Wednesday, August 19, 2009
First of all, no one trusts stupidity, no matter how compelling the reasons might be. A stupid decision, be it morally right or by someone with great experience is quick to be condemned. For example, sentencing to death drug traffickers who did not commit violent crimes may seem a bit harsh to some, but in a busy port like Hong Kong, where large volumes of goods move in and out of the country, such a severe penalty acts as a effective deterrent that prevents the island from turning into a drug trading centre. Such is an illustration of applying an intelligent solution to an ethically grey legislation.
Secondly, if a person were to base his decisions on anything other than intelligence, wouldn’t that be even more dangerous? Imagine someone who makes important choices based on gut feeling, self-righteousness and faulty intelligence. Sounds familiar? If the former US president had relied only on intelligence and intelligence alone, he would’ve realized that invading Iraq was a low priority when compared to tearing down Al-Qaeda and capturing Osama bin laden – someone who did base his decisions on intelligence.
Thirdly, you need to ask the question of just how dangerous it can be if you only trusted intelligence. Sure, the world might become colder, more pragmatic and more predictable, but it would definitely not be anymore dangerous than it is now. None of the man-made problems are due to intelligence; in fact a majority of them are due to ignorance, self-interest, avarice and fanaticism - ignorance being the worse of them all.
However, morals and ethics do come into play right after intelligence. Humans are creatures of emotions, and we make plenty of choices based on personal preferences and feelings. Even our concepts of right or wrong are largely based on societal opinions rather than facts. For example, it makes logical sense for the Hong Kong government to pay its ministers salaries commensurate with what they would have earned in the private sector. However, those numbers are considered astronomical compared to the wages of the average Hong Kong worker. Paradoxically, the most logical decision by the government is perceived as rather unreasonable by the majority of working class Hong Kongers. It is therefore impossible for the policy makers to make a ‘right’ decision without considering other factors other than intelligence.
In most cases however, it is ignorance and disregard for intelligence that makes the world a dangerous place, not the other way round. Populist leaders love to espouse lofty ideals and make unrealistic promises, but often fail to achieve them in office. From historical lessons, we’ve learnt that pragmatism has always triumphed over idealism in all cases. A great contrast would be the open door policy of Deng Xiao Ping versus the Great Leap Forward of Mao Zedong in China. One led to unprecedented prosperity, the other lead to the worse famine in history; the former was based solely on intelligence and pragmatism, while the latter based on nothing but communist ideals.
In conclusion, although intelligence alone should not be the only factor in all major decisions, it should be the main one. Other factors such as morals and ideals should come only after that. Any decision, for it to be safe, has to be an intelligent one.
Friday, September 26, 2008
I am actually quite excited that now the beginning of my first job is finally in sight. Unlike previous years of schooling, I feel like I truly gained a sense of self-motivation. In elementary and middle school, I never really needed to work hard - learning the basics was easy. Later, in high school, I worked slightly harder because I wanted to go to a good college (and also my parents instilled in me a deeply competitive spirit, however hidden I kept it). However, the methods in which learning is measured by emphasizing short term memorization, instead of truly learning. Standardized testing can be easily manipulated - you could do well, but that didn’t mean that you were smart or learned anything really. Even tests and grades in classes emphasized a numeric score that was supposed to represent how much you “knew”. Whether you promptly forgot it or not didn’t factor into the equation.
That was exactly how I did things - enough to just get by. I did well in high school, both on standardized tests and in every class. However, my motivation was not self-motivation; the drive didn’t come from within, but pressure from outside sources. As a result, I didn’t retain much of what I’ve learned, and the same horrible habits transferred to my under-graduate years of college. The bad habits were even intensified since I didn’t feel like I had something bigger looming on my horizon post-college. I barely studied at all, barely stayed awake in classes, and did moderately well, but definitely not up to my potential. I didn’t have an interest in the classes I took (especially not the required ones!), and that only further exacerbated my lack of enthusiasm towards learning.
Now though, I am more excited to get my brain churning again in some challenging projects. I know that I will legitimately work hard this year because my motivations are from the heart, lame as that sounds. This is it. This is my life, and what have I done but wasted it? When I finally graduated, I had a decent CGPA, but if my mind is empty, what good does a high number do? If I open my mouth and it only reflects the shallowness that is in my mind, what good does graduating with honors do?
I want to not only appear to be intelligent, but truly be intelligent. This is the real world, and it’s not a game anymore. I can’t just claim disinterest in the subject matter and have that be sufficient. I already feel guilty because I am easily sucked in by superficial and shallow fluff, like clothes and celebrity gossip (I admit it!). I feel like getting back in a schedule will lessen the time I have to spend being vain and thinking about irrelevant bullshit.
I think back on my younger self and realize that all those classes that I hated or fell asleep in, I regret not learning as much as possible. Bio-chemistry and bio-medical in college - I persuaded myself that I absolutely sucked at writing papers and never ever did the required reading. Semesters later, I found myself reading supplementary reading out of my own free will, wondering why I couldn't find it interesting before.
I also was a voracious reader when I was younger. Now, we don’t go to the library anymore, and since I own few books of my own, it limits my reading to blogs and other online sources. I have lists of books I want to read, but just can’t find the capacity to read them. If I had them in front of me, I definitely would.
Welcome back, my motivation. Er, maybe not “back”, since it just finally arrived.
Sunday, February 13, 2005
P.S. (pre script not post script): this is my first blog (So if you have any cribs I don’t care. This is my blog isn’t it; I am entitled to write all the shit I want to write). Don’t forget to post your comments. This blog may be unconventional and provocative and hope u forgive me (forget this crap all right. I don’t care what you think). And please forgive my alter ego (that’s me).
Hey for all of you who don’t know me. I am your average lazy bum whom you get to see around you a lot. The only difference is that I am from a top tech-school in
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over and out................................
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