Atheist Pride

During a few spare minutes I had today, the Great Toutatis guided me to technorati where I found a link to a blog called “Bible Study for Atheists.” This blog (from Vast Left) is pretty good reading. It is witty enough to entertain and certainly worth a visit. On reading it, I found the shards of a bit of a debate between Vast Left and a blogger called El Borak.

From what I read (and please correct me if I get this wrong), Vast Left made a post “poking fun” at Genesis and El Borak responded with:

Of course, it’s not even a study per se. Rather it’s simply a chance to poke fun and play number games. (read original)

I might be misreading the tone, but this strikes me there has been a sense of humour bypass here. Of course it isn’t a study per se — although I am not sure if El Borak means study in the “Bible Study” sense where a load of Christians sit round and re-affirm each others ideas, or a study in the scientific sense. (Hint: I am poking fun).

Now, broadly speaking, El Borak is actually fairly reasonable and presents his arguments well. I am not sure I want to get involved in the overall debate, so I will not pass comment on that “per se.” One sentence which did leap out at me, though, was: (emphasis mine)

I know I should not expect more from self-proclaimed Atheists, and that’s the problem. I truly don’t.

This is interesting. I am not interested in the attempt at a snide dig, to be honest I don’t expect anything else from any theists (self proclaimed or otherwise), they just don’t know any better. What did interest me was the use of the term “self proclaimed.” I am some what confused as to what it was meant to imply.

Normally, when you see the term “self proclaimed” it tends to imply the following word is a dubious boast. Is this meant to mean that El Borak doubts Vast Left is really an atheist until there is some corroborating evidence? From it’s use it could also be read to mean El Borak is amazed anyone could have the front to actually admit they are an an Atheist, or he could simply doubt anyone is really an Atheist.

I am confused. (extra entertainment can be found from the comments on El Borak’s page, Huckelberry is worth a chuckle)

Now Rails Hates Me

Previously, I have complained how Linux (and the Linux Gods) truly hated me and went out of its way to make my life miserable. Even repeated sacrifices of Windows and Apples didn’t help until, like a Miracle sent from Tux, I came across PCLinuxOS. This has been wonderful. It works with all my hardware and is really easy to use.

There is one small problem. Since I mentioned Toutatis in the last post, the Linux God Tux seems to have passed the message on to the Rails God to make my life hell once more.

PCLinuxOS is still brilliant. It works really well. It came with Ruby installed (version 1.8.5) and installing ruby gems (0.9.2) was a walk in the park. The problems started when I got all clever and issued:

gem install rails –include-dependencies

The first time, I got an error message saying it could not find rails in any repository, second time it seemed to run ok. Sadly, despite getting messages telling me rails-1.2.3 is properly installed, I can’t get it to run. I get various error messages, depending on what obscure task I am trying to do (eg. “rails demo” produces errors about not having the 1.2.3 version, and needing to edit environment.rb to reflect the actual version…).

This creates a bit of a quandry. I can download (in fact I already downloaded it) the Rails CD version of PCLinuxOS, but I like this installation. It is set up to my preferences. I have spent time tweaking it and installing firefox extensions (for example). The thought of re-installing just to get rails running is nauseating. However, one of the reasons I wanted Linux was to do Ruby / Rails development in a way which matched the deployment server.

Choices, choices… I think it is time for some more sacrifices… Maybe some coffee beans will do the trick for Ruby, no idea for Rails…

Royal Marine, Royal Navy, Publish and Be Damned

 (Update: It seems this has been added to Digg)

I am not sure why I have strayed into current affairs as a topic for debate here, but I promise this will be the last blog post I make on this topic (for a while at least…). Previously, I have ranted about the supposed “outrage” over the 15 sailors and marines held hostage by Iran being allowed to sell their stories, and about them wrongly being called cowards or a disgrace.

For people outside the UK, this may come across as little more than a parochial spat and, to be honest, I am amazed there is so little going on in the world that this is actually headline news. Again, today, I have spent most of the day listening to the radio. This is never a good thing, and especially so when I spend time listening to the Jeremy Vine show on Radio 2 (he gets callers to call in on current affairs topics). I am also very aware that they will screen callers to ensure the cranks get more air time than they deserve.

Knowing all this doesn’t stop the idiocy and bigotry winding me up though. (Again, this is long so most is below the fold)
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