Thursday, February 10, 2011

iPhone religion

iPhone is successful for a reason. Its hardware and software are not the best in the world. There are many competitors who claim that they are superior to iPhone in their special way, and they are quite true. But iPhone's success is the smoothness of its operation and more importantly its interface with the users. It opens its app store to programmers and there are now tens of thousands of apps to choose from to increase the usage of iPhone.

I just installed two new apps which turn the iPhone into a religious device. One is the Wong Tai Sin Oracle. It contains the text and explanation of all the oracles. More mystically, it has a oracle praying device for you to get an oracle after sincere prayer. Its motto is "What you request is what you get." It seems Wong Tai Sin has graced the iPhone and there is no more need to join the large crowd on Chinese New Year Day. With a personal Wong Tai Sin sitting cosily with you, the wish may come true more easily.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_Uw_6TaqWL5o/TVNSJWvYBiI/AAAAAAAAAog/WTwr2McmyC4/ihponereligion1.jpg   https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_Uw_6TaqWL5o/TVNSJvROkVI/AAAAAAAAAok/cXI0jEcAQMM/ihponereligion2.jpg

The other one is the iConfession which has recently been approved by the Pope. This news is widely reported by world media. You may read this report from BBC. Comments are not all favourable, especially from the Christian quarter.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_Uw_6TaqWL5o/TVNSJrFAleI/AAAAAAAAAoo/QCiHyUewGR0/ihponereligion3.jpgPray and confess to your iPhone. If you are not sure you are sinned, there is a form for you to fill in. Just tick the boxes to be sure. If you are even unsure what sins are, there is a setting for you to customize your conscience. The setting of the examination of conscience depends on your age, sex, marital status and your vocation. I have never heard of such classification of conscience before. Perhaps the sins committed by male and female are different, and married persons are more sinful than singleton.

There is also a setting for you to add sins to the standard conscience. Just think about anything as a sin, and you can add it to your own confession list. Now comes the interesting part, there are seven kinds of contrition for you to choose from. You can choose how to punish yourself. Some may choose to say the Rosary; but some may just choose to skip McDonald once.

Both Wong Tai Sin Oracle and iConfession have taken religion, superstition and worship to a modern level. Modern technology and ancient religions do match on such occasions. Comparing the two, the superstitious mind may still have a point with Wong Tai Sin Oracle. Besides the database of oracles and their dubious explanations, there is still a random factor in praying for an oracle. It uses the random mechanism of a computer programme to generate an oracle number. The very faithful may think of Wong Tai Sin really residing in the iPhone and performing his miracle upon sincere prayer. The iConfession is a case in the opposite. It is artificial intelligence formulating output according to input. The logic and the table of truth in use may actually be set by the users themselves. One can really make sure that he gets what he prays beforehand.

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