Matthew Henry John Bartlett

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Saturday 30 May, 02009

Jim Wallace, ex-commander of the Australaian SAS, on pacifism

by Matthew Bartlett @ 6:20 pm

From a CPX interview [21mb mp3]

Interviewer: Being a Christian in the army… Doesn’t Jesus tell us to turn the other cheek? How do you match those two things up?
Jim Wallace: It’s a question I’m asked often, you know, and I personally have no problem with it. One, because I actually became a Christian in my first year in the army, and certainly as Christians we believe you stay where God calls you, where he’s called you to himself, unless he calls you out of that. And he didn’t call me out of it for 32 years, very clearly. But the other thing was, I had a friend of mine, actually, who was a Christian, and became a Christian about the same time I did, in Duntroon. (more…)

Saturday 23 May, 02009

One thing you can do about climate change

by Matthew Bartlett @ 3:46 pm

is add you name to, which aims to get John Key to agree to 40% emissions cuts by 2020 at Copenhagen.

Thursday 21 May, 02009

Updated Happy Revolution

by Matthew Bartlett @ 1:00 pm
  • happy + healthy families
  • dignified, useful and honourable work
  • flourishing and productive ecosystems
  • time for celebration, relaxation, reflection
  • lots of interpersonal interactions
  • intergenerational mingling
  • low-carbon
  • low-energy
  • low-waste

Am I missing anything big?

(first posted 28/04/09)

Sunday 17 May, 02009

Scattery notes from Shane Claiborne’s Thursday night talk

by Matthew Bartlett @ 10:24 am

Reckless love of neighbour. We (church) have forgotten who we are. Contrast society. cf Amish & the shooting. Embezzlement – the sin of the contemporary church. Alternative to insurance: communities of redistribution. Bear each others burdens. Not ‘how can we accumulate more?’ but ‘how can we live off less?’. Reconciliation must start in our homes. Whole-heartedness. Creation care. Personalism. Living on US$150/month. All having just part-time jobs so that there’s time for non-economic work.

Friday 08 May, 02009

Stop trying to save the planet

by Matthew Bartlett @ 2:04 pm

From Erle Ellis’ Wired editorial ‘Stop Trying to Save the Planet’:

Postnaturalism is not about recycling your garbage, it is about making something good out of grandpa’s garbage and leaving the very best garbage for your grandchildren.

[via BEH]

Wednesday 06 May, 02009

Science is hard

by Matthew Bartlett @ 10:57 pm

From a review by Cosma Shalizi of the aforementioned Wolfram’s A New Kind of Science

Let me try to sum up. On the one hand, we have a large number of true but commonplace ideas, especially about how simple rules can lead to complex outcomes, and about the virtues of toy models. On the other hand, we have a large mass of dubious speculations (many of them also unoriginal). We have, finally, a single new result of mathematical importance, which is not actually the author’s. Everything is presented as the inspired fruit of a lonely genius, delivering startling insights in isolation from a blinkered and philistine scientific community. We have been this way before.

I’m a bad egg for starting to read reviews before finishing the book. Perhaps Wolfy will be vindicated when Alpha goes live… perhaps.

Tuesday 05 May, 02009

Christianity corrupted

by Matthew Bartlett @ 3:50 pm

From Democracy Now!:

US Soldiers Accused of Proselytizing in Afghanistan

Al Jazeera has revealed US soldiers are being encouraged to spread the message of their Christian faith among Afghanistan’s predominantly Muslim population. Soldiers have been filmed with Bibles printed in Afghanistan’s main Pashto and Dari languages. In one recorded sermon, Lieutenant-Colonel Gary Hensley, the chief of the US military chaplains in Afghanistan, is seen telling soldiers that as followers of Jesus Christ, they all have a responsibility “to be witnesses for him.”

Lieutenant-Colonel Gary Hensley: “The special forces guys, they hunt men, basically. We do the same things as Christians: we hunt people for Jesus. We do. We hunt them down, get the hound of heaven after them, so we get them into kingdom. Right? That’s what we do. That’s our business.”

Monday 04 May, 02009

MacKay on nuclear

by Matthew Bartlett @ 11:31 pm

Yet more from MacKay (p.161):

The mass of the fossil fuels consumed by “the average British person” is about 16 kg per day (4 kg of coal, 4 kg of oil, and 8 kg of gas). That means that every single day, an amount of fossil fuels with the same weight as 28 pints of milk is extracted from a hole in the ground, transported, processed, and burned somewhere on your behalf. The average Brit’s fossil fuel habit creates 11 tons per year of waste carbon dioxide; that’s 30 kg per day. In the previous chapter we raised the idea of capturing waste carbon dioxide, compressing it into solid or liquid form, and transporting it somewhere for disposal. Imagine that one person was responsible for capturing and dealing with all their own carbon dioxide waste. 30 kg per day of carbon dioxide is a substantial rucksack-full every day – the same weight as 53 pints of milk!
   In contrast, the amount of natural uranium required to provide the same amount of energy as 16 kg of fossil fuels, in a standard fission reactor,
is 2 grams; and the resulting waste weighs one quarter of a gram. (This 2g of uranium is not as small as one millionth of 16 kg per day, by the way, because today’s reactors burn up less than 1% of the uranium.) To deliver 2 grams of uranium per day, the miners at the uranium mine would have to deal with perhaps 200 g of ore per day.
   So the material streams flowing into and out of nuclear reactors are small, relative to fossil-fuel streams. “Small is beautiful,” but the fact that
the nuclear waste stream is small doesn’t mean that it’s not a problem; it’s just a “beautifully small” problem.