Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Google's acquisition of Android Inc. Q.E.D. (Score 1) 86

by Moridineas (#48667577) Attached to: Comcast-TWC Merger Review On Hold

Something like 80% of US citizens don't have a choice in the matter of which ISP they use. they get one choice

I can't believe that is true. It may be that 80% of US citizens have a clear choice of superior ISP to use, but I would think the vast majority of people would have, at a minimum, a choice of DSL and cable. Many now have a choice between DSL/cable/fiber (sometimes same companies are involved in fiber). That also ignores choices like 4g ISPs and satellite.

Comment: Re:Don't worry guys... (Score 1) 880

by Moridineas (#48602255) Attached to: Apparent Islamic Terrorism Strikes Sydney

is inclusive, not exclusive. Go troll elsewhere.

That's just the problem, though, it's really not inclusive. Ideologies and their adherents are not simple structures. Just to be clear--I'm not asking for your opinion of the following, just take it as an example--Hamas. Hamas builds hospitals. Hamas provides social services in many areas where there are no other social services. Hamas also targets civilians and kills children with suicide bombings. I have talked to many people who will condemn at least some of the suicide attacks on civilians, but refuse to condemn Hamas. The part is not the whole. Even if one was to say "I condemn the violent extremists in Hamas" you give the ideology and the belief a free pass. You ignore the elders who incite and rabble rouse while eschewing violence themselves--they act through proxies. You know the trite quote about evil triumphing when good people do nothing? Well, a lot of good people are willing to ignore an awful lot.

Comment: Re:Don't worry guys... (Score 1) 880

by Moridineas (#48602147) Attached to: Apparent Islamic Terrorism Strikes Sydney

As an atheist, all religions have no basis. However, as long as the people following a religion behave civilly, where's the beef? And my blanket statement, that I condemn extremists who resort to violence, including muslims, christians, and political extremists, obviously includes condemning militant Islamism. Same as condemning militant christianity, etc.

No, there is a very large difference between condemning an individual (and that individual's actions) and condemning an ideology. Condemning an individual is not condemning the whole. Believe me, your perspective here is not unique to me. Over the years, I've discussed similar issues (most frequently the topic comes up with Palestine) with many people who say they condemn suicide bombers, killing of innocents, etc.--and rightfully so!--but who just can't quite bring themselves to condemn the organization/ideology behind it all. As I said earlier, it's stupid to try to be an armchair psychiatrist on Slashdot, and I have no particular interest in trying. I don't know what you believe, I can only read what you write.

Your purposefully and continuously ignoring the obvious is trolling.

I'm of the general opinion that calling an ideological opponent a troll is a cheap and easy cop out. Seems that way to me now. If you're not interested in discussing the topic in a respectful way, you can just stop replying. I don't really know that much is left unsaid at this point.

Comment: Re:Don't worry guys... (Score 1) 880

by Moridineas (#48601487) Attached to: Apparent Islamic Terrorism Strikes Sydney

Here's a bit of neat trivia--without googling, do you know where the modern concept of terrorism originated?

Just since you didn't reply to this part of my post, but I thought it was interesting, the culprit behind the creation of modern terrorism--


In all seriousness, Russian nihilist revolutionaries really developed the concepts behind modern terrorism. They wanted to bring about revolution by any means necessary, including spectacular assassinations and usage of explosives. They employed tactics like walking into a room full of people, walking right up to the target, putting a gun to the target's head and shooting point blank. They wanted their enemies to know that they could never be safe. Like Horatio and Lars Porsena--if you know your enemies will do literally anything to kill (including burning off a limb!) you, your decision making process is necessarily altered!

You can see how these tactics have echoed down over the last 150 years--does the method of assassination of Archduke Ferdinand show any similarities with this?

These tactics today have almost entirely been adopted by militant Islamists around the world.

Comment: Re:Don't worry guys... (Score 1) 880

by Moridineas (#48601415) Attached to: Apparent Islamic Terrorism Strikes Sydney

What part of "I have no problem condemning extremists who resort to violence. That includes muslims, christians, and political extremists. " don't you understand?

There's a huge difference. You might condemn individuals (who you also excuse by nature of their "mental illness"--thus the genesis of this conversation), but you seem to be very consciously avoiding condemning the IDEOLOGY. That's what I'm curious about--how hard is it to say "I condemn militant Islamism"?

Troll away, but you just look stupider with each post.

Come on, this conversation has been perfectly cordial, there's no need to resort to that kind of nonsense.

Comment: Re:Don't worry guys... (Score 1) 880

by Moridineas (#48601115) Attached to: Apparent Islamic Terrorism Strikes Sydney

Sorry - couldn't resist having a little fun with your expression.


s to your argument, I might suggest that these wackos would have fallen for any number wacko world views or philosophies, but in these instances happened to have found the Muslim religion close at hand.

You said it better than I have. Humans by and by are a susceptible lot. That doesn't mean that militant Islamism should get a free pass!

Comment: Re:Don't worry guys... (Score 1) 880

by Moridineas (#48601081) Attached to: Apparent Islamic Terrorism Strikes Sydney

You probably don't have any muslim friends. As an atheist, I treat all religions identically, which makes it easier to have friends of different religions, including christians, jews, and muslims. But I treat the individuals as individuals, not as stereotypes.

This is the same canard you've been relying on since the beginning of the thread! You're again playing armchair psychiatrist (I've tried before--it's awfully difficult to diagnose people through Slashdot comments) and you seem to believe that since I disagree with you, it must not be an honest difference of opinion, but rather due to some deficiency in my character and experience. You don't need to make any excuses for me and my beliefs--I'm comfortable with myself!

For what it's worth, my undergraduate degree was in history with a focus on Islamic history. I speak Turkish, limited Persian (Farsi), and my Arabic has decayed to a point where I can just say I have a basic reading knowledge of the language. I also have a Master's degree in Middle Eastern studies. My primary areas of research were in the development of fiqh (Arabic for jurisprudence) in the 15th and 16th century Ottoman empire, and the interaction between colonial powers and Islamic nations/empires (again, primarily the Ottoman Empire) before 1900. I have many Muslim friends--some agree with me, some do not. I have--and would again--argue harder than anybody else that there is nothing inherent or unique in Islam that breeds violence and terrorism. Here's a bit of neat trivia--without googling, do you know where the modern concept of terrorism originated?

Despite all this, I will condemn militant Islamism completely and without reservation. Why won't you?

Comment: Re:Don't worry guys... (Score 1) 880

by Moridineas (#48598845) Attached to: Apparent Islamic Terrorism Strikes Sydney

See the other discussion in this thread that I'm involved in. I see no evidence that either terrorist was ever diagnosed with a mental illness that would substantively change the facts. At least one was specifically cleared as competent. Merely being disaffected, unhappy, or down on your luck does not make you mentally ill. Likewise, neither does participating in unpopular behavior--in this case terrorism--necessitate mental illness.

Comment: Re:Don't worry guys... (Score 1) 880

by Moridineas (#48598835) Attached to: Apparent Islamic Terrorism Strikes Sydney

Try this on for size [] (there's more).

It appears that at least some of the information in this article is factually incorrect and has been superseded--notably regarding Bibeau-Zihaf's conversion. Beyond that, you have some theorists who never met--and have no firsthand knowledge of--the two terrorists (viz. "This is my hypothesis, as I am not saying with certainty that these two young men were seized by this pathology, but the theory that emerges the most strongly is that these two young men — the both of them — were suffering from a severe lack of identify"). They're engaging in pure speculation that doesn't really change any of the facts.

... you can switch Islam with anti-abortionists bombing clinics, the Branch Davidians at Waco, Timothy McVeigh against "the gubbermint" over Waco, Hindu Inderjit Singh Reyat bombing Air India flight 182, Protestants vs Catholics in Northern Ireland, and pretty much some members of any disaffected group will be attracted to violence. The recent violence in the US over police shooting blacks does not have its' roots in religion.

This is the best thing you've written! You're absolutely correct. I wholeheartedly and without any reservations condemn violent anti-abortion activists and ideology. I condemn the Branch Davidians and their ideology. I condemn Timothy McVeigh and his ideology. And so on. Why do you find it so hard to condemn militant Islam and instead pretend that it is merely an aberration bought into by a few mentally unwell individuals?

It's an extremely easy cop out to explain away unpopular behavior as merely being the result of mental illness. Most of the time it's also incorrect.

Comment: Re:Don't worry guys... (Score 1) 880

by Moridineas (#48598523) Attached to: Apparent Islamic Terrorism Strikes Sydney

Both of the people were mentally ill. Bibeau, the homeless Ottawa killer, had a history of violence, drug addiction, and mental instability, including 12 convictions in Quebec between 2001 and 2011 for crimes including drug possession, impaired driving, weapons offences, assault causing bodily harm, theft, and possession of break-in tools, which started long before he converted to islam.

Mentally ill by what standards? You (or others) didn't like the way he acted? I can find no evidence of any clinical diagnosis of any mental illness for Bibeau-Zehaf, though he was a convert (though his father was Muslim and Libyan). Your claim is that despite his Islamic family heritage, despite the fact that he had converted to Islam for "all the wrong reasons" over decade ago, and despite the fact that he had family members fighting for jihad abroad, he was was just misguided due to some previously non-diagnosed mental illness or possible drug use? That does not seem logical to me.

Rouleau, the Quebec killer, had been taken to a psychiatric hospital by his father, but they couldn't keep him when he said he wanted to leave. He had drug problems, had to be in a special school for kids with discipline problems when he was younger, his personal life had fallen apart, his business had failed and last year at 24 he turned to islam, looking for something to cling to where he wouldn't feel like an inadequate failure, and was attracted to the extremists on the net and in the media.

Your argument for Rouleau is perhaps more apt, since you avoid the unverifiable claims of mental illness, but you make a huge error. You assume that converting to a new faith due to some kind of adversity is "all the wrong reasons" and implies (or infers) metal illness! I think you are perhaps not very clear on how religions tend to start and spread. Founders, missionaries, and other zealots always target the margins of society. Look at who Jesus hung out with--the disaffected. Look at who Muhammad hung out with--those whose power was distinct from the dominant tribal structures (and look at how he targeted the weaker Jewish clans after several military setbacks). Look at Buddha and his life as an ascetic. Look St Francis. Look at how both Christianity and Islam spread in South Asia--starting from the dalits--the disaffected. Almost universally, the most powerful religious symbols, figures, and acts, involve those who are somehow disaffected. To trivialize this is a huge mistake.

That brings us to today. Despite what you might want to believe, Muslim belief in what we in the West would call "militant Islamism" is pretty darn popular and pretty widespread. There are many opinion polls covering Islamicate countries across the world that back this up. There is a strong militant missionary movement. Giving the religion/ideology a pass and writing off incident after incident as "merely" a lone wolf makes absolutely no sense.

Most people are able to make the distinction between a nutbar using a religion as a smokescreen to their using violence to escape their own failures or shortcomings, and the majority who peacefully practice that same religion. This applies equally to muslims, christians, atheists, or whatever your personal preference or poison.

I disagree with this incredibly strongly. Religion, ideology, and violence are so tightly intertwined they almost cannot be decoupled. Today, Islam clearly holds a siren's song appeal to some disaffected members of society. You give the religion/ideology a complete pass. Have you not considered that the religion/ideology places a major role in motivating these individuals to commit their heinous actions?

"Is it really you, Fuzz, or is it Memorex, or is it radiation sickness?" -- Sonic Disruptors comics