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Month: April, 2011

GE: There will not be change. Part 1

Disclaimer: A touch on politics, something I usually choose to avoid. This isn’t a post for me to smear my fervent fanboyism over Party X or Y, but simply to gesture some of my views in the upcoming GE, also, to clear misconceptions about the whole idea of potential “change” in our country. It’s only an opportunity you get once in every 5 years, so why not?

It’s will be a lengthy rant. So like the previous topic, it’s going to be segmented into two parts.

How different is this year’s GE compared to 2006?

Contrary to popular knowledge, it isn’t much different except that more seats are contested. Even during the years of JBJ, the attendance of opposition rallies were always stronger than those held by the incumbent. However, I have to admit that the hype that surrounded opposition’s campaign this year is definitely stronger than the last, but if you remember, even 5 years ago the crowd was almost equally passionate. Still the PAP won by a considerable landslide. IMO, Even with 82seats contested this year, at best, the opposition would be winning 15.

If the PAP are still going to hold a large pool of parliament seats, what then is the function of the opposition?

The WP has it spot on regarding this one with their campaign slogan, “Into first world parliament.” The opposition knows that the PAP will still win by a considerable margin considering the sinewy of our country. This is a nation built based on security and fear. For our fellow citizens to grab on their balls voting for sudden change, it’s not just in our blood as much as they know that welfare is pretty much nil. There won’t be sudden change, we can only pray for a gradual one.

Slyvia Lim has put it pretty accurately and honestly by saying the opposition still lacks of manpower and resources to be running our country, therefore they have no aims to run it as of now. They just need enough seats in the parliament to have the slightest influence our country’s policy in the upcoming 5years.

The strategic allocation of candidates in the most GRCs indicates that opposition parties are in check with reality. Such as WP’s decision of filing 5 of their strongest candidate in a single GRC. Although it might seem silly for WP to put Mao beside political veterans like Low Thia Kiang and Slyvia Lim when it’s entirely possible for him to contest in a different constituency and win, it’s not. WP knows that it’s impossible to attain a landslide victory over PAP in all 4 of their contested GRC, therefore they are trying to manage a modest victory in single constituency. In short, before the function of opposition is to keep PAP at the edge of their seats, they first have to secure minimum voice and recognition. As far as that is concerned, most of oppositions are moving towards a healthy direction.

Another example of securing recognition would be NSP’s swift decision of putting Nicole Seah up again PAP’s Tin Pei Ling. To some, the drama between both may seem like a silly cat fight that’s unfitting of the severity in parliamentary matters, suggest me a better publicity stunt for NSP. Cruel truth is, most of Singaporeans are politically apathetic, if facts and figures aren’t enough to capture their attention, this is where drama comes into play.

Are the opposition really competent? Are they really doing this for the people?

I don’t know if the opposition are a competent bunch, or if they really have the citizen’s hearts at theirs. Matter of fact is, you cannot stop politics from being a dirty game of buying votes and influencing the masses, that is it’s nature, to attain power. Point is, be the skeptic you wish to be but still, you cannot deny the fact that any opposition that gets voted into the parliament will become an alternative voice to stop the domination of PAP, we can speculate their intent and competency afterwards.

The opposition rallies are all about criticizing the policies of the incumbent, do they really have substantial ideas into leading this country rather than just pointing fingers?

I use to feel the same, but now I think different.

Paraphrasing MM Lee, without the helicopter view, more likely that not, opposition do not have the right policies. But for whether they do or do not, the essence of opposition rallies will stay the same. Like it or not, our country as a whole is far from being fully educated. Our country suffers from aging population and most of elderlies above the age of 60 did not receive any proper education, making up a large pool of voters regardless of which GRC they are contesting in. So you see, the whole point of rally isn’t to quote specific facts, figures and carefully craft policies to convince the educated, if the educated are truly so, they can do their own research and think of what they want for their future.

The point of opposition rallies is to touch the hearts of the people. And on a bourgeois level, to garner passion amongst people is to directly attack the policies and blunders of the incumbent. This isn’t America, where politics are naturally taken to be more exciting than your regular soap drama, where the public is educated enough to sit hours in front of their television listening to Obama talk about the right policies for their country. If oppositions did the same, your regular old folk in Singapore would have doze off by the 10 minutes mark.

If you really do want to know about the ideas that oppositions have installed for this country, don’t expect to hear them in rallies. You can download their manifesto in their respective websites. Some of them are pretty lengthy stretching over 30pages. So I honestly doubt claims that the opposition have totally no idea on what they are doing.

Why are people hating the PAP? Are they really doing a bad job?

Even without invoking their “legacy”, not at all actually.

The question will depends on the social class that you are in, do you belong to the struggling lower class? The hardworking middle class? Or the filthy rich upper class aka the elites? If I belonged to the latter, then the PAP is most certainly doing a brilliant job. To have a modest population of 5million but to have Gini Ratio Index of 52, this is utopia for the loaded. From the point of view of a capitalist, there’s still lots of potential that can be milk from this country despite increasing labor cost. Not to mention that our economy grew by 11% during the first quarter when neighboring countries are barely coping with sustaining theirs, if that isn’t remarkable, what is?

You see, if this country is a business, the PAP isn’t doing a bad job at all. But as far as welfare for the middle and lower class is concerned, we all know the answer. It boils down to your personal interest.

Part 2 for later, the demographics of our nation and why will there not be change.

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Atheist do not have morals? Part 2

In Part 1, I demostarted how can atheist be harmonious people even without moral guidelines

But before I go on, things to clear on between the distinction of an atheist and a nihilist, or more specifically a moral nihilist.

It’s a common belief that atheist do not adhere to any set of moral guidelines due to their disbelief in God or any supreme being illustrated in any religion. This may or may not be true. Atheism strictly, is only a idea that rejects the existence of God and shouldn’t be construed as a philosophical doctrine in life. That is to say that although I may be atheist, I may still be an advocate of the teachings in Buddhism or any other religion. Nihilism on the other hand, is a doctrine that believes no intrinsic virtue may exist in men. To naturally assume an atheist to be nihilistic is to say all republicans must be vegetarians.

Jokes aside. If atheists believes that no super power governs the conduct of this world, they believe that no one is there to judge between the virtuous and evil doings. If that’s the case how can they have morals?

If morals can be easily defined by following the commandments and guidelines portrayed in Religion X then that is true. Atheist are a savage bunch that’s devoid of proper morals. But in reality, objective morals cannot be conceived in such a simple method. If it was, that is to say a pious Christian that follows strictly on the ten commandments may be a virtuous man in his own country but vile in India. Or your regular carpenter working along the slums of Brazil may be committing blasphemy towards Thor in ancient Greek. That before moral guidelines are to guard the harmony and justice of our world we have to first make sense of your geographical location and living time line. Right?

Which leads to the inevitable question, so if morals cannot be defined through religious doctrines, what morals are objectivity then? To avoid the trap, I wouldn’t want to be digging my grave by defining what morals essentially are(but if you want to know, I am a utilitarian) but instead ask(hypothetically if you like) what morals are for. So without raping the donkey’s corpse, harmony is. It doesn’t matter which religion you subscribe to, the function of moral guidelines are always to enforce order and harmony. But looking deeply into history, it’s function is not only wishful but dangerous as well, that is, to base a huge part of our life’s manifesto on the orders of shady supreme beings.

Most of today’s dominant religion are ideas discovered more than 15centuries ago, and to apply the similar moral guidelines that we understood back then to today’s cultural standard is to be stale and just incautious. Not to mention that the most moral guidelines written in religion are supported on power and authority, not understanding and flexibility, which is the root of the problem itself.

So if moral guidelines aren’t good enough in ensuring harmony between people, what really does? What makes the state of our world?

To be blatantly honest, in these grim days, idiots are what that makes our world. Be realistic bitches, nothing ensures harmony or peace for anyone, the best we can cope with even after 5000years of civilization is corrupted authority figures that sells lies for breakfast with incompetent senators praying that idiots will either bite the bullet or buy the breakfast. So yep, idiots does. But only to be politically correct, I’ll say Goodwill knowledge that translates to sanctions in an orderly fashion does the job.

By layman definition, we all know what knowledge is, but the knowledge I am referring to is not just the mastery on our physical world. But knowledge and intelligence on the dynamics of our world. More specifically, intelligence on the optimal social workings of our world through careful and thoughtful observation, and in turn, to apply that observation out of consideration for our community, and that is what sanctions originally are in it’s purest state(some call sanctions to be evolutionary morals, they aren’t wrong at all, but I wouldn’t want to risk entering the whole vicious cycle of explaining what morals are again).

But at the same time, even with relevant knowledge on what should be done we have to first understand how can we do it. All things related to religion are tactful as hell subjects, therefore, tactful and gradual education(which actually is just propaganda) on the public must be applied for us to reach there. For example, the unseen support for the gay rights movement by the American public, which consist of 80% Christians. Or when the public votes for an American African man that supports abortion into parliament. These are all examples to show that “morals” aren’t ideas that aren’t suppose to be stale and stationary ideas, they are ideas that ought to change with culture and time. They ought to in understanding and sustaining even the least of harmony.

My eyes are dry, my brain is begging me to read Carl Sagan after Thor’s influence on me so after rambling a whole chunk, here’s my point. It may or may not(in most cases they don’t. most atheist like me, are just nerds that can’t stop thinking about the world’s function. and with all the cognition shitstorm stirred in our head, most of us are not just atheistic but nihilistic as well) be true that an atheist harbors a personal moral guideline within his heart. But having read what I wrote, I question, what are moral guidelines good for then?

I’ll rest my case and brain.

Harmful Happiness.

I have been thinking quite a lot on happiness lately. Not just intrinsic happiness, but our cultural perception towards it and the essential conditions that we think is needed to attain and eventually sustain it. And the further I brood on it, there clearly are dangerous areas to be considered and explored in chasing happiness. Let me demonstrate why.

Happiness is a tiny and irritatingly flexible idea that I cannot wrestle with. Every man wants to be happy, even the most enlightened of geniuses(but the irony is, once you are there, you probably can’t). There’s a direct highway for “happiness” to reach every idea that man once thought of or every action that he performed. The search for peace, success, love, power, sex, empathy, satisfaction and as the lists goes beyond the moon, happiness stays as the main reason why would anybody chase for anything.

But even before the chase, have anybody really thought what happiness really is? Happiness is a flexible emotion and state of mind as mentioned and we can all be happy in different ways. Therefore, I do not believe that “happiness” requires an enforced objective understanding. However I do believe that different peaks exist in the idea of happiness, and some peaks are definitely more established than the others. By established, it’s untroubled by the conditions of human experience, a state of complete emotive tranquility and peace(not be be confused with contentment). And that, I audaciously claim after loads of consideration, is authentic happiness.

But happiness understood in modern times has been long substituted by the conditions which we think is needed to sustain it. Which eventually turns into an obsession. By obsessions, I do not mean the latest BMW that’s released in the market or anything material, but instead, the illusionary bridges which is taken to be essential is reaching authentic happiness.

The most erected bridge of all, “Love”.

It’s deliberate¬† example to explain my stance on as love is probably the friendly neighbour of air when it comes to the necessities of survival. There probably isn’t anything more capable than “Love” itself when it comes to ensuing direct happiness. I assure that non of us will ever be happy without the love of anything, whether is it to love, or be loved, from our families, friends, spouses or otherwise.

But here comes the trick and contradiction for some, it’s capabilities and unyielding authority in making love possible still doesn’t knot it as a sine qua non in achieving happiness. I wish not to harp on the propensity of happiness IS a state of emotive tranquility and peace. It’s not a state of nothing, but a state that requires no conditions.

Very directly, happiness is an emotion and love is a condition which vastly allows the possibility of happiness.

Here’s the problem, love is too healthy and rigid a bridge in seeing happiness possible which makes in a obsession. Happiness, like all emotions, by itself is hollow as stated but it’s conditions aren’t. The hollow cannot be chased because it is what it is making us concentrated on the conditions which we think explains and defines the concatenation. And that’s when the chasing of these conditions start, making happiness a morbid duty.

The chase is not a speculation but an affirmation. For books on happiness to be flying off shelves like hot cakes and every flip of magazines to be guiding readers on how to be happy, happiness is surely becoming of a personal conviction rather than an emotion. So when it does, it’s gradually allows it’s real meaning to be substituted by it’s contemporary conditions.

Being blinded, we no longer think of what happiness really is and weigh it’s importance based on the circumstances we are in, we just try to be which is harmful.

To constantly allow the chase of happiness as a natural tendency is to be in a dangerous state of gaiety. To constantly prioritize the conditions which we feel are needed to make us happy before understanding the downside of it.  Our focus on happiness may also cause us to be near sighted towards our plans for the future. But most regrettably, our obsession with wanting to be happy may slowly transform into a default liability and does nothing to gratify our everyday life.

Enough of technical and boring words. Here’s an analogous example to concisely convey our battle with happiness right now. It’s said that darkness doesn’t exist by itself, that darkness is merely the absence of light. So similarly I question, is sadness then an absence of happiness? If it is, does it then even tangibly exist at all? And if it isn’t then why are we chasing what we are?

To end this gloomy post, I suspect our communal chase for happiness is back-firing. Our constant pursuance in fulfilling these conditions may be more depressing than we think.

Atheist do not have morals? Part 1

It was two weeks ago when I had a heated argument with one of my superiors on religion and moral guidelines, ever since, I had always wanted to write up on it but never quite gotten the blueprint. Thanks to NEA, my friendly neighbourhood mosquitoes and my dream last night, there’s more or less a fuzzy picture spinning in my head, so let’s attack the paper while my ink still boils.

It’s a common question with wide vulnerable openings from all directions. First, by the frank assault of scrutinizing HDI(Human Development Index). Countries that are less religious tend to be healthier, happier, more developed and people are more keen on offering donations to help each another. Second, by looking at crime density of every country. Religious countries are normally with alarming crime rates.

But from experience, the problem of quoting statistics in supporting an argument is that it leads to nothing but a shit storm of hypothetical enquiry on the authenticity of it, and before you realize it, say hi to raining statistics, where boogie statistics are repeatedly quoted to support each’s stand. So before I continue let me absorb and admit the problems of my figures.

Firstly, most countries that’s leading in HDI are European countries, and these are countries way developed even before the 19th century. No surprise for their prosperity in happiness, health and wealth. With money, it also makes the governance of these country easier, for the people to be more patriotic and communal. And these are all the tumbling blocks of social welfare, leading one good thing to another.

On the contrary, countries that are highly religious are normally those situated at the middle east. These countries suffer from long seasons of drought. There’s sand and only sand in most places and due to the lack of resources, they are poor and uneducated leading to an unstable social security.

So after tweaking and a re-construed version of my statistic, what’s pivotal in allowing these figure the way they are aren’t actually the evil influence of religion, but like most things else, money. Money results in the golden/mudfuck standard of living in all countries, which results in it’s state to be either awesome utopia or plain shithole.

So I’ve graciously admitted, the big assholes of my figures. Also, how easily can statistics be re-manipulated and thrown out of the window as a viable source of argument. But you see, if gist of my figures were steps to assert atheists to be a bunch more sanctimonious than theist, that would be highly and severely flawed due to the discrepancy that can be found in the nature of all statistics, but that’s not my point.

Point is, even understanding the privileges that made highly atheistic country to be leading in national HDI, it doesn’t change the fact that they are. In this sense, even though it may or may not be true that atheist have moral guidelines, it doesn’t keep us from being ethical and communal, which is the whole point of having moral guidelines, harmony.

Part 2 for later.

Of passion and reason.

As Hume was nearing his prime years, in an exchanging war of ink and paper with the rationalist who took an staunch attitude towards the practically of an objective truth in man’s moral, he famously quoted, “Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them.” Which halted the harrying of letters until the rise of Kant and his conversation and commendation of a dead man.

As a partisan of Hume, it’s a brilliant and concise phrase that addressed most problems of Epistemology and the eternal battle of what morals really are, it’s not until lately I had a breather to closely assess the complete meaning of it. And when I did, I thought differently.

The first part of the phrase should be easily comprehended, that reason will always be under the domination of passion and it would be impractical for us to belief in anything without passion. As reasoning would mean to assert a judgment and that requires a definite level of consciousness and saipiency which is where the inevitability of passion joins the picture. The second part of the phrase says that it’s impossible for us to reason while denying the influence of our tentative passion or attempting to reason without it. And all attempts of so can only be either futile or a pretense.

Here’s my problem with Hume’s idea, neurological causation. Which ironically, is an idea found by the same man himself.

Causation is usually an argument for compatibilitst to debunk determinism by claiming that no state can be made possible without any preceding ones. That no effect can be known as an effect unless an original state was known before it and inevitably, it’s precedence will always govern what comes after. In simpler words, that the casual connection of all of man’s experience is in fact a constant conjunction made inevitable by the structure of time and nature.

The similar phenomenon shoehorns the gap between neurology and epistemology. In his rebuttal, Hume was claiming that reason ought only to be the slave of passion and reason as explained, requires saipency and consciousness. Therefore, before it’s impossible for reason to exist without any passion or emotion, it cannot exist without intellectual life. Making intellectual life a third element to form a complete conjunction with passion and reason.

As his response is made towards the rationalists assertion of the possibility of a practical objective morals, in it’s context, it may be a rational argument but not necessarily a strongly cogent one after introducing a third element to the equation.

To think of reason as “sheeps” and passion as the “shepard”. It’s not wrong to say that the sheeps of farm X may never escape the dominance of the shepards and will always be under the influence of it, but what precedes it’s dominance making it’s existence and design possible? The sheeps are neither made possible or a creation by the shepards instead of evolution and to some, God. And it’s life design was never to be controlled by the shepards. The sheeps will be controlled by the shepards but it’s only a phenomenon that can be possible without breaking the link of what created it.

Now, Hume was merely bridging and expressing the inevitable gap between passion and reason, which he is right. But that does not automatically debunk that an objective truth may still co-exist with his idea.

With all due respect to Hume, arguably the greatest thinker in history, although the quote itself suffers from no illogicality, the angle and method of how it was posed, I suspect, may actually suffer from a false dilemma fallacy and that doesn’t answer if objective morals do exist.

Justify your existence?

I am not a fascist(or at least by definition, I don’t think so) but this is one question that keeps popping up into the morbid brain of mine like how viagra ads do in your mailbox.

It’s a philosophical polemical that’s somewhat similar to the Satre question of “being” but not exactly. I know no accurate lexicons to coin the inquiry as of now, so let’s just call it the JYE.

Ignoring the unwarrantable idea of Solipsism, let’s first assume that none of anybody or living creatures in this known world are merely convincing robots that fogs our perception and we all do clearly and empirically have consciousness. Consciousness to say is that we are all capable of having awareness and individual design.

And here comes the problem, consciousness is a given by biology. That is to say the consciousness of a man is no greater than the consciousness of a littleneck clam, or more derogatorily, the pestering weeds by your backyard(yes, plants do have consciousness). Puppeted by neurology, a man may have stronger realization of what he is or isn’t, and a deeper knowledge of his surroundings but that doesn’t necessarily make him a leader in this game of consciousness.

As explained beforehand, that consciousness is merely the state of having awareness and an individual design. In this scenario, although the design of what a man is may vary due to his greater potential in the remodeling of our known world, it still doesn’t defeat the fact that the littleneck clam has it’s own design as well, which like most other animals, is to survive and be meaty. Whether it’s gonna be served fresh and steamy during your next dinner, it’s design stays strong.

But you see, to think extremely carefully, existence isn’t a given by any branch of science, but philosophy. To say that I exist, is to claim that I have an objective actuality in this world. And scrutinizing the words “objective” and “actuality” in the simplest way I can ever imagine, it’s to say that empirically my being is only such of what it is capable of influencing another and what others recognize me as. And in this sense, I may foolishly belief that our existence can be objectivity pegged on different levels.

Less of semanticist philosophy and more of personal intuition.

That thin line of difference between “existence” and “awareness” is what’s that bugging me on my existence. Perhaps my presumed existence is merely a soft privilege based on my awareness and also others’ awareness on me. Perhaps the idea of existence is just loosely used to pacify our paranoia on our self importance, that existence is not an entitlement at all until you justify it. I am not yet deserving to exist, do I?

Meh.

Just another tormenting post that cannot be more irrelevant and unbeneficiary to the accepted greatness to our world. It’s no wonder philosophy grads are look down upon.

It will be a long and fun day tomorrow, time to sleep.

Stab myself, I should.

4mins into Strangers, again and I feel like watching porn. I really should stab myself and come to terms that I will be FOREVER ALONE.

A depressing milestone to mark in my life.

edit: sarcasm intended.

Judge me not. Touche.

Since when the fuck was the act of “judging” being a privilege and not a given. Since when the fuck did the police issued out permits for people to judge? Or the filthy republicans did? Not in my country, not in most liberalized country and especially not in the middle east where young and wrapped maidens are getting stoned to death for having their innocent pussies assaulted, which actually is the monarch of judging.

With the case laid, let me rephrase my question, where the fuck did the punk ass culture of judging as a derogatory verb come from?

Unhappy and hurt feelings? Don’t make me sick.

Take your time, wipe your dried tears and cum off your face and just think carefully about it. If anything in this world is free and a given, it has to be judging. Freer than the birds in the skies, the trouts in the sea and the serial rappers of Zimbawe. In fact, second to money, judging is what that makes the world go round, it’s evolutionary and keeps us on safe toes.

What the fuck does an African kid do when he sees an HIV infected cheetah from two miles away? He runs for his mother fucking life judging from his experience with giant felines. You expect that nigga to root his soles on his ground thinking that this cheetah might be different from the one that killed his uncle?

In a more urban context. What does an university entrepreneur(black or white) do when he sees a shady figure(black or white) holding firm on a 16mm approaching at an irregular rate 3am in the morning. He walks straight up to him while thinking, “No, no, no it’s wrong for me to judge people.” or he takes an alternate lane to reach his destination. Be realistic.

A woman in a outfit that exposes half her saggy tits while wearing make up thicker than the oxford standard dictionary. A hooker? Or a very fine lady on her way to a costume party?

Customers that can’t stop their requests on freebies and discounts. A poorfag miser or the wisely frugal.

A man that buys groceries pink tights. A homosexual or a man with a peculiar sense of fashion?

Girl with more than 5 cocks in her body. A slut? Or a victim of a bad relationship.

The words above. You see my point? Or you are a cock sucking zit producing dumbass socialist that refuses to learn?

Fuck it people. Don’t shave your pubes, grow them proudly on your crotch like a congressional medal of honour. All these waxing services are making people softer than ever. You expect the dynamics of the world to change just for your brittle feelings. You acting like a Chinese commie. The world will judge, for good, for good and sometimes for bad. But it cannot be denied that judging is essential. We live to judge and vice versa.

Anybody that says, “Who are you to judge?” must be hiding midget slaves at home in a kennel. Not that I am a weed smoking freedom loving hippie fuck but how can you strip more freedom from a man than preventing him to judge. Cleopatra did better by piercing the nipples of her servants in vain.

Finally, a quote of advice to the young souls soon to enter the brutal world of working. You are not who you think you are, but who they think you are. In simpler words, it’s doesn’t matter if you can be solve quantum physics equations in your brain but can’t tangibly prove it to your superiors.

So two points to remember before you leave this space.
1: You are a slut when the world thinks you are.
2: The world will judge and don’t be silly about it.

A very agonizing post to start of my 12hours work shift. Great and ciaos.

My world view in a nutshell

Among the innumerable mortifications which waylay human arrogance on every side may well be reckoned our ignorance of the most common objects and effects, a defect of which we become more sensible by every attempt to supply it. Vulgar and inactive minds confound familiarity with knowledge and conceive themselves informed of the whole nature of things when they are shown their form or told their use; but the speculatist, who is not content with superficial views, harasses himself with fruitless curiosity, and still, as he inquires more, perceives only that he knows less.

Guess who said it?

true

“Can I have off this coming Saturday?”

“No.”

“But I need to spend time with friends.”

“You have no friends. I know.”

“Why?”

“Someone with a fucked up brain like you cannot have friends.”

“True”

Other than argument amongst friends, truth may also spring from unforgiving mouth of vile Indians superior.