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Archive for February, 2011

Solidarity with the labor activists in Wisconsin!

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my machine à écrire

the typewriter

I am constantly repulsed by and attracted to my computer and the World Wide Webs.

I use the Internet to read newspapers from around the globe on a daily basis. A lot of times while I’m reading one book, it will reference another book  that I don’t have on hand and if it’s not under copyright then I go to Project Gutenberg. The variety of tools and information online is nearly limitless and can enrich our lives to provide us with new experiences.

i.e. I learned Kirundi thanks to the Internet and was able to communicate with a refugee family during their transition to the States. I am able to have video chats with family and friends who are stateside while I’m abroad.

However, I sometimes neglect the libraries and bookshops and press stands where this information can be obtained. It’s not just an ‘information’ experience but an interpersonal experience. Going to a library is an opportunity to interact with a community organization. A bookshop can be a place for discovering new ideas and meeting people (as is the library). The press stand is a place to choose what your flavor of the day is for current events – do you choose a left-leaning paper, a conservative magazine, a tabloid?

This week I will write all my entries on a typewriter (pictured above) and then scan and upload them. It’s an exercise in Internet self-control and an effort to look beyond my computer screen. Maybe in the process I will meet some people.

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Social networking is a big deal. Revolutions are being organized and won because of online tools like Twitter and Facebook. Grandmothers and teenagers are connecting with friends from the past. Love has blossomed (and re-blossoms) over messenger services and on Facebook wall posts. Riots begin when access is denied to these tools. The whole idea is beautiful, but what does it mean?

homepage

(click image for larger view)

Earlier this week, I was perusing the World Wide Web and happened to land on a 10-minute clip of Glenn Beck’s radio show promoting a new site called FreedomConnector.org The site functions as a social network for like-minded Tea Party supporters/ members. From what I can gather, the site was launched on the 14th of February and is run by FreedomWorks – a conservative Astroturf organization.

According to Glenn Beck, he wants to take the tools that the socialists and communists and radical Muslims (progressives and terrorists) have been using, and in turn use them for good. FreedomConnector is the answer.

However, a peek at the Privacy Policy or Terms of Service and you’ll see that your “private” information is not so private, but owned by the website – including photos and activity carried out on the site.

The homepage of the site gives the first and last name of its members along with their geographical location. The site goes even more in depth by allowing a search for other members by issues, congressional district, state or county. You even have the option of directly linking your FreedomConnecter profile with Facebook or Twitter.

This is no different than most online services, but for a political organization with a platform of smaller government and less control over the lives of Americans – this is just plain weird.

I promise George Soros didn’t pay me, either directly or indirectly, to post this.

Feel free to comment.

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Have you ever wondered what will happen to your family pet after the Rapture?

It’s a reality that every animal-loving Christian pet owner must face. There exists a reasonable way to handle a few things here on earth after you’ve been taken up in the air.

There is a company run by benevolent atheists who love animals.  They offer an insurance policy to Christian pet owners who want to care for their pets even after they are gone (to Heaven, that is).

Eternal Earth-Bound Pets, USA

“The next best thing to pet salvation in a post-Rapture world.”

Their website is legit (give it a click above and check it out). For only $135, an animal-loving atheist will do their best to rescue the animal between 18 and 24 hours following the 2nd Coming of Christ. There are a few terms and conditions. The policy is only good for 10 years. After that, if no Rapture has occurred you would be obliged to pay for a new policy. There is also a no money-back policy if your pet dies before the Rapture or before the end of the 10-year term.

I did notice that their prices have gone up (by about $10) since I last looked at their site over a year ago. I guess there was a prophesy that the Rapture will happen this year on the 21st of May.

It seems that this service only exists in the US. However, I don’t know why some enterprising young atheists in Europe don’t start up something of their own.

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Love and energy…

Love and energy have always been, always will be. Perhaps in essence they are one and the same. Why not? Perhaps this mysterious energy which is identified with the life of the universe, which is God in action, as someone has said, perhaps this secret, all-invasive force is but the manifestation of love.

-Henry Miller Nexus

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What I’m not reading

A friend (from KC) living in Maastricht (and doing her master’s in something really cool) gave me a book for Christmas called Moral Clarity: A Guide for Grown-up Idealists by Susan Neiman. Neiman writes about metaphysics, the Enlightenment, modern politics and the list goes on – Hume, Derrida and Foucault, Kant and Nietzsche.

The gift was apropos for many reasons. Mostly because my little brain needs to be watered. I have been reading about philosophy recently, but not actually reading philosophy. Reason, metaphysics, science. And this book has been instrumental in focusing my reading and thinking.

This week I’m blessed with TONS of work (it’s Document de Référence season!), but I don’t have any energy to read beyond my computer screen. Last week, I checked a book out from the library to help with understanding Kant (pictured above); it hasn’t been cracked. It serves as a mousepad for my tiny mouse.

To do: read.

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