Category Archives: Time
看了一集Family Guy, Bryan 對Steward說，你越對女孩差女孩越當你一回事。回頭一想或許正確。 你去逗笑一個女生，她只當你玩笑；但是你本不喜歡性格的那個，卻會因為你的冷漠而喜歡上你。
I have been a subscriber for HBO for quite a bit now, besides the occasional children movies I skipped into, I mostly enjoyed the series and movies. But recently, I started to doubt the values for drama: does everything has to be dramatic to be entertaining? The original series The Game of Thrones has recently got me hooked, I would stay home every Sunday to enjoy it. Then I decided to desert it, because it is too dramatic.
I have to say although I was totally surprised by the death of Rob Stark last Sunday, and although I do believe it was a nice thing to put in there, I was made conscious about the nature of the drama; and it was totally because of that, I realize that life contain absolute no drama. I realized a day later that, Rob has made too many mistakes but seemed too perfect to be killed by battle, so he has to die brutally in a plot. Counter-intuition is what make the moment successful, but a lot of the times in a drama, using counter-intuition sacrifices its integrity. And indeed, the director spent so much efforts to mollify the atmosphere, up to a point where everyone think something good is going to result, and yet it was smooth, the viewers are making assumptions to justify a small change in tone, then comes the sudden descent into danger.
Life is often a progression of events, it was often not cause and effect, but cause, delay, then effect. The delay part is what is boring to drama, and has to be dismissed. The Game of Thrones story was carved out of the books of the A song of Ice and Fire, the long volumes of the book stretches out to give it a delay, but like the TV drama, something worth writing is something worth catching; rather unlike life where moments of seemingly unimportant events actually result into significant consequences. Drama, has made us think dreams are closer to us, and because of the lack of drama in real life, people are easier to give up as well.
The false idea that as long as he got what it takes, or as long as one work hard, or as long as he has the right stuff, he will get what he wishes has been more prevalent in the dramas. These are soothing but poisonous values. While drama is so indulging, we forgot our lives that are primarily non-dramatic, we forgot our own world that has a completely different value, and to some extend we believe in the things that make us happy, which drive us away from reality. In many cases, I started to think, since our popular culture is having such a big influence on our ways of lives, it might be the cause for the increase in ADHD and bipolar disorder in the society. In fact, over exposure to drama might just explain the prevalence of these disorders. Can they even be called disorders?
I believed that the best way to live is to actually stay away from drama. Life takes waiting, every once in a while, we encounter accidents or surprises, but that the best we can get, in terms of deviation from normality. Life can be boring and tedious, and that is the way it should be. When your life is full of expectations for drama, you are bound to get depressed when for the most part all you get is normality.
Funny how people do not realize it is not the regime, nor the system that is killing people, it’s the war. As long as the war is going on, killing can be justified.
Let’s imagine if the Syria government lost, what would happen to Syria? At the moment the rebels seem united because they have a common enemy, what about after the rebellion, should there be another war then? I think the world is doing the right thing: just waiting. Let’s wait and see what would happen next. This is not apathy to the tragedy happening there, this is the realization that help is only vanity if the freedom fighters in Syria does not realize they do not understand freedom.
The Arab spring has spun into a vicious cycle of endless demands and disappointments, which aggravates into more demonstrations and more fighting.
Of course, democracy will probably come eventually, but at what cost? Enlarging the gap between the majority and the minority, or maybe profound ethnic hatred. Are these desirable consequences as long as democracy is achieved? An authoritarian regime always sounds so frightening, but the most democratic people on earth is also one of the most religious. And at what point does it occurs to the Americans, that the submission to Christianity which claimed superiority of all knowledge and reason is no less frightening?
A society needs both democratic and authoritarian entities to maintain its stability and function, while some are more of one or the other, some are completely the other; but promoting bloody revolution is something we do not want to do today, for the consequence of that is unfortunate: people can develop a habit of fighting, when they are not used to a society that transforms stably and are accustomed to rebellion. What you get after the rebellion? Is democracy going to solve unemployment? Who is going to govern? Is the rich militant leader or a former terrorist, or maybe a former government official? A revolution started by the bottom class has often successfully overthrown the government, but ended with higher class getting back to the leaders’ seats. This is because rebellion with only a goal to destroy something old can never build a better society themselves. Without a positive plan and a fruitful goal, the rebellion is simply a method for destruction. The consequence for supporting them will be painful and it is quite likely that the war now will never end.
The Syria government, if successfully keep all the sensitive issues in check, will actually have a chance in the game. Because the U.S. is powerless for this issue. Will they be going into Egypt too? or maybe Lebanon? Well let’s also give Israel a real border then, and that is how much of a bill? The U.S. will set an example leading to the bloody overthrown again and a again in the world, with the expectation of the U.S. to get involved. And that, the U.S. cannot do alone.
Trying to pay the war bill by importing American business, always ended up exploiting the people who financed the war in the first place. Why? Because the locals have nothing left after a long war, but Americans are fast meat. After the Iraqi war, people realized how expensive wars really are. in the mist of economic hardships in the world today, I am afraid Syrian people are not going to get much expected help.
Keep exploiting the possibility of chemical weapon attacks used in Syria is futile as well, because there is no evidence for mass killing as a result. Scattered reports can be dismissed easily if fewer people die from them than the street fights, and the rebels forgot that they are also generating civilian casualties, and are part of the mass killing campaign that is happening in Syria right now. At one point the people of Syria have to reach to a peace deal themselves, stop fighting themselves for the difference in believes and ideologies. For the world can help them achieve peace, but not agreements; the world can rescue the devastated, but cannot cure the violent.
The need for adult entertainment and the need to protect the teenagers are always in a very delicate balance. It seems like, adult contents are penetrating more into the teenagers’ world, and the only protection, mostly are these 18 warnings, which does not do any actual protection unless parental guidance is involved.
In history, the success in the adult’s world does not always affect the younger generations largely, and today, this trend is reversed. Before, the teenagers’ world is supposed to be “cooler”, with more weird cultural phenomenon, and more imaginations. Today, this is exactly true for the adult entertainment, it is as if, our generation of adults never grow up. After all, how much can you make out of a children’s movie? How much advertisement revenue can you generate marketing candies to 5-year-olds, they do not have pockets. In a profit driven world, it is not hard to understand the emphasis on the adult entertainment. As a result of this abundance and variety in adult entertainment, such contents are getting into youngsters world, it is alarming while certainly unfortunate that at the same time, movies are getting only more bloodier, more violent, and more daring to win over the adults who are so in need for them.
Do we really prefer violence to a good story? The movie business has always been a business striving to bring in new elements onto the screen, and people loved them. From the first recording of a train coming into the station, to the incorporation of sound, to the voiced stories, to the special effects. When we look back now, those cheesy quality and effects in the old movies were once cheered by the audiences; because people do not just believe what they see, they want to. That is why they go to the cinemas.
Imagine a kid watching the same thing, they are not just going to believe what they see, they tends to grasp the morals as well. Imagine a parent teaching his son to punch anyone who treat him unfairly, and imagine a pretty adult idol teaching him the same value. Is it even hard to find the answer why sports violence has been on the rise? Is it even hard to justify the fear for firearms nowadays? The problems is now: to show off the technology and the efforts put into a movie, a simple gun fight is slowed down and elongated as if to teach people how to act violently. Even a non-violent person like me would have dreams about gun fights which I seldom know what I am even doing fighting others. Imagine people actually have a gun in their drawer. Then imagine people who are obsessed with guns, who have an active imagination about how to use them.
Under the current culture, violence is not just a choice when dealing with issues, but also the most imaginable mean. It is like the classical picture to clam down the crowd with a gun shot, only now people are calming their anger with gun shots. Unfortunately, we are dealing with a society whose culture is driven by profits. Popular culture is determined by the copy of records sold, and movies are defined by the net profit.
Where this society is going towards is actually quite frightening to me.
It is ultimately a game of power and control. It is ironic how at the moment Chinese named the president Vantican named the Pope. Still, Pope is the head of the headline. Chinese president, huh… there is no element of surprise. The media has changed the language, 10 years ago, they said “chairman”, now they uses the word “president”. Presumably, nothing much changed about the Chinese politics, the only thing they have realized is that there is something fundamentally different between regimes in Iran/North Korea/Cuba/Libya/Sudan and China. China is suffering from a corrupted system, but it has a clear goal which is different from the rest- to make the people rich.
It was after the “red revolution” so called, that both the government and the people in China realized the reality. It was that man-made disaster that pound on the idiosyncratic dreams of unreleastic societies and scientific achievements that we realized everything eventually depends on money and power.
This realization brought about two changes: the realization of a need for social change, and the realization of the neccessity of international relations. And so, China was absorbed into the game of power and wealth. And there comes the path to change.
Chinese influence is still quite neglegible today- it takes time to build mutal trust and to organize cooperations with countries that have few interests in common. This aspect alone, there is no question how a rivalry between any country and the US is going to end. Fortunately, there is weakness in the giant, which it has not yet even realized. It seems so trivial at first, it seems so normal it originates from the will of the people, and thus the will of the people decides the reality- a reality that broke the country into many conflicting pieces. These pieces are further broken into domestic interest and its need for keeping its seemingly useless international advantage. The American also forgot that international relaitons takes constant tempting, arrogance at a time like this overwrites years of friendship. And through that China was able to grasp some breath.
President Obama is an ambitious leader, his soft side in bi-partisan politics is in constrast in his consistence in international policies- he is well aware of the difficulties America is facing today.
Sure when war is transferred out of the American soil. Terroists are bombing the Iraqis not the Americans, Arabs are focusing on local conflicts, the Chinese come naturally into mind. Contraction on foreign meddling means Obama is well aware of the current capabilities of the country. It have to make delicate balance in the south east asia while not giving the advantage to the Japanese or Korean. Naturally, the Phillipines have becomed the best friend. Burma was the next to patch things up with the US, then comes countries that have a serious stare on the south China sea.
Japan is getting more and more aggressive on the territorial claim on the disputed islands, the American watched them do as they want believing that no real conflict is going to happen in the region. At least not between Taiwan, Mainland, or Mainland and Japan. It is indeed the last chance for the Japanese to do this, and anybodies’ chance to benefit from the possible turmoil for a change in the Chinese politics. The American chose to stay out of the meddle, which is not smart, because of North Korea. When th Chinese and Japense are fighting what do you think the North Koreans are doing? North Korea itself could not do much, but residing between 3 leading powers of the world, how was it able to survive the control of either super power, and from this it seems like the Chinese are really lacking a sense of exercising its power. What in the world is the Chinese thinking?
China is playing a slow game of power, it is only when the science, creativity, productivity and the knowledge a country accumulated that a country can be powerful. It is the change of the intellectual but not a superficial revolution that changes the name from chairman to president, not one that changes the constitution, or one that displaces the ruling class, or brings about subtle changes in government efficiency. For decades, we have seen countries that overthrew the kings and ditactors, and the only consequence for that is an even more turmoiled state, destability causes fragmentation of state, endless conflicts between people with differnt interests and political/regious views. The function of a country is not there without stability and consistancy, accompanying these comes naturally inefficiency, corruption, and unhappy population. But if change is taken too fast, then all the things we have strif to get will be even more distanced, at the same time, nothing is to be promised by a simple idea of democracy.
This game is carefully played everyday, for power and wealth. There is no way to win a war without a clear purpose, the Chinese have a clear purpose, but to pervail, there is much more to that. There is absolutely no gaurantee that the patience in the political leaders today will last to future generations, it is extremely hard to achieve this goal. But until then, every minute, we have everything to loose. And yet the game is never over, the rule of the power is that you either have it or you do not. There is no such thing as sort of having it, influence is meaningless, bogus threat is futile, to be powerful means a lot more than just economic/military strength, it requires careful cultivation of international relations and capabilities a country can bring about benefits to the world.
Read this article in NYT, home owners are going solar. Wired thing, I was just thinking about that the other night.
The unfortunate truth is that, although it is a great vision, solar panels has limited life times as well. However much they make the impression that american solar companies are bringing this change, none of these will be possible without the low-cost of the panels themselves. The solar companies are ripping customers off big time. And where do you think they got their panels from? China of course.
It is a sad story how Chinese treat themselves much much worse than they treat foreigners. When you purchase something from Chinese dealers, you often get better products if they think you are a foreigner. I still cannot understand such mentality. What way of doing business is that?
(The whole economics boom in China today will not be possible without United States, and many Chinese do not realize that.)
But even when we are capable of production, we are producing, and we are consuming, we still do not have a society that allow people to enjoy all these. We don’t have a complete supply chain, we don’t have enough marketing, we don’t have enough regulations to protect our own consumers, and there is absolutely no way to be successful, if you cannot get your own people to believe in your products.
The cheap model will eventually drag the country until the normal Chinese people realize that this way of labor does not fit in with the modern way of life, it will create a society that is far more bizzare than any we have seen before. The government clearly has realized that, but are not brave enough to do anything that will potentially slow down the economic growth. Instead they use an approach trying to control what people like and what they think. It never works. It never will, and I cannot express the fear for its future.
All modern societies are ached by the intertwined relationship between politics and industry, and we are realizing more and more that the society are more and more determined by the political culture, but by cooperate culture. Cooperations functions like countries within countries. They have their own loyals, own rules, own cultures and even own armed forces. This part of the modern society is actually present in all societies. In a sense our countries are more or less influenced/controlled by these cooperations, or people who control these cooperations.
This is what we cannot change, but sadly, this is why war never ends, this is why officials make foolish decisions. It is not because they are stupid, they are absolutely smart enough for their job. They have to comply to the need of their patrons, the cooperation they are related to, and the need for themselves to do better with the help of those. This make society change much harder these days, it makes politics much more complicated. As always, it is not because politics is hard, it’s the need of different parties make democracy or any polical practice hard.
Is Windows8 going to be a huge success? I don’t think so, few years ago when 3D movies became extrapopular because of the success of Avatar, manufactures think 3D TVs are going to replace standard HD tvs, they were wrong. 3D concept is already fading out.
This is the same situation of the tablet frenzy. Yes, people like tablets, but it is not going to replace laptops. Many of us have laptops which we carry to work, and desktops when we work at home, and we have tablets, mostly for reading or just for fun. A hybrid between laptop and tablet? I don’t think so.
The sole reason why we don’t work on tablets is that it is not convenient. And the reason we like to carry tablets on planes is that it has a long battery life. Do we really need something that are not as powerful for carrying out our work functions but do not have enough battery for us to enjoy its portability?
Windows 8 is not going to be a success because most of us use windows to WORK, not just to use it to play facebook which by the way has become totally not cool. Two years ago, you walk in a library, essentially everyone has facebook on or at least in the backgorund. Today, facebook is not as appealing because people are simply getting bored. Economic reality drives the society more towards real life and keeping an online identity is becoming a much less significant part of our lives.
Windows 8 is going to loose the scientific community in terms of its inconvinience. Windows 8 is going to loose professional writers and aritists because there are too much distractions on the desktop. Windows system is getting only worse because the internet restrictions and software restrictions. Users are paying more for their softwares because there are less free softwares available. In a ever more socialist country, US is loosing its economic strength. Current economic growth is somewhat mysterious. The american giants have reported somewhat slow down of growths, yet ecomomy numbers keeps climbing. Why? Election? What is driving the growth? Exports? Banking? When all the companies somewhat demonstrates profit loss, how come the data shows economic boombing?
Comparing to the beginning of the year, we see much less new cars on the streets, decline of online sales, especially from companies like Amazon. Is this signaling a pre-election euphoria? In an economy that has lost its liveliness, what is to come in the post-election America? What is the future for companies like Apple? What about GE and Bank of America. These companies are so important to the american industrial identities. And hopefully at the end of this year, we can have some answers.
CLoser and closer, we are getting to the punch line of this year. For the first time, we don’t know what will happen. We sort of guessed, but uncertainty has raised to a point that the nearest future is almost impossible to predict.
Watching the daily news in China has been the morning routine that I go through, form a look afar, these news look rather amusing. But people at home might not think of it this way. It is rather frightening that the mordenization of cities and the diminishing of small communities has created such a mutated social reality. I think it is time for us to really think about engineering a society that preserve the structure of traditional communities. Implementing religions has been the experiments people have conducted in the eastern provinces. However, when church populations grow to a certain size, the stabilization effects of religion become trivial. And religions, like any hiearchies, sustain huge amounts of corruptions, this is not hard to show.
China has lost its purpose. We are contempt with our current achievements, nobody realized this is our most desperate and weakest moment. The whole society is going through a divorce with a still celebrated past. Without the perspective of future, everyone has been trying to grasp something for just now, for who knows what will happen tomorrow? The ever intensifying tension, arguments will come to an end eventually, and turn into actions. Silently, there is something moving, I don’t see it. But I am sure it is out there. A storm is coming and it is getting really really close.