Friday, 28 March 2008
My pictures to Joshua Tree National Park and Disneyland

Saturday, 22 March 2008

As part of the psyc class, I had to participate in psyc expts. And on one of them I discovered that I really don't like to be treated as a thing. And that is probably one of the most fundamental causes of me getting irritated or angry.

What have I learnt this quarter? A little bit about bacteria, a little bit about politics and environment and population issues, a little bit about how people interact, a little bit about new music, a little bit about how to move, a little bit about how drugs work. Scratching the surface of everything. Every class was so survey-ish, yet they're enough to drive us crazy. So much to know, so little drive.

Last quarter. What to do? Lie back and relax? Charge to the end? Dance? Surf? Play? Work? Socialise?

I cannot be a bureaucrat. Lately suddenly have to do a lot of PR work, have to write these nice-sounding emails. It's too hard. I cannot imagine myself doing the dress nice nice, sit down with people and talk non-stop. Or the kind of dress nice nice, follow boss around. Had lunch with big boss, not bad, he gave out hope.

I've got to
  1. stop being a control freak
  2. start taking responsibility
  3. listen to others
  4. be nice
  5. think

yes girl, do these please.. right the lefts

Went PB Bar & Grill yesterday. Barhopping might be fun. =)

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Isra-el, Inshah Allah, and Shit Happens: The implications of belief systems

Check out the article. I'll summarise. It says that the Judeo-Christian culture promotes challenging the authority and struggling because Isra-el literally means "he has struggled with God". Islam culture promotes submission because Muslim means "he who submits to the will of God". Buddhist culture promotes passivism, a "shit happens" mentality, just accept the shit and live with it. So the author's argument was that the Judeo-Christian culture of the Western world promotes the scientific method, questioning and doubting everything that you see, leading to the fluorishing of scientific and technological development in the Western world. And the future is the techno advance of the Western world.

I think this is an interesting viewpoint, explaining tech advance using religious cultures. Let's just assume that his portrayal of the different religious thoughts is right. That Christian = struggle, Islam= submission, Buddism= acceptance. That alone cannot determine how good one's scientific skills are. Science is not religion, you don't necessarily apply religious thinkings to doing science, you don't go oh um, this paper must tell the truth since it's been published, even though its reasoning sounds kind of fishy. You'll apply a different set of logics in science.

Also, technological advancements depend not just on how willing the society is in accepting them, on how well the society can produce such advancements, but also on the state of the society. A larger proportion of the Islamic and Asian world is in poverty than Europe or the US. How to support this non-profitable business of science if you have to worry about the millions of starving people in the country?

What about the other Christian countries that are not in Europe/ US? We don't hear much about research from Central/ South America even though many of the countries there are very Catholic. What about Japan or India or China or for that matter, Singapore, who are up and rising in science and research? They are not predominantly Christian.

Lastly, it also depends on how much power the country has in the world, politically, economically. They determine how much scientific power a country has. A strong country has the resources to fund science, has more people doing science, has more money to hire good people, has journals that reach more people and will consequently have higher impact factors.

I don't think religion is a good explanation for the apparent discrepancies in science and technology in different parts of the world. "Shit happens" is a catchy phrase though.

On another note, Jessica sent me this link. You can go look up California State employee's pays. Go see how much ur UC profs earn. =)