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Tuesday, 10 August 2010


Why do people from minority races like to point out their race whenever they talk about their sucesses yet, they seem enraged about racism? I suspect, they don't hate racial prejudices at all. Afterall, if racism were eliminated, what are they to boast about?

Race is only one of many factors people can be bias against. Sex, age, BMI, religion, the list goes on. Maybe stop having the preconception that everything is about your race and start working harder? Blaming your failure on your race only goes to show your character.

I am not condoning racism. I am ardently against it. But not everything is racially motivated.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

The Human Condition

Do people change?
Or do they just fake who they were before?

Why do I like analysing Human Behaviours?
Because people are all so different, yet the same.

There is a great deal of difference between not knowing, and pretending to not know.
And many are unable to spot the difference.

Is it wrong to vote for what's best for me, instead of what's best for the country?
No. Because altruism does not exist. Not for me, not for society-at-large. Even if it does, it would be statistically insignificant.

But sometimes I do wonder, are my judgements affected by personal bias?
I think so. When they're wrong, afterthoughts seem to indicate that they were often marred by what I want it to be. It is not always easy to be objective.

Monday, 5 April 2010

The Catholic Church is a political organisation

Sorry for the hiatus, I have been busy, lazy and lacking in writing inspiration. But enough excuses, now I am marking my return with a post on my favourite topic: Religion. Or is it politics? What's the difference?

Truth is, all organised religions are as much politics as they are religion. To hold power over the masses, politics is undeniably vital. And to say that they are not about power would be akin to saying Megan Fox is ugly. In other words, denial.

But here I point you to the sex abuse crisis the Catholic Church faces, and the Pope's avoidance of the issue. The Pope made no mention nor apology on the issue during the three hour Easter Mass. But what's worse is that some leaders of the Catholic Church called the sex abuse issue a "smear campaign aimed at the Pope." That is no different to what politicians say when their sex scandals were made public. Plus the fact that these were not allegations, these were cases where the clergies themselves have admitted to committing. What happen to the Church that preaches repentance? Clearly, politics is more important than God's forgiveness. Hypocrisy is a virtue in politics, remember?

To their credit, there were a few Archbishops who criticised the Church's handling of the issue. They deserve to be commended for that. I urge more Catholics to do the same.

Despite his silence towards the sex abuse crisis, the Pope did however, say that humanity faces a "profound crisis" and that it needs to undergo a "spiritual and moral conversion." I fully agree. However, I hope the Pope does not regard sex abuse and spreading HIV to others as morally acceptable. If he does not, then I think the Pope should tackle the problems in his own backyard first before trying to "fix the world." Like Michael Jackson said, look at the Man In the Mirror.

There are many other Catholic clergies more deserving to be the Pope than this idiot. The only way to make sense of his election is to draw parallels from how George Bush was elected: He played politics.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

The Time Traveler's Wife

"The choices we’re working with here are a block universe, where past, present and future all coexist simultaneously and everything has already happened; chaos, where anything can happen and nothing can be predicted because we can’t know all the variables; and a Christian universe in which God made everything and it’s all here for a purpose but we have free will anyway."
--The Time Traveler's Wife (2003)

Speaking of Thomas Aquinas:
"He wanted order and reason, and God, too. He believed in both Aristotle and angels.”
--The Time Traveler's Wife (2003)

Free will = meaninglessness?
If everything happens for a reason, is there still free will?

Thought provoking. Which do you think it is? And, which do you WANT it to be?

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Still here

I have had no motivation to write lately. Still don't. Don't know why. And I am way behind on my Summer Reading, doesn't look like I'll complete my list. Would be great if I can finish just half of it.

But anyway, I wanted to share this article from Huffington Post:
Science Denial on the Rise

Please read, whether you are in to science or not.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Blasphemy Law

Warning: This post is blasphemous. But thankfully, this account is not registered in Ireland. Oh, thank Darwin! Thank Science! Thank the Big Bang it's not!

If you still don't know what I'm talking about: Ireland enacted the Blasphemy law which came into effect on the 1st of January 2010. No, this is not an Onion piece, this is real. You wouldn't be the only one if you think you're back in Ancient Rome. Fundamentally, this poses two problems.

Firstly, the death of Freedom of Speech. Secularists have time and again criticised religions for the religious dogmas who do not respect human rights, and this just proves it once again. Freedom of Speech is one of the most basic elements of Human Rights, hence by suppressing it, religions have once again shown that Human Rights is less important than protecting their religion. Is this rational? Am I wrong when I claim religions are irrational?

Secondly, by requiring a law to protect religious ideas, wouldn't that be blasphemy in itself? Isn't God all powerful? So why is he not capable of taking a few criticisms? By requiring a law for this purpose, they are in fact claiming that God isn't all powerful after all. I don't know how they think, but to me, that is blasphemy. I think whoever enacted that law should be fined under that very same law. Paradox. Yes. I love it.

At the end of the day, I think religions should be more careful and stop doing stupid things to undermine themselves. Religions' popularity has already declined over recent decades. Flaunting their stupidity is not going to help their survival. Oh, and may I remind you, these are the same people who criticise Muslim fundamentalists in the Middle East. And the same people who condemn countries that lock up political prisoners.

What is the difference between political prisoners and religious prisoners? As far as I am concerned, they are both based on ideologies.

Food for thought: The Ancient Roman and Greek Gods and Goddesses have lost all their followers. So have many other religions. In fact, contemporary society seems to think it's funny people in those day believed in such absurd God as the God of Love (Cupid). Abrahamic religions are only about 2000 years old. Who is to say that they will not disappear one day in the future? And people then would think it funny that we, now, think God created humans in his image?

When your religion dies, will your heaven still be eternal? I say best forget your religion and make full use of your current life.

Sunday, 20 December 2009


Indeed, Copenhagen has been a disappointment, but not unexpected. The great divide between the rich and the poor is nothing new either. As for the final agreement reached, I am on the critics' side: It is a "cop-out". The agreement is there for the sake of having an agreement. Perhaps to justify Obama's Nobel Prize.

To my understanding the main rift between the rich and the poor nation stamps from the fact that developed nations does not want to be legally binded by an agreement unless the same happens to the poorer nations. And, they are not willing to commit the money to help the poorer nations. This is what I think: If the rich nations aren't willing to commit the money to help the poorer nations, they have no right to legally force the poorer nations to cut emissions. On the other hand, if they do commit a sufficient amount, which we all know add up to be less than the cost of the Iraq war or the bank bailouts of America alone, then I am all for legally binding the poorer nations to cut emissions. After all, it is your money.

But no, the rich, as always, want something but don't want to give anything. Yes, they agreed to $10 billion, but $10 billion can't buy you majority share in Barclays. Not even close. Who are you kidding?

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Climate change is more politics than science

Following up my previous post on climate change, I have realised that the debate on climate change is much more politically motivated than scientifically based. Call me naive, but I thought such an issue would rely on the science more than anything else. Now I know better.

If you have been following the news, it is blatantly obvious most of the activists are politically left inclined whereas almost all of the skeptics (and outright deniers) are from traditionally right winged factions. It is not difficult to understand the reason behind this.

The right winged have always been known as "by the rich, for the rich," and it is easy to see that climate change policies, on the international scale or the national level, affects the rich more than the poor.

Taking action against climate change requires money from developed nations, but relatively speaking, benefits them little. True, the Great Barrier Reefs will be gone. But that is nothing when compared to losing your entire nation, which is what will happen to hundreds of island nations. Or, having insufficient water supply for your entire population. This is why, like the starving population of Africa, developed countries cannot care less.

On the national level, reducing emissions will greatly increase the cost of power companies, industrial companies and countless other companies who are million, if not billion, dollar profit making companies. Let's face it, we promote Earth Day to 'save the earth', but our individual emissions are no match for major industry players. Hence, the rich, which are relatively few in numbers, and not everyday folk, which make up most of the population, will be carrying the burden if such a legislation is passed. This is why the right wing politicians are so strongly against the carbon tax.

The sad part is, these politicians then go on to use scare tactics to win over voters. They say that the cost of the tax will be passed on to consumers as the companies will sustain higher cost of operations. My question is, why can't the CEOs of the companies, or the owners, or all the million dollar employees of the companies, take a pay cut? Will the $100,000 less in their $2million paychecks cause starvation in their families? Or just a few less Gucci?

From my point of view, the science clearly points to climate change from carbon emissions. Leaked emails are not scientific data. And the data does not come from just one study, or just one scientist. They come from all over the world from multiple different industries. Even if the evidence for it is not conclusive, there currently exist no evidence AGAINST it. It is safe to say, the debate is not about the science, but about the burden of it to the rich.

Who says you can't rule the world with money?

Saturday, 28 November 2009

My Take on Climate Change

With the United Nations' Copenhagen summit on climate change just around the corner, I thought it apt to write on the topic of climate change. Not having an overwhelming interest on the subject means my knowledge on this issue is frankly limited. However, I do have a basic understanding of what climate change is and I have been following the news of late.

So far, the pledges by governments around the world have been pathetic, to say the least. President Obama's pledge to cut emissions by 17% of 2005 levels within ten years is simply not enough. That amounts to only 3% of 1990 levels, the level most countries base their targets on. Australia is planning to cut its emissions by 25% of 2000 levels. What's more? Both these legislation have yet to pass the Congress and Senate's vote respectively, and look increasingly unlikely to be passed before the New Year. The only promising sign seems to come from today's Commonwealth summit in Trinidad and Tobago: France and the UK pledge to set up a $10billion fund to help developing countries cut emissions. Hopefully, politicians around the world will face up to the situation in the next week or two.

As for climate change skeptics, all I have to say is, the Earth deserves the benefit of the doubt. Although there are no conclusive evidence that rising CO2 levels is the cause of global warming (but I think it's pretty convincing), doing something for nothing is definitely preferable over doing nothing and risk facing a catastrophe. After all, since this is a global phenomenon, the financial burden from cutting emissions will mostly go towards creating a new industry, and thus jobs. Therefore, drastic measures should be taken.

While I don't consider climate change to the biggest challenge of our times, I believe actions can and should be taken. So if you would like to make a difference, you should approach your local politicians as soon as possible and let them know you are in support of emissions cut. A simple email can make a difference.

Let's hope something productive comes up from the Copenhagen summit.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Summer, summer, time to read

Since I have such a long list of 'to-read' books, I have decided to come up with a list of books I will attempt to read this summer. Hopefully, I can finish them all. 24 in total. That is indeed a tall order for a slow reader like me, but I figured I have approximately 12 weeks, 2 a week should not be too much to ask for. When making the list, I tried to have a balance between fiction and non-fiction, as well as covering a wide range of topics. Below is some brief words about the books, and I hope to review at least half of all of them as I go along. Won't be reading in this particular order, but I will be starting with The Book Thief.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
This book has had some impressive reviews and is set in the WWII era. Since it is about the character's love of books (I think), I hope it will inspire to read more.

Candide by Voltaire
This one's said to be one of the best satires ever. I'm a huge fan of satires, so I am looking forward to reading this. It will provide some comic relief too.

Stiff by Mary Roach
This will fill the medical/science part of my readings and, I hope this is funny.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
This, I hope, will fill the comedy part of my list. And I can't have a list without a book about drugs, can I?

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby
I have not seen the movie, but this book seems to have won many prizes. If it's bad, at least its small size will mean it wouldn't take long.

Capital (Vol. 1) by Karl Marx
Can't have a list without a book on politics, right? Hopefully I can understand most of it.

The Holy Bible (International Edition)
We have all heard of fascinating stories from The Bible. This will be an interesting read and hopefully improve my understanding of Christianity. I wanted to read the King James edition, but I found the international edition on the shelve at home, so international edition it is.

Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
After writing an essay on Darwin and the Nazis, I decided Hitler would be an interesting person to read about. What better place to start than a book by the man himself.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
A suspense novel. Just for some entertainment, seeing as this book has had quite the hype.

The Iliad by Homer
I'm trying to learn poetry. Don't know if this is a good place to start, but Trojan War, should be interesting anyway.

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
This should perhaps be counted as 2. About 1500 pages, depending on which version, I hope I get through it alive. I will trust the reviews on this one.

Old Goriot by Honoré de Balzac
A novel on social criticisms, I hope it's entertaining and interesting. Can't discount the fact that Balzac is Oscar Wilde's favourite author.

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Said to be thought provoking, should be a good non-fiction to add to my list.

Little White Slips by Karen Hitchcock
One more to fill in the medical/science part of my list, not many so far.

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Again, have yet to watch the movie. But I hope the popularity of this book is justified.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Similarly, I hope this one is too.

Direct Red by Gabriel Weston
Having too few medical books, this biography will fill the void. Female surgeon, should be interesting.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
A suspense involving a novelist. Might be interesting, or at least, entertaining.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer
Another novel that somehow involves reading. Don't know why but I'm fascinated about that stuff.

Martin Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis
A medical novel published in 1925. Said to be underrated. Looks good. We'll see.

The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud
I need to understand my dreams and learn how to psychoanalyse people, just for the sake of it. Good variety for my list too.

Essays by George Orwell
I'm an Orwell fan, so some assorted essays should do me good.

Ideas That Matter by A.C. Grayling
I've read The Meaning of Things by Grayling. It was an interesting read and I hope this philosophical book would be just as good, if not better.

Soul Mountain by Gao Xingjian
Apparently an amazing journey of self-discovery and self-reflection, hopefully gives me something to ponder over summer.

Stupid White Man by Michael Moore
Another one for politics!