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Lockout wasn’t a bad movie. The protagonist is witty and sarcastic. The lead actress sort of looks like Emma Watson (although it seems to be the case only for this movie. Not sure if it’s deliberate.) – in long hair AND short hair. There’s the artistic element of mysteries at the start with answers at the end, which I like.
Its only downside is that it feels like Air Force One, Mission Impossible and Armageddon/some other space movie had a monster child. Actually some may see that as a good thing..
The female character also continually pisses me off by simply being stupid and idealistic (same thing) with no practical/common sense whatsoever.
This is the first movie I’ve seen in a while since starting work. It is also the first time I’ve met the bulk of the people from my old camp in a long while. I saw the people I used to lunch with, the warrant I used to work for, the guys who used to be under me, my understudy, the moustached man who used to chase me for stuff (and whom I probably still owe stuff) etc etc.
There’s this hard to express sentiment when I see these people whom I haven’t seen for a long time. Maybe I do miss them. Maybe it’s just good to know that they’re well. But it feels nice that even after these few months, it doesn’t really feel like anything has changed.
It’s at times like this that my angstburger friend will say “SENTIMENTS ARE FOR WEAKLINGS”. Whatever, really.
I have but one wish when I die – that I get to return for a week.
It’ll be like a second chance to quickly deal with any lingering regrets, and live as though I only I have a week left, with no fear of anyone or anything.
In a poetic sense, it’ll be best if I’m revived in three days — and preferably without three days of decomposition -_-
It’ll also be awesome to scare the fuck out of people.
You can then send me back to where ever after that be it heaven, hell or plain non-existence.
- because even as a Christian, I cannot say for certain what the afterlife holds. (I’m still not inclined to believe in the existence of a hell) I could say what I believe, but I can’t say what I know. But who can honestly say that they know for certain where they’ll go when they die?
As that joke goes, someone ends up in hell and sees St Paul crying out, “The Jews were right! It was works all along!”
For the entire last week, I’ve been working a heck lot. I was working from 8 plus to 8 plus almost for the entire week. I woke up at 5am on a Sunday and was busy all the way till 9pm.
This week was a lot better. Three days were spent on a boat to a lighthouse island in the south, for work purposes. I actually volunteered to go for one more day of a boat ride to the island yesterday – partly for the sea breeze, partly for the island atmosphere.
I can’t help but to think about the question “what is work?” and what sort of work I would like to do. What is my sort of thing – and more importantly, what isn’t?
The week ahead isn’t any less busier. I have two reports to with tight deadlines (one academic, one work) and an evaluation to do. And let’s not even talk about studying for my May exams yet…
Oh great, it’s afternoon already.
“A time-honored strategy of cataclysmic discourse, whether performed by preachers or by propagandists, is the retroactive correction. This technique consists of accumulating a staggering amount of horrifying news and then—at the end—tempering it with a slim ray of hope.
First you break down all resistance; then you offer an escape route to your stunned audience.[...]
Here are the means that the former vice president, like most environmentalists, proposes to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions: using low-energy light bulbs; driving less [...(blahblahblah)]. Since we find ourselves at a loss before planetary threats, we will convert our powerlessness into propitiatory gestures, which will give us the illusion of action. First the ideology of catastrophe terrorizes us; then it appeases us by proposing the little rituals of a post-technological animism.
But let’s be clear: A cosmic calamity is not averted by checking tire pressure or sorting garbage.“
- The Ideology of Catastrophe by Pascal Bruckner, on the Wall Street Journal.
I may have applied to study “Environmental Studies” but I was never really bought over by the global warming/climate change scare. Even when I am a bit more concerned about natural resources depleting, I don’t think it’ll be within my lifetime – and even if I reduced my consumption to ZERO (i.e. kill myself), it’s nothing compared to the world’s resource depleting industries. Pollution would be the most that I actually cared about — only because I wouldn’t want to eat toxic sashimi or breathe in fucking HAZE.
My guess is that true blue environmentalists don’t actually want the environment to improve. Because any improvement will lead to complacency, or rather a decrease in alarmism, and in turn their support and funding.
On another note, I don’t even believe in an apocalypse of any form. More importantly, I don’t believe that the apocalypse is important. The fear/expectation of an apocalypse shouldn’t be a central part of any spiritual living. It’s really a frivolous matter that has no other purpose than to scare your gullible commoner into reforming his beliefs and behaviour.
What about biblical prophecy? Still not sufficiently concrete. You can’t simply interpret some parts literally, while other parts figuratively. The end of the ‘world’ may well be figurative rather than literal. Amillennarists believe in a more spiritual rather than literal interpretation. Better yet, there is the preterist interpretation which interprets the prophecies of revelations to have already been fulfilled in the first century AD. And when it comes down to interpretations, there’s nothing to prove how one is superior to the other.
Maybe some people just have a (biological?) human need to believe in a catastrophe or apocalypse. Pascal Bruckner concludes it quite well:
“You’ll get what you’ve got coming! That is the death wish that our misanthropes address to us. These are not great souls who alert us to troubles but tiny minds who wish us suffering if we have the presumption to refuse to listen to them. Catastrophe is not their fear but their joy. It is a short distance from lucidity to bitterness, from prediction to anathema.“
Women are more easily offended, and annoyingly so. Not only are they more sensitive about all things, but at the heart of it – i have observed that a lot of them are less inclined to be capable of separating Deed from Person. All of these are just observations so far; none of these have happened to me yet. (Note the thick layers of political correct coating).
Let’s consider when a person does an act that obstructs her act. Firstly, she views it as a personal attack (that the act is targeted at her, rather than her actions). Secondly, she views the offence to stem from the person’s character as a whole, rather than reasoning that the offence is a one time deed. Thirdly, it is certain that she is not conscious of the above two points as she gets angry – she simply gets angry and needs to vent it somewhere, or rather, on someone. The easiest target is someone who is disagreeing.
Hypothetical example (in a simplified form):
“I don’t think [insert idea suggested by her] is a very effective/reasonable way of doing it.”
“YOU’RE BULLYING ME AND YOU DON’T RESPECT MY OPINION. RAH BLAH BLAH RAHHH”
Okay, that was a little bit sexist. At the expense of accuracy and precision, let’s just put it a more politically correct way: approximately half of the population has this problem.
That was a long and convoluted way of saying that – if she does not get what she wants, she’s gonna throw a hissy fit and hate you for it.
Admittedly, there isn’t a feel-good when someone gets in your way. But when my plans are obstructed by other people, I don’t blame their actions, much less their character/person (unless genuinely done out of malice). I blame myself. I blame myself for not planning well enough, not making the rights choices, and simply not doing enough – because that is the responsible, rational, and mature thing to do.
“A genuine religious conversion usually occurs as the outcome of a crisis of ultimate concern and a sense of desperate conflict”
- Psychologist Paul Johnson
“Sudden conversions were associated with fear and anxiety.”
- Psychologist E.T. Clark after studying 2174 cases of religious conversions.
Converts puzzle me. It is unremarkable if you were raised in a Christian environment (like myself) and been exposed to Christian doctrine from young. But if you somehow move from atheism or whatever religion you were brought up with, there must have been something that really moved you.
Two factors make this difficult:
Firstly, converts aren’t just acknowledging the existence of God, or seeking some general idea of divine intervention in their life. They are subscribing to a specific orthodoxy. What makes them pick one over the rest?
Secondly, converts aren’t just subscribing to a set of privileges – that’d be easy to agree to (as per Prosperity Churches). They need to pay a subscription fee as well, metaphorically of course (although in some churches, literally =P). They need to somehow accept an entire new system of beliefs, and often premises-which-are-accepted-as-truths-just-because. For instance, if a convert acted on his fear of going to hell, there are a number of premises
- There is a problem: Hell and it’s existence.
- The problem is relevant to you: Sin and it’s existence.
- Offered before you is the solution: Redemption, which hinges on even more layers of premises etc etc etc.
Or if that he needed God for health and wealth in his life — well, that’s a lot easier to believe. People are willing to believe anything if there’s a lot of money at stake. (Thus explaining the size of the megachurch. More about this some other day.)
And the convert within that short period of a sermon (or even that altar call) accepts all these premises. A huge leap of Faith is needed to bridge the gap in Reason. And I’m trying to find out what drives this? Perhaps a logical persuasion by a skillfully intellectual preacher, or some warm feeling in the heart where you just realise “This is it”?
It’s unlike someone who’s already been a christian and has had a lifetime of “spiritual experiences” to substantiate all his other beliefs, and hold the realisation that “i can’t do without God.” The convert has been living without this system of orthodoxy for all of his life, and suddenly an hour talk causes a major change. How? What is the rationale?
I know of a lot of social/mass psychology pressures, but I highly doubt that’s enough to cause religious fervor, or a “genuine” conversion. If anyone has any insight/experience on the matter, do let me know!
“What would people expressing their freedom of religion do to our social fabric?”
- Some NUS student commenting on Yale-NUS and civil liberties
Actually, not much will happen to the social fabric. Maybe some people will refuse to hold firearms, and some people will continually try to persuade you that you’re going to hell. …Not very different from status quo actually.
I think this is a case of poor phrasing. What she probably meant was, “what would people exercising their freedom to express their views about religion do to our social fabric?”
Hmm, people get offended. And they seem to think that they have an entitlement or right to throw a big tantrum in the name of religion and step on people’s feet.
Think of it from another angle, it grants the freedom to be intolerant and the freedom to restrict the views of others.
The typical argument is that freedom is limited when there is harm. But i don’t think offence on an emotional level is sufficient to be considered as harm, unless it inflicts psychiatric damage. Offence isn’t that bad, since it’s really just part and parcel of life. It’s the reaction of offended people that is a bad thing — and that is seriously their own problem rather than society’s problem.
Hence, in practice, if you wish to make society care that you’re offended, you have to make it their problem as well. If you’re known for being tame, then no one is really gonna care about your hurt feelings. I don’t think public policy factors in hurt feelings as much as it does for social unrest.
“If the government doesn’t take action on these people, it will seem as though Roman Catholicism is not being protected by the law.”
- some Pol Sci student on the CHIJMES chapel party this Easter (LOL!!!)
That’s quite a cunning argument actually. It is probably for this reason that the national library allows books by Hitchens and Dawkins – which would otherwise be considered seditious. Of course a book titled “God is not great” is going to be seditious (actually that book DOES attack the-one-which-cannot-be-offended!!)
I’ve no idea what Yale-NUS has to do with a discussion about religious freedoms actually, but there might be a common linking point here:
“Students would have a platform to voice and understand in depth of the current situation which is necessary in education point of view (but) having too much understanding may mean that they… may challenge traditional rights,”
- Some other undergraduate student in the article.
So this girl agrees that liberal thought is necessary for education, but somehow there can be “too much” understanding, and that there are “traditional rights” at stake. I admit I have a bias, but it is nonetheless puzzling to me how there can be “too much” understanding. I can’t help but to think of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave.
In conclusion: Understanding, thinking and questions are bad bad things. Be wary of anyone who has had a liberal arts education.