Author’s Note: Hi beautiful people! This is my entry for @thewriterformerlytaggedas & @fan-fiction-galore ‘s 31 Little Wrestling Fic’s October Challenge. It’s my take on some of the Native American stories that I grew up with, with some changes to fit my concept. I’m focusing mostly on Navajo myths, but there’s a mixture of tribes all over. I hope you like it!!
Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 15:1-35, 1 Samuel 16:1-23, Ruth 4:18-22, Luke 6:45
About the time my future groom and I started looking at rings, a story circulated through my college dorm that put many of us hopeful brides-to-be on high alert. Whether true or simply an urban legend, I can’t say. But long after my now-husband popped the question, the story has stuck with me. It goes like this…
A handsome young man decided to propose to a beautiful girl. He told her that since they were poor college kids, he could not afford much of a ring. He proposed with a small cubic zirconia, a manufactured replacement for a real diamond. But secretly, he purchased a beautiful, expensive, whopper of a diamond and planned to have it put in the setting for their wedding day. But when the blushing bride-to-be discovered her ring was a fake, she demanded the real thing. The groom was so turned off by her shallow behavior that he broke off the engagement. Only then did the girl learn that he’d planned all along to take her breath away with a real diamond.
In 1 Samuel, we find a similar tale of fake worth and diamonds in the rough. Saul had been anointed as the first king of Israel. He seemed to have it all, but it didn’t take long for his façade to crack. Saul was deeply flawed. His dependence on the Lord turned out to be counterfeit, and in 1 Samuel 15, the Lord rejected Saul as king of Israel.
Israel’s prophet, Samuel, was grieved by Saul’s failings. I imagine he might have felt like that bride-to-be, who thought her boyfriend had bought her a diamond only to discover she’d been given a chunk of glass. But God was like the groom with something better tucked away. Despite Israel’s long history of doubting God, He planned to replace Saul with a king so good he’d become the measuring stick for all other kings to come.
At the Lord’s prompting, Samuel went to the house of Jesse looking for a new king. Jesse had eight sons and he paraded all but the youngest in front of Samuel. Each time, the Lord said “no.” Samuel was baffled by God’s rejection of such strong, capable men. God’s explanation put a magnifying glass over Samuel’s heart.
“But the Lᴏʀᴅ said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have rejected him. Humans do not see what the Lᴏʀᴅ sees, for humans see what is visible, but the Lᴏʀᴅ sees the heart.’”
- 1 Samuel 16:7
David didn’t look like a king. His father thought so little of him that he didn’t even bring him in from the field. But God chose him. Beneath an unimpressive exterior, God saw treasures in David’s heart.
We can’t polish ourselves pretty enough to create our own worth. But God mines for value in each of our hearts.
Angst: An intense longing or yearning for someone or something to happen in one’s life. It can be a driving force that pushes two people to be together because of the fact that being apart makes their hearts yearn for each other.
Adj: describes a situation or literary piece which contains dark, depressing, angry, and/or brooding emotions from the participating characters.
Disclaimer: This is a fan-made translation from Chinese translations! Please go easy and enlighten us on any mistakes or deviations from the original light novel. All credit goes to the original author and illustrators. - Hyaka and Kuro Shion
‘This is Ichinose Guren-sama.’
This was heard in one of the classroom of First Shibuya High School.
Until recently, everyone here should have been an enemy.
Smart Cities: When the Technologies of Order and Optimization Fail Us
Smart cities are a hot topic. They’re launched and maximized, emboldened by technology, and designed to perform. But let’s get real.
Your digital platform might just be another man’s privacy nightmare; your sensors and actuators are likely generating noisy distraction to solving the problems of poverty and quality of life in our urban environments. And further, do we really have any confidence that we are indeed improving economic, societal, and environmental outcomes in our cities? Are we making a difference?
We are fascinated with order, efficiency, and optimization. We desire facts, evidence of progress, and colorful charts and graphs that purport to fully predict and prescribe our measurable activities in the real world. And yet, for every detailed examination of the structure of our lives; each identification of every urban specimen; every survey, scrutiny, and study, we have greater potential to drown in the perfect data that fails to deeply and meaningfully account for the way we as human beings exist as part of the fabric of the landscape. Our vitality cannot be easily harnessed or applied, nor can our spirit and consciousness be manifested in our plans for the massive investments of time and money in our so- called smart cities. In fact, nowhere in our documents, defined processes, or project plans are we likely to see a serious treatment of ideas that are not somehow demonstrated through the scientific method. After all, we are often more comfortable with the winnowed truth, over those of cosmologists, artists, teachers, philosophers, and theocrats. We find it difficult to include these voices in our assembly of the components within our material world. We are drawn to the idea that if something counts, then we must account for it.
But for all the value that the emerging smart city can bring to us from its sensors, advanced models, and actuators, there are many things that become so much less by their deconstruction. Left to the pressures of social media today, Moby Dick might have been written in bursts of 140 characters with the hashtag #whitewhalerevenge, and related videos and still shots tagged #blubber #oil #leviathan showing Pip sobbing and beating on his tambourine. With so many of our hours spent tagging and posting every moment of our human voyage, we are in danger of failing to comprehend the full story of our lives in our natural and physical environments.
In our cities, where our buildings stand tall; our streets roll long; and our movements create an urban buzz composed of busker music from the subways, slamming car doors, engine brakes, the whirring of vending machines, the murmur of TVs, the cries and goo-goo-ga-gas of babies, and the whoosh of the revolving door—the things that make up the vital spirit of our urban lives. Simply, it is the buildings we reside in, sleep in, work in, and so often are born and die in that have personal properties that will either support our greatest capacities as human beings, or tear them down. It is all these things, coupled with global transportation, telecommunications, infrastructure, and climate constraints, that drive extremely complex conditions to emerge where we dump massive amounts of money and resources to build smart cities.
Yet, our population centers are far from intelligent or coordinated, and despite many pockets of innovation, our cities have had little net-positive impact on carbon control. Moreover, an uncertain relationship between the shifting demographics from rural to low-income urban remains. It’s time to acknowledge that the problem with many smart city efforts is the tendency to oversimplify the issues that cities face and to dangerously assume that those problems can be solved by technology alone. It seems clear that the florid vision of smarter cities as gleaming, efficient towers bursting from the sands, where a one-size-fits-all technology approach creates a sustainable living environment is misguided at best and a cultural failure at worst. But I sincerely believe that it is indeed technology that may play the most important role in helping us improve our urban environments. We just need to find a better way to engage technology for the benefit of people.
And so a paradox emerges: that technology can take away from our experience of living as much as it can add to it.
What’s needed now is an approach to building smarter cities that not only incorporates the issues of building technologically advanced smart cities, but also comprehends the shifts in human living within these environments. We need a plan for smart cities that leverages our best learning about technology but that fully acknowledges the importance of creating and sustaining vital communities. [My] book can help build and fulfill those plans by affording us an opportunity to look more closely at how our profound capabilities to do almost anything with technology can solve real problems that improve lives. All lives.
…as we move forward, seeking balance in an often unbalanced world, Ms. Stimmel’s voice resonates in deeply human prose and debate, relevant to our humanity today, the past and most succinctly, our collective future…
―John Stanmeyer, American photojournalist, National Geographic
It’s true that human beings are messy and fickle, and when it comes to technology, we can become supremely conflicted and confused. Every day, we fall further out of touch with advanced technologies, befuddled by how they work and what they’re doing. Even software engineers and app designers don’t know anymore. So when we hear about smart cities or efficiency, carbon controls, safety, and the Internet of Things, many of us are relieved to know that someone else must surely know what’s happening. But who are these technology designers? What is the technology doing? Why are certain technology implementations done the way they’re done? And why does it even matter anymore? I argue in this book that we must take charge of our urban destiny, that design thinking offers us a path forward, and that we must care more than ever about technology:
We can use the principles of design thinking to reframe the problems of the smart city to capture the real needs of people living in a highly efficient urban environment. In this light, [I] present the relevant technologies required for coordinated, efficient cities; explore the latent needs of community stakeholders in a culturally appropriate context; discuss the tested approaches to ideation, design, prototyping, and building or retrofitting smart cities; and propose a model for a viable smart city project.
The smart city vision that expresses perfection through technology is hypothetical at best and reflects the failed repetition through the ages of equating scientific progress with positive social change. Up until now, despite our best hopes and efforts, technology has yet to bring an end to scarcity or suffering. Technical innovation, instead, can and should be directed in the service of our shared cultural values, especially within the rapidly growing urban milieu.
It is the current and future possibilities of innovation that concern me most. With the ever-growing pools of data that are leaking into our daily lives, and to which we ourselves contribute grandly, we cannot just do anything and everything. Instead, we must focus on creating human-centered approaches to our cities that integrate our human needs and technology to drive us to meet our economic, environmental, and existential needs. You won’t find this philosophy in even the best technical specification. We must discover a way to cocreate with the urban dwellers themselves, developing an approach that transforms the complex forces inherent in an urban environment with inspiration and rationality. We must do more than solve problems; we must solve the right problems.
Danny Fenton wasn’t exactly a mystery. In fact, he was quite the opposite. He mostly kept to himself, but you could get a good conversation with him when you talked to him. He tended to hang out around his two friends, but they were alright if you finally decided to sit with them for a lunch. He was just an average kid, in a weird quirky way.
In a way he was the perfect character to be the underdog. Nice, yet not a pushover. Smart, but not a nerd. Quiet, but not enough to go unnoticed.