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Theological, Doctrinal, and Spiritual Musing - and whatever other else is on my mind when I notice that I haven't posted in a while.
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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
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His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
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[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
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Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
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There are some people who are smart, deep, or funny. There are not very many people that are all 3. Daniel is one of those people. His opinion, insight and humor have kept me coming back to his blog since I first visited earlier this year.
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Wednesday, September 03, 2008
It's Not A Question Of Black And White
Each dot on your monitor represents one picture element (one pixel).

To describe a pixel we use numbers. The simplest pixel is a monochrome one - a binary one, if you will, represented by the equation: 21 = 2. It has two states [1] on (white), and [2] off (black). Monitors which were Red/Green/Green (RGB) had four states 22, [1] Red, [2] green, [3] blue, or [4] off (black). We would describe the first pixel as having one bit per pixel (a bit is a binary digit that allows two states, so one bit = two states) or 1 bpp; the second example would be as 2 bpp, allowing two binary digits with two states each for (2 x 2 = ) 2 bits per pixel (bpp). If we allowed 3 bpp, that would mean 2 x 2 x 2 = 8 states, (seven colors, plus an off state (black)). You get the picture.

Given that a binary digit (i.e. a "bit")can have only two values on ("1") or off ("0"), a pixel that was 4 bpp could have sixteen "states". Each bit represents an on or off state of a color (red, green, or blue) or the intensity (normal, bright):

[01] 0000 intensity = off, red = off, green = off, blue = off, color = black
[02] 0001 I = off, R = off, G = off, B = ON, color = blue
[03] 0010 I = off, R = off, G = ON, B = off, color = green
[04] 0011 I = off, R = off, G = ON, B = ON, color = cyan
[05] 0100 I = off, R = ON, G = off, B = off, color = red
[06] 0101 I = off, R = ON, G = off, B = ON, color = magenta
[07] 0110 I = off, R = ON, G = ON, B = off, color = brown (dark yellow)
[08] 0111 I = off, R = ON, G = ON, B = ON, color = white or (light gray)
[09] 1000 I = ON, R = off, G = off, B = off, color = gray (bright black)
[10] 1001 I = ON, R = off, G = off, B = ON, color = bright blue
[11] 1010 I = ON, R = off, G = ON, B = off, color = bright green
[12] 1011 I = ON, R = off, G = ON, B = ON, color = bright cyan
[13] 1100 I = ON, R = ON, G = off, B = off, color = bright red
[14] 1101 I = ON, R = ON, G = off, B = ON, color = bright magenta
[15] 1110 I = ON, R = ON, G = ON, B = off, color = yellow (bright "brown")
[16] 1111 I = ON, R = ON, G = ON, B = ON, color = bright white*
* to see the last item you have to highlight the text with your mouse

We start to notice that only when all the bits are on ("1111"), do we get bright white. No matter how many bits per pixel we have (24 bits per pixel is called "true color" because it allows 16.7 million colors to be represented in a single pixel - only one of which has -all- the bits turned on ("11111111 11111111 11111111").

Mathematically speaking, no matter how many bits of information a colored pixel represents, (32 bit color represents four billion two hundred and ninety four million nine hundred and sixty-seven thousand two hundred and ninety six colors, while a 64 bit color pixel would represent over 18 quintillion colors (18,446,744,073,709,551,616), but for all these - only one of them would be bright white.

in a 64 bpp color environment, there is only one "pure white", then there are over 18 quintillion colors which are not pure white. Some are arguably "very close" - but they are not pure white.

Have you ever been working with a graphics program, and you have an image and you go to select a color, and though the background looks to be white, you select it and only patches are selected? That's because it is selecting these colors, not by how they appear, but rather by whether or not they match exactly with the exact color you selected. If they match - they are selected, but if they are off by even the smallest hint - they do not match.

When I think of good and evil, I find it useful to think, not in terms of white and black, but in terms of white vs. everything that isn't white. Not shades of white, or any such thing - but in terms of one and only one state of purity and endless degrees of corruption thereafter. One is either uncorrupted, or one is corrupted to some degree, the level of corruption even if undetectable to us, is not the issue, the issue is whether there is corruption at all.

I find that illustration useful when speaking about sin, holiness, surrender, etc. You are either there or you are not - you are either seeking with your whole heart, or with something less than your whole heart.

What happens when we think in terms of black vs. white, is that we start to think in terms of a middle road - anything darker than the median is pretty much black, and anything lighter, more or less good, or worse, we introduce an area in the middle where something is neither good nor evil - but neutral, and reserve the fringes for good and evil. I like to use the 18 quintillion colors model and say, that one color is good, and all the others are evil.

It keeps it simple for me.

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posted by Daniel @ 4:36 PM  
  • At 6:01 PM, September 03, 2008, Blogger Daniel said…

    I should add, that stating that I believe there is only good, and that which is not good, does not suggest that I believe myself capable of always discerning between the two. A thing might seem quite good to me, blinded as I am at times by sin, and so be corrupt. I don't pretend that we can always know. What I do say however is that there is no gray areas - there are only darkened eyes.

  • At 6:34 PM, September 03, 2008, Blogger David said…

    OK, for the very first time, I am now convinced that all is not black or white. I will now think white & not white. That won't change anything, since only white is acceptable, but I will feel smarter, knowing I am more precisely correct.

  • At 7:08 AM, September 04, 2008, Blogger Daniel said…

    ...that won't change anything, since only white is acceptable

    That's pretty much my sentiment too. Defining the point more precisely doesn't change my own understanding, it only makes describing what is evil more efficient.

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