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March 14, 2005

New word for the day

A sort of online community scheme system device webpage which creates data and allows the whole community to edit it. Thus eventually an end product is produced which everyone is happy with. Examples include http://en.wikipedia.org .

March 08, 2005

Jehovah's witnessed

In Cambridge I frequently get an opportunity to mull over the impact of evangelical Christianity. This sounds like a completely random statement, but it's truth lies in the way the University Christian Union insists on forcing its agenda down everyone's throats. I have a certain respect for them as a Christian myself, and a certain fear based on their sometimes-fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible as the literal word of God. (That's a matter for another post). The issue I have is the way they consistently spread their propoganda throughout the University and the City, creating antipathy and anger wherever they go. This troubles me somewhat:
  1. I don't like the way they stir up trouble for Christians in Cambridge. This seems a crazy thing to say, but there's times I've been sat with friends, listening to them decry the evangelism of the CU, while I've been too scared to reveal my own religion. Perhaps this is just a hatred of my own weak will, but there's a definite anti-Christian feeling which is actually being propogated by the Christian Union!
  2. The Bible calls upon us to evangelise as part of our lives. This troubles me again; I feel like I ought to be doing more, but am scared to be labelled as "another nutty Jesus-lover," and tend to avoid the issue.

Thinking about this led me to thoughts about the historic implications of preaching. The original Saints and evangelists were all celebrated for their pious and learned nature. Nowadays we seem to be preached at by dogmatic buffoons who refuse to alter their teaching to the modern world. Should preaching be left to only those trained to do so? Perhaps in Cambridge, the answer is yes, except for the fact that those trained often seem scared to actually preach to people. One thing is certain, preaching should always be done in a way designed not to scare off the listeners.

Apologies for rambling...

Only in America.... (2)

I don't mean to be anti-American at all, I've just come across both of these issues recently and thought I'd mention them. Doctor CBB at CodeBlueBlog produced the following article about breast cancer screening in Britain.

Having read this Blog for a while, I've realised how the author passionately believes in the US healthcare system, and thinks that the British nationalised system is a dismal failure.

Well perhaps it is, but I like it, and here's why: in the US 16% of the population remain uninsured. (1999 data, the proportion has increased under the Bush administration). I'm assuming that you wouldn't be kicked out of an ambulance if you weren't insured, but what if you had cancer? Would you be thrown out of the hospital?

The NHS may have problems, but it remains free and accountable through the electorate. Perhaps we may not be able to vote with our feet as consumers, but we don't have to pay for the privilege.

March 07, 2005

Only in America....

Reading http://www.fark.com I came across the folllowing news:


It's nice to see that perhaps somebody will profit from the deaths of thousands.
We expect a hearing within 30 days," Austrian lawyer Gerhard Podovsovnik told Reuters.

"We don't earn any money on the lawsuit. We want to help people," he said. "We are suing to get information."

To get information? What do they think we're on. I don't see how they can possibly have a legal leg to stand on here, none of the plaintiffs have any direct responsibility for the lack of earthquake warnings. Earthquake prediction is, and remains an incredibly tricky science, and how anyone can expect a scientific station in a different ocean to provide completely accurate tsunami prediction is beyond me.

In the beginning

Besides being an epic choral work by Copland, it's the first post of this...