Smart Glass and the Finite Nature of Man
I'm about to turn 26 (in about two weeks) and yet I feel absolutely sideswiped and staggering by the relentless current of our ever-changing technology. One second it's Facebook, then twitter, then foursquare, tumblr, pinterest!! Ah! I cannot keep up. I don't even necessarily want to keep up. Even if I had the time and dexterity to read every blog article, listen to every podcast, watch every video, slide through every digital edition of wired, and follow ever tweeting machine on the techno-cusp of innovation, there's absolutely no wayI could "know it all." I'm not really discussing being an expert in it all; I merely mean there is know way I could even have a wikapedia-styled snapshot of it all. By the time I finished with any single topic, three other topics (previous finished) would have already evolved beyond recognition.
See Exhibit A:
"French company Saint-Gobain produces an “intelligent” glass called Privalite, which can be switched from an ordinary-looking clear glass to a foggy-looking frosted glass by running an electrical current over a polymer liquid-crystal film sandwiched between two plates of glass.
Maybe it's just an indication of aging, but I feel a bit indignant at the thought of intelligent glass. Glass is supposed to be straightforward, after all. If I have to be worried about understanding something as elemental as glass, what's next?! am I going to have to re-introduce myself to my coffee? Ugh. . . Not that the technology isn't awesome. Don't get me wrong: I love the idea of responsive glass (OUTSIDE of the bathroom, that is). But it's the principle of the thing. Needing to learning the educational strata of glass is a bit tiring.
As it is, I already feel overwhelmed every morning when I see a bright blue 26 rubbing shoulders with my inbox, a 4 floating above my Facebook icon, and a 103 above that dumb tweeting bird. I simply can't keep up with it all. I don't even really want to try. And this is coming from someone who reads about 3/4 of a book a week (that is, 3/4 of a book a week as well as sporadically reading several other books at the same time), listens to 6 different podcasts on technology and innovation in web design, and reads Wired, How, and Print magazines on a regular basis. My brain feels full to capacity, straining to shove in more and more and more while simultaneously dumping more and more and more. Ingest. Produce. Ingest. Produce. The cycle is vicious in its pace and cruel in its repetition.
This struggle is futile. Even the desire to struggle is sad; it suggests to my deceived mind that complete, or even near-complete, knowledge is achievable. I believe this, and so I struggle and grind, pumping my arms and sprinting at a rate impossible to maintain for long, to a destination always moving farther and farther away on the horizon.
As my son's "Jesus Storybook Bible" so beautifully notes:
"Don't eat the fruit on that tree . . . because if you do, you'll think you know everything. You'll stop trusting me. And then death and sadness and tears will come,"
But they ignored him. And so . . .
"Sin had come into God's perfect world. And it would never leave. God's children would always be running away from him and hiding in the dark. Their hearts would break now, and never work properly again." (Sally Lloyd-Jones, The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name, pages 28 & 34).
This is my finite nature. From birth, I was infected with two diseases: 1) the belief that I can be perfect and know everything worth knowing, making my own rules, and knowing what's best for me; 2) the truth that I can never know everything; that even the things that I do know are cracked, flawed, and disfigured; and the endless pursuit of perfect understanding will only steadily grind my bones back to the dust from which they were formed.
God Knows Everything
Yet even in our global futility, while we pointless spin our wheels, God holds the true knowledge of everything. Everything = all that has ever been known, will ever be known, will ever be unknown to man. He knows every single thing that is possible, knows exactly how it is possible, and why it is possible. What makes God God is partly this infinite, borderless knowledge of all, of even things unimagined by man. This is truly a profound thought. So while I know very little, my knowledge is fundamentally flawed, and my understanding is finite, God knows everything. His is perfect in knowledge. And God's understanding is infinite. This is truly a Selah moment.
"19 By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; 20 for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything." - 1 John 3: 19-20
uhis understanding is beyond measure." - Psalm 147:5
"13 The Lord zlooks down from heaven;
he sees all the children of man;
on all the inhabitants of the earth,
15he who fashions the hearts of them all
and observes all their deeds." - Psalm 33:13-15
"16 Do you know the balancings of the clouds,
the wondrous works of him who is fperfect in knowledge," - Job 37:16
"4 He qdetermines the number of the stars;
he rgives to all of them their names." - Psalm 147:4
"9 “And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a ywhole heart and with a willing mind, zfor the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. aIf you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever." - 1 Chronicles 28:9 and one of my all-time favorite passages:
9The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?
10 i“I the Lord search the heart
jand test the mind,
kto give every man according to his ways,
according to the fruit of his deeds.” - Jeremiah 17:9-10