Jun 052018

There’s Now A Religion Based On the Blockchain. Yes, Really..

Liston unveiled his blockchain religion, which he calls 0xΩ (“Zero ex omega”? … He distributed 40 hard copies of a document he calls 0xΩ’s “flame paper,” the closest thing the religion has to a “holy book,” that reportedly outlines how Liston wants 0xΩ to function.

“It’s a religious framework that could allow for belief sets to update much more quickly and also to democratize the relationship between membership and convergence on what everyone believes in this religion,”

The fundamental idea is that blockchain could eliminate the need for the faith to have a governing authority. In many of today’s major religions, the beliefs and decisions of the people at the top — the Pope, the Dalai Lama, the Chief Rabbi — trickle down to the rest of the believers. The average follower has very little influence on the religion’s core beliefs.

0xΩ could work differently, because users could have a say. Followers might decide they want to change parts of the blockchain religion’s texts (starting with the flame paper) or start using donations to support certain charitable causes. …

Because it is distributed and difficult to hack, blockchain may provide the perfect platform for followers to voice their opinions on these matters, or give their vote to another member to vote on their behalf.

And if followers can’t reach consensus on a topic, 0xΩ could “hard fork” into two separate religions.

Via WikiPedia

A blockchain, is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography. Each block typically contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block,[6] a timestamp, and transaction data.[7] By design, a blockchain is resistant to modification of the data. It is “an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way”. For use as a distributed ledger, a blockchain is typically managed by a peer-to-peer network collectively adhering to a protocol for inter-node communication and validating new blocks. Once recorded, the data in any given block cannot be altered retroactively without alteration of all subsequent blocks, which requires collusion of the network majority.

A blockchain is most known for providing the ledger for the cryptocurrency bitcoin.

Still this got me thinking about Catholic parallels. For Catholic we have sort of a “Upon this Rockchain”. That a combination of the Magisterium, Apostolic traditions, and scripture provide a secure way together of providing sort of a ledger of what the Church believes.

Without this private interpretation results in a “hardfork” into separate religions as the article mentions. The Ordinary and Extraordinary Magisterium provides a “christo-graphic hash” verifying the authenticity of her teachings. The best hash is one signed with what Vatican I called “divine and Catholic faith".

Yes I am stretching the comparison here – but just indulging my geekiness poorly.

May 312018

Love this statue. It seems the only statues of Mary I ever see are the sorrowful ones. Certainly there is a place for this and to contemplate the sword that pierced her heart. Still I loved the imagery of the playful Mary in The Passion of the Christ and would like to see more such imagery.

An article about the Church of England using Alexa to spread “Christianity”.

  • Alexa, when did Anglican Orders become null and void?

Maureen at “Aliens in This World” post another of her interesting articles St. Leonides, the Father of Origen. Did not know his father was a martyr.

And in other saintly news. While I knew that there was an investigation into the life of G.K. Chesterton, apparently it could be moving forward. GK Chesterton’s sainthood cause may soon be opened.

I’ll leave you with a couple of my bad jokes.

  • My Mother’s sisters want me to go to Mass with them on Saturday evening. I declined since I want nothing to do with Vigil aunties.
  • I would see the new Star Wars movie, except for the fact that I know that the Council of Trent rejected Solo Script.
Mar 272018

I was generally positive about the history concerning Pope St. Pius V. until I read this article.

It might sound ridiculous, but jesters used to be so common that nearly every powerful and important person had one. And I mean it: pretty much everyone. Kings and princes? Of course. Bishops? Yes. Cardinals? Yup.

But did the pope have a jester? It might sound ridiculous, but yes, the pope had a jester.

The thing you need to know is that jesters weren’t necessarily clowns. They were responsible for entertainment of every sort in the Renaissance period. Just like artists of the time were expected to be masters of sculpture, painting, architecture and even music writing, jesters were expected to be master entertainers. This included but wasn’t limited to storytelling, athletics, acrobatics, singing and acting. And yes, they knew how to juggle, occasionally wore silly costumes, and told jokes. Their trade was expendable, but also respected. So when dignitaries and nobility visited Rome to see the Supreme Pontiff, a little bit of entertainment was expected.

Have to admit that being the Papal Jester would have been my dream job if it had not been eliminated. I can even do some of the things listed – juggling, singing, acting, wearing silly costumes, and of course telling jokes.

Bring back the Papal Jester in a return to tradition.

Mar 082018

From an article Acer has made smart beads to help keep count of Buddhist mantras

Taiwanese tech company Acer has made Buddhist prayer beads that can help keep track of recited mantras. The beads have a smart chip that tracks the number of times a mantra is repeated and displays the number on a smartphone app. (The chip senses how many times a user has rotated the beads through their hand. Each rotation marks one mantra.).

The beads also reportedly have the capacity for future features to be added, like electronic payments, or getting discounts from Buddhist shops and restaurants.

Buddhist prayer beads
Buddhist prayer beads

I could almost wish for a Rosary version of this.

Although I could also see it’s use for reciting the Jesus Prayer. The Pilgrim in the Russian Orthodox classic The Way of the Pilgrim could have made use of this as he was given more and more repetitions of the Jesus Prayer to recite.

Now the Buddhist prayer beads version is rather odd in that electronic payments will be latter enabled. What? Perhaps PrayPal. Or maybe to pay for Pray for View.

Now what options would a electonic Rosary have?

  • Vibrates when it detects you have fallen asleep while reciting the Rosary. Your Guardian Angel will thank you since he won’t have to pick up your slack.
  • Bead speed detection to remind you if you are praying it too fast to adequately meditate on the mysteries. Also being smart enough to detect if you are praying the Divine Mercy instead and make allowance.
  • Scriptural Rosary Mode. When you get to the large bead it narrates some scripture mathing the decade and the day of the week.
  • Set an audible clacking at a desired sound level to help future saints.

Another nun made strange, clacking noises in chapel. Therese did not say, but the good lady was probably either toying with her rosary or was afflicted by ill-fitting dentures.

The clacking sound really got to Therese. It ground into her brain. Terrible-tempered Therese was pouring sweat in frustration. She tried to shut her ears, but was unsuccessful. Then, as an example of her ‘little ways’, she made a concert out of the clacking and offered it as a prayer to Jesus. “I assure you,” she dryly remarked, “that was no prayer of Quiet.”

  • Built in GPS to detect if you are praying in a Church and gaining a Plenary Indulgence. Future versions will have “attachment to sin” detection.

Photo Credit: Acer via Engadget

Jan 132018

Panic occurred this morning when Vatican employee accidentally triggered this @Pontifex tweet.


The Vatican quickly announced that this is a false alarm since they don’t know the day or the hour or are they given five minutes warning.

Sep 262017
Before confession 💩
After confession 😇
🤔 How do I condense my list of sins down to something manageable?
🤐 Good thing there is the seal of the confessional
😮 What I imagine the priests reaction is.
😴 His actual reaction.
😰 Me wondering what my penance is.
😁 Me receiving my penance.
😂 Absolution – thank you Jesus!
Inspired by this.
Aug 222017

A recent decision by the Knights of Columbus has sown discord among some of the Knights of Columbus.

Earlier this month, the Knights of Columbus board of directors unanimously voted to adopt a new uniform for the Fourth Degree. The decision was made with the good of the entire Order in mind. While we understand that some members may prefer the old regalia, the supreme master and vice supreme masters urge all Fourth Degree members to put the good of the Order before any personal preference.

The previous regalia worn by Fourth Degree Knights.

Photo via Flick, Creative Commons

Is being replaced with a more modern version.

The move was in answer to comments received by prospective members put off by the historic regalia. While some see this as positive move, others are less pleased.

A new group calling themselves the “Pius Knights of Columbus” has split off ordaining there own board members in direct opposition to Supreme Knight Anderson and without receiving permission. These schismatic Knights consider the traditional regalia as “The Uniform for the Ages” which as been in use with some changes since 1900. They refer to the updated uniform pejoratively as the “Novus Uniformus” and don’t consider it valid regalia for events.

Some of these breakaway knights for further in believing that there is no current valid Supreme Knight and that the last valid Supreme Knight was Luke E. Hart who served from 1953–1964 and was instrumental in having “Under God” added to the Pledge of Allegiance.

Members of the “Pius Knights of Columbus” are petitioning Pope Francis to issue a Motu Proprio allowing a stable group of Knights to wear the uniform beyond the June 30, 2018 cutoff date.

Jun 152017

Father Arturo Sosa Abascal, the superior general of the Jesuit order, suggested that the devil is a “symbolic figure,” in an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Mundo.

“We have formed symbolic figures such as the devil to express evil,” Father Sosa said. He added evil can also be a product of one’s social environment, saying that “there are people who act because they are in an environment where it is difficult to act to the contrary.” Source

A spokesman for Fr. Sosa said his comments must be read in context and that Fr. Sosa believes what the Church teaches. Fair enough.

This prompted Archbiship Chaput to write a column Sympathy for the devil.

Kolakowski saw that we can’t fully understand our culture unless we take the devil seriously. The devil and evil are constants at work in human history and in the struggles of every human soul. And note that Kolakowski (unlike some of our own Catholic leaders who should know better) was not using the word “devil” as a symbol of the darkness in our own hearts, or a metaphor for the bad things that happen in the world.

Jun 012017

On Thursday, the NBCUniversal cabler unveiled the fifth edition will be titled Sharknado 5: Global Swarming. The tagline is also Trump-inspired: “Make America bait again.”

Both stem from a social initiative launched in April to crowd-source ideas for titles and taglines from users via Facebook.

Syfy has also revealed the guest cast on tap for Sharknado 5, which includes model Fabio playing the pope (sorry, Jude Law). Musician and actress Charo will portray the Queen of England, and Chris Kattan is set as the English prime minister.

Other guest stars include Tony Hawk, Clay Aiken, Olivia Newton, Bret Michaels, Margaret Cho, Gilbert Gottfried, Greg Louganis, Tom Daley, Porsha Williams (The Real Housewives of Atlanta), Dan Fogler and Game of Thrones’ Ross Mullan. Today hosts Al Roker, Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb will appear as themselves.

Reality keeps intruding on writing satire.

Now all they need in this movie is someone playing President Trump to round it out.

Donald Trump withdrawing from Paris agreement will be like slapping the Pope in the face, Vatican says

A withdrawal “would not only be a disaster but completely unscientific,” said Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, head of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which has hosted numerous international conferences on climate change. “Saying that we need to rely on coal and oil is like saying that the earth is not round. It is an absurdity dictated by the need to make money.”

Well at least we have not met peek strawmen.

Then Mark Shea posted Trump Flips Off Francis, Trumpian Catholics Cheer. For Christmas I am thinking of setting Mark a set of fine brushes, because I have stopped reading what he writes since everything is broad brush. I love Mark like a brother and miss his podcast being five days a week. Still posts like this, as if a campaign promise Trump made was anything about flipping off the Pope. Plus even if you accept climate change, or whatever they call it this week, – this toothless accord does nothing but increase bureaucracy and make people feel good. The whole outcry over this to my skeptical mind is more about virtue signalling than actually addressing what they say they care about. But I guess I am just not falling in line with jet-setting yacht-owning environmentalist warriors.