Monday, January 25, 2010

Anti-Semitism and misapplied technology


Jewish date:  10 Shevaṭ 5770 (Parashath Beshallaḥ.)

Today’s holidays:  Conversion of St. Paul (Roman Catholicism); Feast of Gregory the Theologian, Archbishop of Constantinople (Greek Orthodox Christianity); Feast of Saint Margarita (Greek Orthodox Christianity).

Worthy causes of the day:  “Demand Quality Pre-K Educators - The Petition Site”, “Keep Health Insurance Accessible for Americans Aged 50 and Higher - The Petition Site”, and “ | Tell House Progressives: Stand Up for Real Reform, Vote Down the Senate Bill”.

Topic 1:  More on contemporary anti-Semitism:  “Protesting Anti-Semitism is "Hardline"?” and “Middle East Pride”.  The latter references some particularly improbable accusations.

Topic 2:  Two misapplications of technology:  “Solar-powered Bibles sent to Haiti” and “Egypt mufti wants to put prayer ringtone on silent”.  The former, which are machines which can read the Christian Bible to 300 people at a time, are a waste, since we have a technology going back hundreds of years called “paper” which requires no power whatsoever.  For the price of one machine, one can buy many paper Bibles and thus reach more people, especially if these people share their Bibles, read them out-loud to the illiterate, and discuss their contents with each other.  Not to mention that humans are better suited to teach the illiterate to read than mere machines.  The later article discusses Muslim sacred music being used to tell when someone is calling; understandably, the grand mufti of Egypt considers this inappropriate and potentially confusing.

A pair of tefillin.Image of non-dangerous tefillin via Wikipedia
Topic 3:  The patent absurdity of in-flight panic over tefillin still has the attention of Jewish humorists.  Thus today’s religious humor is “Top 10 Signs that the Guy Putting on Teffilin Next to you on your Flight is Really a Terrorist”.


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