Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Something to think about...

I have been reading through Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert (the 2nd book in the Dune series) for the third time, and came across an interesting passage. I've read it before, but for some reason, it caught it my attention this time around:

"'You produce a deadly paradox,' Jessica had written. Government cannot be religious and self-assertive at the same time. Religious experience needs a spontaneity which laws inevitably suppress. And you cannot govern without laws. Your laws eventually must replace morality, replace conscience, replace even the religion by which you think to govern. Sacred ritual must spring from praises and holy yearnings which hammer out a significant morality. Government, on the other hand, is a cultural organism particularly attractive to doubts, questions and contentions. I see the day coming when ceremony must take the place of faith and symbolism replaces morality.'"

While these words were taken from a letter written by Jessica to her daughter regarding the way Alia and her brother were governing the empire from Dune, I think the ideas are more generally applicable. Rather than continuing with a discussion of my own views on the significance of this passage, I will give you a chance to think about it without my influence. Go with it where you will, and leave a comment if you have an interesting thought.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Back to School

I'm back in Houghton after spending last week at home in Traverse City. It was an enjoyable, if uneventful, spring break. As much fun as it was to spend all day lounging around doing nothing much at all, there was something missing. However, to discuss such a thing here would take this blog into areas which I have deemed too personal. Besides, the topic would have required its own entry, and I don't feel like writing two posts tonight.

I was really hoping I might see some of my friends, but it turns out Michigan Tech sent their students home on break one week before every other college in Michigan, or so it seemed. Fortunately, I didn't feel like doing much of anything so it worked out in the end. I ended up spending quite a bit of time on my computer (not a big surprise) using Windows (huge surprise). It turns out the guy who writes the port of Duke Nukem I use added support for high resolution textures. Since I haven't spent much time working on graphics projects in quite a while, I decided I'd work on creating my very own replacement artwork for the game. The results weren't something I'd ever make public, but they were good enough to enhance my own playing experience. I also gained some valuable knowledge about graphics design that will no doubt prove useful later in life.

I know, this is pretty boring stuff, but if you've been reading my past posts you should have expected that by now. Perhaps I'll have something more exciting in the next one.

Oh, oh, I almost forgot. I was doing some deep, deep thinking the other day, and came up with this thought: My initials are M.M. If I marry a woman whose first name begins with an 'M', then her initials will be M.M. as well. Then together we'd be a couple of M&M's! Whew, my mind is reeling from thinking all that through again. ;-)