No car to work - check (bus running on biomethane)
Do buy reusable shopping bags - check (actually, bought once and used since)
Recycle trash - check (into 6 different categories, I think)
Don't use air conditioning - check
And I'm not actually even trying that hard. I just go about my daily life, not exactly spending hours thinking about these things. The fact that so many people can't even take these simple, non-intrusive, steps to curb real problems is pretty sad. Granted, I live in a city where they make a lot of these things easier for you but so could any city. Cities are run by people and, unlike the aforementioned corporations, not driven in the same way by profit. Also, something usually overlooked, these are actually economically sensible things to do. Not a single thing on that list increases monetary outlays, it lessens them!
Internet connection working flawlessly, using my Nokia phone as a wi-fi spot (also in aforementioned bag). I pay 7$ a month for the unlimited data plan.
It would be too much to say that life is sweet, as I'm actually on a bus and pretty tired, but as far as bus rides go, this is the way to do it.
If you were in a "hurry", had a lack of space or artistic reasons, you could just draw the symbol for bird and be done with it.
You could also use them to describe sounds (like a modern alphabet). This would combine a few symbols into a word that could be sounded-out.
Lastly, you could use them to simply be more clear, to help _determine_ the meaning of a word. You'd spell out the word for bird and then draw a bird (and underline the bird to distinguish it from the rest).
Interesting sideline to all of this is that you can write with hieroglyphs from both left to right and right to left. Doesn't really matter which one you pick. If you want to read it, just keep an eye out for the birds again. The direction of their mouths indicate which way to read the text.
As someone who hosts content on Flickr, I can say with absolute certainty that I find it a lot more annoying when someone copies one of my photos to their own server and links back to my flickr account then when they just load a photo straight from the flickr servers without a linkback.
Also, please tell me why the reformists that you describe in your reply to me can not be in a majority, at some point in the future. If their views are so internaly consistent in a "muslim logic way" that they can carry over to the current somewhat sizeable minority then clearly what is stopping them from spreading is not the inbuild reasoning of the 'new' interpretation.
The problem of the middle eastern region is a cultural and governing one as well as a historical one. A mindset that rests outside of Islam and is prevalent in many other parts of the world. They could all be Hindi and the exact same patterns would turn up.
And please bear in mind, through all this I am simply forgoing the argument of who are in a majority and minority, outside of the controlling forces. For the sake of argument I'm willing to accept your view because even with that handicap, your reasoning comes out short.
I think the reason for that fact is simple. Most of the world contains oppression. In fact, non-opression is like an island in a sea of opression. Russia and China are the easiest ones to pick up on because of their size but it's not like South America, in general a Catholic stronghold I believe, is that harmonious. India, known for Hinduism, isn't eactly a beacon of personal liberties. Africa, ranging from muslim to christian to all sorts of other things, are in many, many ways a complete mess.
If you want to argue that a lot of the places I just mentioned isn't as screwed up as, say, Saudi Arabia or Iran then I'd like to point out that for example Malaysia and Indonesia, two countries that are by no means top-notch countries, do however have muslim majorities and are run at least on par with some of the less bad oppressors, if there is such a thing.
To make it clear, I make no apologies for them. It's just my beliefe that when you look at the world and you see what a sorry state it is in, it is not more sorry because of the muslims but because of people seeking power, in whatever form they can get it. It is my firm hope that one day everyone can say whatever they want to say, that everyone will feel safe and that life for everyone will be good. I don't think we'll get there by pointing the finger at the wrong reasons though. I think we need to figure out the real reasons, find real sollutions and simply try to look at the world through other peoples eyes.
That said, fuck the bastard that wants to tell anyone else how to behave and the assholes that try to control people by fear. Plenty of muslims fit into that role and so do other people.
As a sidenote, thank you for this short discussion. In general, slashdot is not that conductive to deep reasoning and even though we do not agree with regards to a lot of things, I think we agree on some points and if we were to have a real, live conversation I think it would turn out we stand pretty closely on all the main issues. We just differ on what we think are the reasons for them not being in place.
While I'm willing to agree you have a point as such, I still do think the future holds lots of mild interpretations.
One reason to think this is the millions upon millions of 'shepherds' that define themselves as muslim and live perfectly peacefull, happy lives next to denominations and non-denominations of all kinds.
Another one is to keep remembering, like I said, that EVERYTHING can be re-interpreted. For example, I'm sure you can find reason to hold that the 'wars' you speak of need not be violent ones. They can be economical, moral, of the mind, what not. I'm not trying to get into a discussion as to if they need or not, I'm just giving the first example that pops into my head. I'm sure people that study the religion day and night for 40 years can, and will, come up with more convincing arguments. I'm sure they will attract more followers than me.
Because koran is put forth as unchanged word of god, it is impossible to find any excuse to reinterpret it.
Some of the things you say might very well be true and I certainly find some of it interesting, but you seem to be leaning a bit heavily on this pillar (semi-pun intended). From the simple fact that followers of Sunni and Shia (not to mention all of the other smaller factions) are abundant there obviously is room for interpretation. Why would a more modern one not be possible?
For that matter, though I'm by no means an expert, I seem to remember that the OT is supposedly the word of god as well. I guess you could argue that jewish oral traditions might have miss-remembered and made it not the word of god anymore and that by translating it the meaning has changed, but I think a lot of people would disagree. I see plenty of interpretation regarding this work going on. Including, but not limited, to the muslim, jewish and christian readings.
Either or, the point is, it is ALWAYS possible to interpret things in a different way. I bet even the five word Hallmark birthday cards can be interpreted in five-factorial ways, at the very least. It's a human trait.