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Book Review - Born a Crime Book by Trevor Noah

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I've gotten back into reading lately, partly trying to build a collection of books I want my son to read and partly just because I used to enjoy it so much as a kid. I setup a library account. I didn't have a starting point of what to look for. I felt too old for the Hardy Boys and I had read most of Isaac Asimov. I browsed aimlessly in the aisles looking for what to read until this caught my eye.

Born A Crime by Trevor Noah I just found it a great read. I suppose it resonated more with me as I too come from South Africa. Of course my experience would be different from his experience there. Yet, there is so much commonality there. Best of all, the book is simply his story and it's an interesting one at that. A life far more eventful than my own. Yet for all the wrongs of apartheid and racism, the book never feels preachy or victimized.

I especially loved many of the racial stories. The racism between blacks in South Africa. It's something you know about in South Afric…

Rupi Kaur - Healing

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I saw this little post flash on my Instagram. What's funny is I thought it must have been some old Indian poet from hundreds of years ago. Nope... a young women from Brampton in this day and age. Just kind of amusing.

Nonetheless, it resonated with me somewhat. I Googled a bit and then found this commentary on it that also resonated with me.

Reflect on your behavior in the past and notice the ties where you perhaps gave someone else the power to break you and then hoped that they would have the heart to mend you.
Note: it is often the kindest souls who put the most faith in others, because they expect others to treat people the way they would treat others. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.https://www.sjana.com/blogs/lifestyle/do-not-look-for-healing-at-the-feet-of-those-who-broke-you


I look back upon my life and in the cases where I've been broken, it was because I gave someone the power to break me. I rarely did it, and generally only with really close people W…

Danforth Shooting - Mental Illness is not 'The Reason'

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https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/danforth-logan-shooting-1.4757409

Toronto has just suffered another mass murder attack. It was a Muslim guy, according to his family, he had a history of mental illness.

This comes on the back of the Van attack mass murderer, that I blogged about as well.
http://yaminb.blogspot.com/2018/04/incels-unregulated-markets.html

I just find a lot of the debate increasingly silly. To avoid any association with Islam, some people just put all the blame on mental illness. Others who only see Islam as a threat put all the blame on Islam. I don't think I need to say that there's over a billion Muslims in the world and a very small percentage end up committing such acts. Islam is not THE Problem.

Mental Illness is not THE Problem Similarly, Mental Illness is not THE problem. People do a disservice to addressing the problem, by simply blaming mental illness. The very simple matter of it is that mental illness affects large numbers of people. Everything f…

Baldur's Gate 2 - Still holds up

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Not that long ago, I had a post about my declining attention span and how it impacts my ability to enjoy such games.
http://yaminb.blogspot.com/2016/12/what-happened-to-my-attention-span.html

Anyways, as luck would have it, this summer, I decided to re-play Baldur's Gate II.  Forget piracy, I think I have accumulated like 4 legal copies of this game over the years. I bought it on CD when it first came out. I have a GOG version. I even bought an Android port that I never play. I forgot how good this game is, and it just holds up even today. Such an amazing game.

Visuals Now you can obviously tell the game is older. It's not the latest and greatest 3d graphics. Yet, when it comes to reviewing the visuals of older games, I ask myself a few simple questions. Does it look good? Does the age of the visual effects reduce my enjoyment of the game? The answers are simple. The game looks good. The landscapes and background are art and will always hold up beautifully. The spells and 3D …

Changing the Social Contract

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I just came back from a Muslim wedding. I've been thinking a lot about this. There was a real lack of young men at the wedding. I got a sense of a dying community. The changing social contract. In you're a Westernized person, maybe some of this seems foreign, but it is simply the reality of the life for much of the world, even in places like Canada.I think I touched on a few of these themes a few times here: http://yaminb.blogspot.com/2018/03/the-alpha-muslim.html

The idea of living in a community is something above just living in a family. You are part of a greater whole. However, forces of Westernization are breaking these community bonds with the focus on the individual. I say that without much moral judgment. I am simply not wise enough to know if this is for the good or bad long term. Whichever way it goes, it doesn't really matter to me. If you were to ask my preference though, I feel it is a good thing.

The community bonds are formed strongly based on a social co…

Trudeaut the Relativist

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https://nationalpost.com/opinion/john-robson-trudeaus-lucky-hes-a-relativist-hes-decided-his-own-failures-dont-matter

This is a pretty good article on Trudeau's Sexual Groping. As people have noted, it is not the act of groping a woman years ago that matters, it is the hypocrisy that Trudeau has taken on the Feminist cause and punished others for far less.

It is his inability or unwillingness to actually recognize a reality. Did this groping happen? Instead we get this whole obscure blur. I'll just quote from the article.

seems to want to consign the whole affair to an ambiguous parallel universe in which things neither happen nor do not happen, in which he did not grope her but she might have ‘experienced’ it as such … Whatever Trudeau did 18 years ago, he’s now in a position where he gets to feel no remorse. Allowing the reporter her private truth is a way not of validating but of erasing her. And since he’s powerful and she’s not, his will shall prevail.
Funny enough, …

Minority Rule - Nassim Nicholas Taleb

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https://medium.com/incerto/the-most-intolerant-wins-the-dictatorship-of-the-small-minority-3f1f83ce4e15

This is a great article on how even a small population with stubborn preferences can eventually dictate the choices of society. I first read about Nicholas Taleb during the financial crises as we was speaking about Black Swan events. This article once again his the mark to give a new perspective.

Probably the most impactful element here with me is from the halal perspective. I don't eat exclusively halal meat, but if there's a function with Muslims who do... the general approach is for everyone else there to adopt halal meat.

The only deviation I've had in my life with this is actually something I was totally unaware of. I went to a high school with a large Sikh population. I didn't know they actually aren't allowed to eat halal meat. It goes against their faith. At the time, I ate halal meat, and so we went to eat at a halal restaurant thinking this would keep e…