Category Archives: People

Association


This is written in one shot. Stream of conscious, boom, random, kind of, but something I wrote nonetheless. Not the best, but … ok.

In scholastic bowl, for completely random in-the-dark guesses, for whatever reason, we have a tradition of guessing “Smith,” which is pretty much never right, but it is a constancy we sit back on. It feels good: Smith. It does, but never right. Smith, and if you have watched The Matrix, you would recognize him as the one who compared humanity to a virus. A virus with a host of mother nature we are, and always feeding and begetting, replicating, reproducing, duplicating. One. Two. Four. Eight. Semelparity, exponentially, big bang, and consume we do. Like the fire in Stravinsky’s Firebird, from a small flame to one that is whirlwind cymbal dramatic, trombone blasting, piccolos screaming into the timber sparks and bombast dust. Mankind. Smith. Evolution. Only needing enough to replicate. and so we replicate, limited by not us but the medium in which we live in. Limited not by us. No, we are limited by our egocentricity, or perhaps, the heliocentricity, virus unable to spread outwards of the sun. Be we do anyways go above the heavens in some sort of self-proclaimed apotheosis, whether it is by our egos or whatever, we answer, perhaps with something completely random like a firebird. this is why as mere mortals of the Scholastic bowl team, we answer and we are wrong with “Smith,” and we’re ok with it. Because, we’re just human.

Advertisements

Life is a game, a reflection


I am living a game, a complex stimulation with a balance of structure and exploration. It is play. It is freedom from structure, and yet, I am making it purposeful and fun.

Life is a game, and I am playing it.

A game:

1) must be played voluntarily

Sure, there are goals of life such as to make money, be a great husband or wife, make a difference, etc, but the fundamental aim of the game is to have fun, the undeclared sanctity. Have fun with your job, love your husband or wife, believe and smile at the difference you’ve created. To be coerced to play is to violate this sanctity. One who must play cannot play.

2) is about exploration as much as playing

The framework of a great game spawns interesting strategy and limitless exploration. The best games have an excellent balance of structure and exploration. By exploring, we can be great and interesting, but never perfect. Like chess, we can only be ‘very good’ at life.

Never has there been so much seriousness in having fun and exploring. And, in the end, isn’t that what life is all about? Determine the goal, love the goal, love life, and, most importantly, have fun.

Why I am against texting


My argument was persuasive enough to sway myself. I would like to share with you why I am against texting.

A couple of years ago, when I was first introduced to texting, I immediately disclosed it as a scam; I deemed it as a paid form of email. However, as it became popular, the practice was legitimized. I accepted it because I acknowledged texting as a form of silent and versatile communication. It did not distract others and could be sent and viewed at any comfortable time.

Over time, however, I realized texting was neither silent nor versatile. (in general)

Texting quickly became the most distracting form of communication. Where people in the past would tactfully excuse themselves from a table to make a call, now people would obnoxiously text bluntly in your prescience.

However, the bigger problem was its lack of versatility.

Texts are so goddamn laconic that it outrightly eliminates any complexities of a spoken message. Sarcasm, emphasis, tone are all succinctly razed by the touch of the send button. The purpose of texts is to communicate, and yet, the art of communication is lost by the act of texting.

My friend said that texting avoids the awkwardness found in speech. This is true. However, I would like to point out that texts only avoids the problem of awkward speech, not solve it. In order to solve the problem we must not seek to talk less, but talk more!

Overall, texting is too apathetic, incomplete, artificial, costy, restrictive for my taste.

Do you agree or disagree? Perhaps post an argument in the comments?

College admissions and affirmative action


This issue is discussed in “Justice”, Michael Sandel’s popular political philosophy course.

According to wikipedia, affirmative action refers to policies that take factors including “race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin” into consideration in order to benefit an underrepresented group “in areas of employment, education, and business” usually justified as countering the effects of a history of discrimination.

Giving the advantage based on cultural differences rather than merit in colleges admissions. Is this injurous to justice? I know there is a definite disadvantage for me in applying to some colleges–according to the New York Times and USA today, more and more Asians are leaving the ‘race’ box unchecked to balance the playing field.

Here’s my view on the issue.

Everyone is born into an inescapable caste of ethnic, socio-economic, and other cultural differences. These already established factors that one is born into cannot be avoided. Thus, naturally and perhaps unfairly, the people with the most merit tend to favor certain ethnic and socio-economic groups. The Asian culture, for example, stresses education, and subsequently, produces children of higher educational merit whereas the latino culture does not emphasize the importance of education. Is it fair for colleges then to give an edge to latinos who are statistically and unavoidably under-merited?

We can only be sure that the answer is not easy.

Let say a top university gives an edge to latinos, who are shown to be statistically absent of educational opportunities.

However, there are also some latino individuals who are very much blessed with educational opportunities. What should we do with these people?

I think that affirmative action is a great idea in education. A lower class partaking in education increases socio-economic mobility, which in turn, will give rise to the equal consideration of merit. However, just affirmative action, I fear, will never be available as there will always be exceptions (the latino who is blessed with educational opportunities).

A holistic background examination might be too complicated and subject to human errors to be accurate, but to give an advantage or a disadvantage in a one-factor affirmative action decision is a disturbing mistake. Just because a family is latino. Just because one had no parents. Just because a family is poor. No. Merit should be far most important one-factor affirmative action decision.

To all the high school seniors out there, strut your merit, and good luck.

On Rebecca Black


Iconic as the creator of the ‘worst music produced in history’, Rebecca Black’s feat is frowned upon. She is vindicated for her poor singing. Her mother paid $4K to help her pursue her dreams only to have Rebecca rejected by the standards of society.

163 million views on youtube. That number is slightly over a third of the US population.

I’m not a pop music person; I’m a game theorist. Let’s not prematurely bash her. I’ll demonstrate why Rebecca’s method is insanely clever and effective in helping her become the next top star.

Your songs make my ears bleed. – Youtube Comment

I would like to comment that very few people in Hollywood can sing. The ‘image’ is what’s important in pop culture. Pop culture moves in a powerful torrent, and before anyone could analyze the trend, it changes. People remember ‘images’, not the value of the voice. Rebecca Bleck will fit right in.

Sunday comes after Saturday? – Justin Bieber

Popularity is the most difficult step in reaching stardom. Rebecca Black got there in one step. People that can sing so much better but are less popular lack the conforming approval of society before they are recognized globally. Rebecca Black is already famous albeit her first song needs some work.

Now that she has the attention, she could do more things. Rebecca did a concert with Katy Perry, chatted with producers, and came out with new music videos.

This ‘horrendous’ music video is perfect in several ways. First of all, youtube is so massive, no one gives a blink to bad videos. Her ‘Friday’ video captures attention and gives something people to conform about.

Should she have made a better video? No. In Hollywood, quantity is more important than quality. Therefore, she will go far as a pop star.

You may dislike her now, but she is somebody people talk about. In the pop culture field, stand out.

But in any other aspect of life, you should outstand.

All the small things in life …


All the small things in life matters.

Large goals don’t stick as well. I would guess the majority of New Year resolutions fail because the goals are too large. By breaking the large goals into manageable chunks, we can accomplish more.

Let’s say I wish to write a 50,000 word novel (NaNoWriMo). By breaking the insurmountable word count into feasible amounts, and writing everyday, I could develop a healthy habit of writing 2000 words per day.

The smart people in school aren’t created overnight. Rather, they are painstakingly chiseled, making their learning a journey rather than a revolution.

Or let’s say I wish to be a better person. I can slowly build my character up, picking up litter, saying please, showing love, etc. Hugging everyone affectionally would be a bit insincere, when you normally wouldn’t, would be insincere and sudden. Slowly change, and allow the change to seep into you for a permanent result.

The large things don’t stick. But good small changes slowly compound; before you know it, the habits will make you a new person.