Weird, disastrous and encouraging stuff…

Weird first.
A Malaysian supposed-to-be-Muslim woman has been send to jail for apostasy. For two years.

I am mystified why religious idiots think one has a choice about belief. One believes, or one doesn’t. You can’t suddenly force yourself to believe, for example, that the moon is made of green cheese, simply because someone says you must; any more than a devout person will suddenly disbelieve in God because he has been told he must.

The only thing you can do – which thousands upon thousands of so-called Muslims do across the world – is lie about your lack of belief so you don’t get punished. (And from what I can see, in the US, if you are standing for an elected government position and you are an atheist, you’d better lie or you can say goodbye to winning. After all, we all know that atheists cannot possibly be upright, decent, honest citizens…)

I may think the Malaysian lady is a bit daft (her beliefs border on the bizarre – the cult she belonged to had links to a giant teapot sculpture…), but I admire her principles. Would I go to jail for a belief? I doubt it. I’d just lie like mad.

Disastrous second.
My computer keeps on slooooooooooooooooooowing down. And I mean SLOW. Press one key and wait up to a minute for it to react. Only cure is to close down (which takes approximately half an hour) and reboot. During one of these annoying episodes, it failed to save my work properly – and I lost a huge chunk of Rogue Rainlord. I didn’t notice and blithely OVERWROTE my good backup copies with the corrupted one. Clever, clever, Glenda. Fortunately I did have a print out. Now I am having to retype.

Encouraging third.
The Shadow of Tyr (Orbit UK) has gone to reprint. Nice.


Weird, disastrous and encouraging stuff… — 10 Comments

  1. Sorry to hear about your disaster, nothing worse than losing a whole chunk of work. Glad you at least had a print out.

    Great about The Shadow of Tyr. I am about half way through Heart of the Mirage. Enjoying it very much, a lot deeper than the Isles of Glory series. I cannot imagine why it isn’t published over here.

    As for religion, if I lived in a country where it really mattered, like being sent to prison, I’d lie too. You are right about the US. There was a lot of hoo har about The Golden Compass because it was essentially atheistic. I still haven’t read that, haven’t had the chance yet.

    Have you tried selling books through Fictionwise who do ebooks. I buy from there for my Palm, but they sell for other reading systems too.

  2. You’re absolutely right about lying regarding one’s beliefs to avoid punishment. Isn’t there a tax on non-believers? Being able to avoid paying something by simply professing a belief makes sense (if you cannot or will not leave the place).

    My fear with that kind of system is that when everyone is pretending to believe something, true belief can flourish and eventually increase, particularly amongst the young. That’s even more likely if the school system is actively teaching the belief, since everyone is going along with the idea.

    In the Internet age, I’d like to thing that all societies will find it harder to do this kind of mass brainwashing. It may have worked in earlier times (hence the spread of Islam), but perhaps not now. Truth will out… eventually.

    Regarding the computer: is it possible you’ve accumulated malware? It’d be interesting to know what else is running that is hogging your computer’s CPU. Probably the only real cure is a complete re-install…

    To jo: The Golden Compass and the rest of the His Dark Materials trilogy are excellent. They’re not so much atheistic as anti-god. Personally, I enjoyed them thoroughly. 🙂

  3. Pity about the chunk of work gone AWOL and the retyping but at least you are only retyping. Congrats though on the reprint. Nice.
    I’m looking forward to seeing you at Swancon which I notice is now amazingly close.

  4. Thanks for the info Jason. I keep getting other books I want to read, particularly from the library which have a time limit, and Golden Compass is safely tucked away on my Palm so just haven’t got round to it yet.

    Right now I am reading Glenda’s books and really enjoying them.

  5. Glenda: Some words of advice form many years of IT industry experience.

    Always have multiple backup media sets that you rotate through for each backup.
    Keep a written log of the date, time and backup media set number.

    If possible, store them in a fireproof safe.

    It is also wise to store a backup offsite with a friend or business associate in case of disaster at home.

  6. Jason: A tax on nonbelievers? Where? Here?Dunno about that one.

    Alex: It is indeed hard to acknowledge unbelief when the penalty is social ostracism as well as legal…and it can and does impact on your job opportunities, promotion and so on too.

    Golden Compass: I also enjoyed it, although I though the last book seemed a little rushed and not as well thought through.

    Peter: ah, if only I were that organised…I do back up offsite – but I don’t do that everyday. And in this case, it didn’t help.

    Helen: see you soon!

    Jason: I do have a (free) malware/spyware programme which is not finding anything. When it goes into slow mode, it never goes out of it – so whatever it is, it doesn’t stop running and let everything go back to normal. Ugh.

  7. You could also try Glenda. I have just gone through wiping my hard drive and reloading it and I restored all my backups from Carbonite, worked very well and the only thing I had a problem with was Outlook Express. Everything else restored beautifully, and I have a lot of stuff on my PC.

  8. Glenda, I was thinking of Jizya, from the early days of Islamic conquest. I mistakenly thought it was still being applied in modern Islamic societies, but now realise I was wrong; its last application died out about a century ago.

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