Monday, July 24, 2006

Moving moderate

As I mentioned before, I don't generally read or write blogs. I'm also not allowing comments on my own blog because I would never read or respond to them. On the occasion that I do read and comment on someone else's Blogspot blog, I almost always click my name and reread my own blog. Then I'm usually tempted to delete the early entries, but I never do. For one thing, they are part of the landscape on my road of personal growth. Two, if I did delete them, there wouldn't be many entries left.

I am somewhat embarrassed by my early entries, the reflections of another hostile right-winger. I am not that person anymore. While I do remain pretty conservative, I don't think liberal thinking is inherently evil as I did before. I'm trying to give everyone a chance to be heard and evaluate what he or she has to say on a case-by-case basis.

One of the early things I decided in college was the worst kind of person you could be is to be among the majority of Americans who are apathetic and/or lack the intelligence to form sound political opinions. Many other students probably felt the same way as activism runs rampant on college campuses. A few years later I'm on my way out of school and I'm seeing the younger students trumpeting their opinions everywhere, and it occurs to me that I'm sick of it. Moreover, I can see why those in power rarely heed them: all the editorials, letters, banners, posters, and rallies simply amount to whining. Nothing is actually getting done; everyone is just yelling at those holding different opinions. It was then I decided the next to worst kind of person you could be was a deaf activist.

I guess that is to say I think you should do more than call attention to a problem you think you see. You should find out enough about the issue to decide conclusively that it is a legitimate problem, which means that you are willing to invest yourself (time, energy, resources) to change it. If you aren't willing to work for change, why should anyone else? And if you aren't willing to work for change, maybe the problem isn't such a big deal after all.

We'll see what I learn in the next few years, but I hope that what I've learned so far is a step in the direction of maturity.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Gay Marriage

I'm not going to pretend that I'm an avid blogger because I'm not (as you can see from my post frequency). The truth is that I think most blogs are a waste of time both for the author and for the reader. There are a few exceptions. The people that own these blogs have something unique, interesting, and valuable to give to the reader. Generally speaking, I don't find that to be true of the daily play-by-play of life presented by most bloggers. Often, bloggers post their opinions about this or that. However, I don't think there is any lack of shared opinions on the Internet.

And now that I've shared my opinion about shared opinions (and blogs in general), I am going to share my opinion about the title topic by posting to my blog. Hey, that's what they're here for, right? I will attempt to make it worth the effort, both in my writing it and your reading it, by presenting a different viewpoint in a persuasive manner. If you are a busy person and do not wish to waste time reading something you agree (disagree) with, I will tell you now that I am opposed to the explicit legalization of same-sex marriage. Please allow me to explain why.

I think most people who are opposed to same-sex marriage have that opinion because 1) the majority of their social circle has that opinion, 2) they are afraid of change on some level, and/or 3) they have a strong moral objection to the concept. From my perspective, I think most proponents have good intentions; they see no reason to block two people who love one another from taking an oath of lifelong commitment to one another. I can pinpoint two specific problems with the interaction of the two groups. The opponents want to legislate morality and are callous toward the gay-rights group. The proponents hold that humanistic values are more important for the benefit of society than are any individual's religious beliefs, and as such, all citizens should put aside or change their religious beliefs in this case. In attempts to ease the transition, they present alternate interpretations of holy books so that everyone can be content (except the very conservative bunch who refuse these interpretations).

However, what if I were to submit that being opposed to same-sex marriage could be patriotic? It is in the sense that some of us love this country, love living in it and enjoying its freedoms and wealth, and we don't want to see it end. I'll explain that statement because I realize it sounds ludicrously extremist.

Suppose you believe in the literal interpretation of the Holy Bible. You believe that it is exactly what God wanted written, so that it is exactly what He wants humankind to know, and thus it is by definition absolute truth. Whether you actually believe this or not is irrelevant. It's a hypothetical situation to aid you in seeing the issue from another perspective.

If you know that the God of the Bible is real, that He is all-powerful, that He is indeed angered by same-sex intercourse, and that He has in the past destroyed two cities specifically because of it, how could you dare condone same-sex marriage in this country? You know fully well that you would be putting our country on a path to destruction! How incredibly stupid!

Even if you reject the Bible as absolute truth, would it not seem like asking a lot of someone who does to condone same-sex marriage? It would be analogous to telling a child to pretend the large teeth-baring dog barreling towards her isn't there because you can't see it. Fearing for her life, she is probably not going to be content with that solution. Even if she is, if the dog turns out to be real, the results will be unpleasant.

You may not agree with me, and that's fine. I just hope that I've convinced you that my opposition to same-sex marriage is based on what I truly believe is best for the country and not because I hate gay people, am afraid of change, or am incapable of making up my own mind.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Geek Code

It's been a while, I guess. I spent Thanksgiving Break at Jon's place, which was a lot of fun. The time since has been spent working on projects.

[VakStat: initial coding complete with successful compilation - remains untested]

Project due Friday, next Tuesday, and next Thursday. (Hopefully) only final this semester!!

I'm embarrassed to say I just recently learned about the Geek Code. (I learned about it from that schmuck Wil Wheaton's website. If you really care, you can look it up yourself. He's almost as far left as you can go. As if Wesley wasn't enough reason to not like him...)

Here my code if you care:
Version: 3.1
GCS/E d-() s-:+> a-- C+(++)$ ULS@ P+ L+ E--- W++ !N o--? K-? w+>$ !O--- M+@ V-? PS--(-) PE+(++) Y+ PGP- t+ !5- !X !R- tv b(+) DI++(+++) D G e++>+++ h-() r* y?

Tuesday, November 16, 2004


AT&T Wireless's acquisition by Cingular became official for me today as I actually watched my phone's display change carrier name in class. I lead a very boring life.

In other news, I have a (very) brief lull in the schoolwork extravaganza that has become the rule rather than the exception. I managed to almost finish my Numerical Analysis homework in all its 22-page glory. Someone in class called it his thesis. Too bad the only worthwhile part of the assignment was the Bezier curves, less than a sixth of the problems assigned. *sigh* Three more weeks of classes, only three more weeks....

My friend Brinn sent me this link: Five Reality Checks For Democrats: Dump Kofi, Moore, Dopes. It's a good read - turns out there are some reasonable liberal-minded people out there.

And, in case you haven't heard, Gmail is offering free secure POP3 access now. Guess I will be changing my main email address... :-)

Thursday, November 11, 2004

From my friend, Bubba...

[on being called out by a liberal...]

Since you are so much more nowlegeable in the world learnin' i will call you 'fore i make any decisions. i be not able to make up my own brain on world thingies. the democraters tell me i be stupid for bein' buddy buddy with bush. i really am stupid for that. me needs a leader like kerry who goes against my morals, favors man 'n man rights, wants to make checks to the gov't more biggerest, and has a PLAN for everything. it must be being a goodest plan i reckon, cause he ain't be tellin' what it be. me hopin' this amail gets back to you as i be stupid and not know electric boxes and i not use a stamp.


Bubba Rose
I guess liberals cannot understand that they are asking us to choose their values over ours. Our values, by definition, require that they be held as most important in our lives. We have chosen to embrace them. We're accused of not thinking for ourselves; most of us have carefully weighed our options and decided this is the better road. I set the same challenge to the accusers: Do you think for yourselves, or did you buy every bit of Mr. Moore's propaganda? Is your "thought" limited to complaining with your friends, to reading every anti-Bush editorial you can find, to MTV? If you are really the free thinkers you claim to be, why don't you actually try to understand our point of view instead of blindly insulting us?

Homework: the pain of the engineering student

The difficulty I face is this: I have homework from two classes due on Tuesday that will take most of my time from now until then. Now, I suspect I won't find myself free after that, either. In fact, it may well be Christmas, excuse me, Winter Break before I find some real free time. I wish it weren't so considering the recent election and the latest liberal trend of calling all conservatives stupid. I hope to address that soon.

In the meantime, enjoy my webcam to the right. The picture is updated every 30 seconds while I'm online, but you'll have to manually refresh the page to see it (by design).

Grand Opening

My very first post! We'll see how much I have to say over the course of time, but for now I just want to see what it all looks like.