the necessary evil

unabashed selfpromotion: updated sitemap page on top right corner.

people are poor.
how do we lift them from it?
business. economic activity is the only way but it’s too slow with everyone having equal opportunities.
you need some people to become the models for other people.
then, everyone is for himself because everyone wants the largest share.
business is the necessary evil to lift people out of abject poverty
but when the super-riches has accumulated unlimited amount of riches, they have the responsibility to redistribute wealth.

maybe for survival or it just happened like that,
but the response of cells to stimulus always decreasing over time.
that’s why your world is defined. you never live with everything you’ve ever heard or said in your head.
what is in your brain is the functional parts of your belief.

the rich adapt to being rich, just as the poor adapt to being poor. that’s human nature that we adapt to pain, to fear, to happiness.
but how do people justify how much to give?
it’s empathy. empathy is what artificially stimulates our brain by imagining stimulus to understand the emotions that individual goes through. to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

but i also think it’s responsibility. a responsibility that comes from inside yourself that as such a lucky person so education and privileged, we should give what we have to people who don’t have it.
everyone is selfish, but you are willing to do other things when you realize that responsibility.

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/

the world is dead.

the discussions i’ve had in my head for the last few weeks have been about my interests/concentration as i struggle immensely with e&m.

during a conversation with kader last week, i expressed my frustrations towards pure engineering/programming and most other jobs. here are a collection of some of the things we talked about:

being a pure programmer contributes nothing to society, especially if you work for entertainment companies like zynga. even if you work for facebook, what do you contribute to society by adding a functionality in facebook? i don’t think any.
being a pure engineer sucks too. you’re just playing with formulas and constants until something works.

governments are inherently flawed. and to be a politician, you need to inherently believe that politics works. and i don’t.
private entities are better at doing things because they are flexible and versatile.
but government is needed for public goods, like education, healthcare.
the trade-off is between efficiency and coverage

society is flawed.
you displace wealth to acquire wealth, you can never make the world better,even as a philanthropist. the top 1% are the best destroyers of wealth.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/nov/07/one-per-cent-wealth-destroyers

from an article by Zhou Guo Ping I read combined with my own thoughts:
humans are trying to live a busy life, we’re trying to live for something. in actuality, there’s really nothing to live for so we create meaning. meaning is fictional and it works as long as we believe in it. when you realize that, life just becomes a collection of experiences. at the end of the day, no matter how shitty your life, you still have to like it. and sometimes, you have to do things in life you don’t like. you can fight. or you can accept a little imperfection in your life, then you can have peace.

today, for some random reason, my mom told me to give a spiel about why to go to brown. here is about what i said.
college is about finding directions, about discovering who you want to be. here, no one cares what you do. you need to decide for yourself and be able to live with it. the greatest feeling is being bad at something, but you keep doing it because you like it. and at some point, someone tells you that you’ve become good at what you like to do. it’s an amazing feeling. and because in college, especially a socially liberal one like brown, your values, interests, beliefs are challenge every day. and this process keeps on going until you can finally not care what other people have to say about what you do.

then, i started complaining about life and e&m and she redirected my spiel at me. best thing she said, as long as you do what you like even if it means a 3.2gpa

conclusion:
we have no idea where we’re going. life is just one giant jumbo-fuck. either like what you’re doing, fight against it or accept imperfection and have peace instead.

EDIT:

society is flawed.
you displace wealth to acquire wealth, you can never make the world better,even as a philanthropist. the top 1% are the best destroyers of wealth.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/nov/07/one-per-cent-wealth-destroyers

i wrote this up there. and i wanna take it back. i kept it up there to show how i’m sort of pessimistic about everything. but believing in that will basically mean that we won’t acknowledge any great person in history. but my general point is that the world is a lot like newton’s third law: for every reaction, there is a counter-reaction. i don’t think anything really gets done if we find the net effect of everything. it’s hard for me to justify whether they benefit mankind
my perfect example: iphones. millions of them sold. technological innovation of the decade. a status good. but how many millions of people’s banks have we dug into, people who don’t need the iphone and probably can’t afford it but now have to pay that exorbitant fee.
in the end, meaning is what we derive for ourselves.