Monthly Archives: March 2012

Blinky…


Date: March 21, 2012

…What is the message behind Blinky?…

…What is the message behind Blinky?…

…Blinky…

When I was nine or so, I really wanted an Omnibot 2000…A handful of years later, I’d get it’s little cousin, the Verbot…

Really, they were just remote controlled vehicles with something gimmicky about them, that were built to look like robots [though, the Omnibot 2000 did have one working arm…in addition to the dead one, that just let you position it by hand]…You could also program a sequence of movements, and set them to a clock schedule…and it had a tape deck, as I recall…

The Verbot could recognise and follow, very short vocal commands…and I quickly learned just how dorky it felt, micro-managing every “task” for this thing, by barking out quick commands, every so many seconds…

It was cute…and neat…but, I had no qualms about flipping the “off” switch…and it spent most of it’s life, back in it’s box…until about a year ago, when I found him again…and set him up on my computer desk…

Though I’m sure he’d work [and voraciously gobble up batteries] just as well today, as he did back then…I’m really not inclined to feel like a dork, again…

…Still…it would make me feel like a complete jerk, to take a hammer to him…or in any way damage him…Not just because it would be damaging an old, unique toy…but, because this is my cute, little robot [as meager as he may be]…and I still recall with some fondness, how his eyes would flash, and he’d click and clack [like some sort of strange laughter] whenever you told him to “smile”…

It cannot think…It cannot feel…yet, it is like it’s own character…One I like having around…One I am fond of.

Of course…It is just human attachment, and what I assign to it through my own mind…but, I cannot help feeling really awful for Blinky…Standing there, with those cute eyes, and cute smile on his face [almost like a Volkswagen Bug]…as the bag rips…and he doesn’t really know what to do…and as the boy starts to turn on him, he just walks away in abandonment…as Blinky just stands there, with that same look on his face…He cannot even comprehend, that he is being treated so badly…

It’s not like Blinky is an animal, capable of feeling pain, or suffering; one that cannot fend for itself, or escape the abuse…Yet, it’s still a rotten thing to do…At their fundamentals, those actions [the abuses] are still cruel…It’s just that the target cannot comprehend, what’s happening to it.

Does this make those actions better or worse?…I don’t know…but, I do still feel bad for the robot…and I do still see those acts as cruelty…Call it “cruelty masturbation”, if you will.

That scene I mentioned, kind of reminds me of a late scene in “My Dog Skip”, where the boy [young man] leaves for college…and the dog just sort of stands there, watching him leave…Not really so much understanding what was happening, or that this was the end, with him and his boy…but, he was being left, by the one person who was there nearly all of his life…Probably the saddest scene in that movie.

Anyway…I am meandering…Though, I do agree…there are some interesting social parallels, that might be recognised in that short film you linked too.

Thank you for sharing this…I want to say I enjoyed it…and I did, for certain elements…but it also struck a cord with me…I hate seeing things and beings getting abused…even more so, when their intelligence and ability are so limited.

And, of course…the abuser knows better, than to do that…The target is thought so little of…It’s just ugly hate, towards something predisposed [or in the case of a robot, designed] to be what it is.

Poor Blinky…He’s destined to lose, no matter what he does, or how hard he tries…


One further observation…

I do have to agree with BLanarchist…in that, I think the robot [in this case, “Blinky”], does represent a good analogy to disenfranchised, scapegoated groups.

These types of groups are socially hobbled, and lead a “lesser” kind of political and social existence. Their ability to change things, better themselves [their kind] and lift themselves out of oppression, is vastly limited…They don’t have the same social standing, as other groups [represented by the boy, and his parents…and possibly, even the more advanced robot (another minority, that’s made advancement?), who passes and looks down upon Blinky].

These types of groups also do not tend to understand what is happening to them…Whether by lack of sound information [which can be very hard to find, recognise and put together in a meaningful way]…or just by virtue that they have collectively been psychologically broken [conditioned], and they lack all sense of vision for their own betterment…

Why don’t most oppressed minorities fight back, and pull themselves out of their situation?…

…Because, most people in those minorities do not even understand the dynamics affecting their situation.

Just like the robot “Blinky”…these minorities are deprived of what they need, in order to adequately organise and fight back.

A Beautiful Day…

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Date: March 20, 2012

It is, in fact, a beautiful day…So…

I thought I would release one of several musical pieces, I’ve been setting on here for a long while…

This is a fitting one, as the first release of 2012…It’s simple, yet beautiful.

Just for information, I put this together for my videos [back when I still made them on YouTube]…So, it’s largely repetitive…but, there’s a bit of uniqueness, to mix things up.

It goes on for so long [something like six minutes], because it is mostly just a loop…as it was intended to be.

I hope you like it.

– Stevie

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The Koran…The “Miracle”?…


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Date: March 18, 2012

According to islamic lore, the koran is “the absolute word of god, dictated by the angel Gabriel, to the prophet Mohammed”…

You may have heard or seen, from time to time, muslims calling the koran [the book, itself] “a miracle”…Like me, you may have initially wondered why muslims refer to it as such.

From what I have been able to gather up, thus far…I’ve noticed at least four, distinct reasons, why someone might call the koran, “a miracle”, in and of itself…

First, is the actual story, of the famous angel Gabriel, actually coming to Mohammed, and dictating “the direct word of god”…After all…that is, quite the fantastic story…How often does “god” communicate with men?…How often do “angels” approach men?…Within most examples of mythology, these occurrences are quite rare…and how often does it culminate, into a book which massively alters the course of human life, such as the koran?

If nothing else, the koran is extremely rare, for attaining that last distinction, alone…It exists, within a small class of books.

…But, speaking of massively altering human life…this leads us into our second point…

…Some muslims claim, that because the koran has existed relatively unchanged [meaning, all versions are faithful to the original text], for about 700 years…this, somehow, constitutes another element of “the koranic miracle”…

Personally, I would have to dispute this claim…as islamic history is quite infamous, for it’s cruelty and ruthless aggression, towards anyone who would actively try to change the fundamental teachings of islam…or lead any current muslim, astray from those fundamental teachings.

To attempt changing fundamental islam [especially in any place, where fundamentalist muslims are in the majority], could get you labeled a “heretic”, and executed [or, murdered, as most of us would recognise it].

It is only common sense, that under such extreme threat and duress…the masses would be mentally beaten down, broken and submissive, to those in control of the weapons, the political system, the communications systems, the history books, and with heavy influence over social fervor [the kind that could cause rampant hysterics and violence].

Who in their right mind, especially against such overwhelming odds, is going to publish a revised version of the koran?…Who is going to start, the first reformed islam?…

They are likely to just end up dead, before it even gets any social traction.

Given this set of circumstances…it is no “miracle” at all, that nobody has publicly had the guts, to publish a version of the koran, which alters and reinterprets the words of the original koran.

Before anyone else points this out…yes, I am aware…that there is at least one major sect of islam, which does not embrace strict, fundamentalist islam…and which even has some curious interpretations of the koran…[one of which allows for a muslim man, to take a muslim teenage boy, as a sexual lover, without there being anything wrong about it…because, allegedly, the koran only specifies sexual corruption, as being a matter between men and women]…but, if you pay much attention, you will find many muslims have hostile, aggressive words for that sect…I am not under the impression, that this sect is safe in choosing to do that…and they are likely only tolerated, for the time.

There is also a historical uprising [or offshoot] of islam…for which I do not currently remember it’s official name…Hundreds of years ago, there was a reformation taking hold within certain muslim communities…Very much like christianity with the bible, this new path of muslim thought, said that the koran should not be taken literally, but as an inspirational guide of sorts.

That sect was violently wiped out [in a genocidal way], through a bloody assault waged by fundamentalist muslims. People who diverged from the fundamentalist views on the koran, had a tendency to end up being violently decimated…There may have been fragments of these cultures, which have remained…but, nothing with the substance, to seriously alter the direction of islam.

So…in short…Yes…The koran has not really been substantially altered [in any way we know about]…but, again…in light of the threat and cultural atmosphere…what on earth else, could have ever been anticipated?

It’s fair to say…most people don’t want to be murdered by religious zealots and sociopaths, over making changes to the koran.

I think, this “miracle” is more about intimidation of humans, and humans silencing those who think differently.

A third angle to this “miracle”…is that islamic lore also makes the claim…that “the koran is the only book, which has always existed [and in it’s “perfect” form]”…

The theory behind this assertion, is that what we can physically hold onto in our hands, today…is merely a physical copy, of what has always existed…”in god’s [or allah’s] mind”…

Or…in other words…they can claim that the koran is eternal, and “has always been”, because it’s original version exists in “the eternal mind of god [allah]”…

One thing I do know…is that there is a growing library of books and resources, dealing with the inconsistencies within the koran…as well as the many, many examples, of teachings, beliefs and practices, which are incompatible with progressive [and even to a large degree, “western”] cultures…and these really dissect the koran [hadith, sharia, etc, etc.]…trying to assess, what threat [if any] islam poses to non-islamic cultures.

As of yet, I’ve never completely read through the koran…but, I do know enough about it…to confidently state that it does have more than one or two, inconsistencies between it’s covers…Meaning, it is not a perfect book, as some falsely claim…I also know, there are some teachings [and commanded practices] in the koran, I find abhorrent, threatening, demeaning, aggressive, corrupt and outright despicable…I condemn those sections of the koran, with extreme prejudice, common sense and human decency, and personally declare them to be wholly vile, indefensible and irrevocably null, void of all authority.

I have to question, sternly, just how “perfect” and “good” such a book as the koran can be…when it’s alleged author [allah], asserts, displays and inspires an ethical climate…which does not even come close, to living up to my own ethical standards, in a number of critical regards.

…If I have to degrade my own standards of ethical conduct, just to conform to something else…I typically do not look upon such a thing, as being good…because my own ethical standards, are based upon mutual respect amongst all humans…Anything in contradiction to this, is going to be in conflict with me…and in contradiction, to my standard of “good”.

…And, for the record…I hold the principle of mutual respect amongst all humans [call it “the golden rule”, if you like], as the singular, highest path of good…or “righteousness”, if you will…This principle is subordinate, to no other principle, past, present or future…Nothing in the koran or bible, supersedes this principle…absolutely nothing, whatsoever

This is hardly to imply, that we should avoid harsh truths…True respect, will always tell the truth…even more so, when it is hard to face that truth…But, there must always be mutual respect, a place for everyone…and a peaceful place for everyone to live in, where human equality is respected. Where these fundamental things break down in a culture, no higher rights, freedoms, safety, standards, opportunities, good life for the common man, etc, etc, can exist or thrive [except for the very corrupt and selfish, who think they are entitled to rule over all others].

While some people may think this arrogant…I believe, that I am entirely capable of writing essays, or even just footnotes, which are superior to some [and potentially all] of the things found in the koran [or the bible, for that matter]…But then, I think most people with a decent, good-willed nature, could write a book about ethical conduct, and automatically have a good, fighting chance, of it coming out qualitatively superior, to both the bible and koran.

But…to wrap this up, there is one fourth “miracle”, element…and you may have heard this one, also…

Did you know, that islamic lore asserts, that the prophet mohammed was illiterate?…Allegedly, he could neither read, nor write…Yet, “miraculously”, he managed to write down the entire body of the koran…

…Quite an astonishing accomplishment, huh?…

I think this aspect of “the miracle”, is best answered with the following…

…You cannot believe everything you read…nor can you believe everything, which gets passed around to you by social [and cultural] networks. Just because something is stated, or printed in a book, does not mean that it is true…and “word of mouth” beliefs, which everyone just knows and takes for granted…these are fertile ground, for distortion. Only someone very unsophisticated, or deceived, would accept such things as “proof” of anything.

Mohammed being illiterate, yet somehow “miraculously” writing down the surahs of the koran?…

…It sounds like a lie, to me…

Potentially, mohammed dictated it to somebody else, and they wrote it down in the Arabic language…but if mohammed could not compose a coherent version, himself…then mohammed did not write the koran, folks…

…Angels, fairy dust and “hokus pokus”, are not going to side step this fact…Not on my blog…

So…Is the koran “a miracle”?…

…At this point in time, my opinion is that this is highly doubtful…and, the koran [like the bible], is an overly hyped work of mythology, which has acolytes showered upon it, that it mostly does not deserve…

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There’s going to be a new SimCity…


Club_Diamond_Arcade
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Date: March 7, 2012

01) SimCity Officially Announced

“EA and Maxis have announced SimCity, the newest, non-numbered version of the classic city-building franchise. Built using Maxis’ GlassBox Engine, SimCity is only on PC and will launch sometime in 2013.”

This looks really good…Though, it’s been quite a long time, since I’ve played any version of this series…I’m happy to see, they are putting out a new one, regardless…Hopefully, the game wont be such a resource hog, that you have to upgrade any hardware…

I especially liked the robot dinosaur, in the open arena…I presume, this is a monster truck show simulation, going on…Really cool!…

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