Category Archives: Society

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.

Artificial Intelligence

A few years ago, I didn’t know the difference between influence and affluence. And teachers told me to be wary of the contrast. Now that I understand the difference, I see no difference in the word choice in the following sentence:

The internet has _____.
a) influence      b) affluence

Indeed, the internet has both influence and affluence, popularity and opulence, to such a degree that it is almost a religion: [video].

If Facebook is a celebrity, then the internet is a god. If Twitter is a 200 pound bass fish, then the internet would be the torrential rivulet that carries it. The influence of internet is so ubiquitous that we sometimes cease to notice it. In the future, the internet browser will be as widespread as paper. In fact, that’s exactly what the chromebook is: [video].

Not only is the internet torrentially influential, it is also mighty affluent, rich like a limitless gold mine, educational resources at the touch, monetary  transactions at the click.

So what are we going to do with the internet?

Personally, I believe that’s the wrong question. The right question: What is the internet going to do with us? The web has grown so much that it is now a monster that we each have a part of. And if it dies (which is nearly impossible), the framework of society perishes.

So that’s the internet. Affluent. Influent.

A. I.

I, an agnostic

The following post is what I think about religion in general from an agnostic’s point of view.

You can tag me as an agnostic, but that isn’t really it, is it? An agnostic is one who believes that we shouldn’t be too sure about the existence of god, that religion is a farce, that religion is a myth. For starters, to me, religion is not a farce. It’s real. With a couple of billion people raised traditionally to believe in the existence of a higher being, it’s undeniable that the system is complex and tangible.

Unlike many others, my parents never talked about god or religion so I had no idea who or what God was until elementary school. And I feel that this experience, or lack thereof, greatly influenced my agnostic opinions.

I understand that it’s impossible to take out religion as a whole, and I don’t think we should. And in fact, I kind of like it. I like the religious people around me even thought I’m not exceptionally religious myself. Religion is becoming less and less about ‘supreme importance’ or ‘worship of superhuman’, but about a belief, a comforting and moralistic belief that there is a purposePeople who are driven are really awesome people to hang around with. People with an existentialistic twang can get a bit itchy.

Unlike some agnostics, I don’t feel that religious wars are stupid. Sure, they catalyze many deaths, but they are necessary old-age antics to ensure the strength of the religion, to exemplify what lengths of people will go to to justify their beliefs. If they stop, then the purpose and drive of religion will also become futile.

However, in the present day, it’s even more important to have an open mind. One can be both spiritually dogmatic and open-minded. Those who can see lights in other faiths but still remain strong-standing in their own are greatly admired. Though it’s difficult – and kinda defeats the purpose of the religious desire – it’s necessary. The religion of peace should be the trump card.

I think I used to be an atheist, but then I saw the necessity of an open mind. I would be under-qualified and rude if I completely discredited a set of spiritual mantras that were intact for millenniums. The world is mystical, and we harvest at least some faith in the unknown; that’s why it’s called faith.

So that’s me, an agnostic.

Can money buy happiness?

Almost everything around you is created with paid labor – your computer, your clothes, and even probably your tree outside. When you have enough money, you can literally buy anything. However, in this materialistic world, it’s not about what you can buy anymore; it’s about what you can’t buy.

If you find philosophical soliloquies boring, this is not the blog post for you.

I was wondering about this question asked my health teacher, Mr. M: Can money buy happiness? As the reclusive recalcitrants in health class, my friends who sat in the back row and I argued flippantly against Mr. M, declaring that ‘heck yes, money can buy happiness.’ What we believed didn’t matter – personally, I did not believe that money could buy happiness – all I wanted to do was make Mr. M’s time as difficult as possible. But now, I am asking myself seriously: Can money buy happiness?

For argument sakes, comfort and satisfaction is the same thing as happiness.

For the layman, the answer is immediately yes. Money can be used to buy personal indulgence which translates into happiness. Bought comfort can make almost any person happy. Good food. Good clothing. Good fun. Yum. However, then I realized that happiness to a meatpacking worker is different to that of an aristocrat; the comfort expected of these two individuals are different. Theoretically, if the meat packing worker won the lottery, he probably would start living a very admirable life. But then his standards of ‘happiness’ would slowly increase until he would achieve no more satisfaction in eating exquisite saltwater lobsters. In that sense, money can only buy immediate happiness.

However, then I realized that there is also happiness that money cannot buy. Love and trust, for example, needs to be seasoned by time. In that sense, showering a little boy to earn his trust might even have a perverse effect; what the little boy needs is some attention and love and care.

The happiness where one spends time to obtain is becoming more and more elusive.

That is all. Money can’t buy the rich kind of happiness.

On future thinking

How do we think in the future? I honestly do not know. This post is a speculative guess.

Moore’s law states that per every 18 months, the capacity in our technology will double. The cost of electronic chips will be on the constant decline, as it will become more intertwined with our lives. It will be as inexpensive as paper, and the internet will be ubiquitous. Our future, digitalized.

Now, how does that affect future thinking?

Imagine, a highly digitalized world with the internet imprinted into our lens, feeding us information so we don’t have to. Imagine a world where the first thing we do when we wake up is plug ourselves to the internet. Imagine a world where less what questions are answered and more how questions. This is all possible due to the devalue of chips and technology. According to More’s laws, our cell phones today has more capacity than all the computing power in the world during WW2. A sheet of computing chips tomorrow will be cheaper than paper.

We’d have little chips installed in our brains. We’d have little screens implanted onto our eyes. We would be encouraged to cheat, to utilize the web and derive information from the web. We would spark a new age of induction and exploration. Critical thinking would be encouraged and factual knowledge would be overrated.

As our ease to obtain information becomes infinite, our method of thinking will change. Right now, our educational system believes in tests and memorization. The more the adaption of information adapts into a part of us, the less we would have to focus on rote memory and standardized tests, and more on critical thinking.

With technology closer and closer to us. I predict that our world will undergo an educational revolution. But that’s just a hopeful, optimistic guess.

Does entertainment really run our lives?

We are not living for survival anymore. Food and shelter can be obtained with ease for the most of us. Then what now do our lives revolve around?

In the book Timeline by Michael Crichton, is is noted that perhaps are lives are now driven by entertainment. Our society as a mass is not driven by knowledge or mood or people or superstition, but by our need to be entertained. Because of technology, pleasing ourselves become infinitely easier; youtube on tap, books on demand, games at ease, chatting in clicks.

Technology is a shroud of an artificial ‘key to happiness.’ And we are swimming quite well in it. We are immersed in this world where entertainment drives us. A moment which we are lack of entertainment is a moment which we feel our life is incomplete. We tell ourselves that ‘Life isn’t life once we reach happiness.’ And this entertainment is happiness.

As you are reading this, you are hoping to be entertained.

I predict that in the future, our lifestyle will be more absorbed around this key trend our society is following.