User talk:Sam Spade/ - archive Dezember 2004 3

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Your recent articles on caste and Brahmin[edit]

Sam, I will take a look at the articles in the next few days. I added an quote by Swami Krishnanda on caste; please read it. also see this site, for impact of Brahmins, despite some of the group's flaws, on impact on Hinduism: "The Brahmins were identified as the ‘clergy’ or the priests of Hinduism. An explicit hostility towards the heathen priesthood was not helped by the inability of the messengers of God’s word to convert Brahmins to Christianity. In Brahmins, they came across a literate group, which was able to read, write, do arithmetic, conduct ‘theological’ discussions, etc. During the first hundred years or so, this group was the only source of information about India as far as the missionaries were concerned. Schooled to perform many administrative tasks, the Brahmins were mostly the only ones well-versed in the European languages – enough to communicate with the Europeans. In short, they appeared both to be the intellectual group and the most influential social layer in the Indian social organization. Conversion of the heathens of India, as the missions painfully discovered, did not depend so much on winning the allegiance of the prince or the king as it did on converting the Brahmins.

As Francis Xavier saw the Brahmins: "If there were no Brahmans in the area, all the Hindus would accept conversion to our faith."

The Brahmins, by and large, were unimpressed by the theological sophistication of the Christian critique of paganism. This attack was born out of the inability of Christianity to gain a serious foothold in the Indian society. The ‘red race’ was primitive – it could be decimated; the ‘blacks’ were backward – they could be enslaved; the ‘yellow’ and the ‘brown’ were inferior – they could be colonized. But how to convert them? One would persecute resistance and opposition. How to respond to indifference? The attitude of these heathens towards Christianity, it is this: indifference. " Perhaps you can incorporate this into caste and Brahmin articles. Raj2004 22:29, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Interesting stuff! My opinion on conversion is mixed, I feel that one should convert others with charity and deep discussion, not violence, and that all true religions have the same goal: Love of God (which is expressed twofold: study of Gods laws and will, and Love and caretaking for others). The subject of Christian / Hindu interactions is not one I am comfortable writing extensively on here, I feel there have been mistakes and misunderstandings on both sides, and NPOV would be most difficult. Religions which are neither false nor satanic should work to increase harmony and interdenominationaism, not strife, and bickering over souls. All souls belong to God in the end, not the churches men build ;) It is sin and unhappiness we need to convert others from, and progress and love towards God we must teach them to strive towards. Which Path we choose is less important so long as our faces are turned towards God. Cheers, [[User:Sam Spade|Sam]] Spade wishes you a merry Christmas! 22:47, 20 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Its quite sad that the original christians in europe themselves need to get back to their roots. Instead of focussing the energies on conversions in Asia and other poor continents, the focus should be on europe for though there is enough wealth in europe, they are poor in spirituality.

True, Sam. I am not as familiar either with Christian/Hindu interactions but I find those quotes interesting. People should spend time worrying about the definition of God. As I see it, too much religion, not enough God in each person. Raj2004 11:47, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)

We very much agree, I fear an over emphasis on ritual and dogma has shifted many peoples worship away from God, and towards the church and its idols instead, whether that idol be a crucifix, an alter, a mosque, or an statuee of ganesha, buddha or christ. While God is within all things, it is this omnipresense we must worship, not one singular aspect or incarnation of God. Obeying the letter of the dogma given us by men, while ignoring the spirit of God in our heart does nothing for our spiritual advancement. [[User:Sam Spade|Sam]] Spade wishes you a merry Christmas! 11:54, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)


Meritocracy had been very much a domestic issue to Singaporeans, the denotation could differs alot from what you may reckons as "meritocracy", to us, Singaporeans.

Indeed we, Singaporeans, did benefited from it. However the long-term effects were covered-up, and by means of propaganda, meritocracy is embedded into the younger generations.

Sure there are people who supports meritocracy, which I believe you do, and many Singaporeans did.

However, I am merely a voice that work against it.

I had spent my entire education life here in Singapore, I understands the effects of meritocracy, and the consequences with/without meritocracy.

See you soon. User:Slivester(sig added by [[User:Sam Spade|Sam]] Spade wishes you a merry Christmas! 11:35, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC))

You are right that I think the best of meritocracy, but I am very interested in imperfections and concerns. I understand that you feel some poorer people are given less oportunities to perform early in life? Is that correct? [[User:Sam Spade|Sam]] Spade wishes you a merry Christmas! 11:35, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)

On the contrary, I felt well for the poorer people. Meritocracy is a whirlwind here, a mere title, with little effects. A cover-up.

What meritocracy do means here is not what the book dictates. Meritocracy may very well work elsewhere, and it did work here. Singapore had moved from third world to first world within 20 years. Singapore's emphasis in meritocracy had put us among the top list in Asia. Yes it did work, however to a certain extend.

Over the years, it had just there because our largest resource is humans. And just for that.

Opportunity is always scarce here, the factor of merit do not falls in here. It is the influence you exert. It is the way you moves your pawn. The elites do not dictates, most of the time.

I do favour meritocracy, I only speak for myself. However, meritocracy here do not actually bears the similar meaning. I am against that. User:Slivester(sig added by [[User:Sam Spade|Sam]] Spade wishes you a merry Christmas! 17:29, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC))

I see what you mean. What are some specific failings or imperfections in Singapore's meritocracy? [[User:Sam Spade|Sam]] Spade wishes you a merry Christmas! 17:27, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)

There are no specific imprefection on meritocracy, or meritocracy in Singapore. On the technical level, "meritocracy" functioned and produces fruitful results.

However I questioned about the present of "meritocracy". Is it meritocracy that causes the gap between the rich and poor, as in the case I mentioned in hawker centres, if it does, or if it do not, how do other factors fall in and, or, or not, related to meritocracy.

Should meritocracy be the cause, then the specific failing for meritocracy would be the disability to extend it's reach to the rather lower productive groups of the population. I do not advocate to stereotype any single person in society at all. That is just a probability.

The sucess of this country is shared by the population. Does meritocracy contribute to the sucess, whether politically or economically?

Frankly, I am much more interested in talking about alternatives to meritocracy; the probability of failure in meritocracy; to provide a equal opportunity, yet not creating a equalised society, as in communism.

I do not actually have so much time to talk about this issue myself untill you message me, I would really love to discuss this over email, what do you think? Slivester 11:54, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Meritocracy was never ment to produce equality, in that sense it is the opposite of communism. Rather meriticracy is ment to ensure the success of the fittest, despite their station at birth. In this sense it is a variation of Social Darwinism or Eugenics, altho arguably less extreme. You can feel free to contact me via email or IM (User:Sam Spade/Info has my contact information) but I like talking here best, with the ease of wikilinks, and the ability of others to witness our conversations. If you are busy, take as long as you like between postings :) Cheers, [[User:Sam Spade|Sam]] Spade wishes you a merry Christmas! 12:50, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I do understand that meritocracy is about to be the fittest to survive. I had centralise my view of meritocracy in that sense it revolves Singapore. The founding principles of Singapore had long been equality, whether races, religion or social standards. However, when the policy of meritocracy came into light, to ensure that all child is given a chance to receive education despite of the family's financial ability, it thus deprive a child who do not fare as well in terms of education the chance to standout. This had long prevented the art, sport and media to thrive. Artists, are one who for long seen as one who do not contribute directly to what the government view as the priority of the country's to-do list, the scout for younger leaders for future cabinets, particularly the Prime Minister. Family with lower affulence had nearly no access to education during the early post-WWII years, thus these families believe in hardwork, than education. During the early and mid independent years, the vast majority of the population is between 20 to 50 years old. They had entered the working world with nearly no qualifications. This had in turn created the vicious cycle of near poverty. Scholarship or low-income family funding did exist during the early post-independent years, however did not sufficiently aided the low-income families. Equality no longer exist, and citizens who yearns for equal treatment after the ill-treatment during the colonial and WWII years, had nearly no way out except for forcing their children to education, whom children had to work to support themselves during the schooling years, often right after schooling hours. Thus the majority of such working students neglected school work, and thus were further bounded by low income due to lower qualifications.

Meritocracy had been overfocused on education in Singapore. Students from lower-income family do not necessary receive aids most of the time, though the leading party pledge to uphold meritocracy, so as to provide all child an opportunity to receive education. For example, students started schooling at the age of 4, at pre-schools, then advances to primary schools at the age of 7, to receive a 6 years of education, and advances to secondary schools at the age of 13, to receive a 4 or 5 years of education, then advancing to post-secondary or pre-university schools. Students who fare badly in the 4th year national examination in secondary school, either the 'N' or 'O' levels, may very well face the fact that they have to leave school and enter a post-secondary institution, ITE. Students who yearns to retake 'N' or 'O' levels may faces a large amount of examination fees, and due to the fact these students had lost the first chance, will not receive any monetary aid from the government. Students of such group may very well be deprive a chance to become the fittest. The 2 and a half years of compulsory conscription will further hinder the path for such students.

I do not wish that meritocracy will contribute anything regarding the equality of the society. I look upon the government, who believes by the implementing of meritocracy policies may help to secure the future of all Singaporeans.

Again, equality is a founding principles of Singapore, thus meritocracy do in some cases, contradicts that principle. Slivester 15:52, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)

IC, you make some brilliant points. I'll need to think about this for awhile. It is sad to hear Singapore is somewhat less ideal than I had been led to believe previously, but my pursuit of meritocracy in its purests sense will not falter, dispite the imperfections you so clearly illustrate... Thank you very much for your extensive depiction of such important informations! [[User:Sam Spade|Sam]] Spade wishes you a merry Christmas! 16:23, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)

THANK YOU![edit]



UCLADANJORDAN@AOL.COM 22:15, 24 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Glad to be of service, and happy holidays to you as well :D Cheers, Sam Spade wishes you a merry Christmas! 11:45, 25 Dec 2004 (UTC)

New Messages?[edit]

I am intrigued by these, how you say.. "New messages" ;)

So, thanks you for the tips :) If you are responding to the summaries of my recent edits, know that I'm not entirely unfamiliar with the software (I'm a regular on the MediaWiki, and the administrator of a MediaWiki my business uses as part of our intranet), but specificly mostly unfamiliar with the practices and protocols of Wikipedia in general, and this corner of Wikipedia in specifc. ;)

So, I'm still reading through a spider's nest of entries at the moment.. so I'll check back on my edits and check out your massive list of suggested reading somewhat later.. but in sum, did I make the right call? :) Jesset77 11:34, 25 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Yeah, you seem to be doing fine. I decided to review your edits after your note, and they seem good. Be careful removing large blocks of text however, when you must, its best to place them in the talk page, like so: Talk:Jehovah's Witnesses#section deleted due to slant. Don't feel obligated to read all of those links I gave ya BTW, their only ment to be of use in case of need. Glad to have you, and keep in touch, Sam Spade wishes you a merry Christmas! 11:44, 25 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Ignorance of Hinduism[edit]

sam, there's a lot of ignorance of Hinduism. Even the south asian journalists association ( had an erroneous definition of Hinduism (Hinduism is a polytheistic religion..) until recently when they updated the stylebook. Well, you and I can change those perceptions in wikipedia, Merry christmas and happy new year. Raj2004 13:01, 25 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Very confusing about that, making me wonder if some Hindu's actually are, or were, polytheistic? Perhaps some of the ancient dravidian religions? Something pre-vedic? It is hard to believe that such an extreme misconception could have been so long perpetuated, simply thru ingnorance. How is Hinduism any more polytheistic than the Catholic mother Mary and Saints, the Islamic Jinn, the various angels and demons of Judaism, etc... Its very hard to reconcile. Sam Spade wishes you a merry Christmas! 13:11, 25 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Yes, Sam I had to notify them. Just as Christians belive in angels, Hindus also believe in less powerful beings such as devas. As I have told wikipedia viewers, the Vishnu sahasranama itself states that devas are subordinate to Narayana. I myself am Smarta. I know for a fact that Saivites are monotheists. (some of my friends) They will not worship Vishnu, only Siva. For me, Vishnu and Shiva are one and the same; see my commentary on Rudram and Vishnu sahasranama; see also ista deva Raj2004 14:11, 25 Dec 2004 (UTC)

My preference is more for Arya Samaj and similar paths which emphasize Nirguna Brahman, albeit without the focus on sanyasa, which I generally disapprove of due to what I see to be a opposition with altruism. Now if a person is debilitatingly ill, dying, etc.., then I see no wrong, but a healthy person should not renounce life while there is good they may yet do. Thank you for the wonderful links, as always :) Sam Spade wishes you a merry Christmas! 15:43, 25 Dec 2004 (UTC)

No problem, Sam Yes, both Vaishnavites and Shavities recognize the absolute attributeless Nirguna Brahman. Lord Krishna said in the Gita that it is more difficult for one who is embodied to reach Him through Nirguna Brahman but He said all paths reach Him. Shaivites call the attributeless Nirguna Brahman aspect of Siva Parasiva. In Saivite theology, the Nirguna Brahman aspect of Siva, is called Parasiva which is difficult to realize for most souls, the linga, formless-form object of worship and Siva with attributes, which Siva embodies for the grace of the embodied devotee. Yes, Hindus reconignize everyone has to choose their own path. See this quote from linga section:

As Shri K. Thirugna Sambantha, in his excellent web site of Saivism, [1], explains it, the Siva linga is the ruparupa aspect because it is not any manifested form of Siva, nor is it formless, because the linga is a concrete piece of stone, which is an emblem of God. Thus, it is intermediate between the formless Absolute, Parasiva, which is beyond the sensory perception of man and manifest forms of Siva. Siva manifests Himself in form for the grace of the embodied human devotee.

Some become monks for realizing God but you can always realize God by being a householder (i.e., married individual) so long as you lead a moral life. The beauty of Hinduism is its flexibility. Some can follow the more difficult path of Arya Samaj while others need an even more theistic path. There is no right or wrong way so long in the end it reaches God. The great saint, Ramakrishna, tried them all; VedantaNirguna Brahman, the devotional branches of Saivism, Vaishnavism and Shaktism, as well as Christianity and Islam. In the end, he came to the same earlier stated conclusion although his own personal preference was in favor of Shaktism. He and Swami Sivananda were Smartas. Thanks for the cleanup work on Ista-deva. Raj2004 18:04, 25 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Messianic Judaism vs. Jewish Christian[edit]

Messianic Judaism and Jewish Christianity are two VERY different concepts. Having been in Messianic Judaism it is insulting to even consider the merging of the two articles. They are related, but different concepts. Messianic Jews are Jews who believe in the Messiah, but tend to retain their Jewish culture and religious practices. Jewish Christians tend to embrace mainstream evangelical Christianity. They are two different things. Jewish Christianity is more related to the Jews for Jesus movement and structured more like a Christian church, whereas most of Messianic Judaism does not follow JfJ and has a very Jewish flavored service. It state in the article that most Messianics prefer not to be refered to as "Christians". Please do not merge these articles. --[[User:JonMoore|Jon, Conqueror of Men | (Talk!)]] 21:35, 25 Dec 2004 (UTC)

OK. Sam Spade wishes you a merry Christmas! 12:08, 26 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Editing user pages[edit]

Is it possible to make my user pages editable only by me? (leaving the talk pages as usual) - Sridhar 04:40, 27 Dec 2004 (UTC)

It could be protected, so that it could only be edited by admins, but I assume your not an admin. Also, even if you were, it is frowned upon to do that without some special cause (essentially vandalism), and the protection is nearoly always temporary. Are you having a problem with vandalism? If not a note aking others not to edit your page (preferably prominantly displayed at the top) might help. That said, non-vandalism edits to ones user page are a good thing, IMO. If you don't think what they have done is an improvement, simply delete it. If it annoys you, ask them to stop. If they won't stop, thats vandalism, and they can be held accountable (and your page perhaps protected temporarilly ;). Cheers, Sam_Spade (talk · contribs) 11:27, 27 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I am just trying to prevent any future vandalism. I am using my wikipedia userpage as primary website like thing. I keep adding links, resources, etc .. to it. Anyways, as experience says, I can assume that I will not face much problems in this regard. - Sridhar 13:22, 27 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Greetings from HK[edit]

Wow, that marginated tortoise is something else. How did you come by that photo?

Second question: why is it so difficult to figure out who won the ArbCom elections? Can you direct me to a page where the results are displayed? --HK 16:16, 27 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I got it from Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates (I'm pretty sure it lost). The election results were essentially buried, w/o many links to them placed. I only found them due to my good detective work ;) See Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee Elections December 2004 (lost, BTW, altho 92 votes is pretty good :D Sam_Spade (talk · contribs) 16:33, 27 Dec 2004 (UTC)

British nationalist[edit]

If you've changed your mind, it would probably be better to nominate it for deletion someplace (csd/vfd/rfd/etc.), rather than just blanking the page. I don't have knowledge/opinion on the matter, I just don't find blank pages in the article space justifiable. Niteowlneils 23:18, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)

It shouldn't be deleted, deletion is anti-wiki ;) Can you explain this whole "justifiable" thing? And where can I request an article be written for it? Cheers, Sam_Spade (talk · contribs) 23:21, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I had trouble finding it in writing, so I posted the issue at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#blank pages--two people agreed that blank pages are against policy, and that it hadn't previously been written down; now it is. Niteowlneils 20:42, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)


If you don't mind me asking, I'd appriciate your support at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Mbecker. Thanks. マイケル 04:41, Dec 29, 2004 (UTC)

I don't mind at all see my comment @ Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Mbecker#Outside view 5. Cheers, Sam_Spade (talk · contribs) 12:26, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)