accurate application

Here’s what it takes to get a green card

From experience, it takes:

1) Money.  A green card application and the biometrics interview cost $1070 all told.

2) A lawyer.  You can do the process on your own without a lawyer, but the reams of paperwork you have to fill out to apply are confusing.  I’m overly educated, used to complex documents, and my first language is English.  I *still* needed a lawyer.

3) In part that’s because, during the application process, if you want to leave the country you have to get dispensation from the courts.  Which costs more money, and I seriously could not have made head nor tail of that process without my lawyer.  Your parent is dying?  Too bad.  The court has to say it’s okay to travel.

4) A sponsor.  You must be sponsored by a citizen family member or your employer who will vouch that no American can do your job.

5) Patience.  This process takes a long time.

6) A biometrics interview.  I was fingerprinted, had my retina scanned, and had my photo taken. If, for example, you’ve dyed your hair since you filled out your application, they will quibble with you about whether your application is accurate.

7) A background check.  On your application you testify that you haven’t been involved with terrorism or genocide and immigration services has to corroborate that.  They will also check your employment history, where you’ve lived, etc etc.

8) More patience.

When you get your card, it’s the size of a credit card.  You know how credit cards have a magnetic stripe on the back with your information on it?  The back of a green card is *entirely* magnetic stripe.  Your entire life history is on there.  Your green card application also has to be updated every ten years.  So you don’t just get one and then get to do whatever you like.  You also have to update immigration services any time you move or you’re in violation of your green card arrangement.

If I had been prevented from returning to the U.S. after a visit to my country of origin while on my green card I would have been left without a) a place to stay, b) money, c) reliable access to my lawyer, and d) my job in the U.S. would have been in jeopardy, thereby threatening my ability to pay for my housing, car, and other bills in the U.S.  I would have had no infrastructure, because I’ve lived in the U.S. longer than in my country of origin (23 years as opposed to 22).  And that’s not even taking into account that many, many people with green cards are trying to escape abuse, torture, and threats to their life in their country of origin.  Their physical and mental safety is in grave danger.

Trump’s act suggests that green card holders are NOT already vetted within an inch of their lives (patently untrue) and that it is at best an inconvenience to people to not get back into the U.S. (again, completely untrue).  It is a monstrous, fear-mongering act of security theatre rather than anything that will make the country safe.


The TX78 Sky Ray Missile Defense Gunship serves the Tau Empire as a perimeter and air-defense vehicle. Based on the Devilfish chassis, it is armed with deadly Seeker Missiles for the application of accurate firepower. They are rarely encountered in large numbers, with usually a single Sky Ray per Hunter Cadre, though more may be stationed to defend important targets.

Case of INTP: Dumb until Smart

It has come to my attention that INTP (especially) have to deal with this issue: being dumb until they suddenly become smart.

What do I mean by this?

I look to introverted thinking (Ti) dominance in the INTP to answer this peculiarity in the INTP to answer that question.

The INTP’s Ti is always running. It is always building and correcting one’s internal framework, looking at different facts, figures, concepts, and arguments (even if contradictory) to create the most accurate build of whatever Ti user is interested in (could be anything from fashion to math, by the way).

Now, that sounds really cool. I admit it. However, there’s a caveat to that: internal. Unlike Te dominant people (extraverted thinkers: ENTJ/ESTJ), the thinking process in the INTP is introverted, meaning the INTP uses a subjective categorizing system to identify, sort, and store the data they observe and obtain. Te users use the external data itself to make decisions, while Ti user must have a framework in which to put that data into, otherwise it’ll likely have no relevance and therefore, be forgotten.

Thus, an INTP is only as smart as the model one has built in one’s head, and equally, as dumb as the model one has built. If that model is inaccurate in some way (whether due to lack of due diligence in Ne and Si or unconscious Fe), the INTP individual will have trouble identifying problems and and coming up with adequate solutions. INTP will struggle, not with the delivery of thought or idea, but rather, with the reception or lack thereof.

Because the subjective Ti model is incorrect or inaccurate, the Ti using INTP will not be able to figure out where the disconnect is. Then it’s the familiar pattern; confusion, frustration, and finally, decision that everyone else is dumb for their inability to comprehend or understand. Because Ti is a rational judging function (even if introverted), INTP will actually believe the self is right and even be able to convince themselves that they’re not the problem, even if others point out flaws or differing viewpoints.

That’s how you have a dumb INTP.

However, with enough failures, some dumb INTPs stop thinking that they’re 100% correct. They start to question their presumptions and conclusions. They question the model. Some of them may question themselves (could lead to depression or other instability during this phase). They realize that the model they have in their head might be incorrect and start research to verify that their “deductions” are correct.

This is how you have the typical, average INTP.

Then, the INTP begins to seek out more objective observations. They talk to people, asking for input. They share their thoughts, not with the goal of arguing, but for clarification. And when they’re in this “exploratory mode,” they will likely tap into their unconscious inferior Fe function, which will prevent them from coming across as crass, cold, or like a jackass. In the process, INTP will likely find many consistent but also inconsistent information, they’ll find different but potentially equal and valid points, and seek to integrate it to the Ti model. As the INTP actively turns and twists the model within oneself, INTP will finally be granted their “Eureka” moment, when everything finally clicks into place. Of course, through this process, their model is going to be potentially immense and complex (yet at the same time, incredibly simple for the Ti user) due to the amount of Ne-Si data collection that will have likely gone into it.

INTP will find that their model is perfectly suited to understanding many areas, but also to actually solve important real life problems, … this will make the INTP very happy. This allows the inferior Fe to come out more as well, due to the relaxation resulting from an accurate understanding. The INTP will then continue looking at new things to incorporate and change their models to be even more accurate and applicable in even broader areas of life, and this will make a very excited INTP. This also helps those around them, and they’re more likely to come to the INTP for advice, which the INTP will more than likely be happy to help with (depends on the problem).

And that’s how you finally have the smart INTP.

Not saying it’s easy to be any other type, but being smart INTP takes a lot of determination and work for sure. So keep at it, INTPs. You’re always going to be a work in progress, but that’s when you’re “smart.”

anonymous asked:

You've said Aegon's story will show us how being the archetype of the perfect prince doesn't make you a hero. Do you think GRRM will also show how it doesn't make you a good ruler either? That is, will Aegon be shown doing a poor job in his possibly brief tenure as King of Westeros?

Frankly, I don’t see Aegon having a lot of time to rule before he’s ‘sploded. It’s my suspicion that Aegon’s story in TWOW ends with him being crowned in King’s Landing, setting up his court (one of his first orders of business, if he hasn’t already: give Daemon Sand a white cloak), and just starting to manage the multiple crises facing the occupant of the Iron Throne. He’ll have some time in ADOS, to be sure, but again, I doubt we’ll get much in the way of focus on his policies (other than probably sending Randyll Tarly, his new Warden of the West, to the Reach to deal with Highgarden and/or Euron). It’s not, in other words, that I think the author will show Aegon VI being a tyrant-king, but rather that he’s going to show the kid trapped, and ultimately destroyed, by this narrative; Aegon has no doubt it is his destiny to sit the Iron Throne, but Daenerys - and her dragons - are going to have something to say about that.

I think the more accurate application of what Anon is describing is what I see as the endgame political state of Westeros. House Targaryen is ending with Jon and Daenerys; the two of them are going to decide that saving humanity is more important that continuing the dynasty and keeping Westeros a single, unified state. There won’t be a perfect prince at the end who will be able to set everything to rights. At the same time, those who will rule the newly divided Westerosi states are going to be, by and large, those who choose to do good, not merely those born to greatness. Sansa and Edmure were of eminent birth, but they’ll survive and rule, I think, because they are fundamentally compassionate and understanding leaders. Davos was not born to greatness, but his humanity and honesty have taken him this far, and will serve him well as regent for the next generation. Sarella Sand likewise was not born to rule, but her obviously considerable intelligence (and, unlike her elder bastard sisters, apparent lack of desire for violence) is what House Martell can, and perhaps will, use to reestablish order.

Brain Waves Can be Used to Detect Potentially Harmful Personal Information

Cyber security and authentication have been under attack in recent months as, seemingly every other day, a new report of hackers gaining access to private or sensitive information comes to light. Just recently, more than 500 million passwords were stolen when Yahoo revealed its security was compromised.

Securing systems has gone beyond simply coming up with a clever password that could prevent nefarious computer experts from hacking into your Facebook account. The more sophisticated the system, or the more critical, private information that system holds, the more advanced the identification system protecting it becomes.

Fingerprint scans and iris identification are just two types of authentication methods, once thought of as science fiction, that are in wide use by the most secure systems. But fingerprints can be stolen and iris scans can be replicated. Nothing has proven foolproof from being subject to computer hackers.

“The principal argument for behavioral, biometric authentication is that standard modes of authentication, like a password, authenticates you once before you access the service,” said Abdul Serwadda a cybersecurity expert and assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at Texas Tech University.

“Now, once you’ve accessed the service, there is no other way for the system to still know it is you. The system is blind as to who is using the service. So the area of behavioral authentication looks at other user-identifying patterns that can keep the system aware of the person who is using it. Through such patterns, the system can keep track of some confidence metric about who might be using it and immediately prompt for reentry of the password whenever the confidence metric falls below a certain threshold.”

One of those patterns that is growing in popularity within the research community is the use of brain waves obtained from an electroencephalogram, or EEG. Several research groups around the country have recently showcased systems which use EEG to authenticate users with very high accuracy.

However, those brain waves can tell more about a person than just his or her identity. It could reveal medical, behavioral or emotional aspects of a person that, if brought to light, could be embarrassing or damaging to that person. And with EEG devices becoming much more affordable, accurate and portable and applications being designed that allows people to more readily read an EEG scan, the likelihood of that happening is dangerously high.

“The EEG has become a commodity application. For $100 you can buy an EEG device that fits on your head just like a pair of headphones,” Serwadda said. “Now there are apps on the market, brain-sensing apps where you can buy the gadget, download the app on your phone and begin to interact with the app using your brain signals. That led us to think; now we have these brain signals that were traditionally accessed only by doctors being handled by regular people. Now anyone who can write an app can get access to users’ brain signals and try to manipulate them to discover what is going on.”

That’s where Serwadda and graduate student Richard Matovu focused their attention: attempting to see if certain traits could be gleaned from a person’s brain waves. They presented their findings recently to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) International Conference on Biometrics.

Brain waves and cybersecurity

Serwadda said the technology is still evolving in terms of being able to use a person’s brain waves for authentication purposes. But it is a heavily researched field that has drawn the attention of several federal organizations. The National Science Foundation (NSF), funds a three-year project on which Serwadda and others from Syracuse University and the University of Alabama-Birmingham are exploring how several behavioral modalities, including EEG brain patterns, could be leveraged to augment traditional user authentication mechanisms.

“There are no installations yet, but a lot of research is going on to see if EEG patterns could be incorporated into standard behavioral authentication procedures,” Serwadda said.

Assuming a system uses EEG as the modality for user authentication, typically for such a system, all variables have been optimized to maximize authentication accuracy. A selection of such variables would include:

  • The features used to build user templates.      
  • The signal frequency ranges from which features are extracted
  • The regions of the brain on which the electrodes are placed, among other variables.

Under this assumption of a finely tuned authentication system, Serwadda and his colleagues tackled the following questions:

  • If a malicious entity were to somehow access templates from this authentication-optimized system, would he or she be able to exploit these templates to infer non-authentication-centric information about the users with high accuracy?
  • In the event that such inferences are possible, which attributes of template design could reduce or increase the threat?

Turns out, they indeed found EEG authentication systems to give away non-authentication-centric information. Using an authentication system from UC-Berkeley and a variant of another from a team at Binghamton University and the University of Buffalo, Serwadda and Matovu tested their hypothesis, using alcoholism as the sensitive private information which an adversary might want to infer from EEG authentication templates.

In a study involving 25 formally diagnosed alcoholics and 25 non-alcoholic subjects, the lowest error rate obtained when identifying alcoholics was 25 percent, meaning a classification accuracy of approximately 75 percent.

When they tweaked the system and changed several variables, they found that the ability to detect alcoholic behavior could be tremendously reduced at the cost of slightly reducing the performance of the EEG authentication system.

Motivation for discovery

Serwadda’s motivation for proving brain waves could be used to reveal potentially harmful personal information wasn’t to improve the methods for obtaining that information. It’s to prevent it.

To illustrate, he gives an analogy using fingerprint identification at an airport. Fingerprint scans read ridges and valleys on the finger to determine a person’s unique identity, and that’s it.

In a hypothetical scenario where such systems could only function accurately if the user’s finger was pricked and some blood drawn from it, this would be problematic because the blood drawn by the prick could be used to infer things other than the user’s identity, such as whether a person suffers from certain diseases, such as diabetes.

Given the amount of extra information that EEG authentication systems are able glean about the user, current EEG systems could be likened to the hypothetical fingerprint reader that pricks the user’s finger. Serwadda wants to drive research that develops EEG authentication systems that perform the intended purpose while revealing minimal information about traits other than the user’s identity in authentication terms.

Currently, in the vast majority of studies on the EEG authentication problem, researchers primarily seek to outdo each other in terms of the system error rates. They work with the central objective of designing a system having error rates which are much lower than the state-of-the-art. Whenever a research group develops or publishes an EEG authentication system that attains the lowest error rates, such a system is immediately installed as the reference point.

A critical question that has not seen much attention up to this point is how certain design attributes of these systems, in other words the kinds of features used to formulate the user template, might relate to their potential to leak sensitive personal information. If, for example, a system with the lowest authentication error rates comes with the added baggage of leaking a significantly higher amount of private information, then such a system might, in practice, not be as useful as its low error rates suggest. Users would only accept, and get the full utility of the system, if the potential privacy breaches associated with the system are well understood and appropriate mitigations undertaken.

But, Serwadda said, while the EEG is still being studied, the next wave of invention is already beginning.

“In light of the privacy challenges seen with the EEG, it is noteworthy that the next wave of technology after the EEG is already being developed,” Serwadda said. “One of those technologies is functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), which has a much higher signal-to-noise ratio than an EEG. It gives a more accurate picture of brain activity given its ability to focus on a particular region of the brain.”

The good news, for now, is fNIRS technology is still quite expensive; however there is every likelihood that the prices will drop over time, potentially leading to a civilian application to this technology. Thanks to the efforts of researchers like Serwadda, minimizing the leakage of sensitive personal information through these technologies is beginning to gain attention in the research community.

“The basic idea behind this research is to motivate a direction of research which selects design parameters in such a way that we not only care about recognizing users very accurately but also care about minimizing the amount of sensitive personal information it can read,” Serwadda said.

anonymous asked:

kaisoo's ship name should be K.O because thats what fucking happens to me when i see them

actually anon, this is a visual representation of what kaisoo does to me on a daily basis

warning: very graphic NC 17

Not Knowing the Answer is the Answer:

One of my e-tutees, K, made this wonderful video and it made my day, because it reminded me of the importance of approaching a problem with honesty and openness. K and I have a running joke about the feeling of panic when I respond to her questions with, ‘Hmm. I don’t know’ and the frustration of the follow-up, ‘What tools do we have to think about this?’. I encounter this reaction a lot in the math-sphere: The expectation in hiring a tutor or going to a math class is that you will get answers right away, like math is a spectator sport requiring observation and memorization and nothing else. Shawty, I don’t roll that way. 

Telling someone how to solve a problem doesn’t make them better at math, so I won’t do it. It leads back to my favorite question posed by Dr. Michael Starbird to IBL advocates: “What do we teach students? What is the role of an educator in a modern technological world?” Education is no longer based in having immediate recall of memorizable things. That’s Google, you’re thinking of Google. What Google can’t do for us is teach us how to think critically, reason through the problem, and find a solution that is not just accurate, but meaningful in application. 

The first step in establishing this sort of education culture is to mandate the notion that it’s okay, heck, even preferable, to be wrong or not know what to do right away. The whole point is to think outside the formula. That way, when things go pear-shaped, it’s not unexpected or dismaying. There’s nothing more discouraging than having no tools to solve a problem, and when the only tools students are given come in the form of rote memorization, those tools don’t go very far. 

Have some flow charts: 

Essentially, I like to think of mathematics as a street fight, not a spelling bee. Step one should be to look at a problem and go, ‘We got a fine mess here. Okay, I’ve got some ideas, let’s try them out.’ My goal in understanding mathematical processes is to build tools that can be trusted each step of the way. The questions to ask should be things like, ‘What could help in this situation?’, ‘Is this application logically sound?’, ‘Is there a better way to approach this?’.  If I trust my ideas, and trust the steps, I feel confident with my solution. 

Another thing I loved about this video was the reminder to appreciate how much K has changed as a thinker. Our inside joke has caused me to notice how much her response to my question of how to approach a problem with tools has changed over time. What was once a statement of, ‘I don’t know how to approach it, that’s why I asked you.’ has become a family of questions like, ‘What topics that I know are similar? Is it similar to factoring?’ or ‘Well, this problem describes a geometric situation, so what would the graph look like?’. When what was once a spectator sport becomes a dialogue between critical thinkers, it becomes actual mathematics. 

It is important for each Christian to know the Bible for themselves, and not to be deceived by someone who quotes the Bible but not accurately or with correct application.
—  David Guzik

Matthew 15:12-14
Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you realize you offended the Pharisees by what you just said?”

Jesus replied, “Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be uprooted, so ignore them. They are blind guides leading the blind, and if one blind person guides another, they will both fall into a ditch.”

2 Corinthians 11:14-15
But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. In the end they will get the punishment their wicked deeds deserve.

2 Peter 2:1-2
But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves. Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered.

Matthew 24:24
For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones.

Matthew 7:15
“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves.

Matthew 24:4-5
Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many.

Mark 13:22-23
For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones. Watch out! I have warned you about this ahead of time!

1 John 4:1
Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world.

1 Timothy 4:1
Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons,

There will always be false prophets and false brothers and sisters in the world. The Devil doesn’t want people going to Heaven so he manipulates people into doing his bidding. People might not even notice they’re doing the Devil’s work and in their blindness they will mislead millions/billions of other people as well.

Why follow any religion or religious leader that isn’t following the Bible? The Bible is God’s rules and regulations to which every single person should live by. We will always be sinful creatures, that’s why the Lord in all His mercy has given us the Bible. We now know how we should be living our lives despite of how we “feel” towards one issue or the other. What we feel is right might actually be what God knows for a fact to be wrong. You are not superior to God, you are His creation so always obey the Lord and His Word.

How many people are deceived by “Christian” denominations that tells us that it’s okay to pray for the intercession of angels or saints; or it’s okay to worship idols; or tell their members the Bible is “incomplete” hence they should read additional books; or misleading their members by telling them it’s perfectly okay to live a gay lifestyle; or telling women can be pastors/ministers; or tell their members that Jesus wasn’t the Messiah; or trying to convince people that aliens made the human race; or tell them that humans evolved over millions of years from animals and so on? Beware of following any religion that doesn’t tell you exactly what the Bible instructs us to do in life and what the Bible tells us what to believe and how to behave in this life. Beware of any religion that allows you to live your life the way you want to live rather than the way God wants you to live your life.

Some within the Christian community only see other religions as the enemy, such as Islam, Buddhism, Atheism and so on, but look how fragmented the Christian faith is. With so many denominations and many “celebrity” preachers nowadays misleading millions of Christians around the world, we should be as worried about our own religion as we are of other false religions. This is something Paul talked about in 1 Corinthians 1:10-17 when he spoke about the fragmentation of the Church.

Some religious leaders will mislead you on purpose or without even knowing. It’s up to you to make sure to read His Word and see if what that religious leader is teaching goes against His Word or not. Don’t blindly follow any human being. They might trick you by saying all the right things that you want to hear, saying you could go to Heaven if you sin, and some even go as far as saying that you don’t even need to believe in God and Christ to enter Heaven, such is the case for the Catholic Church when Pope Francis said last year that Atheists can go to Heaven even if they die in disbelief of Jesus, as long as they “obey their conscience”. We know that being a good person and doing great works and deeds in this life means absolutely nothing at all without true faith in Christ which will bring forth true repentance of sin. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

But following just one tiny bit of sin doesn’t really matter right? Wrong! Remember what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 5 when it comes to just a “little” sin in your life: “Don’t you realize that this sin is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough?” Sin is like an infectious disease, it will spread. It will spread throughout your body and soul and throughout your community if you let it.

Beware of false teachings! Hebrews 13:7 says “Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow the example of their faith.” Our “leaders” must always be teaching the Word of God, otherwise you will be following a false doctrine. Beware of religions and religious leaders leading you astray. Don’t just get used to a certain preacher’s way of teaching, nor settle for the message of acceptance that they might teach if it goes against the Word of God. Trust in the Bible, always, regardless what those religious leaders tell you. Make sure whatever they are saying is true to the Word of God.

Matthew 4 and Luke 4 are the biggest eye openers when it comes to false teachings because we learn that the Devil himself is capable of quoting Scripture, as he quoted Psalm 91:11-12 to try to tempt Jesus and it was not so much an incorrect citation as a use in a wrong context (a misapplication of the passage). We can be sure that the devil has memorized the Bible himself, and is an expert at quoting it out of its context to confuse and defeat those he tempts. Sadly, many are willing to believe anyone who quotes from the Bible these days. A preacher can pretty much say whatever he wants if he quotes a few proof-texts, and people will assume that he really speaks from the Bible. It is important for each Christian to know the Bible for themselves and not to be deceived by someone who quotes the Bible but not accurately or with correct application. When in doubt, test the preaching to see if it matches Scripture AND to see if it matches the context of Scripture, as 1 John 4:1 tells us: “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” It’s important that every Christian read their Bibles and memorize it and learn from it.

People imagine the Devil as being ugly and having horns and a pointy tail, but remember that he was a powerful angel of God before he fell from Heaven. The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 11 that the Devil and other demons can even masquerade as angels of the light: “But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.” He will be in the Church, misquoting Scripture and leading millions of people away from righteousness. The Devil isn’t against religion or righteousness, he is against Jesus! A person can be very religious and very righteous and still be misled if they choose to follow a path that lead them away from the Bible and its truths. Christian Atheists as they are called these days are the people believing in God but living their lives as if He doesn’t exist. You can’t be a true Christian if you aren’t willing to follow God’s Word, which is the Bible.

In Mark 5:7, the demons demonstrated that they knew who Jesus was. The demons demonstrate that they can “pray” to Jesus when they “begged Him earnestly”. This shows that you can know who Jesus is and not surrender to Him. You can pray to Him and not surrender to Him. Having faith and knowing who the Lord truly is doesn’t mean you are saved. Surrendering your old life to Him and accepting Him into your heart and following His perfect rules and regulations is what sets you apart from demons.

We must guard ourselves against false prophets by taking heed to the fruit coming from their tree. This means paying attention to several aspects of their life and ministry:

  • We should pay attention to the manner of living a teacher shows. Do they show righteousness, humility and faithfulness in the way they live?
  • We should pay attention to the content of their teaching. Is it true fruit from God’s Word, or is it man-centered, appealing to ears that want to be tickled?
  • We should pay attention to the effect of their teaching. Are people growing in Jesus or merely being entertained, and eventually falling away?

This fruit is the inevitable result of who we are. Eventually - though it may take some time for the harvest to come - the good or bad fruit is evident, revealing what sort of “tree” they are.

Remember the harsh truth that Jesus told us about the difference between the road to Hell and the road to Heaven:

Matthew 7:13-14
“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.

Remember that “only a few ever find it”! Heaven isn’t for everyone, Hell is. Every single one of us deserve Hell, but because of God’s love towards us He will spare the ones that seek Him and repent of their sins. This is something that absolutely breaks my heart whenever I think of how the vast majority of the planet will choose to go to Hell rather than go to Heaven. People mock and scoff Christianity and once they die they’ll realize the error of their ways but by then it’ll be too late because there are no second chances after death. That’s the whole point of faith! Faith is believing rather than knowing. As Hebrews 11:1 tells us “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

I can only imagine if John the Baptist was around preaching these days. I can only imagine him preaching to people in today’s world as he did in Luke 3. Starting a sermon with “you brood of vipers, why are you here anyways?” would cause a lot of people in that church to be mad at him. But John wasn’t interested in preaching a soft message or in tickling ears. Jesus’ ministry was no picnic either. Jesus Himself was not afraid to discourage potential disciples, as we learn from Luke 9:57-62. At one point the crowd Jesus was preaching to wanted to kill Him because of the truths He spoke about (Luke 4). Unlike many modern evangelists, John the Baptist and our Lord were more interested in quality than in quantity. Not everyone will make it as a disciple and as a follower of Christ and the sad truth is that the vast majority of the people on the planet will go to Hell as our Lord said in Matthew 7:13-14.

How’s the health of people’s faith these days? Would people nowadays be one along the many in the crowd bumping into Jesus and not being healed, or would they be like the woman from Luke 8 that touched the tassel of His clothes and was healed?  When the woman’s miracle was revealed, the people that might have bumped into Jesus probably said, “I bumped into Jesus, I touched Him - yet I was not healed.” But there is a huge difference between bumping into Jesus here and there and reaching out to touch Him in faith. You can come to church week after week and just “bump into” Jesus. That isn’t the same as reaching out to touch Him in faith.

Accept Jesus into your life and follow His commandments and be saved. God died on the cross for you! He died on the cross so you can be saved! Accept Him and His Word into your life and be saved. Trust in His Word to guide you in life. It’s never too late to repent. It doesn’t matter what you might have done in life because once you truly accept Jesus as your savior, you will be a new person and all the wrongdoings you have done in the past are washed clean.

John 3:3-6
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

“What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”

Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life.

If you want a new life in Christ Jesus, ask Him into your heart today. Pray to Him and ask for guidance, wisdom and discernment to know the difference between right and wrong. Only by accepting His perfect rules and regulations you can be saved.

Accept Jesus in your life while you still can. And follow Christ and only Christ. Trust in the Word of God. Trust in His timing. Build a close relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and pray to have the Holy Spirit convict you of your sins and guide you in life. As the Lord told us in Matthew 3, “Repent of your sins and turn to God.”

re: my url + whiteness as a concept (not an identity)

note: this is extremely long-winded and was written pretty much as a stream of consciousness. if you don’t want to read the whole thing here is the tl;dr version: whiteness is a construct and not an identity. it is not an ethnic identity and therefore no one can be ethnically white. whiteness is a construct of privilege which determines how you navigate and operate in the world; how the world interacts with you; and how you interact with institutions (i.e. education, government). white is a man-made racial category, as are all racial categories. they are all constructs which operate as the antithesis to whiteness. people are white not because of their ethnic background, but because of their whiteness.

I hope people realize that my url is a joke, it’s sarcastic. I’ve had many people criticize me for my url and write analyses on it, but none of these people know me or what I talk about. my url is not a means to deny my white privilege. I know that in mainstream American society, I am operating as a white person. I have been awarded a set of privileges due to this. I am also operating in mainstream American society as a Jewish woman. for this I have not been awarded any privileges.

I think it goes without saying that whiteness is a construct, and this construct has allowed white supremacy and hegemony to thrive. it has created a hierarchy of races which has no actual basis.

when I talk about conditional whiteness and how it applies to my life, I am still not denying my white privilege. all I mean is that in certain contexts I will either be seen as white or “other” (not necessarily non-white). it is this otherness that has led to me and my family receiving death threats from the KKK and antisemitic attacks. my family in the holocaust were definitely not white and I have many of the “ethnic” features that they had, which resulted in their categorization as a non-white ethnic other. this is what contributes to my conditional whiteness. most people living in my city can identify me as a Jew. while this is due to antisemitic stereotypes, this is also due to Ashkenazi normativity. the stereotypical image of Jews are based on Ashkenazim, especially Ashkenazi jewish men. so, many stereotypical images of Jews are fueled by Ashkenazi normativity that is prevalent in media and every day life. people living in Ashkenazi-majority places tend to use those Ashkenazim as the prototype for all Jews.

I acknowledge all of this. I acknowledge that my url may be misconstrued as me saying that because I am Jewish, I am not white, and therefore can deny my privilege or even claim that I have no white privilege at all. but it was never designed to deny my white privilege or how I benefit from Ashkenazi normativity. it is a commentary on the complex relation between “white”** Jews and whiteness. how do “white” Jews fit into whiteness? it is through assimilation. in some cases it can be that Jews wanted to access the privileges white non-Jews had. why be Jewish when you can be white and reap all the benefits? but that’s not me.

how white am I? in many ways I do not fit into the construct of whiteness. I can be simultaneously excluded by whiteness and benefit from it. sometimes it’s either/or.

I think my url captures the complexity of being both white and not-quite-white. in the United States I can more or less “pass” (using that term lightly here) for a white non-Jew. I know that if I were to go somewhere else (I.e. Europe) that whiteness would be stripped from me. of course the concept of whiteness is much different in Europe, but I would be identified as a Jew and treated as such. even in my city, my whiteness is often compromised by my jewishness. i do not look like the average white person in my city and they do not look like me. the combination of my features and when i get tan leads to people calling me “exotic” and thus othering me, and treating me as a non-white person. when i am treated as a non-white person it becomes harder to access that white privilege (it doesn’t go away, it’s just inaccessible when i am not being treated as a white person).

when you consider that whiteness is a construct, it would lead you to think that no one is truly white. how can you be a construct or a concept? however, whiteness has not been eradicated. in order for no one to be white or non-white, whiteness would have to cease to exist. when we abolish whiteness we can abolish the man-made racial hierarchy; we can abolish white supremacy and hegemony; we can abolish racial classifications.

so am I white? no and yes. I am not white because whiteness is a construct. but I am white because this construct has been used to maintain white dominance. I can benefit from white supremacy because sometimes I “look” white. I can perpetuate white supremacy because many of the values and attitudes we learn are rooted in white supremacy. in fact, benefiting from or perpetuating white supremacy has nothing to do with being “white.” a non-white person who believes in white supremacist ideals is complicit in white supremacy and can use it to their benefit.

“I’m not white, I’m Jewish.” this can mean many things. it can mean that I genuinely don’t believe I’m white because I’m Jewish (which i don’t). it can mean that I’m conditionally white. it can mean that I reject the construct of whiteness and choose to identify ethnically as Jewish. in Europe, this statement can be true; I’m not white I’m Jewish, because Europe’s long history of othering and persecuting Jews has led to Jews being considered non-white (or non-European).

this url means different things to different people. this url can be interpreted in different ways. some people think it’s negative, some people are just neutral towards it. I don’t think the url is negative. I do truly think it relates the complexity of whiteness and Jewishness. I think it’s a silly joke. I think it encompasses how other “white” Jews feel about their identities. I think the way you interpret my url is based on your experiences and what you know about whiteness.

so just let me reiterate: this url is not a way for me to deny my white privilege. this url is not a way for me to shrug off my whiteness, conditional or otherwise. this url is not a way for me to co-opt non-white identities. when I made this blog I wanted a funny url. at the time I did not realize its implications, but even now that I do, I still hold the belief that this url is not negative or problematic. if I actually believed in what my url says then it would probably be very problematic.

“I’m not white, I’m Jewish” is a simple phrase with an underlying complexity. there is no one singular meaning of it. I know what it means to me, and I’ve seen what it means to others. I neither agree nor disagree with you. each “white” jew has a unique experience and relationship with whiteness. I am always open to these discussions of how whiteness and Jewishness interact. I am open to discussions of whiteness and white privilege. I identify as conditionally white because that is my lived experience; due to how people have treated me and perceived me, I feel that it is accurate and applicable to my life.

not all Jews are conditionally white and I think we should acknowledge that as well. I think there are some Jews who want to shrug off their whiteness because it makes them uncomfortable; recognizing your own white privilege can be hard and no one wants to admit to being complicit in white supremacy. I think recognizing your whiteness can also be hard; people only view it as an identity rather than as a concept. whiteness isn’t just having white skin or certain facial features. it’s how you interact with the world (and how the world interacts with you) and different institutions. it determines what schools you get accepted to, which jobs hire you, which opportunities you’ll have.

it isn’t merely an ethnic identity because we need to abolish the construct of whiteness. you can’t abolish ethnicities, so white is not an ethnicity. it is a race. all races are constructs, with white being the default and all other races being the antithesis to whiteness. non-white racial categories exist because whiteness as a race exists. it was Europeans who first classified people into different races. if we abolish whiteness then there will be no need for racial categories. without the limits of race we are free to recognize the nuances of ethnicity and culture. race is too broad and general, it lacks nuance, and it is man-made.

to reiterate: whiteness is not an identity, it’s a concept. it is a concept that put “white” people at the top. if we abolish whiteness, no one will be white and no one will be non-white. you will just be your ethnicity. and without whiteness, the arguments over whether or not “white” Jews are white will cease. my url would need to be changed because it would no longer make sense. there would be no white-poc dichotomy which severely limits discussion of ethnicity and also lacks nuance. the people who do not neatly fit into this dichotomy (i.e. Jews) would be free to have real discussions about their ethnicities, without having to “pick a side.” there would be no sides.

once you recognize whiteness as being a mere concept, and recognize how you fit into or benefit from whiteness, it will be easier for you to acknowledge your own whiteness. it doesn’t necessarily define who you are, but it defines how you are and how you operate in the world. having whiteness doesn’t necessarily mean you’re white; it means that you live in a way that is privileged. whiteness is a concept of privilege. whiteness is the way you act, think, and are treated by the world.

I can acknowledge my whiteness and my privilege. I can acknowledge that it will be easier for me to get hired, it will be easier for me to be respected, it will be easier for me to get away with many things. my whiteness is conditional. it is there and then it isn’t. then it’s there again. it’s a constant shift between being white and being not-quite-white. I am not non-white because I am not a person of color. I’m white, sorta white, kinda white, almost white, and in-between. whiteness doesn’t define me because it’s not real, it’s an invention. whiteness only defines how I can navigate the world. my real identity, my ethnicity, my culture is Jewish; to be more specific, litvak Jewish with Italian from my mom’s side. that is what defines me. my Jewishness defines me. the way I’m perceived by American society doesn’t define me because that’s not really who I am. some people think I’m white but they don’t know that; some people think I’m non-white but they don’t know that; some people think I’m non-Jewish but they don’t know that; some people think I’m Jewish but they don’t know that. only I can define who I am; what I cannot define is how I am, that is out of my control.

I’ve never made an in-depth post about my url because I never really felt that I needed to, but I know people judge me based on my url. they automatically think I’m a white-privilege-denying Ashkenazi with no understanding of privilege. like I said, my url means many things to many people and no interpretation is right or wrong. however, the moment you think you know me and what I believe in simply based on looking at my url is where you go wrong. I would also like to remind you that this is just tumblr, it’s just a website on the Internet. not everything is so serious on the Internet, especially a blog url. if you dislike me or judge me because of my url then that’s your problem and you need to do some serious self-reflection. I hope this has made some sense and cleared up any misconceptions you have about my url, my blog, my identity, or my opinions.

** “white” is written in quotations because if we are operating on the belief that whiteness is a construct and therefore not real, it wouldn’t make sense to call someone white without further investigation into what whiteness really means.

In the united states, there are about 69000 female gymnasts. Out of these only about 5000 reach level 8, 3000 reach level 9 and there are exactly 1,684 level 10 gymnasts. In the entire country, there are only 79 elite gymnasts. If you’ve even reached the higher levels of gymnastics, its important to remember that you’ve beat the odds, and no matter what happens in terms of medals or accomplishments, you are one of the few gymnasts who has even managed to come this far in the sport, and you deserve to be proud of that. 

to the people who think we’re just mad about sally killing off gabe and nate bc they’re bi/gay-

that’s not it. i mean, yes, we’re pissed off about that. we don’t need any more dead queer characters because guess what MOST QUEER CHARACTERS ARE DEAD ANYWAY so we’re just adding more to the pile and taking away queer characters from the VERY OBVIOUSLY DIFFICULT TO ATTAIN “happy and alive” pile. did you know that when pulp fiction novels became popular it then became legal to write about lgbt+ romances but one of the rules for said novel being published was that the characters Had to either a) end up being straight the whole time or b) die/get put into a mental institution/end in some other tragedy bc if they didnt it was considered “promoting the homosexual lifestyle - which is Bad” - so you see why we’re pissed about that

but this is why we’re pissed off, and this is why i, as a creative writing major and writer myself, am annoyed.

gabriel’s death was utterly pointless. there was literally no point to him dying other than for Shock and Horror. his death added nothing to the story, and after that point the book devolved into very sloppily written, half-assed time jump vignettes of nate’s declining mental state that then abruptly turned into suicide (and turning into a tree was NEVER one of his abilities - it was explicitly stated that he could only turn into animals and there was one vague conversation about whether trees were alive as well. there was absolutely no basis on which this sudden twist was applicable or accurate in the universe sally created)

putting aside ending a book with the suicide of your main protagonist, it’s just sloppy, shitty, shock value writing. this is the kind of stuff i’d expect from game of thrones. i’d actually say that none of the deaths in half lost were written well at all - ellen dies in passing off screen, van is already dead when they arrive there even though she’s a main character, and gabriel gets killed in admittedly a very poetic, but stupid and unnecessary way. this game of thrones-style “kill off your characters because its Shocking!!!!! and that means Good!!!!” is total bullshit. i can guarantee 98% of us would have preferred nate and gabe to have their happy ending at their cabin by the river and we would think that from an emotional and academic level it was better writing and storyline

his death was pointless. the emotional impact is then told sloppily over shitty time skips until nathan kills himself by turning into a tree. and the villains of the story - annalise and celia - get happy endings. children/marriage and a log cabin respectively. 

it’s bullshit. it’s sloppy and half-assed and a completely idiotic end to such a wonderful series of books and i’m so over the mentality that creators of both written and visual works have since game of thrones that the only good and satisfying way to end something is to kill people off and have a sad ending. (lexa from the 100???? allison from teen wolf???) i’m sick of it, it’s bullshit, and that’s why we’re mad