Sunday, April 25, 2010


I just finished my final, well, I just solved all the problems that were assigned, it was a take home test. I still have to put all the answers in pretty format, need to scan it, same with the project, it's all done, but have not turned it in yet.

I was sitting here, not knowing what to do, so many different different things that I could be doing. I have more interests than time, so now that I am free, I am having a hard time deciding.

One of the first things is going to have to be fixing up the house, we have had the stairs bare for the past couple of months, long story short, it's a home improvement project from hell, everything that could go wrong in a home project went wrong.

I have a few books on my queue that I want to finish. Martha just gave me a copy of 1776 the Pulitzer-Prize-winning best seller about Washington's fight against the Brits that year. Thanks Babe! I am about to finish reading Plato's Republic, and well, you've seen what it has done to my blog writing, it has me writing dialogues and what not. Reading Plato makes you want to really think about things, think clearly. I don't know if that makes any sense at all, but that would be another post.

I also have Founders at Work, a collection of stories about successful startups, they should also have a book about failed startups as well, lately, I've been getting more interested in learning economy and business, but from a scientific perspective, I am curious to know how the world works, people are motivated by economic and political factors. I am wary of people who are obsessed with money and money making, but it would be foolish to ignore what moves the country and the world. Also, realizing that although I work as an engineer, I am make money because of a business, and all business is sales, therefore, I need to make innovations that sell, not just things that are neat, or impressive, but to make it as an engineer, we need to work on stuff that's profitable, that's reality.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dialogue, Part IV

A -Oh, it's nothing. I think I saw something in the rooftop...(looks trough the night vision goggles) No, I don't see anything, maybe our imagination?

J -You know what? These big questions about life? Why doesn't anyone ever want to talk about it?

A -I feel the same way, very few people want to talk about these things because it is so important, it's such a big part of their personal identity that they take it as a personal attack.

J -So people are that fragile?

A -Is not that they are fragile, but if you are used to seeing the world a certain way, then you don't want to change your mind. Plus, I don't know, talking about these topics can affect the way people look at you.

J -I just, want to know what's true and what's real. Is that like, an impossible thing?u

A -what a freaking question. What the hell are you talking about Corporal? What is real?

J -yeah, what is true, what is real, what does it mean to know something. what is justice? What is the right thing to do? How do we answer these questions in a purely scientific way? Is there a way to check our answers? What can we do to know? How can I know that I can trust an idea?

A -a lot of people have been asking themselves the same questions.

J -yes I know, that seems to be a problem, scientist have gotten very far studying the material world. But it seems like these questions about our human race remain to be answered

A - I have all the answers, just follow God's teachings and you will be ok

J -yes but, how do you check that? you really can't, you have to accept, can't question, have to take it by faith.

A -well, how can you know?

J -I don't know. I don't know

A - hey I think I did see something up in the roof, is that a...?


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dialogue Part III

"Whenever you write, write the truth...Fiction is the truth inside the lie"

-Stephen King

(The radio opens up)

Radio - Apocalypse One, This is Bushmaster X Ray Radio Check, over

J - Bushmaster X Ray this is Apocalypse One, Lima Charlie, over

Radio -Be advised, Wolvepack elements will be present in your sector in about five mikes, over

J -Roger,

R -Bushmaster out.

A -well, looks like Alpha company got the crappy end of the stick this time, I bet they are going to raid that shiek's place, he's supposed to be on our side, but I know he is one of THEM.

J -so, how do you know when something is true?

A -there's always clues, here and there.

J -but how do you know for sure?

A -At the end is hard to know for sure

J -how do you know you made a mistake?

A -there are ways to test out theories

J -Ok

A -I think I know where you are going with this one. You are going to say how come I believe in God since there is no proof. But there's no proof that he doesn't exists. So it's better to believe and be wrong than not to believe and be wrong. I believe without proof and that makes me a better person. I live better, so what if I was wrong? is it so bad to try to be a better person?

J -You brought two things Ali, I can only handle one thing at a time. First of all, I hope you are not saying that you NEED to be religious to be a good person, to live better. I can be a good person without having to believe in supernatural stuff, I can live a good life, with meaning without having to believe in imaginary friends that are watching us from the ski or something. Plus, there are so many choices of religion, how do you know which one to believe?

A -well, my family is protestant, so therefore I am protestant.

J -doesn't it bother you a bit that there are so many religions out there? They all claim to be true, surely they can't all be true.

A -I believe that they worship the same God, at the end, Allah, Jehova, Yahwe, they are all one and the same.

J -wait a minute, aren't you a Christian?

A -yes, I am

J -Jesus said that he is the only way to get to the father, right? doesn't that mean that if you are not a Christian you will not get to heaven?

A -yes, but I believe that God will make a special case for everyone

J - so then, I am good, since surely he knows that I am trying to be rightous

A -I am sure God loves you Corporal, even though you are a fool for not believing in him.

J -so you think I am going to go to heaven?

A -I don't know, because you rejected him, you know about him and reject him.

J -but why, if God is so powerful, so great, does he need us to worship him, why? is he insecure or something? Why does he say he wants to save us, but only if we believe him and worship him? why not just save us? and then why make it so hard to believe in him?

A -what do you mean?

J -I mean, I can't see any evidence man, I can't see any reason to say that yeah, there definitely is a God out there.

A -But that's the thing, it's called faith. And that makes you better.

J -it doesn't make sense to me to say that believing in something without any sort of evidence to back it up, is some kind of virtue or something. I don't see how that could even begin to make sense. I have looked, I have thought about it, is not that I don't want to believe, I mean, I would like to think that at the end the just will get a reward, I would like to survive my own death. I just don't see anything that makes me say that it's real. It looks to me like the whole thing is all in our heads.

A -I know that he exists.

J -really? How?

A -Because he answers my prayers.

J -what did you pray for Ali?

A - I pray for a bunch of things,

J -do you have all your prayers answered?

A -no, but that's because what I asked for was not his will, he knows better

J -I always thought that was funny that we had to pray, since he knows everything already, why do we have to remind him? doesn't he know? but anyway, I have tried praying myself, believe it or not, I used to believe back in the day. But I don't really see a difference otherwise, why don't you try it out? test it out for yourself, keep a tab of answered prayers, see if it works.

A -God doesn't work like that, Corporal

J -what does that mean? it's in the Bible, it's a claim that's made by many religious. If you can't test it, why do you believe in it?

A -I don't think you get it, that's not why we pray, I feel a sense of peace when I pray, like I am one with him...

J - I think you can get the same feeling by just meditating. Do you really think you can get God to bend the laws of nature for your request?

A -yes I do.

J - Oh boy, but why? I have not seen anything close to what you might say a miracle, everything that I have seen seems so underwhelming, I have been to a Benny Hinn or whatever his name is, my cousins in Fl swear he can do miracles, but I will be convinced when I see someone that can grow back a limb, why is it that you never see amputees growing their limbs back? every miracle is always this fuzzy thing, like a cancer test coming back negative after a previous positive result, when in practice that sort of thing happens all the time.

A -look, I just know what I believe in is true, ok? plus, why does it matter to you what I think? if I am happy with my beliefs, if it makes me a better person, who the fuck are you to tell me what I should believe? why does it bother you so much that I want to worship God? This is something very personal, and I don't see what can be so wrong with having the hope that I have someone watching over me, somebody protecting me, someone that will reward my faith and my good deeds, someone who will provide eternal salvation, someone who gives me peace, direction, and something that I can use to relate to everyone in my hometown. Why do you seek to destroy it? What good can come out that?

J - I know, I know, look, I don't care what you worship ok? remember that you asked ME why I am an atheist, my question is, don't you want to know if what you believe in is true? doesn't it matter? I just can't accept something without some kind of way of checking if it's real or not. Plus, one thing that irks me about religious people, is not that they believe is that they are so sure of their beliefs that they think that anyone who doesn't share their views is a fool. They want everyone to believe what they believe without providing a solid proof, but they are so confident, they are so cocksure, and I wonder, how can they claim to know what you can't know, nothing can be proved either way, I am not sure, I know that I could be wrong, so I don't go around trying to unconvert people out of their faith. But these people, and maybe you are one of them, they think that they know more, they have no idea what it means to know something, and yet, they sit there making statements based on faith, that they have no way of proving, like it's a fact of life.

A - well, I am not one of those people

J - hey, is that somebody on that roof top?


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Dialogue part II

(warning, contains foul language, and disturbing images)

J -yes we are scanning our sector Sgt

Sgt V -Well, don't get too caught up discussing all this stuff, remember that you have to pay attention to what's going on around you. That's why you're here.

A -Aye Aye Sgt.

Sgt V -Very well, carry on

---V leaves-----

A -anyway, back to your question Cpl. Would Jesus agree with my actions? The answer is yes because he knows that I am doing this for a just reason. It is for a just cause and I am doing my best.

J -so then you agree with me? there are no absolutes moral rules, it depends on the situation.

A -well...I don't know, he did say thou shall not kill, but then, the army of Israelites did some killing in their day.

J -so you feel like a good Christian, then?

A -I don't know, listen you are changing the topic, I wanted to know why you are an atheist, how can you not believe in God?

J -how can you believe in God, after all we've been trough.

A -Precisely because he has protected you and me, my faith in him has grown, my prayers are being heard.

J -see? that's the most disgusting thing I have ever heard.

A -Why? believing in God has given me the strength to get trough these hard times.

J -I mean, really? Do you think that your alive because somehow you are more special than Sgt Adams, or Lt Ski who got shot or blown up? Do you think that you matter more, or you were more pleasing to God and that's why he spared you? Lt Ski was a devout Christian, and he is gone. I am an atheist and I am still alive. What about all the orphans running around in this place? This is fucking shithole, and you sit here saying that it's ok because God is in control. You tell me this and I think about what happened last week.

A -the vehicle incident?

J -yes, the vehicle incident.

A -is that what made you an atheist?

J -no, that's not why, but, supposing there was a God, why? why would he allow that to happen? That car that ran trough our traffic check point, we had to no choice but to shoot it, we freaking lit up that car Ali, and at the end, what? There was a family there, no weapons, no bombs, just a car, with a Dad, a Mom, a ten year old girl, a baby. We saw it Ali, we saw the bodies, we did nothing illegal, we were following our orders, we were protecting the compound against a real threat and yet, goddamit, we have the blood of these Iraqis in our hands. Why did your God allow that happen? What kind of fucking twisted sick God allows that to happen, why is that some kind of test? does he really have no disregard of the innocent? What are you going to tell me? That everything is going to make sense in the end? Well no! I want nothing to do with your God, if he's in charge of this joint, and he's real, I am not going to kiss his ass. I spit on his image, I curse his name for putting us through this.

A -But Corporal, we have free will. What happened is not God's fault. It was only humans that got us in this mess.

J -yes, but they, I mean, they ran a traffic point, who knows why, and then they got shot. Crap, you are telling me that he intervenes to keep you alive, but doesn't intervene to save an innocent family, something doesn't make sense. You are right, I do think that it's only us, there is no way that a just, all knowing, all powerful god would allow these things to happen. There is just no way, and if it's true, and if this is all some part of some kind of plan, then he can take this world, his lofty plan and shove it! I want nothing to do with this kind of God.

A -so you somehow think that you know more than God. You need to bad to appreciate the Good.

J -at what expense? don't you care? look at all the people who are dying, who are starving, who are losing their family? and you still talk about a plan? does this make sense to you?

A -you can't make sense of everything, you are a small creature with a small brain, trying to comprehend this world.

J -so none of this bothers you. I bugs me to even conceive of something that could intervene, could save us, and you are telling me that he cares, he loves us, and allows us to live this way. I need to chill out, stop talking for a bit.


Tuesday, April 06, 2010

The setting: a hot summer night in the city of Ramadi, Iraq. The participants, Lance Corporal Ali, from Paris, Texas, Corporal Joseph from Queens NY, and Sgt V, who we don't know much about.

V -Alright guys, here's the deal, you two are on watch until 23:00 that's when Lcpl Paul and Lcpl Chris are supposed to come back and take over, until then, here's some extra batteries for the radios, your call sign is apocalypse 1-Alpha, watch the northen road, we heard reports that the insurgents are planning a big attack on American forces.

Joseph -oh yeah? what else is new.

V -Quiet Joe, I'm trying to pass some intel here, shut your pie hole for two minutes alright?

J -Yes Sergeant, (sarcastic tone)

Ali- Sgt V, one question

V -what is it, Lance Corporal

A - do we know where this intel comes from?

V - I don't know, it was passed down from the CO this afternoon, from there I don't know, why?

A -it's just that, we never seem to really know when really are going to get attacked, I mean, last week when they threw grenades into our compound, nobody really expected that, and now they have been saying that we are going to get attacked for a whole week and nothing happens, I don't know, I just, question the validity of it you know?

V- Lance Corporal, it is what it is. I am just relaying the information as it was passed down to me, ok? my job is to keep you alive so that you can tell your war stories when you get back to the U.S. of A all in one piece, you understand? don't be goofing off, specially with this clown, Cpl Joseph.

J- Aye, Aye, Sergeant!

V- Ok, I am off, got to take care of the other posts.

---Sgt V leaves----

J- I hate it when Sgt V is Sergeant of the watch, he actually wants people to stay awake during firewatch and what not.

A- Cpl, can I ask you a question?

J- What is it Ali?

A- I heard that you were an atheist, is that true?

J- who the hell told you?

A - does it matter? is it true or not?

J -yes, it's true, what about it?

A -nothing, I just, I don't know, can't believe anyone could be an atheist, that's all.

J -why do you say that?

A - well, I mean, everyone has to believe in something, right? don't you have any morals?

J -listen Ali, believing or not believing in a god, has nothing to do with morals, ok?

A -well yes but, don't you believe in anything? I mean, where do you get your morals from? if not from God? don't you live with no moral authority?

J- I use my reason to decide what is moral and what is not moral.

A -your reason, huh? Somehow that seems problematic, Corporal

J -I think I know what you are going to say, what if I were a serial killer or something, who is to tell me what I am doing is wrong? right?

A- Right

J -well, we are social animals, The Philosopher Aristotle said we were political animals, we all get organized and each society will have its particular norms and values.

A -Do you think you would be ok with Killing if it were part of the culture?

J -Well, look at us, we are here in Iraq aren't we? Back home, we are generally not allowed to kill. Here we are taught how to kill, life taking is part of job in this place, and yet, when we get home we are hailed as heroes at churches and government functions. How come? I thought God commanded us not to kill.

A -It's different, we are defending the country, we are in a combat situation, you know we engage the enemy only when it is necessary. We do not go out of our way to kill civilians, only combatants..

J- I could argue about the defending part, but, the point I am trying to make is that there are no absolutes when it comes to morals, it just depends on the situation.

A - I see what you are saying, but I have a problem with that. Surely there must be things that always apply.

J -Well, you tell me, you are the Christian, and you are here with me.

A -I think we are here doing something good for the country, we are helping.

J - Do you really think that Jesus Christ would approve of your actions here?

Stg V: Hey guys, are you scanning your sectors? This ain't the Lyceum.

TO Be Continued.....

Monday, April 05, 2010

testing blogging app

testing blogger app for phone.

testing blogging app

testing blogger app for phone.