Muslim 0.1

I think we (I) could be protomuslims. Hopefully our children will be more polished, less awkward, less rough around the edges, closer to the finished item. The first generation of a product is always a shadow of what’s to come. Hopefully our kids will have hobbies other than pseudo-religion. Hopefully they will achieve great things, inspired by faith to serve mankind. Hopefully their faith will be more natural, more real. More a comfortable slipper than a shoehorned boot. Inshallah, there will be a gen 2.0 and 3.0 to pray for their parents and grandparents long after our demise. Inshallah, these rough protomuslims will lay the foundation for something more complete, more finished. Inshallah.

Inspiring

My favourite blog / vlog of the moment is that of Ali Abdaal, a splendid young chap, brimming with creativity and buzzing with positivity. It is true — following his gracious posts / videos — that I regret not striving the way this fellow clearly has in life, but all that is by the by. I recommend following his posts because it is the perfect antidote to the morass we often find ourselves subsumed in. No self-pity here. Instead, a cheerful, smiley pursuit of brilliance: inspiration for people of understanding, mashallah. Jolly good stuff.

Playground bully

A gang of Saudi nationals attacks America. America says, “Iraq did it.”

America attacks Iraq and sets the whole region ablaze. America says, “Iran did it.”

America sends it’s military might to the Persian Gulf. America says, “We’re under attack.”

World shrugs shoulders.

Outsiders

If crowds of far-right protesters were gathering outside primary schools for weeks on end — and instrumentalising their children in the process — to noisily oppose race and religious equality teaching, we would definitely be outraged. And if those protesters downloaded spurious material from the internet to support their case, spreading false information throughout the nation, we would rightly call out their actions. But point out such double standards, and prepare to be shouted down and silenced. It just happened to me. It’s about something bigger, apparently. So it does not matter if truth and falsehood is mixed irreparably. The problem, it seems, is me. Join the mob, or be an outsider.

Downfall

Every nation has its downfall. The people of Aad. The ancient Egyptians. Our own downfall is inevitable, when we will be wiped from the earth, leaving only traces behind us. But where some left great pyramids and others palaces carved into mountains, wouldn’t it be a tragedy if the monuments we left for the millennia ahead were the vast mountains of landfill waste and oceans of plastic? A thousand years from now, will humble folk travel through the earth, wondering at the fate of this squanderful generation, who achieved so much only to depart leaving nothing but rubbish and environmental catastrophe? Our global culture but a footnote in the annals of time, like the Inca of South America. Though it is doubtful we will heed the lessons of history in time.

Tech resistance

For some time, I have been contemplating getting myself a Chromebook to serve as my personal, private computer for writing, reading and research. A Chromebook, I thought, would suit me nicely, because they offer a light-weight user experience, unencumbered by the time-consuming updates that regularly beset Windows computers. For writing, I would either use the very minimal Chrome plugin, Caret, or the Android version of Microsoft Word. All I need is a good keyboard, a silent fanless chassis and a reasonable screen. To this end, any Asus Chromebook would easily fit the bill.

But observing US protectionism at its worst over the past few days, as US tech companies respond to the presidential decree to block trade with Chinese technology companies, I find myself contemplating a return to an independent Linux distribution. Over the weekend, Google has ceased its relationship with Chinese tech giant, Huawei, which is bad news for users of its excellent smartphones (budget Honor phones included). It’s likely that Microsoft will have to follow-suit where the company’s laptops are concerned, to avoid state sanctions.

All of a sudden, our over-reliance on US software providers seems perilous. All it takes is for an erratic president to announce an embargo on trade with a foreign technology company, and consumers all over the world are effected. Today it is a Chinese company that earlier in the year was seen to be rapidly challenging the dominance of a US technology company. Tomorrow it could just as easily be a Taiwanese, Japanese or South Korean company. Overnight, they can kill off every upcoming device that was just on the brink of coming to market.

So perhaps the way to go is not to embrace a US software house to power my personal computer. For my use case, I could make do with some technological home-brew. It’s not that I imagine that Britain will find itself directly subject to US protectionism of this kind any time soon. It’s more the principle of resisting monopolies that dictate to the end user the choices they make.