Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Think vs. Act

If you both think and act negatively, you will surely fail and feel like living in hell.

If you think positively, but act negatively, you are just a lazy dreamer.

If you think negatively, but act positively, you are a pessimistic hardworking bee that may fail 50% of the time, and won't enjoy you success.

If you both think and act positively, you are congratulated for being the cream of the crop among the top 5% of the population who know how to enjoy your own life as well as making a difference in others as well.

Dream on Sep 27

What I saw in my dream...

Scene#1 - Driving a blue 1996 Corolla from Houston to Missippi, didn't see the Houston part, but arrived in Missippi. Though I've never been Missippi, I saw sign of Missippi. Strangely, there was a castle there, somewhat like the one in Disneyland, it had colors of pink, light blue, and grey. The lane up to the castle was narrow and I couldn't turn around and end up going to the castle. .......

Scene#2 - I was in a big house where there were many folks that I don't know were inside the living room and a huge bedroom there. Those folks have both adults and kids, among them are Asians and Caucasians. I saw kids playing some kinds of 'translucent' type of 'thing', it has a nature of like a playdoh, bubbles that doesn't burst, and it can be stretched and pulled to be bigger. I remember I pulled one and it became a huge lion....

Scene#2 - I saw Chow Yun Fat, talking to many white people who were kinda 'starstruck' by him. He was very polite to them and some of the women looks very much like Jamie Lee Curtis.....

That's all!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Dangerous Public Opinion

The recent Sino-Japan relationship is not very good due to the collision of a Chinese fishing vessel to some Japanese defense vessels. The Chinese captain was detained in Japan for their investigation and possible legal proceeding. Though he was released two days ago, it doesn't look like that has calmed down much the escalated tension between two countries.

We all know that there are nationalistic extremists in both camps. In my opinion, their existences should be protected even though I subjectively disagree with their views. For a relatively ideal society, diversification of views should exist and have freedom of expression. Cuz, it is not important to agree but to protect and respect the minority’s views. Certainly, people with extreme views should operate within the legal limit, at least not inciting any harm to the others who have different stands. Freedom of expression is extremely precious and important. Besides the idealistic moral high ground, it is practically better to let people to voice out their concerns openly rather than suppressing them to drive them underground which would take some unexpected and harmful activities at unknown time.

However, extreme view shared by a small group of people is one thing. What get me more worried is the way that some of them ‘twist’ their views and promote them in a way that truth is being fudged. The way they do is to slightly twist the fact by few degrees in the wording that they use in publication. Then, they associated a single incident to other individual incidents by linking some loose denominators among them. Meanwhile, they magnify the incident to higher levels so as to construct and support a conspiracy of secret motive. After repetition of the above for certain period of times, some twisted ultra-nationalistic hostility towards other nations is cultivated in the back of minds of a larger group in the population. In addition, the government authority has its own strategy that interact those twisted opinions, and the mass media also have their own agendas which may not deviate much from the government’s view. All of these together could someday create some unpleasant results that harm everybody.

I find it quite upsetting that many innocent but relatively educated young people are picking up those twisted views, their minds are clouded to a point that they cannot tell the difference and relationship among these terms: nation sovenignty, government, regime, leaders, ethnicity, race, national interests, national pride, foreign relations, international laws, international treaties, etc. Those are very important concepts. Without clear understanding them, one will not be able to tell an apple from an orange. Then, by means of twisted and some outright wrongful associations, a large youth group of the population have risen up to express their anger and frustration to some innoecent people or targets. In some occasions, materialized damage and injuries are resulted. I am really sad as well as worried of this trend. I don’t have any solution to it. I just hope people would read and listen more diversified views which would still be able to be expressed given the risk they are exposed. Cuz, I don’t think people can put stop signs or red lights in public opinion, but at least those diversified views can act as speed bumps or rotary signs to slow down the buildup of traffic flow that might lead to a cliff.

It is a tough topic to talk discretely. Nonetheless, I hope I still get my current points across.

Web Privacy

Few days ago, I was trying to find a link to a Youtube video that I thought I had posted on my Facebook account few months back. For the first time that I checked my posting history and really saw the whole history of my communication through Facebook to my friends in the last few years. As an avid listener of BOL of Cnet and being a person who pay attention to tech news, I know Facebook for sure has kept every piece of information of all its 500 millions+ members. Cuz, every bit of information is valuable to them, if not for now, would be for tomorrow when they or their partners would be able to figure out how to turn them to be money-making opportunities. Anyway, that personal search that I did just made me think about the whole issue of privacy in the cyberspace in these days and age, which is so different from what the world in pre-web 2.0 was.

Forgot who said it, but I always take it to my heart that, once information is out in the web, it will become public. You can put all privacy settings in place all you want, everything on the web once will be known by somebody. So, if somebody really wants to find something about you, they can, period! That’s why for the most private stuff that we have, we should keep that off from the web. You might thought that we can still safely keep our accounts/passwords in a password-protected file and save it in our hard-drive, it is 99.999% that it is safe, but it is not 100%. Our PC can still be hacked by malware, virus, spamware or whatever. So, we just need to remember this all the time about what we should expose ourselves in the web.

Back in the old days, I mean maybe a decade ago or so, when a candidate wants to run for public office, he/she would be scrutinized by the media about their backgrounds, or things that they said before. For example, Arnold Schwarzenegger ran for the Governor office in California, his dad‘s alleged relationship with Nazi was brought up, but it never became a serious issue that affect his candidacy, neither did his alleged womanizing history. The latter was more prominent as he was a movie star before and media was able to dig up his past relatively easier than other regular Joes. However, in these days and age, when everybody has a Facebook account (except the billion or so behind the Great Firewall), and we, as normal human beings with free minds, love to express our emotion and pour our thoughts out on Facebook for our friends to notice, we often forget that those words, pictures, voices, video will all become public records. Something doesn’t make much sense or harmless when it was said, could become an issue in future in situation that you would never think of.

Facebook checking or similar sort with other social sites have already been a common and acceptable practice by HR of some major corporations, not only in hiring stage, but also for staff monitoring. Detectives or insurance companies also use Facebook to collect supporting evidences and use them in court cases on their favor. I wouldn’t be surprise that it will become more commonly widespread to become even a routine that would ultimately affect every aspect of our lives. For example, schools will check our or even
our parents’ public web records to determine if we should be admitted. All companies, organizations and government agencies would check our web record history in making any decision towards our application of any sort. If that happens, new industries (web personal record professional search, web record person profiling and analysis, web record person modification, enhancement and masking, etc) will be created, as big money will be made. Then, whatever we say on purpose would be discounted, whatever we said freely in the past would become evidence or components of our personal profile for public review and criticism for judgment. Consequently, it will become very difficult to find ‘pure’ candidates for certain jobs in our society when the job natures are expected to be ‘defenders’ of justice or morality of some sort. For example, judges, priests, moral leaders, or head of organizations that promote fairness. Also, some professionals which may not as seriously regarded as the above but do also need to make moral judgments with conscience every now and then will be difficult to find as well, like teachers, police, doctors, or even political leaders.

If what I mentioned above would be true in future, I guess that our society will need to change accordingly or we will be forced to change somehow. Namely, we may have to give up previously high expectation and begin to accept the fact that it is close to impossible to find as many ideal candidates as we need for those professions. For example, when we see scandalous images of political candidates, through the work of spin-doctors, we will be forced or deceived to accept those are not really scandals or shameful matters of candidates. They are just their innocent histories like more of us do have, and we should focus on the candidates’ good sides, abilities, as well as their ‘intentions to do good’ instead. Would that happen someday? I don’t know.

Also, in terms of role models, there will very unlikely be any new one emerged in current times. Cuz, it would be so hard to find one without any dirt in the past got dug up by the media. Instead, we will begin to focus on good ‘acts’ as they become more visible, rather than finding a good person as a whole since everybody’s fault will be more accessible and visible as well. Kids in future would less likely to believe in role models, cuz they would say that if there is Youtube, HD recording, etc back in the days, those so-called role models in history will expose their bad deeds as well. Would George Washington only tell the truth all the time? Would Abraham Lincoln may discriminatory remarks of other sorts? Kids would think so.

Come to think of it, I think I’ve been trying my best to say things carefully on the web so far. Not that I will run for any office soon or if ever, but I always believe that we are responsible of ourselves. Not just for what we do in person, but what we say on the web as well. Cuz, you never know who will use what we have exposed to go against us down the road in what occasion. Also, I will teach my kid to take note of such as well. Surely, he will make mistakes, but I think it is my duty to teach him to become a responsible cybercitizen. I think that would be good for him regardless what he wanna do in future.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Being boring...

Well, I've not updated my blog much lately. Yes, I'm still going to work everyday, perform decently in a not very exciting job, but it pays my bills. Also, family life is as usual. Perhaps, that is why there is not much fun or special things that worth blogging about. The worst part is that not only my wife is complaining me of being boring, I also feel the same thing myself. I'm living a boring life right now. Not only my daily routine is boring, even what's going on in my head is as waveless as a soon-to-be-dry-up pond in Sahara. You know what I'm saying?! That's kinda suck! I feel like I'm a walking zombine living my life on cruise control. I'm just bored! So, I can't blame my wife for that.

Although my wife and I are actually planning to take our son to go a 3-4 days trip in December, that's still 3 months from now. I just need to get something going in our life. I can only think of rebooting our desire of working out and actually get our butts off the couch would be a good start. Besides that, I need to think of something that my wife and I can really do. Also, I need to kick start my thought as well. I feel like my brain is stuck in mud right now. Yes, I still go to the Net to read and get myself informed, that may not be enough. I think that I need a bit of motivation to jock my brain to be more actively engaged in something. I know I'm kinda vague in describing what I'm planning to do. Cuz, I can only say what I 'feel' whatI need, nothing is concrete or visually clear on what exactly I'm gonna do.

Anyway, I doubt this blogpost would generate any interest among few readers that I've. Cuz, unlike most of my other blogposts which are relatively clear in content, this one is so 'Picasso' that it's like I'm rumbling with words of hard-to-understand meanings. I'm sorry for that but I just can't help. Hopefully, things will be better soon, very soon!.....

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Pieces of Meat

If putting together these pieces of meat will end up a piece of 'Art'....

then, this must be ART too....

together, I think of this....

Friday, September 10, 2010

My son's personality

Time just flies. My son is about to turn three and his expression of personality has becoming obvious in recent months. Based on my observation so far, these are the characteristics of my son that I have seen so far:
- Weak in physical
- Picky in foods. Love veggie and some fruits, soups, not keen on meat much.
- Love readings in general.
- Picky in TV programs, even on Disney Channel, he would pick Mickey Mouse, Tigger and Pooh, but not Handy Mandy. He would request TV to be turned off.
- Picky in expressing politeness.
- Have learned to talk back.
- Above average in tolerance of pain.
- Not very obedient.
- Think out of the box, e.g. would create third choice when only two are offered.
- Do make his own choices, e.g. pick other clothes rather than put on what were chosen
- Not a good painter, prefer music more.
- Good memorization ability
- A bit of stubborn
- Not selfish, don’t mind to share
- Do express who he likes or dislikes (non-family members)
- Have not yet afraid of dark or being left alone
- Need the feeling of security, e.g. in elevator, swimming pool
- Do tell lies, but he would admit he lied if being asked
- Like tech gadgets, and press buttons in general
- Have high potential to be short-sighted
- Need encouragement in trying things, more accepted if action is being demonstrated.
- Have potential to instruct others to do things for him even though he knows how to do.
- Have potential to be a perfectionist. Like certain things to be neat and in order.
- Outspoken and not being shy in some occasions with strangers
- Like companionship
- Like to ask questions
- Like to go out, prefer library, bookstore, supermarket, Toy’s Rus.
- Like buses.

Of course, any of the above will change and some of them are actually changing from week to week. I just find it fascinating to see his development everyday. I would wish to mold him into certain ways down the road, but I don’t keep my hope high for that. Cuz, pushing too hard and aim that too high are due for disappointment.

I’m not sure if personality relates to when and where we borned (i.e. astrology) or karma from previous lives. However, simply based on what I’ve seen in my son, I do believe that we do born with a ‘framework’ of personalities. I would cite an analogy of that framework as if a ‘box of certain shape with particular design of compartments’. If the box is circular and is made with 8 equal compartments, you can’t just change it into a cube with 6 layers. What we can do as parents (or if we don’t do, it will happen anyway on his own) is to see what can be put and fit into those compartments. In other words, what kind of things my wife and I can expose him to, so he can pick up certain skills and become good at it. That’s why it would be a right approach to give him the opportunity to see and learn as many things as possible, but let him to select based on his own instinct and to develop on his own pace. If he just can’t do certain thing in spite of repeat attempts, don’t push it.

I think this development approach is necessary and critical as well as risky and expensive. As I said, this process is ongoing regardless we like it or not. We have the choice of showing him what we want and let him choose or leave him alone and let destiny does the trick. As a responsible parent, I would prefer the former. Cuz, I would be regret if he ends up making undesirable choices due to our negligence, but not with my best effort with good intention. The bottomline is that he is an individual after all, regardless how much we love him. He is my son that my wife and I love dearly but we don’t really ‘own’ him. He will make his own choices and bear corresponding consequences.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Tony Blair

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has just released his autobiography. It has generated big sales and controversy at the same time. The latter is mostly about his criticism of his successor Gordon Brown. How low EQ he has and all that…Of course, I’ve not read his book and I only learnt that from the news. I don’t pay a lot attention to politicians in general. Cuz, I think politicians are mostly poor-looking spineless actors/actresses who don’t deserve the power that they have. Yes, there are exceptions in far and between, but that hasn’t changed my perception on them regardless what kind of political systems they are leeching on. Well, don’t get me wrong that I don’t admire them, they do have the skills to survive or even succeed in what they are doing. Their role in the society is extremely important as well. I just don’t like them much. I think minority of them do have heart to ‘do’ something for the people but they are just hindered by the gigantic political bureaucracy or the interlinked interest groups relationships. Most of the rest simply open the big hole on their faces and make noise. Promise the innocent and ignorant ones the moon, and still got away with it.

I think Tony Blair is a good talker. That’s why he got pay millions (in different currencies) to make speeches to audience all over the world. I don’t follow his career closely, neither his policies. However, one thing that I find quite interesting as being one of the nameless millions is that Tony Blair was perceived to be the best buddy of both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush while they were the presidents of the U.S. while he was the Prime Minister of Britain. And we all know that Bill and George don’t get along. At least from the policy standpoint, the ways they ran the country were so different. Or, was it that different? Particularly in terms of foreign policy? So, is that another proof that politicians are fake public personnel indeed spineless and gutless? How can Tony Blair support George W. Bush’s lie about WMD in Iraq without his eyes brink? That does get me say hmmm………

I would not go as far as saying the U.S. foreign policy is actually running behind the scene by a bunch of shadow people who have the real power over the Presidents who are simply the mouthpiece or puppet for the group. That’s why the U.S. foreign policy is actually quite consistent regardless Democrat or Republican won the executive branch. That’s why its closest ally Britain. would have no doubt to go along with the consistent policy. Or, perhaps the closeness of two countries are so tight that even if the U.S. foreign policy is so different within few years that Britain would just blindly or amazingly flexible enough to bend its back to fit what the U.S. wanna do. I think it is a good topic for students of international relationship to go into, if they really want to get to the bottom of the development of Anglo-Saxon power on the World stage in the past century.