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Fr. Robert Ballecer, SJ
6,533 followers -
How Geek is your love?
How Geek is your love?

6,533 followers
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On December 28th, 2011 I made my first appearance on the TWiT.tv network. It was an open mic episode of TNT and Jason Howell chose myself and two other TWiT fans to be interviewed. Since that day I've been part of almost 1,000 hours of content, worked with some of the best in the business, interviewed millionaires / billionaires / visionaries, built gadgets and gizmos, traveled the world looking for tech stories, and otherwise enjoyed being part of the peerless community we call the TWiT army. It has been an INCREDIBLE 6 years that I wouldn't exchange for anything. It's been my honor to be part of the TWiT family and a humbling experience to have our fans come back every week to accompany us on a journey of ultimate geekness.
 
However, though it pains me to say so, that journey is coming to an end... for now.
 
Last week I was officially appointed to a position at our Curia in Rome. I campaigned for a continued mission at TWiT, with my superiors agreeing that my work at TWiT has done much for the Catholic Church, but in the end I have taken a vow of obedience -- to serve... and it was decided that my service was needed elsewhere.
 
To those who have followed me over the years, you know that this has been a long time coming. I thank my superiors, and of course the leadership of TWiT, for allowing me 6 wonderful years to do an marvelously unconventional ministry with an incredible company, for a fantastic audience.
 
So... exactly what does this mean? -- In the short-term, nothing. I don't move to Rome until September 2018. Until then, I'll still be at TWiT, making the best content I can. I'm announcing this now to be as transparent with the TWiT army as possible. You WILL notice that Know How has moved from 2 shows a week, to one... and starting in January you may see less of me as I spin up my new department in Rome and transition away from my work at TWiT. -- When it is finally time to say goodbye, I hope you'll all give me the chance to thank you for so much support over the years.
 
There's MUCH more to come... Onward. Forward. TWiT. :)

Oh hai there Know-It-Alls!

I'm back online (mostly) and looking forward to to taping my first KH in 2 months, next Thursday...

See you then! :)

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These are polarizing times, with more of the country upset with the winner of the election or apathetic about the vote than are satisfied with the results. There's a lot of frustration, confusion, and downright anger. It's time for something different, but most of us either don't know what that "different" looks like, or we can't stand to listen to what "different" might be from a person who voted against our candidate.

But maybe... now is the time for "different" to become "normal."

Because it will matter to some, let me start with my voting history. Since I turned of age, I've voted in 7 Presidential elections. In four of those elections, my candidate has won (Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama x2), while in the other three, my candidate has lost (George H.W. Bush, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton). My family is heavily Republican and I started my political life as a registered, passionate member of the GOP. Since then, I've become one of those "swing voters" that everybody likes to quantify. I've voted for Republicans and Democrats alike, and I've never had a ballot that was entirely of one party or platform. In one case, I voted for a Republican presidential candidate, then for his Democratic challenger in the next election.

In this cycle, my candidate lost a bitter, horrible, almost surreal election. In my circles there are many who are complaining about the popular vote vs. the electoral college, or spinning theories of conspiracy and voter disenfranchisement. There are those who are pointing out hypocrisy of one form or another, or wildly advocating litigation and harassment. Some are dedicating themselves to "making sure Trump is a one-term President" or "destroying a corrupt political process." -- Much of this talk is out of despair, but some of it sounds like the planning of an actual strategy... and that scares me more than a Trump presidency.

So, as a Republican-turned-Democrat who still occasionally votes Republican, can I make a suggestion?

Stop.

Just stop.

I know the allure. I feel the temptation -- To do everything to Trump that was done to Obama. To give action to the frustration that seemingly has led us to this point in US history. But this frustration WILL turn into unchecked rage if we let it. We'll have Democratic spokesmen talking publicly about the illegitimacy of Trump's presidency, Democratic representatives breaking decorum during a State of the Union addresses, Democratic lawmakers who have an "obstruct-first" policy to legislation. It's so easy to look over the past 8 years and make the decision to become the people about whom we have complained these past two cycles. It would be SO easy to give in and use every trick and tool in the arsenal that was pulled out again Obama, but before we do that...

Stop.

Just stop.

We are at a precarious point in this country... and I'm not talking about the political process or who sits in what seat... I mean a precarious point in defining THE MEANING of America and the American Dream. This country is based on the ideal that hard work can make your life better. This "bootstrap" mentality doesn't belong to Republicans or Democrats, but to all Americans. It's an ethos that is built into our identity: short-term suffering can lead to long-term prosperity. -- But that ONLY works as long as people are willing to look to long-term prosperity... and as a country, we've failed miserably at doing that these past few elections. We've demanded short-term gratification in the form of revenge, or talking points, or lolz... and I don't think we can continue to do that without losing sight of our long-term prosperity altogether.

So... my fellow Democrats. --- Stop. Breathe. Stop. Reflect. Stop... then get back to work.

This isn't to say that we surrender or give up our ideals. It's our job to hold our representatives to their promises and to challenge them when we don't agree... but we CAN'T be obstructionists. We CAN'T be trolls. We CAN'T be focused on proving that "we were right!" every time a republican stumbles. It's time for us to take to heart all the advice we've been offering to our more reasonable Republican brothers and sisters during the Obama Administration. In other words, it's time to be Americans.

And to my fellow Republicans. --- Stop. Breathe. Stop. Reflect. Stop... then get back to work.

The only way this works is if we hold accountable all the people who have done things we don't want to see during the Trump administration. Every representative who promised obstruction when it looked like Hillary would win, should no longer be a representative. Every pundit who claimed we should grab a gun, incite violence, or otherwise overthrow a duly-elected president should be shunned and shamed. Every extremist who was claiming we should "take back America" from Americans should fade into obscurity, replaced by those who are willing and able to put the long-term prosperity of our country above headlines and airtime. It's time for us to work and compromise with our more reasonable Democratic brothers and sisters. In other words, it's time to be Americans.

This is a different way of living the political process than we've know the past two generations, but if we care about being the UNITED States of America, this is the ONLY way it will happen.

If we're willing, and open, and caring... and AMERICAN... this could become our new normal.
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Ok KITAs, this cute little ball of doge is the new KH mascot... and he needs a name.

Put your suggestions in the comments below, we'll pick the best, then open a poll to decide on a name for the Know Corgi!
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Hey KITAs!

Did you know that +Bob Heil just joined our community?!

If you had any sound-related projects, he's the master. :)

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I've been wanting an interview with Adam Savage for YEARS.

This year, he was nice enough to take time out of CRAZY BUSY schedule.

#GeekSquee!

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Yo KITAs!

I'm always working on new segments and series for the show. I like to go a little out of my wheelhouse so that we spread out our topics, but this time I'm going WAAAAAAAY out of my wheelhouse.

I've been working on a new series called, "The Green Geek" -- in which I show how to grow plants indoors, move to making tech to ease the growth of plants indoor (think: Arduino controlled lights, fans, heater and irrigation) and end up with some cool segments on extracting essential oils from plant material. (Lavender!)

Is this something that interests you?
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votes visible to Public
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Not interested. I won't watch.
Not interested, but I'll still watch.
I'm interested, but I won't watch.
Meh, grumble, you have a lack of choices
74%
I'm interested. I'll watch!
8%
Not interested. I won't watch.
14%
Not interested, but I'll still watch.
2%
I'm interested, but I won't watch.
2%
Meh, grumble, you have a lack of choices

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Hey KITAs,

(I'm trying K.IT.As rather than KIAs, because... well... I don't want people to think you're all dead.)

The new format of Know How has been well-received. It seems that you all like shorter shows with themed content.

So... how you would all feel if instead of doing a 2 weekly 30-45 minute shows with three segments and two ads each, we instead did 5 INDIVIDUAL 10-15 minute segments with a single ad that was released daily?

I think we can make them tight and bite-sized... perhaps increasing our YouTube viewership past the "1% of downloads" that we have right now. We'd also make it easier to find EXACTLY the segment that you're looking for, AND give you a new KH every day!

Whatcha' think? 
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votes visible to Public
Poll option image
83%
Yes. I'd watch.
83%
17%
No. Not interested.
17%

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And winning the Internet...
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Pie anybody?
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