Google: Deus Ex Machina

Last night I was lying in bed, starting my regular evening orison to the Deity after reflection, when I unintentionally uttered the word Google instead of using the word God. I froze in horror and then immediately corrected myself. But it got me thinking about the reality that Google (or technology in general) really is the deus ex machina, or in the English translation of the Latin, God from the machine. I’d been reading about Chrome OS adding Linux apps before bed and I often tell my Google Home Mini (OK Google…) to play ocean sounds when I’m trying to fall asleep; so my mistake was easily dismissible as momentary mental residue rising to the surface when invoking God in simple prayer.  Yet this morning, I was still thinking about the weirdness of the slip up as I was commuting to work when I saw a sign about a local 5K race. The sign read “GOOGLE IT” at the bottom. Was this some kind of coincidence? A fluke? This really got my mind to reeling. Google started off as a proper noun, became a term frequently used as a verb,  became an AI, and now I confuse it with the Deity when fatigued at the end of the day when starting to pray. While this is just a random thread of thought, it does give me pause.

100 Days of Yoga and Meditation

I’ve crossed the century mark of consecutive days of yoga and meditation. A little more than three months ago, I decided to see how may continuous days of yoga and meditation practice I could amass. It was initially difficult to get my daily practices in. I don’t go to a formal yoga class, I’ve been using the Yoga Studio app; mostly because of convenience. It was initially hard to get up earlier in the morning to get in a 30-60 minute yoga session and the subsequent 3-10 minutes of guided meditation using the “Stop Breathe & Think” app. Motivation wasn’t an issue, just physically rolling out of bed earlier in the morning and hitting the yoga mat was the real challenge. Now, over 100 days in, it has become a habit. The biggest thing I’ve learned is just how much diet and sleep impact my body. Lack of sleep, alcohol consumption, and/or poor diet choices definitely impact how I feel on the yoga mat the next day. I’ve crossed the century mark a couple times over the years, but my new goal is to see just how long I can keep this up. Maybe I can get to a full year? I dunno, but I do know that I’ve started to eat better, get more sleep, and look forward to each morning’s practice. I’ll check in again when I cross day 200 or if the streak falls apart.

My Political Apostasy

The other day I had a political conversation with a neighbor I don’t particularly like very much. Our political views don’t overlap at all and it quickly became awkward after she asked my opinion on the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica fiasco. My answer was that it’s all bullshit. If people can be swayed to vote a particular way because of social media, they are essentially low information voters and shouldn’t be voting because they can’t research and think for themselves. For the most part, I’m pretty much of the view that voting should be more difficult… meaning the existing citizenry rules should be enforced and requirements should be more stringent; for example: adding a civics and current events test to be given every five years, requiring a certain credit level, etc. Low information voters, entrenched and partisan political coterie of both parties, and the deep state apparatus are driving the United States into the ground. We are essentially hopelessly in debt that we’ll never get out of; in a state of perpetual war; and there is so much misinformation being bandied about, there is no way to know what the truth is… if there is any such thing as truth.  For these reasons, I’ve kind of washed my hands of all of it and give very little attention to anyone who thinks a particular cause, movement, party, etc is important. Flavius Odoacer arguably ended the Roman Empire; but it was hundreds of years of social, military, financial, and political ineffectiveness that was the real reason for Rome’s end. Aren’t we on the same timeline, just accelerated?