... I. The Matrix ...

values paradoxes
The planting of ideas in the mind is something I have personally experienced. Scientists might refer to this type of experience as inspiration, while theologians might refer to it as personal revelation. To give a specific example, as the geotechnical co-founder of Landmark Graphics Corporation, I participated in a fundamental change in oil and gas exploration and production worldwide, affecting all sizes of oil companies. This change occurred during the time of one of the most significant business restructuring the world has ever seen, with hundreds of thousands of people leaving the oil industry, both through layoffs and through early retirements. Admittedly some left because they did not keep up with technology changes, and a few hold me personally responsible for their unemployment. Yet another paradox. It seems even when one strives to do good things, bad things sometimes happen.10

When Landmark's initial funding was announced, on December 15th 1982, the business goal was to become a leading provider of interactive solutions for interpreting 3-D seismic surveys and other subsurface data. Since 1982, many companies have merged with Landmark, and the software product suite now includes both 2-D and 3-D seismic processing, both 2-D and 3-D seismic interpretation, 3-D visualization and modeling, well path planning, petrophysical analysis, log interpretation, geostatistical tools, mapping, geographical information systems, reservoir characterization tools, geotechnical data bases, economics, and a framework for sharing data between each and all of these applications These developments required the contributions of many talented engineers and scientists and business people. Landmark has been a subsidiary of Halliburton since about 1997. Halliburton, a major oil service and construction company, has been in the news a lot since Dick Cheney, former President of Halliburton, became Vice President of the United States. During the 2004 elections, the Houston Chronicle reported one of Halliburton's most successful moves while Cheney was at the helm was the purchase of Landmark Graphics.1.6

My contribution towards the success of Landmark Graphics came from a spiritual source outside myself. I know I was simply passing on information, which ended up having some positive benefit to the world. The process did not happen as I thought it would when we started out. I do not describe my role out of an orgueil (French for an arrogant type of pride), nor to seek recognition nor pity. I have had more recognition than I am comfortable with. When told: "Being uncomfortable is a weakness," I have recalled the scriptural promise, our weaknesses will be turned to strength, if we let them humble us1.7 (another paradox).11 Humility is hard when things are going well.
One way I've found to keep in touch with reality is to work with young people. I have spent considerable time working with youth, and, in fact, this book responds to comments from a young lady, a former member of our congregation. Youth are bright, and they ask hard questions. These are questions I have asked myself, and often find, at least to some degree, have resolved in my own mind. Therefore it feels right to share my resolution to hard questions.

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