“You need to realize that when God is involved, there is no such thing as a truly hopeless situation. And so, I don’t know what situation you are in that looks like it has no possible positive outcome, that there is no way you can get through this, or a solution to this situation. God says, with Him all things are possible. There is no such thing as a truly hopeless situation, just situations that may look hopeless from our perspective.”—
Pastor Holdeman who was recently diagnosed with leukemia.
The keyword is “realize”. It’s not that you should think in a certain way, or maybe it will work a certain way, but realize. Realize meant that it is the way things works, you just need to see it.
After staying off podcast for awhile, I got back to listening Planet Money during my morning drive. A few item down the list was this one that’s titled “Invisible Plumbing Of Our Economy”. If you have the chance to listen to it, you will come to understand why it take several days for money to get transferred from one bank to the other. It’s not a movie, so I’m not too worried about spoilers.
The idea is that the system was built back in the 70s. A system called ACH (Automated Clearing House) that you might have seen on your online bank statement from time to time. And because of it’s age, many of its settings are ancient, and does not respond well to the fast-paced Internet era that we are now familiar with.
This lack of speed in money transfers is certainly an irritant in an otherwise instantaneous society, where you can buy tickets to a movie minutes prior from your cellphone, order meals online, or get groceries delivered to your door next day (diapers were used as an example in the podcast).
The Proposed Solution
Some new propositions have been raised, including the latest innovation by Square — Square Cash, where you can send money through email. We have seen similar attempt from Gmail, utilizing its own in-app attachment.
While these press releases are getting a lot of attention for being innovative, more advanced solution have already existed elsewhere. It’s not in South Korea, or anywhere in Europe, but Africa.
I learnt about the “M-Pesa" from a minister in Moshi, Tanzania, who uses the service to send small amount of money (USD $60~$100) to other missionaries in the region.
By charging your money to your phone at a local M-Pesa service point (available at every corner), you can send money to a phone number. And with that message, the recipient can bring the phone to her/his local M-Pesa service point, show it to the person on staff, and get paid. No 3~5 days delay, or even exclusion of weekends. The money gets transferred as soon as the message is sent and received.
Travel does open your eyes, not only with the beauty of sceneries, but with the varying concept of how people live that involves, in this case money.
Have you heard of these things called blogs? Blogging wasn’t new in 2005, but it was still a niche hobby for the technologically minded. I had been maintaining a personal blog, and was a regular blog reader. I saw multiple-author blogs devoted to certain subjects and…
Didn’t even realize they were closed! I used to love the site — well, at least reading from it using Google Reader. I guess many things died with the Reader. :(
I’m sure by now you have seen the serene Everyday Music, and Everyday Photo commercial by Apple. And I’m sure by now you have also seen the array of Samsung commercials — from the weird unicorns, to graduates jumping into pools, to… I can’t even remember them all.
I began to wonder, as do many others — why does Apple not fight back. Why does Apple not expand?
The first few lines of Tim Cook’s response at the All Things D’s D11 Conference answers that:
"It takes a lot of really detailed work to do a phone right."
Maybe I’m being unfair. Perhaps Google justs wants me to make meaningful online connections… - Pixxel
I believe many people shares the same sentiment after the I/O Keynote yesterday. So much things going on that seems to revolutionize Google Plus, or the way we can do things, connect with people, etc.
But there is a tingling feeling that all things ought to be tied to Google. This will probably turn towards a mainstream norm, with the few indie fighters resisting its lure (like my relationship with Facebook: on pause).
Yes, you will will have the ability to turn off some of the “amazing” features. Yet the question seems to be unanswered - why do we need them? (Hint?)
We are already all connected — through Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, and an army of other socialites services. But what does the sum of it all mean?
An appropriate question to ask is, does something like Google Plus (and its features) help to facilitate meaningful online connections?
I wrote this during Interaction Culture’s Writing Workshop as a Chinese Worship song prompted the strand of thought that I decide to write down. The following passage is the exact words I’ve written down, so please excuse my phrasings and grammar.
In “Of Gods and Men”, I have, after 2 hours and 2 minutes gave me the humbling experience of the solemnness of worship - through hymns, solitude, quiet prayers, quiet reflections, as well as the exemplar of lifestyle, one that highlights LOVE triumph, that there is forgiveness and perhaps more importantly, peace*.
The fact that everyone stayed behind was not solely based on persuasion or the lack of choice, but perhaps the rekindle of relationship with God.
When life becomes too comfortable, despite the relatively harsh living environment, we may become too indulged with ourselves - despite the fact we are not about martyrdom.
God said in the Corinthians (or Paul through the Holy Spirit) that we should give gladly. It’s perhaps not about equating sufferage to sacrifice - it’s more of a by-product than the end goal.
In an environment that lacks the forest of technology, the soul, our soul becomes more in tuned to the other souls. While “Swan Lake” had little correlation to Christianity - both literally or semiotically, it is the aesthetic of the music that touched their souls. The tears, the found peace. It reminded me of the lyrics to the song sang by millions billions during Christmas.
"It is well, It is well with my soul."
*In here I’m referring to the inner peace that one feels when they have made the right decision; or that they are peaceful with the decision that they have made.