Sunday, August 22, 2010

No one is born with a religion

We are about to fly to the country I was born. It is a long and torturous journey, about twenty-four hours, in a cramped airbus seat.

Life is beautiful and cruel at the same time. Somehow before long flights I review my life. Our genes strive to leave a legacy of some form. What would be my legacy.. In case..

At this point in my life I am happy and content. Thanks to my ability to reason and my early realisation that you should not expect too much from life.

In fact this is almost what you really need in life as a precondition of everything else. A ‘reasoning’ mind. A ‘conscious’, ‘skeptical’, ‘inquisitive’ mind free from delusions.

My political identity is shaped by fairness, enlightenment values, and atheism.

I don’t have any problem with people who believe in a deity (or deities) and who express a peaceful, tolerant and humanistic interpretation of their religion.

This sort of personal engagement, equivalent to believing star signs or fortune telling does not irritate me so long as tolerance remains mutual even though I find the basis of their faith irrational.

My problem is with religious indoctrination of children. But before making my point we need to look at the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) Article 18 and 19.

Article 18
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

No one is born with a religion.

Religion is a byproduct of human mind probably emerged early in human evolution. Our brains are wired to misinterpret natural phenomena we don’t understand in order to classify ‘the unknown and dangerous’. Humans developed rituals in the hope of controlling natural catastrophes. The Gods or the God emerged as the focal point of such misinterpretations. ‘The God’ became a black hole for everything that cannot be understood.

The core Enlightenment values that started to emerge in the 17th century have been questioning of traditional institutions, customs, and morals, and establishing a strong belief in rationality and science.

Today religions, their arcane and narrow view towards human condition, their pathetic deficiency in quest to understand and explain the rules of the Universe and the origins of Life on our planet have made them largely outdated and irrelevant in everyday life.

Besides their diminished role religions continue to remain however powerful and overly protected by identity politics in developed and developing nations alike.

No one is born with a religion.

Yet children all over the world are indoctrinated and brain washed from infancy.

Be it a Taliban run Madrasa in Afghanistan or a so called Faith school in a Western Democracy children are systematically brain washed in little or no regard of historical, social and scientific contexts and with complete disregard of other religions, faiths or the Theory of Evolution to explain the origins of life and nature. I see this in the lightest of terms a form of ‘child abuse’.

UDHR Article 18 warrants the ticket to ‘teach’ religion. But Article 19 at the same time warrants the right to freedom of opinion. Therefore no one should have the right to take away freedom of opinion from children.

In my view in the core of our moral responsibility lies our obligation to teach our children ‘the complete picture’.

And the complete picture will not be ‘complete’ without objectively teaching other religions, their history, their legacy, Atheism and the Theory of Evolution so that children can have their opportunity to compare one to another and perhaps learn to tolerate each other’s views in due process.

My legacy is ‘freedom of choice for our children’.

No one is born with a religion.

I ask you to stand by me and get my message across to stop abuse of our children with subjective religious indoctrination.

For peace and for a better world.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Some brands I hate and why

By wearing Crocs footwear you are telling the world “My feet are so smelly and ugly, I don’t mind covering them with a pair of brightly colored plastic and punch a few holes on them”.

Cadbury Chocolates
Loving Cadbury Chocolates is as outrageous as like loving Taliban. It is not reasonable to love a chocolate with smoked bacon taste in it.

Lacoste T-shirts
By wearing Lacoste T-shirts you are telling the world “I am a clean well mannered guy with no sense of originality. I have an obsessive fear from choosing something cool. I have been boring all through my life and I want to stay that way.”

All Korean Cars
We don’t know how to make beautiful cars, and we fail to copy beautiful German cars.

Target and Big W
Our stores smell nothing but plastic. You will feel in your bones how cheap we and you are.

Coffee in Gloria Jeans
We don’t mind insulting Italians by serving burned coffee and calling it ‘Cappuccino’.

Coffee in Starbucks
We don’t mind insulting Italians by serving hot water with a 1/4 mm froth on it and still calling it ‘Cappuccino’.

Low rise pants
I want to show the World that I don't have anything in my possession or in my character that is interesting or respectful, other than this miserable filthy crack.

I hate weddings. I want a kind of food which has the necessary geometry for maximum fat and sugar intake so that I’ll make sure that I die from a blocked artery filled with yellow and sticky stuff before my kid is married.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

RIP Google Wave

Google Wave, an online collaboration platform in its infancy is dead.

Broadly speaking the main issue with GW was ‘poor usability’.

GW was too stressful to use.

Consider this. If more than two people are talking to each other face to face you will notice that the quality of communication rapidly degrades as number of people increases.

Now imagine same group of people, trying to maintain an online conversation using a tool like GW. They would be struggling to think, comprehend, scroll to see the newest message, type their own message, cut and paste a video link, copy an image, hack each other’s sentences with simultaneous editing.

Geeks might like that. But not everyone would like that.

Way too many interactions. Way too many distractions on the screen.

GW screen looked like a glorious billboard as if designed for maximum distraction. Well who wants to be distracted while communicating?

I mentioned this before:
"We became gadget-obsessed anxiety-driven freaks and our urban society is running on a short attention span culture.

Just about everybody, every hardware device, and every software on the Internet is desperately trying to grab the shortest possible time span dedicated to comprehension and expression."
Therefore I believe new collaboration tools must make every effort to take stress out from the environment.