Take A Step Back to Look at the Economy

News business is the news business. They will always have news. If they don’t have real news, they will generate “new” news. Experts whose jobs are to write reviews, criticism, and various articles will also always generate opinions because that is their jobs. Not their fault.

News thrive on drama and for the past decade, negative drama. So, there will always be headlines like “Economy shrinks at worst pace in 26 years,” and additionally, for the past month, I have read “Oil below $xx [namely anything below 50] on record economic lows” on every single friggin’ day in finance news section. Can we move on now? Sometimes I feel like Wall Street and stock market is just like reality TV show. They keep repeating same freakin’ drama.

The economy is not good for sure, but because everyone is “hyped” about discussing economy difficulty and doom and gloom, if the media does not say “26 years,” the media will still say “Economy shrinks at worst pace in 9 years!!!” Put an arbitrary number to your liking.

Is the economy is bad shape? Yes. Has it been this bad for a long long time? Probably not. Is it really as bad as the media makes it sound? Maybe not. But in all honesty, I believe that nobody REALLY knows, just like nothing is ever certain in life.

No, I am not saying we should deny reality. That is another harmful thing to do, just like if we feed on to these drama. The media is merely doing their jobs, and it is our responsibility to observe what it truth to ourselves.

That is why I suggest that we shall take a step back when we listen and read from media. Learn what is going on but distinguish the drama.

I understand many are affected with layoffs, and personally, these things are starting to hit closer and closer to home. These will make “taking a step back” very difficult. But in another perspective, we can only do the best we can. It maybe painful. Very painful. But we just have to keep chugging along and stop holding onto the past, drama, and the “excess”.

If the bull economy is simply a bubble, meaning an illusion, and that many people’s life style are bloated, or simply unaffordable, maybe it is not so bad that such illusion and “bloated-ness” is beginning to fade away. Painful? Maybe it is because we are trying to hold on to it and nobody wants the party to end. But if it is an illusion, it would be better for us to wake up, right?

I sincerely believe that by shedding the accumulated excess will allow each of us to see more of what our life is about and thus lead us down to a better path. More on this next post.

ps. If you are here to find a bit of good news in this economy, visit this blog — Carpe Diem.

Originally posted 2009-02-28 23:31:49. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The Art of Reading, Memorization, and True Learning

Reading is a most obvious and direct act as far as when people want to learn something these days.

As much as reading is being done (or forced to be done LOL), especially in school, it occurs to me that no one, no curriculum ever attempts to explain and teach the art of reading.

In a nutshell, when people do reading these days for learning, it simply equates memorization of a butt load of information.

However, after years of reading on my own NOT for school, I have come to realize that reading is so much more than that. One can never realize the joy and pleasure of reading that way, nor the true nature of learning when we do reading. Nope, not through memorization.

Although, having an encyclopedic mind is very convenient. It can get you pass most education system with flying A’s. At least, memorization is a skill I adopted from Asian schooling, and relied heavily from middle school through high school to get those A’s and 4.0s when my English is as crappy (fobbish?) as it comes.

Real fun in reading, is the connection with the author. A genuine author that is. No, I am no telling you to call the author, or dig him up from his grave. Hmmm, bad joke :P

Behind the words that one such worthy author had penned down, we can only imagine the experience, emotion, and thoughts he had, and only after a process of integration into their own mind, heart, and soul, does he put into words. Thus, if we simply read the words at face value, we may simply pick up 10-20% of what he intendeds to communicate for us to think, feel, and understand.

Once again, this is if the author is genuine. This is especially true if you venture into reading text on religion, philosophy, and also teachings of any art form.

Reading the words of text is like the process of picking up dots. It is up to you to connect the dots, by going through your own process of integration.

Read not just with your mind but also with your heart. Read beyond the words.

Memorization gets you through school. True learning requires more than that.

Originally posted 2010-09-30 23:55:39. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The Illusion of Going Green

img_2422.jpgSorry to disappoint you if you arrive today to read about personal finance or self-development or to nose about me. Nope, today’s none of those. Instead, I want to point out some silliness I observed about the social hype of going green.

Hybrid Vehicles

If you are going to get stuck in traffic for hours with a hybrid, you are still burning fuels like all other cars, albeit less. And don’t even get me started on those hybrids driving 80 mph on the highway. You know the urge from watching a motorbike that haplessly swerves by you and wanting to run him into the boulder? It’s the same feeling.

How about drive less, carpool, plan your driving trips, walk/bike when possible, or not buy a house that comes with a 10-hour commute just to own more square footage…

Solar Panels

Solar panel itself is a solution. But guess what, these panels have to be produced, and guess where over half of them are being produced? Yep, none other than the almighty China. With loose regulation, by-products from the production of solar panels – chlorine and hydrochloric acid – are freely dumped in nature.

Go for it if the thought of many to-be-dead Chinese excites as much as going green.

Carbon Offsets

Personally, I think this is the dumbest idea of all, where you pay a company to “go green” for you and you say “Oh, I’ll pay someone else to do my responsibility to save the environment”. How irresponsible is that. It’s like paying someone to not cheat so you can cheat on your husband/wife.

On top of that, carbon offsets companies are not required to disclose what they do with your money. Half of the money probably end up in their pockets while the other half will go into investment of other “green technology”. The left over money will probably be used to hire gorgeous interns naively excited about “going green” while you think a tree must have been planted by now. But honestly speaking, most of the money will be used to pay for administration and personnel cost.

I’m not saying the above three things matter naught. Each of them can be part of the solution if people truly adjust their behaviors. To truly minimize pollution to the environment, we have to begin by minimizing our wasteful behaviors, where each humble citizen of Mother Earth should be mindful of what their actions mean to the environment and act accordingly – recycle, turn off lights, lower the heat and A/C, stop littering… We must understand how we are all connected and stop thinking selfishly.

I wish people can stop being silly, but I’m afraid Einstein is yet correct.

Originally posted 2008-03-30 15:51:22. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Don’t Give Up Your Mind

What are we?
Humans.

What’s the most significant between us and other animals?
We have a mind that allows thorough thought process before we take actions.

Right… if a person take a real close look at the society today, one would wonder if that is necessarily true…
Sadly.

Of course…
Critical thinking is tough.
People don’t like tough.
Thinking requires actual work.
People don’t want to work.
Thinking is boring.
People don’t want to be bored.

It’s so much easier to not think and be told what to do, or just go with the flow.
You can always blame the outside when something doesn’t go well.
No responsibility. No strings attached.
What convenience.
Let’s all give it up!
The mind that is.

But there is a slight problem if you take a look…

Looking at the advertising sector, you can observe the rampant, or shall I said rabid, movement and expansion these days. Remember I talked about why there’s no need for financially aware consumers before? Together with that, another idea that actually encourage the ads companies to continue their push to reach into every corner of consumers’ life is because how little people give thoughts about what they consume.

How are the growth of the ads sector and whether people think related, you may ask? If people don’t give so much thoughts into what products they are buying, what kind of loans they are borrowing, what kind of service they are affording, they are more bound, more easily succumbed to spend money on products they don’t really need, loans that cost them more in the long run, or services that bring little to no significant values. That in turn, allows all the ads campaigns to have such an effectiveness that promotes more use of ads. “It works, why not do it more!” Consumers are letting themselves be told what they “need” when most of the things being marketed are just things they “want”.

Take a look at Apple…
Take a look at all weight-loss programs…
Take a look at all the new drugs coming out…

In addition, if we look at the current society, how many people are not too hesitant to make their voice be heard? But quite often, they are just taking sides without clear thinking or they are simply echoing off each other. They said things but they didn’t say things because there are no substance, no real thinking behind those words. My sincere opinion is that they would not be saying many of those words if they truly see the world and the things that are happening as they really are.

Moreover…
Stress is on the rise.
Depression is on the rise.
Obesity is on the rise.
Nation’s health is on the decline.

Could it be that the whole population has been soaked by the message of materialism, perpetual growth, and flashy life style for too long? That everyone would work work work, in order to earn earn earn, to have lots of money to afford “things”.
Who needs to exercise.
Who needs to spend time with family.
Who needs to hang out with friends.
Who needs to appreciate nature.
Who needs a spiritual life.

Let me end the thought provoking content here, hopefully they are, despite them being very high level
I would not claim myself an expert in the above subjects, but hopefully I got my points across.
Just here to offer my point of view.

And to sum up it up…
You should do your own thinking.
Do not let other people dictate your actions.
Take your life personally and find the values that are important to you.
Understand them, prioritize them.
Then act and live accordingly.
Finally, use your mind wisely.

Originally posted 2007-10-30 01:04:25. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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