Friday, February 9

About Meanness

I hate mean people.
I hate them so much to the extend that I will definitely become one (thus contradicting myself) when I happen to meet them. 
One reason is that I was being treated meanly quite often during my teen days.


AIESEC
That is also the reason why I was so into AIESEC when I was in undergraduate study.
It was one of the rare place[1] where majority of the people were trying hard not to be mean, and you can shun someone if he/she happens to be one. 
There was this infectious organisational culture which everyone loves to say "Let's ensure everyone has a fair share", or "Make sure that no one is being left out". In fact, the culture was so ingrained that it became a mantra to say so and an obligation to act so.[2] 

In local social groups, the minority stopped attempting to voice out as most of their past attempts have been overshadowed by the majority. Here, the minority have an unusually high probability getting heard. In fact, it would be a misnomer to use the word “minority” in AIESEC, the distinction is redundant.

Also, under the banner of the institution’s name, we could always cite 'rules/structures/plans' even in pure social occasions. For example, if some sub-groups of friends happened to flock together during dinner, someone could suggest switching seats in the middle of dinner citing the aim of “adding diversity” or “making new friends”, and chances are there would no objections, some would even commend it as “great idea!”. If you do that in a local social group, you might get labelled as "nerd", "weirdo”, “too much” or even “he/she wants to show off”.[3]


Real World
That's also why I am fanatic about Startups. That's a rare "industry" which hardwork almost guarantees progress and achievements. There is very little room to rent-seek or hide to work on “looking good” instead of being good, as compared to "too-big-to-fail" nepotic institutions.[4] 


Direction
That's the end goal I want to strive for no matter what I would be doing in the future. Good values, honesty, sincerity, meritocracy, generousity, empathy, and humanity. 

Sorry mean people, I am not going to tolerate the intolerable. I am going to be mean to you, ironically, because your meanness deserves it. And more importantly, the people who are not mean needs our protection.



Post Script
Recently an old friend told me that 5 years ago there were a few occasions where I ignored him or I just asked him to shut up when he wanted to talk to me enthusiastically. I was shocked as I couldn't recall any memory of that. I hope that he accepts my 5-year-late apology. It also made me realising that most of the times we would not realise our meanness when we happened to be, while the listeners suffered it insurmountably.


I understand that it is hard to take care of everyone's feelings, and we would not want to be timid or reserved to correct others when they have done something inherently wrong. But the general goal we would want to strive for is to avoid statements like

"Why are you so stupid?"
"Why do you look that weird?"
"You are so childish"
"Stop eating please you are so fat already"


Those are epitomes of meanness. The general direction we want to strive for is
“honest opinions supported by strong facts and evidence”. Or even better, supply constructive suggestions that really help. Or even the best, speak only when it truly matters.




Notes


[1] I found that a few faculty-based clubs and societies are pretty decent and people inside worked hard to grow together. Generally, the more local a group is, and the more aimless it is (for example, random social groups have no formal aims or missions), there is a higher chance for meanness to appear as there are very little things to tie them together.

[2] I am aware that some of them quitted AIESEC because they were being treated badly. I can’t speak for others, at least in the teams I was in, the people were 95% wonderful, especially during my first two years when I was still a junior and young guy with little experiences.

[3]
Now looking back I feel that it was a huge mistake for not aggressively persuading my other friends to join AIESEC. I was too concerned on being neutral and was trying to be “not annoying”.

[4]
I am not in the Startup communities. But I follow Paul Graham, Y-Combinator, Peter Thiel, Ben Horowitz etc. closely. So I might be wrong by just observing sheerly from the outset.

Tuesday, January 23

Good

23rd January 2018 | 6.28pm | Starbucks Nexus Bangsar South

Finished 'working' for a sinecure, I did not go home and instead I came to a cafe. I have not been doing this for almost a year, after my perplexing change of behaviours.

I have learned a lot about settling for the good instead of fighting for the best, not risking myself instead of taking risks and "no pain no gain".

But my System 1 non-stop craving for the best thing, the most beautiful girl, the most perfect scenario, the best opportunity, the best thing on earth. These things are great, but they are highly volatile, highly risky and the Damocle's sword are hanging on top of you while you got them.

And then I started doubting myself that is that real? The risks seem unreal. Maybe I should?

Maybe I should be assertive? Maybe I would ended up wasted the best years of my life settling for less?

Also, it is possible that I am fine and it is already the best actually. Thank you.

Friday, October 20

Less than what you think.


At what point does a director thinks that the movie he is filming is good enough?
At what point does a painter thinks that his painting is good enough and stop?
How about writer? photographer? songwriter?

What is 'good'?
Are there quantitative measures like KPIs in business or metrics to be fulfilled?

Or it is purely a generic feeling thingy?


Most importantly, must the creator like the creation himself like how a fan likes it?


The most controversial thing about art is the creation of art school itself. 
Art by definition means 'the product of human creativity'. Creativity means something that
is groundbreaking and new. How can we teach someone to create something 'new'?
'Teaching' means replication and it means that we are passing something existing to the next person.
It is not something new, it is not creativity, and thus, it is not an art. 

Perhaps the career as artist itself is also controversial. 
An artist creates an art based on his own creativity, hence that piece of art enriches the public.
Or, 
A person aspire to become an artist as a career goal, hence he creates an art based on what the public could possibly adore?

The former is pure creativity, the latter seems like a polluted pseudo artist. He is no different with a typical slickly business guy who set a certain amount of monetary goals as career goal. 

Arts means plays, 

Dazzling. 



P.S.:
The answer to the art school paradox is that creativity (a way of thinking) can be instilled. In fact, it needs to be. You can't be inherently creative since you born (The 'Genius-Aptitude-school-of-thought' would argue otherwise). But at the same time, creativity can't be copied in verbatim like what industrialised art schools intended to do. 

You learned that creativity as a way of thinking, a kind of artistic thought process. This is the first half. And that second half is about your talent.

"Creating great art is all about aptitude" is wrong. "Creating great art is all about effort" is wrong too. 


Monday, September 18

Wonderfully dark life

I did not buy insurance.
I don't have one.

And this excited many insurance agents as I am the rare breed that can be their potential client.
The most common pitch I received is: "Imagine you suddenly contracted certain disease and you are lying on deathbed but you have no money, how will you feel? You are going to die, don't you afraid?You should protect yourself, start from now."

This statement is made based on one big assumption: "The longer life is, the better it is." or, "We must live as long as possible."
What if we question it by thinking the opposite?

What if I think, my life has already completed and I don't need more of them?
I have lived for 25 years. I have done many wonderful things. I am born under two lovely parents, I played so many video games and sports, I scored so well in exams. I had wonderful university life. I had been to many many countries. I am able to explore so many knowledge and parts of the universe.
I have had enough.

Because of all the wonderful things I have had, every next second is no longer a necessity.
Every single next second is a bonus itself. It's an addition, just like icing on a cake.

In fact, the fact that I was born is already itself the biggest lottery granted to me.
We all took our own birth for granted. We have no control on our birth. It just happened like that. No one is responsible for our birth, even our parents.
Why do we think that we should be born into this world? No. We don't deserve to be born.
No one is responsible and no one owes us our birth. No one says or promises us that we must be given a life.

Some may argue that my thoughts above are lunatic as it resembles nihilism and existential crisis.
It sounds so depressing and it makes life so dark and so meaningless.
I would argue the opposite: By accepting that life is meaningless, accepting that death is necessary, accepting that I am nothing, accepting that my life has already completed, accepting that I don't have to live longer, accepting that I am ready to die anytime, my life will become better.

Understanding that life is meaningless, I would work harder to create meaning. Understanding that my life has already completed and it can be ended anytime, I would treat every single additional day as a bonus to live free without shackle.
I am ready to die doesn't mean I am going to die. "I am ready to die" will make me stop thinking about not dying and live now.

People with depression seems problematic not because of their depression. Their biggest problem is their anxiety towards depression. They are not depressed, they are anxious about their depression.
They are depressed because they think that by default life should have a meaning. They think 'meaning' should be the status quo. They keep finding it and they can't find it, so they feel sad.

What if the opposite is the real default? Life itself is meaningless. 'Meaningless' is the status quo. Life is supposed to be meaningless. Why would you feel sad for having nothing when what you should have is nothing itself? You won't feel sad for having no meaning because it is what it should be.
Depression should be our default mode, and any new colours are additional bonuses. Our world reversed it, our civilisation made colours as default mode and depression as some crazy anomaly which everyone is paranoid about.

I buy insurance because I want a longer life for the sake of prolonging it.
I buy insurance because I think I can try prolonging my life so that I can have a little more time doing some wonderful things.
There is a stark difference between two. The first one is "It's a must buy". The second is "It's damn great to buy. But if I really can't, it's ok."
They sound like the same. But at dire moment, the first will freak your amygdaelae while the second is a serene breeze. The first is intense unhappiness and the regret feeling we hate so much. The second is tranqulity.

"You must buy an insurance. Life is precious! Don't you want to live longer?"
"It is because life is precious that's why I don't want to live too long. Prolonging life will make life less precious"
Don't feel sad for dying, in fact feel happy for completing life.
I am ready to die anytime. I am not afraid.

Friday, September 8

Don't read too much.

In recent years, there is this hot trend of 'reading'. Everyone started building their 'reading list' and putting 'reading books' as a mandatory item in their bucket lists. Since young we were told by everyone superior than us that 'reading is good', 'you should read more', 'knowledge is wealth'. Things were getting more tensed when journalists started telling everyone that every successful person wakes up at 4am to read and they read 60 books a year, and also every book becomes 'Must-read if you want to become successful and happy'. At the same time there were a lot of hoax-y pseudo statistics that were circulating around telling people which country's citizens read the most and how it was related to economical successes.

The outcome? Happy book publishers, bookstore owners, writers (Of course the happiest will be the pseudo writers who claimed themselves as authors but in fact they are merely information refurbishers or recyclers), toxic reading habits, drugs-addiction readers, information obesity, information bubbles, information bankrupty and all the mental diabetes, strokes, high blood pressure, high cholestrol (anxiety, depression, bipolar, ADHD)

People bought more and more books and wanted to read more and more to show that they are productive and feel good. We no longer read books because we want to read them, but because we have to and we will feel good if we read books. We read books for external validations. The crazies things is, people started feeling bad for not reading books. They felt they are not productive and not successful because they don't read.

This soar in demand of books because reading books is deemed productive resulted in the soaring of supplies. More and more people formed all kinds of theories, produce more and more PDF files and hardcopies and then sell to those who crave the dopamine coming from reading them. 

And I want to tell you the truth:
"Books are like mirrors. You only see in them what is already inside of you."
- Carlos Ruiz Zafon

What does that mean?
Books don't help you to become better. Books don't give you new knowledge.
Books merely reaffirm beliefs that are already inside you. They are not the source of power, they are merely a catalyst. And a catalyst is completely futile if the source of power is nil in the first place.

If you do not have any tangible beliefs, reading books won't help you.

Then where do beliefs come from?
It comes from experience. It comes from doing things.

This heuristics might be shocking for most of the people. And once you understand it, you will start deleting all the books in your book list. 

The exceptions are these 3:
1) Philosophy (Reading philosophy is itself an empirical experience thus it creates new beliefs. It is the only exception that is similar as empirical actions in its ability to create new beliefs)
2) Fictions (Stories create new beliefs in a subtle way) [But I think movies are better instrument in creating new beliefs than fictions, you see new things in movies, you can't think things that you have never seen before by reading fictions)
3) Hard axiomatic facts (Mathematics and physics)

So next time do not feel impressed on the number of books a person has read or bought.
Ask the person, what are the few most influential books he/she has read, if they are either philosophy, fictions or hard facts, you should be impressed.
If it contains something else, then you know.

Lastly, the number of books Gary Vaynerchuck has read in his entire life is less than the number of books he has published (He has published around 4-5).
Do things first, read alot of philosophy, read some fictions, watch some movies, do some math. And do things again. Do many many things. 

Wednesday, September 6

Extreme Mediocrity

Wow wow wow. I am really 'impressed'.

In a useless 'management class' with all the futile bullshit theories, everyone took it very seriously, copy notes and take them as gold.
In the possibly most useful class about fire prevention, no one takes notes, no one asks questions, no one cares. I really wonder will they remember how to use the fire extinguishers. They don't.

There are even people staying upstair in the office, not attending the talk because 'they have alot of important work to do'
What's the logic? I am really trying to understand what's going on in their minds. They totally reversed the logic.
What's more important? Work or life?
The most important thing to hedge about in our life is our life.

The reason they care about the management class is simple, it's something directly impacting them. Their job, whether they will perform better and get promoted, whether they will climb higher and receive better pays.
It's 'important' for them because no money no life.
Imbecile. I hope they understand the reverse, without life everything else is nil.

Typical selfish mediocre middle classes. They are never curious on things other than themselves. They only care about their own work, promotion. They will never wonder why this organisation come to give a talk, why do they exist, how they function, what's the point etc.

Not forget the typical shits that the Malaysians (Especially Chinese? Idk) like to behave:
- No one wants to sit in first row
- No one dares to raise up their hands
- Very few would volunteer to answer questions posed by the speaker
- It would cost their life for them to ask the speaker questions (Or their minds are so empty that they dont know what to ask, thanks to school and 'systems', they lost the ability to question things)

I really think the behaviours above are abnormal (And very likely they think that they are normal and as a result I appeared abnormal). And it is the best demonstration of stupidity, to the max. I wanted to curse for this insane level of imbecility, extremely moronic. They seem like a properly function individual with limbs, but their thinking showed that their brains are really empty (Or they don't have brain at all). Their brains are full of shits, or in Tim Urban's terms, their brains have an insanely thick and hopelessly incurable layer of dogma (smokes by the animals like monkeys and elephants).

And all of these are not actually surprising. Mediocre people will go to mediocre places, and they stick together forever to be mediocre. The average companies will be made up of only average workers.

Insane, fucking insane. And these people will continue fret upon their own mediocrity and poorness. They will keep complain that they are not smart like those who are successful, they are not rich and they don't have privilege like those who have etc.

They are not destined to be stupid and poor. They themselves made themselves poor and stupid. They chose it.
Mediocrity is not born. It's self inflicting.

Thursday, July 13

Too bad I am bad in common sense.

The silliest thing about human being:
* Every single inferior is fear of superior
* Every single superior thinks he/she is above of the inferior

People called it "The common sense". And they think this is how the world should be ran.

The scarier truth is, if we do the opposite, the world will be so much more richer and better. 
* An inferior who constantly challenges and questions the superior will only make the superior see him/her as an impressive non-confirmist that challenges status quo
* A superior who constantly presents himself humbly and even admitted himself as inferior will only make the inferiors respect, adore or even idolise him/her more. 
And both of the above are only benefits to the individuals, there is a hidden astronomical benefit behind:
Real meritocracy in practice. The chain effect is the crazy profits and unimaginable growth for the company and business. When people forget about hierarchy and statuses, they can only put everything into producing the best work. Real wealth creation in practice.

And there will only be more and more people disagreeing with me, dismissing me as idealistic, and trying to 'teach' me 'the right social tactics'. All of these are based on the horrendous humans' animalistic nature: our egos, our biases of thinking we are better than others, our defensive mechanisms against new challenges, our fear, our beliefs that older and bigger means better, our fallibility in identifying what is truth, our erroneous thinking that threats for inferiors and sycophancy for the superiors are the way. 

Ass-kissing is tempting because it brings short term results hastily, and you attract bottlenecks very soon as well.
Threat is the fastest way to make people conform to you, and soon too it invites destructive rebellion.

Thank God I am bad in common sense.
Fuck common sense.