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At the other extreme is a group called Against Everybody Draw Mohammad Day, which is not banned, has 40,000 members, and has equally insane commenters as the original page — from doing jihad against Facebookers, to saying that Islam is the ‘best’ religion. Well guest what, it’s not. And while everyone would love to believe that theirs is truly the best religion, it is silly to claim any religion is the ‘best’.
I wonder : Now that there are a few thousand blasphemous images on the interwebs, it will be awfully hard to even find each creator.
The outrage .. and outage in Pakistan continues. Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia are all banned. Had they stopped at that, I would have no issues. But they’ve gone too far this time. Xeb writes, from behind the firewall:
I can’t access WordPress (Deepak’s blog is currently being denied)
Not cool, Pakistan, not cool! You will have to pay with your blood for every hit I don’t get.
I’ll accept cash too.
When you don’t get a hit, is it called a miss?
I wrote about Everybody Draw Muhammad Day in an earlier post :
I think the idea is in bad taste and here’s why : When South Park lampoons public figures, celebrities and holy figures, they are doing it as satire — something the creators think of as serving as a larger purpose. But drawing Muhammad is just to offend an entire community, without any other purpose. It will include Muslims who were probably offended by South Park, but left it at that.
That being said, I have way less of a problem with it than with extremists issuing threats.
That day is tomorrow, and its effects are visible. Pakistan banned Facebook until May 31st. And photos are being uploaded by the thousands at the Facebook page. As I would expect, there is hardly any satirical (or otherwise) value in most of the photos. They’re derogatory — and in many instances, racist — comments directed at Muslims in general.
The campaign guys have every right to continue with the campaign, but I don’t agree with them. It is in bad taste and partly racist, but they have every right to be stupid.
I’m not sure how I would react to something that offended me. For starters, I can’t come up with anything that would offend me, but I know this : If I were to be offended by someone, I would disagree and ignore, but defend the offender’s right.
Dammit! Why can’t I think of anything that would offend me?!
Cafe Pyala, one of the good Pakistani blogs I follow, has a post on this, much of which I disagree with:
The US 1st (free speech) Amendment does legally protect all forms of speech but even in the US, it is socially and politically suicidal to say anything in the mainstream media that questions certain sacred cows, such as the right of Israel to exist, having sex with those ‘under age’, or to make fun of Jesus. I am not weighing in on the merits of these prohibitions, only pointing out that the freedom always exists within certain limits prescribed by society.
There are enough voices against Israel in the U.S., almost every second person makes fun of Jesus and I didn’t get how sex with those ‘under age’ is pertinent. I agree there need to be limits on free speech (mostly dealing with extreme forms of hate speech such as direct incitement to violence), but the bar on the limits shouldn’t be so low that free speech isn’t free speech anymore.
To get an idea of what is allowed in the U.S., any standup act of Bill Maher is a good starting point.
I love South Park for many reasons — I tend to agree with their social commentary, they are equal opportunity offenders when it comes to conservatives and liberals, they don’t shy away from calling celebrities like Michael Jackson (irrespective of whether they are dead or alive).
Yesterday’s episode was a gem, though. Watch it if social networking forms a large part of your life.
The reason I liked it could be confirmation bias on my part, because I do not like social networking. (I am on Twitter, but I don’t ‘social network’ there.)
On a different note, here is some food for thought :
Do you like to be different ? If no, you’re good; you can ignore the rest. If yes, do you want others to be unlike you as that would reduce your uniqueness ? Do you reinforce the fact to your mind, that others are different — and alike ?
Is happiness a comparative state of mind ? To elaborate :
If everyone in the world was happy, would everyone be happy ? Because the value of happiness would go down as it becomes commonplace.
If everyone is extremely happy around you and you find a reason to be slightly happy, would you be slightly happy, or sad, because of the comparative happiness hypothesis.
I don’t want to reveal my answers to the above questions, but I do think happiness is comparative. Although, taking the concept further, it would mean that the idea of a world where everyone is happy is not possible. Not for practical constraints, but for the nature of happiness.
By now you should know that I am not big on social networking and — as Pheobe’s boyfriend Roger called it — dysfunctional group dynamic. But I live in a world where I have to use Google Talk and other messengers. Inspite of rejecting many chat requests, I do have a fairly long chat list. I also have to read status messages everyday. I don’t have to, but I am done reading them by the time by brain asks me to back off.
A reply posted when someone puts a status on facebook, myspace, etc. Sarcastically shows that you care, and are going to write the status down in a notebook, when you really dont care at all about the status.
Oh you have a headache, do you ? Noted.
It’s your boyfriend’s birthday today ? Noted.
You have your exams in a week and you are totally tense ? Let me pamper you with my love and care. Or on second thoughts — noted.
I went skiing. Then I went hiking. Then I went on a road trip. Noted.
P.S. : These are actual quotes (one of them belongs to me .. ahem) — unless you posted one of the above, in which case, I totally made those up.
This was around the time when Facebook had changed its privacy settings, search deals were being made with social networks and people were getting that first hint of being uncomfortable with what information companies were going to use to monetize. This was way before Google entered the equation of privacy with Buzz.
Back then, Eric Schmidt had famously quoted :
If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.
Two months later. Eric Schmidt’s former girlfriend — going by the net moniker RecoveryGirl007 — writes a tell-all blog about her life that includes (guess what ?) her former relationships. So there was a sense of delicious irony in this piece of news :
We’re told the Google CEO’s aggressive lawyers brought down ex-girlfriend Kate Bohner’s online recovery diary this weekend.
Kate Bohner was the name of his mistress. The bringing-down of the website should’ve been fairly easy : It was hosted at Blogspot. Dr. Strangelove was the nick Kate used to refer to Eric Schmidt in her writing — presumably, because he holds a Ph.D. That also explains the title of this post. There are some funny bits about some other famous people. Read that link if you like gossip.
I shouldn’t really bother about what anyone does in their personal time. It was just the irony of the situation that I wrote the post for.
I do believe that users need to have a sense of what information they are sharing (it could be inadvertent) with the world. With location-based services getting popular, I don’t think many are aware of how serious the issue of privacy is. For example, sample the recent Rob Me application, that uses location based services to find when people are not at home.
Of course, someone like me recommending precaution sounds way less suspicious than the CEO of Google saying the same thing. But as Kurt Vollegut put it so beautifully, So it goes.
Link via Fake Steve Jobs.
Looks like a robot will beat me to a functional Facebook account.
Researchers from the Interactive Robots and Media Lab (IRML) at the University of the United Arab Emirates are giving a robot its own Facebook profile page to explore “human-robot relationships.”