All entries for June 2007

June 21, 2007

100 0000

II.

猪:
前不久去我去中国城买电话卡的时候无意听到几个打工的中国人的对话。别的我没去仔细听,但是有一句话让我回头了。一个三十多岁的拉货的男的冲着他的伙伴们喊了一句:“……干十年也干不出一百万来!”
我顿时停了下来。“他们来到这儿都是有目的的。目的就是100万。挣钱,挣他个一百万就达到目标了,就可以喘口气了,就可以回家了,也有交代了。他们靠的不是别的,就是自己这一双手,两条腿和一个死心肠。他们的要求并不多,就一百万。挣到手就踏实了。可是就这么简单的,好比白纸上的一条线那么明确的理想却就是那么难实现。”


If you like to be an observer, too…

I.

如果你喜欢当一个旁观者,坐在一个不会被人发现的角落里悄悄偷看他人的一举一动,那么欢迎来到我的世界!让我来分享一下我的最新发现吧:长途火车。
它从不会让你失望的。大大小小的人提着,拉着,背着,顶着,抱着五颜六色的包裹,推推创创挤上车:打一个词。热闹。乘车是一个临时的状况,但舒适还是很重要的。每个人都会精心布置自己仅有的五十平方厘米的私人空间。有人会枕着自己的外衣,也有人会蹬着自己的箱子。但最令我关心的总是他们从包裹里掏出来的东西。这种不健康的兴趣并非起源于‘贼心’。只是坐惯了火车便也熟悉坐车人的习惯了,知道每个人都会从他们的包裹里掏出一件东西来帮助他们打发时间,同时躲避对面坐着的人和时不时出现的乞丐。


June 15, 2007

Lu's findings on the LU

  1. The Metropolitan Line smells of elephants
  2. The Bakerloo Line is NOT the same as the East London Line
  3. There are more graffiti drawings in the North-West London than in South London
  4. “Doznt mattah if aye doo somin ronn caz aye kant be bovered” makes sense
  5. I want a train carriage named after me!

the quote of the day

If we possess our why of life we can put up with almost any how.

Nietzsche, The Twilight of the Idols


June 12, 2007

oh whose god?

The un-cunning blasphemous phrase we find ourselves uttering almost daily hides a rather interesting secret in it. When in a moment of mild astonishment we exaggerating-ly drop our jaws and ejaculate the words “oh my god”, we are in a way specifying the god we are referring to: the god which is mine, my god, not yours or anybody else’s, it’s my god. Hence, in saying that, we indirectly acknowledge the fact that gods are personal items and that there might be more than one god, perhaps even one for each person!


June 11, 2007

Going Green

Writing about web page http://economist.com/research/articlesbysubject/displaystory.cfm?subjectid=7933604&story_id=9210834

Green is all over the place these days. As a responsible citizen of the world, I too want to contribute to the reduction of emission and repair the planet by making little choices in my life that will have a large impact on the planet in the long run. However, as this article will tell you, it ain’t easy. It’s next to impossible to try and figure out which one is more environmentally friendly:

  1. In a car: Air conditioning OR Open windows?
  2. In a toilet: Hand dryer OR Towel dryer OR Paper towels?
  3. In household: Disposable paper plates OR Disposable plastic plates OR Plastic plates OR Ceramic plates that require washing-up liquid and contaminating water?
  4. In household: Washing powder that is one of the hardest things to filter out in the waste water OR Soap powder that is believed to be less efficient in washing and thus requires more of?
  5. In consumerism: reuse Plastic bags OR recycle Paper bags?
  6. In consumerism: buying Home-grown stuff that is closer to you and may help reduce the costs of shipping (as suggested by the Planet Repair project) OR buying Imported products that may be grown in a third world country and help the poor?
  7. In consumerism: neatly Packed products OR dirty and Loose products?
  8. In travel: Trains that require miles of tracks through otherwise healthy rich fields of greenery OR Planes that are oddly becoming cheaper and cheaper, more accessible and more convenient, sometimes replacing several train rides?

There’s many many more ORs in this uneasy quest for environmentally responsible behaviour. The little staggering figures the environmentalists use to convince us that ‘every little helps’ are very utopian. They all come with a big conditional clause: IF. If only there was a unified guidance that would provide simple answers to the environmental questions, the global planet repairs would already have seen some huge results.


June 10, 2007

the war of sexes

I’m not entitled to being in a mood. I’m a woman, and hence all my feelings are, apparently, hormone-driven. I’m a bag of hormones that is only allowed to serve men as a never ending fun fair, and shall my mood enter a stage whereby I, god forbid, turn critical of men’s behaviour, or, oh my god, argue with a man and dare to express my opinion, my hormones immediately feel the heat of the spotlights of blame and make me doubt myself. Hear me out: women can’t think straight. Their emotions are guided by hormones, especially if they’ve been on contraceptive pills for long enough. But goddamn it we have moments of clarity! Moments when we realise that women are more than what meets the eye; that logic is not at all alien to us; that we too crave for an interesting life, aside from shoes and purses, we crave for beautiful minds! When the dishes are piling up in the sink the image of a woman in an apron inevitably floats to the surface of the mind and it’s a slippery slope from there. All the dust and mess, all the dirt and clogs – where are the women to clean it up? What if the women stopped caring one day? Would men pick up the sponges, get on their knees and start polishing the wooden floors? Would they lick clean all the splinters and crack so that the women can carelessly walk all over them in muddy high heels as their ultimate revenge? Would they embrace the windows and rub them clean until the glass shines like diamond, so that we can see our gorgeous reflections in the windows? Would they sit down with a fancy calculator to meticulously plan a budget that we can later recklessly annihilate to satisfy a single quirky yearning? Oh no, god no! That would be too sweet a revenge that would make women fat and thus undesirable; and since the women’s only purpose in life is to serve men, turning into a fatter bag of hormones is not an option!

But when is this life gonna end? When are men going to stop being selfish twats with no interest other than spreading their seed and playing computer games where they pretend to be significant war heroes with an impact in the lives of others? How did these creatures even come to dominate the arena of world politics, business and academia? Oh wait, I know how: by exploiting women! Maybe in the next life I could be god. I’d be a much better god, I’m sure. I’m a woman, I’m much more considerate, better at multitasking, much better at organising things, setting priorities, planning ahead, much more articulate about my moral standards, less evil, less cruel and much more gorgeous, so that when I do create human beings by my own image they’d all be pretty and fit.


June 04, 2007

The Beggars' Place in the Social Biospehre

Attention. This is a passenger announcement: Beggars occasionally board the trains. Please do not encourage them by giving money. If you see a beggar on this train, please tell a member of staff.

If we take Darwin’s theory of biosphere, in particular the interdependence between species in a biosphere, and apply that relationship to social sphere, then, theoretically, if there were no beggars, then there would be an imbalance of some kind. But what would really change if there were no beggars? Can beggars be equated to the species that have no natural enemies?

The existence of the social niche filled by beggar-ism can be viewed as an alternative social form. Variety of social roles as well as good social mobility is paramount to an open liberal society. Perhaps the sole reason for the existence of beggar-ism and general social tolerance to it lays in the fact that beggars still hold a place on the ladder of society and the position of beggar-ism provides a social safety net.

If there were no beggars, an altogether different social class would be filling the gap and laying down the safety net. With beggars being the less populous social form, or for other unstudied reasons, there are no riot eruptions to be seen. However, if the beggars as a social class cease to exist, then the social balance would shift and a much more populous group may feel increasingly insecure and ‘on the edge’ of social ladder, thus creating a prerequisite for social instability.

It is thus evident that beggars as a social class are neither irrelevant or redundant in a developed society.


Relativism

According to Bhikhu Parekh, the three fundamental assumptions that relativism makes are that:

  1. Individuals are determined, constituted or profoundly shaped by their culture or society, and as a result are unable to rise about its beliefs and modes of thought.
  2. Different societies entertain different bodies of beliefs and we have no means of judging these.
  3. The prevailing system of beliefs and practices best suits its members, who are therefore right to live by it.

However, globalisation brought increased and more profound cultural exchanges that enables people to think outside the patter of their cultures, to accept different criteria of judgement and to improve upon a nation’s life by modifying its received perceptions and moral standards. Thus, globalisation in asserting the validity of different cultures and backing relativism at the same time serves the strongest argument in denying the relevance of relativism.

Reference: Bhikhu Parekh, Non-ethnocentric universalism in Dunne, T. and Wheeler, N. J. (ed.) 1999. Human Rights in Global Politics. Cambridge, CUP


June 03, 2007

my very own personal pledge for Africa

colourful tap

and another one here


June 2007

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