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I hate cyclists

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Friday, May 28, 2004

Word of the day: "callipygian"


Advertisement:

Anyone who wishes to work at a temp job (booth duty) at the World Book Fair (31st May to 4th June) for 3-4 days, at a rate of 6 bucks per hour... Too bad. All vacancies have been filled :) (Addendum added 29/05/04)

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I thought of the orphans and widows he had made; of the tears that had been shed for his glory and of the only woman who had ever loved him pushed from his heart by the cold hand of ambition. And I said I would rather have been a French peasant and worn wooden shoes. I would rather have lived in a hut with a vine growing over the door and the grapes growing purple in the kisses of the autumn sun. I would rather have been that poor peasant with my loving wife by my side, knitting as the day died out of the sky, with my children upon my knee and their arms about me. I would rather have been that man and gone down to the tongueless silence of the dreamless dust than to have been that imperial impersonation of force and murder known as Napoleon the Great. And so I would ten thousand times.

--- Soliloquy of Robert Green Ingersoll at the tomb of Napoleon

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A review of God Against the Gods: The History of the War Between Monotheism
and Polytheism, by Jonathan Kirsch


"Kirsch jumps to the reign of Emperor Theodosius, who ruled from 379 to 395 and made Christianity the state religion in 390. From there Kirsch documents the increasing suppression of not only paganism but secular philosophy and learning as well, culminating in the burning of the library of Alexandria in 390 and the horrible murder of the mathematician and philosopher Hypatia by Christian monks in 415. After dragging her from her chariot and ripping off her clothes, they hacked her to death with sharpened clam shells, what the men in those times used as razors."
Ouch. No wonder the christ cult won.

"Polytheistic religions tend to have a greater tolerance of opposing religious points of view than do monotheistic creeds. With belief in the "One True God" one is not likely to be tolerant of those not following the true faith... Certainly, polytheistic Hindus in Bombay and other places on the Indian subcontinent have murdered Moslems in internecine strife with an enthusiasm that matches that of their monotheistic foes. This instance notwithstanding, I would
tend to agree that, had the pagan tradition of religious toleration prevailed in the later Roman Empire, our own civilization would have been richer and happier for it."

"Christianity, in the form it took once the Roman state had co-opted it, was too useful for the maintenance of centralized power for it to be abandoned. This is well illustrated in the religious controversy between Pelagius and Augustine in the opening decades
of the fifth century. Pelagius, while still maintaining that human beings required God's help to be saved, rejected the concept of original sin and asserted that people could obtain salvation through their own efforts. Augustine asserted that humans are all depraved from birth, inheriting the sin of Adam and Eve through sexual procreation, and that only God's grace could save them. The latter view also implies that, as born sinners and criminals, people need to be kept in line with an iron fist. This idea was much more attractive to the Roman state, particularly in its fragile situation following the collapse of Roman military power, than was a theology asserting the human capacity for free will. Thus, for making the latter assertion Pelagius was branded a heretic, and for asserting human worthlessness Augustine was made a saint. The imperial bias
toward internal control in the declining years of the empire militated against religious tolerance, hence the utility of the Christianity of that day, with its rigorous unity of doctrine. As Kirsch himself points out, the word "heresy" derives from a word meaning "choice" (Gr. hairesis)."

***

TweakHound's Super XP Tweaking Guide - Version 5.0 - Comprehensive guide to tweaking Windows XP, which declaims some common pieces of advice (eg clearing your prefetch directory often)

Write your name in hieroglyphs

For Some, the Blogging Never Stops - "Blogging is a pastime for many, even a livelihood for a few. For some, it becomes an obsession. Such bloggers often feel compelled to write several times daily and feel anxious if they don't keep up. As they spend more time hunkered over their computers, they neglect family, friends and jobs."

Al Gore Links Abu Ghraib Prison Abuses to Deep Flaws in Bush Policy - Despite everything, I still have a feeling Dubya will be returned to power and the world will go to hell in the next 4 years.

ChristianExodus.org - All the fundies want to move into one state. Sounds like a win-win situation.

The Way We Eat Now: Ancient bodies collide with modern technology to produce a flabby, disease-ridden populace - "Chewing can transform anatomy rather quickly; in one study, in which Lieberman fed pigs a diet of softened food, in a matter of months their skulls developed shorter and narrower dimensions and their snouts developed thinner bones than those of pigs eating a hard-food diet."

Money Matters: An IMF Exhibit -- The Importance of Global Cooperation

Singles: Flirt up your life - "While we desensitized American savages gleefully absorb scenes of graphic violence, we hypocritically express shock and dismay at the sight of an unclothed human body. Apparently, however, it's kind of the other way around in Europe. Indeed, Singles was originally developed in Germany, a country that's notoriously strict about depictions of violence in its video games yet has no qualms about full-frontal nudity, if Singles is any indication... [You] are limited to a fairly small selection of Caucasian men and women, the latter of which are all quite pretty, and the former of which all look like dirtbags.. Only in Singles do slender, attractive women in evening gowns spend their Saturday nights using the Internet."

Gum Returns to Singapore After 12 Years - Yeh.
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