Learn From My Mistake!

So… my hard drive, now, is busted,
And my backup’s busted, too,
And I sorta have to wonder…
If it happened, say, to you…

Is there something irreplaceable
You cannot do without?
The odds are you will lose it,
Why, there’s very little doubt!

So, consider this a warning
(Cos I’m trying to be nice)
It could all go south tomorrow–
Best to back it all up… twice!

The Tech geniuses at Cuttlefish U. tell me my desktop computer is a total loss. Which would not be a problem (I have an external drive dedicated as a Time Machine backup) except that my external drive is also now a paperweight. The computer is nine years old, more or less, which means it is older than Cuttlefish is (more or less), and has files I don’t remember writing. Much of what is there has been backed up multiple times… but if it is like every computer disaster I have known, there will be one or two things that I discover some time next month or next year that cannot be replaced, that I just lost.

Last time this happened, I was moving offices, and a case of notes I had held back (so as not to be lost in the move) was thrown away. They were what might, by now, have been a book (and no, not a book of verse). This time, I have much more of it backed up here and there. It will likely be a month or two before I discover I have lost some irreplaceable file.

But… (and this is my point)… I just lost a lot of data that I thought I had backed up. In fact, I just lost a lot of data that I *had* had backed up. So… back up your data twice. Be redundant. Burn a disk or two or seventeen, as well as that backup hard drive. Or that cloud thingy really I don’t actually understand or trust.

And… What’s the worst you have ever lost this way? Testify, so that others may learn from your losses!

That Which Does Not Kill Me…

One little germ, it might be said,
Leaves some folks stronger, some folks dead,
Some folks crippled, some with scabs…

It might be best to get your jabs.

This was a comment on a previous thread, but I want to talk about it a bit.

“That which does not kill me makes me stronger” I don’t know if the anti-vax people would embrace this if they knew it was written by Friedrich Nietzsche, but I’ve seen variations of this here, there, and everywhere attempting to make a case for gaining immunity the old-fashioned way… by actually coming down with the disease you want immunity from. Silly me, I thought the whole point of immunity was to *avoid* coming down with something. Now that I know it makes me stronger…

And it’s not just Nietzsche (a name which I cannot type in less than a full minute) here–Adler, in psychoanalysis, claiming that overcoming adversity (he was the source of the “inferiority complex”) is what makes us strong, helped to prop up a mythology of “if I throw someone a life buoy, they’ll never learn to swim on their own!” Lawmakers who don’t want to help the poor can claim it’s for their own good; health insurance can be labeled as “facilitating” or “handouts”. And vaccines are taking the easy way out–not natural, not heroic. When we had polio, we had people like FDR who were able to rise above it! (thought experiment–can you imagine how much more he might have accomplished if he didn’t have the constant daily struggles?)

Getting your antibodies the old-fashioned way does not make you any stronger than getting them via a vaccination, except in the “when I was a kid, we had to walk uphill to school and back in 3 feet of snow and rabid ferrets” sort of mythological way. The way generations who suffered were happy to try to relieve their descendants of (mostly). That getting your immunity the old-fashioned way could possibly have killed you does not make it better, or heroic, or any of that shit.

If you honestly believe that overcoming needless adversity (there is plenty of real adversity to overcome) makes us stronger, then take that perfect little infant child of yours, count the perfect toes… and then crush one foot in your hand. The bones are tiny; your hand is plenty strong enough. It won’t kill the kid, but it will give them a needless adversity to overcome. And if that seems horrible… shut the fuck up and get your kid vaccinated.

(I hesitate to add–yes, of course there are some who cannot be vaccinated. This rant clearly does not apply to them, and clearly applies to others all the more, because of them.)

“Your Comment Will Be Visible After Approval”

Bets, anyone? The article is at The Eagle Forum Blog (“Leading the Pro-Family Movement Since 1972″), and was posted by Phyllis Schlafly. It commented on the apparent absurdity of an atheist prayer at a Huntsville, Alabama City Council meeting.

Since I had written on this before (then, though, it was Greece NY), I knew the arguments, so I commented:

Although prayer is of course most often used in the context of praying to a god or gods, the definition does include a plea or entreaty to anyone at all who might give aid–Shakespeare, of course, even used it in its original meaning, as a synonym of “ask”.

As such, it is perfectly appropriate for an atheist to give an opening prayer or invocation, asking (entreating, pleading, praying) that the citizens and councilors gathered there remember that they are there as part of civic action, as governance, not as a religious gathering, and that their actions (according to the constitution) must not trample the rights of the minority to heed the whim of the majority.

The supreme court has held that the establishment clause must not favor one religion over another, or religion over non-religion (see the “endorsement test”, as found in Justice O’Connor’s opinion in Lynch v Donnelly). The constitution is thus firmly behind American Atheists in this case; atheists are citizens as much as anyone else, may participate in civic duties as much as anyone else, and excluding them even from the opening prayer sends the message (echoed in your article here) that there is only one meaning of “prayer”, and it involves belief in a god or gods.

The atheists in this case are defending the constitution. The lawmakers in this case took an oath to protect and defend that constitution, but instead have instituted a religious test (in defiance of article VI, paragraph 3 of the constitution).

As for your last paragraph… You claim it is atheists who cannot stand to see Christians pray. We atheists see Christians pray all the time; the constitution says you are free to do so, so long as you are not acting as the representatives of the government while you do so. In truth (and in your description of the events here), it is Christians who cannot stand to see atheists pray, and who have excluded them from praying (to their fellow citizens and lawmakers, not to a god) unconstitutionally. I cannot imagine why–there are as many ways to pray as there are religions, and many more besides. The government cannot take sides, though–if one is included, all are allowed, and all must be invited, and welcome.

Hit post, and “Your comment will be visible after approval”.

Like I said… bets?

Edited to add–first… they published it! Yay! I lose the bet! Second… I honestly did not intend to not link to the post–I have fixed that now and added the link.