Organised religion: The mobilisation of faith

For many years, humans have lived with faith in God, a supernatural supreme being that is responsible for creation and in control of the whole universe.

This faith has been structured into religion in different places, resulting in organised religion. With a set of doctrines and rituals, a people of common faith and interpretation of God are gathered together under the label of religion.

Although, it is a good thing to have a structure and be more organised. But the advantages of organised religion seems buried by the disadvantages.

Can organised religion save humanity?

Faith and religion are two separate things as we know.

If you are a Christian or Muslim or Deist or an Olorisa (Yoruba Ifa worshipper), that is your faith. Faith is a trust or belief in something.

Organised religion was not here before. It is a structured system of faith and worship that appeared at a later part of human history.

It might have appeared out of a human effort to use faith to manipulate large groups of people easily.

Several events in the past and present have shown that by manipulating faith people can easily be made to do irrational and inhumane things.

Many of the world’s religion have been twisted and made into weapons of hate, politics and slavery.

People have used religion as an excuse to oppress women and children, homosexuals and slaves, even races.

Organised religion has been the reason for many failed marriages, pregnancy abortions, and disbelief in climate change.

All sorts of things are going on, all in the name of religion. People vote based on religion, even against their own interest. We have seen this happen a lot of times in Nigeria, for example, where election candidates are often nominated by political parties based on factors like ethnicity and religion.

God’s organisation is the ultimate

Without organised religion, humans may be better off than they are today. Faith in God alone does not subject people to manipulation by mass doctrines and rituals. Only organised religion does that.

Organised religion seems like a human effort to alter God’s natural organisation of spirituality, in which all men are connected by spiritual forces to each other and the rest of the universe.

And it appears that nothing can effectively replace the natural order that God has put in place as regards spirituality, without causing chaos.

If organised religion did not exist, there will be less divisions and discriminations along lines that naturally do not divide and constrain humans, like lifestyle, marriage rites, clothing, interpersonal relationships, and business. People could have been able to live their lives mainly based on natural intuition and limitations, not ones made, induced or imposed by man.

The earlier people realise how organised religion is harming humanity, the sooner humanity can be saved.

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Three benefits of online shopping

E-commerce, also known as online shopping, has become an innovative way for people to buy products (or services) and get it delivered to their doorstep with minimal cost and stress.

Nowadays, more people are staying indoor, inside their home or office, and ordering for the goods they need online.

With the use of a smartphone or laptop, you can easily connect to the internet and order for goods to be delivered to your doorstep, thereby reducing stress, time and energy.

You can order for virtually any thing online, it could be electronic gadgets, wears, smartphones, laptops, cars, etc.

There are a lot of benefits in online shopping. Here is a list of some of these benefits:

Doorstep delivery: The main reason why most people shop online is that they cannot afford to go to the market either because of their schedule or work.

Sometimes it may be difficult to get to the nearest market or return all the time because you forgot to buy something you need. By ordering goods online, you will save yourself from revisiting the market always and your goods will be delivered to your doorstep at anytime convenient for you.

Prudence:  With only a few clicks and inputting what you need in the search engine on an ecommerce website, you can find items quickly. This saves you the time and energy that would have been spent navigating around the whole shop just to look for what to buy.

You can do that by typing in the name or brand of a product that you want and the website will show you the available products matching your input. You may also be able to filter your search based on price and some other factors.

Productivity: We already know that shopping for goods online saves time and energy. You save the time and energy you are going to use up either by trekking or driving to the physical shop.

These time and energy can be channelled to more profitable things, thereby leading to more productivity for you.

You should see now that there are a lot more benefits to enjoy in shopping for your goods online than going to the market physically.

Do you know other benefits apart from the ones listed in this post? Share them with us in the comment section.

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Most widely used programming languages

Wikipedia defines programming as ‘a process that leads from an original formulation of a computing problem to executable computer programs. Programming involves activities such as analysis, developing understanding, generating algorithms, verification of requirements of algorithms including their correctness and resources consumption, and implementation (commonly referred to as coding) of algorithms in a target programming language.

When you want to start learning how to program, you may be confused and you may end up asking yourself, ‘what types of programming languages do I need to learn? Which programming language is most widely used? What are the trendiest programming languages?’.

The most popular languages used are: JavaScript, Python, Java, Swift, C++, C#, Ruby, Perl, Objective-C, PHP and so on.

There are different types of programming languages available. You choose the most suitable one based on the purpose and type of application you want to develop.

If you are passionate about web development, you have to learn programming languages such as PHP, ASP, for server side programming and JavaScript, HTML, CSS, for client-side programming.

If you are passionate about mobile application development such as developing apps for smartphones, you have to learn programming languages such as Swift, Java, Kotlin.

Whereas if you want to develop desktop applications you will need to learn programming languages such as Java, C++, C# and so on.

Here, I will highlight the trendiest programming languages generally used for mobile application, desktop application and web application development:

JavaScript: JavaScript has been around since 1995. Though it is not the oldest language on the list but it is the most widely used nowadays. This language is used in web application development, because of this it is also called ‘language of the web’.

JavaScript is a high level programming language which is supported by all modern browsers. According to Fossbytes, the language usage grew by 97 percent in 2016.

Java: Java is another high level programming language. It is also an object oriented programming (OOP) language. It is used for server-side applications, to create mobile applications.

Java is one of the oldest programming languages available. It is also used in developing Android applications for Android smartphones. According to Fossbytes, use of Java grew by 63 percent in 2016.

Python: Python is a general purpose programming language. It emphasizes code readability and increasing developer productivity.

Python is widely used for desktop apps, web apps and data mining. It is accompanied with a lot of frameworks which make development easy.

Python is even recommended as the first programming language to learn for beginners.

PHP: PHP (also known as Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely used open source general purpose programming language. It is mainly used for server-side scripting and web application development.

PHP is known to power more than 200 million websites including WordPress (a popular content management system).

C++: C++ was designed to enhance the C language. It is an intermediate level language with object oriented programming features.

C++ is the programming language used to develop softwares like Firefox, Winamp and Adobe. It is mostly used to develop system softwares, application softwares, high-performance server and client applications and video games.

C#: C# (pronounced ‘C-sharp’) combines principles from C and C++. It is a multi-paradigm language developed by Microsoft as part of its .NET initiative.

C# is a general purpose language used to develop software for Microsoft and Windows platforms.

C:
C is about the oldest programming language. It is a general purpose, imperative programming language developed in the early ’70s. It is also the most widely used language on this list.

It serves as the building block for other popular programming languages, such as C#, Java, JavaScript and Python.

C is mostly used for implementing operating systems and embedded applications.

Is there any other programming language you think should be on this list? Kindly share it in the comment box below.



NTANTA Delicacies to vend Igbo delicacies at Food and Culture Festival 2017

This coming Sunday, September 24, 2017, at the Food and Culture Festival 2017 by ‘Rewa Hutt, series of Nigerian food vendors will be exhibiting and offering various types of Nigerian dishes.

NTANTA Delicacies, an original Igbo delicacy brand, will be one of the vendors to watch out for.

This brand, owned by Nigerian food chef and entrepreneur Ngozi Obasa, is driven by original Igbo traditional recipes of 1970s.

It serves delicacies like nkwobi, isi ewu, goat meat, among others.

Entry to the event is free. The venue is Bics Garden, B20 Wole Olateju Crescent, Off Admiralty Way, Lekki Phase I, Lagos.

‘Rewa Hutt says this event is an opportunity to discover and taste food from over 50 ethnic groups in Nigeria.

Other attractions at the event include music, food competition, cultural games (ayo, ludo, etc.), dance performance from over 3 ethnic groups, talking drummers, craft market, friendly masquerades, etc.

Follow NTANTA Delicacies on Instagram for event updates and support. Click here to follow.



How to become a good programmer

A programmer (developer, coder) can be described as someone who writes computer instructions to solve a particular problem.

Learning how to become a programmer is not an easy task but its a possible one. Programming is not just about writing the code to solve a given problem, but knowing what to do and how to do it with a simpler approach. This will make you a good programmer.

There are few tips to follow when you are learning how to code computer instructions. These tips would also be useful for those who are already experts in this career. Here they are:

Learn and master the basics: If the foundation on which a house is built is not well laid, sooner or later the house will soon collapse because its not well grounded in the soil. The first approach in learning how to program and becoming a good programmer is to first understand the data types, variable declarations, conditional statements, control statements, method/function.

Think and practice: Programming is thinking and not typing. When you are confronted with a programming task, first think about the problem in real life and solve the problem before starting your coding task. This will save you a lot of time when you eventually start coding. Always practice what you learn by implementing your code using real life situation.

Comment your code: Always comment your code in case there is need to maintain your code in future. Who knows? You might be working with a team of developers. By reading the comments in your code they will be able to know what and what you are trying to do.

Read documentation and ask for help: When you are confronted with a problem that you do not know how to solve, check the documentation of that programming language and ask for help on forum too because there are lots of programmers that might have asked that question before in the past.

Hope you find these tips useful. If you know any more useful tips, you could share it too. Use the comment box.



How neediness works for (or against) you

The life of a human is mostly spent satisfying one need or the other. This is what fills most of our discussions, it is what drives most of our actions – in our homes or our workplaces.

There is often this impulse that by satisfying our needs, we can be happier or more successful. This is mostly the basis of our neediness. It is nailed hard into our consciousness by our parents and our society, they both strictly demand that we meet certain goals in life in order to attain success or achievement, whether fairly or unfairly.

Tony Robbins, an American entrepreneur, author, life coach and business strategist, sums up all our human needs into six basic categories that can help us understand them better and decipher how they truly make or break us.

According to Robbins, in a post, human needs can broadly fall into either of these categories:

Certainty

We have grown on the habit to be sure of what to expect. We have fixed goals we must meet. Graduate from an institution, get a job, start a relationship and get married. We want comfort, success and acceptance.

Robbins says this affects how much risk we are willing to take in life – in our jobs, in our investments and our relationships. It is where our real ‘risk tolerance’ comes from.

Variety/uncertainty

What about a change from the norm? How many of us are willing walk a totally different path? How many of us are ready to face the unforeseen? Many of us are not ready for uncertainty. But whether we like it or not, it always comes our way.

Robbins believes that only when we are exposed to uncertainty do we build muscle in life or business.

Corny as Robbins sounds about it. Those difficult and unpredictable experiences that we go through in life often help us grow some strength and skill. Robbins says, ‘You can’t grow muscle – or character – unless you have something to push back against.’

Significance

We like to feel important, special, unique or needed, Robbins explains.

Some people achieve this by making a lot of money, graduating from school, getting a job, carrying a particular hairstyle, or live in a particular place. People have different ways for satisfying their feeling of significance.

Love and connection

Love is what we often want the most. It is a popular belief that the feeling of love will make us feel alive. Truly, it really does. We also go through pain when we lose love, it breaks our heart.

Robbins explains that, ‘The pain is so great that most people settle on connection, the crumbs of love.’

These first four needs a further classified as personal needs. The next two needs are classified as spiritual needs.

Growth

Growth is a phenomenon that makes everyone feel fulfilled. By experiencing some form of growth in any aspect of our life or work, we usually feel fulfilled.

According to Robbins, ‘If you’re not growing, it doesn’t matter how much money you have in the bank, how many friends you have, how many people love you – you’re not going to experience real fulfillment.’

For him, the reason why we grow is so we can have something of value to give.

Contribution

Life is more meaningful when we give, Robbins argues. Meaning does not come from what you get, it comes from what you give, he says.

He concludes that it is not what you get that will make you happy in the long term, but who you become and what you contribute will.

Closure

Of all of these categories of needs, the first four are those that we usually try to satisfy. We rarely make provision for the last two. However, the last two, the needs of the spirit, are the ones that usually make us feel fulfilled the most. Not matter how much we satisfy our personal needs, we cannot feel fulfilled.

Think this carefully and answer this question: which of these categories of needs makes you feel fulfilled the most, the personal or spiritual needs?



Tips on creating content that appeal to readers and search engines

Good content must fulfill two non-negotiable goals. It must pique the interest and attention of readers; and rank appropriately on search engines.

Creating content that meet these two goals can be a big challenge for content creators, especially those who are new to the job. This post is intended to demystify and simplify the process of creating such content though.

Content is used in this post to refer to all forms of digital media. These include text, image, voice, video and url.

Here are tips on creating content that appeal to readers and search engines:

Relevance

Whatever form of content you are creating, readers and search engines must find it meaningful. This is necessary because, without meaning, readers and search engines cannot find content useful. When they do not find it useful, it cannot appeal to them. No reader is interested in unuseful stuff, just as no search engine is.

Content gain meaning through relevance. For content to be meaningful to readers, it must be relevant to their ideas, interests, needs or beliefs. Search engines find meaning in content by relating search keyword to content keyword.

So, if you want to create content that appeal to readers and search engines, do not forget to factor in relevance.

Clarity

The human mind is quite complex, but it does not like to crunch complicated stuffs. If you want the mind to comprehend something properly and easily, then present it as clear as possible. A particular study found out that managers had difficulty comprehending data presented in tabular form, but easily made more sense out of the same data when it was represented in graphical form.

You can also expect the same from search engines too. Out of the complex algorithms that embody search engines comes a tool that does not like poorly structured information. For instance, if you misspell a keyword in the title or body of your content, search engines are never going to match it to the correct keyword in a search.

With readers and search engines, clarity is highly appealing.

Uniqueness

There is little or no appreciation for copied or duplicated content. Apart from the legal measures against copying, when readers find out that content is illicitly copied or duplicated, they are instantly put off. The notion of not been original or legitimate makes it difficult for readers to trust the content, as well as the creator. This jeopardizes any chance of the content appealing to readers.

Search engines, likewise, have a way of distinguishing original and copied content, and they give preference to original content. A search engine may fail to crawl and index your content, the search engine administrator may directly blacklist your content because it is inappropriately copied. This means your content will never show up in search.

Annotation

Annotation refers to all forms of labelling or marking contained in a piece of content to help a reader or search engine, identify the various parts of the content.

Well annotated or labelled content is very appealing to readers. It aids reading, makes the reading experience more enjoyable and less stressful for readers. Titles, headings, subheadings, subtitles, and so on, in the body of a particular content are examples of annotations that help readers.

For search engines, annotation assists in the indexing of the various parts of the content. A search engine uses annotation in the body or outside the body of the content to identify and classify the various parts of that content. Tags, meta, alt text, etc., are some of the common annotations outside the body of a specific content which search engines would find useful.

Are there any tips you know that were not mentioned in this post? Please, share with us in the comment box.



Discover an idea that can make you 10 or 100 times bigger and fulfilled

If your dream is to become bigger and fulfilled in business or personal life, do not be fooled, money will not get you there. If you believe money will get you there, you will be left empty when money leaves, according to American entrepreneur and leading life and business strategist Tony Robbins.

Many people miss the real key to fulfillment. They unknowingly get things wrong and chase after money. They end up getting money but never find fulfillment. Of course, it is easy to mistake money as the ultimate key to fulfillment because of how money is plays a major role in our day-to-day life and business transactions.

If you are serious about going 10 or 100 times bigger and finding fulfillment in your business or personal life, there is an incredible opportunity waiting for you.

It is a mastermind and community called GITNS (short for ‘Giving Is The New Selling‘). GITNS offers a free mastermind you can start with on its website. It is an instant webinar that you can watch anytime. After watching the free mastermind, you can apply for a paid mastermind to get complete support from GITNS.

What the paid mastermind will offer you

The paid mastermind will help you unlock an idea that will help you go 10 or 100 times bigger, what is called ‘exponential growth’.

In summary, you will get:

  • A 3-day exponential idea conception adventure with the founder of GITNS, Jan Winum
  • Ongoing 24/7 mastermind
  • Curation of the best content to help you grow and contribute
  • Invitation to events
  • Partnership opportunity
  • Talk with Jan or other members of GITNS community

This bundle has a total value of $30,497, but you will get it for only $6,000.

Watch the free mastermind or apply for the paid mastermind here.

Good luck on your journey to exponential growth and fulfillment. I will like to hear your testimonies after completing the mastermind. Please do come back here and share your testimony using the comment box.



Bloggers: Discover the proper way to monetise your blog

The idea of blogging to make income is very attractive. But these days, many people take to it with the hope of making money only to realise that generating money through blogging is not as easy as they expected.

Although, a bit of work is required, but the real problem is that they miss the real trick to monetising their blog. So, it appears harder.

If you would like to discover the proper way to monetise your blog, then keep reading.

How do you monetise a blog?

Advertising

There are a host of ways to monetise a blog. But the popular choice among many bloggers is advertising, the most common of which is indirect advertising where adverts are published from a third party advert server which the blogger subscribes to or partners with. Examples are AdSense, Infolinks, etc.

But the bitter truth is: advertising, especially indirect advertising is the harder way.

If your blog is not read by a large audience daily or monthly, it is going to take ages for you to make big money from ad servers or direct advertisers. Advertising rates are largely dependent on coverage and reach.

Offering your services/products

Apart from advertising, you could offer your services or products on your blog. This is not as hard as advertising and you do not need a large audience to read your blog to make big money with this alternative.

As a blogger, you probably have a niche where you cover because of your interest or knowledge or skill. These could form the basis of your service or product. All you just have to do is think up a way that people may be willing to use your interest or knowledge or skills, or ask people how they may wish to use them.

When you figure this out, you can bundle up a service or a product that people would be willing to pay for and your rates would not depend on the size of your blog audience, rather it would depend on the value bundled in your service or product.

This makes you better income and is strategic to your personal development. While you are offering services or products, you are indirectly building your career and business.

A proper way to monetise your blog

A double-edged sword can inflict more damage than a single-edged one we would all agree. Even though it is harder to make big money from your blog through advertising, you can make even more income by doing advertising and offering your services or products on your blog at the same time.



Facts: Nigeria’s 2017 budget and budget reforms

There was a raucous reaction among Nigerians when the National Assembly (NASS) passed the 2017 national budget in May. One of the main issues that stirred such reactions from Nigerians was how the lawmakers at NASS meddled with the budget figures, especially the added allocation of ₦10 billion to its own initial budget figure proposed by the president.

Some of the facts you should know about Nigeria’s 2017 national budget and recent budget reforms made by President Buhari’s administration, according to findings, include:

Technology-driven budget

Nigeria’s 2017 budget was collated using a web-based application. Through the application, all ministries, departments and agencies of the government uploaded their proposed budget. This made the budget preparation more efficient and transparent. It is the first time this kind of innovation is applied to national budgeting.

Senate approval in 5 months

On May 11, the National Assembly approved the 2017 national budget five months after President Buhari presented the proposed national budget to a joint session of the National Assembly in December, 2016.

Total expected revenue and projected deficit

The 2017 national budget has an expected revenue of ₦5.08 trillion and a projected deficit of ₦2.36 trillion. Many experts warn that this is bad budgeting practice.

Presidency delayed signing

Owing to disagreements on deductions made from proposed allocations to some critical infrastructure projects by the National Assembly, the presidency delayed the signing of the budget. The critical infrastructure projects included: the standard gauge railway, Mambilla power project, second Niger bridge and Lagos-Ibadan expressway. The lawmakers at the National Assembly had reallocated those deductions to new projects created by themselves. Following dialogues, the lawmakers have agreed to restore the deductions on the funds proposed for these critical infrastructure projects.

Capital expenditure focused on roads, power and housing

A sum of ₦2 trillion was approved for capital expenditure, of which more than ₦500 billion is allocated to roads, power and housing projects.

Special projects in each geopolitical zone

A whooping ₦46 billion will go into special economic zone projects in each geopolitical zone of the country.

Jaunary-December budget calendar

Starting from the 2018 national budget, the presidency wants Nigeria to run a January-December budget calendar. Hence, the presidency promises to submit the proposed 2018 national budget to the National Assembly October 2017, while NASS will pass the budget before the end of 2017.