January 9th, 2009


Bee Docs Timeline 3D

In San Francisco wrapping up Macworld Expo with Bee Docs. Truly awful time for me to be ill, but we don't get to choose these things (just glad it's not worse). The vast majority of my time has been spent staffing our booth, so I haven't been able to take in much of the expo; maybe today I'll be able to get out more.

Anyone using a Mac should definitely check out Timeline 3D. Our friend Adam is the one-man shop of Bee Docs, and he's developed an amazing tool that creates beautiful timeline charts. Lots of people have stopped at our booth after being captivated by the gorgeous graphics, and it's incredibly easy to use—I made my first timeline in a minute or less. For the expo, he's offering the software for $30 (normally $65) through Sunday, and there are examples and a downloadable demo at the website (just be sure to order by Sunday to get the sweet deal).

We want what we want

Getting out of my usual comfort zone gives me some new perspective on what we're all like (and I very much include myself in these observations). For many, if not most of us, we simply want what we want. There's sometimes plenty of window dressing, but consideration of others, higher purposes, and any greater good seems largely incidental, coming mostly in relation to what we want. It's rather base and ugly. That's not to diminish beauty, hope, and joy as they play out in the human condition; it's just important to acknowledge this aspect as well, because it would be (and is) uglier by far to live and act in ignorance of it.

Maybe it's the intersection of marketing and consumerism that lays this bare in a new way. Simplistically, it's easy to blame this kind of thing on corporations and such—they're effective scapegoats we can lay our sins upon and push far from us (except when we want them). But my experience doesn't show less of this in art or "independent" interests; they are often at least as self-indulgent, yet willfully deny this. And individually, our interest in others regularly maps closely with what we want—the idea of being a blessing to someone else rarely enters our minds in any way that diverges from what we would otherwise want.

Living past this, if it's to come at all, must come second. Acknowledging it comes first. As a Christian, I believe both the conviction of the sin in my very being and doing as well as the power to live otherwise come from the Holy Spirit. Discipline, no doubt, has an important place, but will never put enough fuel in the tank to go much of anywhere on its own. There are aspects of the human condition from which we need to be saved, and this very much falls in that category.