17 October 2010

Hacked - My Latest Update

Once again it’s been some time since I’ve posted here.  Life is busy as usual, and I have the attention span of a hummingbird.  So here’s what I’ve been up to lately…

First of all, my “planningish” website that I maintain to geek out on my professional life was hacked by Islamic hackers.  I’m not kidding… this was in fact a reality.  I’ve included a picture below.  At first I was somewhat angered by the whole ordeal, but then I found an odd sort of irony in the whole situation as the event seemed to have no correlation to my being here in Iraq.  Honestly, I am tired of being caught in some Islamic onslaught against the Western/Christian invasion (or vice-versa depending on your perspective).  I really don’t have a dog in this fight… I may be passively idealizing Western culture (I’m not trying to deny that), but I am not actively proselytizing it. 

I am tired of the conflict surrounding two cultures that could easily peacefully exist beside one another should their supporters decide to take a few minutes to stop shoving their beliefs down the other side’s throats.  To hop up on my soapbox for a moment, I would like to ask that those who so vehemently oppose religious beliefs counter to their own to take my place.  Seriously… I am missing some of the best years with my family and I find the news to be a depressing reflection of the reality that despite almost a decade of conflict, we’ve done nothing but breed extremism (both religious and political) on all sides of this problem.  We should have learned our lesson, closed mindedness and extremism threw us into this battle; it’s not going to get us out. 

In case you were wondering, the Arabic phrase on the picture of my hacked site is translated (by Google Translate) to mean “We do not claim to intelligence I seek to destroy intelligent”.  Beautifully said.  At first I was upset that intolerance and extremism  had become such a problem, but I am comforted that such movements have aspired include an attack on intelligence as part of the evils of the world.  I would hate to see how quickly the world could become corrupted if we had individuals capable of independent thought running around.  But I digress (and put my soapbox back in the corner where it belongs).

On to more positive things…  I managed to get my hacked website up and running (it really wasn’t a big deal, it just took some time to figure out) and decided to do a major overhaul in order to improve things.  You can check it out a LocalPlan.org.  I have been working on building some professional contacts for the website so that hopefully I will be lucky enough to be able to syndicate some writing to other websites.  The Urban News was nice enough to let me publish a book review which you can read here

Other than website things, I have been spending quite a bit of time catching up on reading and laying out some long-term education goals.  I am in desperate need of someone to convince me that educational credentials are not merit badges.  I finish an Associates in communications at the beginning of the month and I start a bachelors in Sociology in November.  I have also been looking at some interests to pursue when I get home and at the moment I believe that I will be going after a Masters in Project Management when I get home.  I start Social Deviance on November 1.  I am pretty excited about it, I just hope that my picture is not in the textbook anywhere.

That pretty much concludes my ramblings.  I conclude with this warning from the back of an energy drink can I purchased today after getting my hair cut.  It warns that the drink is “Not suitable for:  Children, Diabetics, Pregnants and people sensitive to Caffeine”.  I didn’t even know that “pregnants” were a class of people, but the term is honestly less redundant than “pregnant women” as I rarely see pregnant men walking around.  Unfortunately I can't take a picture of the back of the label that isn't blurry, but here is the front.