by David Ullman 2/01/2008 / Computers/Technology
Blu-ray vs. HDD is the Beta vs.VHS of our time. Hard to believe that VCR's once sold for over $500 and now people don't even remember the big debate about which format was best. It will be interesting to see if history once again repeats, with superior design losing market share to price.
When VCR's revolutionized home entertainment, Sony had introduced a recording format called Beta that was technically better than the less expensive VHS format, which went on to become ynonymous with VCR's. Today there is another battle going on in the market place as Sony has introduced the Blu-ray in direct competition with the HDD format. Some electronic manufactures have hedged their bets, and produced machines that will read both formats as well as the existing DVD's that people already own.
Talking with people it is hard for them to understand the analogy between past and present technology. Unfortunately, the more things change the more they remain the same. Fashion is another great example of how styles come and go, and people will purchase clothes that have been out of style for years.
There seems to be another gap in our collective consciousness when it comes to spiritual trends. Back when the VCR was making its debut there was a young charismatic preacher by the name of Jim Jones was leading a church in Indianapolis, called Peoples Temple. Jones was little more than a religious charlatan, who faked miraculous healings to attract followers. While Jones attacked the validity of the Bible he also claimed to be an incarnation of Jesus, as well as Buddha, and Lenin.
In the summer of 1977, Jones and most of the 1000 members of the Peoples Temple moved to South American country of Guyana as the church came under investigation for tax evasion. Jones named the gated settlement "Jonestown" after himself, intending to create an agricultural utopia in the jungle, free from racism and based on quasi-communist principles.
Allegations of human rights abuses by relatives in the U.S. led to a congressional inquiry, that ended in the murder of the delegation, and the murder - suicide of over 900 people involved in Jonestown, including Jim Jones.
While as a society we have pretty much forgotten about Jonestown, there are still other charismatic preachers out there in the world today claiming to be the reincarnation of Jesus. Unscrupulous preachers and their followers who are willing to twist and distort the truth of the gospel, for their own personal gain of wealth, power, and fame.
There is an old adage that says a little bit of knowledge is dangerous, which is still true when it comes to spiritual matters. According to experts on Christian cults, those most at risk of getting sucked into a cult, are those who only have a superficial knowledge of the Bible.
On a deeper level, we need to take inventory of whether we are truly walking in the knowledge and power of God's word in our daily life, or are we just scratching the surface of knowing Jesus. The Apostle Peter encouraged believers with these words
Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:2-8
The market is still trying to decide between Blu-ray and HD DVD, and while someday this technology will also become obsolete, there isn't a beta version when it comes to the ideology of religious cults.
David lives in Michigan and has formal education in electronics and Christian broadcasting and has worked with consumer electronics and technology for many years.