That Which is Bread

Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? – Isaiah

A plug

I use internet search engines daily. Recently I’ve been exploring a non-mainstream one called DuckDuckGo, and I want to encourage others to try it.

For the searches I make, it works at least as well as Google and Bing. To the extent that it’s known at all, it’s popular with privacy fanatics, since it doesn’t save your search history and makes a serious effort to prevent ‘leakage’ of information from web searches. If you explore its features a bit, you’ll find a number of useful bells and whistles: for example, an easy syntax for doing searches within sites like Amazon and Wikipedia.

One thing that caught my attention is their presentation entitled “Escape Your Search Bubble” on how avoidance of search history not only protects privacy, but has some advantages in search results. Since people tend to click more on sites whose content they agree with, if a search engine saves your past searches and modifies its behavior accordingly (to “help” you find the information you want), you’re likely to enter a loop wherein your queries result more and more in the results you want to hear. For example, imagine that two people with different search histories Google “Climate Change.” One might get a set of links to environmental activist groups, while the other gets a set of links to thinly-disguised press releases from coal companies saying that climate change is a hoax. (Can you detect my bias?) Probably neither user is aware that their results are tailored to Google’s perception of what they’re looking for. A search that doesn’t save your history has a better chance (says DuckDuckGo) of exposing you to unexpected information.

While the idea of ‘escaping the search bubble’ has a lot of appeal to me, my two main reasons for recommending DuckDuckGo are (a) it’s the Little Guy in search, which automatically attracts me, and (b) I’ve found it to be a highly-effective, friendly search engine with novel and useful features.

End of sales pitch.

Purity

The Elder called upon the youth to pay special attention to purity, saying: “You should know that the young people today who remain pure will be counted among the martyrs of our Church on the day of judgment.”

Elder Païsios of Mount Athos by Hieromonk Isaac, p. 294

The icon image is from Uncut Mountain Supply (recommended!)

Pentecost

The Father is light, the Word is light, and the Holy Spirit is light,
who was sent to the Apostles in fiery tongues;
and through him the whole world is guided by light
to worship the holy Trinity.

The Holy Spirit is light and life
and living, spiritual spring.
Spirit of wisdom, Spirit of understanding;
good, right, spiritual, sovereign, cleansing faults.
God and making divine;
fire and proceeding from fire,
speaking, working, distributing the gifts of grace;
through whom all the prophets and Apostles of God
with the Martyrs have been crowned.
Strange tidings, strange sight:
fire divided for the apportioning of gifts.

— Verses from Matins for Pentecost