May 28, 2011

About "Social Differentiation"

Cover of "A History of Knowledge: Past, P...It is everywhere true that those at the bottom of the social hierarchy are the majority. ...Why then does the majority remain deprived? The minority at the top may have a near monopoly of force, but force alone is not the answer. A system of social differentiation must be found in which all believe, not just some.

---Charles Van Doren: A History of Knowledge
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May 26, 2011

Jack Nicholson and His Movies

Cover of "The Pledge"Cover of The PledgeJack Nicholson has been always one of my favorite actors. After watching three his movies in a raw, now I must say I am a huge fan of his. His acting is superb!

"About Schmidt", "The Bucket List" and "Pledge"(2001) are what I have watched recently. I absolutely love everyone of them, however, I would especially mention "Pledge", an unusual mystery directed by Sean Penn. The story is based on a novella written by a Swiss writer. This is not an usual mystery with fast paced story line, but rather a slow paced and drama-like movie, yet highly suspenseful, with an end that is unexpected, pitiful, and eventually thought provoking.

For me, this movie not only depicts an obsession of a detective to his promise, but also reveals a truth of life, which I personally more and more believe: real truth is often beyond our "masterful" hands. We are helpless on this fact.
Well, does this mean we better live in illusion? I don't know, but it might be.
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May 25, 2011

"If I Know A Song Of Africa"

"If I know a song of Africa, of the giraffe and the African new moon lying on her back, of the plows in the fields and the sweaty faces of the coffee pickers, does Africa know a song of me? Will the air over the plain quiver with a color that I have had on, or the children invent a game in which my name is, or the full moon throw a shadow over the gravel of the drive that was like me, or will the eagles of the Ngong Hills look out for me?"
— Karen Blixen ("Out of Africa", 1985 film)

May 24, 2011


Behind the EvidenceImage via WikipediaEvidence: the "facts" that support our beliefs.

As soon as people's minds are settled with some belief systems, all existing facts become "evidences" to validate/consolidate those beliefs. The facts that disprove their beliefs are either nonexistent or, simply invisible.
So, it is almost impossible to change people's mind by presenting "evidences".
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May 23, 2011

Quotes for "The Bucket List" (Film, 2007)

Film poster for The Bucket List - Copyright 20...Image via WikipediaCharter Chambers: (My pastor always says) our lives are streams flowing into the same river towards whatever heaven lies in the mist beyond the falls. Find the joy in your life, Edward. My dear friend, close your eyes and let the waters take you home.

Edward Cole: Carter and I saw the world together, which is amazing when you think that only three months ago we were complete strangers. I hope that it doesn't sound selfish of me, but the last months of his life were the best months of mine. He saved my life, and he knew it before I did. I'm deeply proud that this man found it worth his while to know me. In the end, I think it's safe to say that we brought some joy to one another's lives, so one day, when I go to some final resting place, if I happen to wake up next to a certain wall with a gate, I hope that Carter's there to vouch for me and show me the ropes on the other side.

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May 14, 2011

Out of Africa - Journey of Man

Cover of "The Journey of Man: A Genetic O...Cover of The Journey of Man: A Genetic OdysseyThe origin of human: where did we come from, is certainly one of the most important/enchanting questions of history. Recently I watched a series of documentary videos and one of them seemed to have unraveled this riddle, at least to a certain extent.

It seems to me, that the "theory" of all people on this earth originated from Africa is not a foreign to most of us, but I did not know that up to date, scientists already have concrete evidences, such as DNA, to prove this "theory". Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey, a documentary movie based on book with the same name (published in 2002. How behind I am!) written by Spencer Wells (an archeologist and geneticist), has advanced investigation on this subject. After his comprehensive researches Wells reached an absolutely certain conclusion with (DNA) evidences that we human, all came from Africa.
No wonder I have such fascination with Africa!

Thank Wells for the brilliant job. I am not a professional historian but I consider this finding a milestone in history study.

Of course, still, this discovery only reveals our physical origin, that much more mysterious question - where is our "spirit" (I am not satisfied with biological answer such as "brain function") come from - is still out there.

May 13, 2011

Crop Circles - Art of mystery

Crop Circles 1995-1999Image by frankdasilva via FlickrLong time ago I watched TV news about crop circle hoax. Since then I never bothered again with this "phenomenon". I do not remember details of this news but roughly recall two men were busy working in the field under moonlight. Just recently I "accidentally" watched some videos about this subject from youtube. This time, I was absolutely stunned by the beauty of these amazing "formations".

By my spontaneous nature I immediately dove into some mysterious causes of these beautiful "creatures". One of documentaries from youtube was especially fascinating - it tells that one of crop circles was obviously responding to the (binary?) message that NASA sent to out space over 20 years ago (Crop Circles Decoded?). Beside such kind of amazing ideas, the perfect geometries, the precise design and the allegedly short time of their appearance, really overwhelm me. And I cannot help to wonder, how could people on this earth stay so calm?

It proves it is not so hard to stay calm. After I did some "researches", my attitude started leaning to another side: they are all man-made. I cannot say I am 100% convinced, but most likely the chance of being otherwise is slim.

There are also many "scientific" facts about these formations have been claimed by many "experts", such as energy changed, or "the composition of soil was completely changed"*, etc. I am not a scientist so I cannot disprove those claims.

One thing I am quite certain about is, these formations are not designed by people who are solely "artistic", nor by some simple/playful motive, but with extremely good artistic taste and high intelligence, because all these formations show incredible design sense, and all of them (for what I saw on internet) made with incredibly geometrical precision. Personally I don't not believe they were made by random amateurs. But how did this technique and unique design talent spread over the world, is simply a mystery to me.

It was said the creators of crop circles have never claimed authorship because they want to "sustain the mystery"*. Based on the article "Crop Circle Conundrum"*, one of experts said:
"In our culture, art is all to do with artists: it’s about whodunit, not about what art does. With the circles, it’s about the effect they have on people." This certainly makes a good point but I am not convinced that this is the reason they stay in hidden. But if it is, I am sure they are having great fun.

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