the world as nytimes sunday review shows it.

all these articles are from one sunday review from yesterday
this is what is wrong with the world:

poverty
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/27/opinion/sunday/in-kenya-famines-lessons.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss&pagewanted=all

hatred
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/27/opinion/sunday/israels-other-occupation.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

this is what is good with the world:

people with a heart:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/27/sunday-review/policy-making-billionaires.html?pagewanted=2&partner=rss&emc=rss

people with will power:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/27/opinion/sunday/willpower-its-in-your-head.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

i’ve thought lately a lot about unfairness in the world, and being an engineer. i think i’m going to take a break from these two ideas and think about other things.

quasi-socratic dialogue with myself

me: I sat on a bus today and saw white trash. I walked and saw the occupy Providence movement. I also saw Buddha Timsina.
me: What did you learn from that?
me: I don’t know what to think of the occupy movement. Freedom of speech is a right. that’s fine. Freedom is your no.1 right. that’s fine too. But no-one every promised prosperity as a right
me: Maybe they think life is unfair.
me: Life is inherently unfair because Buddha Timsina is 16 and he’s a refugee. He’s had barely any education. He’s trying to survive in a country where he doesn’t the language. I’ve now had 16 years of schooling under my belt and tons of people who have rushed to my rescue when I needed it. But he still smiles everyday.
me: But shouldn’t we make it more fair at least?
me: How? how do we even measure fairness? What do I do with the cripples, the babies who die in their mother’s wombs?
me: That’s true.
me: You can’t do anything about it. The system is inherently flawed. Our lives are largely determined by our initial conditions. No one promised prosperity. The only fair thing in this world is sacrifices and the rewards and sacrifices are not even balanced. It’s a fact that you gain something by lose something else. You lose freedom by having more responsibilities. You lose time by gaining knowledge. If we want someone to gain, someone else in the system has to lose, like in a poker game. The universe is finite. On a very cosmic scale, our lives are a function of the distribution of that finite resource. There is a tiny bit of input in that system, it’s what you have. That’s the only thing you can control. If you want something, you’ll have to lose something else. Everyone needs to know that fairy-tales don’t exist.

edit: read this perfect article this morning summing up these thoughts: http://nymag.com/news/features/my-generation-2011-10/