Akma, who was kind enough recently to confirm my appointment as Dean of Memetic Engineering and Reader of Thoughts at the University of Blogaria, has been thinking about authenticity, complexity and binary thought (us v. them).
Symmetrically, I attended church today, to see some friends confirmed, and also saw the priest officially installed.
I was struck by the formal and contractual sounding nature of the installation, (it was very like installing software - a licence we could reject as parishioners, but then have no priest) and also by the 'binary' (in AKMA's terms) discussion of Christian doctrine as part of the confirmation - the idea that we have a common heritage in the Book of Common Prayer, and that one might suffer for being identified as a Christian. I know persecution casts a long shadow, but the small Anglican congregation gathered in the hills above Silicon Valley seems very far from Rome.
On a related note, I just ordered Stephen Wolfram's A New Kind of Science, which claims that complexity is explicable (or at least able to be generated) from simple rules.
I'm looking forward to reading this tome, and I will let Akma know if I recommend its memes. I do agree that appreciating compexity and eschewing a zero-sum viewpoint is important, but to assert that complex outcomes require complex explanations (which Akma does not, directly) is another common logical flaw. Occam's razor needs to be kept sharp too.