Logic’s Last Stand

November 3, 2008

A Few Rants

Filed under: Computers, Philosophy, Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — Zurahn @ 12:43 am

Alright, I’ve been a bit slow on blogging, so some issues I’ve wanted to rant about but haven’t have built up, so this blog will be on a few different topics.

Firstly, Sprint threw a hissy-fit and completely disconnected its network connection with Cogent. This was only reported on tech sites, and got no significant attention, but this was a huge story.

Cogent is a Tier 1 network, which means if you don’t connect to it, you are disconnecting from an entire segment of the Internet. And guess what, so is Sprint, so Cogent couldn’t then connect with Sprint, meaning Sprint thereby screws Cogent customers in the process. Not only did they do something that ought to be in violation of contracts with their customers, it’s against the peering agreement between the customers, and against the Cogent customers contracts as well. Oh, and guess what, there are only 14 Tier 1 networks, and the rest have to pay to go through the lines of Tier 1 networks. If a Tier 2 network is then paying to connect through Cogent, well, you can work that out yourself (though they can work around if they’re paying for transit through enough additional networks).

For once, could every single tech corporation, and especially telecommunications companies stop screwing the consumer? The Internet is one of the greatest achievements in history, marking the ultimate source of knowledge for a species that thrives on the extension of its own ingenuity, and in one fell swoop, Sprint threatens to kill that.

Fortunately for the time-being, the networks will reconnect.

Secondly, there’s this story: Christians pray to golden bull on Wall Street.

I don’t even know what to say with this one. That something so obscure in concept plays out in direct contradictions to the famous forbidding of that exact obscure concept, what do you even say? You’re part of a religion oft accused of not following its own tenats or even reading its own holy book, and you go and pull this.

This is as about as speechless as I can say I’ve been.

Lastly, the Atheist Community of Austin (who sponsors the web-famous Atheist Experience call-in show), has released its Austin voters’ guide, which asked as candidates to answer a series of questions from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree. Naturally there are various questions about the separation of church and state and religion in schools where you’d see religious bias show through not surprisingly so. However, one question genuinely surprised me for the worse,

20. Parents who, on account of religion, prevent their children from receiving life-saving medical treatment should not be immune from prosecution or from loss of custody of their children.

This question inexplicably was split very evenly across the board. You kill your child and there are a significant portion of the electorate who thinks that’s just fine. Even Ralph Nader went for “Unsure.” Are you kidding me? Are you out of your damned mind?!

How can anyone of any faith, gender, nationality, HUMANITY not recognize this inarguable? You’re not going to suggest that a parent whose child died of their gross negligence shouldn’t lose custody of their other children? If the parent had gotten drunk and beaten their child to death, would you have the same answer?

There are only two possibilities for anyone who did not choose to Strongly Agree with question 20 on that guide:
1 – They misread
2 – They’re mentally unfit to hold office

And no, I don’t consider that a false dichotemy.


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