May 31, 2013

Assimilation of Loneliness

As is the case with most people, I don’t like loneliness. So, it often becomes tempting to wipe it out, and actually I attempt it now and then. With my meager social network, however, I fail, miserably fail all the time and become more vulnerable. Okay, this time, I’d like to not only pick myself up but also take a little step forward. Hence, here I am leaving a note.

Although I’ve known for a while that eliminating or even masking loneliness hasn’t been my option and never worked, it can get irresistibly tempting when suddenly facing the situation. After the promised surrender, I try to remember what Sherry Turkle tells about it.

Then, to bring back my own approach together, I recall how I am with the help of Susan Cain.

Here I go. Take a deep breath, absorb the loneliness swirling around me, cuddle myself and come back to be effectually alone. At the end of the day, this is my second-best solution because this is how I well function and feel really grateful to others — far better than the miserable failure of the attempt at eliminating it.

May 26, 2013

Individuality and Political Systems

There’s another fruit of the interactions with those girls from China. They are flesh and blood. This obvious fact, however, gets me thinking – What do political & economic systems really have to do with individuality?

As illustrated in 1984, even under the extreme circumstances, human beings are probably resilient enough to develop their own uniqueness. Yes, we do more or less. The problem is that there’s something holding back the process, naysaying the celebration.

Although history has, by and large, proven Karl Marx’s theory is implausible, still his central thesis in itself makes sense to me – capitalism causes alienation. I’d be happy to deduce something meaningful from the comparison of those from China or Japan, were there enough data in hand. The best I can do is, though, to allege a case and dream up the future along a wishful thinking. Let me do that.

Based on statistically very insignificant data, there observed are some vibrant & unique Chinese girls and inward-looking & faceless Japanese girls. If there were something wrong with the current form of capitalism, it would be due to the dysfunctional top-down haughty and disdainful government. I’m not saying China’s approach is more humble or respectful of citizens, because I don’t know. But, I’m saying capitalism has left behind humanity, care, and dignity in exchange for economic growth. What on earth have we learned since ‘small is beautiful’ came along 40 years ago? Over last 40 years, seriously? And, without due care and attention, China might follow suit and lose those vibrant girls. That’s too bad.

In order to avoid the capitalist alienation and foster the individuality, to begin with, why not boldly put Karl Marx and Milton Friedman together and propose that policymakers should admit their limited abilities and be satisfied if they do no harm.

Well, I know I know too little about the issue and must keep on studying. For the moment, I wish to become an expert in economics that sees people matter, like E.F. Schumacher.

May 24, 2013

Vibrant Girls from China

source: The Australian

The university has many students from mainland China. I too have chances to talk to some of them, particularly girls. While 20ish-year-old girls, obviously, have millions of things to do besides studying, I've found one thing in common among them: challenging fate.

I don’t know much about how they were raised in what circumstances. They express to me some sort of ‘coming-back-home’ pressure from parents. I can imagine not many parents just send abroad their precious girls — only girl for each under the policy — and let them live whatever life they prefer. Some declare war of pursuing academic success at foreign universities. Others say girls just want to have fun with boyfriends made here.

I for one grew up with virtually no restriction on life. This has indeed profound impacts on how I am now. So, although I’m not a right person to really understand their pressure, it’s only natural to encourage and give a hand to such sweet girls. What do I do? Helping with economics assignments, of course! With those girls, the future seems bright for China.

May 23, 2013

Economist's Voice in the Air

source: The Guardian
The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back.
—John Maynard Keynes
I too as a madman, who hear voices in the air and distill a frenzy from academic scribblers, believe economics is a right tool for me to make a little contribution to the better world!