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December 31, 2006

Can An Atheist Sin?

I wondered about this question, is it theological? Perhaps there are moral implications? I just couldn't reconcile the answer because the whole notion of sin is (at least in my mind) theological. Therefore, someone that doesn't hold theological tenants to be true cannot hold themselves accountable to these tenants. That would indicate that indeed, No, atheists cannot sin.

Digging further, specifically analyzing the definition of sin [reference.com]:

  1. transgression of divine law: the sin of Adam.
  2. any act regarded as such a transgression, esp. a willful or deliberate violation of some religious or moral principle.
  3. ...

It's the second definition that gets atheists held up. Being atheistic [reference.com] does not (again IMHO) dictate that an individual is not moral, just that they don't believe in a higher power. Morals may have tangential relationships to religious societies, but are not intrinsically religious.

Therefore, Yes, an atheist can sin.

Posted by Guy at 12:36 AM | Permalink

December 29, 2006

Hays Is Way Off

I just got done reading the Hays Advisory [haysadvisory.com] Comment for 13 December, 2006 and I was quite shocked to see Don Hays predicting a 27.5% growth in the S&P 500. I don't think I agree with that number and I wrote my broker explaining why. I thought I would post this for posterity.

Thanks for sending this my way. It's always interesting to see how people in other industries view charts and graphs and try to analyze them, especially with a world view correlation.

That being said I don't think I agree with this report. It seems that Hays is trying to draw parallels between the ramp-up of the last boom and our current situation based on trends he noticed within the S&P moving averages. I'm a firm believer of the saying "There's lies, damn lies and statistics", so I use a wary eye when people start talking about how similar charts look and that since this happened in the past there is a better than average chance that it will happen again.

Second, Hays indicates the pre-cursor of this rise in the moving average will be heralded by an "unwinding" that will drop the price of gold under its 55-week moving average. However, some are saying that gold is in a prime position for an explosion. Some analysts are indicated gold will pass into 4 digits. I'm not so optimistic, but I believe it has the potential of going higher and maintaining.

Also, I can remember in 94-95 baby boomers were thinking very little about the long game and were trying to go for short wins. There was also disruptive technologies that were being integrated into business that generated excitement in fringe companies. This excitement led to people trying to make a quick buck and pumping money into the market that shouldn't have been pumped in. Now we are in the situation where baby boomers are looking at retirement and cannot take the chances of a quick buck.

Without this large pool of cash waiting for investment and no disruptive technologies/industries even near production I don't think the estimated 27.5% is attainable. Energy is probably the next technology/industry that will fuel the next bubble, but I don't see anything coming to fruition in that until at lest 2009-2010.


Another point I forgot to mention is that Hays seems to think (I'm reading between the lines) the US has the potential to switch from a global consumer to a global producer. I don't think the US has a snowball's chance in hell of being a global producer on the scale of say China or even Korea. The US' economy is more of a services based economy, not one of "widgets". Also, I think that nationalism plays more of a role in consumerism outside of the US, which would also hurt the US' chances of being a global producer.

Posted by Guy at 9:23 PM | Permalink

Well Formed XML


 Now that's what I call well formed XML!!!

Posted by Guy at 12:34 AM | Permalink

December 27, 2006

That Sucked!

Wow, I haven't been able to access my blog since the Taiwan earthquake. In case you didn't notice already, this blog is hosted in Hong Kong and with the undersea cables near Taiwan being compensated site access was SOL.

It's funny that the headlines first read "Taiwan Earthquake, Internet Crippled" then people started saying "why is that such a big deal when people have died?" Well, let me answer that. People believe that the Internet is just a way to communicate with one another or perhaps more than that a glorified platform for sharing ideas. Well, yes it is that, but then it's so much more too.

It's a business medium, a lifeline, a mover and maker of consumerism. I say it's a lifeline because there are probably networks of life-saving organizations that coordinate over these lines. And the devils in the details. This coordination may itself be the source of saving lives, but a mis-coordination may also end up costing lives. I would think it's almost (but not totally) safe to say that having East and West communications compromised in such a way has the potential to kill more people than were killed in the earthquake.

But then again, I am a technologist.

Posted by Guy at 10:54 PM | Permalink

December 23, 2006

Don't Click It!

dontclick.it [dontclick.it]: This is a really interesting exercise in graphical user interfaces, aka GUIs [wikipedia.org]. Basically you don't use the mouse buttons at all. Sounds weird, huh?

How do you navigate or indicate user intentions? Well, the UI is really fluid where no navigation is ever hidden and button clicks are indicated by mousovers. One thing I haven't figured out yet is how to navigate lists. For example, if we have a list of fruit and need to select a group of fruit then how would you simulate the common CTRL+Click metaphor? I suppose the designer could auto-expand context actions on the mouseover of list items, but I think a demo would do wonders.

However, think of UIs that perform specific actions on specific areas of the UI, for example a painting application. How does a user draw a line within the canvas? Again I suppose the designer could utilize the auto-expand context actions menu, but maybe this is an over-use of this metaphor.

Either way, it's quite interesting.

Posted by Guy at 9:19 PM | Permalink


StumblUpon [stumbleupon.com]: I don't think I've ever mentioned this site before, but every time I use it I can't believe there's no alternative or not as popular as it is. Here's the gist, click on the Stumble button and get a random website. It's great for exposing yourself to websites that you might never of thought of to visit.

It's usually hit and miss, but the stuff you'll find can definitely waste time.

Posted by Guy at 9:05 PM | Permalink

December 17, 2006

Java 6 is Catching Up

Webservices in JDK 6 [java.net]: It seems that Java is almost caught up to .NET's web services implementation. Now annotations can be used to define web services instead of having to use the previous kludgy stuff.

However, I'm still annoyed that there is an additional step in compiling these web services, namely apt. Sure this can be easily incorporated into ant or something, but just the fact that apt needs to be run is crap.

Sun probably went wrong with Java when they first offered it as pretty much just a command line thing. Once they started adding serious GUI elements (Swing) they should have released Java as only a development environment where you could use the command line tools if you wanted to. This is what Microsoft did with their development tools and IMHO there's much more productivity within their IDEs.

When I first started using C# (via Visual Studio) creating and consuming web services was no big deal. Then when I tried to do similar things with Java there was no consistent story, no standard way of doing things. Therefore all the example's and tutorials were spread across every different implementation or technique never painting a complete picture.

Posted by Guy at 2:57 PM | Permalink

December 15, 2006

Unix on Vista?

According to the Windows Vista Enterprise page [microsoft.com] the Subsystem for UNIX Applications (SUA) can run unmodified UNIX applications on Vista. From the page:

Additionally, Windows Vista Enterprise includes Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications (SUA), which enables you to run UNIX applications unchanged on a Windows Vista Enterprise-based PC. Whereas today a UNIX database administrator or system administrator needs to have a UNIX workstation in addition to a Windows-based PC, Windows Vista Enterprise enables you to consolidate both functions into a single Windows Vista-based PC.

I wonder what kind of UNIX they're talkig about? There's no specifics about which ABIs [wikipedia.org] are supported or what versions of support libraries (CLib, X, Motif, QT, GTK, etc).

I think I'll have to dig deeper.

Posted by Guy at 5:18 PM | Permalink

December 12, 2006

Update: JDIC Browser Weirdness

It seems that a Mozilla is not a Mozilla. I found out that Mozilla Firefox is not supported by JDIC, but Mozilla is. Yep, that's weird. It's funny because I can get the MozEmbed app to work, it just dies before doing anything useful. Hopefully this will be fixed in a future JDIC release.

Posted by Guy at 8:49 AM | Permalink

JDIC Browser Weirdness

Here's a fun tidbit for anyone who's playing around with the JDIC [java.net] web browser. Under Windows, if you have Mozilla set as your default browser (via Set Program Access and Defaults) then the BrowserEngineManager will not return an active browser engine. However, if IE is set to the default system browser then IE is selected as the active engine.


Posted by Guy at 7:35 AM | Permalink