Saturday, April 3, 2010

Zombie weekend

So it is Easter and single-celled organisms all around the world celebrate some voodoo practitioner that died a couple of thousands of years ago.

People with no brain activity whatsoever will get themselves spiked to one of those death symbols in wood. Others will put on some strange head-bonnets in order to bleed some while they waggle down the street.

Hundreds of millions have suffered, been plundered and died in the name of the spooky Jew that apparently also got up after death like a zombie created by the Umbrella Corporation. And this is a Jew and sect leader that hasn’t even been proven to have existed…

The last dinner arrangement

Even though I have a soft heart for someone that might be able to conjure up wine out of water, this hoax is very sad indeed. But it also has its entertaining parts. Like morons crying in front of a couple of splinters while some priest is sadomizing altar boys in the backroom or when people consume tons of chocolate in full-out gluttony while they are watching a movie that shows the ‘tragic’ death of the sect leader in question.

I have nothing against people believing in poltergeists or hocus pocus, that’s their problem. But the thing is that these duped suckers have had and still have a lot of power over people and countries. It is time to get rid of this ghost-story and to delete this “holyday” from the calendar so we can go to work.

And having spent the day reading about the Bible and how it was created I stumbled upon some new things I didn’t know.

Most I already knew from before, I did know about the church meeting in Nicosia 325 AD were some bishops voted what would be in and out of the bible. I also knew that many Gnostic texts and several pro women texts were left out, despite being very popular in their time.

In addition I also had an idea about why a bible was believed to be necessary – everyone else (Jews, Romans, Hindus etc.) seemed to have holy texts and a book filled with weirdness in order to keep the masses occupied is a good idea.

What I didn’t know was that several of the texts that made it into the bible have several different versions. So the bishops voting process 325 did not only left out the stuff that was not really to their liking, they also made a choice on which texts that had the best writings and made up the best storyline. Among other things there is an old text about Genesis were we are told the story from Eve’s perspective. A bunch of men in church cloths did not like this.

The church meeting in Nicosia also voted on if Jesus was divine or not. Before this year Jesus was not necessarily God in human form, most Christian people actually didn’t believe this. But from here on Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit was the same. Isn’t voting great?

Most of the bible is a magical story with some true names of people, cities or events. But how true is it and is it really the word of God?

Well if one believe that God influenced these bishops to make “the right decisions” you might still believe in this fiction. But there are some stories that contradict some “facts” in the bible like the forbidden story of Magdalene, the stories of Jesus childhood or the book of Enok. There are also some “facts” or “words” that change depending on the translation from one country or one bible to another. And then we have archeological and historical records that to a large degree disagree with the bible, and when it doesn’t we find that most (all) of the stories have been told before by other religions.

And in addition; the whole thing is absurd!

Do you really believe that some father figure is watching us and will condemn us for everything we do in our lives? Do you really believe in dividing the red sea or that some character could walk on water raised the dead? And do you really believe that some old men voting 1700 years ago did in fact collect the word of God? Then you are truly a very sad person that can be fooled into believing in anything.


Saturday Sci-Fi rambling

Several science-fiction writers have remarked on the fact that the writers and fans believe, or would like to believe, that human behavior is or could be ruled by reason instead or emotion. That is also a necessary premise, but not exactly accurate, for most libertarians.

For someone being outside of the middle-school mainstream probably resulted in some clashes with "authority" and could naturally lead to a healthy skepticism of the ruling class on the political playground as well as in ‘real’ life. This sort of description fits both the nerd that is often connected to Sci-Fi and the libertarian.

And so is there a correlation between loving Science fiction and libertarianism? Are most libertarians also nerds?

I’ve been studying such discussion online and my view is pretty clear. Almost everyone I’ve ever known that loves The X-files, Firefly and Star Trek have a very clear opinion on individuality versus collectivism. They may not always be hardcore libertarians, but their political persuasion is certainly always far from socialism.

Of course there are exceptions, but to me it seems like that most libertarians have a liking towards technology, inventions, fantastic tales and futurism.

I would also like to point out that even though the perception of a story, movie, book or TV-show is in eye of the beholder, I cannot help seeing clear libertarian traits in all sci-fi adventures. Those that don’t agree I usually find is seeing libertarianism as that evil capitalist thought media and our master’s tries to tell us it is, not the actual ideology.

My favorite Sci-Fi show is Firefly. Although not as entertaining as Stargate SG1 or as ‘out there’ as Star Trek, I find this show particularly interesting both from an enjoyable and a libertarian perspective.

Although the show comes with certain faults such as claiming the pyramids was built by slaves or that “The Earth that was” cannot sustain too many humans, the show, to me, seem very realistic. Probably the most realistic Sci-Fi show to date.

Only that space battles and things that goes on out there are soundless is a fresh, and factual, approach I would like to see in more of these sorts of tales. There are no sounds in space which always annoys me when, for example, looking at Star Trek battles and every laser makes a loud and clear noise.

The show was created by writer and director Joss Whedon, who is a pure genius, although not very libertarian, at least not officially. Rather an American liberal and certainly against conservative ideals (yeah, I know, who isn’t?). And it follows the adventures of the renegade crew of Serenity, a "Firefly-class" spaceship.

According to Whedon's vision, "nothing will change in the future: technology will advance, but we will still have the same political, moral, and ethical problems as today”. I certainly can agree with that statement. Also the crew are ruffians often working outside the law (that is as unjust as today) and they battle against a government out of control trying to impose people a “controlled” environment and even taking it so far as to using chemicals to subdue any aggressive and non-compliance behavior.

People seemingly wants to be left alone and only wants the government to step in to enforce the laws, but since many laws and government intrusions takes it too far the story sort of starts with a civil war, very similar to that of the US civil war that also was about control and state independence, not slavery as the popular belief says. And many moons and groups of people rather lives in 'lawlessness' than have the government come by to control them.

The show also ignores aliens and too outrageous technological advancements, which I also find very refreshing and more true to facts.

When the captain of the ship Serenity, Malcolm (Mal) Reynolds, tells his first mate Zoe that with the ship, "[We] never have to be under the heel of nobody ever again. No matter how long the arm of the Alliance might get, we’ll just get a little further." you just feel the heartbeat of libertarianism pounding away.

I mean, just listen to this:

The series’ central theme seems to concern the ineptitude of strong central government and its tendency to oppress and stifle rather than free or secure. As Mal says, "That’s what governments are for, [to] get in a man’s way."

Operating under the precepts of free trade, Mal is a principled smuggler ; while the government places barriers on trade, Mal believes the smuggling he does is honest work. As he tells a prospective client who is apprehensive about dealing with supposedly dishonest smugglers, "Seems to me there’s nothing dishonest about getting goods to people that need ’em." That philosophy extends to mud, medical supplies, and in one delightful episode, cattle.

To top it all off we have Whedon’s trademark witty and thoughtfully chosen scripts and the language is almost as fantastic, and slightly more grown-up, than that of Buffy.

So to my fellow nerds and libertarians out there, see this show. And for you that have lefties point of view should also see it as one of many tales that pretty accurately tells us about government versus individual thinking and shows what libertarianism is for many of us that actually believe in that idea.

Finally I need to say to all of you out there that once space flight becomes a reality, let’s bring all libertarians together and fly far, far away from all the wars, inflation, unemployment and poverty the rest of this planet’s inhabitants continue to spit out.

The Senegal fiasco

It's been almost a decade since Senegal's president swept to power with an election campaign slogan of change. Sound familiar? Anyway, Senegal's new 160-foot African renaissance monument as yet again triggered concerned over government mismanagement and nepotism and a towering, multimillion-dollar presidential indulgence.

The $27 million statue-project is that of a mighty Soviet-style bronze statue of a man, woman and child overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and dominates the horizon of the capital, Dakar. Built by North Koreans it is supposed to symbolize the triumph of African liberation from centuries of ignorance, intolerance and racism.

Senegal’s economy has collapsed, the education system is in a crisis, and the health system is in crisis. And yet the government is squandering public money on a huge monument that no-one really likes. Sound familiar?

In September last year, Senegal was awarded a $540 million grant from the United States as a reward for — and to encourage — good governance. Isn’t that special? How about it you Americans out there, feel proud over helping out paying for a statue that looks like this:

Muslims, of course, are protesting. The female is kind of half-naked, and presenting the human form as a sort of object of worship isn’t really a part of the Islamic faith. And from their point of view, you cannot really blame them. The statue is neither Islamic or becoming nor aesthetically African. I’m no art critic; I just see the waste of money and think that it can be put to better use. I don’t care if it is a statue of Muhammad riding a dog or of a palm tree. Still a waste.

But just to make things funnier, Abdoulaye Wade, the Senegal president, says he's entitled to 35 percent of any revenues generated from tourism from the monument.

This is almost too comical.

About 30 heads of state are set to attend the inauguration on today, and I cannot wait for some of those getting back home ordering their own set of statues.

Interesting info from USA

Swedish pensioners are lucky

Income gap among Swedish pensioners has grown over the last 10 years, according to a report from Statistics Sweden.

Of course this is yelled about in media as “unfair”.

Two things here.

Firstly what is unfair about a person working harder and saving more during his/her lifetime and reek the benefits later? What it is unfair is that the gap isn’t wider.

Secondly, Swedish pensioners have their pensions covered, at least for the most part. Earlier changes in the pension system and an arrangement that makes the pension debt pretty low in comparison with other countries have seen to that. Italy, Belgium and many other EU countries have not only squandered that money, they have also borrowed on it as collateral. The pension debt in some of these countries is over 300% of GDP. This isn’t a direct problem for Sweden. However, it can become one in the near future when the mentioned countries start to default for this and other reasons.

In other words, it is time to get out of the European Union.