2 things. I have an opinion about them - I AM DISGUSTED.
1. Shariah Law implemented in Somalia, and the first thing they do in celebration is: stone a 13 years old little girl to death after her father reported to the police of his daughter being raped by 3 men!
2. The brilliant walk-out of 30 nations from the United Nations, Geneva conference, after the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad started his speech, labeled as "hate speech". News holds that some countries boycotted the conference completely and did not attend after knowing that Ahmedinejad will be attending and speaking.
I love Ban Ki-Moon for being the secretary at this point, as he stands as a third party, and is better at position to condemn this walk-out.
And on a rather hilarious note. lol.
What do you do if you receive a stack of papers that have cost $27.55 to deliver, and then find out it's your $26K mobile bill? ahaha ...
I want to see the face of this guy! Read the story here.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
2 things. I have an opinion about them - I AM DISGUSTED.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
All's good, but I'm still skeptical of the supercomputer part. The entire technological singularity debate is back and Google is being one of its supporters, but in order to create this supercomputer, we need a superhuman first to create that. The Great Human Being is growing intelligent as well, although I'd also like to point out that majority of them is going dumber!
I am on the side that there will always be a more intelligent human.
Visit my school's homepage to see a little mapping I did of political history vs technological advancements since the 20th century.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Eendrachtsweg is a beautiful road in Rotterdam, somewhere between the ErasmusMC and the city center. There is some great Dutch architecture alongside the road, lush greenery, and something called a singel: a Dutch word to which I don't know the translation of, but that's what they call these lake/channel-like water features around the country. It's on the way to my school, and today I came about a rather interesting effort. I am not sure how I should define it. Create your own story.
Perhaps it was there all along, and I never noticed it, considering the button-eyes I have :D ... does that term make any sense to English-speakers? It's something my mother used to call me all the time in Urdu. It basically means to have big eyes but still not be able to see things around. And I am rather bad at this. Things right in front of me tend to disappear out of my sight!
Allah Made Me Funny is an excellent effort made by emerging stand-up Muslim comedians in America. They challenge the stereotypes, laugh at themselves, and help others laugh and create a tension-free environment. A great video. A must watch.
Watch the entire one hour length on google videos, or click here.
Yesterday, in fact, I was at this inter-religious debate between a Muslim and Jewish-Christian theologist - Shabir Ally and Ben Kok respectively - at the Islamic University of Rotterdam. Shabir is Canadian, and is currently doing his Ph.D in Quranic Exegesis and you can know more about him here. Ben is a Dutch pastor and an activist who doesn't like Islam very much, and you can find out more about him on his website here; unfortunately the site is in Dutch only.
I was really looking forward to this event, as I'd only seen the sort on TV. Unfortunately, and with no surprise, I experienced a repeat-pattern: almost no Christians or Jews, and a confused/incompetent non-Muslim speaker. This, I feel, is also unfair to the speaker, to be mobbed by the others and have a lack of general support.
The debate was about Peace and Violence in the Quran and the Bible. Ben started off by talking about his Jewish background, and how religion came across as a fairytale that made no sense, and then he found Jesus in his 20s. He explained violent events in the Bible comparable to a sincere father who punishes his children to make them better. Trinity, I don't know why he believes it and why he made a failed attempt to explain it, when throughout his lecture he encouraged going back to the original texts and letting go of dogmas. Then he made some TV and internet-inspired attacks on Islam, also of course, quoting the infamous verse 9:5, which he got the answer to as well. But to round it up, at the end I felt that he is still living in his fairytale of how lovely God and life is, and everything is pretty and beautiful and then prince charming comes on his white horse. I understand that as a Dutch it was not easy for him to speak in English, but overall his talk lacked historical and logical proof.
Shabir, on the other hand, gave a very concrete talk based on several logical statements, and he definitely captivated the audience at large with his wide knowledge of all three religions in questions. Something I expected.
To conclude this. Why are non-Muslims today trying to become experts of Islam and not their own religion so they can give a better debate on such occasions? Why is this information so vastly based on media? Why don't non-Muslim scholars/theologians ever answer logically and get out of the concept of "God can do everything!", and likewise, learn from logically given answers of the Muslim scholars?
I heard Hans Jansen was initially invited for this talk, but he refused because he was out of country. Perhaps he only finds it convenient to talk about his Islam-bashing ideas with "little pal" (makkertje) on Pauw&Witteman.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Fitna wasn't enough to satisfy Geert Wilders creative urges, and it didn't get him to the Oscars, or any red carpet. So he decides to give it another shot. He's making ANOTHER movie. Hurray!
Read the full article here.
There is only one more person I can recall who has such a stark resemblance to a pig! But Wilders definitely beats that person.
Remember how they say when you own a pet, you start looking like it. I'm beginning to strongly believe that he owns an entire pig farm!
Anyway. Blond isn't his shade. He needs a make-over. Maybe Robin can do him a favor. And while she is at it, Dr. Phil can give him a mental make-over!
This is in response to the motto of the exhibition that I am part of: Through Other Eyes, curated by Gerard Mermoz. The motto (the title of this post) is borrowed from J Swaminathan in his book Perceiving Fingers. Swaminathan ambitioned to create an art gallery with studios and workshops, in Bhopal, India, where folk, tribal and art-school-trained artists would work and exhibit side by side and engage in a productive dialogue with each other. The project failed as academic artists refused!
I am not precisely sure of the validity of my reply, and whether it falls within the required nature of an expected response. But this displacement of my Self, in a new society and culture has severely forced me to rethink and re-evaluate several issues that I had a strong opinion about before, and still do, but in a new light.
Art. Religion. Politics. For one, I feel these are heavily related terms, and cannot be taken apart, and consequently, of course, effect each other drastically. Art is not just a means of creating something pretty, its an “aesthetic” response to politics and religion. And it would be unwise to left it unsaid of how religion and politics have also had their fair share of using art for their purpose.
As for Swaminathan, his ambition, and the failed response comes strikingly close to the juxtaposition-ing of the under-developed within the developed. I'll just term it as yet another classic example of the human psyche – I'm laughing. It's the fear of the unknown, fear of being surpassed by the unknown, and of being conquered. We work towards our degrees, spend time and money towards earning a title, and earning money for our creations, it's unfair to put a tribal art-piece next to mine and judge it on similar grounds.
I regret to say that we aren't faced by religious and political boundaries, I see more personal distress boundaries instead. We are dealing with the first-mentioned ones pretty hard and strong, without much fear, though they do cause temporary hassle. Or perhaps I have a distorted view of religion and politics.
I am anti-globalization, and declare that I am not a world citizen. Why? Human psychology is a delicate thing, and it isn't programmed to automatically fall for the morally right, or the intuitionally correct. When through this youtube culture, or any mechanism that speeds up the process of transfer of information, it isn't possible for everyone to digest that information, and give a rational response. Globalization is not the solution to happily bring the world together, in my eyes. It has a tendency to set standards that everyone needs to comply with. Need I mention the Unabomber manifesto here.
But by saying that I am not a world citizen, it does not mean I am in denial of other cultures, but only more aware of the individual nature of other cultures in contrast to my own. I only encourage the coexistence of cultures when we understand the real story behind each, and not fall in the trap of the exotic; not give one advantage over the other on the basis of unique information; deal with information more realistically, although this can be quite a challenge.
To come back to the vocabulary of the topic – So I say YES. Include the art of the tribal man. Become a more inclusive culture rather than an exclusive. Give them the space they deserve on any normal basis, as any other individual would, and let the consequences be similar for all as well.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Utter Nonsense! And I am speechless at this outrageous staging of "superiority" of race and emotion. Such double standards!
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Now this is awesome! And this is what I'd been waiting to get my hands on! The Hardware! So this is officially my first self-built thing. officially becasue I have been opening things before but without knowing a tad bit of what I was doing. But yes the machine insides have always been a curious thing for me. This device that I made with a hobbyist-kit was a sound-meter with 5 LDs, with a sensitivity knob as well. And what you see right now in the video is how we (classmates) made all our gadgets work together. Besides mine, there were:
1. metal detector, producing light output.
2. light output, producing ... I can't remember.
3. decision maker; this produced an output if the answer is yes. It's random of course.
4. one produced sounds resembling those of the famous toy guns of the 90s.
5. sound converter; takes in any sound as an input and reproduces it whereby making it more robotic, hightening or lowering the pitch, etc.
So in the video, #4 is producing the sound, #5 is reproducing it, and mine is producing a digital/visual display of the sound.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
This is my view of politics:
It of course makes all human sense to me of how there is violence, suicide bombing and firing in Pakistan; we deserve it ... stupid, barbaric, backward, ignorant Muslim state. We are killing ourselves. Nobody is responsible. And of course it also makes sense that Pakistani ISLAMIC militants are firing in America; militants who are apparently Vietnamese.
I feel like screaming right now. I really do. But I try hard to stay composed only to prove to the filthy lunatics that there is a moderate Islam. But for how long? How long is a human supposed to stay calm and composed? For how long is it ok for the others to keep attacking and killing in the name of the utterly blind and deaf and senseless justice, and we see all this chaos quietly because we are trying to prove we are not barbarians?
But I am extremely not sorry for offending anyone who reads this of how extremely unbalanced the entire scenario right now is: Islam vs West. Israel gets great corporate/governmental support from around the world to find a a tiny amount of violent-people hidden amidst absolutely innocent people. But of course it is not ok for those innocent people to fight back for all the trouble caused to them, because then it's war. They must not squeak. And it is completely ok for the media to keep associating Islam with any terrorism and violence, because that is interesting to read. How are the Muslims supposed to denounce these so-called Islamist militants and jihadists? Do a pathetic peace march and get bombed while they are all together? What does the West want?
Let's just concentrate on Hirsi Ali about her interesting story of how because of Islam she lost her vagina and can't have sex. Or talk about Wafa Sultan who has completely lost her own brains while studying psychology. Crap!
Talking about extremism. I think the non-Muslims have completely surpassed the meaning of the word in their own behavior in comparison to that of the Muslims.
And how can we talk about Islam without talking about the poor oppressed women in black things looking like ghosts. Oh yea, that is extremist, i agree. But the bikini is not extremist at all! It's the perfect symbol of the pro-libertarian-West.