PDF Creation Station – hard code PDF link into theme

This post is for users of Kalin’s PDF Creation Station WordPress Plugin who want PDF files automatically generated for pages/posts, but want more control over the placement/appearance of the link or want better performance over the automatic link generation method.

First, get into your theme files. You can hit ‘Editor’ under ‘Appearance’ in your WordPress admin which will allow you to edit your theme files directly. I’ve had issues with this, however, with mysterious bugs creeping into my code. I recommend using FTP to get your theme files, making a backup, then editing and re-uploading them.

Find the file you want to add the link to, probably sidebar.php, header.php or footer.php, or something like that, then add this code:

<?php
if(is_single()){
     echo '<a href="http://my-domain/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/kalins-pdf-creation-station/kalins_pdf_create.php?singlepost=po_' .$post->ID .'">Download this post as PDF</a>';
}else{
     if(is_page()){
          echo '<a href="http://my-domain/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/kalins-pdf-creation-station/kalins_pdf_create.php?singlepost=pg_' .$post->ID .'">Download this page as PDF</a>';
     }
}
?>

Then replace ‘my-domain’ with your own domain. If you have a non-standard WordPress configuration you will need to look at the rest of the urls to make sure they match your directory structure.

This will add the link on any page or post, but show nothing on other pages.

If you are adding this to your single post or page templates, or inside “the loop” instead of into a footer, header or sidebar, you theoretically won’t need the check if it’s a page or post. Use this on the post template:

<?php
     echo '<a href="http://my-domain/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/kalins-pdf-creation-station/kalins_pdf_create.php?singlepost=po_' .$post->ID .'">Download this post as PDF</a>';
?>

And there’s only  a small change for use on the page template:

<?php
     echo '<a href="http://my-domain/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/kalins-pdf-creation-station/kalins_pdf_create.php?singlepost=pg_' .$post->ID .'">Download this post as PDF</a>';
?>

Now that you’ve hard-coded your link, you can optionally turn off the automatic link adding functionality in the plugin to get a slight performance increase. It won’t make a huge difference and you will need to re-do this every time I upgrade the plugin so it may or may not be worth your time.

FTP  into your plugins directory and find /kalins-pdf-creation-station/kalins-pdf-creation-station.php (or use the editor in your WordPress admin panel). Scroll to the very bottom of the file and find the line,

add_filter("the_content", "kalinsPDF_content_filter" );

Comment the line out so it looks like:

//add_filter("the_content", "kalinsPDF_content_filter" );

Commenting out this line will prevent the plugin from running any functions when a blog page is displayed to a user, minimizing the plugin’s server resource usage.

If you’re concerned about the performance of your admin panel you can then scroll up in the file (currently line 70, but this may change) to find and remove the following code (or something similar if something has changed since writing this post):

//--------------you may remove these three lines (comment them out) if you are using hard-coded PDF links in your theme. This will make your admin panels run slightly more efficiently.--------------
 add_action('save_post', 'kalinsPDF_save_postdata');
 add_meta_box( 'kalinsPDF_sectionid', __( "PDF Creation Station", 'kalinsPDF_textdomain' ), 'kalinsPDF_inner_custom_box', 'post', 'side' );
 add_meta_box( 'kalinsPDF_sectionid', __( "PDF Creation Station", 'kalinsPDF_textdomain' ), 'kalinsPDF_inner_custom_box', 'page', 'side' );
 //--------------------------------

If the code comments give you information that differs from what you read here, trust the code comments as they are more likely to be up-to-date.

God asked me to Write my Last Novel

So this is embarrassing to talk about as an atheist, which is why I’ve never mentioned this to anyone, but it’s true. In 2008, God spoke to me and gave me a character and plot outline for my third novel, Against A Rock. I know logically that it was just my mind playing tricks on me (or subconsciously guiding me), but in every emotional and spiritual way, it was real.

I won’t get into how I got into writing when I was 15, which is a whole other spiritual experience, or what was going through my mind when I wrote my first novel. Suffice it to say that writing, especially fiction writing, is a deeply spiritual experience for me, even if I don’t believe in physical spirits. I’ve had a lot of different experiences in life, but nothing I’ve found can compare with writing a novel and living in that alternate world for months at a time… assuming, of course, you can find “the zone”, that passion and connection with those “fictional” characters, you know logically exist only as bits of text on your hard drive, but deep down inside you know are as real as you and me.

But in 2003, I became enthralled with programming Flash ActionScript, and web development in general, and couldn’t get enough code in my life. It was like a giant puzzle, but a puzzle I could build myself, a piece of functional art. It couldn’t quite rival fiction writing in emotional intensity, but what programming had was consistency. I could almost rely on writing code to sort of carry my mind away and relax me, and bring me that thrill and sense of magic (with a few simple conditions about the organization and purpose behind the code. I couldn’t get excited about pointless code, but other than that, as they say at WordPress.org, code is poetry). Fiction writing can bring me the same spiritual benefits with much greater intensity, but it’s hit or miss depending on how much I care about the characters or the theme of the story.

So… anyway, I sort of quit writing for almost five years, with the exception of a story called In The Name of Justice, which came to me in a dream in 2006, all fully plotted, with characters fully developed and everything.

Shortly after this dream/story I started thinking that I had built up enough of a career as a programmer that my job was mostly safe, so I didn’t need to spend all my free time programming, so I figured I should start writing again.

I had also been introduced to a game called EVE Online, a big spaceship online role playing game. In this game, I was what’s known as an Amarrian, a member of a highly religiously devoted society. I came up with a short story idea that would serve as a back-story for my game character, where a turret commander named Floreina had grown up under the Amarrian religion, but recently had started rejecting religion and even sometimes God. However, she had to keep it secret for there’s even more fundamentalists in Amarrian society than there is in modern religious society. She then has some token experiences that show that her captain is the bad guy and she goes on a secret mutiny. In the end, she succeeds and becomes my character in the game, (which explained why she had actually been doing missions for the enemy of the Amarrian Empire), and she finally comes to accept that her religion was lies, that it’s not necessary to believe in God, and from that freedom she feels the relief and independence, self-confidence, blah blah blah…

But somehow I couldn’t make the story work. I wrote almost 20,000 words, which is half of a short novel, and I just couldn’t believe in the characters like I did back when I wrote my first two novels from 1999-2002.

So I put the story away. I moved to Seattle and started working for a company that was building a DVD ordering system. My job was to build a functional demo of the entire application so that prospective clients could play with the system before it was actually built. One thing they could do was browse through a set of DVD images. They gave me a set of about 15 DVD images to put in as the graphics, so every day for a couple months I would look at these same fifteen movie covers, making them slide in and out and animate based on user input. Movies such as 3:10 to Yuma, Crash, and the one that caught my eye: Resident Evil 3, with the gorgeous Mila Jovovich and her confident strut, and the machine pistols she held in each hand.

This got me back into the idea of my mutiny story, and I kept telling myself to get back to it, just force your way through it. Sure the plot is just kinda atheist propaganda, but maybe you can turn it into something good. You can go back through and tone it down a bit. Maybe you can turn it into a simple action story, and if it gets too preachy, just cut out the preachy and make it all about the action and the mutiny.

I sat down a few times to write, but I still just couldn’t find that passion.

Then one day I was riding the bus home from work, just trying to force myself to brainstorm as hard as I could about the story. Normally the buses are packed, but today it was nearly empty. I sat by myself near the back, listening to Tool’s Vicarious, and suddenly, like magic, I stopped being an atheist. An overwhelming presence seemed to come down from everywhere and consumed me. My mind cringed, and I couldn’t open my eyes against this strange brightness that somehow wasn’t there. Then suddenly I saw my story, but one that was so twisted as to be nearly unrecognizable as the original story. And this commanding voice told me, or essentially ordered me to do a complete overhaul on Floreina. It was not in words, per say, but it was a linear series of concepts and thoughts that loosely translate to the following: “She will be an absolute believer. She will not be an atheist. In fact, she will hate people like you, and she will never question that belief, and you will use your writing to do everything you can to justify her hatred and help people understand her. You will embrace her religion with everything you have… and you will embrace her hatred. Don’t think about promoting atheism. Instead, embrace the opposite. Allow me to guide every keystroke in this novel. Listen to my voice. Embrace the violence; embrace the hatred…”

And I heard the lines in the song,

“Cause I need to watch things die…from a distance
Vicariously I live while the whole world dies
You all need it too, don’t lie”

blasting in my ears as God spoke to me. “Because I love violence, Kalin.” God told me. “I’m no different than any other author of a fictional universe. I want drama in my realm. I want action and screaming and crying and passion. That’s why I want you to commit such horrible, unspeakable violence through this novel. Naturally, I want this violence contained only to the realm of fiction. When you’re in the physical world, making real world decisions, you continue being an atheist, you continue logically recognizing that I am simply a trick of your mind, but when you’re in front of the computer, your fingers running over the keyboard, creating whole other worlds, and you’re lost in that alternate reality, I want you to give yourself over to me, and let me guide you. If you do this, I promise, this novel will be the best you’ve ever written and you will turn a new leaf as a writer.”

Shortly after arriving home, I sat down to start writing and was amazed at how quickly the magic arrived, and I became a believer. It took me six months to write Against A Rock. It was all I thought about for that time. My daily emotions revolved around the story. Things that happened in real life became irrelevant. The only thing that mattered was the story, but it never seemed to require work. It came like magic, the words flowing one after another.

Then one day I read some random story about police brutality and became distracted with thoughts of my anarchism for a few days. Then, as I was driving to Costco one day, I received the same kind of message from above, though this one much more mild, probably because I was driving. Something told me, or actually ordered me to write an article called 12 Reasons Why Criminal Justice is Counter-Productive to Peace On Earth, inspired by my article, 22 Ways Religion Promotes Crime, which I had written a few years earlier but never showed anyone. I went home and started writing, and rapidly surpassed the goal of 12. I got up to about 20 reasons, and found my mind cleansed and was able to get back into writing Against A Rock. Over the next couple weeks, I added to that article, and finally ended on the title, 35 Reasons Why Criminal Justice is Counter-Productive to Peace on Earth. I now consider this to be the most important thing I’ve ever written, and I’m waiting for just the right time to release it. It’s been over two years and I’ve returned to reexamine it a number of times, so it’s getting close.

Within two weeks of writing the 35th point in this list, my childhood friend, Isaac Zamora, whose family introduced me to Christianity and God, went on a killing spree. “I kill for God. I listen to God.” Isaac said at his hearing.

At this point in my novel-writing, Floreina was floating in space, her suit running out of oxygen, alone with her thoughts, and she starts thinking about the horrible murders she’s just committed.

After Isaac’s murders I almost completely lost the passion for the religiously-motivated murders in my story. Everything I was writing just seemed sick and disturbed, and that connection with God was nearly gone. The parallels between Floreina, Isaac and myself were simply terrifying. For almost a month I couldn’t write more than a few paragraphs.

Then something changed. My sorrow for the victims was replaced with anger at the religion that had done this to them, that does this to countless people all over the world. I consciously channeled that anger into Floreina and pressed on, and somehow, that passion for violence came back, and that feeling of being touched and guided by God rapidly returned. He went back to guiding my keystrokes and I lost myself in the story, but as I finished off the last twenty percent of the novel, pushing the violence and intensity up another few notches, I kept seeing myself as a kid, living next door to Isaac for so many years, and receiving similar subconscious tricks of the mind, voices, telling me to go over there and try to show them a different way of thinking. And from deep in the back of my mind, as I typed out the last of my story, I could hear God telling me that I could have saved those people. Isaac had been so open-minded, peaceful, caring and ready to listen when we were kids, and I felt this was a lesson. It’s wrong for me to worry about offending the religious.

So yes, I have had a few profound experiences with God (this is only one example). Recognizing it as being a trick of the mind does absolutely nothing to reduce the emotional, intellectual and spiritual power of the experience. God can do some amazing things, bringing confidence and inner peace, but only when He is recognized consciously as fiction or an abstract concept. When God is applied as though he actually exists in the real world, we don’t get wild fantasy sci-fi novels, we get people like Isaac Zamora.

I posted my WordPress Plugin

Keeping my fingers crossed that this is gonna work and people are gonna find this useful. I just posted Kalin’s PDF Creation Station to the WordPress.org directory. For some reason it doesn’t show up in the general terms search and I’m not sure why. Hopefully the data just needs some time to populate to whatever is running their searches. However, it does show up in the list of brand new plugins and is available for official download from WordPress and the stats say that 19 people have downloaded it.

Hopefully I didn’t just crash 19 websites :)

No, I’m just kidding. I actually think this plugin is probably safer than most other WordPress plugins, considering what I’ve been seeing lately as I delve into the code of various other plugins. I see PHP errors being thrown left and right, even in some of the most popular, highly rated plugins, to the point where turning error reporting on is not even an option in development unless I strip out most of the other plugins from my local WordPress installation. I see tons of old plugin garbage in my database and from what I’ve read from plugin reviewers, it’s rare for developers to implement security nonces in their ajax calls, and some don’t even give unique prefixes to their function names. For Creation Station I took time to make sure that I followed all the WordPress recommended coding procedures (with the exception of the whole translation system, but I can always add that in later if someone starts yelling at me in another language) including nonces (making sure I used them properly), function prefixes, deactivation procedure, only loading assets like jquery or CSS on the appropriate admin pages, loading assets in footer instead of header, using only two database entries for a multitude of configuration options and whatever other proper procedures I can’t think of at the moment.

Anyway, I’m excited that I’m contributing something physical and functional to the open-source community.

Code is poetry.

EVE Online Backstory Races and Factions FAQ

This is for role players or fan fiction writers of EVE Online. I’m just reposting some links from my old game community wiki EVEFiction.com, which is going offline in December 2010. Here’s  a related blog post about my failed site, EVEFiction.com. And here’s a post where I listed the general EVE Online Backstory FAQ. Bear in mind that these lists have not been updated in the last year or two.

Questions on the Achura:
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=903910

Info on the Achura:
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=862890

Amarr PF compilation:
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=534154

Religions of the races:
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=877434
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=495585

origins of the races:
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=872813

Why are caldari and Minmatar at war?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=861445

The 4 dead civilizations, the Yan Jung, Sleepers, Talocan and Taklheim (sp)… what were they?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=869388

Angels, Thukkers and Elders:
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=834977

Jovian timeline?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=838638

Talocan, Yan Jung, Sleeper, Enheduanni, Jove?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=850591

Tash-Murkon family relations:
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=847073

Are all Amarrians evil?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=828810

Marriage and relationships in Amarrian culture
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=813056

Are Jovian ships organic?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=922099

Languages of the races:
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=817938

Difference between Minmatar Nation and Minmatar Republic:
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=817419

Jovian war with Enheduanni:
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=772775

Jamyl Sarum’s relationship with the Enheduanni
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=810198

Does Sarum becoming empress mean the death of the heirs?

http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=809914

Which family was Heideran VII from?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=797447

how many times have the ritual suicides on selecting a new Emperor actually happened?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=797447

Do Starkmanir (Minmatar) still survive?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=789542

Caldari city names:
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=784927

Enheduanni, Yan Jung, Takmahl, Talocan, Sleeper race’s same race?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=734344

Enheduanni:
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=365822

How different are the races genetically? Is inter-breeding possible?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=761274

Amarrian scripture info:
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=767990

Why are Amarr and Blood Raiders at odds?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=757188

Amarria – Arab comparison:
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=645558

Does anyone want peace?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=730277

Vherokior history
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=658286

Stories on Minmatar rebellion:
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=630399

Amarr history links:
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=524068

Amarrian military names:
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=574003

Info on Intaki Race

http://www.eveonline.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=125091

EVE Online backstory FAQ

This is for role players or fan fiction writers of EVE Online. I’m just reposting some links from my old game community wiki EVEFiction.com, which is going offline in December 2010. Here’s  a related blog post about my failed site, EVEFiction.com. And here’s a post where I listed some of the races and factions information. Bear in mind that these lists have not been updated in the last year or two.

How many crew onboard a ship?

Yes, ships most definitely have crew. This is the single most repeated question of EVE backstory, and it’s one of the most obvious to answer.
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=911750
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=450564
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=756385
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=731188
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=645482
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=615004

http://www.eveonline.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=979591

What is the value of ISK?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=681718
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=510047

Are there neural scanners in helmets or other places except a Pod, or can capsuleers die for real if not in a pod?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=931599
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=909924
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=771537
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=757738
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=370137

Physical ship sizes:
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=802917
http://www.dissonance-corp.com/shipblueprints.php
http://go-dl3.eve-files.com/media/corp/SFC/EVE-ships.jpg
http://www.killtenrats.com/images/eve_chart-4096.jpg

How does the year and date system work?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=874541
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=743845
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=740030

Q: What is the state of Artificial Intelligence technology in New Eden?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=839509
Q: What really happens when a system changes occupancy? (Factional Warfare)
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=842988
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=820010

Q: Does CONCORD use pods to pilot their ships?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=850604

Binary star systems?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=850119
Q: What are the station and planetside cultures like?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=892971

atmospheric flight:
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=464578

How do blueprints and invention work?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=673550

On terraforming planets:
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=695113

How does clone jumping work?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=645038

How do we get in and out of pods?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=699489

Do clones have belly buttons?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=762768

Camera drones:
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=763514

Can ships shoot at planets and how much damage would they do?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=741822

How do mining lasers work?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=765889
http://www.eve-online.com/background/potw/dec02.asp

Crew survival at high speeds:
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=765586

How does artificial gravity work?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=769529
Are there any cities covering an entire planet?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=769554

Who runs the stargates?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=771000

Is the spirit or soul of a capsuleer transferred to the clone upon death?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=782300

do all ships have pods?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=785470

What present day stuff survives in New Eden?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=715240
How much Knowledge of old Earth do we have in New Eden?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=810435

What is the purpose behind the capsuleers?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=829596
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=819791

What’s an MTAC?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=793577

Why are the stations of different races scattered, like Amarrian station in Minmatar space?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=840346
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=783419

any soft drink competitors other than Quafe?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=891866

Are pod pilots naked inside the pod?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=878316

Years and dates before EVE Standard Time:
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=756841

is there such a thing as a Kamikaze ship?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=823805

What’s an acceleration gate and what is the significance in the backstory?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=914049

Can a pilot utilize a clone not from their own DNA?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=911229

Can pod pilots exit their pod and go down to a planet?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=826679

How does skill training work?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=929169
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=862781

What are the types, Legalities of, and other issues with small arms or personal weaponry when in station or planetside?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=896928
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=566054

How do energy neutralizers work?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=804465

How does projectile ammo function?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=865992

Where are all these pirates coming from?
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=784705

Does a warp to a planet take the same amount of time in-game as it does in our stories, or is the warp time in-game representative of a longer period?
Most stories seem to show all things as being equal.
http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=775937

Why did the Jovians give the other races capsule technology?
http://www.eveonline.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=993972
is hijacking ships possible?
are stargates manned?
why do afterburner’s have mass addition

The Death of EVEFiction.com

A couple years ago I started EVEFiction.com Wiki as a place for EVE Online fan fiction writers to show off and have a community. I was working for WetPaint at the time, the company that runs the wiki system powering the site (if you see the five interactive Flash site-highlight widgets on the right of the homepage, I built all of those). Unfortunately the site didn’t get too popular and I didn’t have the time or energy necessary to run a game community like that, so now it’s come time for the domain name to run out and I don’t think it’s worth it to keep a site up that nobody is using or maintaining. It’s kinda sad. I thought this was such a good idea at the time.

EveFictin.com banner
This is about the extent of my PhotoShop abilities :(

Now I don’t even really play EVE anymore, and I think I’m going to quit the game altogether once I post my next few fiction works.

I have Compensating For A Small Penis, about two foul-mouthed lieutenants who must fight for their lives after finding a spy. There’s I Killed Him Daddy, about a 12 year old girl who kills a cop with a cattle-prod to protect her alcoholic father’s illegal hobby. Then there’s The Atrocity Planners about a couple children who must try to escape a CONCORD police raid of their home. (Hopefully this last one will get published in EON Magazine, but I’ve been waiting for months for the editor to get back to me about it. In that case, it won’t be available online.) I also have a long, detailed outline for the two sequels of Against A Rock, which are probably not going to ever get written, at least not in their current form. Then I have a couple short sample paragraphs from a novel idea I’m playing around with.

All those things are currently finished, but I just need to get the final edits done and get a little feedback from friends before finally posting them one-by-one.

(Once I finish these stories, I’m planning on taking my fiction writing in a more peaceful, positive direction.)

Then I think I’m going to start giving away all my game assets. (My character is relatively wealthy.) In fact, I’ll give 300 million ISK to the first EVE player who posts in the EVE Online forums with a link somewhere to KalinBooks.com (like to Against A Rock). Respond in the comments here with a link to your forum post to redeem your prize.

Oh, yeah, so I was also thinking I’d copy over some of the information from EVEFiction.com into blog posts so it’s not lost forever, even if it is a little out-of-date and will probably get buried under my other blog posts.

Churches don’t Preach Faith in God

I’ve thought for a long time that the majority of churches and preachers don’t truly support people having faith in God. Instead they’re looking for people who put a smile on their faces and say that they have faith.

To me, having true faith in God means something like my friend Josh, I remember from long ago who jumped off a bridge because Jesus asked him to prove his faith. No doubt the vast majority of religious leaders, however, would have tried to talk him out of it, saying that it couldn’t actually be God talking to him.

When a religious person needs to cross a road, they do not close their eyes and pray. Instead, they conduct a simple scientific experiment by looking both ways.

Religious individuals may use faith to decide on political issues that don’t directly affect them such as abortion or gay rights, but otherwise, in their day to day lives, the vast majority of religious people use science and logic far more than they use faith to make their decisions.

So what I believe many religious leaders mean by ‘faith’ is not really the idea that you should trust that God has a physical manifestation in your day-to-day life, or even in your life at all, but instead they’re promoting the idea that you should have faith that ‘it will all work out in the end’ and that ultimately there’s a purpose to all this. Ultimately, they’re simply asking us to not be sad, stressed or angry, and remember that we deserve to feel loved. However, this is contradictory to many religious texts that depict agents of God directly interacting with humans and affecting the outcome of events. It’s easy for a person to become confused and hear all those messages about the importance of faith and believe they mean the kind of faith my friend Josh had.

One main problem is that many religious folks don’t realize just how deep some people’s faith really lies, because people so rarely discuss the nitty-gritty process of individual decision-making processes. For example, like I said, most religious individuals when buying a car will test drive and read consumer reports and make an informed, reasonably logic-based decision, but there is that two or three percent who will go to the dealership and buy whatever car happens to speak to them because they believe God will put them in the right vehicle. This is not healthy and I believe religious leaders should be doing more to clarify the differences in types of faith, and reminding people that just because they have faith, doesn’t mean that logic doesn’t have a place in their lives.

Crime is not Logical

For this post, again, the word ‘crime’ is loosely defined to include obvious crimes, and does not include things like marijuana, j-walking or software piracy.

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Someone pointed out about my recent article, 22 Ways Religion Promotes Crime, that I am making an unfair assumption that crime doesn’t pay, therefore assuming that crime is not logical and that logical-minded individuals are less likely to commit it. I’d like to take this opportunity to present my evidence that, with a few exceptions, crimes like murder, rape, burglary and assault, are not logical and are rarely the actions of a logically thinking individual.

First, the vast majority of the population from the western world to African tribes agrees that rape, murder, assault and burglary (or similar forms of personal-property violations depending on their culture) are morally wrong. All these different people from wildly different cultures all came to the same conclusions. This indicates either that non-violence is inherently logical, or that we have a genetic predisposition to viewing these things as immoral. Personally I believe it’s a little of both. Even rapists and murderers tend to agree that rape and murder is morally wrong, as they most likely formed their moral beliefs while thinking logically, but committed their crimes while following their passion, or what some might call ‘faith’.

Some might argue that crime really does pay. Perhaps in some cases, white collar crime does pay, but for the majority of crimes for which people are sent to prison, no they certainly do not pay. I did a blog post a few months ago on a video about crack capitalism that presented some statistics showing that not only do crack dealers on average make less than minimum wage, they also have a shorter life expectancy than people on death row. Considering the sacrifices they’re making, I wouldn’t say it’s paying off for them. The profit/danger ratio is probably a little better for a car thief or something, but it’s still not nearly as good as someone working in an office or even someone working the McDonald’s drive-through. People may be caught up in the fantasy of becoming a rich gangster, but I think the more someone is devoted to logic, the more likely they are to see that they have a significantly better chance at becoming rich and successful in the legitimate world than they do at becoming a rich, successful criminal.

And that’s just talking about the logical profit-danger ratio. The true fighter of crime in our society is guilt. Guilt may be an emotion, but if we look at it logically, we know that we either can’t escape it or we’ll spend precious mental energy trying to escape it. Either way, a life of crime is not going to pay off in an emotionally and spiritually satisfying life.

Then there’s the social aspect of being a criminal. If you look at it logically, being a criminal will not get you as much respect in society, will add stresses between friends and family, unwanted drama, etc.

So if our ultimate goal is happiness and a fulfilling life, crime just does not pay on a purely logical basis.



Here are a few more blog posts about my theory that religion promotes crime:

New study raises questions about religion as deterrent against criminal behaviour
Religion vs Methamphetamines
Masturbation, Homosexuality, and Christian Impostors
Atheists Don't Believe in Love?
Religious Criminals are Liars?
Response to 22 Ways
Even More Atheist-Theist Debate
More Atheist-Theist Debate
Jeffrey Dahmer Interview Segment
About My Page, 22 Ways

About My Page, 22 Ways

The other day I posted a new page under Atheism called 22 Ways Religion Promotes Crime and wanted to address a couple things that people have been saying about it. Admittedly, the article suffers from a little vagueness on a few points.

First, the terms ‘crime’ and ‘religion’ are loosely defined. For the purposes of this article I consider religion to be a set of religious-style supernatural beliefs, usually stemming directly or indirectly from a religion taught to the person as a child. This doesn’t necessarily involve actually going to church and ‘practicing’ a particular publicly recognized religion. In this case,  I’m attacking belief in the supernatural, not the act of going to church or loving God. Some might argue that the statistics at the top of the article are not valid because they don’t represent the percentage of criminals who are actually practicing religion. I don’t believe the practicing of the religion is really the problem. It’s the actual core supernatural beliefs that cause issues, which people learn as children. Many people practice their religion but don’t truly believe, and others truly believe but don’t really practice. In many ways I think  the believers who don’t practice are the ones who are the most dangerous because they don’t have that church support group. What’s important are the values and decision-making structure that’s placed on people as children and how easily those concepts can be warped into something that promotes crime and violence. Even people who never went to church and were raised by atheists (such as myself) can be deeply influenced by religion. Too often people forget this when defending religion. I remember I came up with most of the concepts in that article when I was a kid, between the ages of about six and twelve as I was trying to decide if I wanted to be a believer and was exploring what thoughts of God, heaven and hell were doing in my mind. I believe that I have been personally influenced by all 22 points that I listed, though I will admit, some of them were pretty subtle.

Also, the term ‘crime’ is not clearly defined. For this article, I’m saying that a crime is anything that 98% of the world’s population would agree is morally wrong, such as rape, murder, mugging, or burglary. I know this kind of distorts the prison statistics at the top because some of the people in prison are in there for things that are arguably not crimes, like marijuana distribution or even software piracy, both of which are things I think atheists might actually be more likely of doing over theists. However, the prisons are so overwhelmingly filled with people of a religious background that it doesn’t matter how much marijuana crimes throw off the figures. Even if every atheist in prison were a violent murderer, they would still be hopelessly outnumbered by God-believing murderers.

Finally, a couple people have mentioned that many of my points are ‘weak’. To this I must completely agree. However, I prefer to use the term ‘subtle’. I’m not trying to say that there’s a direct and absolute cause and affect relationship between religion and crime, or that these points can instantly turn someone into a criminal. I’m simply theorizing that these points have a broad, very subtle effect, that ever-so-slightly increases the chances of a person with religious training becoming a criminal. However, that very small chance, when spread over the entire population, does a great deal of damage.

One last point I’d like to slip in somehow is the hypothetical situation of taking religious training and replacing it with violent video games. If 99% of prison inmates had played violent video games as children, wouldn’t we be justified, at the absolute least, in writing a few articles attacking the gaming industry?

 



Here are a few more blog posts about my theory that religion promotes crime:

New study raises questions about religion as deterrent against criminal behaviour
Religion vs Methamphetamines
Masturbation, Homosexuality, and Christian Impostors
Atheists Don't Believe in Love?
Religious Criminals are Liars?
Response to 22 Ways
Even More Atheist-Theist Debate
More Atheist-Theist Debate
Jeffrey Dahmer Interview Segment
Crime is not Logical