9 June 2017

sky

Every time I look up I see something different.
Yesterday, I saw a bright white moon. In the dark night, the clear moon hang there. I stared it long enough to make myself sleepy. The night was calm. A refreshing breeze would lift my hair from time to time.
When I look up to the sky, I feel small. I feel like a tiny piece that belongs to this world. Though small, I feel that I could make the difference.
The skies are broad, it covers a lot of ground. It's the same sky for you, me and all others. But it's not the same sky for some? Why?

We live under the same sky, yet, why are our differences more important than our similarities?
I try to reach for the sky, it's so far away yet so close at the same time. We crave connection, but we are connected to everything, we just don't seem to realize it. We fight to belong, yet we do belong, although we don't seem to feel it.

I stared at the sky so long it started to discolour and distort. But it's still the same sky. What is different is the way we see it. After all, nothing is ever the same through the eyes of two different people, and yet, it is ultimately the same in essence, we just don't grasp it, I guess.

8 June 2017

Africa is not poor

When most people think about Africa in a westernized stereotype, about how it is a poor place and there are lots of people that live in misery, how they need our help to survive. It's an arrogant and boasting atitude. I recently read an interesting article, it says "Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth."
"With few exceptions, countries with abundant mineral wealth experience poorer democracy, weaker economic growth, and worse development."
"Aid is tiny, and the very least it can do, if spent well, is to return some of Africa's looted wealth. We should see it both as a form of reparations and redistribution, just as the tax system allows us to redistribute wealth from the richest to the poorest within individual societies. The same should be expected from the global "society".

To even begin to embark on such an ambitious programme, we must change the way we talk and think about Africa. It's not about making people feel guilty, but correctly diagnosing a problem in order to provide a solution. We are not, currently, "helping" Africa. Africa is rich. Let's stop making it poorer."

For full text please refer to:
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2017/05/africa-poor-stealing-wealth-170524063731884.html?

2 June 2017

Double standards

Starting off topic, I have to say I'm starting to hate reading morning news. All it does is get me irritated for the day. It does make me think too, though.
This morning what led me to my ramble is the US pulling out of the Paris climate change deal. I won't brag and say I saw it coming, but those kind of stuff has always been something incomprehensible to me. I mean, the climate change deal and the non-proliferation treaty. For both, the starting point is valid, and I completely agree. However, I can't see how it would be kept without anyone breaking it. If you believe all those trading information about the climate change deal, about loaning/lending/selling/buying CO2 quota, how can you believe that this deal was going to work??
Same goes for nuclear non-proliferation treaty, how can you believe that in an all out war that treaty is going to work?

Today, my topic is double standards. What I mean is, that you have a moral or other kind of standard for yourself or who you represent, and another set of standards for someone who is not yourself, who is even your enemy. So when you do a certain thing, it is justifiable and the right thing to do, but when someone else does the same thing, it is not? That specially goes for something that is potentially damaging to the subject.
US now is going to pull out of the climate change deal, for whatever reason, that I don't even want to know, I'm pretty sure they feel it's justified. But, if it was the other way around, if the US wanted to stay in the deal, and some other country wanted to pull out, I'm pretty sure they would condemn that country, on whatever moral grounds they think they have.
US criticizes North Korea a lot. Not saying if it's justified or not. (I don't agree or disagree, still trying to form an informed opinion on the matter.) But for once, I think the US capable of backing out of the treaty. I think they are capable of find a reason and feed themselves the thought that they hold moral high ground on that. Doesn't mean it is going to happen, but if it does, I wouldn't be surprised.

It's hard to be as hard on yourself as you are on other people. Criticizing others is always easier. The thing is, we often don't look at ourselves under the same scope. I hate it, but it is a fact that most people hold double standards. We are fast to judge, slow to understand and forgive. It is unfair to put double standards, but sometimes we do it anyway because we don't hold all the circumstances in our knowledge, and because no one wants to be criticized. Criticism is not bad, it is constructive if being given after informed evaluation. We should all think about what we would do under the exact same circumstances.

29 May 2017

累了 烦了 厌倦了
我发现心情不好的时候特别能写文,要发泄一下下

我发现之前一位朋友说的很正确,我们年轻,但是像是带着一颗伤痕累累的心,对世界没有了热情。现在的我们可以看到的东西,去到的地方,做到的事情,体验到的经历都比以前多。可是为什么就算是这样,我们对一切的热情却似乎慢慢的淡去。我们不是应该眼花缭乱,兴奋无比地希望去抓住每一次机会吗?
也许只有我这么懦弱 表里不一吧,但是我深深怀疑还有别人和我一样。我有我的高高低低,有时无缘无故想哭,有时最小的点点滴滴都能让我放声大笑。归根究底,这么多年活下来真正的意义有多少?经过的那么多时刻,值得吗?
累了,不只身体累了,心神累了,只是不时还没有经历什么吗?怎么累了?
烦了,不知是心烦了,脑子也烦了,只是烦恼不是百分之九十都是多虑吗?再说,我们这一代大多真正碰到过需要烦恼的事吗?
厌倦了,才活了多久就以为自己看清世界看清人间了,其实都没有,不是吗?自己装着轻描淡写的态度,其实只是空虚不知道珍惜。

有时我们只活在自己的脑子里。看清世界,谁能真正这么说?
累了,烦了,厌倦了,不如说
懒了

人生其实太短暂,世界其实太短暂
短暂到我不敢去想它的结局
懒了 不如说怕了

有胆就去闯闯世界
有胆就去改变世界
如果依旧厌倦我也不强求
有胆就安静离开世界

我也不清楚这话是给谁的  是我自己还是别人 也许都有

意义是什么值得想想

23 May 2017

Post-truth

"After much discussion, debate, and research, the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2016 is post-truth"
What the heck is post-truth??! According to Oxford Dictionaries it is an adjective defined as ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief’. Post-truth has gone from being a peripheral term to being a mainstay in political commentary, now often being used by major publications without the need for clarification or definition in their headlines. Post-truth refers to a time where truth has become unimportant and irrelevant.

I want to deny it with everything I got, but I can't. Ultimately, I know it to be quite true. How exactly did this come to be? Don't expect me to answer, because I'm the one who asks questions, not the one who gives answers.
General population get swayed by all the sensationalism around, be it political speeches and campaigns, be it commercials and ads, be it stories and movies. Stories are supposed to sway the audience, that's its purpose, to sweep them to a different place, a different time. Commercials are supposed to sway the audience to feel like buying whatever that is they are advertising, that's its purpose. But is the purpose of politics and democracy the same? Are we so empty that we crave to be swept by emotions and feelings when there should not be? There are things in life that should be decided based on facts and reason. There are other things in life that should be decided based on how we feel. Mixing things is just a recipe for disaster. I mean, strong feelings tend to pull to extremes, strong reasoning tend to balance things out. That's what I believe. Feel free to feel otherwise.

Politics should be fair, yet it is not. Justice should be blind, yet it is not. We get swept up in those beautifully crafted speeches that make us look away from facts. Facts, that need to be cross examined under light of its sources. There is not one truth.
"In seeking absolute truth we aim at the unattainable and must be content with broken portions." -- William Osler
The more I read, the more I know, the more I try to be impartial, the more I realise, I can't be completely impartial. Our own experiences, stories, friends, connections are what makes us unique, and also what makes us partial.
My point, everything we see is biased and presented to us from an angle. The presenters want this to be your angle, but that does not necessarily mean it should be. We are fast to judge, slow to realise our bias and mistakes. I try not to be so judgmental. And yet, I find myself noticing my unconscious judging from time to time, inevitably. Judgement based only on feelings are lacky, at best. Judgement based only on facts, fail to be human. The thing is, we are losing the balance. Do we look at our leaders and see what they are doing or see what they say they are doing? Do we look at our peers and subordinates and see what they are doing or see what they want us to see they are doing? I start to question every piece of information I receive. I start to question the source, the perspective, how much emotional weight and ideological bias it has. I have to. Their opinion is not necessarily mine, and to form one, I can't just stick my head in one direction. There are invisible filters everywhere. It is not necessarily a bad thing, but everyone should also have their own filter and know when to look beyond, if necessary.
 Don't we owe it to ourselves, to know the truth or as much of it as possible? Doesn't society condemn lies? So why does this not matter anymore? Specially in such a large scale?

27 April 2017

The World at unrest

Is it me that's more aware of what's happening around the world or is the world actually going mad? Do we as humanity have such a short memory? Did we forget about the hate speeches and propaganda that preceeded WWII? Why does history repeat itself? I think I can't even count anymore the times I've asked this question. Have we not learned ANYTHING at all?
(Disclaimer: The text below states only my personal opinion. Everyone is entitled to one, no one has to agree with me. Just putting my thought out.)
US elections. In my opinion, between Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton, like a Portuguese saying, let the Devil come and choose. The US made their choice, they want something fresh, different, WAY... different. Let's see what different leads them and the world into. I see turbulent times ahead.

UK referendum, Brexit. I honestly don't know what to make of it. It felt like the UK made the smart decision of being the first to abandon a sinking ship, but, leaking is not sinking, and maybe EU can still be saved. Therefore, the UK would be branded the traitors that didn't ditched when things got tough. Good or bad, they needed change, and change they have it. I see unsettled times ahead.

Islamic caliphate. Empires rise and fall, and this one has most definitely been on the minds of many people. Recently read that foreign fighters that joined the caliphate are perhaps trying to leave, shrinking their forces. I think that in modern days, any empire that relies strictly on military won't last too long. Their political structure from what I perceive from tids and bits from the news is faulty at best. The shrinking forces and the fighters leaving the caliphate may be good or bad, only time will tell. I see unstable and violent times ahead.

Dutch elections. Somehow, the dutch people seemed to prefer someone not extremist. From my stand point, I congratulate the dutch people for this choice. I congratulate them for choosing inclusion and integration instead of hate and discrimination. Thank you for enlightening my days and giving us a sliver of hope among difficult times.

French elections. Another one that wants to shake things up. Are things so bad that they want to take a chance at it getting worse? Because what goes for people goes for countries too, if you treat someone with caution and suspicion, it's a self fullfilling prophecy that they will not feel welcome and will not cooperate. Hostility generates hostility. Between Le Pen and Macron, I don't know who is going to shake things more. For me, it's not about who best serves the people's interests but who is less likely to be a bad choice. I see anxious times ahead.

Venezuela. When you start shouting, you stop listening. Sometimes dissonant voices are an obstacle to moving forward, but then again, if you drown everything different opinion there is, what is the difference between that and a dictatorship? One may hand the democratic flag but still be a dictatorship. If there is no compromise, there is no negotiation, if there is no negotiation there will be no peace. That is why extreme idealist are considered dangerous, because ideals can't be negotiated. I see warring times ahead.

Occupied territorries of Palestine and Israel. This one is definitely not new, and it sure feels like it's been going on for forever. Do they even know what they are fighting for anymore? Religion, is something I'll never understand as reason for war. We are not in the middle ages anymore, trying to convert people through force? I don't think that works. I honestly don't have an opinion on how to end it, but I sure would like to see an end to it. I can't help but feel sorry for both parties, maybe they both had reasons to fight for their land, but I'm pretty sure they lost any reason the moment cruelty surfaced. Celebrate diversity, that's about the only thing I can say. I see helpless times ahead.

North Korea. If someone had the illusion that the military that defends a country will suddenly stop developing the most powerful weapon it can possibly get, I think it's time to wake up. Just because there is a treaty. doesn't mean countries don't have them nukes hidden somewhere. Just because there isn't one now doesn't mean it can't be built if the technology exists. The thing about North Korea is, they have to have the ability to build one even if they don't use it. I'm not justifying whatever that is happening but the reasoning behind it actually makes sense. If suddenly the treaty would be gone, for whatever reason, the countries holding the power would be the ones with capability of building a nuke. Doesn't mean they have to launch it, I think just the threat of being able to build one is quite enough, no? It's all about power play, it's always been, right? Pressuring North Korea to stop the nuke program is like telling an obstinate child that they is not allowed to eat candy. The more you try, the more determined they are going to be. After all, what do they say? The forbidden fruit tastes sweeter. I see agitated times ahead.

That's about all that comes to my mind now. But, do I need to name more? These are restless times, we stand at crossroads, but we ahve yet to decide where to go. Where Do we go from here?

7 April 2017

The World War III - maybe we are looking at it

I've come to realize that the World War III has already began. Actually I think it already began some time ago, I just wasn't paying enough attention to realize that. The World is at war, and the stage is Syria/ISIL and surrounding areas. In the western so called developped countries, sometimes, news about war and terror reach us. Sometimes, it shocks us, sometimes we brush it off as something far away. I mean, commoners, lay people like me. I think I'm not the only one alienated from what's really happening, what we probably should be aware that really is happening.
There is just no way I'll believe that the conflict in Syria is just a civil war. Why, why has that territory been drowning in war? That is the place where one of the most ancient civilizations was born, that is Mesopotamia, why a place so rich both in land, culture and natural resources has been at war. Throughout history, as far as I know, this place has never been too long at peace, if ever. We are supposed to thrive in such a place, so why do we keep tearing it down?
There is no way a civil war would escalate so something this big, this extreme. Resorting to the use of Chemical weapons, why would someone resort to that unless there is no other effective way? You don't use a chemical weapon knowing that the world will turn against you unless, you got no other choice, or you got some kind of knowledge that no serious retaliation is going to happen. Right now, how far are we from using Biological and Atomical weapons?
Retaliation happened, fast. But then again, let me quote Gundam "Kill because someone got killed, and being killed because you killed. Would that really bring about true peace in the end?" Retaliation is not the answer unless you beat the other party to the ground. But then that's violent imposition of your will and that's no different from what you are supposed to be fighting against. Instead of mediating and moderating the conflict it just...adds...fuel.
Of all the power houses of the world, is there any that is not vested in this so called Syrian Civil War?? Argue, warn, threaten, attack, because this is not your land. Because the stage is somewhere other than the homeland of those who attack. Would you airstrike your own territory?!?!
Some criticise Russia's position as standing on the worng side of history... Excuse me but history is being written and whoever wins in the end stand on the right side of history. That has always been the way history was written. In this war, every single participant is to blame. Is there even a right side??! Attack as a show of power to both your allies and enemies. Maybe both sides just stopped listening and started shouting to each other.
Thank you, world, thanks to the aggregate of undecisive standing on this matter, attacks lacking in force, determination, sound justification and consistency, interests other than the well being of Syrian population among others, we are tearing down the birth place of civilization.

What is the norm? Do we really stand on moral high ground like we think we do? Violence in the name of peace. That is the flag we condemn our enemies for carrying. But this is the same flag we carry. We fail to see our faults, whereas all we see in our enemy are their faults. This is not the way.
Let me quote Gundam again, "History is much like an endless waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever." Have we not learned anything?
Communicating, negotiating, compromising. Can we not do that? Can we not reason with people? Our truth isn't always THE truth. We often overlook things that don't even come to mind, and are overlooked precisely because of that.
All the military actions seem to do is inflame and escalate this conflict. Are we really working to expand this conflict beyond Syria? Because it looks a lot like it.

31 March 2017

Bias of the media

Let's start with a quote,
"If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you do read it, you're misinformed."
I believe many people are familiar with this sentence by Denzel Washington.

If you think about it, it's true.
Let's take a short excursion to the hot topic of fake news. Fake news is anything BUT news. It's a story, that you might entertain yourself with, but that's just it, a fictional story. That's about all I have to say about them.
Now, the news, is supposed to inform us of facts. However, even the fact reporting media does not tell you all you need to know. There are many things left out. Ratings are important, funding is important, political sponsorship is important. That leads to biased media.
Reporting based on emotion is what one see most nowadays. It doesn't matter how important it is or how not relevant it is, it doesn't matter if it gives a most complete account of the events or the most impartial analysis of the facts. As long as it elicits some kind of emotional response, it's what's you are going to see. The stories are presented in a certain way to shock you, make you pity the subjects, make you revolted or angry. They don't inform you anymore, they feed you what you want. Or... actually what they want.
Have you tried to read the same a piece of news about the same event in different newspapers or magazines? They tell different stories. If you jusr sit around and just eat up the information from one source, how can you be anything other than biased? Because whatever you do or feel and form an opinion on, comes from a biased source.

We can only do as best as we can to not be swayed by those coloured glasses. We should try as best as we can to call attention to and shatter those coloured glasses. It doesn't help people, not you not me not anyone, it polarizes people. We are already too far down that road, shouldn't it be time to turn back? Shouldn't it be time for understanding, shouldn't it be time for unity, shouldn't it be time for peace?

30 March 2017

How did we come to think like that?

Global inequality is a current issue that we cannot deny. Recently I've just read that income levels in Africa have been dropping relative to the rest of the world, meaning that Africa as a whole is getting relatively poorer. How is this happening?
Many of Africa's natural resources were long ago taken by colonial forces, leaving little agricultural and mineral wealth. This is true for most of the colonized land. So, lucky are the ones that have not suffered colonization. But how did it happen? How did we come to think that we can exploit other people? How did we come to think that we can usurp all the resources leaving little to nothing behind?
I once read about a study where the found out that our default was not being selfish, but rather help other people out. So how did this default turn into greed? and selfishness beyond measure?
I refuse to believe that this inequality we are seeing is natural, it can't be. How did we come to this?

13 March 2017

Changing the world

Are we crazy to think that we can change the world?
Are we crazy to think that we can make it better?
Are we crazy to think that we can make it better in a way that matters?

Are we crazy to think that one day equality can be achieved?
Are we crazy to think that one day there will be no prejudice?
Are we crazy to think that one day mankind will actually learn from its mistakes?

We CAN change the world, for better or for worse, we have to believe that.
We ARE changing the world, bit by bit, we have to believe that.

We, the new generation,
we have a different way to see the world,
we have a different way to live the life,
Maybe we can have a different way of changing the world.
Maybe we can have a better chance of making our world better.


For Communicating
For Understanding
For Tolerance
For Inclusion
For Me, For You, For Us