Same Sex Marriage

With President Obama declaring today that he has decided to support same sex marriage, it prompted me to finally get my thoughts on the subject down on paper... err, internet.

Basically I see it this way.  The United States of America was founded with the separation of Church and State as one of its principles. Marriage has been defined using a religious and classical social view; between a man and a woman. It was with a generous heart that married couples get any benefits, be it tax breaks or other benefits. Think about it. This was to help out families with single incomes, historically, and to my best guess. Having only one income with children, tax help and other benefits made this financially feasible. The economy has shifted, however. Cost of living has gone way up, and one income hasn't really been enough to raise a family. Now both parents have to work. So in the classical sense, these families with two incomes are now cheating the system!  In some sort of twisted logic. They are still getting the tax benefits of being married, but they have two incomes so they really don't need it anymore.

In this sense, with the classical definition of marriage according to the US tax law, marriage has already changed.  Leave alone any religious definition of marriage at this point, mind you. Religion and the classical social definition lead to the US Laws defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Religion pretty much condemns homosexuality, according to some interpretations.  Religion also condemns eating certain foods during certain times. However, with the separation of Church and State, marriage can be defined in its own, new, context. A Federal context. Religions and their followers are free to keep marriage between a man and a woman, and same sex couples would probably opt to not get married in a religious ceremony, due to the condemnation and overall unchanging view of their lifestyle. While through the government, anyone could marry anyone else. 

To really buy into this argument, you have to respect what the founders of this country were trying to accomplish with the separation of Church and State.

This is also pretty easy to imagine when thought about it this way: In this country we have the freedom of religion. I could found a religion tomorrow and be free to practice it, as long as I'm not breaking any federal or state laws.  For instance, ritual sacrifice of douchebags would land me in the slammer.  With as many religions as there are already, we could have this discussion without making up one. For a quick example, let's look at the interpretation of Sunday being the day of rest and worship for Catholics. I use Catholicism because I am Catholic. If the federal government were to enforce this as a law, it would be illegal to work on Sunday, and it would be illegal for any company to be open on Sunday. While a lot of us have normal 9-5, Monday through Friday jobs (those of us that are lucky enough to have jobs), places that we depend on, specifically government agencies like the police and fire departments, are staffed 24/7. Not to mention hospitals.  According to classical Catholic definition, this is an abomination. Maybe slightly exaggerated, but imagine this was just as important as the concept of marriage between a man and a woman. Pick anything else that shows up in the bible or other religious texts and apply it to today. The world has changed. So if a religion were to allow same sex marriage, right now it would be a crime to perform this ceremony, or it would not be recognized by federal and state laws. This due to the classical definition of marriage according to classical religions and their ancient ways.

In a similar light, would we need to make laws for every religion's specific laws. Mormons, according to my limited exposure, don't drink alcohol. The government tried that... I guess what I'm getting at, is there are differences between religious laws and government laws. Yes, it's illegal to murder according to federal laws and religious laws. However, according to federal laws, you could be defending your property and kill an intruder, and go free from prison, but are you condemned to hell in this situation? Are religious laws that specific? Does religion condemn drunk driving? Of course not, since at the inception of most religions, driving wasn't a thing, unless you count chariots. So, would you follow religion as closely on these situations as you do on marriage?

I could get more philosophical about it... what is marriage anyway?  I am a married man and in no way look down on marriage. It's a commitment. (I'm not going to talk about the divorce rate, but it is worth a quick mention!) What made people decide that there should be a ceremony that joins a man and a woman for life? There are animals that share one partner for the rest of their lives when they find each other, so since we are highly evolved, it would make sense that humans would come to this conclusion. But that's just staying with the same person for the rest of your life. Marriage seals the deal in a religious and social sense. To record keepers, it's just a piece of paper, less tax returns, kids sometimes...

In many historical instances, religion was tightly integrated with law. Philosophy, the beginning of law, was very much integrated with mystical concepts. Nearly every civilization used their religious beliefs as the foundation of their federal law system. However, our founders made it clear, our laws should be separated.

In conclusion, we should really stick to this separation of Church and State since it works well in other situations. We should allow federal laws to evolve away from their religious underpinnings if society deems necessary. I'm confident that in the future, this will end like other discrimination attempts. I'm confident in the process, and the history of America's evolution beyond (arguable...) social discrimination gives me hope.

Today's Joke...

"I better do the lawn tomorrow before people start thinking a bunch of homeless people live here"

I kill me.

Fixed my event class

Here's the updated code which should work all the time.

var EventList = new Array();
var g_eventIndex = 0;

function Event(obj, type){
if (obj._eventIndex){
if (EventList[obj._eventIndex][type]) return;
}
else
obj._eventIndex = g_eventIndex++;

if (typeof(EventList[obj._eventIndex]) == "undefined")
EventList[obj._eventIndex] = new Array();

EventList[obj._eventIndex][type] = true;
this.handlers = new Array();
this.type = type;
this.obj = obj;
this.obj._event = new Array();
this.obj._event[type] = this;

if (typeof(this.obj.addCustomEvent) != "function"){
this.obj.addCustomEvent = function(type, fn){
if (typeof(fn) == "function"){
this._event[type].handlers.push(fn);
return true;
}
return false;
}
}

this.raise = function(sender, args){
for(var i = 0; i < this.handlers.length; i++){
this.handlers[i](sender, args);
}
}
}

// addEvent(obj, "event", func);


function addEvent(obj, evType, fn, useCapture){
if (typeof(obj._eventIndex) == "number" && EventList[obj._eventIndex][evType] && obj.addCustomEvent){
var r = obj.addCustomEvent(evType, fn);
return r;
}
else if (obj.addEventListener){
obj.addEventListener(evType, fn, useCapture);
return true;
} else if (obj.attachEvent){
var r = obj.attachEvent("on"+evType, fn);
return r;
} else {
alert("Handler could not be attached");
}
}


Now it will handle events of the same name in different objects. I just didn't want to have to come up with different names for events in different objects that did nearly the exact same thing.

I was reading a bit on the internets about how people do this type of thing. I read a post on Yahoo! that said the YUI event handling mechanism is "only 2KB". This is 55 lines with liberal white spacing. The thing about computer science is that sure, there might be something out there that does what you need it to do, and you can get it for free, but it's gonna do tons of other stuff that you really don't need. Not yet anyway. Same goes for software in general. If you need a simple photo editor, you're not gonna pay $600 for Photoshop when iPhoto will do (part of a $79 package with tons of other neat software, which also is overkill if you don't need that other stuff). So, if I need something very specialized, small, and easy to use, I'll write it. If you need this as well, feel free to use mine directly or for knowledge. It's not big or special, but will be used as part of a big and special project :) That will come soon.

If I don't like something, I let it be known

I can imagine a lot of things I don't like. The smell of crap, certain food, cheap coffee and most light beers, stuff like that. I haven't really not liked a lot of people in my lifetime. You'd have to really bug me. However, I don't discriminate between something that I don't like and get paid to do, and everything else. If I don't like something, no matter WHAT, I let people know.

I have certain ways of portraying my dislike for everything. If there's a stink of crap in the air, I'll either leave or spray something. I don't buy cheap coffee or light beer, and I don't buy or eat food that I don't like.

In contrast, if I love something, I indulge. Music, people, certain foods (although I have been getting just salad for lunch lately), movies, programming, everything. If I love it I will try to get as much exposure to it as I can. I've been listening to ONLY Bob Marley for about 3 months straight now. See my music post (search music for title in the filter above) for examples.

I can't imagine another way of expressing dislike. It may come up in conversation or something, and you can say "I hate crap." But really, if you smelled crap, you wouldn't just say "I hate crap" and then continue to breath in the fumes. If you don't like something, the only way to take action against it is, well, to take action against it.

There is a tough situation in there though. If you don't like something, but that something really loves you. Like, I might not like a certain person but they'll really like me. Conversely, I might like smoking and coffee, but that stuff is bad for me. This makes for bad situations.

I can't imagine how many people are in a job that they don't like. I couldn't imagine being in a job that I didn't like. You get paid for it, it takes up your whole day, you have to go against your desires and inhibitions and go to bed early in order to be on time for it, you get bossed around (unless you're the boss), you have to deal with people that are sometimes less fortunate in the intellect department, and best of all, you're stuck there until something better comes along. I don't know how to deal with a job that I don't like, except by showing that I don't like it. Acting like you would when you open a bathroom door and you are overwhelmed with crap. "OH GOD THAT WREAKS!!"

So, to my surprise, the way that I show I don't like stuff is not the way to show that I don't like a job. Apparently, you are lucky to be there. You should express your gratitude for having a job that you don't like by going against your instinctive knee-jerk reaction of displaying dislike for a job. And God forbid you do anything other than work for 2 minutes and your boss sees you not working.

Some other things you might not know about me. I'm not the best. I'll explain. I don't look down on people. Some people might show me that their idiots sometimes, but if they're in a position that requires not being an idiot, then I'll accept that they might only sometimes show idiocy. Likewise, I'm not the worst. I don't see people as being better than me. Ever. That's not to say that I'm as good as anybody in everything. That's just the simple, God given fact that "All People Are Created Equal." I hold this truth to be self evident. So, to insinuate that you're better than anyone, because that someone made a mistake (or 11), is saying that you're perfect. Ok, Perfecty McPerfect. So, when a boss shows disrespect to me, I in turn show disrespect to them. Their TITLE in a JOB at a COMPANY might say to them that they are better than me, but that's a joke. If I ever use my professional status in a stupid job as an excuse to disrespect anyone, please shoot me in the f%!#$ing temple.

One other thing, because of this, a side effect is not necessarily giving a rat's ass of what anybody thinks of me.

Remember the thing about not liking something that likes you? I didn't like this job but my boss really liked me in the job. So, in effect, my job like me. This was a tough situation, as I've said, and one that likely drew out the time that I was there. Due to other circumstances outside of my control, I was also obligated to be there longer than I wanted. Not obligated because it was my job, though. For the same reasons I'm not obligated to breath in crap and drink shitty coffee.

So, overall, the moral of this story is that I'm done with bad jobs as soon as I start them and find out that it's a job I don't like. This will prevent many headaches in the future. If it's bearable, then it's bearable. If it's a bad job, I'm f@#%@#$ing out of there.

I'm getting sh%@faced this weekend. New job starts on Monday.

The end of the world

By the way, it's the 62nd anniversary of D-Day (June 6th, 1944). But I was listening to WIP today and Anthony Gargano and Steve Martorano, and they were talking about today being the end of the world. It took me a few minutes to understand why. Before I had realized it, I was trying to think of who might have said that today would be the end of the world, like if Nostradamus or someone like that said so. Then they said the "Number of the Beast". June 6th, 2006.

However, I'm not superstitious like that. I figure the world would have ended a long time ago if that were the case. How about on June 6th, in the year 666 AD? Or January 1st 666 for that matter. If that's your logic, there's at least 2 times every 100 years that the world could end. June 6 '66 or June 6 '06, be it 1906 or 1966, 18,17, etc.

Plus with science, there's no way someone in the world, perhaps high up in government where secrets can be kept, would not know about the end of the world coming.

I think the whole "End of the World" bit in the Bible was just a giant metaphor. Everything in the Bible is a metaphor. Everyone reads between the line on everything in the Bible except the part about the end of the world. I think it's more about death. Even the parts where the Anti-Christ and Jesus will meet before the end of the world and have a good old fashioned bar fight. That's simply your life being decided. Were you good?

That said, the world might end eventually. But what's written in the Bible was always meant for everyone, not for those people who live right up to the point when either humans or the world no longer exist. If I wrote a book and it was directed at people who have naturally green hair, my audience would be comparably small to if I had decided to write it directed at people who have hair at all. But those writers of the Bible were just Philosophers, giving their views of what they think will happen. If they had written about a spaceship following an asteroid passing the earth marking the beginning of the end of the world, I'm sure that whole incident would have gotten out of hand. We shouldn't take the Bible literally, but it's a good book :)

Which came first?

This is a filler post. It's a play on the old riddle, "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" It's computer science related, of course.

Which came first, the program or the compiler? It just baffles me, that before the first compiler, people had to type in machine code directly. The first compiler was made this way... it had to have been, right? It sort of has philosophical meaning behind it. The chicken would have had to have come first, but something made it, possibly building it up by hand. Because you can't have an egg without a chicken, how else would it get there? An egg doesn't just appear out of nowhere, but neither does a chicken... Theories point to some form of evolution or "intelligent design". It's a topic worth mentioning. One that I have no clear conclusion on. I tried to post on it a few weeks ago, did some research, and was unable to discount either. The more interesting argument is that of intelligent design. A compiler would have been made with intelligent design :) A supreme being, a computer scientist like me, designed the first compiler so other supreme beings could write software. Imagine a supreme being designing DNA, which is like machine code, and from a living creature comes the ability to make other living creatures. Is it science? Yes, that's what we call it. It's just whatever you happen to believe. I have come to no conclusion, though. The one site I visited, very much biased towards the God part, has a compelling argument. The chance that the Big Bang would have ended up with a part of it perfectly capable of allowing life is so small that believing that a supreme being started it all is actually the better bet. Imagine that. Those gullible scientists :)

The Philosophy of Computer Science, Part I

Todd and I recently had a discussion where I described to him everything that I was working on currently, and my "dumb" system mentioned in the "Your Site Rules!" section. I had brought up my Philosophy of Computer Science. I couldn't explain it in such a good way though, so I will attempt to now.

I am a learner. When I'm done learning something, I go and learn more. I am not exceptionally brilliant, but apparently (or seemingly) I'm capable of absorbing huge amounts of data though. I take as long as the next person to learn something, but it sticks. My brain tends to tie things together logically, instead of memorizing something outright. So that I can remember small amounts of facts and deduce the outcome using them. I'm sure a lot of people do this. There are some that will memorize everything, but us lucky ones who can remember less but seem to memorize more, make more room in our brains for other small tidbits of information, making us seem exceptionally brilliant.

However, calculating an outcome each time you have to recall it is somewhat inefficient. It's very inefficient. When someone asks you how old you are, you don't calculate "well, I was born in 1979 and it's 2005, that makes me 26" every time... You just know that you're 26 or whatever age you happen to be. Or you lie to get into a bar or because you look younger than you are :)

Someone recently asked me "Why do you learn so many technologies, when you can be an absolute expert at one?" To me, this is an invalid perception of what I do. I don't learn any specific language. I spend a lot of time using Java instead of what I use for work, C# and .NET. When I was in college, the classes that I had made me realize the answer to this question. Not the "Programming Language Paradigms" class, or the "Organization of Programming Languages" class... these were Computer Science classes. I learned the answer to this question in my Philosophy classes. I took quite a few. My favorite one was "Logic". It made everything clear to me.

Computer science isn't "using computers to achieve a task". It's a connection of objects. Either different computers, different technologies, different objects in an Object Oriented Programming Language... different ideas with their own logic, connected together in a way that they all work as one beautiful system. Why I don't learn one specific language or technology is because you are then stuck in that technology. I happened to take jobs in only .NET in the past, so now I'm only able to get .NET jobs, which is part of why I don't learn one technology, but not the only or even most significant one. It's pretty insignificant, actually.

With many technologies in Computer Science, and by technology I mean anything in Computer Science, I find it more important to know what they do, rather than how they do it. Ok, here's an analogy. You learn how to use chainsaws, you don't learn how to use one specific chainsaw. By learning how to use chainsaws, as opposed to one specific chainsaw, you can use any chainsaw. Why should technologies be any different. Writing a website, or using sockets to connect to the internet, or zipping up files, or using a printer, or writing graphics libraries, or using rule engines, or a scripting language, etc. Knowing what something does is much more important than knowing how to use one of those things. Memorizing one language is bad, unlike my "I'm 26" analogy. Being able to deduct this information, based off of that little fact that you store (it's a programming language), is huge. So, when someone says "This is a programming language", I immediately know that it will contain features like input and output (I/O), ways to connect to the internet, something for printing, ways to create objects and inherit from them, interfaces, basic objects like ints, longs, floats, Strings, etc, a mechanism for threading and synchronizing data access, etc. It's a programming language, it's gotta have this stuff, and logically, I can deduce that. So, now all I have to do is sit down with a reference and a text editor, and I can write a program using that language that was introduced to me 3 minutes ago. As I said though, this isn't only to do with programming languages. Tell me what a technology does, I'll show you how to use it in a programming language. I will need a reference, but it just makes sense to me that you call certain functions in a certain order with certain parameters, and it works. Nothing more, nothing less.

So, this is my philosophy of Computer Science, Part I. I'll have more soon.

Website Development Ceasing

Today, I have ceased development on this website. I will still be making news posts, uploading music, adding photos, etc, but I won't be making new features or even fixing bugs. I won't be able to! Actually, I will be able to, but just pretend I won't. I'll be "branching" the code used in this site, sort of backing it up if you will, rewriting all of it, hence breaking this website on my local machine. I will have backups though. There are a few things wrong with it.

First and foremost, I have ideas. Lots of ideas. I will be building a new site, called stringed.org which will just be a showcase of technology. This was explained before. If there is news on there, you might see posts like "Jason is t3h l33t" and just utter garbage like that. Come here for the real news :) It will just be test data, and it'll probably be open to the public, so you will also be able to log in, or just click an admin link, and edit things and input crap, just like I can! It'll be fun for everyone.

Second, I have ideas :) Ok, so that's the same as the first, but I have to reiterate the fact that these ideas could be life changing. You might be working for me or for one of the companies I will own in a few years, so you might want to respect these ideas. The future is easiest achieved in a non-persistent world. That's a cool quote that I just made up. You know all the movies about the future (most fresh in my mind is Minority Report) where everything is different. Buildings are futuristic, cars, houses, everything. We won't ever get there because it will just be too expensive to tear down a building and make it "futuristic". However, in software, it's very easy to tear something down and re-do it. Not for gigantic companies, but for us "hobbyist" software developers. True, I do it for a living too, but I do the hobby stuff more passionately :) That's because I only work on the cool stuff at home. I am doing cool stuff at work though that I haven't done anywhere. I'm rambling. Anyway, if I can just get a good idea in my head, like I have now, I can throw away most of what I have done and start fresh and build my idea. It might not be life-changing for everyone, but I'll get a kick out of it... :)

Third. I just always think things should have three points to them. Three is the magic number. But really, I'm someone who quickly bores of programming. If you've written one input screen, you've written a thousand. If you've updated one table in a database, you've updated a billion. Same thing with most tasks in programming. However, if you have written something to automatically generate SQL for you and update a database, then you don't have to write that thing again, and you never have to write SQL or anything to update the table AGAIN. I wondered when I got done writing "dumb", and still was doing repetitive tasks, like scheming a database out, building input pages, building output pages, building backing beans, etc, if it could all be automatically done for me. That is what I plan on figuring out with this new design. I will find an answer, and that answer will be the future :) For me anyway. I'll buy you a hoverboard when I'm there.

Operation Yellow Elephant

If you visit my site, you've never heard even the implications of the term above mentioned by me. I'm no politician. I am something that begins with a 'P', though, and it's not a curse word. I'm a philosopher. Well, I don't know who determines that, but I like to think. That's why I'm here. The term above implies "Republican", or "GOP", the Grand Olde Party. Yellow infers the old western term of the same name, spelling, etc. That they are cowards. Operation means that they are doing something. Read this post for a proper introduction, I'm afraid my words are weakening their cause.

Alright, a little briefer on liberal vs. conservative. As far as I can tell, conservatives take over the world and liberals complain all the time ;-) I'm just kidding. So, conservative, by its dictionary definition, means a person that likes things the way they are. Liberal means a person who likes things to be changed. Regardless of what tags and stereotypes these people are given, these are the definitions we'll use. There is definitely more to it, but my argument doesn't require much info on either of them. Just that they think differently.

So, this site posts a contest. A contest to make a sign and hang it somewhere. Specifically:

Create signs relating to Operation Yellow Elephant's mission to expose the hypocrisy of hawkish College Republicans and other young conservatives who are too cowardly to fight in the war they demanded.

That can arguably be ruled "harassment" right off the bat. But, I don't like to assume anything. Philosophy does require assumptions, but based on past arguments. So, I'll make it quick.

Suppose you're walking by on campus, and some dude comes up and calls you a coward. Or a hypocrit? I would consider that harassment. What if these words were on signs? Signs are a form of communication, so transmitting harassing words through any medium of communication can be considered harassment. How about if someone gives you the finger? You would feel pretty offended by any of these forms, I would think. I will assume that the act of calling someone a coward and a hypocrit is not widely considered to be a compliment, and that will make my assumption true, that it is also considered harassment. Or, at a bare minimum, unfriendly or unkind, maybe even mean. This is a basis for my argument, along with the fact that liberals and conservatives think differently.

Using these two assumptions, I can move on with the argument. I have to come up with analogies, of course.

One commenter on that thread mentioned this:

Your actions are the same as giving prizes to people for putting up posters to harrass Blacks, Gays, Women, etc.

Ooh, he was SO close. In these examples, these groups of people are different from, well, from me anyway, in the following ways.

Blacks - Skin color obviously.
Gays - Sexual orientation obviously.
Women - Umm, I'm not a woman.

You can argue that 'gays' can think the same as us in every way fathomable except of their sexual orientation. This was the closest example to my point that this commenter came up with. I'm not about to prove, however, that gays only think differently from us in sexual orientation, assuming that it's a thought process that goes on where they eventually determine that they "want" to be gay, that it's a choice at all, or a fate. Since I can't make an argument either way on this matter, I have to throw it away, and come up with something else. I haven't studied sexual orientation, I'm sorry to say. I say this because you can also say that there are no differences between me (or us) and blacks (unless you are black) other than our skin color, and no differences in us and women (unless you are a woman) other than our sex. There may be differences between one person of each group, but overall, I'll say that these physical characteristics are the only differences.

One group of people that this commenter missed is "people of different faiths". This is incredibly similar to politics. We are born with no knowledge of God or any superior being. We are taught, by our parents and churches, about God and religion as we grow up. Therefore, this is not an inherited trait. Once we believe, we can't be budged, however.

Belief is a very broad term. If I believe that the Eagles are going to win the Super Bowl this year, wouldn't you also agree that "I think the Eagles are going to win the Super Bowl this year." Thinking and believing go hand in hand. "Thinking certainly" is believing.

With politics, liberals believe something, conservatives believe something. They have ingrained in their minds so firmly that they are correct. Would you question someone else's religion? In this country, it is a constitutional right that you have to practice whatever religion you believe in. It is also a constitutional obligation, implied by that constitutional right, to respect someone else's religion. At the very base, isn't religion just thoughts? Thoughts taught to us by our parents and churches? Why wouldn't it also be a constitutional obligation to respect someone else's political alignment?

The Internet Lies!

If all you ever knew about me, you read from this website, then you would be shocked. You would probably think I'm some loud-mouthed kid, talking all the time, squeezing in a joke here and there, and sometimes keeping quiet to get some programming done. This is almost completely opposite from the truth. See, I'm as quiet as the next deaf-mute. I listen a lot. But when I do want to say something, I get impatient if you talk all the time. All the sudden, some people are like 5 topics ahead before I have a chance to add my wisdom, and this makes me look stupid. Rarely have I ever seriously considered myself to be stupid. Then if I do just blurt out what I'm thinking, I'm all of the sudden rude :) That's why I have this place on the web. People can be like "Hmmm, I wonder what Jason has to say...", and hop on in and leave completely disappointed or with a chuckle, and maybe a gold nugget of wisdom. The thing that I do a lot though, which is why this site ever even came to be in the first place, is think. I'd say 99% of the day I'm thinking about stuff that is important to me. I like to think, it makes my day. And it makes it go faster :)