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Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ
Works at TWiT.tv
Lived in Fremont, California
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Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ
owner

General Discussion  - 
 
Hey Know-It-Alls...

First, this is ENTIRELY THEORETICAL. Take it as no more than drippings from a sleep-deprived brain.

That being said: If +Bryan Burnett and I were to start doing two, slightly shorter episodes of KH each week, split between DIY and Maker topics, with a single project per episode but the same basic format... would you watch?
316 votes  -  votes visible to Public
Yes! I would watch both!
91%
I would watch one of them.
7%
What's "Know How"?
3%
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Keith Mallett's profile photoBlack Merc's profile photoWayne Hobbins's profile photoLance G's profile photo
62 comments
 
Well, it's not ENTIRELY THEORETICAL anymore! Is it now? :-)
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Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ
owner

General Discussion  - 
 
So... I took a little test-ride on the Arcimoto SRK. -- I gotta say, for less than $12k, this is a nice little machine.

There will be an interview with the CEO on this saturdays TNSS, and another one in next Monday's "Know How"
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7 comments
 
Those CV shafts need to go. Integrated hub motor for FWD, or move the drive to the rear wheel and get the ugly parasitic bits out of sight (and wind).
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Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ

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I've had quite a few people forward me the video of the priest riding a hoverboard during mass, looking to hear my view of the use of tech during the Catholic mass. -- And I get WHY they've sent me that video... after all, I have occasionally made use of smart phones, laptops, and even a quadcopter or two during my homilies over the past decade. My passion for technology often crosses paths (gleefully) with my vocation, so I think it's a natural curiosity to know if I plan to hoverboard a procession in the near future, or if I approve of this priests' use of tech.

The TL:DR vesion... No. & no... but wait... it's not what you think.

Let me start by saying that I respect what this priest is trying to do. I get it... It's VERY difficult to get and hold attention these days. You have MAYBE 5 minutes to grab people and make them present within the celebration, so it's tempting to use any and EVERY edge you can get your hands on.

Also, let me be clear that I in NO WAY think this priest should have been suspended. He tried something new... perhaps I wouldn't have gone in that direction, but to suspend a priest for trying a new avenue of spreading the Gospel is just plain bad management. We can (and should) offer fraternal advice and correction when necessary, but to suspend this priest is to guarantee that he'll be hesitant to think outside of the box in the future... and we desperately need to think outside of that box.

With that said... I would NOT have used a hoverboard as this priest did, because while I'm perfectly willing to break expectations and pre-conceived notions during my homilies, it's counter-productive to do so outside of the homily, but within the mass. -- I know some of us don't understand the distinction, so please let me explain:

When I'm offering a homily, I try my hardest to poke and prod my congregation: to make them recognize that I may be offering something that haven't heard in all their years of being Catholic, all the while tying the message to items and events out of their "real" lives. -- In the smartphone homily, I asked people to take selfies and to tweet during the homily so that I could talk about how we see friendship and intimacy. -- In my only (so far) quadcopter homily, I spoke of the difficulty of focusing on "real life" while also trying to figure out our "moral heading" in real-time. Even when it looks like I'm showing off tech, my message is never about the tech, but about something behind the tech... or something that the tech brings out within us. -- Showy? yes. Gimmicky? sometimes.

But here's the thing... I NEVER get gimicky during the Liturgy of the Word, or the Liturgy of the Eucharist (The two parts of the mass that surround the homily) for one, simply reason: As much as the homily is supposed to connect with the lives of the people in my congregation, to grab their attention and to perhaps leave them with a take-away that can inform their lives in faith, the LotW and LotE are supposed to connect that same congregation with THE ENTIRE WORLWIDE CATHOLIC CHURCH. -- We all celebrate the same way. We all hear the same words (in different languages). We all experience the mass together. -- To us Catholics, that is part of the sacredness of the celebration: that we can walk into any Church around the world and know what's going on, even if we can't understand the language. That's the power of sign and symbol, and something with which we should not trifle. 

And THAT... is where the Filipino priest went a little off his hoverboard... It's great to be a cool priest. It's fine to embrace new technologies. I would even be ok with using a hoverboard during my homily if I felt it actually had something to do with the message I was trying to leave with the congreagation... but to ride it, simply because it's a fun toy? And to draw attention to IT during parts of the pass that should be about the connection to Catholics across the world? -- That cheapens that sacredness that I wrote about above.

Still... to that priest... I give you kudos for trying. It was a good try. If I ever meet you, I'm going to give you a pat on the back and a big hug from a fellow priest who is trying to shake up the Church in a similar way. You may not see me lead the processional on a hoverboard in the near future... but don't be surprised if I work one into my homily... especially if I can get it to explode on cue.
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7 comments
 
Youth thoughtful response to this is very well taken. Gotta say, this little incident caused me to shudder a bit. Mostly because of how unnecessary it was. I've had a pastor use a cell phone as a prop during a sermon that was just brilliant and is legend to this day. Hoverboard? Too distracting. Remember though - I put the fuddy back in duddy. (Trying very hard not to turn into the old ladies who would gasp when I wore sneakers to church.)
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Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ
owner

General Discussion  - 
 
Boom! --

You wanted it... you got it!

Know How... now TWICE a week!

https://twit.tv/posts/inside-twit/2016-programming-changes
22
walkin mn's profile photoRobert Moreno's profile photoBernard Bout's profile photoSteve Wolf's profile photo
14 comments
 
+Bernard Bout Can't be helped sometimes.
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Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ
owner

General Discussion  - 
 
 
Do you use Microsoft OneDrive? 

Were you upset when they announced that you were going to lose most of your free space?

Well... seems that Microsoft heard the outcry, and they've decided to let you keep your free 15GB. All you have to do is log in at the link below and your account won't lost the space after the change.

http://aka.ms/onedrivestorage

For those who think this could be a scam, here's the blog post from MS.

https://onedrive.uservoice.com/forums/262982-onedrive/suggestions/10524099-give-us-back-our-storage
Recently, a blog post was announced detailing that you would be reducing our free and paid storage. Only 1TB for Office 365 customers, and only 5 GB for free customers. I have been a long-time OneDrive fan, but after this upgrade I can no longer recommend it as my promised storage has been taken away. Some of us actually store a normal amount of stuff in OneDrive. Why makes us pay for those who went over the top?
7 comments on original post
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6 comments
 
+Eddie Foy​, I've also been sceptical of hosting my own "cloud" services for myself and my family. I love the idea of being in control, but I also fear that there would be an exploit that could leave me open when I know Google or Microsoft. 
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Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ

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This brave quadcopter gave its life to protect you from the Great Pumpkin.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HC89KRV7l9M
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6 comments
 
thank you father. God bless.
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Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ

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There's an interesting conversation building on my Twitter feed that I thought should be brought to a forum that allows for more than 140 characters.

The conversation started when I tried to explain "Mortal Sin" 

The one thing we all agreed upon is that the definition of Mortal Sin can be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), paragraph 1857.

"For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: "Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.""

We also seemed to agree on what "grave matter" and "full knowledge" means, but when I tried to explain that you can't "stumble" into mortal sin because "deliberate consent" requires you to not only be aware of the sin, but to do it BECAUSE it's a sin... well... things got outright hostile.

I received more than a little ribbing, name-calling, and outright insults of my religious order, but I'd like to move past that because this point is all-too-important for Catholics.

This isn't something that I've made up. This has been part of our doctrine and tradition for almost a millennium. 

When writing about mortal sin, Thomas Aquinas, in his Summa Theologica, wrote: 

"Mortal sin, as stated above (Q72, A5), consists in turning away from our last end which is God, which aversion pertains to the deliberating reason, whose function it is also to direct towards the end. Therefore that which is contrary to the last end can happen not to be a mortal sin, only when the deliberating reason is unable to come to the rescue, which is the case in sudden movements. Now when anyone proceeds from passion to a sinful act, or to a deliberate consent, this does not happen suddenly: and so the deliberating reason can come to the rescue here, since it can drive the passion away, or at least prevent it from having its effect, as stated above: wherefore if it does not come to the rescue, there is a mortal sin; and it is thus, as we see, that many murders and adulteries are committed through passion."
(Q77, A8)

The key phrase is, "when anyone proceeds from passion to a sinful act, or to a deliberate consent, this does not happen suddenly" -- You CAN'T "accidentally" commit a mortal sin. Mortal sin requires a journey to that sin, during which the individual recognizes the act as a sin, then makes DELIBERATE CONSENT to do that act, even though it is a sin. -- In other words, you must WANT to sin.

If there is even a little bit of hesitation, reason against, or non deliberate action, then it does not meet the third requirement of Mortal Sin.
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14 comments
 
Hehe. Yes, thanks. That whole passage is difficult to understand. I am probably also confused on what "mortal sin" means. Is this a sin that if committed will result in instant death? Does it mean God will turn His back on on the person and never let the person into the Kingdom?

"For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" means, to me, that nobody is eligible on his own. 
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Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ
owner

General Discussion  - 
 
I think we all know by now that I have no social life...

So when I get bored, I think of projects that you might want to see!
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+Carson Black It's surprising how many people are selling "Vintage Bakelite Welding Goggles" for Steampunk on eBay.

I used to have a pair until I needed some with room for glasses. :-(
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Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ

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Well... that's how I started MY day.

Sigh

Folks... continuing to repeat the same insults over and over is NOT a conversation... 
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16 comments
 
Sigh. Um. If I may be permitted some slight maudlin indulgence, I apologize on behalf of sensible internet atheists all over. Sigh. Some folks just need to stop championing "my side." (I don't actually have a side.)
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Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ

Shared publicly  - 
 
Do you use Microsoft OneDrive? 

Were you upset when they announced that you were going to lose most of your free space?

Well... seems that Microsoft heard the outcry, and they've decided to let you keep your free 15GB. All you have to do is log in at the link below and your account won't lost the space after the change.

http://aka.ms/onedrivestorage

For those who think this could be a scam, here's the blog post from MS.

https://onedrive.uservoice.com/forums/262982-onedrive/suggestions/10524099-give-us-back-our-storage
Recently, a blog post was announced detailing that you would be reducing our free and paid storage. Only 1TB for Office 365 customers, and only 5 GB for free customers. I have been a long-time OneDrive fan, but after this upgrade I can no longer recommend it as my promised storage has been taken away. Some of us actually store a normal amount of stuff in OneDrive. Why makes us pay for those who went over the top?
17
7
Gina Pond's profile photoJonathan Feist's profile photoVic Lovan's profile photoVic Lovan's profile photo
7 comments
Greg M
 
The Windows OneDrive client sucks. There is no way to limit its usage of your upstream bandwidth. If you have a measely 2Mbps upstream connection like I have and attempt to upload a lot of data it will overwhelm the upstream causing other connections such as to IRC servers to disconnect you.

There have been numerous complaints about this annd MS way back in April 2015 said they were looking at it. Dropbox and other cloud storage clients allow you to throttle the usage of uploading so that it does not consume all the bandwidth. MS OneDrive does not. I had to actually install a 3rd party app to limit OneDrive client upstream usage.

I use other cloud storage services normally since MS seems not to care.
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Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ
owner

General Discussion  - 
 
Hey Know It Alls....

Any interest in model rocketry? 
204 votes  -  votes visible to Public
91%
9%
Awww heck ya!
91%
No way... you'll shoot your eye out
9%
18
Keith Mallett's profile photoEddie Foy's profile photoLarry Ball's profile photoMike Parkin's profile photo
57 comments
 
Diy engines, YES!
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Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ

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Blessed are the peacemakers.
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X

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Work
Occupation
As little as possible
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  • TWiT.tv
    Host, 2012 - present
    I host "This Week in Enterprise Tech" with co-hosts Brian Chee & Curtis Franklin. I host "Know How" with Bryan Burnett I host "Before you Buy" I host " Coding 101"
  • The Jesuit Conference
    National Director of Vocation Promotion, 2009 - 2013
  • TheTechStop.net
    Producer/Editor, 2007 - 2012
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PadreSJ "Digital Jesuit" "Friar Tech"
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How Geek is your love?
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I'm an over 9000 uberGeek, a TWiT network host, the director of National Vocation Promotion for the Jesuits, and a closet superhero sidekick.
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