Best of the Forum - 24th August 07

Due to personal circumstances, this week's Best of the Forum post is brought to you by guest writer and board moderator Madmouse.

Unauthorised Reincarnation Banned in Tibet (MadCarlotta)
China has banned Buddhists from reincarnating without permission, in an apparent attempt to have the next Dalai Lama chosen by the Chinese government.
From the news article:
"According to a statement issued by the State Administration for Religious Affairs, the law, which goes into effect next month and strictly stipulates the procedures by which one is to reincarnate, is “an important move to institutionalize management of reincarnation.”

This could lead to a situation where there are two Dalai Lamas, one recognised by millions of Buddhists around the world, and one by the Chinese government.
I don’t know how much of an effect this would have, but it would be a situation best avoided, if possible.

Skype Outage Caused By U.S. Government Spy Plan? (LaMa)
There’s been a lot of discussion in the forum about this conspiracy theory. says:
“Skype says the problem was triggered by a Microsoft patch, delivered by Windows Update, which caused an automatic reboot of many PCs. "The high number of restarts affected Skype's network resources. This caused a flood of log-in requests, which, combined with the lack of peer-to-peer network resources, prompted a chain reaction," says Skype's Villu Arak. According to Arak, the system would normally have recovered quickly, but on this occasion "a previously unseen bug" caused the network to fail.”
However, this news item suggests that the outage was in fact caused by the introduction of eavesdropping technology, made permissible by a newly-introduced law.

Online Game Used As Epidemic Scenario (Hulitoons)
Scientists have been studying players’ reactions to a disease in online game ‘World of Warcraft’. The researchers say that the information gathered about people’s varying reactions to a crisis like this could prove useful in the event of a genuine epidemic.
From the BBC article:
Researcher Professor Nina Fefferman, from Tufts University School of Medicine, said: “Human behaviour has a big impact on disease spread. And virtual worlds offer an excellent platform for studying human behaviour.The players seemed to really feel they were at risk and took the threat of infection seriously, even though it was only a game.”
Even if people might act somewhat differently in a game, I think that this is a reasonable (and safe) way of gathering data.

Rampant Rabbit In Stick-Up (Dave and Madmouse)
A man was jailed for five years for a robbery at a bookmakers in which he used the sex toy instead of a gun. The vibrator was hidden in a carrier bag, and seemed realistic enough that the shop staff handed over £600.
I do wonder what on earth made him think of using that rather than, say, a toy gun…

Conspiracy Theories Health/Medicine Law/Police/Crime Religion Sex/Romance Technology

Posted on Fri Aug 24, 2007


Are you sure the reincarnation regulating scheme isn't a hoax or a satire by somebody?

Surely the officially-atheistic Chinese government isn't saying that (a) Reincarnation happens and (b) It can control said reincarnation.
Posted by Big Gary  on  Fri Aug 24, 2007  at  05:50 PM
Big Gary, they hava apparently done so before. I found this story on the BBC's website.
Posted by Madmouse  in  Edinburgh  on  Fri Aug 24, 2007  at  06:33 PM
The reincarnation thing itself sounds a bit off, but PRC does have that problem. If you go to Beijing you'll see Tibetan Temples and such but the Dalai Lama is obviously a taboo topic.

At one point, I believe, they tried to set up a Roman Catholic Church without any type of connection to the Rome or the Vatican, which is pretty bizarre.
Posted by Caio  on  Fri Aug 24, 2007  at  06:47 PM
"...Dalai Lama, whose soul, by tradition, is reborn as a new human to continue the work of relieving suffering."

It seems the current and past Dalai Lamas have not done a very good job of this. The Dalai Lamas themselves don't seem to suffer much. Have you seen the 700 room palace he lived in? I guess the Buddha helps those who help themselves. Maybe it's time to try something different.

<i>"At 72, the Dalai Lama, who has lived in India since 1959, is beginning to plan his succession, saying that he refuses to be reborn in Tibet so long as it
Posted by Captain Al  in  Vancouver Island, Canada  on  Sat Aug 25, 2007  at  10:52 AM
"Two Dalai Lamas, no waiting."
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Mon Aug 27, 2007  at  03:18 AM
As far as I understand it, Dalai Lama has to die before his soul can be reborn. An unexpected death wouldn't make any difference, except some years off for childhood 😉 (if you accept that he IS reincarnated in the first place, naturally).
Posted by Mikkel Larsen  on  Mon Aug 27, 2007  at  11:07 AM
The news item implies the Dalai Lama "reincarnates" before he dies:
" beginning to plan his succession..."

If he didn't choose his successor, then a million people could claim to be the reincarnated Dalai Lama. How would we know who the "real" one is. Alas, like all religions of course, it's all about money, power and control. Oh, I forgot, gender inequality. I don't know much about Buddhism, but I'm willing to bet the Dalai Lama has to be male.
Posted by Captain Al  in  Vancouver Island, Canada  on  Mon Aug 27, 2007  at  11:43 AM
hello Dalai, this is the new Dalai, it's so nice to be back here where I belong SCCRRRREEEEECH. Ow, my airbag went off
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Mon Aug 27, 2007  at  12:12 PM
I wanna hear more about these personal circumstances mentioned at top. Hey, if they're so personal, why'd you mention them? It's too late, the cat's out of the bag. Personally, if you keep cats in bags, perhaps it should be left unmentioned. Cat Baggers
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Mon Aug 27, 2007  at  12:40 PM
Madmouse is finally carrying out her long-planned coup against the establishment. Soon she'll be running the entire site, and we'll be forced to accede to her bizarre mus musculus demands.

Expect more kitten-squashing videos in the near future.
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Mon Aug 27, 2007  at  01:13 PM
Posted by vHv  on  Sat May 10, 2008  at  01:14 AM
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