You’ve Gotta See This…

I’m serious. Follow this link.

Comments

  1. #1 Cuttlefish
    November 2, 2007

    Thanks for that. Damned cool….

  2. #2 John Farrell
    November 2, 2007

    Awesome! And I say that as a developer who’s worked both in Flash and Director….

  3. #3 Tophe
    November 2, 2007

    And the sequel.

  4. #4 Pissy Bastard
    November 2, 2007

    An indication of what the hell you were linking to would have been nice…

  5. #5 Chad
    November 2, 2007

    Incredible! Bravo!

  6. #6 Jason Rosenhouse
    November 2, 2007

    Pissy Bastard-

    I honestly couldn’t think of a short, pithy way of describing what it was. Sorry about that.

    Tophe-

    Thanks for the link!

  7. #7 Neil Schipper
    November 2, 2007

    Very entertaining and creative!

    If you check out the author’s recent blog posting, you will learn that he’s just graduated from highschool, and, that he’s quite religious–and not merely a believer, but is in fact taking a year or two to do missionary work.

    I’m not saying this to try to shake anyone’s convictions regarding the truth value of religious claims, but only that there is a kind of message in it that so many of the posters at Pharyngula and Dawkins seem very, very far from understanding.

  8. #8 daenku32
    November 3, 2007

    there is a kind of message in it that so many of the posters at Pharyngula and Dawkins seem very, very far from understanding.

    High schoolers have lots of extra time on their hands?

  9. #9 JohnnieCanuck, FCD
    November 3, 2007

    Better this than what the (presumably Christian) kids I knew used to do to ants and flies.

    My mother had a childhood story of going crying to her mom after getting bitten by an ant whose nest she had been poking at. The reply she got was something along the lines of “That’ll teach you to leave them alone.”

    So Neil, could you explain what the message is that non religious people are so far from understanding?

    I see an evil Creator torturing His creation and teaching it to defend itself against unprovoked violence. Clearly this creator is not omnipotent or He wouldn’t have lost. Neither is He omniscient, for then He wouldn’t have taken this path in the first place.

    All He has is the ability to destroy the ‘universe’ in order to save himself. If he keeps repeating the process, there may come a day when His creation figures out how to prevent this.

    I would score this theomachoi 1, God 0.

    Were you perhaps suggesting that should Atheists keep saying nasty, ungrateful things about your invisible sky faerie, that He will get so riled, He’ll quit and not save the changes? Now you really do have something to pray for!

    It is to laugh.

  10. #10 JohnnieCanuck, FCD
    November 3, 2007

    Having just viewed the sequel (thanks tophe), Alan Becker does indeed have religious references in mind. This improved character is named ‘The Chosen One’ after rejecting names like the original ‘victim’, followed by ‘killer’ and ‘BEAST’.

    The best I can make out is that this one is an analogy for Satan, who loses after a big battle and ends up sequestered away where He must burn any nasty little virus or spyware app that comes along. To me though, this is inconsistent with naming it ‘ The Chosen One’.

    Really, I think digging for deeper meanings that aren’t clearly intended, spoils an appreciation for the exuberance and skills on display.

    I’d be interested to know where Alan’s talents will take him in his life. I hope it won’t all be wasted bothering people with his god idea. Mormon would be my guess.

  11. #11 Neil Schipper
    November 3, 2007

    JohnnieCanuck,

    The message I referred to wasn’t about the content of the animation (as daenku32 understood, even if we might not agree on the message).

    I certainly made no claims about “non religious people” failing to understand anything.

  12. #12 Leni
    November 3, 2007

    No Neil, you just took a swipe at PZ and Dawkins because presumably you think they would argue that anyone who believes in god couldn’t produce entertaining artwork.

    Big mean atheists, Christians can make art too!

  13. #13 Neil Schipper
    November 3, 2007

    I took no swipe at PZ and Dawkins. I admire them both.

  14. #14 Leni
    November 3, 2007

    Admiring them doesn’t, really preclude you from swiping.

    You said

    “I’m not saying this to try to shake anyone’s convictions regarding the truth value of religious claims, but only that there is a kind of message in it that so many of the posters at Pharyngula and Dawkins seem very, very far from understanding.

    Fine you didn’t take a swipe.

    What was the message that was missed?

  15. #15 Dave S.
    November 3, 2007

    Wow, is there no thread that can’t be turned into a discussion about PZ/Dawkins? It’s starting to look like a new corrolary to Godwin’s Law: As any thread in Scienceblogs grows longer, the probability that it will devolve into attack and defence of Richard Dawkins/PZ Myers approaches one.

  16. #16 Tegumai Bopsulai, FCD
    November 3, 2007

    Mr. Rosenhouse, you’l be wanting to comment on this:
    The Turning of an Atheist
    Mark Oppenheimer in the NYTimes:

    …With the publication of his new book, Flew is once again talking, and this summer I traveled to England to speak with him. But as I discovered, a conversation with him confuses more than it clarifies. With his powers in decline, Antony Flew, a man who devoted his life to rational argument, has become a mere symbol, a trophy in a battle fought by people whose agendas he does not fully understand.

  17. #17 Tegumai Bopsulai, FCD
    November 3, 2007

    This reminds me of:
    Railroad Bill and the Kitten
    by Andy Breckman

  18. #18 Blake Stacey
    November 3, 2007

    Tegumai Bopsulai, FCD:

    That’s a fascinating article.

  19. #19 Jason Rosenhouse
    November 3, 2007

    Gosh! Even when I do harmless little post linking to a cool animation a fight about religion breaks out.

  20. #20 Neil Schipper
    November 3, 2007

    Sorry, Jason, I guess I’m responsible for that. I was curious about who was behind the animation, and when I read some of his blog posts, I just couldn’t help but notice the irony.

    Leni, wanna know what I was alluding to? Look, we all share what JohnnieCanuck aptly (if a bit late in his post!) called an “appreciation for the exuberance and skills on display”.

    Alan Becker seems like the kind of kid I’ve met, and I consider guys like him an asset to my civilization.

    The subtext of the story is that at some times and places, certain types of religious worldview and religious upbringing are not only compatible with, but in some ways tightly bound to, the formation of gentle creative personalities.

    The non-genetic preconditions for the “manufacture” of “terrific kids”, a cocoon-like environment that utilizes, and thereby promotes, an appropriate mix of calm assurance and self-discipline, is important for us as a species to know.

    (And I’m self-confessedly overreaching here — for all I know, Alan Becker grew up with flaming atheist parents. But that’s merely a matter of fact, and today’s lesson is all about sentiment.)

    So, to be very clear, I was taking a dig at the folks who tend to fill up the postings of the sites of the New Atheists (not my choice of moniker, but it’s become mainstream). You know, the guys with funny names who luxuriate in caustic references to invisible sky faeries and such on a daily basis, guys who never offer a fresh insight but who love the battle, guys for whom internet discussions are a kind of multi-player video game.

    And maybe it was a gentle sideways swipe at the great men themselves for being somehow enablers of this subculture of cranky and ineffective screen-gazers.

    Actually, the article about Flew (thanks, Tegumai) is connected with this: in view of the kind of machine we are, the whole enterprise of “having the right philosophical stance” is overrated.

    And to demonstrate that I’m not just some post-modernist who likes to cook up connections between everything, I loved Railroad Bill and the Kitten (thanks again, Tegumai), and I don’t think it supports or contradicts anything I wrote above!

  21. #21 Janicot
    November 3, 2007

    Neil,

    I’m afraid I doubt your assertion. Regardless of alanbecker’s background (I haven’t seen it).
    Having just given up after 20 pages of comments on the animation (including several from Alan himself) without a single religious reference — if he is promoting a religious message, it is so subtle that pretty much everybody missed it.

    It strikes me that the only one here who seems to have a problem with religious people being seen as creative is you. You might wonder about your own worldview. Just a thought.

  22. #22 Leni
    November 4, 2007

    Neil Wrote:

    Leni, wanna know what I was alluding to? Look, we all share what JohnnieCanuck aptly (if a bit late in his post!) called an “appreciation for the exuberance and skills on display”.

    Alan Becker seems like the kind of kid I’ve met, and I consider guys like him an asset to my civilization.

    Yeah, and? Do people at those sites actually say he isn’t an asset to our civilization or are you just being a blow hard?

    The subtext of the story is that at some times and places, certain types of religious worldview and religious upbringing are not only compatible with, but in some ways tightly bound to, the formation of gentle creative personalities.

    Except that they aren’t so tightly bound that they 1) exclude people with other world views or 2) include everyone or even most people of a given religious world view or upbringing.

    And maybe it was a gentle sideways swipe at the great men themselves for being somehow enablers of this subculture of cranky and ineffective screen-gazers.

    You think?

    I know this might seem radical, but try to imagine how you must appear to me. Do you think “cranky and ineffective screengazer” might apply?

    … the whole enterprise of “having the right philosophical stance” is overrated.

    Yeah, but having a crappy and retarded philosophical stance is pretty much just as awesome as you’d expect it to be.

  23. #23 Neil Schipper
    November 4, 2007

    Janicot,

    From the page with the animation, look left, click on the ‘i’ icon that appears under ‘Also’. This takes you to his profile page from which you can click on ‘Previous Journal Entries’.

    As for my worldview, yes, it is continuously being refined as best as I’m able.

  24. #24 Tophe
    November 4, 2007

    I thought “The Chosen One” (in the sequel) was a reference to Neo from the Matrix, especially with the bullet-time movement when the guns are used against him.

  25. #25 JohnnieCanuck, FCD
    November 4, 2007

    The message you were conveying was that religion is valuable because it allows us to have great art? Neil, have a little more compassion for your fellow MMORG players and spell it out better. My psychic powers are limited in the extreme. Even now I struggle with your amorphous statements.

    I did puzzle some time over your first comment, until I thought I understood your point. Curiously, in your subsequent explanation, you still give the appearance of indulging in the ancient battle, whilst upbraiding your opponents for style.

    Talented men produced great art with religious themes. Who could argue against that? Religious leaders acquired great wealth and power and sponsored the best artists they could find. In the absense of religion, the powerful still gravitate to art, as a way to ensure immortality. Historically the most powerful have found religion to be worth supporting as well. Great works of religious art don’t seem to happen all that often anymore, barring megachurch architecture and gigantic statues of Jesus.

    I really don’t see any evidence on Alan’s site that religion enabled, inspired or sponsored his artistry, and did you just admit that? How then did you cast judgement on the heathen hordes based on this unsupported speculation of yours?

    BTW Jason, Gosh is a euphemism for what supernatural entity? You did use it with ironic intent, right? You mean you didn’t mention the animation for its fresh take on the subject Man vs. The Creator? :-]

  26. #26 Neil Schipper
    November 4, 2007

    JohnnieCanuck, we’re really talking past each other. My point was not at all about religion inspiring art, neither in the specific case of Alan Becker and his animation, nor in history generally.

    My point was about present day personality types and environments. I don’t see how I could be more clear than my post of November 3, 2007 3:08 PM.

    And I don’t know what MMORG means.

    Leni, I have no problem with criticism in general, but I won’t be engaging yours.

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