Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Occam's iPad

CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith from a Place of Winter for the Years of Winter

Daughter Katie would have figured this out for herself, but old people often know stuff, just because we’ve been around a long time, so she thought she could save a little time by asking me who to contact about “reforming African education.” Sounded like a large and unusual request, but I suggested the Africa desk of The General Board of Global Ministries [GBGM] of The United Methodist Church.
Turns out that she had read that Nigerian school children were being murdered on their way to school by those elements, and there are far too many of them these days, that want to keep children from learning. Education is always the primary threat to those who want to rule by violence and intimidation and ignorance.
So Katie called up the GBGM and said, “Why not give those kids iPads and online courses so they can avoid that dangerous trip to the school house?”
They said, “Good idea. We’ll do it.”
Took less than a day.
A person saw a need, thought of a solution, and contacted those with the means and motivation to put the solution into action.
Not everything works that smoothly, and there will be a lot of obstacles before the GBGM actually gets the program into place, but the process is always the same: See the need, think of a solution, involve those with means and motivation.
Old people see a lot of problems. We complain about them. How’s about thinking of solutions and asking others to help? Nobody is ever too old for that.
John Robert McFarland
1] “Occam’s razor” philosophical theory says that the simplest way is usually best.
The “place of winter” mentioned in the title line is Iron Mountain, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where life is defined by winter even in the summer!
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I have nothing to do with those double under-linings Blogger puts into the body of these posts on the web site, randomly, it seems, to lead you to advertisements, and I wish they would stop that.
I have noticed, when folks reply, the mail programs of some of you leave out much of my punctuation, especially quote marks, apostrophes, and ellipses. I want you to know that I DO know how to punctuate, mostly…



  1. So very true. I so appreciate your posts and always look forward to reading. Makes me think, feel, and face the day in a more positive way. What am I doing and what can I do to make a difference.