04 October 2006

Class-y Thoughts

I have all my classes today. For those of you who are wondering, here's an example of what goes on in the life of a double major--thoughts from my religion, English, and science courses all rolled into one.


A thought on the Sermon on the Mount:
In chapter 5 of Matthew, Christ contrasts the old law and the new law. In the first few examples, the old law represents the extreme sin, the new law the internal cause behind it. Murder is a result of anger, adultery is a result of lust. If we stop the cause, there's no real need to worry about the sin. But then, Jesus brings up this old/new law pair:

38 ¶ Ye have heard that it hath been said, An aeye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not aevil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right bcheek, cturn to him the other also.
So the ultimate cause of justice is mercy? Interesting. Obviously, this is not quite the same as the others: this is a pair of virtues rather than sins. But I can see how justice is a lesser virtue derived from the ultimate virtue of mercy. Justice arises from a desire for fairness--to make sure there's no unfairness to any individual because we care about them. Mercy is the extension of that--not only giving each individual a fair standing, but giving them exactly what they need. It's a more individualized form of justice.


Notes on the rhetoric of general conference:
  • Nice use of the commonplace by President Hinckley in his Sunday morning talk--almost telling the Martin handcart company stories, but not quite; just enough to bring in the emotional component.
  • Apparently, the priesthood session is usually the best because it can assume a lot more things about its audience. No need to consider non-members. Saturday sessions run a close second, since most non-members and civic authorities watch the Sunday sessions.
  • Delivery/memorization has gotten a lot better since the Conference Center was built. The speakers are more aware of their audience. However, we still fall asleep. Delivery leaves a lot to be desired.
  • Perhaps this is why videos have been inserted? They still creep me out.
  • Conference has become a lot less Utah-centered in the past few years. Gone are the days when a speaker can say they grew up in Alpine and have everyone know what they mean. Even what a landfill is needs explanation, just to be sure the analogy will work for all audiences.

You know you've taken too many math classes when:
  • You have a favorite matrix. (It's the identity matrix, of course!)
  • A black hole with mass zero sounds completely logical.
  • Learning more complex things actually makes your life easier.
  • Your class cheers every time something reduces to the zero vector.
  • Your teacher doesn't know the difference between CS Lewis and Lewis Carroll. (True story: my math teacher was convinced that CS Lewis wrote Alice and Wonderland.)

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