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Whenever it is noisy outside, I am glad I have my door closed, my ears plugged and my aircon on.
And I tell myself that I didn’t hear anything. That it is none of my bloody business. As if I was not at home.
I believe my sister has taken to doing the same.
I insist on having my own home within a home in future even. I have a form of autarky with my own food supply, water supply, tea supply, drug supply, entertainment supply… (just no toilet). It’s my personal hutch, nest, lair, undisturbed by the outside world.
I was awoken rudely by my mum yelling at my kid brother for messiness and spelling and what not.
Children will inevitably make one a botherer (one who bothers others and their peace to do work, as Tom Hodgkinson terms it ) or a moralizer (one who imposes moral beliefs on others because anything else won’t go down well with them even if it’s none of their bloody business, as A.C. Grayling terms it ). Both of which i find undesirable in principle.
But it is inevitable that with a child, you will feel a need to impose moral values, even when you do not practise them — take for example, swearing. Or some form of repressed bubble wrap, which I would think that most people have been brought up under — either in the outright “don’t talk about such things at the dining table” or the “don’t ask, don’t tell” way.
And it’s not even major behavioural issues, its things that might irk us for no apparent reason like playing with your food or not sitting up straight, which honestly there’s nothing wrong with doing! In a strange and perverse way, it might even be a result of affection and the need for interaction (sounds wtf) and not knowing how to express it properly!
It becomes an additional cause for concern and worry. It is bothersome. The botherer usually is himself bothered (My Original Thought XD.) while the moralizer is usually a hypocrite (Oscar Wilde’s thought).
That being said, it might not be that much of a problem — after all, I don’t recall getting bothered or moralised much by my dad, who offers practical advice on practical realities. Maybe more so from the more religious/spiritual mum, who puts things in a simplistic “it is not right because it does not feel right because it is not right”, to the extent she gets special mention in my essay on Rational Criticism. Even without rational criticism, I have learnt to counter using scripture.
At least both downplay the importance of the unnecessary and hasslesome ritualism (this term refers to many things)… which might explain quite a bit.
The counterargument is of course, either you do the moralizing or someone else would, like television, which distorts reality or the random punks at the crappy primary school nearby.
In practice, this begs the question of effectiveness. Would moralizing (or rather enforced moralizing) lead to counterproductivity as a form of acid reflux/negative feedback as a result of repression instead of its intended effects?
There is a place for paternalism where it is your bloody business (no pun intended). But there is still no place for moralizing and bothering (more negative ways of saying paternalism) where it is none of your bloody business. It is just, damn troublesome.
 Professor AC Grayling is a Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London, and a Supernumerary Fellow of St Anne’s College, Oxford. He has written and edited many books on philosophy and other subjects.
 Tom Hodgkinson is an idler who does not go to work but spends his time at home writing books and articles.
In essence, both of them sit, stone, think, read and write. Curiously enough, I am inclined to think that Research is legitimized idling.
Behold, our little Monster is BORN
(in the industrial wasteland of Jewrong, no less)
It is furry, soft and somewhat hideous. ..yet cute.
Cuter than that freak-in-the-sky though ><
Why not throw in a picture to accompany The Thought of The Day, like some people’s blogs — random photo (that is usually quite nice) with vague general statements about life, in a cryptic personal manner.
There is some resemblance actually…though there is something about the picture which disturbs me, deeply.
I can’t put my finger in on it though.
Ladies and gentlemen, there are some things which I simply do not approve of for reasons of practicality.
“omg omg omg! I thought it really tasted like strawberry (and most certainly looked like one)…
…it was instinctive to take a bite!“
O_O I think I need not mention the response to this bloody incident. I rest my case: we cannot allow children to play with toys that are so overly realistic these days. Someone might get hurt!
What are the odds of me rolling a 5 on a 5-sided die?
Either luck is on my side, or it’s marked 5 on all 5 sides.
In line with my institutional tradition of the past six years, I have started The Thought of The Day, which I have often mocked, criticised and modified to be more realistic. It comes in the form of one word, a short phrase etc, with barely any explanation or description, usually in a cryptic form, understandable perhaps to myself only, if not a few.
You are a fat ho. Ha ha ha, gotcha =D
(you got your tribute already previously, don’t be greedy)
In the mean time, watch this korean music video with english subtitles (not translation, just what the korean sounds like in English), from lucas. I have no face to tell people that I watch Korean music videos…which I don’t of course >< I repeat: I am not a no life university student who spends time surfing korean music videos >< (And is it me or they look ALL THE SAME)
if you’ve watched the video: CHEE CHEE CHEE CHEE!!
– for the time being– Bye.
An extract from XKCD.
Someone once told me that I should do something like XKCD, with romance humour and a lot of physics. I realised physics was not my thing, so maybe an economics/history version instead. In fact, I realised that romance humour (unless you consider it in and of itself to be a joke) was not my thing either, but maybe…. sexual humour!
It would be a Study of Curves and Models — i need to find a way to draw graphs.
I will definitely have a sketch on Contestable Markets in the study of Relationship Structures (it’s different from Perfect Competition, don’t get me wrong, nor is it a Monopoly.) Maybe it will also look at the Supply and Demand of the two genders in the “market for each other“
If not, at least a comparison of injections (pun!) into an economy to silicon implants– inflation before everything starts to sag and then collapse!
Let’s not even get to the Multiplier and Accelerator effects or worse, Deposits and Withdrawals for the Circular Flow of In____ ><
Have I mentioned that I think Elasticity is such a bad euphemism, with the curve drawings bringing it out even more?
At the very least, it will answer the three basic questions of What to Produce, How to Produce (omg! ><) and FOR WHOM to Produce?
The problem is what to title it.
On this topic, I would say that my understanding is very much incomplete. I have more readings to do. I have no central argument to put forth, rather I have queries regarding vague ideas.
At present, when we think of the word ‘faith’, we think of its extended meaning in terms of belief in God for healing, blessing etc. But faith at its core, refers to a belief in a God which we cannot see or feel, and its assurance of salvation. The peripheral benefits come later.
For the extended definition, Faith is a form of reassurance for things beyond our control and the trust in a superior being who does have things under control. It is what prevents worry of becoming the lucky one to get shot in the USA or getting cancer — things even the smart and strong will fall prey to.
Recently before paper, I pointed out to beulah who told me that she was “relying WHOLLY on God”, that she is not exactly wholly reliant, if she was still studying hard, (i quote her “try my hardest and leave the rest to God”, which sounds fair but doesn’t sound ‘wholly’). I then dared her not to study if she really were to be relying Wholly.
In the real world, how far does faith extend? I heard this pastor (no idea which church, honestly — i was at a camp) who suggested to not use alarm clocks as a mark of faith in trusting God. I’m not sure how practical it is… (seeing that he only needs to wake up on one day of the week, and i wonder if even he puts it into practice) but extending this logic, we could attempt to test our faith by taking cyanide with the faith of God protecting us as well — though no non-cult church would encourage this. Perhaps the counter-argument is that we should not test God, as seen by Jesus at the top of the building where Satan quoted Psalms 91.
Some would say that the results of faith arise from a placebo effect. Even if faith were to be a placebo, in my opinion, placebos do no harm and are at best allowed to carry out their function. But what if there is a conflict between the real world and faith. Beyond something so minor and trivial as trusting God for healing to heal a cold, what if it is between trusting God for healing a malignant breas tumour and undergoing surgery for a masectomy. Which would you pick?
I also wonder if churches place too much emphasis on having faith in faith these days — they make it sound almost as if you need to have “strong faith”, whatever that means – -would it mean to keep confessing, or would the act of constant confession be reflective of low faith instead!
With reference to text, Luke 17,
5The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”
6He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.
At least Jesus makes it clear that the emphasis is not on the strength of faith. Even more assuring that we do not have to have strong faith in healing. If we think we need to see a doctor, we could. If we think we need to study, we could. But on another note, I wonder if the fishermenbrain disciples really did take what he said literally and tried it out. And if they did, I wonder if it was fruitful….
I have some vague semblance of direction, but I’m not going to mention them just yet — where’s the fun in that, if you don’t think and doubt explore for yourself. But overall, faith is not an act, and more importantly, faith’s essence is in the belief in God, less so in the belief for miracles.
Recently on a normally-one-hour journey back home, I took someone’s car instead. In the process of making conversation (first time I met her), she mentioned this news of the Miss Singapore 2009 Ris Low and really broken english. This is not one of another of those mean posts of personal criticism. If anything, it is a criticism of criticism. It is almost Defense.
Alright, granted that her english is not very good as a representation of so called Singaporean beauty — but frankly, so what? How many of us really enunciate our words that well anyway — where do we derive this moral highground to criticise others. In fact many of the criticisms have glaring grammar mistakes, and its not as if my grammar is that good (it sucks, truth be told -_-)
Since when did we give a bloody toss about beauty pageants apart from eye candy– it seems more likely that we’re throwing a bitch fit for the bloody heck of throwing a bitch fit. 1) Because it creates a sense of superiority when we criticise others. 2) Because its the typical subconscious jealousy issue towards someone who’s prettier, which leads to the intentional finding of faults. Put the two together.
And now better yet, in the manner of typical Opposition Fixing, suddenly this piece of Dark Dirty History is dug up — and I would dare argue that it wouldn’t have been dug up if not for the earlier broken english scandal. If anything, it is an excuse or false justification under popular pressure.
More importantly, it reflects badly on the education system. No, not so much the quality of english speaking that has been flogged to death already — bilingualism, as admirable and respectable as I deem it to be, is quite a difficult task. It is inherently contradictory to try to encourage dual languages from a young age and expect no overlap in grammatical rules and syntax — one language will be better than other eventually.
I’d say the larger problem is the lack of grace and elitism which the supposed english educated have — yes, she speaks broken english — but so bloody what? It is representative of the reality in society — there are a bloody lot of people who do speak like that, and since when did beauty pageants becomes an issue about Hot Nerds. Attacks have become so vitriolic and personal. And it is not as if she could help it or made a conscious choice to do something wrong. I would think that she too, has feelings over the issue, mainly humiliation and grief, which I sympathise with.
It is a problem with the system and not the individual. Most criticisms have been targeted at the individual or at the system as an indirect veiled attack on the individual as the end point. I have no idea why there is a jianghuayu campaign when it seems that there are actually more chinese speaking families — just that its the English speaking ones whom we take note of.
The challenge I propose is this: say everything she has said in Chinese instead. It is quite obvious that she doesn’t speak english mainly and it is difficult to balance two language. In the instance of passing that test, answer and respond to the questions in Chinese. I put my money on at least half of the critics having a problem answering the questions asked if not having problems with words like zebra and leopard prints. This is simply discriminating against others who are different. This is bigotry.
(Hmm, my chinese is actually not bad at all — i can even read bible in chinese, ha! I can even say leopard prints, I only have a problem saying ‘bikini’)
On another note, there are two truths about human nature: 1) that which is real cannot be in any way beautiful — and people reject what is real. Always. 2) We cannot stand to see someone different, be it appearance, skill, ideas or even manner of speech, especially if we deem it inferior — we most certainly might not admit it, but many of us have this deep seated bigotry. Yours truly included
In the mean time, it’s honestly none of our bloody business. Such rash criticisms only reflect on a sense of self-superiority and simply poor character. This isn’t even about education systems, such attitudes of elitism is due to upbringing. It’s an issue of character.
Is it then hypocritical and self-superior of me to criticise the critics? Certainly, but I also certainly think that I do think in all honesty that I am superior to those who criticise for something so trivial and turn it into something harsh, hurting and personal. My reason is far more justified.
To put in colloquial singlish that we all understand: you so good, you go be Miss Singapore la, talk so much. Have a heart and an ounce of humility — Give the poor girl a bloody break.
Summary of Summary
This post is essentially a summary of many summaries put together in a brief manner.
Summary of The Letters
Looking at the commonalities between who the three letters are addressed to, it is not so much of who I miss from the past few years that I barely, see and talk to (some more so than others) — It is more of What (perhaps my subconscious) misses. On another note, the colours use actually might have symbolic meanings!
Summary of The Day
I didn’t eat since breakfast. I only drank two bottles of water for the whole day. That is the problem with chemical addiction, it removes your mind from the real physical needs like sleep and hunger. To quote I Hsu on the Opium addict, “Though he was weary, he could not sleep. Though he was hungry, he could not eat.” From another perspective, as my mum would always say, I tried to be God. (I would say I tried to be Moslem in this season, but it’s actually less offensive to say I tried to be God)
Summary of The Exam Period
Apart from one minor screw up in the papers and the usual general difficulties in the math paper, it actually seemed to have gone quite fine– even for English, which I dread. Econs was my playground as usual, the grades will tell if it really was the case. What is disturbing is my increasing realisation that it might not be a lack of will, but rather a lack of ability to actually focus and work. I’ve been studying less and less per exam since last year — the reverse should be the case. This is to the extent I didn’t even have any post-exam euphoria of sorts — since there is no difference in what I’m doing. I did have some initially at the start, upon the end of History and English, but that’s about it.
Summary of The Week To Come
It is a free week with nothing much to do. Making it tempting to squander my week away. I know I will be spending one day out of the house not doing work already, but that’s the case every week. It is only prudent to spend my week wisely. I have one subject which has too much material. Another with too little. One which needs a lot of practice while easy. And two more which I can usually get by without much, in a manner risking complacency. That actually maps out my priorities.
For today, I will organise my room into stacks of paper — most crucial being English and History in terms of the sheer amount of loose paper and essays. I will probably read two unrelated books over the weekend.
I like plans — It’s a nice way of saying sit and stare at work for a long time without actually getting anything done.
Easier to sharingan people’s ones though. I need to tag on to someone’s direction.
O! Dear, Seriously-
There is nothing so ponderous as your tongue.
Your heated flames keep me on the edge of my seat,
Your sharp words make me stand up excitedly,
Hoping to be accepted yet hoping to be rejected,
A short pause that seems a long time.
I am in a loss for words when I am right behind you.
Not so much admiration, it was more of awe.
You were wise beyond your years, more capable, brilliant and driven.
Most would have to wait another year or two.
And yet amidst the aggressive tone which I only got to face Thrice,
I vaguely recall three years ago,
some certain feminine gentleness and kindness,
(Like the previous two letters) It’s been a long time,
In reality, all I want to say is ***** ******** for today
though I’m interested to see — what you’re doing in a few years.
In matching laziness and some regrets -Speaking,
This will be The Letter. It might, though is not meant to have any scandalous intentions. You are not meant to know who it is addressed to, you are not to assume that it is about you either, it is highly unlikely that the letter will be read by who it is meant for — but that’s the whole point. In fact, this letter could be an extended metaphor rather than a true letter.
To Lucas: There will be one elaborate letter for you on Monday. I am telling you this just for the suspense to kill you, as usual. I’ve written it already — You could bug me about it, as usual, but I wouldn’t tell, as usual.
You might not read this mouthful but I just want to say:
I recently read your not very quiet but rather quite troubled mind that is rife with struggle and overpouring with poetic mangly ants, i mean, manly angst, which I quite respect honestly! We were supposed to meet some time earlier, if not for the fact that you had paper problems. S’okay, it looks like we can meet right before we go in for Nationalistic Slavery (which even Taiwan has stopped despite being at the rectal end of China and its Red Army). We could have some cheap good food together with the usual bitch-about-life and life-about-bitch then, just not sumohouse again.
Till then, all the best — and please survive, in a manner akin to the Chinese Communist Revolution. For some reason, I empathise with your struggles,worries, pains and concerns — they most certainly are not easy, but with determination, idealism and the death of a million chinese men, anything is possible.
With a tone of political and sexual incorrectness,
Over the past few months or so, I realised the small and yet very subtle difference between persevering, being unyielding in the onward and continual motion, the constant resistance of opposing forces, the sheer rock -like strength of willpower in the spirit of Outlast….
…..and simply being too lazy to be bothered by anything else to get out of bed and to rock your own boat. An undisturbed equilibrium is best. I find change, or anything new and its unknown prospects…somewhat daunting. There is always this initial knee-jerk reaction I have, that adapts later on (cos I’m so damn flexible).
Frankly, I have been thinking of you and how you have been for quite a bit lately — I know you will do fine for sure though. We haven’t met or talked for almost a year. Perhaps I can’t meet you anytime soon, but I promise to after my Birthday. We could sit around and talk, like we’ve had for the past five years.
With much inexpressable and unmentionable affection,
I have a funny feeling my very-policed blog with end up with me getting scandalised over this. (Perhaps my parents will chance upon this and confirm their suspicions/worries =X)
This shall be Day 1 of The Letters.
You read about the History of Intellectual Developments in the Late to Post Qing Period with events such as the May Fourth Movement.
And you realise why there has been a culture of philistinism (which emphasises learning for money, with little appreciation for thinking and culture. All you philistines who WTF and my Philosophy and Theology@Oxford) — and you know why. At this point of time, I digress and make my recurring remark at those intending to do law, for it is extremely difficult, in my opinion, to find a real interest in the subject of contract and clauses — and even if you do, you probably convinced yourself to, or are misguided by misinformation and misperceptions. Philistinism is part of an ingrained culture but it does have its pragmatic reasons!
And you understand why there is an emphasis on technical skills, physics, engineering and math — in the name of pragmatism.
It is because knowledge is power. And power is not something that people want to have shared. Perhaps unless its channelled to being the oarsman rather than the potential helmsman capable of steering in a divergent direction.
Hence, more science (previously engineering, now biotech) students. Less of the dangerous sorts, with nothing they can really go into after that, apart from A Service which allows for them to be kept in leash.
Interviewers: “Do you have any interest in Politics?”
Me: “No, a bit inhibiting.“
Me: “Oh, I meant the subject. Inhibiting in terms of relative effect as compared to something less theoretical, say economics. I do read the International newspapers quite often though! Doesn’t have to be a taught and learnt subject, it’s in the news!“
somewhat of a quick save, though with small slipups like “international”.
I then wonder, what about the Institutions which we do have in that direction, how much autonomy and restraints to they then have? Perhaps a gauge would be that it deterred a certain notable foreign institution. But with a balanced view, I am cultured to think that the fragile social fabric warrants such safety precautions — there’s probably truth in that.
Not a revolution, but not quite devolution. In fact, i actually think we’re making progress — otherwise I’ll be pondering about whether to be a gynaecologist or go into orthopaedics or even Pain relief (heh). I’d pick Ophthalmology though.
A part of me is still cultured to think that there is not much to be done with a BA in history or philosophy and theology. And it is a realist part.
Sometimes, historians get bored in the process of writing their long long thesis on The Geopolitics of East Asia and such, inserting humourous snarky remarks into their analysis just for the fun of it — which is very commendable!
One key example in Michael Lynch’s book on Mao’s China is the mental image of Soviet scientists shredding nuclear plans only for Chinese scientists to painstakingly put everything back together. The mental image of a crowd of Chinese men literally surrounding torn papers trying to piece it like a Calligraphic puzzle is just hilarious — especially since it was probably in Russian.
Then we have Robyn Lim (familiar surname?) and her book The Geopolitics of East Asia describing how the Japanese Navy Commander Togo was disgusted by the garbage on the decks of the Chinese warships and the laundry hanging from their guns. It is hence no surprise that the Japanese won that war, the Chineseman dishcloths might have gotten in the way of firing! The Chinese, of course, being Chinese, probably had no problem with it at all. Historical proof that the Japanese are cleaner than the Chinese, which can be examined just by looking at how the shoes are arranged outside the house. (Currently my shoes are on top of my grey slippers which are on top of my red slippers in one area of the shoe rack)
Then there is mention of Litvinov who was so adept under Stalin that he was the few of the Old Bolsheviks who managed to die in his bed. In the manner of typical Soviet humour — what a rare blessing!
And finally with more relevance to National Education in a dialogue. Shocked, Ohashi replied: ‘ do you mean to say that if Japan were to attack Singapore, there would be war with the United States’? Dooman replied that ‘the logic of the situation would inevitably raise that question’. — How very subtle. The accented conversation might have been amusing in addition to the “O~ sou desu ne” among the Japanese generals after that.
Oh whoops, maybe it isn’t the historical narration that is hilarious, maybe its just the historical events itself.
I have four more hours to cover forty remaining years of history. If only I had one more day (which I did not squander). My form of studying is merely quickly reading through – -i think this has to change by the next exam.
I woke up from a long nap with a happy tune in my head.
I tried to recall where it was from — it was the strings version of a song that went like this:
When I find myself in times of trouble, mother Mary comes to me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be.
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.
And when the broken hearted people living in the world agree,
there will be an answer, let it be.
For though they may be parted there is still a chance that they will see,
there will be an answer. let it be.
Let it be, let it be, …..
And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light, that shines on me,
shine until tomorrow, let it be.
I wake up to the sound of music, mother Mary comes to me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
Let it be, let it be, …..
How very catholic, and the repetitive angsting style almost reminds me of “All we gotta do” or rather “America“. Upon closer examination, pardon the pun, perhaps the words could be interpreted by some to have a less joyful meaning, almost defeatist and accepting of an inevitable reality — with a sense of closure and finality, but in turn — still happiness, to me at least… Even more so in fact, letting things to work out by itself, not intervening, following the natural order of events, doing nothing unnecessary, doing the necessary nothing. Everything will be fine by itself, in a comforting and assuring manner.
And the phrase “Let it be” and its various depths of meanings now caught on to me, much like “this too shall pass“. It’s like saying “It is what it is“, a very laissez-faire (pardon the pun again) and carefree attitude or in simpler terms:
The Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition is at the Singapore Old Parliament House for the last day today. If anything, the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition is -not- about the Dead Sea Scrolls — after all, it is only in the form of a few small torn pieces of material which cannot be read due to the state of decay and more importantly, language.
In my opinion, it was more of a Bible Exhibition which looked at the historical development of the English Bible under the Protestant movement under William Tyndale, Martin Luther and Erasmus. One could see the gradual erosion of barriers to access to the bible in legality, form and language to the people, as well as the opposition by those in power. The role of leaders such as the Catholic Queen Mary in contrast with Queen Elizabeth I. More importantly was the role of the known King James. It’s like theological history or some form of literary history.
The Exhibition is divided into three separate rooms with large font commentaries on the wall. There were far more Bible books in all shapes and sizes and designs instead of Dead Sea Scrolls. Amusingly, I found it more engaging than the National Museum’s Journey of Singapore — in fact it was almost as if there were more artifacts in the small Old Parliament House than in the National Museum.
I am surprised that such a religious exhibition is allowed — it is almost speaking out against Catholicism by the very fact that it supports and explains the rationale behind Protestantism (which speaks out against Catholicism). I am in praise of the Protestant movement which makes sense: Man should seek the authority of God directly and not the man-made institution of the Papacy. Of course this would undermine the Organization’s power and control over the people as it loses the control over information of what is right and what is wrong, in addition to charging prices for absolution. If Religion is the Opiate of the Masses, it would be apt to say that the Papacy then was the Drug Dealing Cartel
Then again the government is probably only concerned about tensions between religions instead of within religions — who cares about sibling rivalry anyway, they’re often tame.
The theological significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls is in the revelation of the oldest original form of biblical texts like the Book of Isaiah, showing amazingly no mistranslation/conversion as the Hebrew text is transcribed. Arguably more accurate than RNA polymerase in transcription. The diligent Jewish scribes would discard the entire text if one word was miswritten. No Correction tape then. (In my opinion, it is castration for a misshapen circumcision)
Several questions I have constantly wondered about, I consider not for the Weak of Faith:
1. Who defines what counts as Canonical and goes into the main book — For instance, why are the books of Enoch, Levi and Canaan excluded from the Bible but considered as Jewish Texts nonetheless. Not as if they were Gnostic with a contradictory view like The Gospel of Judas. Even if it did have a contradictory message, should it not be taken into account as well? Bear in mind that the books were written by prophets separately but the Church or a separate group of individuals ( in some cases under the monitoring of King James and Queen Elizabeth who removed commentary which could undermine her authority) selects which artifacts to be on display, much like a curator in the Museum. Just because they are not on display does not mean that they don’t exist.
2. Which leads to the question of how then do we verify what is God-breathed and what is not? “Hear ye, hear ye, I am a Prophet and God has spokeneth to me.” Even previously, people would take such a comment with a pinch of salt and skepticism. After all, not all of them parted the Red Sea.
3. Why is it that there are no more God-breathed inspirations — perhaps there are as interpretations/sermons of the original text, but there are no additions to the original text as biblical source material. We know we include the writings of Apostle Paul, but will we consider the material of later figures such as St Thomas of Aquinas or the various popes. Will we then include the claims of supposed cult leaders like Jim Jones or even Hong Xiuquan who claimed to have seen God in a vision (lol Gospel of Xiuquan). My view: perhaps there are still God breathed inspirations, just that the Institution wouldn’t consider it so. And it has to be measured as consistent with the other texts.
4. In addition, what else has been excluded — what if there are Scrolls yet to be found, but are just as God-breathed. No Church would add a new book to the Bible though. What if it is in fact an extremely crucial book that says something as the key to getting to heaven but none of us know of or do.
The most simplistic response of the typical Christian to this would not be to come up with answers to unanswerable questions, or rationalise, but to just believe lor — and link it to faith of sorts. (At least -that- is what I’m doing) But it begs the question of are we believing in the right things?
My view: Discounting what might be excluded, the Four Gospels are most reliable (four primary sources to cross check) at present in offering a narration of events and should be the central focus (after all, who could Christianity be about?). The Letters which follow are like sermons and expounding of principles rather than historical events (apart from Acts) — I personally prefer these. In history internal assessment terms, the four gospels are Criteria B (Summary of Evidence) and the letters are in some sense Criteria D (Analysis). My personal opinion is to keep in mind principles such as the power and love of a higher being (can’t go wrong), not rituals.
I shall take it that the short moment I spent writing the above 1000 odd words was shorter than most people who spent their time in church today. I shall also take it that I am more enriched than those who go there sit there and listen to the guy talk about giving money, the importance of being kind and trying to force the manifestation of the fruit of the spirit. Now, to start on 120 years of history.
A nation that values Brand more so than anything — to the extent, we even have a brand called Brands (and imho by branding, is better than the abalone company that tries to use the Top Student Whom We Pay For The Ad Takes Us For Top Results method of advertising bollocks). So even though we might not know of the life of a college or its academic programme in reality, we make a decision entirely based on branding because of the perception attached to it.
To my amusement, I’ve seen the long list of oxf applicants from my school recently — many applying for PPE and law (especially). My thoughts are as follows, and revolve around the central idea that the effort outweights the outcome:
1. It is too troublesome. Given the long gruelling process of written work, written test and interview, in addition to an earlier deadline. (The SAT I already find a bother) then the dilemma of deciding which college.
2. In all pessimism and realism, looking at the monkeytail long list of law applicants alone without passing a value judgment and looking solely at numbers alone, it is unlikely that many people will get it. Hence the effort might well be a waste.
3. In the longer term, even upon receiving it, the institution would place a great amound of unnecessary pressure and academic rigour to maintain its reputation — it is a known fact that the One-Essay-A-Week is part and parcel of the workload. Perhaps it might be beneficial, but it won’t necessarily be efficient nor necessary — much like how cannibalism provides a high protein diet. This is especially so for a technical and extensively dry subject such as law — I would generalise that most people are in it for the money and place it above the enjoyment of subject — not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s merely pragmatism.
4. Furthermore, (here comes the curveball argument), in an institution filled with people of the calibre and competitive drive of those from bishan junior college, wouldn’t that decrease the Hon level you might get?
That being said, brand is not to be ignored, but it is not meant to be the primary deciding factor nor the be all and end all. Ironically, I would wonder if branding affects me in causing me to avoid certain brands precisely because they are branded (i.e. I don’t like too attas). Still, it can be argued that one should to some extent care about brands because everyone else does.
And the surprise, ladies and gentlemen….
Despite all that, I announce that I have applied to Oxford (Philosophy and Theology) at Trinity (since it is closest to the archery range). The subject has the purpose of keeping my mind alive, allowing me to read something I like and find out more about God. Above all, it examines the clash between reason and faith through a study of history, literature and philosophy.. Since it is nonetheless a BA from the branded school, there is still employability (just maybe not from scholarships.) If I succeed, I have to prepare to read Hebrew in the two years of Office before going. I probably have not much local competition on top of that =P
This time round for the examination period I have taken the firm belief that rest is extremely important, more so than studying. I have gotten by (seemingly quite well) not studying at all for two subjects on the basis of using the time to sleep for ten hours instead — but those are subjects I have a firm foundation and aptitude in to begin with anyway. Daringly or rather lazily so, I’ve never actually done it before.
In reality, I hate to admit that the supposed ten hours involves most of it being spent trying to get to sleep. I toss and turn. I try not to move. I think. I try not to think. I count sheep. I think nothingness. I wake up right before the alarm and I wonder: “thefuc- did i even sleep at all?“. In essence, I am not utilising the time on work, nor am i efficiently getting any proper sleep. It doesn’t help that I’m trying to hard to get rest.
I have insomnia. Hell, I’ve been having it for a long while at night. Maybe I’m not meant to be sleeping in the night. Most of my holidays were spent going to bed near dawn and waking up for lunch. I need to somehow readjust the clock. Wth, most people are losing sleep and would probably pay to have insomnia now. And here I am trying to get my ten hours or at least seven or at least five real hours of sleep. In a cyclical manner, I am left feeling lethargic and hence try to get to bed early. Yet in a contradictory manner, I am lethargic but unable to get the rest I need. As a result of this cheeb.. lethargy, I am perpetually in no mood to do anything (though that might be multicausal?)
Then it is under this mental condition of “less than four hours of real sleep” that I made a truly blatant misjudgment. For some reason, I’ve never had such sleep problem before. This is the first time — might be due to me stopping the intake of somethinginmydrawer. Probably, my knee does bother me in bed (as in to sleep). Ironically, it is to avoid the risk of doing things under a drowsy state. As previously, I had diarrohea and whatnot on Day 1 again. On the topic of medicine, I also have sleeping pills but am unwilling to take them in this time period as it would stop me from dealing with the cause directly (and I scared would chemically affect my brain function also)
I’ll just take a day off and reset it all. I got something others are trying to get (I think its damn delusional to sacrifice sleep and personal wellbeing for this test tho) but might as well.
On another note, interesting. I’m like experimenting with my body and sleep pattern. I’m curious why its like that though. If I’m very lucky, I’ll be fine after the weekend. More realistically, I expect it to recover after the next week ends. More importantly, I need to make sure this doesn’t happen for the real thing.
As an alternative crack theory, maybe its due to excessive clorets intake.
As if ten hours of sleep was not enough — I carried on to have a three hour nap the moment I got home as a reward for surviving the day without much work. Ten hours of sleep is like drug — with math and english having gone seemingly well. What I should be doing is to prepare for Friday’s combination of biology and history — a smaller-scale climax which prepares us for the Later and More Significant Climax.
As can be seen, this period of examination pigeonholes life into a dull state with stifled creativity. I have many thoughts and plans but to bother with them admittedly invokes this feeling of guilt where time can be better spent. That, and spending most of my time unconscious. It’s almost like an obsession — it’s sleep greed. After all, I am known for fluctuating between two extremes.
And even though I can wake up late tomorrow, I shall tuck in before 12, — like now!
Hah, ten hours of sleep when other people are having ten hours of slogging. All I can say is — I’m damn good in bed.
Contradiction: tired yet unable to fall asleep. Probably inability to adjust sleep hours from holidays. Beyond that, I have a funny feeling my body might be having unusual chemical imbalances. Going to sleep at 9 has the same level of difficulty as going to sleep at 1 when tired — both ways I have to wake up at the same time. In fact, my sleep has been such that I actually wake up half an hour before my alarm — leaving me wondering if I’d even fallen asleep for real at all.
At least I think I made up for the bad – mere shuteye- sleep through quantity by going to bed for ten hours a day lately — feels the same, I think. I’m unproductive even in the area of sleep wtf.
In essence, I am not exactly prepared for the two papers today which I am most uncertain about apart from the late afternoon — having gone straight to bed upon reaching home.
My mind does seem (perhaps in a placebo-esque manner) quite clear now though — and that might be more important than others.
I have studied one unit of econs for the test tomorrow. Hopefully that one question wouldn’t be some hard-ass one with ambiguous demands. Screw this, it’s not yet 10pm but I think I need a clear head more than anything else.
Basically, ramble less, write less — which allows for writing more slowly, more neatly, more legibly, with more time to think carefully, choose carefully and plan carefully. I’ve made resolutions to improve handwriting each time, each to no avail — perhaps this time will change? As for planning time, after all, I -do- have luxury of time. Better to use the time planning a clear structure than rewriting (which I have for the past three english unseens) and rambling on later on when I have too much time and am bored. Already I take half an hour to plan though.
With that, I pray (like all Christian students spike in around exam time) and go sleep.
And like all countries tell their army, “Gott mit uns”. The Germans lost WW2 because they were pagan. Even USSR reallowed religion. and Italy doesn’t exactly count >< (These radical charismatics -_-) how then do you explain the Atheist communists triumphing over the methodist Chiang Kai-Shek?
In a semi-politically incorrect manner, maybe it’s a possibility God isn’t for everyone. Everyone prays, not everyone gets results. The poor and starving pray too. What is the logical explanation? An allocated portion of the universe is fated to go to hell. Judas didn’t choose to be Judas since someone had to do the dirty work. Nor did Goliath choose to be born as Goliath. Sucks to be born as one of the races that the Hebrews had to exterminate.
All I know is — I pray (and even when I don’t — I’m still looked after). It is a private and personal thing after all. Hence I say, God — with me. For the religious who do frown upon me, John was specially known as the disciple whom Jesus loved… yeah, in the book he wrote.
As for anyone/all else, I don’t give a flop.
Too tired to elaborate further. Need sleep. no energy, no time.
speaks for itself.