Archive for December, 2006

Yeah, I'll pass

December 29, 2006 Leave a comment

You know, there are legitimate concerns underlying this, but in the end it looks awfully totalitarian.

Dawkins and the other signatories should limit themselves to open debate and forget about government coercion.

Categories: Religion

Christmas is over

December 26, 2006 Leave a comment

…but I’m still on vacation. There will probably be no posting this week.

Categories: Blogging

Christmas is for atheists, too

December 22, 2006 1 comment

Jay linked to a strange letter in the Missoula Independent. Christmas is a fun subject, so let’s go. Here’s the letter in its entirety:

Well, here we are yet again, facing the approach of another Christmas holiday. A holiday full of love, happiness, joy, celebration…and rank liberal hypocrisy. Just to give some of you an historical reminder, Christmas was founded by the psuedo-pagan Roman Emperor Constantine in roughly the year 336 A.D. The holiday was set up so that Christians had a day to honor the birth of Christ. The holiday was not set up to exchange gifts, to put up Christmas lights, to put up a tree. No, the only reason Christmas exists is for Christians to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Now, what does this have to do with liberals, you may ask? Simple. First, how many times here in Missoula have we heard from neolibs who insist that creationism is “absurd,” “stupid,” and “brainwashing”? How many neolib atheists have we heard from telling us “God is dead”? Yet once a year they put up their lights, furnish their houses with a tree, and lavish themselves and their friends with gifts…all to celebrate a holiday for a savior they say “doesn’t exist” and is “evil.” So, those of you neolibs who spend such a great deal of effort throughout the year telling our children that “Christianity is evil” and proudly displaying your atheism on your sleeve, stop and consider for a moment your profound hypocrisy in this matter. If you don’t believe in or practice Christianity, then you have no business celebrating Christmas. It is that simple.

I suppose I could point out that creationism has little to do with the birth of Jesus, most liberals are Christians, etc. Plus, when the hell did we all become “neolibs?” I thought neoliberals were the jackoffs at the DLC? Anyway…

So, of course, the reason for Christmas has little to do with Jesus. The holiday was created essentially as a marketing tool; forcing pagans to give up their big solstice parties to convert to Christianity is not a good PR move. So, we have Christmas.

Plus, let’s take a look at modern Christmases. They involve traditions of largely secular or pagan origins (Santa Claus, gifts, trees, lights, etc). The philosophical message seems to be very humanistic: good will towards men, charity, etc. Of course, I also enjoy taking the whole thing as a metaphor for atheism.

So, in sum, how am I a hypocrite? I’m engaging in traditions that have little connection to Christianity. I’m celebrating a message with which I largely agree. Oh, right, there’s some kind of mythology at the base of it that some people still think is real. I suppose that guy doesn’t celebrate Halloween because he doesn’t believe ghosts return to Earth on October 31st.

Categories: Religion, Silliness

Mmm, science

December 20, 2006 Leave a comment

It’s the Carl Sagan memorial blog-a-thon!

I, being the age that I am, largely missed out on Sagan. Aside from seeing him on TV a couple times and having read The Demon-Haunted World, I haven’t encountered much of his work. What I have seen is enough to tell me that he was an amazing person with a gift for making science powerful and awe-inspiring and that someone like him is sorely needed today.

Categories: Blogging, Science

Oh, I'm proud of myself now

December 20, 2006 3 comments

I compiled my own kernel and it works. I can now see two CPUs in System Monitor. Sweet.

I’m sorry, I’m sure you’re all absolutely enamored of my Ubuntu adventures, but I’m enjoying this.

Categories: Tech

Tripoli Six

December 19, 2006 Leave a comment

I have a post on the issue over at Montana Netroots. Go read it if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

Categories: Science, World news

Trying Linux again

December 18, 2006 3 comments

I blame Shane. I decided running 64 bit version of Ubuntu was a pain in the ass, so I blew away everything and started over. My first attempt to start over didn’t go so well: Edgy Eft didn’t recognize my mouse (an off and on problem in my Ubuntu experiences) and my network connection. So that sucked and was my first real problem installing Ubuntu. I went back to 32 bit Dapper and then upgraded to Edgy, which seems to work well. I even got the Flash 9 beta to work in Firefox (and it works quite well). My project for this evening was to make an ext2 partition for my music and videos (after discovering this) so I didn’t have to deal with Linux’s sketchy NTFS drivers anymore. Sadly, it may have been too late, as Partition Magic refuses to resize my main Windows partition. Annoyingly, Ubuntu had no problem doing so during installation and I hadn’t written anything to my NTFS partition from Ubuntu. I was warned, though, so I have no excuse. Chkdsk is ineffective; maybe defragging will help.

Of course, it’s only at 20% and it’s nearly time for me to go to bed, so I guess I’ll have to resume tomorrow. Damn.

Categories: Tech