Religion, friends, SQL

07:59

Last day’s post was destroyed due to my saving it on my laptop, which at the time was running Dapper Drake, an unstable beta-version of the Ubuntu distribution. Bah! I should have saved it on a USB-memory.

Yesterday was fairly OK in the class-room. The instructor twice insinuated that we were to blame for not telling him the time, which led to our having a late lunch. It’s fair to say I am not one of those who like to escort him at lunch.

I am reading further into Sam Harris’ “The End of Faith“, and am listening to the remastered version of Brian Eno + David Byrne’s “My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts“, FLAC’ed, to Zak’s delight. A strange experience it is: multi-cultural tongues, ranging from christian babtists talking in tongues to muslim chanteuses wailing, all on top of John Cale-like experimenting with prepared pianos, multi-layered polyrhythms, samples and traditional rock-instruments.

With this back-drop, Harris turns more interesting. I’m now plowing through the landscapes of christian torture, the persecution of jews, nazis working together with the church and how Virgin Mary was most probably not a virgin at all.

Still, it is even more interesting to note the vigor through which Harris covers the persecution of jews, how the christian church almost always lends itself to dark powers (such as their high-dealings with the nazis before, during and after the Second World-War) but really goes into attack-mode when he writes about islam; true, Harris states that christianity and islam are bound, sooner or later, to clash because of what is stated in their respective “holy books“, but just after he lists1 dozens of years during which “organized massacres and pogroms“ have occurred, he writes “Life for Christians under Islam has been scarcely more cheerful.“

When you throw this into the fact that he calls an entire chapter “Leftist Unreason and The Strange Case of Noam Chomsky“, where he starts sounding like quite the christian nationalist. An example:

In his book 9-11, with rubble of the World Trade Center still piled high and smoldering, Chomsky urged us not to forget that “the U.S. itself is a leading terrorist state.“

This is interesting. Here Harris tries to finger-shake at Chomsky for his saying “this time the U.S.A. got a taste of its own medicine“. Anybody who has read Chomsky knows that he, of course, thinks the catastrophe was horrid, as innocent people were killed, and plainly states that what happened is what the U.S. government has been doing to other people for what literally is ages. I have just plowed through half of Harris’ book, but this is scary. Harris even defends Bill Clinton’s administration by stating what Clinton meant by killing “thousands of children“2 through a cruise-missile-attack in August 1998.

As Chomsky once said, one has to use common sense and basic thinking before swallowing everything somebody says, just because that person starts off with a few grand-resounding lines; naturally this is reflected on Chomsky as well.

16:31

Class dismissed! Today was a lot more interesting than the previous days, mostly because the day was, in large, about securing, maintaining and strong-holding databases. I remember the days when I longed for a database that could be replicated through three different firewalls without having to contact fifty people and going through different hells just to get it up and running; with (sales talk ON) SQL Server 2005, we suddenly have HTTP replicating, which means everything is managed through port 80. Not to mention the immediate securities we now have, through principles, permissions and securables.

The really sad part of the day was the learning-materials. Our instructor said that Bertelsmann, the corporation that prints this material for every country in Europe (according to said instructor) has huge problems. Pages went flying (=no SQL-pun, mind you) as the book was badly glued.

The biggest problem though, was that the book was based on a beta-version of SQL Server 2005. Usually, when this happens, it doesn’t bring about a lot of changes when using the finished product, but believe me when I say we had to make a lot of changes, all the time. When coding a lot, which we did, it meant hell and high waters. Fortunately, we overcame like I will overcome Sam Harris’ chapter on Noam Chomsky and “Leftist Unreason“.

The week-end starts now. I’m meeting up with Tamara for tea and biscuits, later with Mikaela at home and tomorrow I can hopefully go visit my old friend Andreas and his girl-friend Micaela, who had a third baby less than 24 hours ago. Babies avast! And tomorrow evening Frederic and John are making dinner. I’m very much looking forward to shrill Japanese voices and excellent food.

And Boban Markovic will be playing Södra Teatern on 2006-04-29. HERRO.

  1. page 114, Harris’ “The End of Faith“, ISBN 0393327655[back]
  2. I quote Harris here.[back]

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