Clarke’s three laws (Arthur C. Clarke) :
1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Niven’s laws (by Larry Niven – part of the on going How the Universe Works) :
* Never fire a laser at a mirror.
* Giving up freedom for security is beginning to look naïve.
* It is easier to destroy than to create.
* Ethics change with technology.
* The only universal message in science fiction: There exist minds that think as well as you do, but differently.
Admittedly, I am fundamentally opposed to any garment or religious practice — including those found in my own Jewish tradition — that suggests that women hold a different or subservient position. But the burqa ban in France will not achieve the aim of gender equality. If anything, it will strengthen religious conservatives in France’s Muslim population by convincing members of the moderate majority of Muslims that the rest of French society will never accept them.
While there are said to be only 2,000 women who wear burqas in all of France today, the entire Muslim population, estimated to be around five to six million, will take umbrage at another measure that singles out their community.
Someone recently suggested that forbidding the burqas was just the inverse of forcing women to wear them. Generally in the U.S. we have such rules for public places – schools and gang colors for example. Yet on the occasion when, say a Hasidic jew attends or teaches a public school there is usually some accommodation for modes of dress.
Cultural mainstreaming seems to be what the west is after. Multiculturalism – which has a collection of definitions – usually contains the fear of the other with traditions someone else does not understand or feels threatened by. Mainstreaming has its merits, but it has never come overnight for any religious or immigrant group. One of the first steps is making the other feel they are full participants. My grandmother would call this the you attract more bees with honey than vinegar phenomenon. Treading lightly takes longer and one risks being accused of being tolerant, but than you’ll have the benefit of never being mistaken for Glenn Beck. When I was a preschooler I lived near some Mennonites ( seen anyone wear a bonnet lately) and had some enlisted Navy relatives who cherished their sailor and knit seaman’s caps so that might explain my tolerance and appreciation for for eccentric head gear.
Since we as a culture cannot seem to lose our infatuation with destructive kinds of peer pressure and rumors – which all of us face at some point. Maybe it serves some kind of primitive impulse, Presidency Spurs Renaissance of Rumors
After eight years in the White House (with Snopes.com around all that time), George W. Bush has been the subject of 47 internet rumors. After less than two years in office, Barack Obama has been the subject of 87, or nearly twice as many.
Even more telling is the relative accuracy of those stories. For Bush, 20 rumors, or 43%, are true. Only 17, or 36%, are false. The remainder are of mixed veracity (4), undetermined (4), or unclassifiable (2).
In contrast, for Obama only 8 of the 87 rumors, or 9%, are true, and a whopping 59, or 68%, are whoppers. There are 17 of mixed veracity and 3 undetermined.
Snopes debunker Barbara Mikkelson states “When you’re looking at truth versus gossip, truth doesn’t stand a chance.” Since for the most part presidential rumors are spread by adults – chronologically speaking anyway – we’re talking about people that either learned nothing from high school culture and the power of the vicious lie or have decided to embrace the dark side as a justifiable means to their Utopian ends.