Sunday, 19 October 2014

Byronic unhappiness

The Conquest of Happiness, Bertrand Russel: Chapter 2
The man who acquires easily things for which he feels only a very moderate desire concludes that the attainment of desire does not bring happiness. If he is of a philosophic disposition, he concludes that human life is essentially wretched, since the man who has all he wants is still unhappy. He forgets that to be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness. 
In the second chapter, Russel talked about some philosophers who take unhappiness as something natural that men of higher order have. He believed that reason does not stand in a way of happiness. There's indeed a way to be chart a life based on wisdom and still be happy. There are those who think life is the same thing over and over again, wake up in the morning, go to work, do what needs to be done and go back to one's family. He argued that life exist of vast unexplored areas. 
Go out into the world; become a pirate, a king in Borneo, a labourer in Soviet Russia; give yourself an existence in which the satisfaction of elementary physical needs will occupy all your energies. 
What Russel said is right. The world is not limited to just ourselves and our surrounding. When we feel bored with our life, there are always things that we can do. We can learn foreign languages, take up classes to improve ourselves, travel abroad to see the world out there or immerse ourselves in the writing of the men since time immemorial. We should not limit ourselves to self-imposed imaginary limits. Go out and explore!

Friday, 17 October 2014

What makes people unhappy

The Conquest of Happiness, Bertrand Russel: Chapter 1
Animals are happy so long as they have health and enough to eat. Human beings on the other hand, in a great majority of cases are not happy. 
Russel said that he wasn't born a happy kid and has continually thought about committing suicide in his adolescence. However, gradually as he got older, he started to realise about a few things. He had become happier and with every passing year, enjoyed life even more. The key to happiness, according to him is to not overly engage oneself in narcissism, and focus more on outwardly objects. He argued that interest in external objects such as the world's affairs, various branches of knowledge, and individuals for whom he felt affection inspire some activities that would create excitement so long as the interest lasts. Interest in oneself on the contrary, leads to no activity of the progressive kind. 
Vanity, when it passes a certain point, kills pleasure in every activity for its own sake, and thus leads inevitably to listlessness and boredom. 
I really enjoy reading Bertrand Russel's writing. I think he is one of a few philosophers who can clearly articulate his thoughts in writing, stripped away from unnecessary ambiguities. It was previously not clear to me that being overly selfish brings unhappiness towards self. But what he said, makes sense. When we are selfish, we think most of the time only of our opinions and disregard others'. Interest in external objects could perhaps makes a significant difference, as we toil our time doing something productive and beneficial. An interest breeds excitement and creates a self-enforcing positive cycle. 

Friday, 10 October 2014

Life

Life's been very busy lately. I barely have any time to just relax and do nothing. These days, I work during the day, spend two nights studying masters and two nights teaching maths. I have not read a single page of book in the past one month or so.

Honestly it's tiring. Sometimes I catch a few minutes of sleep at work, just to feel refreshed a little.

I have stopped updating my Facebook. I think I'm quite annoyed by a sheer number of people who just like to complain and whine all the time.

Please don't be too naive, too Idealistic. Life's not easy, but it's more realistic that way.

Rise up every morning to a better day, and that begins with the mind.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Whine

What's the point of complaining and whining when it makes no difference? Better be focusing on something that we can actually change, ie about ourselves.

Discussing an issue in a rational manner gives immense benefits to those who participate. However, rarely do those who whine, employ sufficient reasoning and rationale.

Pondering over something of which we have no control is futile. We have to make do with all tools available within our reach.

Being politically correct is difficult. Arguments can seem so right, even with patchy amount of evidence, so long as they are seen through an emotional point of view.

Reading is the key to knowledge. The more we know, the more we realise the sea is deeper than what we have always thought.

Any issue could often be looked from plenty point of views. Focusing only on one side is hardly rational nor advisable.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Masters

Today was my first day of reading Masters of Economics at University of Malaya, and last Friday, 5 September 2014 was the third anniversary of me working in this company. I will be 25 years old this year and still have a long way ahead of me. 

So basically for this postgraduate degree, I will have to finish ten modules within two and a half years. The university allows the students to take a minimum of two semesters (one year) and a maximum of eight semesters (four years). I have decided to only take two modules each semester, to ensure that I won't be bogged down by everything that's falling on my shoulders. 

For the first semester, I had decided to take Advanced Macroeconomics and Advanced Microeconomics. The class today was on microeconomics while the one on Wednesdays will be on macroeconomics. 

It had been more than three years since I left Warwick University, and truth be told, I don't quite remember much of being taught there. I didn't take any dedicated microeconomics module there, and the first class today was a little overwhelming. Mostly the microeconomics module will be revolving around differentiation, differential equation, the application of calculus in microeconomics theory etc.  

I didn't have much problems in doing calculus for SPM and A Levels, so I think I have got a good foundation on that. Nonetheless, I still have some fears towards too many alphabets in mathematical expressions. I failed eight mathematics/statistics modules in my first two years, and I think the fear was mostly the reason. 

Previously, when I saw too many alphabets (x, y, z, α, β, γ, δ, ε, λ etc), my mind immediately went into crisis-mode. I was afraid of them, I thought that it would be impossible for me to easily understand them. 

Let's hope it's no longer the case this time around. Yosh! Ganbatte! 

Past

Not too long ago, probably six or seven years to be exact, many in my A Level college went crazy on blogging. Most people had a blog or two, writing about a variety of topics, ranging from their travel journals, to complains about life, or just random ramblings here and there.

Too bad, slowly over the years, in the second or third year of university, more and more of them started to stop writing. It has been a waste really, having started on something and just stopped it mid-way, not because they don't have anything to write, but probably they have grown out of it. 

Friends come and go, as everyone else. Closeness comes from mutual interaction, usually in person. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the more popular means these days, but I do crave to read what my friends are writing about their lives. Posts on Facebook tend to be short and less serious, while those on Twitter are even shorter than Facebook. Instagram meanwhile, as all of you may know, mostly for food photos, selfies and the likes.

To me, I see writing as a personal mark on somewhere. We live our day to day life and probably won't even remember what happen now, say in five years ahead. When I have got the time, I sometimes browse through the past posts of my own blog, and my friends, and reminisce over the past that won't come back. One day, we all will die and leave everything behind. At the very least, when our family and close friends miss our presence, they could still have something to read on and ponder upon.

History is fascinating, and to those who are reading this, do try to keep on writing again.  

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Things

Unexpected things happen all the time, and sometimes they may be shockingly outrageous at worst, or still a surprise nonetheless at best. When we try to understand others, it makes sense that we would never be able to really get them 100%, as humanity as yet created a way for us to be in someone else's mind. 

Understanding is a never-ending process in progress. Another human is as complex as us. We try and fail, then we have to keep on trying, and never give up. 

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

One

The bottom of one's heart, could not been seen from outside. They can only see what we choose to let them see. From smile they see happiness, from tears they see sadness, from the shape of one's face, others see oneself.

There could never be a worse tragedy. Not something at this grand scale. When one truly see and feel, one attains something different from oneself.

Every man and woman is different. Every boy and girl is different from one another. For one man, one thing suits him. For another, another thing suits him. There was never any conventionality about anything.

Humanity strive on an orderly system of everything from the bottom to the top. There are cultural, religious or just purely bullshit consensus of one should act given a situation.

Whilst there is a definite need for specific codes, but they must have strong reasonings behind them.

When one willfully does something, one does with one's wholeheartedly desire to act. One does not do anything for the purpose of nothing.

One chooses, and one does. One loves, and one chooses to love. There is no compulsion in anything, but remember true love survives anything.

Times could be hard, challenging indeed. At all times one has never wavered. One has one and only motive. None others than to love you.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Dream

Do you know what a lucid dream is?

And do you know how dream is supposed to be merely our subconscious connecting the dots, and giving us the answer?

We only dream of what we already know, or what we want to believe.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

View

I think I have reached a certain stage where I realise that complaining and hoping are really useless. There are things out there that we want to change,  we want to believe in a better world, we want this and that to happen. But the thing is, talking, complaining, and even hoping would not do anything. 

We express our feeling about injustice in the world, killings of innocent civilians, thefts, rapes. But what really can we do from our position as an insignificant human amongst billions others?

The world is unfair, we have to play by its rules, by hook or crook, to achieve our ideals.