November 21, 2005

Funny Story...

I was checking my blog status on technorati and found a link to my post on Transliteration vs. Translation from a site in a language I couldn't even identify! It looked Germanic to me (but what do I know), so I tried to plug it into the Google translator for German to English and it didn't work. According to the author's blogger profile, he is a theology student in Sweden, so I guess the blog must be in Swedish. How fun! Only I can't read it, and I can't find a web-site with automated translation from Swedish. Amazing how the internet spreads ideas even to people in other countries with languages I can't understand. Just for the sake of my curiosity, can anyone tell me what he's saying about me?

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November 01, 2005


It has come to my attention that comments (and probably also trackbacks) on this site have not been working (probably for a long time). They should be fixed now. If you encounter any problems, please let me know by email. Thanks.

Posted by kpearce at 08:45 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 14, 2005

Online on New Server

I'm up and running on the new server, and as far as I can tell everything is in good working order. Please report any problems, and remember to change links and bookmarks with port numbers (e.g., for this blog, links that begin with should be changed to Thanks.

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August 12, 2005

Real Hosting!

I ordered real hosting for this site and my domain today (in case you didn't know, as of this moment it is running off the linux workstation on my desk, which doesn't work very well due to (a) my domain registrar not supporting dyndns, and (b) Verizon home DSL blocking all kinds of important ports, including most notably port 80, the HTTP port). This will result in a number of changes, the vast majority of which are, in my view, positive.

  1. The port numbers that appear in the URLs will go away. At present, translates into, into, into, etc. This is bad. It will go away. If you have any links or bookmarks with these port numbers in them please change them as once I get fully set up (not sure how long that will take...) they will no longer work.
  2. The email address will go away. At present, my DNS record is invalid (it has a CNAME as the root and then other records under it), and as a result the behavior of DNS resolvers is "undefined" with regard to it. As you may have noticed, it works fine for web browsers. However, many SMTP (outgoing email) servers don't like it, and translate my address,, into, being the dyndns domain for my computer. Please do not send any more email to, as it will start bouncing shortly (and that address never existed for any reason other than technical difficulties).
  3. This site will not go down any more. Maybe I'm being overly optimistic, but this company ODSOL has hosted the Underground Shakespeare web-site for the couple of years that I've been maintaining it, and I am not aware of any downtime to date.
  4. I won't have to worry about making sure my computer is running and connected to the internet all the time any more. At present, whenever my desktop PC is disconnected from the internet, the site goes down. Oops.
  5. And the downside: This site now costs about $95/year for me to run. Yes, I'm paying to provide you with free content. This is perfectly acceptable to me because I enjoy the existence of this site. However, for those of you who also enjoy the existence of this site, I expect to be accepting donations soon. Up to this point, this site has required nothing but time from me, and now it is going to be requiring money as well, so help will be appreciated.

    This has been your administrative miscellany for the day. Tune in next time when we'll be discussing a far more thrilling topic, <insert witticism here>.

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July 08, 2005

I'm Back!

Regular visitors to this site (the existence of such individuals is disputed, but I believe you are out there somewhere!) may have noticed a substantial outage recently, lasting approximately from the afternoon of Sunday the 26th until yesterday afternoon. This was due to a major administrative debacle at Verizon. As you can see, I am back online now. I'm sure I've missed a lot the last few weeks (Sandra Day O'Connor, London, etc.), but I'm not going to try to catch up. Let's just pretend I already blogged all of that and I'll start up again in the middle. Look for new material in the very near future. Sorry for the downtime, and thank you for sticking with me. I plan to get real hosting soon, and hopefully this won't happen any more.

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May 07, 2005

The Future of This Blog

In case you hadn't noticed, this blog has been awefully sparse for the past few months. I had an extremely busy semester and not much time for blogging. It is now summer (that is, the spring semester of school is over), and working 40 hours a week and having Saturdays and Sundays off and not taking work home in the evenings is sounding restful. So, in this post I'd like to give some idea on what sorts of things will be influencing my topics over the course of the summer, and then comment briefly on a few issues I missed.

  • This summer I'm going to try to dive back in to some serious intellectual Bible study. I'm currently in the middle of studies on Isaiah and John the Beloved (covering his life and the four books that bear his name, but probably not the Revelation), so I'll be working (and perhaps blogging) on those.
  • I'm going to try to read as much of the New Testament in Greek as I can. I've gotten through about 4/5 of Matthew already (over the course of the last year), and I'm hoping (optimistically) to make it to the end of the gospels by the end of the summer.
  • At present, I have a list of philosophers whom I dislike without ever having read. This is bad. I'm going to try to eleminate it by reading them all. The names on the list are Wittgenstein and Hegel (for whom I have a mild distaste) and also Nietzsche (whom I rather despise). So I will be reading Wittgenstein's On Certainty and Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil, and probably also something by Hegel (haven't determined what as yet).
  • I'm also going to try to eliminate what I see as some important holes in my knowledge of philosophy by reading Kant's Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals and Locke's Second Treatise on Government (and probably the first while I'm at it).

I may be blogging on any or all (or none) of these things over the course of the summer. Now, here (as promised) are the important issues I missed:

  • Terri Schiavo: This was a complicated issue; I don't think it was nearly as cut and dried as most of the Evangelical bloggers I read seemed to. We can't keep people alive on life support forever, it just doesn't make sense. If they are really gone, we have to let them go. On the other hand, removing a feeding tube is much different than turning off a heart and lung machine. The big issue, I thought, was that her "husband" fathered children by another woman while she was in the hospital. This, I think, should have invalidated the marriage leaving her in the custody of her parents. I don't believe that the ends ever justify the means - I am a non-consequentialist - and so I must condemn the actions of the Republicans in Congress on this issue as they flagrantly disregarded the Constitution.

  • Pope Benedict XVI: What a great guy. I'm enthusiastic about the new Pope. He seems solid. From what I can tell, he takes Scripture seriously and views the Church councils as a tradition of Biblical interpretation rather than an independent authority. Good stuff.

  • Beth Stroud (momentarily) Reinstated: (See the great interview at WesleyBlog). What a mess. I can't understand why there is any question about this. If an individual who claims to be a Christian and is a member of the church is unrepentant about sexual practices that do not conform to Biblical standards we are required by Scripture to excommunicate him (see 1 Corinthians 5). In fact, this is one of only two cases where the New Testament contains explicit instructions to excommunicate an individual (the other being Titus 3:10-11, "Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.") This is a paradigm case for Scriptural excommunication. Note, however, that excommunication is rarely, if ever, practiced properly. Jesus views it as a way of motivating people to repent, not as unlovingly excluding them (Matthew 18:15-20). The point is for the Church to show quite clearly that it does not condone the individual's actions, and in so doing to hopefully motivate the individual to repent, at which time he is to be admitted back into the Church, preferably to a celebration along the lines of the Prodigal Son. Why is this not being practised? a) People don't read the Bible, and b) people don't believe the Bible. The Church needs to start taking Scripture seriously again and practicing what it says.

I think those are all the critical things I've missed. Hopefully I can keep up on events as they happen from now on (at least for the rest of the summer)!

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July 27, 2004

"A Philosophical Discussion of the Christian Doctrines of the Fall of Man and the Regeneration of the Holy Spirit"

I've just posted a new paper to my writings section. The name of the paper is "A Philosophical Discussion of the Christian Doctrines of the Fall of Man and the Regeneration of the Holy Spirit". This is a first first first draft (not yet seen by anyone but me) so any input would be much appreciated and can be posted here or e-mailed to me. That goes for any kind of feedback, whether on form or content. As before, I'll post my responses here and if I alter the paper in any way I will make note of that here. Check it out here (PDF format).

Major influences of this paper: The basic idea that all human desires are basically good and implanted by God but have been twisted onto improper targets as a result of the Fall has probably been around for a while, but I got it from John Eldredge. I have read and highly reccomend his Wild at Heart and Waking the Dead. He has also written at least two other books I have not read, The Journey of Desire and The Sacred Romance

The idea that the irrational components of the human mind are productive and even essential if and only if they are in complete submission to the rational mind originates from Plato, and especially the Republic. I make no apology as a Christian for the influence of Plato upon my thinking as Platonic thought also seems to have influenced the New Testament's use of langauge. Notably, the Platonists were the first to associate the Greek word λογος (logos) with God.

Other than that I hope that the paper pretty much speaks for itself. Hope someone somewhere is crazy enough to enjoy it!

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May 17, 2004

Outages and Such

"For he would rather have at his bed's head
Some twenty books, all bound in black and red,
Of Aristotle and his philosophy
Than rich robes, fiddle, or gay psaltery.
Yet, and for all he was philosopher,
He had but little gold within his coffer;
But all that he might borrow from a friend
On books and learning he would swiftly spend,
And then he'd pray right busily for the souls
Of those who gave him wherewithal for schools.
Of study took he utmost care and heed.
Not one word spoke he more than was his need;
And that was said in fullest reverence
And short and quick and full of high good sense.
Pregnant of moral virtue was his speech;
And gladly would he learn and gladly teach."
- Geoffrey Chaucer, describing me - I mean the Oxford Cleric - in the prologue to The Canterbury Tales.

So here's the thing: You may have noticed that there have been a lot of outages on this site lately. This has to do with being behind a firewall and on Verizon DSL. My current setup for this site has a lot of problems. This port forwarding thing is ugly (that's the silly numbers after the : in the URL), and it turns out that my DNS record is technically invalid (but it works anyway). What I really need is to actually pay for hosting. The cheapest hosting that will do what I need costs around $8/month, which will bring the cost of running this site, including the domain name, up to just over $100/year. The problem is that "I have but little gold within my coffer; / But all that I might borrow from a friend / On books and learning I would quickly spend." So I know there are at least a handful of people who actually look at this site regularly, and I know there are a lot more who find it on google (I get hits from several hundred unique IPs each month), and my question for you is, if I asked for donations to pay for real hosting, would it be worth it to you? Do you think it's worth paying money to have this site up and running all the time rather than going down all the time? If you have an oppinion or suggestion, please either leave a comment on this entry or contact me by some other means. $100/year is definitely not very much money divided several ways. Thank you.

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May 12, 2004

Beauty is Not in the Eye of the Beholder: Foundations for an Absolutist Theory of Beauty

My writings page has just been reorganized. There are now separate pages for older and newer documents. The first thing to go up on the new documents page is the paper "Beauty is Not in the Eye of the Beholder: Foundations for an Absolutist Theory of Beauty." This is an edited and slightly expanded version of my term paper for aesthetics class this past semester (spring of 2004). Special thanks to Serena Halley whose comments made the first revision possible, and Michael Rohlf whose comments did the same for the second. Click here to take a look at it (PDF format).

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May 10, 2004

Back Online After Outage

This site is now back online after an outage which lasted approximately two days. The outage was due to the move from on-campus housing to the Crusade house off campus, and then the realization, only after I had flown to the other side of the country, that Verizon was blocking port 80 and so the site was not viewable from outside the house. You may notice a change: the URLs you used before now forward to URLs with ugly port numbers at the end of the domain. Something else you might notice is that the URL (without the www) will no longer work. This is because Verizon sucks. I'll be looking into using a different ISP, and perhaps we'll even be able to save some money since the only reason we even have phone service (we all use cell phones) is that we have to in order to get DSL through Verizon, so if there was some other broadband solution (preferably one that didn't block ports) that might end up being cheaper. So, anyway, I'm back online now, hope you didn't miss me too much!

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January 21, 2004

GPG Key Up

I posted my GPG (OpenPGP compatible) public key on my contact page today. You should use it if you plan on saying important things to me via e-mail. You should get your own if you want people to be able to say important things to you without announcing them to the world. Go here to get my public key, and more ranting from me about why you should use it. Go here for info on GPG, or here for general info on OpenPGP.

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August 18, 2003

Site Downtime/College/etc.

This site is going to go down sometime soon, probably Friday, and it may not come back up for a while. I am leaving next Tuesday (August 26th) for the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where I hope to enter the Computer and Cognitive Science program, through which I would get a degree from the School of Engineering and Applied Science in computer science and a degree in philosophy from "The College" (the arts and sciences school). I'm getting a new (much faster) computer when I get there, and it may be a little while before I get everything transferred. I'll move in and get my computer and stuff on the 28th, so look for the site to be available again any time after that. Hopefully it won't be too long.

As for the move, I could sure use some prayer. As I'm going off to college on the other side of the nation, I will, right at the same time, be removed from everything that's familiar, be temporarily without a church or any kind of accountability structure, and exposed to new temptations. Please pray that I can, as all of the Church should, influence the world around me more than I am influenced by it. The Church must infiltrate the world, rather than the world infiltrating the Church. I want my life to be true to this. Your prayers are appreciated.

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April 05, 2003

Disciple Mp3s Removed!

As of about 6:15 PM (Pacific), I have removed the Disciple mp3s from my web-site after receiving the following e-mail from the band's web master:

Hi this is the webmaster for I notice that you have several mp3's available freely to download on your domain. As webmaster for disciple, I would like to ask you to please remove them. Disciple has available certain songs on for their approach to the mp3 side of things. Please feel free to send visitors who are looking for mp3's of disciple to this site. I understand your statements, however you by making these mp3's available for free, you are not only causing people to steal from disciple but undermining their efforts to drive people to their website. Brandon Richards

I want to say first and foremost that I do absolutely respect the band's right to request that I not distribute their mp3s, provided it is truly the band's request, and not a record label or other similarly large and evil corporation working against their will. Since Disciple is currently unsigned, this is clearly not the case. As of the time of this writing the Disciple's web-site is apparently being redesigned and the archives of the messages they have sent out to their mailing list are not available. However, I do remember that what the message I took to authorize distribution of mp3s actually spoke of is e-mailing them to friends, rather than posting them on web-sites and, additionally, might only have referred to the radio single mp3s the band had released to

Having said all of that, I do need to take issue with a few of the things that were said. First, my posting of the m3s in no way discouraged anyone from visiting Disciple's web-site. In fact, you will all remember that I linked to their page and actually encouraged others to visit it and buy their CD. Secondly, the downloading of these mp3s cannot possibly constitute stealing. This is precluded by the definition of the word.

Webster's Revised Unabridged (1918) gives the following definition for "steal", when used as a transitive verb: "To take and carry away, feloniously; to take without right or leave, and with intent to keep wrongfully; as, to steal the personal goods of another." The idea here is of actually picking up a physical object and carrying it away. However, clearly this is not the modern English usage of this word, as we often speak of stealing ideas and so forth. Still, I think that an important idea here is of taking something belonging to someone else in such a manner that it deprives that person of access to the stolen property. Clearly this did not happen as, even after someone downloaded the mp3, Disciple was still in possession of the song.

An important point is that since this is a question of morality among Christians (I don't know for certain about my readers - if there are any - or the webmaster, but the members of the band and I are Christians and I suspect they would hire a Christian webmaster) the relevant word is not in fact the English "steal", but the Hebrew "ganab", the word used in the infamous "Thou shalt not steal" command of Exodus 20:15. According to Strong's and the Brown, Driver, Briggs, Gesenius lexicon at this word also implies physically picking something up and carrying it away, in such a fashion that it deprives the original owner of this piece of property. In short, the meaning of the word steal has been altered by the record cartel much as they and the other intellectual property fascists have altered the meaning of the word "piracy" (the Free Software Foundation has something to say about that).

Semantics is often a weapon employed in political struggles, as can be clearly seen in the abortion debate, where the two sides refer to themselves as "pro-life" and "pro-choice", rather than merely being called what they are: "anti-abortion" and "pro-abortion", respectively. This is known in logic as the fallacy of emotional language. Terms like "stealing" and "piracy" cause an emotional reaction which more accurate terms such as "unauthorized transfer of information" do not. Be careful not to be taken in by this. I have obeyed this request not because I wish to discourage stealing, but for two reasons unrelated to this.

The first, and most important, is that I have the utmost respect for the band Disciple and do not wish to refuse any request made by them or anyone acting on their behalf. The second is that it is the moral duty of a Christian to obey the government as much as possible (i.e. as long as they don't contradict any authority higher than themselves). This responsibility is clearly seen in Romans 13 and also Hebrews 13:17.

At any rate, if you still want Disciple mp3s, you can check them out at their site.

March 01, 2003

My New Blog!

I just set up this new weblog here on my web-site. Pretty cool, huh? Now we'll just have to see if I actually write anything in it. I'll probably keep some news in here on the ministry I'm doing and any cool stuff I find in Bible study, and where I get accepted for college and all that kind of stuff. If you don't actually know me then probably only a small percentage of what gets written here will be of any interest to you.

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