Category Archives: Podcast

MiniEP002 Reality Distortion Field

At the recent Apple media event to introduce the Apple Watch, CEO Tim Cook implied that the Watch would bring about a new and better you. In this brief podcast, I’ll be the wet blanket that spoils technology’s unending self-improvement project.

Watch this 11 minute condensed version of the event:

On the Reality Distortion Field:

Reality distortion field (RDF) is a term coined by Bud Tribble at Apple Computer in 1981, to describe company co-founder Steve Jobs‘ charisma and its effects on the developers working on the Macintosh project.[1] Tribble said that the term came from Star Trek.[1] Later the term has also been used to refer to perceptions of his keynote speeches (or “Stevenotes“) by observers and devoted users of Apple computers and products.[2]

The RDF was said by Andy Hertzfeld to be Steve Jobs’ ability to convince himself and others to believe almost anything with a mix of charm, charisma, bravadohyperbolemarketing, appeasement and persistence. RDF was said to distort an audience’s sense of proportion and scales of difficulties and made them believe that the task at hand was possible.[3]

MiniEP002 From Dystopia to a New Creation

In a different sort of dystopia, Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven has struggles in a world that is perhaps not all that different than our own. And maybe what her post-apocalyptic world lacks is already remedied by Jesus?

From Knopf’s jacket copy:

“An audacious, darkly glittering novel about art, fame, and ambition set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, from the author of three highly-acclaimed previous novels.

One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time—from the actor’s early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as The Travelling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains—this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor’s first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet. Sometimes terrifying, sometimes tender, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.”


MiniEP001 A Delightful Little Jaunt Through Hell

From Dante Alighieri’s Inferno:


Everyman Edition, p 68.


Edition Reviewed

Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy


Links of Interest

Gene Veith’s Major Christian Authors book list

Gene Veith on why the evil guy is more interesting than the good one

Wikipedia on the Inferno


EP010 Neil Gaiman “The Graveyard Book”

The horse paused beside the obelisk. In the east the sky was lightening gently, a pearlish, pre-dawn luminescence that made the people of the graveyard uncomfortable and made them think about returning to their comfortable homes. Even so, not a one of them moved. They were watching the Lady on the Grey, each of them half-excited, half-scared. The dead are not superstitious, not as a rule, but they watched her as a Roman Augur might have watched the sacred crows circle, seeking wisdom, seeking a clue.

And she spoke to them.

In a voice like the chiming of a hundred tiny silver bells she said only, “The dead should have charity.” And she smiled.

. . .

Mother Slaughter and Josiah Worthington, Bart., accompanied Mr. Owens to the crypt of the old chapel, and they told Mrs. Owens the news.

She seemed unsurprised by the miracle. “That’s right,” she said, “Some of them dun’t have a ha’porth of sense in their heads. But she does. Of course she does.”

Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book (HarperCollins, 2008), 30, 31.


Edition Reviewed

Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book


Links of Interest

Gaiman’s Website about himself and his writing

His Journal

EP009 LiesSpeakingTruth

Gaiman talks about Graveyard Book

Neil Gaiman, again on Graveyard Book

Bela Fleck and Ben Sollee performing Danse Macabre 

Next Episode

H.G. Wells, War of the Worlds

EP009 Ruyard Kipling “The Jungle Book” and “The Second Jungle Book”

‘Ay, roar well,’ said Bagheera, under his whiskers; ‘for the time comes when this naked thing will make thee roar to another tune, or I know nothing of Man.’

‘It was well done,’ said Akela. ‘Men and their cubs are very wise. He may be a help in time.’

‘Truly, a help in time of need; for none can hope to lead the Pack for ever,’ said Bagheera.

Akela said nothing. He was thinking of the time that comes to every leader of every pack when his strength goes from him and he gets feebler and feebler, till at last he is killed by the wolves and a new leader comes up—to be killed in his turn.

‘Take him away,’ he said to Father Wolf, ‘and train him as befits one of the Free People.’

And that is how Mowgli was entered into the Seeonee Wolf-Pack at the price of a bull and on Baloo’s good word.


Edition Reviewed

Everyman Edition of The Jungle Book

The Second Jungle Book in Digital Form


Links of Interest

Wikipedia on the Book

Notes from Neil Gaiman


Next Episode

Neil Gaiman, Graveyard Book

EP008 Stephen R. Lawhead “The Skin Map”

Physicists have sought far and wide for an explanation of the universe which excludes the postulate of a divine being, an intelligent designer who created and will complete all things. One solution is the multiverse, that the universe is really only one of many options out there, that there are other universes have spun off of this, or, perhaps, our universe is a spin-off of the primary universe, or what if this isn’t the primary universe . . . well, you get the idea. But what if you could travel between these universes? What if there was a means to explore alternative universes which bear a small resemblance to our own? What if you could travel not only through universes, but in different universes at different times, so that you could experience some part of the past? And what if you got lost? Well, you’d need the Skin Map to find your way back.


Edition Reviewed

Stephen R. Lawhead, The Skin Map


Links of Interest

Stephen R. Lawhead, The Bone House, Volume 2 of Bright Empires

Stephen R. Lawhead’s books

Wikipedia on Ley Lines

Wikipedia on String Theory

Ted Talks are usually fairly intelligent. Try this one.


Next Episode Links

Ruyard Kipling, The Jungle Book

Or if you want the Everyman Edition of The Jungle Book

Neil Gaiman, Graveyard Book

EP007 Daniel Defoe, “Robinson Crusoe”

Before Wilson’s smile graced the big screen, there were stories of men lost to battle the forces of nature with very little but their wits. Daniel Defoe wrote one of these stories, Robinson Crusoe. Now, Robinson Crusoe certainly wasn’t alone with nothing but his wits. He had many things which he found and which he was able to use. But one of the most intriguing factors of Defoe’s book is something Wilson (and his lost companion) never really mentioned—Providence. Crusoe believed his purpose on his island, as he came to call it, was superseded by a greater purpose. That Providence had a hand in it all. And yet at the same time, his success on the island was at the same time the result of his own labor, his pulling himself up. Come join us as we talk about this tension in Daniel Defoe’s book, Robinson Crusoe.

If you’d like to purchase any of the books, please use the links listed below to support Lies Speaking Truth.


Edition Reviewed:

Robinson Crusoe

Links of Interest:

James W. Sire, The Universe Next Door

Gene E. Veith, Reading Between the Lines

Wikipedia on Robinson Crusoe

The Movie (1997)

An Older Movie (1954)

Free Online Version

Alister McGrath, Luther’s Theology of the Cross: Martin Luther’s Theological Breakthrough

Gerhard Forde, On Being a Theologian of the Cross: Reflections on Luther’s Heidelberg Disputation, 1518 (Theology)

Oswald Bayer, Martin Luther’s Theology: A Contemporary Interpretation

Next Review:

Stephen R. Lawhead, The Skin Map

EP006 George R.R. Martin “Game of Thrones”

Ever been interested in politics? How would politics change if you had a dragon on side and hordes of ice-breathing monsters on the other? What if everyone in the middle was most concerned about himself or herself? Welcome to the Game of Thrones. While in many ways it’s like a game of chess, it’s very different in one respect—in this game either you win or you die.

If you’re planning to purchase the book, please use the links below to support Lies Speaking Truth.

Edition Reviewed:

George R. R. Martin: A Game of Thrones

Links of Interest:

James W. Sire, The Universe Next Door

Gene E. Veith, Reading Between the Lines

George R. R. Martin’s Site

Official HBO Website

Game of Thrones Wiki

A cool map of the Seven Kingdoms

Our Next Review:

Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe

EP005 Dean Koontz “77 Shadow Street”

In a world obsessed with healthcare, we often struggle with the limits of technology and health. Is it ethically right to advance ourselves through technology? Can we use technology to make ourselves more than human? Can we become posthuman? As a culture, we are obsessed with technology, especially when technology goes awry. Dean Koontz explores the philosophical movement of posthumanism through the use of a horror-house story, 77 Shadow Street.

If you’re planning to purchase the book, please use the links below to support Lies Speaking Truth.

Edition Reviewed:

77 Shadow Street

Links of Interest:
the Wikipedia link is really vague and largely unhelpful
This guy from Oxford seems to have a bit written on the subject: (Medical ethics) (on recording of the soul)

Other Books of Interest:

From Human to Posthuman

Culture of Death

Our Next Review:

George R. R. Martin Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire

EP004 Rick Riordan “The Lost Hero”

The ancient gods of Greece and Rome were powerful . . . and annoying. They influenced the lives of humanity, often in petty ways. They were licentious, having intercourse with mortals and thereby giving rise to offspring that were half-human and half-god. Demigods. One of the most famous is of course Hercules. But there were many others. Zeus kept many human consorts, as did most of the other gods.

Now what if, just what if, these gods still existed today? What if they lived in America and toyed with the affairs of Americans? What if the titanic struggles between the gods still happened? What would Zeus look like as American? What if the gods still had to defend Olympus from invaders? What if demigods still lived among us?

If you’re planning to purchase the book, please use the links below to support Lies Speaking Truth.

Edition Reviewed:

The Lost Hero (Heroes of Olympus, Book 1)

Links of Interest:

The Son of Neptune [The Heroes of Olympus Book 2]

Other books by Rick Riordan mentioned in the podcast

Wikipedia on Steampunk

The Greek Myths: Complete Edition (Robert Graves)
This Author points out the differences between the Percy Jackson and Lost Hero. Evidently the Percy Jackson/Olympian series is 1st person rather than third.
Interesting resource with some decent tools for analyzing the book.

Our Next Review: Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels