Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Human Being

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." -
Robert A. Heinlein

Saturday, November 15, 2008

More clips of the event at YouTube.

The Embryo Of War.

This very funny clip of priests of different christian denominations fighting it out in the streets of Jerusalem is probably humorous because of the huge contrast between the (supposedly holy) costumes and the (violent) posturing and attitudes.

But it also underlines how faction wars begin. It could be just an accidental aggravation during one of these street fights that will start ill feelings, needs for retaliation and things like that. And Bam! you have a religious war.

Now that's all we need, Catholic and Orthodox nations at war, Greece and Turkey now united, supported by Russia, at war with Italy, supported by Europe and the USA. There must be something in these people's "books" that tells them how wrong their differences are, at least something to the effect that they are somewhat brothers. Mmmm... don't these two read the same book?

Actually I think they choose to overlook the good advice and let instead their hurt feelings guide their actions, oblivious to the real consequences. Revenge, retaliation, restitution of justice, all suddenly seem more real, important, urgent, than their religious and moral pretense , than those virtues they claim ownership upon.

And war becomes part of the sacred fantasy.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Using the above ZuneCard you can listen to some of the music I like.

Music is Art.

It is one of the things we do to ourselves, as humans, to exercise our imagination and to provoke emotions. For the performers it promotes creativity - an abilty that can be used in other fields as well - and for the enjoyers, it is interpreted immediately and it can mark memories.

I greatly enjoy listening to music, it's a way to control or influence my moods, and to stimulate memories when I listen to older songs. I'm mostly interested in new music however, stuff that reflects our current condition, stuff from all over the world and from all genres.

I'm even interested in religious music, as, beyond its insidious propaganda, it also reflects the big existential puzzle humans have had to deal with as their self-awareness emerged.

Music is important, like litterature and visual arts. It is something that we do to ourselves - so better be aware of what it actually does to you, that we leave for posterity - and mark our collective memories with, that we use to try to understand the world and ourselves.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Devil

The French poet Beaudelaire said: "The devil’s best trick is to persuade you that he doesn’t exist!".

A) The devil exists and indeed all atheists are his intruments. And there is Good and Evil, while health and madness are just consequences of the actions of these forces. Human society needs to be saved from Evil, protected from the devil's hidden influence. Fighting him in one's individual life - one of the believer's duty - will prove difficult however, because if the poet is right, we might not see him coming.

B) The devil does not exist, all moral issues rest on the shoulder of the beholder, human society adheres to the principles of individual responsibility, and it is mental health that is the real issue behind criminal behavior. Maintaining and enforcing sanity are matters of scientific research and poetry remains in the realm of imagination.

The blame for our collective soggy condition is not to be wasted on imaginary foes but should be focused on our own misundertsanding of the real situation.

As Woody Allen once wrote:

"We stand today at a crossroads:
One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness.
The other leads to total extinction.
Let us hope we have the wisdom to make the right choice."