To hide or reveal (July 2021)
Remember Chad, the image to the left? The little guy is hiding behind, and peeping out over, a wall. He delivered advisory messages with humour during World War 2. Much needed pleasantry to smooth out information delivery at a difficult time of sensitivity for many. He had a brief period of repeated popularity when I was younger.
The positive and negative analogy in my previous post required a diode to ensure the meaning was flowing in the right direction. A diode only allows electricity to flow in one direction and the bridge rectifier, might have at least four of these to convert AC to DC. Is Jesus our bridge rectifier for God’s grace?
But sometimes, following electrical and spiritual conversion, things don’t run smoothly, resulting in an annoying distracting background buzz with everything we hear from speakers. Even the well connected can speak nonsense. So today I’ll include other electronic components, a smoothing Capacitor and Resisitors, in this post. The Capacitor symbol, Chads nose. Resistor symbols, his hands. Check out the BBC website for a full explanation -see note in footer below. I’m not making up the component connection analogy this time.
“He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.” (Proverbs 21:23)
Sometime we do need to keep things to ourselves and hide bits to avoid calamity. It’s not good to be naked in the real or virtual world. It would be foolish of me to publish my security passwords and bank details publicly.
We can unknowingly give away information online that criminals and the corporate can use powerfully at our cost. I stay as hidden as possible behind a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when online, especially when using mobile devices. At home I don’t use the router that came from my internet service provider, but have a personally programed (sp. British English) replacement of my own choice. I disable cookies and other trackers in an attempt to stay hidden behind my own wall so that I can look over at the world wide web more safely.
Of course, a VPN can also be used negatively to hide irresponsible activity and provide access to otherwise restricted services that may be only available for those in a specific location. With a VPN you can pretend to be anywhere by accessing information via a computer sitting almost anywhere in the world.
“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbour, for we are all members of one body.” (Ephesians 4:25)
We might want to reveal more when we know exactly who we are with. Should we? “I look terrible after such a bad night of sleep.” “You are always beautiful to me,” might be a better response than some less compassionate truthful agreement. Or you could get unpleasantly truthful, seize the moment and add, “Oh, I’ve been meaning to say, that new dress is far too small and revealing for someone of your age with all that weight you’ve put on.”
Is hiding some truth from someone you know well, justifiable in some contexts?
Weight is a sensitive thing. I was recently in a shop with two ladies I don’t know personally, but we got taking about diets and I mentioned mine and they wanted to know more. They were on their phone looking up my diet plan and before I knew it they were sharing concerns about their looks, their issues and asking if my diet would work for them? Should our openness be different for different people and also for different contexts? What’s the deciding factor?
On the news I heard someone say that they have found it necessary to hide their background. They feel the need to talk and dress differently to try to fit in. Do we all do that to some extent? Have we ever tried to sound more intelligent, sporty, cultured; more or less of a lad/lass. Should we hide some truths from our boss? Should we always try to fit in with the group in front of us? I also recently read, “I hate night clubs. They are for beautiful people and good dancers only.” Are they right? Is it OK for them to say if it’s how they feel?
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29)
With all this contextual adaptation, do we know who we really are? God does.
“Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:24)
It seems to me that, “only what is helpful for building others up” is a useful key to deciding what to reveal and what to hide. We must remember that we can’t hide anything from Him. We must remain truthful and consistently compassionate.
“There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.” (Luke 12:2)
He knows us fully and loves us all, irrespective of our differences. He alone is our hiding place from the strains and stresses of this world. He has the capacity (as capacitor and bridge rectifier) to help us remove the background noise so that we can focus only on His truth. Safe in His presence for eternity.
“You are my hiding-place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” (Psalm 32:7)
Post Script/REM Statement
IC what I’m doing with too many electronic analogies.
I’ve overclocked my own ageing processing capacity and tried to do too much without disabling interrupts (Old Z80, DI, more recently multicore IRQ…) I need to stop trying to PUSH my STACK of values, and POP them out of my REGISTERS irrespective of their size, 8bit or 16bit paired. I need to quickly kick numerous historical BC values to a new DEstination from my HeeL. Nothing a foot here. LDIR.
I’ll assemble no more and leave others to; compile from their own preferred starting point, or even interpret BASIC scripts, and others, at their own pace as they go along. I hope you’ve enjoyed more than the LOGO. > moving on.
This will be my last electronic component and machine code programing analogy for a while, at least until next reboot or Enable Interrupt (EI) command. I mean no ARM in what I’ve said here. I’m trying to show some INTELigence AMD doing as well as I can spell and use capitals.
RET 201 Dec, C9 Hex, 11001001 Bin
The 12 byte Z80 machine code assembler program ‘hidden’ in the above was the focus of a letter I had published in Your Computer Magazine in the 80s. It was a simper and more effective version of a longer program published earlier. I’d used this code to update screens quickly on a ZX Spectrum by moving data to the screen memory address whilst writing games with ‘CS software’, formed by a group of 5 enthusiastic pupils, who, like myself, attended Chesterfield School for boys.
This was just a group of friends writing and sharing code -nothing formal. The one writing 6502 was exceptional. He designed and wrote a game called ‘Acid Bath’ where bullets missing the Aliens hit a bath of acid at the top of the screen. When that started to drip, you were in trouble.
WW2 People’s War is an online archive of wartime memories contributed by members of the public and gathered by the BBC. The archive can be found at bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar