Monday, March 29, 2010

GT Countdown videogame, Top Ten Disappointments of the Decade

Bet you can guess which game is number one...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Universalist Goes to the Bookstore

Another good video from Pastor Dennis, this time recounting his trip to a Christian bookstore in his area.

It is interesting to note that he would find a similar thing at his local Borders, and perhaps B & N. No Young's, Yes to Hell Under Fire (currently out of stock at my store but it IS carried), yes to the Barclay Bible studies.

I seem to remember years ago they DID carry the Young's Concordance but no longer do.

Obviously you can get them all on the website.

I would tend to think it's less of a case of censorship than it is of low sales. We who subscribe to Universalist beliefs are in the minority, so it's harder to find our books. As a fan of the weird, I'm used to it. No conspiracy needed.

We freaks have been switching over to the internet, so there is no reason to carry the things that are out of the mainstream; however, it is good to note that you can still find a bunch of the other books that he liked at your average Borders.

In 2008 when he did this video, Borders carried even MORE of his titles. I consider that a bummer but far from an anti-Universalist hit squad. They just don't sell as much as the eternal torment stuff, so they are no longer on the shelves.

City of Heroes "Going Rogue" Trailer

I'm thinking I showed this when it came out, but who cares? That was a while ago.

I was just playing my Mastermind who just might go for that redemption and salvation stuff -- but then again...maybe not. Either way it is one of the few game things happening that makes me the least bit excited. Chatting with Neil a bit in the last post got me thinking of imaginary societies (something I enjoy pondering as an idle pastime), and in this case, it's Praetorian earth -- the one in which the Statesman, Paragon's greatest hero is the villain the Tyrant. He rules his "utopia" with an iron fist.

A world in which Dr. Helios, a mad scientist who use his wife in his own experiments, might just start the battle to win her back. Or perhaps not. The Great Work or the woman?

Then there is Mister Apex, the man who through selective breeding with gods and men has been designed by a secret society to rule our world, but rejected that path and became a hero -- perhaps he will flip and seize what is his "destiny."

Fun stuff.

City of Heroes is not the best game, but it is really cool that they have continued to add to it. It makes me happy and it is always a nice diversion when I get tired of WoW or sick of the klugey mess that is Star Wars Galaxies.

Check it out.

Friday, March 26, 2010

You Can't Really Change Anyone's Mind....

I was chatting with a friend some time ago about politics and rhetoric, and he said something I've heard many times: the idea that you really can't ever change someone's mind with a persuasive argument, that people see things through their own lens and assimilate all facts in a prejudicial manner that re-enforce their worldview. I am sure this is true of some people.

However, it's patently false overall. I myself have been convinced by arguments and facts to change many of my views. I always "believed" in "freedom" as I understood the notion at the time, but as a boy, I was what one might call a "default liberal." My parents were liberal, almost everyone I knew was a liberal, so I absorbed the liberalism around me.

Also, somewhere in there I became an agnostic/weak atheist.

Today I am a Christian with Universalist leanings and a pretty hardcore libertarian. Those shifts came almost purely from people who proved me wrong, showed me up, and convinced me to change my views.

Some came from just reading, like when Atlas Shrugged punched me in the gut showing me where modern "progressive" thought takes us. Most however, came from simply discussions with intelligent, thoughtful people who felt my brain was worth the time to change -- and then me checking out the facts on my own.

I have seen this happen with many others. I myself have watched people go from liberal or conservative to libertarian through the force of simple persuasion (as well as time and facts of course). I've had a hand in it -- I know for a fact it happens.

History shows this is also the case. As far as I have been able to see in history, MANY folks change through arguments and learning.

Pretty much every Christian I know who came to faith late did so through a process of simple persuasion, and almost every libertarian I know changed from either liberal or conservative in exactly the same manner -- I know of no libertarians who were "born into it."

I'm not going to go into a detailed account of the famous people in history who have changed their opinions and worldview, since I am not actually trying to convince anyone on this point -- I am merely making it to make another psychological point -- but one could simple play with wikipedia biographies and see what I am talking about. The idea that you really can't change someone's mind with a persuasive argument is incorrect.

Now, assuming that it IS incorrect and quite easy to see that it is, why would someone either lie, delude themselves, or simply decide that one can not convince people with the power of argument?

Could it be, possibly, that they want to make sure that they emotionally removed their intellectual liability to convince and are about to advocate force to achieve their ends?

I don't know, but the more I observe modern liberals and social conservatives who use this falsehood, the more I see it used in the context of them advocating using force against their fellow human beings while I am arguing against that concept.

They obviously believe that I can't be convinced (I can be, any time -- just make the case and prove me wrong and I will change on a dime. I always have) and that I must be forced to do their will. Meanwhile, I always hold out hope that one argument, one fact, or hopefully, time will change them.

I have faith in them and in reason. They seem to have faith neither in other people nor in the power of reason. Thus they advocate force.

I am highly uncertain of this idea, but I've been personally seeing more and more evidence for it -- the ones who say people can't be convinced are the same people who want to use violence or the threat of violence to attain their ends.