Should Christian communion be a ritual?

During a recent communion at church I suddenly made these observations: why do we take communion only at certain times? Would it be more (or at least equally) appropriate to “take communion” at every meal? And on a related note, why do people religiously pray over their meals, but not snacks or drinks? This post is my attempt at thinking through my own questions. I haven’t done a thorough analysis of the translated or original texts, though. These are just my thoughts.

Before I start, a note on terms. Christian communion is the practice of taking bread and wine in remembrance of Christ and his sacrifice. I’m defining ritual as a practice with certain uncommon behaviors that are practiced certain special times. Even though it’s certainly not out of the question, we don’t often think of religious rituals as something done daily (despite the therm “daily ritual,” which has to do with habits). I’m making the usual connotation of “special times only” part of my definition for this argument. Continue reading “Should Christian communion be a ritual?”

On the perceived waste of giving up halfway

I’ve been playing Skyrim. About 150 hours into it, not even halfway through all the game has to offer. Now, Skyrim is a fine game, does what many do not. Let my 150 hours in it speak for how much fun it has been. But I’ve played many other RPGs, and I’ve had the experiences of Morrowind and Oblivion (Skyrim’s two predecessors). In the end, it’s just another game where I can fetch things, deliver things, kill things, protect things, and a handful of more interesting interactions. After a while, it all starts to look like Progress Quest. The only value in that game is in its stories, which are only worth it half of the time. So why do I keep on playing it? And if I decide to stop permanently, why do I have a hard time deleting my save files?

I’ll tell you why. It feels like a waste. This is true, but we tend to let it lead us to a false conclusion and poor decision.

Continue reading “On the perceived waste of giving up halfway”

Current personal organization practices, part 2

In part 1 of this series I discussed my newly-created organizational tool and its basic operations. This post reports on the progress I’ve made since then, both in the tool and in my current organizational technique. Apologies in advance for the embarrassing state of my personal motivation. Skyrim. That’s really all there is to say on the matter.

First, I did something simple: highlight the day. This simply leads the eye to the (probable) right place. I highlight both in the recording area (right) and the planning area (left). A different set of conditional formatting further highlights the particular items that haven’t yet been fulfilled. It’s like the “next item” element of a to-do list. Continue reading “Current personal organization practices, part 2”

The dark side of the current gaming experience

Gaming has been a common and popular activity in the recent past, and will undoubtedly continue to be so. The main reason is simply that it’s a lot of fun. Not only that, but just as you may watch movies that have value beyond entertainment, you occasionally encounter informational, educational, and mind-expanding games (to name a few, Age of Empires, Portal, Syberia, Limbo, Myst, Braid). Some have surprising literary value, at least in part if not in whole (e.g. Half-Life, Bioshock, maybe Bastion?). A greater number of games provide a moderate amount of intellectual exercise, so it’s not entirely unproductive (e.g. Professor Layton, Hotel Dusk, Phoenix Wright, and a great number of puzzle games). There’s even the rare “sandbox” style game with immense possibilities that promotes creative thinking and imagination (I’m looking at you, Minecraft).

Starting this post with what games do right is necessary because I’m about to bash gaming hard.

Continue reading “The dark side of the current gaming experience”