Feb 092013

An engineer’s observation: All humans make errors; all human processes sometimes result in errors. Guns amplify human errors. This was triggered [sic] by this news article: Details emerge in LAPD’s mistaken shooting of newspaper carriers There were (at least) two very different sorts of error: The decision to shoot was wrong The shooting itself was poor quality When someone says “guns don’t kill people, people kill people“, is that supposed to make me feel better? No! If people can amplify their errors with guns this scares the shit out of me!

Jan 032013
In praise of "NIMBY"!

I haven’t previously thought much about the attitude of NIMBY (“not in my back yard“), except to recognise the term as pejorative. I’m not currently threatened by developments close to my house. (Even the nearby  A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road proposals which I’ve studied and responded to). Then I saw this on Twitter: What a nasty attitude! There is nothing hypocritical about defending your own property from deterioration and devaluation. (And I’m sure James O’Shaughnessy would defend his own lifestyle against deterioration; his job once didn’t exist, so is that a reason why young people can take over some . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Nov 242012

1. The bizarre voting system of the Church of England has confirmed: 26 seats in the House of Lords are to remain reserved for men! This is in a (supposedly) modern democracy. You couldn’t make it up! 2. The Pope has published a book confirming that Catholics must believe in the Trinity and the virgin birth and the resurrection. This is something Christianity did make up! I love these ongoing demonstrations of the stupidity of Christianity and the need for secularism.

Nov 162012

Christianity, or at least the Roman Catholic Church’s version of it, has just killed a woman in the Republic of Ireland. Some religious people would like to run similar risks with women in the UK and the US. (What is it about your fear of women controlling their own bodies?) This shows what many of us already knew: People who claim to be “pro-life” are typically not. They are “anti-choice“! Objections to assisted suicide in the UK are mostly driven by religious groups. There is no enlightened excuse for opposing the safe and modest proposals of Dignity in Dying. People . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Oct 142012

These are comments on quoted extracts from: The Telegraph: Muslims protest ‘age of mockery’ as thousands descend on Google HQ A protest by 10,000 Muslims outside the offices of Google in London today is just the first in an orchestrated attempt to force the company to remove an anti-Islamic film from website YouTube in Britain. Organiser Masoud Alam said: “Our next protest will be at the offices of Google and YouTube across the world. We are looking to ban this film.” They are not trying to “ban this film”. It already exists, and has probably been copied many times. They . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Oct 102012
Welcome proposals for householder defence against intruders

There were welcome new proposals at the Conservative Party Conference: Tory conference: Burglary ‘over-reaction’ to be allowed Conservative Party conference 2012: new right to attack burglars Tories go back to basics on burglars Homeowners Get New Rights To Attack Burglars I’m 5ft 4in tall. If the intruder in my home is 6ft, then ‘disproportionate’ is my only hope There have been many responses to these proposals saying that the law is OK as it stands. But that is nonsense, and lawyers are the wrong people to make the judgment! The current law is confusing and is of no use when . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Oct 102012

My reaction to the shooting by the Taliban of Malala Yousafza, the 14 year old “education for girls” activist in Pakistan, was “what the fuck?” This wasn’t a child casually caught in the cross-fire. This was a targeted assassination attempt because of what she represented and what she was trying to achieve. Enlightened people don’t need to be told that “education for girls” is high priority globally in the 21st Century. (Along with its partner, “equality for women”). But it is worth expanding on this to show why it is “high priority” as well as simply “right”. The argument from morality . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Oct 062012

I have said a number of times: “Islam, identified by the Koran and Hadith, is incompatible with Universal Human Rights and incompatible with the 21st Century” It is worth showing more evidence for this claim. Islam and Universal Human Rights – freedom of expression I’ll use quotes from a recent (5th October) article from a Pakistan newspaper: “Leaders of religious parties at an All Parties Conference (APC) have demanded of the rulers of the Muslim countries to move a resolution in the United Nations (UN) for an international legislation against the blasphemers…. “A communiqué issued on the occasion … demanded . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Oct 052012
Tropicana Pineapple Juice called Mohammed. Is it blasphemy?

People who feel “upset and distress” about something like this really need to take personal control of their emotional state! University atheist society ordered out of freshers’ fair for displaying ‘blasphemous’ pineapple called Mohammed Reading University Atheist, Humanist and Secularist Society There are about 7 billion people in the world. 1000s of gods are worshipped. 1000s of religions are practised. 1000s of contradictory ideologies are espoused. In a world of global communications, it is probably impossible to say or show anything significant that someone somewhere won’t get upset about. It is obviously impossible to prevent those words and images being . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Sep 172012

The violence claimed to be a response to a dodgy film about Muhammad, and political comments accompanying the violence, reveal a mountain of incomprehension: While many of us speak in post-Enlightenment language, others speak in pre-Enlightenment language. While many of us favour a post-Enlightenment world, others favour a pre-Enlightenment world. While many of us think the word “Enlightened” is a compliment, others think it is an insult. Among the political comments: Even during the protests, some stone throwers stressed that the clash was not Muslim against Christian. Instead, they suggested that the traditionalism of people of both faiths in the region conflicted . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]