Nearby Miracles

I was thinking about the nature of miracles recently. And I'm not the first to consider this. I'm of a 'scientific' mind and understand how the world of things work. So when God works unexpectedly in creation nature (water to wine, stopping the sun in its apparent path, making dry land in a sea, healing of incurable disease, etc.), that's pretty impressive. Those are feats of God's work that are pretty rare and usually far off, however.

But I'm coming to be even more impressed with the miracles that are more accessible to us. The changes in human nature: a heart of pride turned to humility, relationships long dysfunctional brought to health, cold and calculating transmuted to sympathetic and sacrificial. These are things I get to see because the gospel of Jesus leads and invites us into those miracles. And they are very accessible: as close as our own soul.

In my experience, the authentic gospel of Jesus changes everything for the better.


GAMMZ-Collins Scale of Questionability

I was recently introduced to a new piece of research by the GAMMZ team. This is the "Collins Scale of Questionability;" a semantic exercise to identify and label levels of subjective social inappropriateness. While there are, within legitimate use of this tool, objective indica (it is, after all, behaviorally based); the tool best operates when applied to the subjectively precieved questionability of observed behavior. Here is the scale:
  1. Interesting
  2. Strange
  3. Awkward
  4. Fishy
  5. Shady
  6. Sketchy
  7. Creepy
  8. Stalker-ish
  9. Crazy
The scale ranges from light to extreme questionability.
Note that it is tempting to see the phenomena of questionability in a linear and continuous movement. One of the key insights from the GAMMZ team is that the range of questionability seems to operate in a discrete manner. The phenomena, in movement, is  quantum-like in nature with observed behaviors instantaneously jumping from one level to another - occasionally skipping one or more levels in a single state change leap.

It should also be noted that questionability (of necessity) is a sociological phenomena in that it requires the norms of a group to operate, as well as the observation by a group to be recognized. There is the additional characteristic in that questionable behavior, once introduced into a group system, can become both contagious, and from that contagion, escalate to greater levels of questionability. Furthermore, the individual(s) engaging in questionable behavior is/are frequently observed to escalate their behavior upon the recognition by the larger group of the specific behavior as belonging to one of the levels of questionability.

I would like to thank the GAMMZ team for their work and insights in publishing this important research. The GAMMZ team involved in this research consists of:
  • Lindsay Geverink
  • Amy (wished to remain anonymous)
  • Sarah Manore
  • Kristi Metz
  • Emily Zanke