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I really really wanna leave here.

Especially since it’s getting colder, and every morning could be the start of the snow season. Winter here means waking up in the cold dark and coming back home in the cold dark. Snow has turned into mud or formed into slippery ice. It leaves two possibilities:

1: your jeans soak up the icy water.
2: you fall on your face whilst trying your best not to fall on your ass.

Everyone in traffic is in a lousy mood. Hibernating, just eating and sleeping till winter passes, would be so great.

Working in a big renowned company, in a competitive field, with lots of possibilities, lots to see, lots to do yadda yadda yadda…especially for a young person starting out, in times of global recession, it looks enviable to most but my mind wanders to fantasizing about traveling here and there, meeting friends all over the world, making new friends…and Korea. It’s a fascinating country. I know it tells a tale I wanna buy in to. With the beautiful people, the fun songs, seemingly everyone is so well-behaved and decent, the fashion, the food etc. but on the other hand there are crazy netizens, suicides left and right, incomprehensible government policies…so a lot of stuff is not what they seem to be, and obviously prejudice and immatureness are omnipresent. Basically Korea is a place where dreams can thrive or be crushed, and somehow it seems the latter is more the case. Still, it’s intriguing and I wanna know if it’s a dream or a nightmare for me.

Nothing here is intriguing. It is what it is. All the places I’ve already been, same old same old, just like the people here. It doesn’t offer room for dreams. So I bitch and moan to my friends, parents, colleagues etc. how this and that sucks, why there is so much math when I wanted a job where I can use my creativity and not even have to touch math with a tadpole…

…and occasionally I see a picture like this

flooding

It’s a picture on Tumblr (credit to original uploader) where this girl cries over her schoolbooks that have been destroyed due to flooding, I guess. It silences me. It puts me to shame.
I barely ever cared much about my schoolbooks. In fact, some of them looked brand new even after the year was over. I always wanted to see the world and learn about life through, well, life itself, or if not firsthand-experience than through movies or TV shows or books, but rarely ever school books. Seeing that kid so devastated over something that I cared so little for puts things into perspective. Makes me a little less selfish. Happy to have a home, enough food, family and friends, a job that pays rent, and possibilities in life. What right do I have to complain? So I stop. At least for now.

Remember the days when we were told to stay unbiased, not to take sides coz that’s the right thing to do? It makes you appear smart and professional. Think of Newspapers/Newscasts vs. Gossip sites. But can it ever be really unbiased if human beings are involved?

Unbiased News = Accumulation of Opinions

Imagine you’re the reporter who gets a piece of information, verified by a source (or not, if sensationalism & Gossip rules at his/her work place) to write an article or do a news report. In your head you assimilate the information. Depending on what experiences you went through in your life, you’ve formed a conclusion what that information means to you. The more in control you are of your own emotions the more you can veil it in factual sounding words. Still, your bias seeps through because you’ll incline to whatever serves your purpose. On top of that, your source went through the same process. So from the original source where those things happened until it gets to you, it’s more like playing the Telephone game.

Psychological Explanation

The Fight or Flight response:

In prehistoric times when the fight or flight response evolved, fight was manifested in aggressive, combative behavior and flight was manifested by fleeing potentially threatening situations, such as being confronted by a predator. In current times, these responses persist, but fight and flight responses have assumed a wider range of behaviors. For example, the fight response may be manifested in angry, argumentative behavior, and the flight response may be manifested through social withdrawal, substance abuse, and even television viewing. (Friedman & Silver 2007)

Males and females tend to deal with stressful situations differently. Males are more likely to respond to an emergency situation with aggression (fight), while females are more likely to flee (flight), turn to others for help, or attempt to defuse the situation – ‘tend and befriend’. During stressful times, a mother is especially likely to show protective responses toward her offspring and affiliate with others for shared social responses to threat. (Taylor et al., 2000)

(Source: Wikipedia)

Therefore you do what you can to ensure your best chances of survival. Education, intelligence and patience only serve as layers to your core truth.

So when we blog, comment on pages or forums, state our opinions publicly it’s self-serving even when it feels like doing something for a greater purpose. That’s why we often can’t help but fight for what we believe in. The more we feel our core truths to be threatened, the more emotional our reaction is.

You can change the world – indirectly

So is all the time spent on getting your opinion across worth it since everyone is just there dishing out their truths anyways? Yes, because if you truly believe in something, opinions of trolls aren’t the ones you’ll change. It is offering another perspective to a broader public who was only exposed to the troll’s opinion. Now you gave that person another perspective he/she can base his/her beliefs on. Changing the world is not via forcing your opinion on others but to set an example and let them choose for themselves and making that choice possible.

Spread Your WisdomSource: Confucius

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The latest South Park episode paints a pretty good picture of how annoying and obnoxious FB has become.

It used to be a great site to connect with your APPROVED friends and share with them

  • your contact info
  • some pics of what’s going on in your life
  • more or less entertaining random thoughts
  • pretty much staying in touch and messing around (we all did those quizzes, tagged notes and games once…especially if we were supposed to be doing something else)

Then that changed.

As of this week, Facebook users are no longer able to make their profile photos, home towns and friends lists viewable only by approved friends. Those are all public now. Posted content, like status messages and photos, are for the first time “recommended” as a new default setting to be public – for any users who hadn’t edited their privacy settings before. The company told us last night that only 15 to 20% of Facebook users had changed their settings before.

What used to be only accessible to your friends has become available for everyone on the web. People can google it. In the course of time, FB repeatedly changed their Terms of Agreement. They now own the content of what you post, up to sub-licensing it, even after you delete your account! If you think that’s scary, you won’t like the upcoming privacy change: Automatically share your data with ‘pre-approved’ third party webpages and applications.


The reason FB gives is just an insult to their 400M users’ intelligence:
“[…]We think there are some instances where people would benefit from this experience as soon as they arrive on a small number of trusted websites that we pre-approve. […] this has absolutely nothing to do with advertising.”(Barry Schnitt, Senior Manager of FB)

Riiiigghhtt. I’m sure if they wouldn’t make a single buck out of it, they’d still be forcing huge privacy invasions down their customers throats while risking the company’s image. And btw, don’t you just trust them so much more now about how carefully they’re gonna pre-approve third-party pages and applications?

Some of you might think:

So what’s the big deal? If you think it’s bad, then don’t do it in the first place because it will become public.

There is some truth to it. However, Facebook lured people in on the promise that you have total control of who gets to see what you post. As their users went up to about 300M they turned on their own words and sold them out.

Just think if Google one day should decide times are changing and publish your search inputs for the best offer, probably to a buyer who has already purchased your FB profile.

Let’s say I’m an optimistic ‘some bird burped in the rain forest and that’s why people are all soulmates’ kind of guy. This could very well lead to an end of penis enlargements mails in our inbox, yay! However, people usually don’t interpret information very accurately. Furthermore, it’s not about if something you’ve done in the past is right or wrong, that is for each and everyone themselves to determine. It’s about human errors when people judge others.

A common example: You smoked some pot, got drunk or/and stupid at a party and it’s all well-documented through friendly tags. For you it’s part of growing up. Do you think others will perceive it the same way? Moreover, will the person analyzing your data label you in a way that could possibly hurt your future endeavors? If you’ve ever met people in real life, you know that everyone has a different perception of what is ‘wrong’ and what is ‘right’.

Especially in our times, most are not very sensitive towards others. Judging without thinking first, feeling safe behind their computer screens – it has all become an acceptable habit. A good example of how one mindless remark on the net can cost you all the hard work you’ve invested would be Jay Park also known as Jaebeom.

The Kpopstar was driven out of the country for something he said on MySpace years ago in his training days. Training days are rough and most trainees are still very young. A stupid comment in a vulnerable state and you get one of the most popular examples of the past concerning what mindless internet comments and interpretations can lead to.

So how can you defend yourself against greedy Facebook?

The best solution is simply to delete your account! No users = no power.
Nevertheless, we all (including FB) know that most users have become comfortable connecting with friends through the site. So until a new social network site comes out that is user-friendly and doesn’t abuse peoples’ trust, you might prefer less drastic solutions. Here are 2:

  1. Go to http://www.seppukoo.com/. This site will extract all your info from FB and de-activate your account…until you decide you want to re-activate your account again.
  2. Change your name, birth date, country, gender etc. to fake info. Let’s all be 80-year-old grannies living in Alaska! It’s not such a strong selling point, if the data isn’t applicable.
Another suggestion is to erase all private messages from your accounts and basically anything that shouldn’t be seen by a third-party. Private messages were leaked before, FB accounts got hacked before and Mark Zuckerberg has proven to be a douchebag before, repeatedly.

John Mayer always talks about his worries of being perceived as a douchebag when he is at worst ordinary. A real douchebag is someone who cashed in big time by owning the biggest social networking site to date and still would fuck his 400M customers over in a heartbeat.

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Have you ever noticed how many stupid people are around you?

Chances are, you’ve been confronted with a mind-blowing stupid comment or action before. Even though the stupidity of said person has caused you a splitting headache, lashing out is not an option because
a) (deserved or not) you can’t just bitch-slap people on a daily basis and
b) well, they are in the majority.

To save you some pain and guarding myself better for future encounters, here’s a revised survival guide for the remaining intelligent population on this planet based on the The Fundamental Laws of Human Stupidity by the late Carlo M. Cipolla.

1. DO NOT underestimate the number of stupid subjects in your area!

You might find yourself in a large social setting thinking (contrary to fact) that not everyone here can be stupid. Wrong. Yes, they can and in most cases they are!

You see, stupid people like to hang out in groups. Being around like-minded imbeciles fuel their sense of self-worth.

Warning signs to look out for: The increase of bragging BS,  the accumulation of crappy jokes, content grunting etc. AND whoever said ‘There are no stupid questions’ needs to be locked into a cabin with some people I’ve had the displeasure to meet.

2. DO NOT assume because someone is X, therefore they cannot be stupid!

Yes, good-looking people have it easier to get what they want through their appearance, therefore – unlike others – they can allow themselves to neglect exercising their brains.  Before you make a quick judgment, factor in how many people are damaged through their past, so there’s a good chance that he/she grew up with a point to prove and with that,  might be a lot smarter than you are.
This insight also applies to the opposite end. The bloke/chick with glasses as thick as an ashtray might not be the Einstein you were looking for.

To sum it up: Stupidity comes in all shapes, sizes and colors. Just because someone is a professor, doctor, lawyer or president still doesn’t mean that he or she is prone to stupidity.  It’s one  rare case of true equality in this world.

3. A stupid person is someone who causes other people a loss
a) without gaining anything themselves
b) causing harm to themselves due to that action

‘No way, if he/she did that, he/she would lose everything! ‘ Don’t base your decision on this. You cannot rationalize stupidity which makes it so hard to defend yourself when faced with stupid opponents. Stupid people vehemently cling to their beliefs, destroying not only other people’s lives but also everything they’ve ever had. There is just no logical explanation why stupid people do what they do. You on the other hand jeopardize your safety, happiness, money, time, energy, health and other resources for nothing through engaging with them. It’s just a matter of time till you get dragged down as well. So always be cautious and cut your losses. No one wins here.

4. DO NOT underestimate the amount of damage a stupid individual can cause!

When you know you’re superior in intelligence, you might be tempted to use a subject inferior to your intellect for your cause. Go back to rule No. 3 and figure out why you should abort that plan while you still can.

This leads to the most important insight of today:

5. A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person!

This is pretty much the gist of the survival guide. If you’re one of the rare intelligent people out there, please do not sacrifice yourself by trying to change said subject. You cannot reason with someone who chooses to fuck him-/herself over. Go out of your way to avoid this sort of person because there is really just no win there!

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