A single point of failure.

We started live streaming the Defending the Faith conference last night and things went well… until they didn’t. Just a little while into the stream our Mi-Fi device decided to power off. That’s very bad, since that device is the only link between the streaming computer and the internet. If it’s down, it’s all down.

That’s the danger of having a single point of failure and why so many of us who work in technology seek fervently to avoid it. It doesn’t matter how much awesome equipment you have. If that single link goes down, it’s all for naught.

Back to last night: It dropped out again a bit later in Doug’s talk, but eventually stayed up and running, so we thought things were sorted out. Not so.

When the stream started again this morning the device started powering off literally every few minutes.

Panic time.

The device was getting really hot, so we figured it was just being pushed too hard. Scott dropped the stream bit rate to around 2200 kbps and that made things much better, but still getting occasional power offs. At that point we just cut our losses and prepared for the next speaker.

When Nancy Pearcey came up to speak, Scott dropped the stream rate even lower down to less than 1000 kbps. Bingo. Not a single drop this time.

As I was listening to Nancy critique how physicalists always smuggle transendence in through the proverbial back door, it got me thinking about how having a single point of failure isn’t just a technology problem. It’s a philosophical issue as well.

For istance, physicalism always falls apart when the mind comes up. It can’t hold up. Mental events aren’t just a nuisance for the physicalist. They are a defeater.

And, while Christianity has many philosophical difficulties that we struggle with, such as the problem of evil. There is no single, decimating attack against it. That gives me hope. We believe in a very resilient worldview. That fact alone may not bring the non-believer to Christ. But, it definitely should be great encouragement to us who already believe.

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