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Comment: Favorite Pen (Score 2) 712

by JohnPerkins (#41838493) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: The Search For the Ultimate Engineer's Pen

9 years doing interviews in the field. Best pen for my work is a Pigma Micron 002 black. You can get them at Michaels and Joannes (craft stores) for about $3 each. If you order them online in bulk, you can get them down to around $1 each. Thinnest line, doesn't run, reliable. The only down side for me was that I wore the writing tip out in about 3 weeks per pen, but that's pages and pages of notes per day.

Comment: This Is How Freedom Of Religion Works (Score 4, Insightful) 957

by JohnPerkins (#41437169) Attached to: Pakistan's PM Demands International Blasphemy Laws From UN

Freedom Of Religion, for me, means I can worship Allah, Jehovah, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, etc., without you interfering in my worship.

Freedom Of Religion, for you, means you can worship Allah, Jehovah, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, etc., without me interfering in your worship.

Freedom Of Speech, for me, means I can say (almost*) anything, including insulting your religion.

Freedom Of Speech, for you, means you can say (almost*) anything, including insulting my religion.

* Exceptions for things like yelling "fire" in a theater that isn't on fire.

When I insult your religion, I am using my freedom of speech, but I am not preventing you from practicing your religion. That is why the guy who made that anti-muslim video can make a video like that. He is exercising his freedom of speech. This does not prevent any follower of Islam from practicing their religion. Your freedom of religion affects your actions, not mine. I can stand out front of a mosque with a sign saying 'Islam is wrong,' because I am exercising my freedom of speech but I am not preventing you from entering the mosque and exercising your freedom of religion. If, on the other hand, I block the entrance to the mosque, then I would be preventing you from exercising your freedom of religion, and I would be in the wrong.

Allah/Jehovah/etc. is not so weak that the words of a person can harm them. I think that, whatever the nature of the deity, they are probably more upset with all of the hate and pain done in their name than with the words of a person as a direct attack on them. This is what these rioters are, in effect, saying when they riot: "My god and my faith in my god are so weak that he can't take care of himself, so I have to go around killing people."

On the other hand, if you believe that god wants you to run around rioting, killing, etc., and it's okay to do these things, then you don't get to also expect not to have your ass kicked by a superior military power. If violence is the way, then you're going to get your ass kicked and you shouldn't complain about it. If peace is the way, then you shouldn't be running around killing people. I'm not talking about whether any particular conflict is justified or not; just the internal logic of the rioters.

All rambling aside, if there's one message I would like the muslim world to get, it would be this:

Allah is great. He doesn't need you to run around killing people for him. He put jerks in the world to test you. Get over it, pass His test, and get on with your lives.

Everything that can be invented has been invented. -- Charles Duell, Director of U.S. Patent Office, 1899