Quick Roundup 166

Monday, March 26, 2007

Britain: Do Not Apologize for Slavery

Andrew Medworth argues against the notion that Great Britain should issue an official apology for slavery, the barbaric institution that it took the lead in abolishing two centuries ago Sunday.

[T]he proper emotion today is not pride: we played no part in abolishing slavery, and it is very difficult for any individual today to know how they would have behaved in a time when the prevailing morality was so very different. Nor should we feel sorrow or regret: we are not culpable for the offences of our forebears.

Instead, we should feel two things. The first is happiness: we should celebrate the fact that we live in a country which has abolished slavery, and in which people of all races can live together in equality before the law. The second is a steely determination to eliminate the remnants of this vicious practice, along with the fundamental philosophic ideas which give it strength and succour. Without the latter in particular, slavery will last forever.
It is, of course, the very philosophical ideas of which he speaks that are behind efforts on both sides of the Atlantic to redistribute wealth in the name of "reparations", thereby providing us with the uniquely modern spectacle of an attempt to reestablish slavery (albeit in a different form) -- on moral grounds!

Koran Cited in German Court

Moral relativism in the form of multiculturalism can be seen here directly resulting in the government of a free society failing catastrophically to protect individual rights. From Isaac Schrodinger's excerpt of the article in Spiegel Online:
The judge rejected the application for a speedy divorce by referring to a passage in the Koran that some have controversially interpreted to mean that a husband can beat his wife. It's a supposed right which is the subject of intense debate among Muslim scholars and clerics alike."The exercise of the right to castigate does not fulfill the hardship criteria as defined by Paragraph 1565 (of German federal law)," the daily Frankfurter Rundschau quoted the judge's letter as saying. It must be taken into account, the judge argued, that both man and wife have Moroccan backgrounds. [bold added]
It is bad enough that there exists in Islam an ideology so benighted that it is widely believed by its adherents to sanction the beating of women. It is worse that in multiculturalism, we have an ideology that will make escape from the former -- even by leaving the country of one's birth! -- impossible, if carried out consistently.

Home Brewing-Related Curiosity

As a home brewer, I found this wrapper from a Prohibition-era block of yeast interesting.

As the writeup indicates, providing supplies to brewers was one way some breweries stayed afloat during the "Great Experiment". (HT: Dismuke)

Make Microsoft Word Less Annoying

And speaking of companies whose products I try to avoid, Paul Hsieh pointed to an interesting article about how to make Microsoft Word more bearable to use. For example, here is how to correct one of its most irritating default behaviors -- turning email addresses and URLs into hyperlinks.
To stop Word from hyperlinking in the future, click Tools > AutoCorrect Options, then click the AutoFormat As You Type tab. Clear the checkbox for "Internet and network paths with hyperlinks." Then click the AutoFormat tab and clear the same checkbox. If you want to manually add a hyperlink, select the desired text, right-click it and choose Hyperlink.
Like some of the commenters, I use Open Office, LaTeX, or Matlab depending on what I'm doing, but I'll keep this article in mind for the next time I find myself having to use Word.

And if you found the article on Word interesting, you'll probably also like this site.

-- CAV


Sid said...

In Word 2003/2007, all you have to do to stop creating links is to type one out, then mouseover it. There's a small box present there. Open it up, and select "Stop automatically creating hyperlinks". All of the AutoFormat options can be changed that way, so you have to suffer them exactly once. It's quite intuitive.

Word 2007 has almost none of the annoyances given on that page. It *completely* replaces toolbars and menus for a much more logical and consistent ribbon system (so all those toolbar annoyances aren't applicable any more), and includes a word count by default. It really does qualify as the best word processor ever created.

On another note, the multicultural madness in Germany is extremely disturbing.

Gus Van Horn said...

Well, then! It's good to know that Word has improved that much since I last used it a lot, especially WRT AutoFormat, which I find almost as excruciatingly annoying as AutoCorrect.

Sid said...

Here's a nice video produced by Microsoft demonstrating the new UI in Office 2007. It's slightly out of date, but worth a look.

Gus Van Horn said...

So do you work for the Colossus of Redmond or are you just a big fan?

Sid said...

Nah. Neither of the above. I just appreciate good software. :)

Gus Van Horn said...

Fair enough. Thanks for letting me know that should I ever end up in a working environment where I'll have to use Microsoft, it won't be quite as bad as it used to be.