PyWeek 4

March 29, 2007

I’m considering entering PyWeek 4. Unfortunately it’s scheduled during the same week as exams, so I might not actually finish it.

If anyone wants to do a team entry send me an email or leave a comment 🙂

Kathy Sierra

March 27, 2007

I heard about the abusive comments and death threats made to Kathy Sierra (note: contains rather graphic language) and would just like to say that I agree with her: death threats and other forms of violent threats are NOT protected speech.

And the winner is…

March 25, 2007

Morris Iemma for the ALP, having lost two, possibly three Labor seats. As I predicted – even if Debnam has the policies, he doesn’t have the leadership skills needed to win an election. However the Coalition did at least reduce the margins on many Labor seats so it’ll probably be easier next time around.

Not much longer now…

March 24, 2007

One hour and 45 minutes or so from now, NSW polling booths will close the doors and begin the count – and ABC will be following it, so if you’re in NSW tune in at 6pm, and if you’re elsewhere in Australia it will be on ABC2.

I’ve been wondering – what would happen if the ALP and the Coalition obtained equal seats in the Legislative Assembly? Would the ALP win, as it’s one party not two? Or would it be left to the discretion of Her Excellency the Governor?

Fred Nile and racism

March 17, 2007

(Obligatory warning: incoherent rant ahead.)

I’ve been watching the flamewar between Simon Rumble and Erik de Castro. It’s quite interesting to see how they both misidentify what’s Christian and what’s not.

Firstly, I am a Christian, a member of a mainstream denomination (Presbyterian), and I oppose Fred Nile’s plan to stop Muslim immigration.

I consider the Catholics to be a group related but separate from Christianity, as they have many differences in core beliefs and misinterpret scripture often. They also believe in justification by works. You can stop criticising Christianity for the Crusades and everything up to the Reformation now.

I also consider Christian militia groups to not really be Christian, although since they’re often connected with Catholicism, well…

I did see a link in one post to the Exclusive Brethren. They’re less Christian than Mormons. They have weird beliefs like not following human laws, in the New Testament the Apostle Paul explicitly states that governments are appointed by God and that as a result Christians must follow the laws of the land as well, unless those laws prohibit the exercise of your faith.

About Fred Nile’s idea of ending Muslim migration, I think there are a few issues:

  • Depending on how you read it, banning Muslim migration could potentially be prohibited by s. 116 of the Commonwealth Constitution. Getting a constitutional amendment to prohibit Muslim migration… well, Australia didn’t go too well with banning Communism back in the 50s and I’m not sure banning Muslims from coming here would go down too well either.
  • As a Christian I think it’s good that Australian Muslims are in a country where Christians can preach freely rather than in the Middle East where they are frequently killed, even by the state.
  • In order to get in to parliament you actually have to win elections. And I don’t think either the Coalition or Labor would support this proposal, since we all support multiculturalism nowadays apparently. And the CDP could very well lose support.
  • And of course it goes against Aussie values of giving everyone a fair go. It would also seriously damage Christianity’s and Australia’s reputation in the Muslim world, and with Muslim countries and Muslim terrorists right on our doorstep…

edit: One thing I do have to agree on: according to ‘real’ (ie. Protestant, non-liberal) Christians Jesus is the Son of God, the Bible is the unchangeable literal Word of God and it is to an extent totalitarian. You do need to remember that the basis of a lot of Western law ultimately comes from Christian beliefs. (I do support separation of church and state however – power corrupts the church, as we saw in the medieval days.)

Starting a teenagers forum

March 6, 2007

Well, I was bored recently and decided to start a forum for teenagers and funny stuff.

The name was inspired by a recent conversation I had where the words grass and bananas came up at the same time…

Broken English Considered Harmful

March 3, 2007

I really hate the way the English language is being misused nowadays, usually in teenagers’ blogs, SMSes and such.

Teenagers nowadays are talking in short bursts – does that mean that eventually they will only think in short bursts? The Ancient Greeks are well known for their philosophers and scientists, and Ancient Greek is a rather complex language (with five different tenses or something) – does the complexity of the language affect complexity of thought?

I know that other languages have qualities which are ‘strange’ to English speakers. In Chinese, my parents tell me, gender is less important. ‘He’ and ‘she’ aren’t really used, it’s more ‘person’. My mum, whose native language is Hokkien, *still* occasionally confuses male and female when speaking.

Does language affect thought? And if so, how will this generation’s use of language affect their thought?