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Gender: Male
Hometown: NY
Home country: USA
Current location: Japan
Member since: Mon Apr 9, 2012, 07:04 AM
Number of posts: 249

Journal Archives

How many children? Why?

In the US, usually, when a couple has many children (like 10+) it is connected to some kind of Christian religious imperative. That imperative makes no sense to me at all.

Here in Japan I have seen a few TV shows featuring couples who have 10-15 children.
In each case there is no religious imperative driving it --- they just seem to have lots of children.

The problem is, I never catch these shows at the proper time when the couple explains why they had so many children... I only know that in each case they are not religious. Another thing, it is very common for people to have just 1 kid here. (I can't get a good answer out of anyone here... everyone I mention it to either say they say they want 0 or 1 kids).

So, I come here.

How many children do people have?
How many were you shooting for?
Were you even shooting for a number?
Anybody wanted to have many children? Why?

[Re: Romney Video]: 7 Deadly Sins in flesh...

(I'm an atheist... but, please read on...)

Listening to the video and re-reading the transcript, I found I had proof for something that I had believed for a while: that Romney and all of them are the 7 Deadly Sins in flesh.

Listen to the audio again... read it again... think of the man speaking:

* Greed: Wanting more and more for himself at the expense of others.
* Wrath: His seething hatred of the poor, the weak, the wounded, the hungry...
* Gluttony: Would deny others food to give himself more than he needs.
* Envy: He envies that the Chinese can exploit their workers as they do.
* Sloth: He makes no effort to use his gifts in the service of God... and if I remember correctly, did not Jesus suggest that we serve him by serving the least among us?
* Lust: Indulgence to excess of worldly pleasures at the expense of all else.
* Pride: The belief that all his gifts and good fortune are his own and places him above all of God's creations.

I'm an atheist... but I grew up Christian...
... and I came to recognize that the 7 Deadly Sins were never religious at all.

They appear religious because they were written in a time when the church was everything and if you were going to be an architect, an horticulturalist, a musician, a composer, or social services manager, or anything that required lots of resources in society, the only institution with the resources to let you do it and not spend all of your days toiling in the fields was the church.

The group that came up with the 7 Deadly Sins were social planners... they spoke in the language of their time... a religious language.

When the age of science came, we recognized the math and physics and geography and others sciences that were supported in the age of religion and pulled them out to continue to grow in the age of science.


... we mistakenly thought the 7 Deadly Sins were just another 10 Commandments due to its religious language.

In fact, I believe it grew out of observations that group in the church made when they tried to answer such questions like:

* Why if there are so many people picking potatoes that people go hungry for want of potatoes?
* Why is it that there are so many people dying in the fields?
* There appears to be good commerce between our province and the neighboring province... why are their children healthier?
* The people toil and pay taxes and do not have enough to eat, while their masters have more than they can ever need... enough to let rot in silos. Why is it like this? How did it get this way?

and so on...

The 7 Deadly Sins are not about what you need to do to get into heaven (or stay out of a particular special place in hell).

It was a warning to the future describing a pathology that can consume an entire world whole.

Make no mistake... this all applies to Romney, but it is not just about Romney...
Think about it...

The people who attended all paid $50,000 per plate.
They are true believers... no mistake... they didn't pay because they would be aghast at what Romney would say. They paid because they already supported it.
Same with Ryan.
Same for the GOP. (Remember the words of different individuals).
The Chamber of Commerce.
Same for the other backers... paying hundreds of millions of dollars...
(Remember their words...)
The Kochs.
The Murdochs.
(Remember their words...)
The Super PACs.
The corporations funnelling money into the Super PACs.
And the peons at the bottom who believe and support this madness.

All true believers... make no mistake about that.

I need help with new Mac for my parents...

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November 13, 2012

OK, folks, I'd been away for while in part because I did go forward and buy the the iMac for my parents. I went with the 27"-er! What I did was tell my parents to go to the local Best Buy and ask them to show them the 21" one because I could not afford the 27".

My mom said it was good. She also really like using the trackpad.

So, I went and ordered teh 27" without telling her, and made the Best Buy people swear that they would say to her that it is a 21". And the fellow from my parent's church as well.

I also bought a new wireless inkjet printer and Time Capsule.

I know somebody did recommend color-laser, but one requirement I came to realize while talking to my parents was that the one thing they hated about the last printer I left was all of the buttons and options. It was confusing and they would botch up the configuration rendering it useless. And walking them through how to bring it back was quite painful for them. And could take hours for me.

Anyway, she was super gleeful when she saw the display. I made sure that I got the Apple Care on a 3 year contract and everything.

Now the fun part.

I talked with Apple's service people and they said that they could help my parents out via screen sharing as part of the service. So, I went and told my mom about this.

Then she says, "So, can you do that with us like you used to with the old computer?"
"No, Mom."...
"Why not."
"Different OS."
"I really wish that you could connect and help us on the screen like you used to..."

Ahhh crap!!! And with that, I went to the local electronics show here in Japan and bought an entire Mac Mini setup that matches my parents (minus a printer, and the fact that I use a Japanese keyboard).

Connected it via HDMI to my 37"?... I can't remember... but it is plenty big) flat screen TV.


Set it up so that all menus and dialogs would be in English to match my parent's experience, but still let me type in Japanese whenever I want to.

And after a quite a lot of trying... then waiting for my mom to get better from being sick... and Super Storm Hurricane Sandy + Nor'easater and the follow-up Nor'easter... and more than a week without power.... we finally got screensharing to work last night.

I spent quite a lot of time (4 hours) walking her through things, cleaning stuff up, helping her use GoogleEarth to see her hometown (yes... even with screensharing, it worked... I say the ocean shimmering and everything.). She was really happy about that. When the Linux system went unstable a couple of years ago, it would still run, but the graphics card wouldn't go to high performance mode. Result: GoogleEarth stopped working.

Now she is happy.

I am actually quite happy with the Mac. The service people are really good. The computer takes care of itself, really. And the horsepower is good. Heck, thanks to it, I didn't have to buy a DVD player.

So, Mac is the way to go for a supportable environment even when you are half a world away.

I use Linux for myself and for my devel -- I do quite a bit of Java and need an environment that faithfully keeps up with updates to the latest and greatest version of the JDK. Linux does that for me and does it will. And the Linux environment is really completely under my control. The only limitation is my own level of understanding and time.

But for relaxing and doing online cloud-based document stuff, the Mac is quite nice. Big screen, easy to see.

And when I need GoogleEarth, I can run GoogleEarth on the Mac Mini full screen and still use my twin display Linux machine for documents work and other research.

All is good.

Anyway, thanks for the input. You can add me to the Mac fold.

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My parents have been running on Linux since forever.

I set them up with a GNOME environment and they have been happy with it for years.

The problem is that I have been living overseas...
The computer I let with them has finally come to see its last days (hey, all hardware meets its end someday, right?)...

They really wish I could return from overseas and build up a new Linux system for them, but I can't.
They totally *do not want Windows*. (Please, don't suggest this...).
Please do not suggest Linux.
We are already Linux users and know the pros and cons.
If you feel that you must suggest Linux anyway, send it to me via direct message and do not post to the thread ーーー I'd be happy to explain to you directly why your Linux solution is completely unworkable.

My parents are not techies at all.

So, here is what I was thinking of doing and I would like to know from you folks if I have the right idea or if I am totally missing the mark. Here it goes:

* Buy my parents a new 21" iMac.
* Buy a good All-In-One printer (I was thinking HP... any suggestions)
* Pay a service to install the iMac and printer to their network and migrate their documents and emails to the iMac .
* Also *anti-virus*... any good suggestions would be useful. (Edit)
* Have the tech service configure my parents iMac and network (router) to allow me to remote desktop to them so I can help them out. (I used to do this with Linux).
* BONUS POINTS: Have the tech service configure it so that I can ssh into their iMac. Then I could configure things like remote backups and set up cron jobs and such.

* Purchase a Mac OS X 10.6 Mountain Lion on DVD (I can't seem to find the link for it at apple.com ... does anybody know how to buy the OS on DVD?)
* Using VirtualBox on my Linux system, create a virtual machine and install the OS there.

The reason for me running my own copy of Mac OS X in a virtual machine on my system is so that I can get used to Mac OS X... try things out *before* I give my parents advice on what to do... and do desktop sharing if Mac OS X is Mac specific, I would have my own running copy of the OS that I could use to do the desktop sharing.

This whole adventure is *very* expensive for me.
But I have to do it.

My only issue with Mac: the menu always at the top of the screen. It confuses me.
I talked with my Mom and asked her if she could get used to that change and she feels that she could... so I am willing to go forward.

I am technical.
Just far away from home.
So, please, don't hold back... whatever I don't understand, I'll ask about.

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