Tag Archives: Fact

Simmer on Truth Before Throwing Out The Crock Pot

It is an old story. Esau sold his brother his birthright for some stew. Then Esau got mad and blamed the slow cooker and threw it out the window. Wait, what?

Don’t remember that part of Genesis 25:29-34? That is because it didn’t happen. But what happened next is just as irrational and could be good lesson for “This Is Us” fans.

If you haven’t seen the show, I’ll catch you up. Jack, a popular character, recently died, and fans were really upset. Even though they know it is just fiction (I think), they lashed out against the villain who killed their “hero.”

The only problem? The villain was a slow cooker!

A faulty slow cooker burst into flames and burned the house down. So fans took to Twitter vilifying Crock Pot. Some wrote that they were throwing their Crock Pots out; others said they were removing Crock Pot from their wedding registry; and others disparaged Crock-Pot for making a faulty product!

The backlash was so bad that Crock Pot issued a statement:

“For nearly 50 years with over 100 million Crock-Pots sold, we have never received any consumer complaints similar to the fictional events portrayed in last night’s episode… the safety and design of our product renders this type of event nearly impossible.”

So…back to Esau. He blamed Jacob for the loss of his birthright. Now, to be fair, he didn’t blame the stew. But just as irrationally, he blamed Jacob! Instead, his foolishness was to blame.

Of course, we act the same. We refuse to blame ourselves so we pick a villain – no matter how irrational it is. We should blame the true villain, our own sins (James 1:14-15).

Am I disappointed when things don’t go my way? Sure. But do I throw out my Crock Pot because a fictional character on a fictional show has a fictional death? Please.

And stew on this…my sins and yours caused the real Son of God to come and really die on a real cross. That’s no fiction. How will you react to that?

Allow simmering for 6-8 hours…

Dear Google, “Can You Just Tell Me What Is True, Please?”

cens_burnAh, the ultimate question: “What is truth?” Humanity has debated it for thousands of years. But thanks to new developments at Google, the struggle may soon be over. Google will just tell you what’s true! Wow, that was easy!

A miracle? No. It’s just algorithms and databases. But a recent proposal by a Google funded research team is striking fear and anger in the hearts of many. What’s the big deal? Who cares? Well, you should, and here’s why: Google shapes “truth” more than you know.

You see, under Google’s current methods, popularity tends to win the day. Google gives a higher preference to websites that are heavily used and pages that have the most cross-linked information. The basic thinking is like Wikipedia: more people will link to good information and report or comment negatively about bad information.

But Google figured out that there is a lot of garbage on the Internet. After all, people will say anything. And, even worse, people will share that “anything” without checking resources. But how do you stop people from finding sites with bad information on them? Google has a solution – trust them!

So the idea is this: Google would analyze the content of a web sites and give a “Knowledge Based Trust Score” based on how closely a web site matches the several billion “facts” in their “Knowledge Vault.” Web sites that match things that Google “knows to be true” will get preferential treatment. Web sites that do not match Google’s version of “facts” will lose ranking and hits.

Hurray! After all, we like facts, right? Don’t you love truth? Hmmm…wait a second…are Google “facts” always reliable?

Well, sort of. I like Google if I want an address, a telephone number, or the metric tons of bat guano processed at mines in Puerto Rico in the late 1800’s (100 metric tons/day, by the way). But what will Google do when conflicting sources disagree about the so-called “facts” of really important stuff? Who will get preference then?

The implications are incredible. Want to know if God exists? Ask Google. Want to know how the world started? Ask Google. Want to know how to get to Heaven? Ask Google.

Starting to see the problem? The vast majority of the public uses Google as their main search engine; they are the 800-pound gorilla. What if they start steering people toward a particular denomination or religion? Or what if they determine that those answers are best left to science? The query, “Google, how am I saved?” may return ten websites about penicillin!

Now, I’m not trying to be alarmist or a conspiracy theorist on this. But it does raise questions that are worth discussing. Where do you get your information? How do you determine what a “fact” is? And are you willing to trust Google’s database of “facts” to determine what books and websites are worth reading?

If your website is “flagged” as a source that Google does not agree with, then the consequences will be significant. Your page might not even register on a web search on a given topic. After all, most people never go to those buried 3rd and 4th pages on a search. Google won’t think of it as it “censorship,” but rather, “helpful suggestions” on what is the “right” information to read. 

Pilate once challenged Jesus with the question, “What is truth?” Some people believe Pilate was really asking Jesus for Words of truth. Others believe he was sarcastically saying that truth is whatever he says it is. Either way, we are still wrestling with this question almost 2,000 years later. Can Google end the debate? If only there were a book that had the answers! Oh, wait…there is.

You see, while I may not be ready to trust Google’s “facts” on salvation, Google is a great way to look up verses in the book that does have that information – the Bible! The Bible is the only true source of facts regarding eternity. It contains the God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16-17) words of life. Don’t believe me? Just Google it! 😉