Another point about Christianity

March 16th, 2023

Yet another point I’d like to make in defense of Christianity not being the right answer.

Historically, Christians are never on the front lines of discovery or of empathy. Ever since the catholic church threatened Galileo with torture for daring to trust his own eyes over observable truth, Christians been making statements which they later had to recant when it turned out they were wrong. If they had any kind of link with a honest higher power, this would not be the case.

I see our latest example is the current pope has now spoken out against transgendered folk. The absurdity of God being offended if you decide to wear a different gender body is pretty high – it very much fits in with Christians putting God in what I would call “a box of their limited understanding” – their God is petty, jealous, angers easily, doesn’t embrace the spirit of exploring infinity, is small minded in the extreme – basically, their God is *not* a higher power. I’d describe the Christian God as a ‘lower power’ – something less than human. For example I would like to think that most intelligent humans who have given the matter serious thought would not condemn anything to a eternity of suffering for any crime – I can’t imagine any crime *other than condemning someone else to eternal suffering* which would warrant such punishment. (And, in fact, as soon as the offender relented and released whoever they were torturing for all eternity, I would release them)

Anyway, basically, Christians are often holding back science, and often refusing to believe things which are clearly observable. This doesn’t speak to any kind of link with a higher power to me. I think they’re trapped by a God they’ve imagined which is masking any Gods which might happen to actually exist, and they end up using the God they’ve imagined as a excuse to abuse others entirely too often.

My opinion of Christianity keeps sinking – there are some individual Christians which I like and respect, but it seems like the religion is used both as a excuse to threaten others with God “You’re going to hell for believing the wrong thing!” and to try to make personal beliefs the law of the land and punish others for personal squicks.

Don’t get me wrong, I think I’d come to the same conclusion about most abrahamic religions. At this point I actually think it’s fairly likely that Christianity is a test – but the way to pass it is to *not* believe in sin ransom. To believe in sin ransom is to misunderstand love in some profound and fundamental ways. I have not “rejected God” by failing to believe a fundamentally unbelievable theory. I don’t think any deity would come to the conclusion that I have.

The God I believe in, which I believe in a God, is delighted when people decide to experiment – delighted when they learn about the real universe we’re really inhabiting – delighted when people treat each other well, delighted when we accept each other’s differences and don’t choose to shoot, stab, or throw each other in jail. We’re given bodies but I don’t think God is offended if we choose to modify them, extend them, repair them, or mess with their configuration.

I wish the Christians hadn’t decided to make their God so small.

Christians got it backwards, redux.

March 11th, 2023

So, recently I went to the funeral of a good friend from high school.. I mentioned various bits along the way to this in previous blog entries. Anyway, I had a interesting talk with her husband, who did not insist that I was going to hell for all eternity for my beliefs. (Always a good sign)

I’ve actually come to think that insofar as there is any test attached to our beliefs, it’s the opposite of the one the Christians think is there.

This is partially because a utopia populated entirely with people who believe the sin ransom theory so popular in Christianity wouldn’t be much of a utopia.

Look, so, we have people wandering around, Jews, who don’t believe Jesus was the prophet. We have Christians, who do. We have Islamic folks, who believe that Jesus was a prophet but so was this dude who came after him, Mohammad. Then we’ve got folks who believe that Buddha was where it’s at, and we’ve got folks who can make some kind of sense of the Bahagavad Gita.

The vast majority of them is convinced they are “right”, that their point of view is correct and the views of others are wrong.

At this point, I have to think that the folks I would let into a utopia – as opposed to the folks that I would send back around for more exposure in the hopes that they’d grow up some – are the folks who *didn’t* think their religion was the one true one and all other folks were going to hell.

Personally, the whole concept of torturing folks for failing to believe the unbelievable trips circuit breakers in my mind. I don’t know *how* I know God is better than that, but I do. All these religious folks are proclaiming belief in a *evil* diety. There’s no other word to describe someone who expects you to guess right from a plethora of choices and would torture you or through allow inaction allow you to be tortured for not guessing right.

I mean, let’s not forget that Christianity was deliberately made unbelievable. There’s far more probable explanations for all of this than a virgin birth, individual who could bend the laws of reality at will, came back to life after dying. That’s a pretty unplausable story right there. So, we have a deity who will torture you for all eternity *for being what you were made to be*, let’s not forget, unless you *believe something that’s very, very hard to believe*.

Um, no. Far more likely: trying to believe the unbelievable damages people’s minds in ways that make them easier to lead around by the nose. And in any case the whole thing exists to make money for the shamans.

It does however worry me significantly that Christians that believe in Sin Ransom can’t see that they are worshiping a evil god. Or maybe they’re so scared of God they know he’s evil and they worship him anyway?

I wish I could just forget the whole thing, but there is a conspicuous hole in my life where any religion might sit. Perhaps I need to sit down and write one. I’m sure all the Christians in my life would tell me that’s a horribly sinful thing to do and I’ll get extra-tortured for that.

For my part, I think religions are just another handy way to divide into “Us” and “them” and justify treating “them” badly. It even implies that God does it.

Google is officially evil, pt 2

February 23rd, 2023

So, once upon a time Google had in their corporate charter “Don’t be evil”. They removed it. Unsurprisingly, evil ensued.

One clear indication that they have become evil is that they are laying people off. They’re profitable – they have plenty of money – but they’re happily throwing employees under the bus so they can have more money. This is evil behavior.

I do not actually believe it’s possible to be a publicly traded company in America and not be evil, because of minority shareholder lawsuits. As long as shareholders can sue and win for companies not taking the most profitable path no matter how much damage it does, publicly traded companies will repeatedly behave in evil ways.

In general I think companies need some sharp reminders from us as workers and consumers that they *do not exist to make money*. Making money is a side effect – companies exist to *do things* – and as a side effect take care of their employees. We need to make sure the bosses accept that taking care of the employees is more important than the board of directors buying another yacht.

The GOP finds a new level of awful

January 4th, 2023

So, the GOP now has a plan to finish burning America to the ground so they can loot it for their billionare friends who will then run off to private islands. They’ve managed to get enough wing nuts in the House that they can keep the normal wheels of democracy from turning, and all of these wing nuts are delightedly announcing they will not raise the debt ceiling.

Now, in a rational world there would be some hope that this would force a redesign of the resource allocation system, since it’s kind of stupid that we’re forced to loan money into existence – although not as stupid as the fact that we spend more on our military than our next five competitors.

This, however, does not appear to be a rational world. Therefore, my assumption is they will play chicken until they’ve succeeded in setting fire to the constitution, destroying America’s credit and economy, and generally doing as much damage as they can.

I have to give Russia props. Q was a very clever scheme. It made it so a requirement with the base was to be delusional and/or mentally ill. I do wonder if Russia also controls Tucker et al. Of course ironically Russia is also burning to the ground, having let their idiotic war continue into the winter despite the clear message of history.

Interesting dream

January 4th, 2023

So, last night I had a dream in which Phoebe had written a book about all the things about me that sucked when I was 19. Of course, I had to agree with a lot of them myself. Sometimes that all feels like a different lifetime.

I do think I like who I am now a lot more than I like who I was then – or, for that matter, liked who I was then at the time. On the other paw, I think I had to go to that place to get to this one – at least I don’t see a process that would have given me the dedication to do the things I need to do that hadn’t gone through some of the unfortunate steps needed to get to this place.

IPC::Shareable sets SIGCHLD to Ignore (I’ll take “Annoying undocumented side effects” for $200, Alex)

January 1st, 2023

Just a heads up that hopefully google will index and save someone else from the several hours of digging I’ve just had to do. the perl module IPC::Shareable sets SIG{CHLD} to ignore any time you include it. You can set it back to the default behavior, but until you do, waitpid() is going to return -1 and $? will contain -1 for any pid-waiting you do.

More of sheer’s rules for programming.

December 24th, 2022

1) If you haven’t tested it, it doesn’t work.
2) If what it’s doing appears impossible, it’s probably two or more bugs working together
3) Intermittent faults are sensitive to Murphy’s law, and will be triggered by the time when the most damage will be done
4) As a rational reaction to #3, always have a backup plan.
5) Focus your optimization efforts on the parts of the code that run the most
6) Add at least two hours to your time estimate for testing

On the ‘would someone make’ front..

December 24th, 2022

I’d like to see the math done as to how much energy could be saved by a heat pump water heater that had a tank for the greywater coming from the shower/bath. The idea is it could use a normal air exchange when no hot water was available that had returned from the bath, but it could extract the heat from the hot water coming back from the shower/bath if there was any. It seems like this ought to lead to considerable energy savings for a tanked heat pump hot water heater in normal usage since it would be pumping only slightly uphill. One can envision a system where the heat exchanger wrapped around a pipe leaving a insulated tank and a valve opened to empty the cold water and fill with more hot whenever the water had been pumped down to ambient.

Silent Night 2022

December 24th, 2022

So, this could hypothetically be part of a whole jam-blues-style christmas album, if people like it enough, or it might just be a standalone thing.

Anyway, here is Silent Night 2022.

Peace on earth and goodwill amongst sentients and such.

Running VMWare on Dell 7810 / Fatal Error Out Of Resources loading tools.00

December 18th, 2022

So, I ran into the dreaded not-enough-memory-below-the-4G-barrrier problem trying to install esxi 6.0 on a Dell 7810. After trying several varients (disabling *everything*, moving all 64 bit PCI to > 4G, etc) I ended up just installing esxi onto the SSD using another dell I had lying around (a 7010) – I suspect any computer would have worked that had UEFI – and then moving the SSD and configuring it for UEFI boot on the 7810, after which it popped right up.