Showing posts from December, 2018

Why "Traded" Wasn't a Great Movie, and How it Could Have Been

"Traded" is an excellent movie, right up until the end. Let's look at why, and how it could have been different.

Trace Adkins is the bad guy, or a bad guy, and I like him in the bad cowboy role. Here is the logline for "Traded".

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A father must leave his ranch for Dodge City to save his daughter from an old enemy, putting his reputation as the fastest draw in the west to the test.

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But, we all know that loglines aren't usually that great at telling us about the movie (the one for "The Wizard of Oz" is hilarious, I will put it at the bottom).

So, let's take the plot breakdown from Wikipedia and that will give us a thorough explanation of what happens.

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The film opens with the narrator stating that women have little value in the West and many become prostitutes. Women are sold and traded like property in Kansas.

In a western cabin 17 year daughter, Lily, asks Dad, Clay, if she can go to the "tie dance&q…

Theoconceptualist Theology

My approach to theology is a little different than my approach to religion because it deals with a different domain of philosophy. Whereas religion deals with ethics and social structure, theology deals with epistemology (the theory of knowledge).

This is quite a different view than most people take. Most think of theology (the study of God) from a metaphysical perspective (the fundamental nature of reality) and therefore try to solve ontological problems (the nature of being). This is why debates about whether God is immanent (present throughout the universe) or transcendent (outside of the universe) are so pervasive and perceived of as so important. Neither of these can be shown or not shown, nor will they ever be able to be shown or not shown. We don't need to worry about this. When we look at both ideas from an epistemological perspective we can see that either way God is a real conceptual entity. If we are willing to admit that we don't know the answer to the metaphysical…

Stories are Like Math, with Two Examples from Students

I started teaching my first student a little over two years ago. His name was Parker. He is still my student.


Parker started the third grade this year and was very happy to learn that he is more advanced in English math than his classmates are in Chinese math (he is from, and lives in, China). His class is studying how to do the perimeters and areas of squares and rectangles. Parker and I went through that many months ago, and we went through the Pythagorean theorem (how to find the hypotenuse of a triangle with A^2+B^2=C^2) a few months ago, along with how to find the area of triangles. Just recently we are basically through how to find the circumference and area of circles. Parker likes math, but still, learning this type of thing can be boring. So, here's what we do.

We start off by reviewing things, we do work on terminology but our main focus is on the math skills themselves. We do a square, a rectangle, and a triangle. Then we focus a little more on a circle because th…

The Impetus for Theoconceptualism

Why propose a new structure for theological philosophy and religion? Well, I see some problems and I think there are better solutions than the ones being used.

I think the primary problem could be classified under the term fundamentalism. By this I mean a few things. 1 - It's usually a fully literal view of everything. Humans just don't work well that way. 2 - It's a system that doesn't update. 3 - It's intolerant. 4 - It's strict in a tyrannical way. 5 - These strict rules have to be issued from a source, that source means there is a lot of centralized power and authority. 6 - Power, such as wherever this authority rests, attracts the worst people and corrupts the best.

These are huge problems that all societies, civilizations, and cultures have to deal with. I think if you focus on one though, then it would mostly solve the other problems. If a system was designed so that it could update, peacefully and with limited conflict, then you would need to not have a…

88.9 Hey Radio, Amongst the Giants, and Me

This will probably be an intellectually intense article. The exploration of depth in lyrics.

Before we dive into the actual article I'm writing, check this out. I went through the lyrics of the song I'm going to explore and these are the notes I wrote to myself on the first time through (I left in initial spelling errors and everything).

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con fidere, cognitive dissonance, semantic triangle square, squaring the triangle
individualized groups and anonymous communities, true dialogue and discussion, intention and consquentialism
weight as both truth and importance, experience as singular, autonomy and locus of control
the dispossessed, self censoring, procrastination of challenge, platos cave seeing the light, truth as not always comfortable, free speech necessary for free thought
explicit and implicit communication transactional analysis eric berne, diversity of opinion perspective logic experience and value, don't understand that, rene girard, mirror neurons em…

This Darn Bio Thingy

This little bio on myself is giving me difficulties. My mother and my aunt have now informed me that they were both confused when I said I wasn't eccentric. I thought it was obvious sarcasm, but obviously I was wrong. I will try to fix this darn thing.

Here is what we are starting with.

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Jeffrey Alexander Martin: He has jumped out of a perfectly good airplane, climbed a mountain, swam through a group of freshwater jellyfish while scuba diving, rafted whitewater, wrestled alligators, ran with bulls, jumped horses, bruised his ribs doing winter luge, vomited blood in Africa, received a black eye and a bloody nose in a tomato fight, has the weirdest resume ever, and has four major spinal deformities. He's just a simple guy with a simple life from Michigan, USA. No one has ever called him eccentric a single time in his entire life. He is oddly transparent at

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The only rules are that it has to be 100 words or less and it has to b…

Two Examples of Me Interpreting Other People's Dreams

Dream interpretation is quite an art. A lot of people are interested in it and look at it lightly, but it can be quite a serious endeavor. It can also be quite complex. Most people don't seem to understand the basic ideas, hopefully this will help provide a little insight.

This was posted in a dream interpretation group I'm in. Often, people are really searching for answers, but they haven't read Freud or Jung and don't really seem to understand where to begin. Also, it can be hard to get a more objective view of your own dreams, thoughts, and ideas, which is why it helps to have other people to talk to.

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Hi guys, there are a lot of smart People in this group i know by the questions you guys post, i Wonder if you cold guide me: i had a dream Last night with a New born "FĂ©nix", i actually helped it out of the "egg" (i know i know Fenix doesn't reborn though eggs), what could this possibly mean?

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Obviously Packo is …

Commas, Ellipses, Interstitials, and the Making of a Great Sentence

Writing styles are like ice cream, you either like them or you don't. But, there is an art and a craft to learning how to make ice cream, and the same goes for writing style.

This was posted in one of my writing groups a couple of months ago.

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If one person says to another, “Do you have any idea, how beautiful you are?” then what does the comma signify?

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Now, Dennis doesn't give us the context, just a sentence and an odd question. By itself, I don't like this sentence. Maybe you do, that's okay, remember that ice cream flavor preference is personal and so is writing style. Taste in all of its forms is personal. Alas, I think that the comma breaks the sentence up in an odd way. You could, of course, read it that way. "Do you have any idea (short pause) how beautiful you are?" It makes sense, I just don't like the flow. I use commas a lot, and I use them in slightly unusual ways. That's because that's how I talk, I t…