10 January 2012

The religion of "kopimism"

A new religion has been recognized. This is the religion of "kopimism". They claim that copying and pasting is a religious act. I'm not joking. Sweden's Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency (Kammarkollegiet) has recognized the above thing as a religion. Here is an article from The Local.

Now, rationally speaking, the definition of a religion is rather weak. Islam is a religion only because it has been around for some 1400 years and has many followers. However, rationally speaking again, I would expect the state to get rid of religions rather than recognizing them.

I still haven't figured out Swedes' attitude to religion. On one hand, Sweden is supposed to be one of the least religious places on the planet. On the other hand, however, I think that a lot of Swedes behave as if they were religious. I have encountered more resistance towards inquiry in this country than in many others. In my experience, people tend to accept things as are, rather than critically thinking of why or why not things are the way they are. Another piece of evidence which could justify my statement about the Swedes' "religiosity" is their conservatism and resistance to change. At a more pedestrian level, many social gatherings in Sweden resemble a Church supper but without the religious aspect.

As for veritable religions around, I have commented in the past about the pentecostal loonies who, apparently, have one of the largest churches around. (Disclaimer: "Loonie" is someone who does this.)

end this note, I still don't understand the reason behind the church of kopimism. But is there any reason for any religion?


  1. What do you mean "get rid of religions"?

    Also what do you mean Islam is only a religion because it's old -- is the the religion/sect distinction?

    In terms of what the reason for this new religion is, I assumed it was a prank and bit of social commentary in the same way that the Flying Spaghetti Monster was also invented for this purpose. As in to show how silly it is to give religious exceptions because it's someone's religion.

  2. Again, I mean something analogous to what you corrected me on a few weeks ago with your link on atheism/untheism: that religion should be as irrelevant as an application for a patent for the discovery of the celestial teapot. More concretely, perhaps, I mean that no state should support a religion, at least financially. (See, e.g., my previous posting on the greek priest opposing the Athens mosque.) If "being recognized by the state" means that a religion enjoys some privileges (what, I don't know), then I mean that I don't think that any religion should enjoy any privileges.

    It doesn't seem to be a prank, from what I read with my very limited knowledge of Swedish. But then again, I may not understand the humour (or lack of it!) in Sweden.

  3. That is funny.
    (1) I did a post where I fumble with defining "religion" using a syndrome model which tries to allow for fuzziness and escape the illusion that "religion" is actually something we can discover.

    (2) When the government takes on roles it should not have (yeah, I know that is up for debate), the idiocy becomes apparent as in "defining" or "getting rid of" religion.
    Here is a little post on that.

  4. Sabio, thanks for the links. My use of the words "get rid of religions" was noticed by Michael who (being careful, as usual) required me to explain. As usual, I wrote in haste, without thinking too much what I meant by the phrase besides a (futile) desire to send them all to hell :-)

    By the way, by the term "religion" we should also include adherence to a secular albeit autocratic system, don't you think? See, e.g., North Korea.

  5. Yeah, I think your desire to include "adherence to a secular albeit autocratic system, " in my definition could possibly be captured if I added "a dictator or ruling group" under "Living People", under "Sources of Knowledge through Authorities".

  6. I see now, thanks for clarifying.
    On whether that religious group is a joke, I assume at the very least that it's an attempt to piggy-back off the idea of religious respect to try for the possibility of being allowed to file-share. Whether it's also a deliberate criticism of the whole thing it's not clear.

  7. Also what do you mean Islam is only a religion because it's old -- is the the religion/sect distinction?

    Here, I was, simply, trying to see what the State might have in mind when considering, e.g., Islam a religion but, say, Scientology not. Ask religious folk and they'll often use the fact that their religion has been around for millennia as a "justification" for it.



What measure theory is about

It's about counting, but when things get too large.
Put otherwise, it's about addition of positive numbers, but when these numbers are far too many.

The principle of dynamic programming

max_{x,y} [f(x) + g(x,y)] = max_x [f(x) + max_y g(x,y)]

The bottom line

Nuestras horas son minutos cuando esperamos saber y siglos cuando sabemos lo que se puede aprender.
(Our hours are minutes when we wait to learn and centuries when we know what is to be learnt.) --António Machado

Αγεωμέτρητος μηδείς εισίτω.
(Those who do not know geometry may not enter.) --Plato

Sapere Aude! Habe Muth, dich deines eigenen Verstandes zu bedienen!
(Dare to know! Have courage to use your own reason!) --Kant