life, how to live mine.

been involved in many conversations about my future career lately, which is why i’ve been writing all these posts about life. it’s sometimes ironic to realize that despite all that philosophical rationalized-thinking, you can’t really convince yourself to be happy if you’re not.

i don’t know why i’m feeling that particular stress now, out of all possible times in my life. the stress that i can’t do anything or everything. maybe it’s because a career path is a commitment of a lifetime, forty years. i want to be able to do what i like. and with all these five year expectations, set in place by my mother, i feel like some of my own dreams will not be realized.

it’s not money. it’s family duty. it’s not an avoidable part of my life. it will come up. i have to face it. it’s a reality. my parents always get the feeling i don’t want to do it. and it’s true i don’t want to do it at this point in my life. but it’s something i believe i am responsible for so i will do it.

there are two new things i learnt these days: always be open minded. the worst thing you can do is close off yourself and having already decided a career path. people our era will be switching jobs constantly, relocating constantly. you’ll never know until you try it and there’s always something you can learn from everything but always look for the common areas. that’s the transferable skills which you can take with you regardless of your job. business is one of those areas which i’ve been very close-minded about. i was wrong.

i made a ton of demands on my future job in previous posts that i have to do good, and not create noise. but sometimes we have to look at things on a more relative scale. finance, businessman aren’t evil people. some are. Yes. but we can’t make generalizations. it’s similar to how we shouldn’t make generalizations about cs majors being all nerds. of course there’s absolutely good but you can also think of things in the context that if someone else less moral than you was doing your job, the world would be a worse place.

my protocol for deciding on a career
1. being able to fulfill your responsibilities to yourself, your family, the world.
2. do something you like
3. always be openminded to new things.

life, how to live it.

(*NOTE purpose, reason, meaning – three words whose meaning i use quite interchangeably when it comes to talking about big, vague concepts like life. they will abbreviated here as p.r.m *)

i’m old enough to stop being naive about the world and choose my life. but first the question of what the p.r.m. of life is?

what does life really boil down to? why do we want to keep breathing to survive? what is the reason for human life? i don’t think there is any reason for life. maybe we’re just part of a larger system, part of a game. But there is really no fundamental reason for life, or for the universe in fact.
there is no reason for life, so (surviving) living becomes the reason. not only to live longer, but also to enhance the process of living. The quality of the human experience comes from exploring the full range of human emotions and going to the extremes of the universe with human knowledge. A profound statement, “the universe essentially only exists as you perceive it through what you know; therefore, if you change your perception of the universe with new knowledge, you have essentially changed the universe itself.”

And that is what life should be, one that will give us choices to explore being human.

what does it mean to live in this world?
the purpose of all living organisms is to survive, the same for humans. How do we survive? Surviving used to mean nutritious food, clean water, safe housing. But in modern society, survival also requires education, housing, healthcare. Because of technological advancement, all of that is now provided by society and we need to pay for those services. The higher the price, the better the quality of the service. That’s why our world has arranged itself economically and disproportionately rewards those who can create the most economic value. This is achieved by creating value through artificial products, explaining our evolution from primary to tertiary industries. This explains why stock traders are high valued because they make money off fictitious financial instruments, options, derivatives. The greatest wealth separator is capital gain, because it’s gain that you need to work for. Average workers end up spending all their earnings by the time they die. The only way to accumulate wealth is to invest into things that will appreciate: property, financial instruments such as stock, bonds. It’s how the world ending up being for good or for bad. This is to say that money itself is not bad because it is only a means to an end, survival; it’s bad only when it becomes the purpose. To explore being human in today’s world, that requires us to delay gratification to maximize choices in the future with money or with knowledge.

what should my life be?
i don’t want to resign to a life of creating noise. what do I mean by creating noise? It’s a frustration that many jobs I am aware of create economic value by navigating this artificial society: accountants, lawyers, bureaucrats. Sure, many of their services are integral for the functioning of our society but none of these are relatable to the human experience.

I want to give.

if you think about it, the p.r.m of science as they say is to describe systematically the natural world. But we ultimately want to apply it to our benefit which will allow the human species flourish and live longer. The same applies to knowledge; knowledge is what we exploit to allow ourselves to live longer. i think the meaningfulness of the work you’re doing ultimately derives from the size of the group whose survivability you’re trying to enhance. Scientists, doctors, aid workers, have careers of giving, don’t you think?

Research is an option I’ve never considered before. I want to help people in some capacity but research seems so far removed from the actual helping sometimes. The other problem is that giving consumes economic value instead of creating it. Ideologies don’t buy bread. It’s a fear because as I said before life is about having choices. And not having money to do certain things is a restriction.

If i end up living a life chasing ideologies, I apologize. I apologize to my unborn son and my unmet wife sine I will not be able to provide them a life as good as the one provided to me by my parents.

And who is to say just living a life is easy in today’s world ideologically or not? finding a job that makes enough money to support your family and your own life. Finding a job doing what you like and also feeds you. How many have that. Scientific discoveries is also exploited to create wealth and cause destruction in some cases, weapons. There is noise regardless of what you do, and you cannot be naive about that.

I grew up having a comfortable life with no dire need to make money to survive, and i guess that gave me the chance to be naively idealistic. it also comes from an internal idealistic compass that my elementary school principal said i had. But even if that were not the case, as a reasonably informed human of our era, how can you not do anything when you see the poor, the famished and the ones in pain?

It’s all about choice. I would like to have the choice to live many human experiences, feel all the human emotions, explore the universe with human knowledge and engage in a life of giving. I discuss the full philosophical, emotional ramifications of living now but all of us have done a fair share of living already. Living starts the moment we are born. Regardless of what our lives end up being, it’s still precious because it’s the only thing we have. Even kids know that http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=armP8TfS9Is&feature=related