In that particular part of the story, it speaks of "Man" trying to find his link or relevance to the rest of the world.
I realized that the meaning of our existence must be defined by another higher order being.
Consider this, the study of lab rats in a given habitat...
The rats live in their given habitat, happily eating, fornicating and defecating.
By their instincts, they have to forage and breed without much thought to their purpose of existence.
As they live their lives following their instincts, they are unaware that their lifestyle is being monitored, tracked and recorded for some other purposes.
Their lives is defined by the scientists that bred them for specific purposes.
It takes a higher order of intelligence to study and understand the lives of beings with a lower order of intelligence.
Scientifically speaking, it is impossible to measure or quantify without some form of intrusion to the environment in which the absolute result is required. i.e, it is not possible to measure the exact temperature of water without using an intrusive thermometer that has its own thermal properties and hence when introduced to the water, changes the way the thermal energy is spreaded within the water. Though it may be negligible [(mass of water x thermal energy of heated water) vs ( mass of thermometer x thermal transfer )], this causes change to the absolute quantifiable result that it is trying to obtain. Moreover, the butterfly effect theory comes into play with of minute changes that will introduce undesirable and unexplainable phenomenons in the long run.
To watch without knowing that they are being watched...
To study the subjects that are oblivious that they are being studied...
Closed Circuit TV(CCTVs) are also considered intrusive for that matter, for subjects whom know that CCTVs are meant for surveillance and will react and behave differently knowing that they are under surveillance.
To watch and study human subjects is impossible, without being intrusive.
And that our nature and instincts that defines our individual selfish needs to survive, far surpasses our need to understand our own kind as a single entity.
Thus with my epiphany, I conclude that we, as humans, can never be able to study or research on ourselves as a species because we are always limited to the technologies that we created ourselves.
If we can study lab rats whom are oblivious due to the technologies we use to watch them,
that "might" also mean that we, as a species, may be oblivious to technologies used by another species of higher intelligence used to watch and study us.
If the above is true, then, there just might be a God somewhere out there...
Suddenly I recall an old joke told to me when I just joined the boy scouts during my secondary school days..
All new boy scouts have to go through a test that will prove themselves to be good enough to join..
There are tons of questions to be answered in the manner of a 1 to 1 interview..
Though the questions seemed trivial now, it was quite challenging for us, young boys to remember so many answers...
So, a senior told us a joke on how "not" to cheat..
So the joke goes, this budding boy scout was afraid that he couldn't answer all the questions correctly.
So he practiced very hard.. There was only one question which he always stumbled and forgot the answer..
The question was "Who is the Chief Scout of Singapore". This position was usually held by the President of Singapore and then it was "Benjamin Sheares". The boy found it hard to remember the name and wanted so badly to get all the questions correct, so he thought up a scheme to cheat just for this one question..
He'd written the answer on a small piece of paper and stapled the paper to his underwear outer rubber band, so he can take a quick peek at the answer on the pretense of adjusting his belt.
On the Q&A interview test itself, guess what he said when he was asked the question?
Q: Who is the current Chief Scout of Singapore?
Looking back sometimes at the problems and difficulties we had when we were young,
everything seemed so trivial when we look back it them.
However, when the problems are current, they always seem bigger and unsolvable by the current version of us.
If I might say,
Challenges, beyond our wisdom to tackle, are constantly presented to us.
Yet, if we do not attempt to tackle these challenges,
Life is short, full of unexpected surprises both good & bad and we never know what "life" will throw at us. The only thing to do is to live on and face anything that comes along.
A wise aunt once told me, coffins are meant for dead people, not old people.
In short, she meant that being young doesn't mean that you have a long life ahead of you.
So what to make of our lives? Knowing for certain that it is faced with uncertainties.
If you have faith in a higher supreme being, there'd be teachings and books to guide you.
However, having a faith means having to pledge allegiance to its customs and practices. In today's context, the modern man may not succumb to history that cannot be proven scientifically.
Thus for my own sake, I try to come with a code and live by it. To make it easier to comprehend and plausible, I simplify it to just 3 lines of code.
1) How much do I want to own ?
2) How hard do I want to work for it ?
3) With whom I want to share both 1) and 2) with?
Though the 3 lines doesn't take into consideration for basic kindness and piety and selflessness, I believe we live in a society now that already frowns upon those whom does not comply with the above.
There may be occasions where in order to achieve the code, ruthlessness and inconsideration may be applied. Some call it "good business", some may choose ethics over profits. To prevent such ambiguity, ,my 3 lines of code may just help myself sleep better at night, knowing whatever path chosen, it complies with my code.
I believe, effort produces results. The gain might be a varying factor due to chance and luck but the fact that "effort produces results" will hold true as steel.
In the uncertainties of life, I now have a certainty over mine.
A joke that I thought may tickle some funny bones while we face the nuclear crisis in Japan.
In the post war period, many Japanese soldiers whom had served in Singapore during the invasion, went back to Japan, telling everyone what they know about Singapore.
And the only one thing that was common that they said about Singapore was that, Crab Hotpot, was very popular in this small little island. It seemed to them that everyone was talking about "Crab Hotpot".
Not too sure if Singapore became famous for crabs because of this reason but if you were to translate Crab Hotpot to the Japanese language, you'd understand why the Japanese soldiers kept hearing the locals talk about this dish back in the 1940s.
In the Japanese language, crab is "kani", and hotpot is "nabe"
Next time, you wannna feast on "crab in a pot" in Singapore, never order it in the Japanese language.
Back in the 1940s, countries go into war to expand their land for their own people.
Mainly because the industrializing countries needed more land for their rising population.
Frowning their brows to the invaders, supporting nations of the oppressed countries form unions to fight against the tyranny of these invaders, whom invented reasons or "excuses" to take back the land that was originally theirs ( aka Germania ).
Fast forward 60 years, border fighting is no longer necessary with taller buildings and skyscrapers expanding vertically for housing people.
Wars are still fought but the excuse of "liberating the oppressed people" casts a long shadow on the hidden agenda of the most important raw material in the world today.
This natural existing mineral does not renew itself unlike other raw materials such as rubber.
And as the world consumption of this natural resource goes up, the available quantity that still exists in our world decreases. This natural existing resource "drives" our world and is responsible for the world's economy and productivity both directly and indirectly.
Yes, whether it's believed or not, "Oil" is the most sought after mineral now. Crude oil to be exact.
Countries that have such oil wells are carefully calculating how much is left. As each of these countries manage their export of oil, they also have to manage the rate of production, in order not to tip the scale of balance in overmining it and causing the price of crude oil to drop.
Unions to protect the benefits of oil producing nations are set up to ensure that prices are tightly maintained to ensure their own survival. It is known that such countries depend heavily on their oil exports and in the event they overproduce, they run the risk of losing their rankings in estimated remaining capacity and at the same time, decreasing their price of export of oil. Such a result might then cause the entire group of countries exporting oil to suffer as it'd force them to decrease their prices to remain competitive as well. [ See Game Theory Explanation ]
So the "Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries" aka OPEC serves to protect the interests of these oil producing nations against mutual competition and price wars and ensure mutual continuity of these nations for as long as possible.
And for natural existing oil wells, it is not going to be magically appearing in a non-OPEC country as they take millions of years to form. It is sad to know at this point that at the current rate of consumption, these wells that took millions of years to form, might just be dried up within a century or two.
So for the non-producing nations, they are at the mercy of OPEC prices. There is no 2 ways about it.
And due to the high costs of hoarding and storing the crude oil, one cannot simply stock up and wait indefinitely for a time to sell.
Luckily for some bigger countries, they have, too, their own unions! And they fight for liberation and modernization. They fight for the fact that everyone should be able to enjoy what they call a perfect world. A perfect world where everyone should be able to enjoy what they are enjoying. That basically summarizes to capitalization and human rights. And they deem anyone whom is unable to enjoy these 2 basic criteria to be the "oppressed".
So to liberate the "oppressed", they must overthrow the current administration of the tyrant leaders and allow the people to set up an elected government. An elected government that is also heavily funded by these big capitalist union countries. With prior good relations established for the newly set up government, it is somewhat guaranteed that it'd be easier to have trades between the capitalists and the newly liberated nations.
So what is the most desired commodity that your liberated country has that the capitalist country does not have?
Kuwait, Iraq, Egypt, Libya.... which oil producing country is next?
On a personal note, a person whom have lived in the desert all his life and had accustomed to the lifestyle that was lived by his ancestors and is able to continue his traditional customs handed down from his ancestors, will not find modernization to be a good thing. To force them down the way of capitalization and modernization might be considered oppression to them instead.
So, who are the tyrants and who are the oppressed?
21 March 2011
Opinions expressed here are entirely my personal thoughts.
If anyone is unhappy about this,
they should publish their own blog,
instead of ranting against someone else's thoughts
Google, being the most popular search engine, has tons of statistics of users.
This real time statistics are put to good use with Google's "Hot Trends"
What Hot Trends does is that it'd display live hot "keyword" searches updated almost every hour.
I am using Google Reader to view this Hot Trends keywords and it updates with a new post (consisting of multiple hot keywords) almost every 40-50 minutes.
I'd yet to harness on how to make use of this statistic but here's a little experiment.
By using the most popular keyword searches on 2.54PM(SG TIME), 17th March 2011, I shall create a fictional paragraph with these keywords and add them as labels/tags as well.
The keywords list
corned beef and cabbage recipe
st.patrick s day
st. patrick s day activities
survivor redemption island cast
comedy central roast
top chef all stars
Steve Martin could be seen on St. Patrick's Day in Grant Hill. He may be looking for a pair of mirrors to create a recursion effect. Richard Simmons may also join him but his purpose at Grant Hill may be to look for a corned beef and cabbage recipe. This may be because he will be casted as a celebrity chef in Top Chef All Stars on the network. At this moment, it may not be confirmed if he will be bringing along his tibetan mastiff. The dog is commonly seen along with Survivor Redemption Island Cast and fashions a dog collar laced up multiple shamrocks. Richard Simmons may also involved in Comedy Central Roast of the famous Dwyane Wade.
Let's see if this can bring in more traffic!
This is the hit counter specifically for counting the hits to this blogpost..
As with all previous budgets, all citizens are expecting some free monies.
And the Budget 2011 did not disappoint its citizens.
At the same time, analysts are also looking out for signs of what will be increasing in the coming year.
Previously, GST subsidies will be announced to help all citizens cope with "soon to be raised" Goods and Services Tax. Such subsidies raises eyebrows as it is a sign of increasing GST in the coming year. And it so happens that in 2011, we are expecting an election. So the effect of giving out GST credits will have adverse impact on the election results.
So it was announced before the budget that the public transport fares will not be increased. That might mean that the price of fuel may be kept constant for a while to ensure that the public transport companies continue to be profitable without being affected by increasing fuel prices. If that is true, that will mean that utilities will also be kept constant since utility bills are rated in ratio to the prices of fuel.
So if fuel, utilities and public transport are not going to go north, what will the future be for this country? As we know, the budget gives in advance what it will be taking back within the same year. Much $$$ has been given for improving the birth rate and scrapping the TV and Radio License and this will create a huge debit to the nation.
My conclusion is that GST will rise to 10%. But there will not be any signs of the upcoming increment due to the upcoming General Election. By not revealing the tell-tale signs of an impending GST increment, the public will not go into a mad rush to purchase big-ticket items. As this will result in a sudden spike in the economy, making it difficult to use conventional algorithm to predict and analyze the market. Thus in preparation of preventing this spike, all big ticket items are raised to a new high in the year of 2010, so as to discourage sudden and excess spending and debt accumulation. This will ensures that when the GST is increased to 10%, the economy will not be shaken and there will be an almost seamless transition without much complains from the general public since most of the big ticket items are not affordable by the large portion of the population [ aka most middle class population ].
So if free monies can be given to the needy and this monies can be recovered by increasing tax collection without adverse impact to the economy and zero upheaval from its citizens and ensuring positive wealth accumulation as a nation. Why not?
And best of all, the budget will look nice and give positive ratings to the incumbent administration in time for the upcoming general election.
Read my previous entry on my thoughts on the ever increasing GST here
In Singapore, like most other countries, the moment you start earning, you will have to deal with taxes.
First tax that comes about will be the "income tax". The only tax that makes the most sense for any nation or country. This allows the government to take a little cut from the income of any local resident working in its country. This tax, in my opinion, is fair.
So for every dollar earned, there is already a tax imposed by the government.
In my honest opinion, that is the only tax necessary.
But this is not enough, in Singapore, we have a compulsory pension scheme whereby we commit 20% of our salary income which has already been taxed to the government pension board that uses, this 20% and the additional 15% from the employer, to invest, allowing them to reap higher investment returns that the meagre interests that is earned to the working resident.
This 35% is still considered fairly acceptable since it's a form of forced savings and it comes in very handy when it is time to buy a house, regardless government or private property.
Now the resident of this little nation gets only 80% of the money that was taxed 100%. This money earned, that was taxed once already, has to go to expenditure of the working resident, ie commuting to work, groceries, clothes, etc.
Now consider this, whatever $$ that was earned and taxed, now upon spending it for necessities or luxury, this expenditure will be taxed again! What this tax is called is the GST (Goods & Services Tax). Now its at a rate of 7% ( as at Feb 2011 ). And it is increased at a rate of 2% almost every 2 years.
Some will argue the fact that most developed nations have similar taxes of higher percentage than the small amount of GST that our government is imposing of every dollar spent. But have they not seen the difference in the rate of increase of our GST vs the rate of increase of other developed nations?
A good example will be the United Kingdom, where the equivalent VAT(Value Added Tax) was kept stable at 17.5% for the longest time >20 years before it was adjusted to 20% only very recently.
And if one may ask how can one ask of such taxes to be stable and not be increased on a bi-annual basis. Or perhaps the question should be presented in this manner.
"What is empowered to the people that can ensure that their government does not increase taxes so often?"
If I may quote the life of a late comedian as an example, Andy Kaufman. No doubt that he was a genius, but if he was not "as popular as he was", he "could not have pulled off that many stunts that was testing the limits" of both his employers, the TV Network, and the viewers whom he had pulled so many stunts and pranked on them.
Though each time before an election, a GST increase offset package is given to the residents, shouldn't this offset package be in ratio with the salary earned? Since the more you earn, the more you spend and more of the salary goes into GST than lower income earners?