power. That there is no absolute truth. That Self is all that matters.

Sometimes I wonder why more people don't understand that their actions are leading them to destruction, but again, the Disciple Paul knows why:

"14 But a natural (worldly) man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 15 But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. 16 For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ." - 1 Corinthians 2:14-16

Wisdom isn't the same thing as intelligence. I keep telling my kids they're smart, but inexperienced- and wisdom is the application of experience. You can't make wise decisions unless you either 1. learn from personal experience, or 2. learn from someone else's experience. The Bible is full of wisdom, if one were so inclined to read it. But be warned! It might not make sense if you're not trying to follow God's ways.

On that note: Intelligence is a fact, a statistical number, not something to be egotistical about. I'm no more proud of it than I am proud that I have blue eyes... I had no influence in the matter. But like any other tool, it must be honed to a fine edge in order to get the most effective use out of it. If you possessed a powerful weapon, but never trained with it or sharpened it, how effective would it be in an emergency? Not very effective at all, I'd imagine.

Ego says "I deserve to be treated better because I'm smart. My life should be easy."

Reality says "you don't have to tell people you're smart." Simply do what you need to do. Those who are also smart will recognize it in your actions, not your words. Plenty of people say they're smart. Precious few act like it.

The Dark World doesn't care if you're smart. In fact, much pain and suffering were meted out to me because of those who were jealous of my academic standing. I would have been better off playing along and learning advanced math on my own. I eventually figured it out, but those harsh lessons stay with me even to this day.

If you're smart AND wise, then you'll recognize the truth in what I'm saying.

If you're not sure, then you might want to listen to someone who's learned from experience...

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The Nine Laws: Part Three

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

If you haven't read them, start with my review of The Nine Laws, and subsequent part One and part Two.

The Third Law is Purpose.

Without purpose, we are no different than animals: instinctively roaming about, completely at the whim of the Dark World.

Purpose is something we can change. Purpose is something we can decide for ourselves. We are not bound to mere survival, as are the beasts of the Earth. We have possibilities. Without Purpose, there is no point to accomplishing anything.

What is your life's purpose? Do you even know?

Don't be surprised if you can't explicitly answer this. I couldn't either, for a very long time.

At some point you're probably going to stop and think, "What am I doing with my life?" which is code for "I don't know what my life's purpose is." And if you're a Christian, the answer isn't necessarily simplified. As a young believer in the faith, my thoughts went something like this:

"What is my purpose? To do whatever God wants me to do." My purpose is to… to what? Provide for my family? Glorify God?

Those are all pat answers. I want to know what my singular, most powerful purpose really is.

But what does that mean, exactly? What does it mean to "fulfill God's purpose in your life?" Can you give specifics? Can you quantify "Love thy neighbor as yourself?" Do these look the same for every person? Of course they don't. Over the years, God has given people purpose in many ways, for many different reasons. And He's even changed people's purposes over time. So again, what does that mean for you and me?


Simplification Isn’t Simple

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

Apologies to my faithful readers. I've been quite busy! But in my business, I found that my brain was cluttered.

I also found my phone was cluttered, to the point where it was having a hard time keeping up with everything I wanted it to do. And that's when I realized: I was trying to do too much stuff at one time.

I'm always thinking of some project or another I want to get done. I even have time to do most of them! But my downfall is that I attempt to do to many at once, thinking I can cram more in if I multi-task.

And I really, really stink at multi-tasking.

I'm also realizing that with unlimited time to get things done, I don't want to get so busy that I can't enjoy the time I have at home while it lasts. This, too, is difficult.

I don't really have control over as many things as I'd like. But every now and then, I can do something with my time and make it count.

Blogging isn't something that I really make a lot of money with, but that's because I haven't made it a major priority up to this point. It's not that I couldn't... but till now, I've been up to my ears with other, more important things to do.


Old Technology Is Best

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

For a few months now, I've been wanting to get my hands on an old typewriter. Preferably, a manual (non-electric) one. And what happens to show up at the local Goodwill??

A mid-1960's Underwood Touch-Master 5. It's crusty, dirty, and needs a lot of cleaning, but it works! And it was a steal at $15.

My 11-year-old secretary couldn't resist playing with it. It's so tactile! And it makes a nice, solid "clack" noise every time you type a letter. What's not to love?