Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tales of the Roaming Librarian Feb 18th

Today, when I went about Roaming the library, I carried with me the tablet computer and an old-fashioned notepad in a leather case, which I refer to as my i-pad. I can take notes, do calculations, record phone numbers, draw pictures, play Hangman and Tic-Tac-Toe, and it never needs batteries or suffers from poor wifi connections. But that's not the point. The point is, that today the tablet computer had a sign attached to it that proudly proclaimed
which has gotten very positive reviews from all of the library staff that I've shown it to. So far, though, the patrons have not yet caught on to the potential we have to offer. I know people are seeing it, I've gotten a few wry grins from people as I've slowly coasted by. But no other takers as yet. I've asked one or two of my colleagues who also carry this sign with them when they go Roaming, but it seems we're all in the same boat. If we want to prove this concept, we may have to be more assertive about it than we have been so far. Today I saw a few groups of students at tables, all apparently working on the same thing. So if I were a bolder sort, I would stride confidently up, and ask in warm and sincere interest what they were working on, and could I be of any assistance?  The problem for me, I think, is what to do if they should say (as is very possible) "Um, no, thanks, we're good here."  Oh. 
  If I know that is a likely response, then I should be prepared for it, and know that it is not anything personal, and respond with. "All right, if you do need help later, you can ask at one of our service points and someone will be glad to assist you."  But there it is, I know at least a little part of me will take it personally. I have promoted/boosted/pushed for the sign shown above, and I do genuinely enjoy helping students find what they need to do their homework. Yet at the same time, I can't help but think that all I've done is give the student body an opportunity to have a laugh at my expense. So, there is my biggest road-block in a nutshell, my vanity. God help me overcome this vice, and enable me to do my job to the best of my ability. 
    On a lighter note, I did have one curious encounter while I was out and about today. I was walking through the lowest level of the Learning Commons, when, as I was passing by a long study table, I saw a pair of shoes sticking out from under the table's end. This would not have been odd, had there not been feet still in the shoes. I knelt down, and discovered a student lying prone on the floor beneath the table, right at the feet of two other students who were sitting in the chairs at the table, studying. I asked the student under the table if there was anything amiss, and she replied that she was just resting between the two tests she had today. She confirmed that the two students directly above knew her, and that she was there. They promised not to kick their friend, apart from a friendly toe-tap so that she wouldn't sleep through the second exam. As the recumbent student was not in distress nor causing a commotion, I wished her well on her exam, and after admonishing her friends to not forget or neglect her, I Roamed on. 

The things that go on in the library. Hmmm. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Update on Frederica Bio-pic

I recently got an announcement from Frederica regarding a change of plans with the documentary. As follows:

Big changes with the documentary! It's no longer just a 30-min film about me. There are people in Hollywood who think it could be a feature film, and expanded to include other folks who break the conservative mold.

So the Kickstarter campaign is being suspended temporarily, while we work out new plans. If you've contributed, thank you and "hold that thought."

Here's the update from John Gleason, the filmmaker; click this link to stay in the loop.

<<Dear friends,
Thank you so much for your support of our film! What has started as a small documentary is quickly evolving into a much larger project. The film has recently gained the attention of several people in Hollywood who want to see this become a feature film seen in theaters and film festivals across the country. We are happy to announce that actress Shawnee Smith and others have joined our team of producers and will be instrumental in making this a reality.
We have decided to postpone this Kickstarter campaign in order to accommodate further planning in light of these recent changes. But we still need your help! As we work on version 2.0 of this project we would like to update you on our progress, and a revised crowdfunding campaign that should be up in a month or two.

All the best,

the original post is here

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Religious Landscape in My Traveller Universe

Continuing from my previous post Orthodoxy and Traveller:
In My Traveller Universe (IMTU) there is the Orthodox Catholic Church, as well as:

  • Islam
  • Buddhism
  • Scientific Materialism
  • Nativist/Animist religions
  • Personality cults
  • schismatic/heretical christian churches 
 As this is my universe, and as I am an Orthodox Christian, I am paying the most attention to the place of the Church in the far future. The Church is now governed by the Seven Patriarchates which are (all named for Earth cities):
  • Rome (still holds the historic primacy of honor)
  • Constantinople
  • Moscow
  • Jerusalem
  • Antioch
  • Alexandria
  • Philadelphia
     In Orthodox ecclesiology, there are Patriarchs over the broadest regions, Metropolitans who report to them and administer smaller areas, and Bishops who report to them and preside over local areas. The parish priests report to the local bishop.
     All of the Patriarchs are first, the bishops of their cities. Secondly, they have administrative jurisdictions, with the bishops serving under them acting in their name. But in terms of ecclesiastical authority, all bishops are EQUAL. No bishop has the right in himself to determine doctrine, or to reprove another bishop. If a bishop must be reprimanded or corrected, a group of his brother bishops will be convened, usually by the offending bishop's Metropolitan. If a Patriarch must be corrected (and this has happened, we do not try to deny it) then his brother Patriarchs must come together to correct their fellow, and return him to the Orthodox way.
      The jurisdictions in my Traveller Universe overlap, as they always have. The more religiously neutral or tolerant the planet is, the more likely it is that there will be multiple jurisdictions. When the planet is intolerant or hostile, there will be more unity as the congregations work together for mutual support. Also, intolerant worlds are less open to evangelism from multiple jurisdictions. Persecution continues to happen to the Church in all locations, just as it always has; just on some worlds it is more systematic and severe.

     Someone once described the Church's condition as being one of two things: toleration or persecution. As on Earth the Church has been variously accepted & rejected by the cultures of the nations, so it will likely continue to be in the Far Future. How much that comes into play depends, of course, on the piety of the PCs. So where does the Church find the most and least acceptance?

     The Talaveran Empire officially recognizes the Church. The Patriarch of Moscow has his see on Talavera.
     The United Planets recognizes the Church, but maintains Separation of Church and State. The Patriarch of Philadelphia has his see on New Maryland.
Other tolerant states are:

  • Five Worlds League (See of Jerusalem)
  • Thrainian Confederation (See of Constantinople)
  • Ostrander Federation
  • Solaris Alliance (See of Rome)
  • Stedhard Alliance
  • Alliance of Dormarc
  • Kingdom of Onaji
  • Kingdom of Glauden
  • Helmuth Association
  • Mercador Compact 
      The Union of Socialist Worlds is officially atheistic, and supports Scientific Materialism. The Church is tightly controlled, and faces systematic persecution. 

Less tolerant or intolerant states include:

  • Correllian League
  • Kassiran Defense League
  • Lycosky Trade Protectorate
  • House of Dirata
  • Litton Confederation (See of Alexandria)
  • Kamarov Republic
  • Patrian Concordiat
  • Dothan Alliance (See of Antioch)
  • Republic of Tamarkand
The Independent planets are all over the board. I keep track of this in my Religion Index (explained in the previous post).

Parishes under all seven patriarchates are just as likely to celebrate the Gregorian Rite as the Chrysostom (Byzantine) Rite.


  • monasteries
  • evangelism
  • disaster relief
  • social services
  • aiding displaced or stateless persons
  • raising money for righteous causes
  • advocating for peace, and for the release of captives
      These are the points at which many PCs will interact with the Church – a local priest or abbot may ask for help in advancing one of these endeavors. The Church will usually not offer cash, and will almost certainly ask that anyone acting on the Church's behalf not employ violence, especially not deadly force.  Monasteries can be encountered anywhere, whether approved by the local government or not. Often times, they will be situated on the less hospitable spots in a star system. As I have mentioned before, many starports will have priests or monks assigned to them, to serve the spiritual needs of Travellers. Parishes may be permitted to grant Sanctuary to persons who seek refuge in the Church.