RR

Atheist Rubric

October 30, 2006

Originally posted to ydnar.vox.com in October 2006.

There are many things I could say about this book. One of which is that I am the furthest from its intended audience as one could be. With an economy of pages (it weighs in at 96 pages, including references), Sam Harris presents a compelling case on morality, rule of law and the effect religion has had on humanity.

The book is at the same time both hilarious and incredibly frightening. With a few bits of simple logic, it dismantles a number of Christian precepts. Later it describes the dangerous effect that "religious morality" has on the health and well-being of mankind.

One example is the Right's opposition to a HPV vaccine because it would encourage premarital sex. If you extend this to a theoretical HIV vaccine, then the utter abhorrence of this point of view becomes clear.

Something Letterman said to Bill O'Reilly said the other night rang true here: "It's not a simple question, because I'm a thoughtful person."

On Vox: Ducati 1098, In Situ

October 29, 2006
View ydnar’s Blog

A fellow snagged two shots (and a video) of the less-than-secret replacement for the 999 on a tour of the Ducati factory. CW says it will be announced in 2 weeks at the Milan motorcycle show. CW also says 916...

» Read more on Vox

Ducati 1098, In Situ

October 29, 2006

Originally posted to ydnar.vox.com in October 2006.

A fellow snagged two shots (and a video) of the less-than-secret replacement for the 999 on a tour of the Ducati factory. CW says it will be announced in 2 weeks at the Milan motorcycle show. CW also says 916 fans (nee 999 haters) will rejoice, and Duc will suffer a bit of the Osbourne effect.

I for one welcome our new side-by-side headlamp overlords. Now where is the 798?

Climbing Update

October 26, 2006

Originally posted to ydnar.vox.com in October 2006.

  • Finished every wall I started last night.
  • Now have completed every 5.9 and 5.9+ in the gym, including the blasted 5.9+ overhang at the edge of the main room.
  • Did my first 5.10c (woot!)
  • Tired.

Paradise PB

October 23, 2006

Originally posted to ydnar.vox.com in October 2006.

Rode the Paradise/Tiburon loop door-to-door in 3:05, just a hair over 48 miles. Bridge-to-bridge portion was 2 hours, and averaged 18mph on Paradise drive.

Didn't fare so well at the climbing gym though, my arms were so burnt I couldn't even finish a 5.8.

Missed an alleycat today, bummer.

Climbing

October 18, 2006

Originally posted to ydnar.vox.com in October 2006.

1st Post via E70

October 17, 2006

Originally posted to ydnar.vox.com in October 2006.

Pista investigates her new bed.

Steampunk Laptop

October 14, 2006

Originally posted to ydnar.vox.com in October 2006.

Via Engadget, the coolest laptop ever made, bar none.

Edit: Originally via JWZ.

5.10c

October 14, 2006

Originally posted to ydnar.vox.com in October 2006.

Took climbing to a new level (har) yesterday. Climbed the hard 5.9 with the crack again, in half the time as last week. Also climbed a 5.10a, a 5.10b, and made it halfway up a 5.10c before my arms completely crapped out at the end of the night.

The 5.10c had 4 smallish holds within 18 inches of each other, then no holds for another 3 feet, both spread apart by almost 6 feet laterally. ydnar be pwn3d.

November Past & Future

October 10, 2006

Originally posted to ydnar.vox.com in October 2006.

This is heartening.

I recently revived an old Linux box that had been sitting under my desk for a while. As I was copying the contents onto other machines, I ran across an email I'd sent to a number of people shortly before the 2004 election. It was in response to an email I'd recieved from a conservative christian friend commenting on a Kerry/Bush debate.

Do not confuse the war with the warriors. A soldier's involvement in any conflict is predicated on the ability and judgement of his commander in chief. Ordering that soldier into harm's way should be a decision taken lightly. It demands careful reasoning, even agonizing over, and should only be considered after exhausting all other avenues. The decision to potentially lay waste to a young life and the hopes of his family should never be cast in stone, even after it has been made. At every possible opportunity it should be reconsidered, reanalyzed, rethought, or even just affirmed.

The affairs of government, politics, diplomacy and war are complex and subtle. They must be dealt with using intelligence and nuance, with dissent allowed to be given equal time to syncophants. Patriotism is not jingoism, nor is it Christianity, nor is it flag waving, nor voting Republican. It isn't homophobia, anti-muslim, discriminating against arabs or people who accidentally leave their purse on the bus. It's doing the right thing for your country when it really is the right thing--and speaking out when it isn't.

The war in Iraq does benefit some people. Those in the current adminstration with friends and associates in the Carlyle Group, Halliburton and Bechtel. The longer we are at war--with anyone--the deeper their pockets become.

Yes, only by thinking rationally for a minute can you realize that the current administration does not give a fuck about you. It cares about 4 things: money, power, bombs and oil. The Republican party is the party of the Christian Right because they know how ready and willing they are to Believe. They drum up red herring issues like abortion and gay marriage to stoke the fire of morality. What they don't like to mention is that a lot of them are gay, had abortions, and don't go to church that often. Faith, like fear, is an amazing thing. Unfortunately, like fear, it can be exploited.

I'm not suggesting you vote for Kerry in November. I am, however, suggesting that if you haven't already, do some research into the policies of the politicians you support. If it's Bush et al, then perhaps look into the benefits of an estate or dividend tax repeal. Or check out the Project for a New American Century. Or the advisors and business of the Carlyle Group. Or the aforementioned Bechtel and Halliburton, particularly Kellogg, Brown and Root. Look behind the phrases "tax relief," "partial birth abortion," and "no child left behind."

Pick one issue you care about, other than the incredibly narrow slice of issues being trumpeted this election, and find out everything you can about where your candidate stands. Maybe you agree with him, maybe you don't.

Consider if Kerry is elected for a moment, and really think about whether or not we would be in any more danger than we are today. The Pentagon will keep on humming, some troops might grumble, but then move on, every police station and fire department will still be open, every satellite and spy plane will still be aloft, and every guard will be just as vigilant. Maybe even just a little bit at ease.