:: 21 september, 2006 ::
News of Today
It is a testament of the peoples utter detachment from reality and their sense of priorities that all the major news stations seem to be allocating more time and effort into finding out how Richard Hammond, the host of the TV show Brainiac, is doing after his crash in a jet car than what is happening in Budapest and the riots there. Now, I know that people want to know what is happening to famous people and all that. I also am well aware of the fact that news stations allocate almost no time to news from around the world and big events happening outside Europe. This I have become used to, although I do not think that the lives, suffering and joys of people in Asia are in any way less than those of Europe. The sad fact is that those events probably will not affect us as much as what happens in Europe.
But let’s look at the current topic again. On the one hand we have huge riots in Budapest, a country that has not seen any substantial rioting and public unrest since the Budapest uprising in 1956. The prime minister lied to the people of Hungary; the budget deficit is such that the country will not be able to adapt the Euro as they had planned. Foreign investment will in all probability decline in the country and Hungary and its people might be forced into some kind of economic isolation. Hungary might have gone on to be the next Ireland, a poor country that attracts foreign investment and workforce to the benefit of those already there. Basically, another good example of what the European cooperation can achieve.
Richard Hammond had the great unfortunate to crash his jet car at 370 mph and has probably suffered brain injury. This is not something that is to be taken lightly, nor should the media ignore it. But might I point out a few points. His was an accident that was completely self-imposed. He was after all driving a car at 370 mph, and accidents do happen. This publicity would never have been generated if he would have been a regular stunt driver, he is a TV presenter and therefore everyone seems to think that it is our business how severe his injuries are and how it happened. The news should give him and his family some peace, his doctors’ time to take care of him and turn to subjects that actually can, and probably will, affect the general public in some way.
:: Jón Grétar 18:27 [+] ::
See, I might well do better than the Big Dude upstaires as Hulk Hogan onces called him.
:: 12 september, 2006 ::
Why god never received a PhD.
1. He had only one major publication.
2. It was in Hebrew.
3. It had no references.
4. It wasn't published in a refereed journal.
5. Some even doubt he wrote it by himself.
6. It may be true that he created the world, but what has he done since
7. His cooperative efforts have been quite limited.
8. The scientific community has had a hard time replicating his results.
9. He never applied to the ethics board for permission to use human
10. When one experiment went awry he tried to cover it by drowning his
11. When subjects didn't behave as predicted, he deleted them from the
12. He rarely came to class, just told students to read the book.
13. Some say he had his son teach the class.
14. He expelled his first two students for learning.
15. Although there were only 10 requirements, most of his students failed
16. His office hours were infrequent and usually held on a mountain top.
17. No record of working well with colleagues.
:: Jón Grétar 13:51 [+] ::
Eins og einhverjir vita var ég á skátamóti á Ítalíu í síðasta mánuði og skemmti mér konunglega. Þar var samkvæmt hefð gefin út mótsbók með ýmsum upplýsingum um mótssvæðið, frösum á ítölsku og í þessar bók var líka bætt við hugleiðingum nokkurra frægra manna um trúarbrögð, frið og bræðralag. Fann þar kafla eftir Norberto Bobbio sem ég ætla að setja hér inn. Þar sem ég nenni ekki að þýða þetta yfir á íslensku verðið þið að gera ykkur enskuna að góðu ;) Mér finnst þessi kafli lýsa vel mínum hugsunum og skoðunum um þessi mál. The man has spoken
As some of you might know, that I was on a scoutcamp in Italy last month and had a great time. According to tradition there was published a camp book containing information on the camp site, phrases in Italian and in this book they added the thoughts of a few famous people about religion, peace and brotherhood. In there I found a chapter by Norberto Bobbio that I am going to post here (slightly changed) as I find this reflects my own thoughts on this matter.
"I am not a man of faith. I am a man of reason and I doubt all of faith, but I distinguish religion from spirituality. Spirituality means to me simply to have the sense of ones own limits, to know that human reason is only a small light that illuminates a very small space compared with the grandiosity, with the immensity of the universe. The only thing I am sure about is to always stay within the limits of my own reason - as I cannot repeat it enough: I am not a man of faith. Having faith is something that belongs to a world that is not mine - and in case I experience the sense of mystery, which is obviously common to the man as to the man of faith the difference is that the man of faith fills this mystery with revelations and truth that come from above and does not succeed to convince me. But it still is fundamental, this deep sense of mystery, which surrounds us, and which is what I call a sense of spirituality. Mine is a spirituality of doubt, rather than that of certain responses.
I only accept what is within the limits of tight reason and the limits are absolute and narrow. My reason comes to a halt after some steps while willing to travel the road that enters the mystery the road has no end. The more we know, the more we know not to know. Any scientist will tell you that the more he knows and the more he discovers, the more he knows what he does not know and what he has yet to discover. We have enlarged our space of knowledge enormously, but the more we enlarge it the more we become aware that this space is big. What is the cosmos? What do we know about the cosmos? How and why do things pass from nothing to being?
In the face of questions that are impossible to answer - of this I am certain: I cannot give an answer, although I belong to a humanity which has realized enormous advances - I feel like a small grain of sand in this universe. But when I feel I have reached the end of life without having found an answer to the last question, my intelligence is humiliated. Humiliated. And I accept this humiliation. For me the difference is not between the believer and the non believer, but between the one who takes this problem seriously and the one who does not take them seriously. There is the believer who is content with easy responses and also the non-believer who is not content with easy responses! Someone says: 'I am an atheist', but I am not sure that I know what that means. I think that the real difference is between the one who, in order to give sense to his own life, faces up to this questions in earnest and with commitment and searches for the answer even if he does not find it and the one who does not care about anything. To whom it is enough to repeat what was said to him since being a child.
Among the metaphysical problems I posed was the one of the immortality of the soul, maybe we are eternal? What does this mean? Life and death are intrinsically tied; life receives sense from death and death from life. Death, if there was really another life, would not be death. Death is only desperation? Or the beginning of a new life? All the big religions propose a form of life beyond death, but the one who does not believe imagines that he will be able to live through the works he leaves in posterity."
:: Jón Grétar 09:59 [+] ::