Monday, November 27, 2006

The Right To Discriminate

With all these anti-discrimination movements it becomes necessary to assert the importance of discrimination and our basic right to discriminate! I am not saying that anti-discrimination is inherently violating our rights, but these anti-discrimination measures have introduced what is called reverse discrimination!!

In short, we have to understand when discrimination is acceptable and when it is not. Our basic premise is that people are equal in the eyes of the law. Which is a good practice that reserves the rights of people. BUT people are NOT necessarily equal in the eyes of other people. People have the basic freedom of thought and freedom of opinion. Dictating what other people think of each-other is violating these basic freedoms! If someone hates another simply because he has black skin, its within his basic freedom of opinion. Maybe judging someone by the color of their skin is an illogical thought, yet he still has the right of having illogical thoughts and opinions. One cannot be an elitist and deny others their freedom of opinion simply because it is (according to them) an illogical one.

The idea is similar to that of secularism. Secularism says that the government and the law have to be impartial to religion. That the law shouldn't include laws that are religiously charged. Yet, it is acceptable that people within a secularist country to follow religions. Its within the freedom of religion (where the freedom of religion itself is part of the freedom of opinion), right? Same goes for any-other kind of discrimination. It is unacceptable for the law to discriminate between people, yet it is perfectly acceptable for the people themselves to discriminate. Its their right to discriminate!

Consider that the law imposes on you who your friends are?! Is that acceptable? So what if all your friends happen to be white-skinned? Does this give the law the right to force you to have a black-skinned friend so that the collection of your friends is "politically correct"?! - The law has not gone this far concerning imposing your friends, but in some other fields it has, this phenomenon is called reverse discrimination.

Reverse discrimination is when the law includes policies that gives extra rights to historically discriminated against groups. For example, women in history have been known to be victims of discrimination. Now in many countries there are quotas for the minimum number of women participating in the parliament! Now, isn't that just another form of discrimination?! Why do we solve discrimination, by similar discriminatory acts?! [I am not against women quotas in parliaments but I think better solutions have to be formulated]

In a similar fashion, laws have been there to regulate employment issues in the private sector... Just like the law shouldn't impose on us who our friends are (even if we were not politically correct), the law shouldn't impose on the private sector who their employees are or what salaries do the private sector give their employees.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Abolishing Age Discrimination

One of the common forms of discrimination is what is called age discrimination. Age discrimination is as what its name suggests, treating different age categories differently, and giving them unequal rights under the law. Most commonly, age discrimination has two forms: Discrimination against the young (referred to as "minors"), and discrimination against the elderly. The basic driving factor for discrimination against the young is what some people call "age of consent", where young individuals are considered under the law as non-consenting individuals. Similarly, the driving factor for discrimination against the elderly is their general disability and incompetence. Here, I will argue against discrimination against the young, as I believe that all people -including minors among other- are consenting individuals. Discrimination against the elderly mostly falls under the acceptable forms of discrimination. (PS: acceptable forms of discrimination has its own post here)

Discrimination under the terms of the law is a seriously bad practice that has to be addressed and abolished for good. All individuals should have equal rights under the law whether they are white-skinned or not, males or not, heterosexuals or not, adults or not, whatever or not, anything or else!! Within this view, it becomes absolutely necessary to grantee the right of consent to all individuals... In practice, we find numerous examples where those generally referred to as "minors" are denied their basic right of consent: Minors cannot obtain a driving license. Minors cannot vote. Minors cannot participate in the parliament. Minors cannot buy tobacco and alcohol. Minors cannot join the porn industry. Sexual contact between minors and adults is banned in numerous countries. Some clubs are 18+. Its even minors have special treatment when they commit a crime or something of the like under most legislations. All these forms of discrimination have to be abandoned.

Some people argue that minors in fact dont have the capacity to give consent. First if all, we have to agree that consent is a basic right, no individual should be given the power to undermine the consent of another. This basically means that one cannot withhold another's consent even when they feel its not within their capacity. This might seem like theoretical discussion that isnt practical. NOT REALLY!! I agree that we might find that most minors of our time do in fact lack the minimum skill required for giving real consent, but this issue can be solved. Maybe solving this issue will need more than one generation, but it can be solved. The root of this issue lies in parenting. Lets face it, the parents of our time suck big-time!!! Parents dont raise their kids with the consent issue in mind, but instead, they use the ban-it-if-it-is-controversial mentality, and raise their kids accordingly. They dont raise their kids thinking that its their (the parents') duty to empower their kids with the knowledge required for them to pass judgments. Parents have to teach their kids how to make sound judgments instead of making decisions for them. Practically, not until parents learn to raise their kids to these standards that age discrimination can be safely abolished. And YES, even a toddler has the capacity to make sound judgments, and its is the parents' duty to learn how to empower their kids with that skill!

The problem remains that even when parents fail to raise their kids properly, we still cannot deny any individual their right to consent - this should be out-of-question. I am sure that one day humanity will abolish age discrimination, but for all I can hope, I hope that day would come sooner rather than later.

Another issue worth mentioning is the difference between "consenting" individual and "misguided" individual. Consent is only legitimate when the individual forms their decision based on full account of truthful information, otherwise that individual has been misguided. The difference should be noted when taking the issue of consent into account. This topic is equally valid for all ages, and not specific to any age category. (see my comment on Jameed's Blog for extra information)

I have discussed the issue of age discrimination in numerous occasion, check the comments to see how others have (negatively) reacted towards the issue:
-Jameed's entry regarding a NAMBLA-like association (here)
-Black Iris's entry regarding smoking laws in Jordan (here)
-And, on this very blog, when I posted about the .xxx domain proposal (here)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Windows Experience Index - New Windows Vista Feature

On November 8th, Windows Vista had been released to manufacturing. The general (retail) availability of Windows Vista is scheduled for January 30th. Windows Vista includes numerous new features, some of which are really interesting. One of the most useful new features is the Windows Experience Index (WEI for short); Its basically a number that can be used to compare the performance of two computer systems. For example, my personal computer has a base score of 2.6. The base score is the minimum of 5 other sub-scores (with few exceptions).

Here are details of my computer's sub-scores:
Gaming Graphics2.6
Hard Disk Speed5.2
Base Score2.6

These scores will increase the ease of upgrading computer's hardware in general. Taking my personal computer as an example, we can see that the "Gaming Graphics" category is the one diminishing my base score. This would give a direct hint that the most needed upgrade would be a better graphics card, as it is the part with the lowest sub-score indicated by the base score.

Hopefully, new hardware and software productions will take advantage of this benchmarking system. For example, newer graphics cards would provide WEI score for its graphics subsystem. So I might go to any hardware selling point, and check the WEI to have an idea how much better or worse that graphics card is compared to the one I already have, or maybe compared to another graphics card displayed on the shelve. Also, when buying a new computer, the WEI score would be the easiest way to determine how good or bad that computer is. Moreover, newer softwares might reduce complex minimum and recommended system requirements to a single WEI score. This would make it much easier to decide whether a certain game will work on my system simply by looking at its WEI rating, instead of detailed computer specifications (still details would be a good supporting consideration).

The WEI score works in a logarithmic manner. One unit of score is almost double the performance, so a computer with score 4.0 is roughly twice as good as one with score 3.0. As of this date, all vista-capable computers fall in the range of 1.0-5.9. 1.0 is the score of the minimum requirements for Windows Vista, while 3.0 is the recommended score for it. Topnotch computers have ratings of 5.0+. Scores of 6.0 and above are reserved for the computer specifications of the near future. Most analysts agree that computer's performance almost double every two years, so we can expect WEI maximum score to be updated almost every two years.

Read more about WEI here

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Public Openness And Personal Honesty - Part 2: Elaboration

Honesty is the opposition of fear. People hide what they fear, what exposes their weaknesses, and what they cannot handle. On the other hand, once the information in question is well-understood, its complications are manageable, and its exposure doesn't threaten their holders, that information become a candidate for publishing. The motives for any party to publish any piece of information varies greatly according to the field and type of information. For example, scientific advancements (that doesn't pose dangers on security of countries) are published so that other scientists can use them in other scientific researchers to form a kind of scientific collaboration. It is even sometimes businesses are established upon publishing of information, like journals and newspapers.

On social and personal levels, honesty comes as a balance of self-acceptance and expected acceptance of others. That is to say, people are usually honest about issues that they themselves have accepted, and (when applicable) how accepted that would make them among their peers. The harsh fact is, our societies lack honesty at serious levels. People in general are far more accepting of nicely wrapped lies than facing honest truths. While some might find that to be totally unalarming, it is in fact a problematic issue. Don't misunderstand what I am saying: It is perfectly normal for people to hide information, and maybe it is wise in certain occasions. The alarming problem is when (legitimate) honesty is perceived as a criminal offense. When people go to trial for expressing their opinions, or they are being abandoned for stating what is an ugly truth.

This concern also extends to interpersonal relationships where lack of honesty is the overwhelming trend in most interpersonal relationships. The consequence of this lack is that most relationships are seriously shallow since they all lack transparent communication. It is a fact that all of us are emotionally hindered to open up about our personal issues to others, even our significant others. The matter of fact is: we fail to transparently communicate ourselves even when we intend to. This observation comes as an indication of our severe disabilities in self-growth, especially self-acceptance! Yes, that right, it all boils back to our failure to accept our own! Conventional parenting as well as the conventional path of developing relationships in our current societies leads to severe discouragement of self-exploration, self-discovery, and self-development... This impacts our egoistic selves in the first place, and the general society in the second place where the individuals are less advanced in counterpart open societies.

In this series:
Public Openness And Personal Honesty - Part 1: The Premises
Public Openness And Personal Honesty - Part 2: Elaboration
Public Openness And Personal Honesty - Part 3: Public Nudity

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Internet Is For Porn

Don't ever allow anyone to delude you from the simple undeniable fact: The Internet is for porn. Thats the only legitimate use of it, and everything else is just a waste of time and money!! Check this video to enlighten yourself about what you should already know. The song was originally performed by Avenue Q.

My Theory Of Interpersonal Matching

The theory is simple, and states "The closer a person's belief system to the truth, the higher are his chances to find an exact match".... Thats in a nutshell, the reasoning for this bold statement is what follows.

It might be obvious that since i used the word "chance" then the basis of this theory originates from studying probabilities. To make the thought clear lets create this mock experiment that would closely correspond (although with some limitation) to real life matchmaking. The experiment is a multiple choice exam; 20 Questions, with 4 choices for each question, where there is exactly 1 correct answer to each question. The mark of an exam is defined as the sum of correct answers, obviously the maximum mark is [20/20]. Once we visualize this experiment its time for the tests.

What is the probability that two students who obtained [20/20] to have identical answers to all questions?! The answer is simple: It is certain .ie. the probability is 100%!! Since the two students answered ALL questions correctly, this implies that ALL of their answers are identical.

But what is the probability that two students who obtained [19/20] to have identical answers to all questions (assuming that the students randomly answered the questions)?! The answer to this question is a little bit tricky. We know that they have for sure 18 identical answers. We also know that each student has made exactly one mistake. In addition, we can find that there are (20*3)=60 wrong answers on the exam paper. The chance that they both made the same mistake is (1/60)=1.7%!!

Wow, what a difference one mark makes! Two students with [20/20] mark have 100% chance of having identical answers to all questions, while two students with [19/20] mark have only 1.7% chance of having identical answers. What about two students with [18/20] marks?! I'll save you the calculations the final answer is (1/570)=0.2%...

If we define finding an exact match to mean that two people have identical answers to life's problems then we can see that people with numerous wrong answers are much less likely to find that as compared to those with the correct answers!! But there is another complication to this problem: While most questions have only one correct answer, there are usually an infinite number of wrong answers...

Consider one atheist person, and another theist. If two atheists meet and discuss the issue of the anthropomorphic God, they would reach an understanding that no such God exists. But take the two theists, while they might agree that an anthropomorphic God exists, they most probably wouldnt agree on which God exists. Theism could mean an Abrahamic God, or a Greek God (or Goddess)... It could mean one God, or numerous Gods... It could mean virtually anything! The point is, when people are given the chance to create a belief system based on random events, the results are very likely to diverge. On the other hand, when belief systems are created with concrete basis, the results are likely to converge.

Combining the above two ideas together leads to the conclusion that to for one person to have a significant probability to find an exact match, they need to base their beliefs on concrete theories that are likely to converge, and have answers as close to the reality as possible.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Devil's Mind The Blog Enrolled In Jordan Planet

In an unanticipated event, this blog -Devil's Mind- has been enrolled as a Jordan Planet citizen. Almost a year ago, this blog was submitted to blogwise and Jordan Planet. Blogwise's response was pretty much timely, and the blog was being featured on this page since Dec 27th 2005. A year later, on Nov 5th 2006 this blog was added to Jordan Planet blogroll.

Good news? Bad news? I'm pretty much positive its not bad news. This leaves us with the other possibility: that its most likely good news to have a larger readers base that is expectedly generated through Jordan Planet. I hope this blog will retain its quality for its old-times readers (who are highly appreciated :D ), and hopefully for its new readers as well.

Lets just hope for best!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Public Openness And Personal Honesty - Part 1: The Premises

Complete honesty is probably not a feasible goal; Everybody is concerned about a minimal set privacy... Our egoistic nature implies that we wouldn't give unnecessary power to anyone, especially those we don't trust. As many people recognize knowledge is power, and therefore giving out information for free is an act of empowering others (possibly) against our egoistic purpose. The matter of fact is slightly more complex: Our social constructs implies that certain benefits are shared among the society, which implies that collaboration leads to a greater benefit that even extends to our egoistic needs. In short we can see that sharing of information leads to a case of "selfish unselfishness" that many people can recognize where sharing comes with a benefit.

As you might have realized I am an advocate of opening up the doors of information, because as I believe knowledge is the power that drives our lives to its ultimate potential, and that's when our societies will bloom with technological advancements we have not dreamt of. Those words I have spoke of before and wikipedia is one of the prominent organizations that recognize the supremacy of sharing of knowledge. Blogging also comes as an important anchor to the more profound goal of universal public sharing of information. It is for those reason this blog stands against all forms of censorship and withholding information. This post is meant to take that premise to further extents.

Information comes in many forms: It might be scientific fact, an idea, a proposition, even a sound or a shape!! As any satanist, we can recognize that even the most trivial pieces of information can lead to great discoveries. Consider the famous Newton's apple example: A really simple incident of a falling apple has lead Newton to reshape science with his famous gravitational field theories. So now it becomes clear why even the most minor or trivial information does make a difference!

Taking this discussion to a more personal dimension, we can add two premises to our initial premise. Lets first define "honesty" as the readiness and willingness of a person to share information. The first premise is the intuitive recognition that personal-level honesty has higher potential than public-level honesty, that's to say that anyone is more likely to share certain information with a select number of people rather than provide that information to the public. The second premise - that might be less concrete - is that material honesty has higher potential than emotional honesty, which is to say that a person in general is more likely to share non-emotional details rather than personal emotions-related details.

If we take the two above-mentioned premises we can reach the conclusion that for any person in general, that person has more potential to be honest about non-emotional issues with a select number of people than being honest about emotional issues with the public. Taking a quick glance at our daily life can verify those inferences.

In this series:
Public Openness And Personal Honesty - Part 1: The Premises
Public Openness And Personal Honesty - Part 2: Elaboration
Public Openness And Personal Honesty - Part 3: Public Nudity