This is exactly "The return of the Jedi", except from the POV of the empire and all ewoks are killed. Not a pleasant read, really. Acritical and jingoistic.
Here's pretty much the only place where you can buy Mark Summerfield's "Python 3" book in Argentina: Cúspide.
It costs $372.50 in pesos which is about $94 in dollars.
Oh, and you have to go to a book store to pick it up, or add shipping.
How much does it cost to buy that book in england and have it shipped to your door? $16. That's a whooping 17% of the local cost.
And no, it won't pay import taxes, because books are exempt.
And did I mention that the english version came out a year earlier?
So, if you don't learn english, you pay almost 6 times for the book, and wait a year.
Any programmer that doesn't know enough english is a third class citizen.
A while ago I wrote an article about gay marriage. (I am all for it, BTW). In it I said something like "since god doesn't exist ... " and boy did that bother people.
So, since I have twenty free minutes, let's see if I can explain why I say god doesn't exist.
Firt of all, a caveat. If you are religious, you have no right whatsoever to whine about me saying this. Why? Because I have no right to whine about people saying god does exist. It's called freedom of religion, people. You are supposed to like it.
This was triggered because I noticed there's a grand total of 2 (two) atheist characters on TV shows I watch:
Gregory House (MD): apparently a narcissistic bastard, but actually a nice guy (who is also a genius) with issues.
Dr. Brennan: a socially awkward genius.
Well, I am not a genius, so, let's consider some very reasonable arguments for god's lack of existence.
He's Ill-DefinedThe Need For Answers by Zach Stern, CC-by-nc-nd
The first thing you need in order to accept the existence of an entity is a definition for it. If you lack that, how can you say it exists at all? He could ring my doorbell and ask for a cup of sugar, and I still wouldn't be sure, because he could be re-defined at any time.
For example, is god omniscient? Is he allmighty? Is he the guy with the elephant head? Is he immaterial? Does he answer to prayer? Is he a he? Did he have a kid? Did he have his kid by turning into a swan before going on a date?
Since depending on what godist you ask he will answer at least one of those differently, I have to declare his existence impossible.
Of course we could try to accept the definition of one godist club and try to see if that specific entity exists, but that doesn really work either, because god fans have a tendency to move the goalposts. What's "the word of god" becomes later an allegory, depriving us of any evidence on which to base our enquiry.
Mostly, godists say that the know god exists because they feel it in their hearts or something similarly harebrained. Come on, if I told you I feel the easter bunny in my kidney, it would make about as much sense.
The Excluded Middle and PopularityGod made me an atheist. by Andrea Lodi, CC-by-nd
Either something is true or its opposite is. Either you ate some of that cake, or you didn't. Either god exists or he doesn't. Easy, right?
But why couldn't god exist? Well, let me ask you, why don't the other gods exist? You are a zoroastrian: why doesn't Zeus exist? You are a mormon, why doesn't Quetzalcoatl exist?
Every godist is perfectly happy with the other gods not existing, so it's not exactly a ground-shaking notion. It's clear that whenever you hear anyone talk about a religious majority, he is full of crap.
Repeat after me: you are not part of a religious majority, because most people believe your god doesn't exist. We atheists are just smarter and more consistent.
And no, you can't retreat into "oh, muslims jews and all christians believe in the same god" because that's nuts. Jews believe in a god that doesn't let them eat ham. Mormons believe they are ordered to use magical underwear. Catholics believe they eat meat wafers each sunday, it's just that it looks, feels and tastes like a cracker, but it's "really" (super)human beef. For each group, the other's beliefs are barbaric and (if they are honest) a little nuts.
No, I am not saying you individually are nuts, you nutcases, I am saying you are conditioned to believe your particular idiosyncrasies are less nuts than average, but they aren't, just like my dad's habit of putting mayonnaise in the soup was nuts and my belief that Unión de Santa Fe will someday win a tournament is nuts.
IOW: mostly harmless, but nutty anyway. OTOH, some people's beliefs make them believe that killing albino kids is a proper behaviour so some of you godists are really, really nuts, ok?. Not all of you, but those who aren't should take a good hard look at what believing in invisible friends does to some people.
It's Unethical to Believe in Heaven and HellOh Noes! Atheists! by Sean Bonner, CC-by-nc-sa
Consider my three year old kid. There is a rule that he has to eat a reasonable amount at dinner, and if he does he can watch one TV show before bed as a reward.
In universe A: One night he's very tired, so he doesn't really want to watch TV, he wants to go to bed, but he still eats his dinner because it's good for him.
In universe B: One night he's very tired, so he doesn't really want to watch TV, so he doesn't eat his dinner because there's no reward.
Believers will tell you that human nature is B. That if there was no promise of carrot (heaven) and stick (hell) humans would have no morals and would act like insane hedonists, hurting each other in a frenzy, and that we only avoid such a terrible fate because of the civilizing infuence of the churches and the morality induced on us by religion.
I say bullcrap. I say I prefer if my kid does what's good for him not because he's expecting a reward or (worse!) because he's scared of punishment, but because he understands that if he eats his dinner he's going to be strong and healthy, and that it makes me happy and that he wants me to be happy because he likes me.
Of course, being a three year old, he sometimes doesn't want to eat his dinner. So I try to convince him. But if he doesn't, he doesn't, and there's no TV, and there's no tantrum, and he gets a kiss good night.
The concept that there is a lot of people who honestly believe that they are moral beings only because there's an invisible guy who will hurt them if they aren't scares me. I find it deeply repulsive. I find religion's promise of eternal (or even temporary) punishment in the afterlife repulsive and creepy.
If you believe in an afterlife, and you believe in heaven and hell, and you act nice because of it, you are a creep. You are, like religious people like to say, a creep in your own heart. You are not good. You are evil but just think you can't get away with acting out your evil. You are a chicken. If the deity you believe in actually exists, he knows it, so you are screwed anyway.
I prefer to be good for my fellow men because there's nothing else beyond. If there was a heaven, then we live in a crappy waiting room. No! We live in the real world. What's beyond is fiction or guesswork, you can't count on it, you can't throw away real life for it.
ConclusionGod vs graffiti vs property rights vs drippy markers, Soho, London, UK by Cory Doctorow, CC-by-sa
You are a bit nuts and your invisble friend doesn't exist. You don't need to get a life because you already have one, you just need to stop asking for seconds and eat your dinner. Have fun.
You are a nerd. I know that because you are reading my blog. You probably don't cook. That is stupid. Let me explain why.
Cooking is easy
You may be intimidated by those who cook and make it look complicated. Don't believe a word they say. You can cook a perfectly fine meal for 1 to 4 people in half an hour.
For example, if you have dry pasta, any kind of protein (chicken, seafood, ground beef, sausages, chorizo, fish, whatever), a bouillon cube (vegetables, beef, whatever), garlic, onion and/or anything like it, and a glass of wine (optional) you can cook it like risotto
And here's the best part: read that recipe, and here's all you need to know to cook it:
Toast the dry pasta in kinda hot oil (olive oil if you have it, or whatever).
Add chopped onions, garlic, peppers (or whatever) for 3 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup of wine (it says white, but red wine will work, it will just make it taste "heavier" and change the colour). If you don't have wine, use broth. Wait two minutes or so until it's almost dry.
Add broth slowly while stirring.
When the pasta is still kinda hard, stop adding broth, add protein (chopped small so it cooks completely) and a bit more broth and lemon juice (or not).
Or you can do this:
Sauteé onions, garlic whatever and protein, then put it aside and save it.
In the same oil, toast the pasta. This makes the pasta tastier.
Re-add the protein and vegetables, then add wine and broth slowly
When the pasta is the way you like it, eat it.
See what I did there? I did it almost exactly the other way around. And you know what? It's still going to taste good. Why? Because cooking is very fault tolerant.
Yes, you will hear all the time about the perfect point for this, and the perfect seasoning for that, and ... it's 90% bullshit.
Sure, if you overcook the pasta it's going to be soggy crap, but you can avoid that by being minimally vigilant about it and buying a freaking $4 kitchen timer
Cooking is fun
Once you get over the notion that it's hard, cooking is easy to enjoy.
If you have a kid, he can help. If you have a spouse, he/she will like that you are taking care of the meal.
It's great for unwinding after being stressed. Strangely, chopping garlic relaxes me.
Have a microwave and a 3 year old? Then you can do this:
In one bowl mix:
Two beaten eggs
Add vanilla (or don't)
Add a bit of butter (or vegetable oil)
In another bowl:
1 cup of regular all-purpose flour (or whole wheat flour)
a bit of baking powder
a bit of salt
half a cup of sugar
In one of those bowls add something else. If it's moist, add it with the eggs and such, if it's dry, add it with the flour and such.
That "something else" can be chocolate chips, walnuts, shredded carrot, bananas, sliced apples, jam, whatever.
Once each bowl is mixed, mix them together a bit until they "mesh". Don't work it too hard or the result will suck.
Then get two (or three, or one, or four) mugs (or cups, or muffin trays, or anything that's microwave-safe) and fill it half-way with the resulting batter.
Microwave it until it looks good, then eat it. If you are not sure if it's cooked, stick a wooden toothpick in it and see if it's dry when you pull it.
Your 3 year old can take care of the dry bowl (he does similar things in kindergarten, you know?) as long as you help with the measures. And most importantly: he can take care of starting the microwave, so tecnically he can say he cooked it (3 year olds are very into technicalities).
Again, see what I did with that recipe? You can replace almost any ingredient with something else (I don't recommend not using eggs, though) And it will probably work.
And you will end with a flour-covered kid, which is a bonus, because then he won't make a fuss about his bath.
Cooking is good for you
I have high blood pressure and I'm fat. But you know what? I have not gained any weight since I started cooking for myself, 10 years ago. I gained a lot before that, though.
Now I can cook semi-healthy food for me, and do it with the low sodium I need. Sodium is a habit, so after you are eating low sodium for a few weeks you don't really miss it.
If you are a nerd, you probably are a bit too sedentary, so eating "right" will help you.
And most importantly, you know what you eat. Sure, you also need to take care of what ingredients you buy, but did you know that pizza has a like 400% markup? And that you can do a reasonably healthy pizza in, like, 40 minutes of work?
The only trick is starting 3 or 4 hours early.
But if you use home-made dough, chopped tomatoes for sauce, garlic, peppers, and not too much cheese... it's not a terribly unhealthy meal.
And of course, you can always do a salad. Come on, how hard could that be? It's chopping things up and piling them, dude!
And it can be tasty and filling. You just need to do a lot of it ;-)
Cooking is cheap
A milanesa (sort of a breaded steak?) in a cheap restaurant wil cost you about $25. For that money you can make 7 or 8 at home.
A good piece of prime meat in a restaurant? $50. That buys 2 pounds of prime meat in the market for you to cook.
A reasonable lunch menu for office workers costs about $30. For that money my family of 3 eats twice. And better. And more.
You can make yourself the most awesome sandwich in the world for under $10, with anything you imagine in it and take it to the office.
And, most importantly...
Cooking is Applied Nerdiness
Cooking gives you a way to easily experiment with real-life chemistry, gives you something concrete to show for your effort after a whole day coding things you can't really show your family.
Why does ham taste well with apricots and not with apples? Or does it? How about chili? Does it go well with sour cream? How about pepper on a strawberry?
But forget about adding: What can you remove from a recipe and still make it work? What can you replace? If you can make banana bread, can you make banana croissants? (no you can't, they taste awesome but they look ghastly)
How can you go through life without wondering if you can really cook fish with just lemon juice? Exactly how long do you cook rice in your microwave so it looks creamy and taste great without removing excess liquid? Did you know you can steam 2 pounds of potatoes in 10 minutes with a plastic bowl and some plastic film, and they will make the most awesome mashed potatoes you ever tasted?
Your kitchen is an awesome place. Instant noodles suck.