"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Saturday, May 29, 2004

I am told that during the recent company proficiency tests back at 42, as a vote of protest, one company "chose" to fail by somehow moving off without their OC, letting him get killed by the enermy. Seemingly even the prospect of RT did not deter them from registering their protest.

They spend $170,000 to renovate the medical centre when it is not totally necessary, but meanwhile the whole place is down to 1 toner catridge, which has to be shared by everyone, and rubber stamps which are needed for daily work go unmade. So much for intelligent budgeting.

Apparently there are no PRs in Armour - only Singapore citizens. Bah.


Quotes:

They say Taiwan is cheap. You can have one girl for 5 dollars. (?!)

[Written] CPL Denise (Denise)




The self-proclaimed Master of Office was giving his rationale for skipping all the NUS camps. According to him, they are just a chance for desperate NUS (male) seniors to ogle at girls in wet clothes. Besides, he has plenty of unspecified friends already.

***

Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords

"Five years after the events from the award winning Knights of the Old Republic, the Sith Lords have hunted the Jedi to the edge of extinction and are on the verge of crushing the Old Republic. With the Jedi Order in ruin, the Republic’s only hope is a Jedi Knight struggling to reconnect with the Force and is faced with the galaxies most dire decision: To follow the light or succumb to the dark side…"

I can't wait :) I must say, KOTOR was one of the best games I've ever played.

***


I took the What Mythological Creature Are you? test by
!



***

"Augustus came from a miraculous conception by the divine and human conjunction of [the God] Apollo and [his mother] Atia. How does the historian respond to that story? Are there any who take it literally?... That divergence raises an ethical problem for me. Either all such divine conceptions, from Alexander to Augusts and from the Christ to the Buddha, should be accepted literally and miraculously or al of them should be accepted metaphorically and theologically. It is not morally acceptable to say directly and openly that our story is truth but yours is myth; ours is history but yours is a lie. It is even less morally acceptable to say that indirectly and covertly by manufacturing defensive or protective strategies that apply only to one's own story."

--- John Crosssan, The Birth of Christianity, 1998, pg 28 - 29, as quoted by Pagan Origins of the Christ Myth

***

"All critical thought is by nature adversarial. A "positive" role belongs instead to creative thought. While the role of creative thought is to create ideas and possibilities, the role of critical thought is to debunk them, and it is only by these two processes working together that we arrive at knowledge and truth. Critical thought can be viewed in much the same way as natural selection: it does in a sense 'create' by eliminating the 'weak' and leaving the 'strong'. Thus, critical thought's role as a debunking device is essential and indispensable, and it must play a part in every act of knowing. But it does not eliminate ideas and possibilities until none are left. Nihilism is as irrational as blind faith, and as self limiting as naivety. Rather, critical thought eliminates until all that remains is the consistent, the probable, the tenable, the reliable, the useful--in other words, knowledge."

"'Holders of firm religious beliefs do not merely resist attempts at critique, they are often impervious to them'. This kind of behavior, which seems inexplicably irrational, is revealed to be quite explicable (though perhaps still irrational) when we recognize that the religiously devout are often interested in things more important to them than the truth (such as an ultimate meaning to life). Since the personal, emotional benefits provided by spiritual beliefs do not depend on those beliefs being true, their truth becomes (in practice) irrelevant. Thus, while Buddhism and Christianity each provide a supernatural explanation for our ills, and an equally supernatural solution, within all this lies a purely practical belief system which not only provides an ultimate meaning to life, but attempts to produce a greater balance of peace and happiness by providing both a moral standard and a reason to live up to it. But all of these benefits are gained merely by the claims being believed, and not by their actually being true, which is quite unlike scientific claims or technological inventions, where benefits are usually gained only when we believe in theories which are true (and definite hazards are often created by believing in false ones)."

"'Religion seems founded,' he writes, 'on a need for an ultimate meaning to life'. Recognizing this, it becomes more obvious how people can become so emotionally attached to their religion, and why criticizing their religion can so quickly be regarded as a personal or blasphemous attack, or be pathologically ignored or avoided altogether."

"Many may be surprised to read the following words of Carl Sagan: 'Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual' (from Carl Sagan, 'Does Truth Matter? Science, Pseudoscience, and Civilization.' Skeptical Inquirer, 20:6. 1996. p. 29.)"

--- From a review of Do Religious Life and Critical Thought Need Each Other?

***

'Buffy' conference takes show seriously - "It's tough for scholars to be taken seriously when their subject is a TV show about a California blonde fighting evil in a high school built on a gateway to hell."
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