Pinning all hopes on Bernanke

Let’s face it, many of us are looking at the stock market these days and wondering what on earth is going on. By that I mean, how on earth that stocks keep going up and up while there are not only very little good news but plenty of bad ones!

However, I think it’s become very clear in the last couple weeks now that the amazingly yet-increasing stock market is moving becase of one condition — Bernanke, or namely the Feds.

At the moment, Bernanke has the last card — QE3. So long as he continues to dangle the QE3 carrot in front of the traders, and we know most of the stock market now is moving due to traders — especially there are less retail investors now since all the crashes.

The question is, how long will this dangling of carrot work? I don’t know but I think it won’t be pretty when it stops working. And ultimately, Bernanke is not going to use this last card until something drastic happen that bring the market lower first.

That, is my humble view… mixed in with a bit of rant. I expect and await the market to come down in the next couple months when the “carrot” loses affect and I’m afraid it probably will not be pretty. Then Bernanke will not no where to go and QE3 the crap out of the market.

I’m simply really curious as to what will happen from now until end of year.

Originally posted 2012-09-03 20:20:42. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

When Both Religion and Science are Strong

A friend sent me this quote last week:

Formerly, when religion was strong and science weak, men mistook magic for medicine; now, when science is strong and religion weak, men mistake medicine for magic.
Thomas Szasz, The Second Sin (1973) “Science and Scientism”

In follow up, I asked the question:

The quote was from 1973. So here we are in 2010, what happen when both science and religion are strong? Guess my answer :)

My friend is very nice and played along with me:

Awww… this is like a quiz at school!>.< Ummmm ... .... Religience or Sciligion as inter-disciplinary research? .... The (Wonderful) Wizarding World of Harry Potter? .... We think we know everything but we know nothing? did I get it? I want a prize if I got it right!

The last answer came very close, so I promised my friend half a price when we meet next :) The answer I had in mind was…

In 21st century, when both science and religion are strong…
…men mistake themselves for God.

Note: God meaning the omnipotent, omniscient grand father figure in the sky, not God as in the Tao, or Brahman or what not.

Originally posted 2010-06-27 21:23:17. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Size Does Not Matter

One thing I notice in Japan was smallness. No, I am not insulting their people. No, I am not insulting their men, either. Actually, many girls there are very cute… uh, yeah, getting off track.

I should say — large space does not matter.

Take a look at this picture.
IMG_3492

It is a picture of my hotel room in Kyoto. There is barely space between the bed and table for my butt. It reminds me much about the living space from my past years in Hong Kong.

But, I am not complaining.

The common sense we have is — “Oh, we got so many things, we need more space”

In a way, our desire for space is directly related to our desire for things. Conversely, when we get more space in the house, we often want to fill that space with more things. Oh, what a dilemma.

Perhaps, we can consider the following chain of thought — “Oh, we got so many things, perhaps we need to make space by getting rid of things, that we don’t need, or use.”

Personally, I loooooove having space, and also cleanliness. They are very soothing.

Let’s face it, most of our stuffs end up sitting around collecting dusts. Instead, why don’t we carefully consider what we reeeeeeeeeally need, and if we are getting something, make sure it is something we will use frequently?

Oh, I am such a genius. Just kidding.

Another thing that is small is the portion of a meal. Each dish and even hamburgers from McDonald’s are smaller, which sucks for me because I am constantly hungry from my intense gym’ing. But for most Americans, who sit most days in office and sit some more in front of TV at home, can be a great idea.

That leads me to my final thoughts.

Perhaps we can use more limits. Yes, you heard me, limits, instead of more freedom.

Perhaps too much freedom had lead us to lots of indulgence, and indulgence is a result of not being clear about what is truly important. More limits in our environments force us to value what we have and cherish the resources that are available.

In other words, physical limits can be a great catalyst for internal growth.

Using the living space as an example, if you have so few square feets, there are only so many things you can have. And what you have will be what you need or truly find important.

Or if parking size is like this, you think twice before getting an SUV!
IMG_4481

Ok, the car example is not very good. The living situation is too different. But about driving in Japan, most people from America probably can’t drive in Japan, uh, due to poor driving skills. I personally DON’T want to drive there.

Anyways, I want to say this…

Evolving the idea on limit. Next time when we are frustrated and want to complain, or feel like we are suffering immensely, or seem to have insatiable desires for other things, consider that, there will forever be somebody somewhere else who are a lot worse off than we are.

IMG_3257Maybe things could be better, but they can be a lot worse. Look at this picture featuring the tight quarters in Tokyo Metro’s human sardines.

I guess that is why seeing the world, experiencing different things, how people live differently, are so important. So we realize how things can be worse.

On this note, I attribute my non-narrow perspective and sometimes unique and bizarre mentality to my fortunate experience (well, also unfortunate because it sucked big times sometimes) of having moved and lived in drastically different places at an age (12) that I could make my own perception already. However, I give myself credits for choosing to look at both sides of things rather than seeing only the green on the other side.

Last thing, totally unrelated, is a picture near the famous cross section in Shibuya, Tokyo by Center Gai (センター街). Pretty, eh? (It was shot in Lost in Translation too — one of my favorite movies)
IMG_3251

Originally posted 2009-07-17 01:06:22. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Travelling and the War on Terrorism

I had just come back from travelling for two weeks. This is actually my first time travelling outside the country since all the new TSA policy. Needless to say, I learn that, even more so than before, passing through security and all is such a stressful event and such a big turn off for me to do any kind of trips through air.

The worst part of this comes from the returning flight from Hong Kong back to U.S. My niece was so lucky to be picked for the “special inspection” and therefore, EVERYONE’s bags are checked near the gate right before boarding. Comes the most ridiculous part, the TSA there threw away even the new water bottles that we purchased within the restricted area (I like to hydrate myself well and it sucks to keep requesting service on the plane), AND also empty the tiny water bottles that passed the security for my 5 year old niece and 1.5 year old nephew.

They claim that because the plane is going to U.S. yet even in the U.S., you’d be able to buy water within the restricted area and take on the plane, yeah?

Needless to say, it’s all frustrating and very unpleasant and there is absolutely nothing we can do.

It makes me think though. Now that [at least they claim] Osama Bin Laden is dead, they love to proclaim a victory on the war on terrorism. With all the TSA yet-on-going implementation of security and various added/new law/policy created in the name for national security, did we really win? anything at all?

In fact, perhaps in a more abstract way of looking at it, or even just literally, we have lost a great deal. We are living under the shadow of terrorism.

This is not to say I’m against all security measures. I understand that, as long as we are humans, we gotta do something about a problem but we hadn’t really thought out thoroughly what that should be.

If you really think about it, the ONLY perfectly safe state, that which seem to be what we think we want (demonstrated by our own action), is a complete police state.

However, not only does a police state mean we are living under constant terror, a police state also goes against the basis of this country. In the act of fighting a war on terrorism, we are enacting behavior analogous to trying to wash blood with blood — terrorizing ourselves and also trying to stop terrorism by terrorizing others.

This is the absurdity that we enact. I don’t propose to have a solution. But I think a good place to start is being genuinely honest, and thus with great clarity, in understanding the reality in and around ourselves.

But in this day and age… who can set aside religion, ideals, power, and all in all, ego to be able to do that?

Originally posted 2011-09-24 23:35:59. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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