Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Tomatoes, Compound Interest And Salvation

The TomatoCam is working reasonably well these days. It's a Raspberry Pi 3 with an inexpensive webcam attached. It takes a shot every day at 1100, storing the resulting jpg file in its internal memory. Every so often, I download them to my desktop PC and see what I've got. The Pi also has a web server which allows me to scroll through the images.

Here's the most recent movie, sans about ten images taken during dark and rainy days. It's got decent resolution, so it might be worth a full screen click.

Compound Interest

The plant growth is clearly accelerating. It occurred to me this morning as I watched it that this is an example of compound interest. If the plants grow 5% a day, then as they get larger, that 5% becomes greater with each passing day. That makes sense as their roots and leaves extend their reach, bringing more noms into the plant to be converted into growth.


On Easter Sunday, our parish gave out the book, Salvation: What Every Catholic Should Know, to each family. Meh.

Michael Barber, the author, drives down Grace Boulevard as the road to salvation and, in the first chapter at least, he minimizes the value of Self Help Street and Effort Way.

Yuck. That was a horrible metaphor. Enough of that.

Anyway, that kind of talk always rubs me the wrong way. What's the point of a covenant if one side is so feeble that they can't be expected to do anything other than receive Grace? What's sin if we're such abject failures? I mean, if I'm that unworthy and I can't at least strive to be better, then why should I work to improve myself? Why am I going to Confession?

We have a covenant with the Catican Guards. Their job is to not eat the furniture, not poop in the house* and, in general, be amiable creatures. In exchange, we treat them like beloved three-year-olds. When we were training them, if they broke the rules, they got swats and yelling. They're not expected to do much, but they're expected to do something and they were expected to improve from their earlier states.

When religious writers talk about how we're saved by Grace and not by our own works, it drives me bonkers. It makes no sense to me at all. Yeah, I get it, God treats me like a toddler and I'm expected to do very little. But I'm expected to continually improve nonetheless.

If dogs can do it, so can I.

* - The no-pooping-in-the-house rule is lifted for the smallest one if it's raining. Rain is very scary!


tim eisele said...

The growing tomatoes remind me of Pottsylvania Creepers

Don't let them eat you!


"God treats me like a toddler and I'm expected to do very little" is a pretty good summary of what seems to be the Church position. But, God is the Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Eternal Creator of the Universe, whose goals and desires are literally Beyond Our Understanding. Saying that our position relative to God is "a toddler" is maybe giving us way too much credit. The relationship seems more along the lines of my relationship with, say, an individual soil bacteria in the garden.

K T Cat said...

Thanks for the link. Any day with Rocky and Bullwinkle is a good day!

Re: His goals and desires are beyond our understanding. They aren't, though, are they? That's the point of the faith. In fact, life is our adventure story, not His. If it was His, the tale would be over quicker than a soccer game between a bunch of 14-year-old boys from Dallas and Megan Rapinoe's Women's World Cup squad.

Ooh, too soon? Sorry about that.

Anyway, we've got abstract thought and free will and junk like that, so we're at least capable of comprehending some aspects of Him. Maybe it's not just an adventure story, maybe there's an Easter egg hunt in there, too, where we try to figure out just what each of us is supposed to be doing.

Sounds like fun!

Ilíon said...

Oh, Goodness! Your parish promoted a book (which seems to be) relating the actual Gospel message on salvation, and you have read it as promoting hyper-Calvinism.