18 December 2007


We graded 143 exams this morning. It went more smoothly than in years past. I spent the last hour wandering around to see if I'd missed grading anyone's section, and assuming that I must have, only to find out that I was actually done. There really wasn't much of a curve this year. A's and B's were at the normal 90% and 80% cut-offs. We extended the C's a bit (to about 65%) and that pushed the D's down to about 55%. I do find it annoying that cut-offs for +/- were also specified, which means that I have to do 8 linear fits instead of 5. It would be 11, except that the A's and B's wound up cut-off at the usual percentage cut-off that I use anyway, so I can just use the same linear fit there. Oh, I had a student call while we were grading. He thought the 143 final was today at 3:00. Since I already had a 143 student taking the final with my stats class, I told him he could do the same. This would be more understandable had I written only the date on the board, but, no, I wrote "Monday" on the board.

And this has no bearing whatsoever on anything else, except maybe my philosophy paper if I were going into more depth, but I found a very nice discussion of problems with "original sin." Short version: it messes up free will and makes God look like an idiot.


John said...

"...makes God look like an idiot"

the OT does that by itself. Also petty, vindictive, sadistic and possibly bipolar.

Qalmlea said...

^/^ Dr. Levenson would argue that those reflect the attributes of the writers rather than of God, but, yeah, taking the whole thing literally does give a pretty ugly picture.

John said...

So he's arguing that the Bible is a work of fiction?

Qalmlea said...

No... not wholly, anyway. It's more that each author was trying to see what the Divine was really like, and saw it through a particular lens. Kinda like the story about the blind men and the elephant. Also, a lot of it got reinterpreted as it was written down, to be more relevant to the issues that were current while it was being written down.

John said...

Okay, I can see that.

But that particular interpretation of the Divine leave a lot to be desired.

Qalmlea said...

I'll tell you what Dr. Levenson would say, and you can take it or leave it. ^/^

He'd say that the violent, angry images of God were from people who hadn't quite gotten there yet. They were only getting fragmentary glimpses and they weren't really understanding them. The more peaceful images are getting closer to the "real" Divine, but they're still only images. That is, there's still a human being filtering through them.

As for me... I agree with him that the experience of the Divine (whatever name you give it) cannot be put into words. "Those who know don't say; those who say don't know." *shrugs* As soon as you describe a concrete thing or action, it's certain that you have not described the Divine itself.