This blog.

When I started this blog the intent was to blog about things that annoy me.  To say things that I felt needed saying while not taking things too seriously.  The blog name was supposed to reflect this. One does not choose a self-deprecative name for one's blog and then expect everyone to take what you say completely seriously.

That I started blogging exclusively on the election was not something I planned for.  It just happened to find myself following the election closely and naturally I ended up blogging whenever I was annoyed with what I saw.

I got a lot of feedback on it during the election.  Mostly via email.  Most of the feedback was encouraging -- some of it wasn't.   Don't get me wrong:  the fact that people disagree with what I express does not bother me.  Debate is important. I would much rather have a heated debate with someone fiercely disagreeing with my views rather than having feebleminded, dogmatic morons agree with me.  

What bothered me was the dogmatic, un-thinking respondents.  Those incapable of independent observation, analysis, and conclusion.

Now that the election is over there is a number of things I might want to blog about.  For one, I will be keeping a close eye on what the upcoming Obama administration is going to do.  Early indicators suggest that Obama will innovate in the way he is going to communicate with the people and that his government may be a more open and transparent one than we have seen before.  And when I say "before" I am not just referring to the last 8 years, but in all of american history.  I hope I am right.

There are other things I would like to explore a bit more in this blog.  I have an interest in religion and how religion seems to have made a comeback as a threat to civilization.  Be it radicalized islam or fundamentalist christianity.  The flavor doesn't really matter all that much when the intensity of emotions in extremists so effectively occlude avenues for rational thought.  I think we need to start re-thinking how society needs to deal with the current crop of religions (including those that are religions only in name).  It is by no means a new idea as the explosive nature of religion has been a problem we've needed to deal with throughout history. 

Religion has become a global risk factor and we need to think about its place.

I could blog on energy efficiency, the environment and related themes that occupy my mind, but I feel I am slightly out of touch with these themes since I haven't kept up to date with relevant data for about a year.  I am sort of the odd one out on this issue since my main concern is that "the environment" is being used as a punch-line for all sorts of ignorant, grandstanding idiots. We are wasting a lot of money, time and resources on taking the wrong people seriously.  Most of them politicians that want to score cheap points in taking popular, yet uninformed positions. This does little to reduce our impact on the environment.

We'll see.   In all likelihood this blog is probably not going to stick to just one theme.  And expect there to be sarcasm, irony and the occasional dose of humor.


Tisha said...
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X said...

I am not so worried about any religion in particular. I am more worried about what happens when religions in general are allowed to take on extreme forms and are allowed to significantly influence parts of society where it can cause irreparable damage. Especially when used as a tool to control and manipulate people for political purposes.

For instance, I am not at all comfortable with world leaders who see any given conflict as being God's will. Regardless of religion.

Note that I referred to fundamentalist and not fundamental. I am not even aware of a definition of the latter.

As for the parallels between radicalized islam and fundamentalist christians, this is not something that is easily summed up in a few paragraphs. But I'll try to give you some useful pointers.

The most dangerous, and currently relevant mirror images are essentially the embodiment of the same set of basic ideas in the west and the middle east
-- neoconservatism in the west, and the legacy of the Muslim Brotherhood (after Sayyid Qutb joined them) in the middle east.

I'd recommend reading about Sayyid Qutb and Leo Strauss. Look at the historic context, the shared ideas and their respective goals and strategies to achieve them. An understanding of the timeline that lead to our current situation is essential.

(An interesting footnote to this is that Strauss was an atheist, so this is an excellent example of how dangerous the mixture of religion and politics is and how it can easily be abused as a tool for political purposes.)

If you start with Qutb and Strauss and go forward from there a lot of things will become clearer and perhaps a bit frightening when you follow the connections all the way to the present day. You should find a lot of info on Wikipedia.

It should also, partially, answer your questions as to why I see religion as something which has increasingly become a threat the past two decades.

Tisha said...
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X said...

If there was a discussion, it was not one I was aware of.

You do with your time as you like, but I do hope that I have at least awoken some curiosity in you to read more current history.

Tisha said...
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Sandy said...

I probably should have never introduced you two! :)

X said...

Tisha: If I had set out to just insult you, that would have looked very different and it would have taken me a lot less effort than trying to indicate where you might find some information that would explain my thoughts on what are very complex subjects. At least I think these things are complex and I neither think arriving at conclusions is easy, nor do I consider most conclusions final.

I don't think I left more than one comment on your blog (although I might be wrong). Based on your reply I figured it wouldn't be a good idea to continue any discussion there since it was your blog and it would only make you feel "attacked at home". People tend to roll out the artillery when they feel there are barbarians at the gate. Nothing good comes of that sort of tense situation.

As for the fundamental/fundamentalist comment -- I was not trying to prove any point; nor was it any sort of spelling flame. I was pointing out that I was talking about fundamentalists and if you misread it as "fundamental" and a "fundamental christian" has some common use, then it is not one I am aware of. (English is not my first language).

Also I wasn't going to give you a lecture on why I think fundamentalist movements on either side of current world conflicts are, in many ways, mirror images of each other. It would just bore you, probably convince you even more deeply that I'm some sort of elitist, wannabe-intellectual and most certainly put you in a defensive frame of mind.

I was more interested in seeing your thoughts upon exposure to ideas I tend to take for granted. If you don't have the time, that's fine. I wasn't offering simple explanations, nor was I expecting you to plow through yards of shelves.

And yes, I feel a bit of a turd because my posting a comment on your blog without telling Sandy first put her in the awkward situation. That I regret deeply.

Tisha said...

Apparently, I read your response incorrctly.
I was very interested in your opinion and the process that has led you to the conclusions you currently hold, as you are clearly a man with an intriguing point of view.
I must have misinterpreted your tone.
I apologize for the misunderstanding on my part.
I actually did not find your comment on my blog offensive. I respect your stance and can see why you would say what you said. You are certainly in alignment with the majority on that point.
I just don't care to receive anynomous comments. I find it rude.
Thank you for the resources you have pointed me toward.

Tisha said...