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Category Archives: thoughts

媽前天問我如果我有一千萬我會拿來幹嘛?我還真想不出來。

雖然可以花個十年都沒問題,但在台北市應該連個二十坪的公寓都買不到。如果說不買車不買房,好像也沒什麼高單價的東西可以買。可是如果要爽爽的花,什麼都不計較想買什麼就買什麼,想去哪裡玩就去哪裡,一千萬也只夠十年吧。所以應該要五千萬以上才夠⋯

Today is a fine day, and I feel like updating.

Not exactly a good time to do so because I should be going to supermarket to get something now, but I feel if I don’t do this now, I’ll just put it off for who knows how long.

So I’ve been back for more than a week now. Never have I enjoyed doing nothing so much, and I’m pretty satisfy with my current progress, perhaps except the part where I haven’t started writing and uploading photos.

Six months passed. I’m not sure if I changed or learned anything particular. Looking back, I can’t remember what I really expected before my departure. In just a week, everything in Taiwan seems like a distant memory.

I don’t think I’ve changed much, which is not to be taken negatively. Frankly, change is not always good, and the warm fuzzy feeling associated with “change” might have been fabricated by consumerism and political campaigns. In fact I am happy that I did not change much to adapt to the environment I was in. I think I have made adjustments to my mindset and attitude.

Gotta go now. Will be back for more.

P1150952

I was going to twitter/plurk this but it’s too long. Was watching I Think I Love My Wife. It’s only okay, but I love this quote from Chris Rock.

“You know, some people say life is short and that you could get hit by a bus at any moment and that you have to live each day like it’s your last. Bullshit. Life is long. You’re probably not gonna get hit by a bus. And you’re gonna have to live with the choices you make for the next fifty years.”

03470022

Determined or stubborn? tunnel vision or narrow minded? optimistic or naive? courageous or downright stupid?

Aren’t they all the same?

P1150043
(Not related to my post at all. I just really like electrocution warning signs)

I know I brought this up in plurk already, but I just want to say this one more time.

Conservatives party don’t give a fuck about the environment, and they are winning in polls. If you think climate change is a bad idea and polar bears are kinda cute, please go vote…

Here are some key facts:

  1. Look up when and where to vote here.
  2. If you are not registered, you can do that at the polling station.
  3. Your employer must give you time to vote. Read more here.
  4. If you don’t know who to vote for, consult this. Or you can ask me and I can decide for you.
  5. I bet you’ve never vote before, why not just do it for the heck of it. Be adventurous.
  6. Next time when your annoying friend complains about how the government sucks, you can ask him if he voted, and he will say “no, did you?”, and you can say “hell yeah, stop whining like a little girl if you didn’t do shit.”
  7. You will make me happy.

Update: Forgot to mention – If you can’t vote, tell your parents to!

I think political movements suffer from image problems: politicians are evil people who lie to get elected, voters are stupid people who listen to their lies, activist are kinda crazy and too serious, and rallies are for people who’s got nothing better to do.

Anyways I meant to ask: are you at all engaged in politics, why and why not? If you are a Canadian would you vote?
(not a rhetorical question)

去年在我的舊家貼了會讓我抓狂的小事
今天我要多加一項:

Peeing on my toilet seat
(read: I don’t like your pee on my ass as much as you don’t like my pee on your ass)

A Friendly Reminder (2)

I forgot to add on the note that: it’s okay too if you are a guy but sits when you pee. (it’s good because it minimizes splashing)

For your reference:

November 01, 2007

鑑於許多出色的科學家、作家、音樂家、藝術家、哲學家都有”精神疾病”,我的強迫症說不定是好的,會讓我抓狂的小事:

  • 走路鞋子磨地
  • 沒有人的房間開燈
  • 東西沒吃完
  • 保護貼裡面有泡泡
  • 電腦裡的專輯不完整
  • 火星文
  • msn通話紀錄不見
  • 電腦桌面被別人用自動排列
  • 沒打或太晚打燈的左轉車
  • 洗別人的碗

P1140893

One reason I am somewhat interested in politics is to have the right to bitch. I want to know that when I bitch about something and someone comes up to me asking if I’ve done anything about it, I can at least say I’ve tried.

Btw, the Canadian Federal Election is on Tuesday, October 14, 2008.

P1140254

It was a real surprise. I thought it was just another tax related thing, but it turned out to be a $100 cheque from the BC government trying to make it “easier for British Columbians to choose a lower carbon lifestyle”. Immediately I asked my friend Google to see what’s going on. It turns out that people were talking about this back in Feburary this year, and I have no idea probably because I was away. Apparently they give out $440 million (plus another $10 million for the cost of delivery the cheques) in total out of the 2007/08 surplus.

I think this is ineffective. Of course, I am only speculating, because I don’t know exactly how each household will spend their dividend. However, I can imagine that once the cheques are deposited, people will not remember what this money is for. While it might give a nudge to those who are already considering making changes, the majority of the population still lack the motivation, crucial information, and alternatives. Switching from incandescent to compact fluorescent light bulbs is easy, but what about upgrading insulation, heating system, or reduce driving? The official website does not provide concrete “next step” information either. At least they should compile a list of companies that offer energy saving upgrades.

Another question is why cheques? Why not direct deposits, tax credits, coupon cards that can only be used for energy saving purchases, or simply using the $440 million to improve our transit system? Perhaps it’s more about image building and making a statement. Handing out cheques (at a cost of $10 million) makes the distribution highly visible, like the way Bush did for his tax-cuts. I don’t know. Maybe there are technical considerations that I am unaware of.

How would I use the money? I don’t know yet. I might try out a low-flow showerhead (hope it doesn’t suck) or finally getting a 2nd hand bike with functional brakes. I’ll do all I can to avoid hypocrisy 😀

(I think this is would be a depressing piece for some people, although I don’t think so myself.)

So do we really care?

Care about what? the environment? extreme poverty in third world countries? human rights violation? child soldiers? For sure you care about these issues, I mean, who doesn’t?

I hate to say this out loud, but I think we are not being as honest and virtuous as we believe. The fact is that we honestly do not care about a lot of things we say we do.

This is not an attempt to raise awareness or encourage people to care more, nor is it a cynical expression of frustration. Instead I am trying to make a point as truthfully as I can. I think it is quite logical that
we do not care about many of these issues as human beings, despite our moral believes.

Our indifference comes with good reasons, I should add. This is not to say that we are all cold-hearted egocentric bastards, but we are human beings who act according to a set of incentives and disincentives derived from our physical and emotional needs. Perhaps the real question is: why do we care about issues that do not concern us?

Some say that the source of apathy is industrialization, but I think it merely changes the scope of our
relationships. As the population move into the cities, the close personal bonds between community members are weakened. People care less about their neighbors if know them at all. In an industrialized society, most people receive salary and depend on government assistance if unemployed. Nowadays, our social circle shrinks to only close family members, friends, and colleagues. In the past, we have personal connections with community members partly due to economic reality. In agriculture based societies, strong relationship is essential because of the need for collaboration and mutual assistance during difficult times. That being said, I don’t think people from the past would care about civil wars in other countries more than we do now.

Our moral value tells us that we should care about these issues, but at the same time we do not want to face the costs. Compassion for the less fortunate is deeply entrenched in our belief system to the extent that deviation would provoke a sense of guilt. It is simply morally unacceptable to say that we don’t care about the misfortune of others in our liberal society. While it feels good to think that we are responsible global citizens who are aware of and care about these problems, the costs of acting upon are higher than most of us are willing to accept.

How many of us actually spend time on causes we believe in? Have you ever volunteered for Amnesty International? Oxfam? Unicef? Ever written a letter to your politician? Let’s put aside the effectiveness of donations, but have you ever made donation of any form to support issues you are concerned with? I’ve never done many of the things I just mentioned, and I am learning to live with it or do something about it.

It’s hard to admit our indifference in many issues because it’s an internal struggle between who we are and who we think we are. Perhaps this is why we usually pretend that we do not see fund raising volunteers on sidewalks. All the facts force us to look at our values against the costs. As much as we are unwilling to accept, the well being or lives of others sometimes worth less than $10 or $20 a month to us. So the best way to avoid this internal confrontation is to look away.

What really bugs me is how hypocritical we are. I hate those who talk like saints but act as sinners. This disparity is most evidently presented on environmental issues. If you don’t recycle, save energy, or cut down driving, don’t say that you care about the environment. If you are unwilling to spend money or time to support any cause, think twice before you say you are a responsible global citizen, because it is the least you can do. I mean, keep it real man. If you say that you care, do something. Conversely, if you do nothing, be honest enough to admit that you don’t care.