The transcendence of being

It takes a couple of reads to understand, but it’s a good analysis of some pretty major philosophical structures underlying the idea of God.

Just Thomism

Hypothesis: Physics and mathematics are those discourses in which Nominalism involves no immediate contradiction. 

By “Nominalism” I mean the claim that predicated natures are beings of reason.* When we say “John is a man” then the predicate can be viewed without immediate contradiction as an ens rationis, abstracted from the concrete reality of “John” or “this man”.

But there is an immediate contradiction in assuming the same thing about “John is real” or “a being”. The real is divided by contradiction from the unreal or the being of reason. One is free to see “being” or “real” as the limit of abstraction, but the limit is not homogeneous with what leads up to it – at the most general level one hits something that does engender a contradiction if it is seen as merely logical, abstract, or ens rationis. 

But to leave it at this would give us the universe…

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IBM and Apple Team Up – And here’s why we’re excited!

This is huge.

Blog - Panda Rose Consulting Studios, Inc.

We here at Panda Rose have been involved with developing for the IBMi and IOS platforms since we opened up shop back in 2009.  We love the power, security and options we get for the IBMi Systems and we love the ease of use and accessibility of IOS apps. We’ve utilized IBMi technology for large, enterprise level companies, as well as for our own business, and we’ve developed some pretty fun apps for clients, including the newly launched Pageqlip app. That’s why we were so excited when both Apple and IBM announced today that that they would be teaming up for IBM to create over 100 enterprise grade-apps for the iPhone and iPad.

From the IBM press release:

IBM Screen Shot


How big a deal is this? Well, it’s being reported everywhere, from medium scale tech trades like The Next and Engadget to heavy hitters like Gizmodo

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The IBMi – almost 26, and still “Future Proof”

Every business we end up bringing an IBMi into is amazed at how powerful it is and how quickly their business processes improve. It’s definitely not for a small business, but if you are growing, or planning to grow, IBMi’s are still one of the best long term investments you can make.

Blog - Panda Rose Consulting Studios, Inc.

The IBMi system turned 25 in 2013. This system has been through many iterations, from Silverlake in the 80’s to the AS/400 platform in the 90’s and 00’s, to the current iteration of IBMi which runs on IBM Power Systems and IBM Pure Systems. The following video presents a brief history and some of the key points of the IBMi platform by the chief architect, Frank Soltis:

The IBMi was developed as a midrange server for small to medium sized businesses and departments in large enterprises. Over the years it’s been redesigned so that it will integrate within distributed networks and with web applications. In fact, the final“I” in IBMi stands for integration.

It features a Java virtual memory platform to allow for simplified mixed language coding and multi-terabytes of disk storage. IBM developed it with the intent of creating a server that will replace PC servers and Web servers for businesses, Wintel and UNIX servers. With this change, the…

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Did HeartBleed affect you? Then donate to OpenSSL to keep it from happening again.

For everyone who heard about the Heartbleed vulnerability. OpenSSL is the foundation that develops this encryption standard used by a very large chunk of the web. Here is a note from them about how many donations they get in perspective to how important they are.

In a typical year the OpenSSL project receives about US$2000 in donations.

This week we have received roughly 200 donations totaling nearly US$3000. Amounts have ranged between $0.02 and $300, and I notice that some individuals have made multiple contributions.

For the larger donations and multiple contributors I like to send a personal note in addition to the canned response message. I apologize for not doing that this week due to the unusually large volume of E-mail correspondence (donations and otherwise).

Please know that these contributions are greatly appreciated, as much for the show of support as the monetary value. 100% of all donations (minus the hefty PayPal fees) will go directly to OpenSSL team members.

-Steve M.

You can donate here if you want your banking, taxes, and other online services to remain secure for the future.

St. Augustine, freedom from the slavery of the flesh

Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet.

~ St Augustine of Hippo.

Now, I’m going to expose a bit of my weakness here. Some of you may be more familiar with the story behind St. Augustine’s early life and his latter conversion into Catholicism than I am. For those who aren’t he was one of the foundational saints of Catholic theology. Arguably, he’s one of the most foundational and important figures in modern western Christianity short of Sts. Peter and Paul.

It is known that he led an incredibly hedonistic lifestyle. In fact, the prayer above is connected to his activities early in his life. It is said that he was given a “divine command” from God to take up and read. In the process, he realized the folly of his ways and the source of much of his unhappiness; Self-centered hedonism isn’t a goal worth striving for. He said that Romans 13:13-14 guided him in this enlightenment.

13 let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

~ NSRV Romans 13:13-14

It is essentially, the prodigal son story with St. Augustine, his debauched/licentious lifestyle during his 20s and his full conversion. His realization of greater things than just consumerism and individualism. This revelation leads to further spiritual growth and creation that many people today could learn strongly from.

I feel though that the lesson is 3-fold.

  • Satisfying the flesh will never satisfy the soul.
    Perhaps this message should be broadcast loudly, if only to overcome the MTV, ET Tonight, and regular commercial drone that the hedonistic excess is the only way to find any happiness is to feed that hedonistic urge.
  • You can always come back from any extreme.
    Who can blame people for trying out things they are told is wrong. I know when I was a toddler I stuck a hanger in an outlet, knocked over a dresser nearly onto myself, and did some other serious damage. All of which were actions I completed after being told not to. Sometimes though, that is how you learn. It is easy to justify terrible actions especially when those actions feel good.
  • You can be a slave to the flesh as much as you can be a slave to another person.
    Freedom from slavery includes freedom from the slavery of the flesh. Addictions, habits and consumerist drives are all fully capable of making us slaves to ourselves. Talk to a drug addict who has learned this and it becomes a lot easier to question whether you find true happiness in something or whether you are just succumbing to physical urges.

That physical urge is the problem. It leads to the hedonistic treadmill. Once you get a little, you simply want more and more, ironically leading to a little more happiness in the short term, but far less happiness in the long.  My generation was taught that it’s all ok, go with the physical urges, you were born that way, it’s “natural”, it doesn’t hurt anyone. Yet, that just feeds this treadmill. We cannot mature and start to nurture the next generation or the future until we get over it.

There isn’t any big picture when there is no reason to believe in anything more than extreme individualism. When there is no big picture, there’s no way to accomplish anything that matches the big picture, and there’s no way to better yourself since much becomes “I was born this way.”

We can all work together to build this new world, but first we need to stop concentrating on the little pieces and start putting together some big ideas. Something enough of us can get behind to be willing to sacrifice the individualistic hedonism in order to support creation.