Category: Uncategorized

The Voice of God

I originally wrote this to be a two minute speech. It was out of scope of the prompt for the organization that I wrote it for, as well as quickly becoming to lengthy. But rather then letting it languish on a harddrive and disappear I thought I would let it have a life on the internet. The ideas I present and the language I use aren’t simple. But the concept that I present is deceiving as to its simplicity. Have a gander, and maybe leave a comment below.

I recently saw an image stating “I don’t need a religion, I have a conscience.” The idea behind this says that religion is an antiquated method that has as its sole purpose instilling moral and ethical guidelines within a person. As transcendent or enlightened individuals we no longer have need of a religion to create these values because our conscience should suffice as that authority. The ability for our conscious to determine this is part of an all inclusive worldview – or the totality of our beliefs about reality. It can be hard to test a worldview in its entirety. But if we determine the foundations of a worldview and then test those we can quickly determine the stability of the worldview as a whole.

Conscience is defined as “an inner feeling or voice viewed as acting as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of one’s behaviour.” So what happens when you allow your conscience to guide your actions? Let’s look to the Central African Republic, the ‘CAR,’ where Christians are actively engaged in the ethnic cleansing of Muslims. If you ask the Christian members of the CAR, as has the BBC, they can very easily justify their actions with socio-economic reasoning. So is this ethnic cleansing morally right? If you were to ask their conscience, and we allow our conscience to what define right and wrong, then yes the ethnic cleansing is morally acceptable.

But the near universal condemnation of the global community for the cleansing, however, would disagree. But on what grounds? In the 3 news articles that I read, it was never explained why the ethnic cleansing is wrong. Most of the articles, in fact, avoid calling the cleansing wrong and call it many things designed to make you subconsciously embrace their conscience’s decision that this ethnic cleansing is in fact wrong but with no justification. It is a decision of their conscience that you should not kill another person and that it is more terrible should you do so based on whatever religion that person embraces.

See, the practical out flowing of the idea “I don’t need religion, I have a conscious” is that everyone is allowed to make up their own moral and ethical guidelines. And those guidelines cannot be questioned because they are guided by that transcendent and infallible inner voice. At the very worst, the conscience of the CAR is childlike – and needs to be guided to a transcendent state by the global community. But the Christians of the CAR still aren’t wrong- their conscience says so.

So here is a war of two competing consciences. Who wins? The one with the means to force the other to embrace their worldview. But if a religion is just a framework for moral and ethical guidelines and the conscience can set the same guidelines with as much or more authority then an age old religion, as our quote implies, then wouldn’t fighting a war to force another to accept the views of our conscience not become paramount to an ethnic cleansing? If we apply thought and extrapolate to the end consequences of allowing our conscience to to become the final authority for what is morally right and ethically wrong in our lives, we can easily see the outcome of this worldview. That outcome is a world where everyone does what is right in their own eyes and there can be no consequences for when someone’s right is our wrong.

So what about religion? Do we need it? If we’ve just shown that using conscience as a moral authority gives way to the ability to create differing worldviews of what is right or wrong. One could posit that something external is needed. So does a religion fill that void of an external source? I would say no. Again, our quote “I don’t need religion, I have a conscience” implies that religion provides a required framework for what is right or wrong much like a conscience but that a religion includes the unnecessary weight of rituals and tributes to appease some god with the intent of gaining reward instead of punishment.

So we don’t need either a conscience or human defined religion to determine what is right in our world. The fluidity of moral and ethical truth that results damns their ability to maintain that authority. The Christians in the CAR have allowed their conscience to redefine the morals taught within Christianity to create a pocket exception that allows them to continue with their ethnic cleansing.

What we need is an external being with the authority to define moral absolutes. Christianity puts forth a God who is infinite, almighty, and the Creator of the Universe. If He created the universe, would that not give Him the authority to define what is right or wrong? At that point, Christianity is no longer a religion with rituals and tributes – it becomes a set of truths that impact everyday life and eternity. And part of those truths are whether or not ethic cleansing have pocket exceptions or not. And the finally, the most important truth is that when ethnic cleansing is condemned as a result of the Word of God it is not a debate of consciences. It is a debate of what God says is right or wrong and in the end there is that is no debate at all.

In the end, neither religion neither conscience nor religion can determine the moral absolutes of a worldview which is a summation of the reality in which we live. The Triune God who sent Himself as His Only Son to pay the penalty for the very sins which broke our communion with Him and who Lives within us and speaks to us the Holy Spirit.


Splicing MP3’s in Linux

It really shouldn’t be that difficult. As it turns out, it is.

Here’s how I pulled it off:
cat *.mp3 > output.mp3
audacity output.mp3

Re-export and smooth out your id3 tags and such.

There’s really no good way to do this under linux. Everything screws up some fiddly bit that turns out to be important to something that’s not fault tolerant.

So screw it up! cat everything together in the true spirit of linux! Hack shit together until it works.

Just use audacity to smooth everything out. People will thankyou.


Pretty Documentation

This is pretty much a direct follow-up to my last post. This is for how I’m generating the documentation for my camera trigger project. I’m making more progress on the documentation then the actual project, so I’m just like the big companies.

Markdown

I’m writing the documentation in markdown. This means learning markdown. Here’s what you need to learn markdown: https://github.com/ahrencode/Miscellaneous/raw/master/markdown-cheatsheet.png. Its not very hard.

The reason for using markdown is because github doesn’t support HTML for markdown. I think it I figured out why, but its still kind of annoying. (I believe it has to do with the proper tags for starting an html project, css styles, etc.).

HTML

Who doesn’t love HTML? It lets you make things look pretty. So does latex, etc. but I’m not wanting to learn that right now. I’m using pandoc to generate my html. You can use the original daring fireball markdown generator if you would like. But using pandoc allows you specify a style sheet for you to make the html render from. The command I’m using is
pandoc file-name -c stylesheet.css --html5 --output=file-name.html --to=html --from=markdown

I actually just have a function in my bashrc:
function markdowntoprettyhtml() { pandoc $1 -c stylesheet.css --html5 --output=$1.html --to=html --from=markdown ;}

PDF

The other pretty much standard documentation format is PDF. I’m generating that from my HTML file using wkhtmltopdf. To build I cloned the repository, then did git checkout 0.9.6 && qmake-qt4 && make && cp wkhtmltopdf to ~/compiled. The ~/compiled folder is in my path. I would have liked to done a symbolic link but I couldn’t execute wkhtmltopdf after I did that.

Now, I’m using this command wkhtmltopdf input-file outputfile.pdf.

The reason I’m using this is because although pandoc has its own pdf converter, I don’t want to use the pandoc styling, I want to use the styling in the HTML file. And I’m not writing another template when I already have the styling done in css.

You can checkout (literally!) the results on the beta branch for my camera trigger.

And . . .

A few one liners to tie it all together:

function markdownview ( ) { perl ~/compiled/Markdown.pl --html4tags $1 ;}
function markdowntohtml ( ) { pandoc $1 -c stylesheet.css --html5 --output=$1.html --to=html --from=markdown ;}
function markdowntopdf ( ) { pandoc $1 -c stylesheet.css --html5 --output $1.html.generate --to=html --from=markdown && wkhtmltopdf $1.html.generate $1.pdf && rm $1.html.gernerate ;}
function make-documentation () { markdowntohtml $1 && markdowntopdf $1; }

Enjoy!

One other note: If you open the HTML in firefox you’ll see that I’ve got some @font-face love going on. You’ll see I’m also pulling them from my website as well. What you might not notice is that if you to do this yourself without some setup, it fails. It has to to with Cross Origin Response Sharing and the way firefox implements it. You can check this page for a succent explanation of why. Its under “Firefox overview.” The easiest way to fix this problem is to create a .htacces file with the following line: Header set Access-Control-Allow-Origin * to the folder containg your webfonts.


Documentation

Please guys, document your projects. Document everything. Document all the things. Or you end up with stuff that’s horribly mangled like gitlab, mumble. Please document. And if you build something and end up with problems, document that and how you fixed it. For one, you’ll always have a place to look if you need to do something over again. For two, it will help other people if they run into the same thing.

Document.

Document all the things.


Front Seat or Back Seat?

Fs= μs × N
To get newtons is kind of convoluted but I believe the method is: mass × gravitational pull = Newtons.

Front Seat:

Fs= μs × N
Newtons = (Black’s weight + books) × 9.81; Newtons= 490.5
Fs= .5s × 490.5 = 245.25

Back Seat:

Fs= μs × N
Newtons = Black’s weight) × 9.81; Newtons= 392.4
Fs= .7s × 392.4 = 274.68

Answer

So, she should sit in the backseat.

Now. What is the what is the coefficient of static friction for the trunk?


Random Update With Some Hopefully Cool Stuff

Random update time!

This is my (crappy) multimeter. I had to sharpen the probes because they weren’t able to fit into network plugs, preventing me from checking the continuity of my cables. Note the elastic hair band used to keep the wires and probes from getting tangled and what not in the tool box. Steal one from your sister. You can’t have mine. I think using a hair band is particularly clever because they won’t break down or lose elasticity like rubber bands do.

One is a crossover cable, following the pinout here. I also made loopback plug from the instructions on that page. I will be making his passive sniffer later. I’ll also upload and write some instructions when I get it made.

MY FEDORA STICKERS CAME!! Its awesome. These aren’t “el-cheapo” stickers, they are the real deal heavy duty foil styles. You can find the information on getting some stickers on the Fedora Wiki.

Also, I’m starting to have a “spam problem” on my blog. Hehe.


Windows XP truly stands the test of time.

I was watching Firefly on DVD a little bit back. As I said in my title, Windows XP truly stands the test off time. Or maybe its just such a piece of trash that it really only deserves to be used on the giant flying dumpsters of the future. At any rate, enjoy the screen capture.


Switched to OpenSuse. Except I’m going back to Fedora

Haha!

So, at the advice of a friend on Twitter, I installed openSuse over Fedora. It’s worked pretty well so far, but.

There’s some things that just aren’t working right in openSuse. And I’m starting to dislike novell products. Couple that with some issues (mumble absolutely hates my mic for some reason, repositories being a mess under openSuse, bluetooth support is complicated to say the least), and Fedora 14 coming out . . . .

I’ve decided to triple boot the netbook until I figure out if I want to stick with opensuse or switch to Fedora. To be honest, I never though I would be one of those triple boot boot nut cases. But here I am triple booting. Mostly because I still want openSuse for a few things (I think). If life turns out to be easier in Fedora, openSuse is going to get the boot.

Here’s my notes on the process of triple booting:

  1. Use GParted to shrink the two existing opensuse partitions and get some space. Size, methods, etc will vary depending on your partition layout. This will take a lot of time. If you put space in the middle or somewhere, you’re probably going to have to do a block-by-block copy. Its slow. I started it, and then went and ate lunch. The process was still running when I came back.
  2. Install Fedora. Use the custom layout tool (again). The partition I ended up using was /dev/sda8
  3. I installed grub to the first sector of /dev/sda8. The reason is that I setup opensuse to chainload into Fedora. This was easier at the time then installing Fedora’s grub to the mbr of the drive and replicating my openSuse entries.
  4. When you reboot, you’ll have to boot to openSuse. Use the bootloader tool in openSuse to add a chainloading entry to /dev/sda8 or wherever you ended up installing Fedora to.
  5. Reboot again. Pick Fedora and chainload to Fedora. Let the bootloader for Fedora run through. You could optionally change the time-out for the Fedora boot loader to 0 once you get into Fedora.
  6. Do the Fedora setup thing. Not to hard
  7. For the broadcom-wl drivers for the Broadcom 4313 in my eee, I needed to add the rpm fusion repositories. Referenced from here, run the following in terminal:
      su -c 'rpm -Uvh http://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-stable.noarch.rpm'
      su -c 'rpm -Uvh http://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-stable.noarch.rpm'

    At the password prompt enter the root password then press Enter.

  8. su -c "yum install broadcom-wl"
    su -c 'modprobe wl'
  9. Configure optional software. My immediate install list is:
      su -c "yum install geany yakuake firefox"

If you want to reinstall grub to the root of the member and let Fedora take over, you can do a google search for “reinstall grub fedora” and find out how.

That’s a crappy update, but one none the less. Hopefully I can do a more personal update. Until then, keep it real.

*Source*
Broadcom setup help: http://fedoramobile.org/fc-wireless/broadcom-linux-sta-driver


M.M.S Project, Biological Systems

Biological Systems Album coverI’ve found myself listening to this album alot lately.  It’s something that you can get lost in, and the only way you know that you’ve started again from the beginning is the unique intro.

The album starts out in what I imagine to be a corner coffee shop, somewhere outside in France.  You can hear people laughing, and a accordion playing.  From there, the beat changes and so does the album.  It begins.  The album features a driving back beat, with alot of synthesized piano runs. Existing on the album are pure piano runs and modified, effects modifies drives.  Ever shifting, the authors manage to flow from one track to the next. Listen for the stereo shifting drum beats on the end of Back to Psicodelia, the second track of the album. MMS Project extends this even further with its next track, Out of Cell. Flowing, shifting, changing is a way to describe the album.

This is a dance album, something you could move to. Something to workout to. Or, as I do I use it to help relax and control my mind’s speed. I’ve been listening it to the last few hours and I am sure that it gets alot of playtime on my mp3 player. 

This album is what a true trance dance album should be, something that flows from track to track. Something to get lost it without knowing. It has the power to help you focus on your work, or focus on the music itself.

I’d like to describe the album more, but I’m terrible with words.  You should download and listen yourself.  Yes, I said download.  You can even do it legally.  Biological Systems is listened under the Creative Commons License, meaning you’re free to review, copy, burn give away, sample and more.  But the best part is the freedom to download.

Take a gander and listen, you might enjoy it. M.M.S. Project, Biological Systems


Running Teamspeak 3 Client as a Portable App

I always try to use software in a portable format. This means it leaves nothing in the way of registry entries or dropping somewhere on the system.

I’m happy to report that the Teamspeak 3 Official Client is natively portable.
Mostly.

Since it uses QT4, is has the requisite trolltech registry entries left in the registry. But anything important gets directed to a folder called “config” (if present) in the install directory. I’ll probably be making a quick launcher to handle these few QT annoyances, but I make no promises.

In short, to carry your TeamSpeak 3 client with you, just use the option in the installer that says it will save settings to the install directory. Alternately, you could make a folder called “config” in the Teamspeak 3 folder and have it save its settings there.

*Update: It seems I missed seeing something in the regshot I took. There’s a key, HKCUSoftwareTeamSpeak 3 Client. There’s nothing in there, but it will come back on every run.

Adios!