Monday, March 22, 2010

The Sphinx versus Alexander the Great (sort of)

Greetings.

Jewish date:  7 Nisan 5770 (Parashath Ṣaw).

Today’s holidays:  Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent (Roman Catholicism), Feast Day of Wolfgang von Goethe (Thelema).

Worthy cause of the day:  “MoveOn.org Political Action: Get It Done”.

Topic 1:  The latest episode of Caprica: “Ghosts in the Machine”.  Much of the religious aspects of this episode is bits and pieces.  Amanda Graystone, in a variation on seeing dead people, sees a destroyed car.  Joseph Adama, seeking the virtual version of his deceased daughter Tamara, visits a virtual nightclub called Mysteries (as in Eleusinian Mysteries and mystery religions in general), and the proprietor tries to force him to solve a riddle (think of the Sphinx).  Unlike Oedipus, Joseph follows Alexander the Great’s approach to undoing the Gordian knot and uses virtual violence to get the information he wants.  More interesting are the moral reasoning of Daniel Graystone and Zoe II in this episode.  The previous episode ended with Daniel suspecting that Zoe II really was still in the Cylon body based on her subtle behavior towards the family dog.  In this episode, he is determined to get her to acknowledge her identity.  Zoe II, however, is bearing a grudge towards her father, who failed to give her informed consent about transferring her into the Cylon body, and is determined to remain hidden.  Daniel thus puts Zoe II in a series of situations where he hopes she will react as herself and not as a robot.  The situations are cruel, e.g., ordering her to shoot the family dog (unbeknownst to her, with blanks), but he considers getting Zoe II to admit who she is to be worth it.  Though Daniel is unsuccessful in this episode, I fully expect his failure to be only temporary.  (He has to be a genius; idiots do not build functional robots.)  At the very least, he should eventually hit upon bugging his own lab to see if Zoe II acts human in his absence.

Topic 2:  Two articles on religion which I am trying to figure out what people mentioned therein were thinking:  “Mexican drug smugglers embrace bandit as patron saint” and “Hialeah man investigated over feeding Giant African Snails to followers”.  In the later, Charles L. Stewart fed giant African snail mucus to his followers in what was supposed to be an Ifé healing ritual, and his followers got sick.

Topic 3:  For today’s religious humor:  “Ghost cat iz
funny pictures of cats with captions
They say all dogs go to Heaven.  Apparently the cats come back…


Peace.

Aaron
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