Archive for May, 2009

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Islamic reformation?

May 22, 2009

I have been hearing more Muslims everyday talking about “reforming” Islam.  I have read article after article (that means two articles), claiming that Islam is in the beginning, middle, or end of a reformation.  Really?  Reza Aslan, author of No god but God reportedly said this:

I believe we are living in the time of the Islamic reformation. In fact, I think we are living in the twilight of that reformation.

For me, the word reform is defined by its inevitability. This process cannot be stopped; it can be slowed down for a time but reform is inevitable. It’s an historic reformation taking place within Islam — it’s adapting itself to the realities of the world around it.

I think we’ll see the same process we saw in the Christian reformation from doctrinal absolutism to doctrinal relativism; toward a truly indigenous Islamic enlightenment.

And it’s up to us as Muslims in the US to give voice to that for our brothers and sisters who don’t have the voice or the same ability to speak out as we do.

Reza, I love you as my brother in Islam, but I think you missed the mark.  I want to write a refutation right here and now, but I think this will need some time, research, and consideration.  Look for an article in the coming weeks.

Nevertheless, I will leave this for everyone, especially Muslims, to ponder:

reform (\ri-ˈform)
transitive verb
1 a: to put or change into an improved form or conditionb: to amend or improve by change of form or removal of faults or abuses

2: to put an end to (an evil) by enforcing or introducing a better method or course of action

From Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary

I am no linguist but “reform” seems to refer to “fixing” something that is fundamentally flawed.  And “doctrinal absolutism” is something that is alien to Islam, aside from the most extreme fringes. More on this later.

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Web-browser maximiphobia

May 21, 2009

One of the weird things I have noticed about myself is that when I maximize my web browser, I feel trapped.  Now that I have two monitors, I have been trying to adjust myself to the reality that I can have a maximized browser and still have an entire open desktop space.  Baby steps…

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Pay for websites? That's so 1990's

May 8, 2009

Rupert Murdoch has once again made headlines (pun intended) by telling CNN that visitors to the web sites belonging to some of the numerous newspapers that his News Corporation owns will soon have to pay to access certain content. Instead of having free access to the Wall Street Journal or the New York Post, a visitor would have to “pay handsomely”, according Murdoch.

I know the man is old, but is he really that out of touch with technology and the development of new media?  Does he really believe that people cannot live without his newspapers?

When a news organization is failing, as many newspapers are, why would it benefit them to make it more difficult to get news to people who could use it?  Their goal should be to gain readers, not drive away the few they have left.

If a person has to pay to find out a piece of information on one site, they will simply find it on another site for free.  Instead of arrogantly thinking that they can just muscle people into giving them money, they should try earning it.  Give people a real reason to come to your web site.  Come up with something innovative that makes your site worth their time.

We live in an age where media is interactive, collaborative, and, most importantly, open to all.  If News Corporation or any other mega-news conglomerate fails to realize that, it might very well be the last mistake they make.  And maybe the world will be a better, more truthful place without them.

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More Stargate Universe News

May 2, 2009

The producers of the new SGU series have opened up a little more and revealed some of their thinking on the new show.  I should preface this by saying how skeptical I am about the potential success of this show.  I was an avid SG-1 watcher, but I was skeptical when Stargate Atlantis came out.  To my surprise SGA was actually good.  The “lost in space” premise of SGU, however, leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.  Hopefully, I will be pleasantly surprised.

“The style is very different from what we’ve done in the past,” Cooper said. “It’s far more mobile than we’ve done in the past on SG-1. The concept is that we wanted to shoot this a little bit like a documentary crew would shoot a ride-along to a space ship out in the universe — that maybe we could get audiences to embrace the science fiction elements and the characters in a realistic way if we shot the show using the ‘language’ of documentary and reality.

What the flip?  OK, my skepticism just escalated.  Please tell this does not mean a wobbly camera running through the forest chasing aliens.  Please, tell me that.  Please?