Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Zaky Mallah, Resistance, Medical Mistakes, and Math Formulas

1. Saw from Google News that exciting things happened on Q and A.

I'm going to have to read about that.

2. Read article about the dog fiasco of Johnny Depp and his partner Amber Heard.

Heard says they're going to avoid ever coming to Australia. Why? Because the Australian government actually required them to follow their quarantine laws—even though the two of them are top celebrities? The nerve of Australia!

I think everyone in the world should boycott Australia. And the boycott will only end after Australia says that if you're a Hollywood celebrity, you may bring all your pets into Australia and prance them around the land down under.

3. Disgusted with Amber heard. According to the article, she said, I have a feeling we're going to avoid the land Down Under from now on, just as much as we can, thanks to certain politicians there. I don't know, I guess everyone tries to go for their 15 minutes, including some government officials.

That just sounds incredibly wrong to me—someone famous accusing someone else of trying to get famous. By what? Asking them to follow the law?

4. Thought of one thing that would make me more sympathetic to Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.

What if many people break Australia quarantine law with their pets, but when Depp and Heard did it, they were singled out because of their celebrity status.

Or what if many people do it, and get in trouble, as Depp and Heard did. But they don't get turned into news stories?

I'm doubting that's the case, though. If anyone knows differently, please let me know.

5. Started to read article about the Q and A drama.

A guy named Zaky Mallah was in the Q and A audience. He accused the Australian government of pushing Australians to join Islamic Terrorist groups. He said controversial things. Now the government is mad at the ABC for allowing Zaky Mallah to be in the audience. They feel it was wrong for the ABC to give Mallah a platform for his views.

I don't know.

I do believe that free speech does not mean an entity is required to provide a platform for speakers.

On the other hand, Q and A is about controversy and disagreement. It's about people debating each other. Where do you draw the line between what is acceptable and what is not?

I disagree with Mallah's viewpoints. But maybe it's better to discuss them and debate them rather than hide them.

6. Started to change my mind as I listened to Malcolm Turnbull's speech. He's making Mallah sound pretty scary.  He's making Mallah sound like a guy who doesn't just have big scary ideas but has actually worked to put those ideas in action.

Although from what I'm reading in the article, it seems maybe Mallah was a terrorist in the past, but not any longer.  The article says he doesn't supported IS, and that he urges Australian Muslims to stay put and not go off and become a Jihadist.

Is Mallah a terrorist who wants to harm Australians? Or is he an ex-terrorist who disagrees with how the government is handling terrorism?

7. Started to watch video of Waleed Ally scolding Zaky Mallah.

A woman interviewing Mallah asks Mallah about his words on Q and A being misinterpreted as a call to arms.  Mallah talks about the government threatening to strip those who join the fight in the Middle East of their citizenship. Ally then criticizes Mallah for avoiding the interviewers accusations and using it as an excuse to criticize the government.

8. Felt sympathy towards Mallah UNTIL Ally asks him if he feels any responsibility for people misinterpreting his words. Mallah says, No, I don't hold any responsibility for the stupidity of the Abbott government. 

Ally tries to get him back on track.

What Mallah is doing though isn't very unusual. I think politicians do it a lot. You ask them a question that they don't want to answer, and they skirt around the subject. Often they'll try to point guilt at someone else—move the focus away from themselves

9. Saw that the interviewer finally got Mallah to say what I imagine Ally wanted him to say—he doesn't support ISIS, and he doesn't believe Australians should go and fight for them.

10. Went to the ABC's Q and A site. I want to read the transcript.

I'm kind of skimming through to find the part with Mallah.

Okay. I read it.

From what I understand, and in my opinion, Mallah started off as level-headed. He's against stripping Australians, who have crossed over to the dark side, of their citizenship. In the past, he went to the dark side and got into trouble for that. Mallah didn't like his punishment, but he especially dislikes this idea of not allowing Australians to return from the dark side.

Mallah's opponent, Steve Ciobo says he'd be pleased to be part of the government that would kick Mallah out of Australia.

Mallah responded,  As an Australian, I would be happy to see you out of this country. I think that's a fair response. And I like that Mallah reminded Ciobo and the audience that he is Australian. I would applaud Mallah for that statement.

But then later, Mallah loses the plot a bit. It happens. He says, Yeah. Yeah, sure. The Liberals now have just justified to many Australian Muslims in the community tonight to leave and go to Syria and join ISIL because of Ministers like him.


Is that a call to arms, though?

I don't think so.

It's more like he's saying, I wouldn't blame Australian Muslims for being so disgusted with the government, that they want to go and join the Islamic fight.

Tried to think of an analogy.

How about you're at the grocery store and see a mother refuse to let her toddler pick out any toys or treats. On top of that, she's on her phone the whole time and gives the child no attention. The child starts having a tantrum. You say, I can't blame that kid for having a tantrum.  That's different than saying, Hey kid! You should fight against this. Kick your mom! Scream at the top of your lungs. If she bends down, pull her hair! Don't let her get away with this.

However, if you simply comment on the tantrum, and the child hears your words of support; this might inspire him to embark on future tantrums. And what if another child hears your statement? What if he takes this as a call to arms...tantrums.

11. Tried to figure how I feel about stripping Australians of their citizenship.

I really don't know. In a way, I might be against it. But I'm speaking out of ignorance. I don't really know much about it.  I fear, though, that it WOULD close the door to people changing their mind and coming back to the fold.

As for the government causing terrorism by putting the idea into action. I don't agree with that mindset.  I think we can disagree with plans and ideas; but it's wrong to take things that we disagree with and declare they're justification for terrorism.

12. Realized I might be wrong. We can disagree with stuff, and that disagreement can be justification for terrorism.  It's all a matter of our morals, and where we draw the line.

I don't agree with the Islamic State's line of reasoning. I don't think what they want justifies terrorism. But I CAN imagine situations where I'd support terrorism.

What if a government had a plan to execute all homosexuals? Would I not support an entity who used violence to fight against this. Yes, I'd prefer they try to change things peacefully. But if they couldn't do that, I would accept them blowing up things to get their way.

13. Thought about the miniseries V that I loved as a child. The resistance fighters could be seen as terrorists.

It's like the editorial I read and wrote about a few posts ago—the one that compared freedom fighters to terrorists.  We all have our own personal way of distinguishing one from another.

14. Imagined a terrorist group fighting against a government that made gay marriage legal. I'd be against them, and I'd label them as terrorists. And I'd see their opposites as freedom fighters.

15. Thought about parts of the Q and A transcript I skimmed over. It was about labeling or not labeling criminals as terrorists.

Maybe we should stop worrying about the terrorism label and just ask ourselves two questions:

A) do we believe in the ideology of the person taking a stand?
B) do we agree with the action they have taken?

I think we can have A without B; and B without A.  And we can have yes to both or no to both.

I would support the ideology of a group who wanted safety and freedom for homosexuals. In most cases, I would not support them using violence to get their way. But if their lives and well-being were in severe danger; and there was no other way to save themselves, I'd support them using kick-ass methods.

16. Thought of Jews using violence to fight against the Nazis. Would I be against that?


17. Started watching an episode of Neighbours.

18. Thought that the Christmas elves featured in the Project 2014 blog looked quite frightening. It's hard for me to imagine they're not evil.

But yeah. I know. We shouldn't judge people on their looks.

19. Started to watch an episode of The Secret Life of Us.

I should probably finish with season three today.

20. Thought that the show was a bit dishonest. In the beginning of the season, there was a tear-jerker speech about how Evan (Samuel Johnson) and Alex (Claudia Karvan) weren't alone together for a long time. Now it's the end of the same season, and I see Evan and Alex alone together. What gives?

I guess it could be a matter of me misinterpreting Evan's speech. I can't remember if he said it was years before they were alone together again; or if he just said it was a long time.  But really. I think I wasted some sadness, seeing that it was only a few months of separation.  I know separation between friends can be difficult, but I don't see a few months as being tragic or tear-jerker material. Especially in the age of email.

21. Felt bad for George (Gigi Edgley). She's in love with Evan, and he doesn't love her back very much. Maybe not at all. I'm not sure.

George has a job offer in Sydney. She's been wanting to advance her career for awhile, and this is her chance. But as she is facing this decision to take the job or not, she realizes it's all about Evan. If she takes the job, it's because of Evan. If she doesn't take the job, it's because of Evan.

It's hard when all our focus and decisions are centered around one person.

22. Reminded of Julia Gillard when watching the storyline about Gabrielle joining the world of politics. She's being pushed by some guy (David Roberts) to tow the party line. At times that she's shared her opinion, either with him privately, or to a potential voter; the guy tells her to stop.

Gabrielle has begun her journey into politics with strong passion and ideals. But will she be able to hold onto them? Or will she just become a mere puppet?

I suspect that might be what happened with Gillard. I still wonder why she, an atheist, was against gay marriage. Was that her idea? Or was someone from the Labor Party pressuring to take that stand?

It's not just Gillard, of course. I think pretty much all politicians become puppets. Unfortunately.

23. Felt very bad for Alex (Claudia Karvan). Major nightmare!

She removed a cancerous breast from a woman who was very reluctant to get a mastectomy.  And now her boss (Kim Gyngell) is telling her that the lump removed wasn't cancer. It was a healthy breast.

Holy shit.

Alex says she made the decision based on the mammogram and biopsy report. Did the radiologist or pathologist make a mistake? Or was it her?

I don't have one ounce of sympathy for doctors who make mistakes because of arrogance. I have a ton of it for doctors who make honest mistakes.

If the patient insisted on getting a second biopsy and Alex refused—belittled the patient for questioning her; then I'd be disgusted with Alex. But if there was an honest mix-up, that's a different story.

24. Understood that the mistake would be very upsetting to the patient. Though I think if a doctor is going to make a mistake, it's better that it be in this direction. The opposite is worse—a doctor telling a patient their lump is benign and then it ends up being an invasive cancer.

I think false positives are usually better than false negatives. Although yeah. False positives can be a huge pain. I think my false positive was a huge pain, and the worst I had to endure was a needle stuck in my breast. I think I'd be very upset if it went as far as having to get my breast chopped off.  Maybe then I'd wish for the doctor to have been an asshole, because then I wouldn't feel conflicted about suing his ass.

25. Did not admire the Huntsman spider on Beth's Welsh Girl in Australia blog.  I've gotten over most of my past dislike of spiders. But the Huntsman still gives me the creeps.  I know they're not particularly dangerous, and they benefit humans by eating insects that cause us grief. But their ugliness bothers me.

I should get over that. It's really superficial and unfair of me.

Plus, if my dream of spending a lot of time in Australia ever comes true, it's likely one day I'll end up with a Huntsman spider on my wall.

26. Used Google Images to look at photos of the Huntsman spider. Maybe if I look at them enough, I'll get used to them?  I'll desensitize myself. Maybe I can grow to like them.

27. Realized my Google Image plan is not working.

28. Disappointed in Kelly (Deborah Mailman) and felt bad for her. She cheated on her exam. And got caught. I wish she hadn't cheated, and I wish she hadn't gotten caught.

Although knowing what I know about Kelly, I think, even if she hadn't gotten caught, her decision to do the wrong thing would have haunted her throughout her life.

29. Thought the comparison between Kelly and Alex's situations was interesting. They've both made a huge mistake that can cost them their careers. One mistake was completely on accident, and the other was on purpose. But both greatly regret what they've done.

30. Figured out why the unneeded mastectomy victim looks so familar to me. Thanks to IMdb, I learned she's Kirrily White—Steph from All Saints.

31. Felt my hypochondria rising up with this episode. It seems the breast mistake wasn't Alex's fault after all. It looks like it was a lab mistake. That's scary.

I think about times I've been worried about my health. Then I get my blood tests back. Everything is fine. I tell myself to stop worrying. But there's this little voice within that asks, what if the lab got it wrong?

32. Thought of something that made me feel better.  When I was having problems a couple of years ago, I had two positive results that were re-tested.  I started to wonder, okay, but why am I retested for positive results, but not the negative?  Why do they doubt one side, but not the other.  But now I'm remembering...I'm pretty sure one of the doctors was somewhat skeptical about my negative thyroid test; and had me retested.

It would be a waste of time and money to do every medical test twice. But if the results don't match the symptoms, it might a good idea to retest.

33. Wondered about the breast that Alex cut off. Did it look healthy? Did she take notice of that, and push her feelings aside? Did she put too much faith in the pathology report? Can a surgeon tell the difference between a cancerous breast and a healthy one?  Are there signs?

34. Learned that the mastectomy wasn't a mistake. The woman did have cancer. It was the pathology done after the surgery that was messed up. Two women had similar names, and the lab got them confused.

35. Gained understanding of why Kelly cheated, and now I feel the school shouldn't punish her too harshly.

Kelly is pursuing a career in psychology. She wants to help people. Of course. That's Kelly's thing. She's full of compassion.

The test she cheated on was in statistics. The test required her to memorize mathematical formulas. Kelly tried very hard to do so, but then ended up feeling she didn't have what it takes to pass the test. So she wrote the formulas on a ruler.

Does a psychologist need to memorize formulas to help someone?

I seriously doubt it.

If she ends up needing to do statistics during her career, Kelly can always jump online to find the appropriate formula.

So, my conclusion is this. Although I feel Kelly did the wrong thing by cheating, I think the school did the wrong thing by asking her to memorize the formulas.

In this day and age, there's really not much need to memorize formulas. Maybe if you're a mathematician, physicist, or engineer? Because they might use formulas on a very frequent basis, and it would be time-consuming to have to keep looking them up.

Then again, if they do have to keep looking them up, eventually they'll probably accidentally memorize them. And this way, they'd be learning what they actually need for their careers.

So yeah. I don't think anyone should ever have to memorize a formula for a test.

36. Wondered if formulas need to be memorized for college entrance exams. I imagine this will be the case; and Jack will have to learn them.

37. Found a website that lists formulas needed for the SAT.

38. Liked what is said on this website about the SAT.

Despite what many high school students believe, you need to know very few formulas for the SAT Math section. Nearly all the formulas you need to know are provided for you at the beginning of each math section, and the other 10 formulas are easily memorized.

The website explains that those using the test are more interested in reasoning skills than ability to memorize.

It's more important for someone to be able to know which numbers to plug into the formula than memorizing the formula.

If Kelly read information on the statistics test, and didn't know how to plug it into the formula, THAT might be a problem. But a lack of ability to memorize formulas probably wouldn't make her a bad psychologist.

Actually, it was a lack of faith in her ability rather than an actual inability. Because it turned out that Kelly never had to use her cheat-sheet ruler.

39. Started watching the last episode of season three of The Secret Life of Us.

40. Saw that Jemima (Diana Glenn) is in this episode!

Wow. I wasn't expecting her to return.

41. Fascinated by Jemima and Evan's disagreement. Evan talks about love turning into hate, and that once it crosses over, it can never be love again.  It evolves into indifference.

Jemima disagrees. I think maybe from personal experience. She loved Evan; then hated him. It seems maybe now she loves him again.

42. Decided I probably agree with Jemima.  Most cases might work out the way Evan imagines they do. But I don't think it's an always thing. I think sometimes indifference can turn back into love.

43. Decided love often turns into indifference, whether or not hate is involved or not. Or at least crushes do.  And you know what. I do kind of think crushes are a form of love.

It's really too hard to distinguish a crush from love or real love from false love. It's love until we fall out of love; then we question whether it was ever love in the first place. I think that's because there's the rule that true love has to last forever.  

I think love is love. Sometimes it lasts a very long time. Sometimes it lasts a short time.

44. Looked at IMDb and saw that Jonathan Hardy plays the tribunal man—the one who has the job of determining Kelly's punishment.

I knew I knew Jonathan Hardy, but couldn't remember from what.

Then I saw that he's one of the stars of Farscape!  I haven't clicked on the details yet. I want to see if I can guess correctly. And my guess is he played the floating alien guy.  I don't know how to spell his name, but it started with an R.

45. Clicked for details.

I'm right!

And the name is Rygel.

46. Finished with season three of The Secret Life of Us.

I'm impressed. They never ended up bashing Scientology. In fact, they were a bit critical of someone who was critical of it...but not overly so.

I wonder if the Scientology storyline will continue into season four.

47. Saw that Pia Miranda (the Scientologist) is in the first two episodes of season four. Then she goes away.  Will the dark side of Scientology emerge? Or will she be leaving for other reasons?

48. Saw that Diana Glenn appears in five episodes of season Four.

49. Went to Random.org to pick my new TV show.

It is....

On Netflix.

The Code!

I look forward to watching it. I'll probably start with that on Thursday.

50. Went to Netflix and added The Code to my list. There I saw that Dan Spielman, from The Secret Life of Us, is one of the stars.

51. Looked at the cast of The Code.

I know Adele Perovic from Slide.

I know Ashley Zuckerman from Rush.

And there's Dan Wylie!

52. Excited to see Ursula Yovich in the credits.  I had a sort of thing for her...because of her doing some narration on The First Australians. I don't know. I guess I just loved her voice.

52. Surprised to see Lucy Lawless in the credits.

53. Saw that David Wenham is on the series.

54. Saw Steve Rodgers. I know him from Slide as well.

55. Saw Aaron Pedersen from City Homicide.

56. Felt more and more excited about watching The Code. So many actors from past shows I've watched. I almost feel like I'm going to be attending a reunion.

Well, I'm reuniting with the actors...not literally, of course.  My eyes and ears are reuniting with them. I'm not sure how many of the actors are reuniting with each other.