On Religion (My reaction to Fitna and Camp Jesus)

Generally, I keep my opinions on this rather touchy topic to myself or to my close friends. However, I think our globalized world has reached a point where people need to get their issues resolved and stop fighting about religion. Please be aware that these are my opinions, and I’m not an expert by any means on any religion, but I do try to keep informed (I’ve read most of the Bible and the Our’an).

After watching “Fitna“, a short movie/slide-show about Islam being an inherently violent religion bent on the assimilation and control of the world, I thought it was time to give my 2 cents. In quite a bit of America, Islam is blamed for the 9/11 attacks and everything else that’s wrong in the world. This fear of Islam is being used to remove our rights and freedoms, and I think that it is sad that our country has come to this. After watching “Fitna”, I think that it incites hatred and anger by selectively picking verses from the Qur’an and showing clips of extremists calling for blood. If you read the Qur’an, you’ll find wonderful verses such as Surah 2: 109,110 and Surah 2: 195 (I know there are more, but this is what I could find just reading part of Surah 2). If you look to the Holy Bible, you’ll find equally incendiary verses: Exodus 1:16, Numbers 31:17, etc…

I don’t think that the problem is the religion, but the extremists of any type. Those who hate those that differ from them, and would kill those who do not see their way. I think that there are extremists of most all religions, not just Islam. Watch “Camp Jesus“, which is a documentary of an evangelical bible camp that indoctrinates young children to “fight for Jesus” and that siding with the conservative right is politically the only religiously ‘right’ thing to do. I think that this is a terrifying form of extremism right in our backyard. One only has to look to the KKK to see another Christian extremism sect that is bent on the destruction of everyone who they don’t like.

Does the existance of the Taliban mean that Islam is inherently evil and violent, if so, then doesn’t that mean that Christianity is equally evil because the KKK identify themselves as Christian? Should we hate all Mormans because the fundamentalists are polygamists who ‘marry’ girls as young as 14 and have as many 65 ‘wives’? I’m asking you to answer these questions yourself, and perhaps see that one religion isn’t evil and another is good. To modify a popular saying, “Religion doesn’t kill people, people kill people”. I think this is a true statement and should be taken to heart. I sincerely believe that a religion that teaches only hate and violence will never have a mainstream following, and that there are people who are scared or ignorant and rather than face these fears, they try to destroy all opposition to what they think. These people don’t come from a single religion, but all beliefs and religions.

Only by educating our kin and teaching ethics and morals can we hope to eradicate extremist violence. I am not calling for people to abandon their beliefs, but to be open and respectful to others. Humans have enough differences (skin tone, height, language, etc…) to fight about, they don’t need to fight about things that can’t be seen (religion and beliefs).

Hopefully people will read and think about this,

Ranok

A Quick Little Hack: EasyRSS

Just a quick little PHP script I wrote for one of my professors to generate a RSS feed of files in a directory. It’s pretty simple to setup, and is mostly useful for either providing a RSS feed for updated files, or for a Podcast, just put this somewhere on your website and point it at your MP3 directory. Then, just upload your MP3 (or anyfile format) podcasts to that directory, and that’s it!

EasyRSS can be downloaded here

Peace and chow,

Ranok

OSP Status

Just writing a little status update for my Open Server Platform (OSP) project that I’ve been working on:

Progress:

  • Rewrote much of OSP to take in a XML servlet (meta-data and code) and act as a socket broker for that servlet.
  • Wrote a  number of  servlet libraries to make programming easier and safer.
  • Added a global shared state that can be spread redundantly across multiple nodes (using Mnesia)
  • Added the ability for applications to be atomic, either they complete and update the shared state, or they crash and don’t influence the shared state at all.

Todo:

  • Move the OSP broker under an OTP supervisor for auto-restart.
  • Make OSP more configurable and automatic
  • Make a nice administration and status system
  • Devise and implement a load balancing and fail-over system
  • Test and tweak as needed
  • Write more servlet libraries

Also, I have been approached by a CS senior from the west coast who has offered to help work on ERLFS! I’d love more help if you know/want to learn Erlang, and help develop a very powerful and useful product.

Every Erlang Developers Best Friend: Dialyzer

While working on OSP some more, (I got global data storage using Mnesia and transactional server instances working) I got frustrated with Erlang letting me compile code then late binding to non-existent functions (whoops, typos) thus blowing up when I tried to run it. I knew there must be tools to solve this problem, so, searching around, and reading through my Erlang book, I came across Dialyzer, or (“a DIscrepancy AnalYZer for ERlang programs”). Basically, it does a static source code (or compiled byte code) analysis of your program(s) and tells you when there are unknown function calls, or places in the code that can’t be reached, etc… It’s very handle, and lets work on coding and testing the functionality of my code, rather than the runnability of my code. This tool is a must-have for Erlang programmers.

Peace and chow,

Ranok