January 31, 2015

Stephen Fry On God

I admire his courage and intellectual sharpness, period!

January 29, 2015

Scientific Theory, Evolution (Quote)

English: This is a recreated vector image in S...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
"...a scientific theory is not merely a best guess. It is a hypothesis that - through experiment after experiment, study after study, analysis after analysis - has yet to be refuted.

... evolution is not only a theory, it's also a fact. The key to understanding evolution is to recognize how it can be both:
As a fact: Evolution is simply genetic changes occurring through time in a group of individuals (a population, a species, and so on). Scientists know that these changes occur. They can see the changes, measure them; in many instances, figure out when they happened.
As a theory: Evolutionary theory seeks to explain what's responsible for the evolutionary process - in other words, what causes these changes. What scientists know today is that natural selection and genetic drift are two key forces driving these changes."

--- Evolution For Dummies, page 335-336, by Greg Krukonis, PhD, Tracy Barr,

January 27, 2015

Argument Is The Healthiest Thing In The World

English: Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies...
English: Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies debate at UNC in the New West building (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I have to just admit that I love argument*. I found dialectics is one of most charming art humans ever created. I also realized, my fondness of dialectics is one of primary reasons that many people stay away from me, and the reason for that, I found, is just that most people think disagreement is too unpleasant to handle.

January 25, 2015

Scientific Theories And Religious Theories - Are They Same Thing?

An engraving by Albrecht Dürer, from the title...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Today, near the end of my art class, a student asked me my opinions about religion and science. I was glad to talk about it, though obviously it's not the subject of my teaching. The discussion was interesting. I said that the difference between religion and science is that religion derives from our wish, science from facts. One of students immediately disagreed, saying science derives from theories as well as religion, and claimed that their science teachers told them so.

January 23, 2015

Why Is Art More Popular Than Literature?

Because it's easier and safer for us to pretend that we UNDERSTAND.

True of false?

January 22, 2015

How Can We Not "Offend" Anyone? Are We All Equally Guilty?

English: "How dare I, Mrs Reed? How dare ...
English: "How dare I, Mrs Reed?
How dare I? Because it is the truth."
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I consider myself a highly "self-principled" person regarding morality. However my principles are simple and fundamental, not emphasizes on behaviors, courtesy or any kind of superficial traditions, and they are not made by any other human beings but myself. In a word, I follow my inner voice.

My first moral principle is clear and firm: never do anything to purposely hurt anyone. Just like Jane Eyre, I learned kindness through my hardship: When I was bullied during my childhood, the pain I felt when I was savagely beaten, only "inspired" me to make resolution, that I would never exert the same kind of pain to any other persons. Yes, I learned that before I heard the name of Jesus Christ, or Buddha, or any other "Saint"'s voice. And I can proudly say that in my life I've never done anything purposely hurt anyone.

January 21, 2015

Monologues of Jane Eyre As (Once Again) An Outcast

Brilliant monologue and some excerpts from chapter 28, where Jane Eyre is again, an outcast, even faces the danger of starving to death.
Not a tie holds me to human society at this moment--not a charm or hope calls me where my fellow-creatures are--none that saw me would have a kind thought or a good wish for me. I have no relative but the universal mother, Nature: I will seek her breast and ask repose.

Jane Eyre - One Pair Of Feet Planted In Independence

(They say that Jane Eyre is a required reading materials for high-school students. So does this mean a high school student can have a decent understanding of this literature classic? I read it when I was 16 or 17, but what I understood back then? “None”(exaggeration I may. I loved the book and watched the movie 6 times!). Because over 30 years later I re-read this book again, it struck me anew, electrified me like no other books!)

Jane Eyre, an orphan, an outcast of her own kindred, a ward of abusive institution, grows into a well learned and highly intelligent young woman. She learned kindness through hardship, learned love through her hateful abusers. Beside all these qualities, she has an earnest disposition for independence, which strikes me the most. Jane RESISTS anything that imposes upon her without her consent, not only cruel abuses but also mellow sweet love. Nothing can stay her way to hinder the will of her own. Yet she is soft, kind, sensitive and forgiving.

January 20, 2015

Jane Eyre As A Begger - A scene Ignored By Screen Adaptations

When Jane Eyre leaves Thornfield with astonishing resolution, she drops the heavenly happiness behind, throws herself into an absolute unknown fate. She spends 2 days in a coach, which takes all the money she has, which drops her in middle of no where. In the following 2 days, she is nothing but a beggar - who is ready to give up her last bit of pride for a slice of bread.

Excerpts Of A Great Review of "Jane Eyre"

English: Portrait of Charlotte Brontë Русский:...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I only wish I could write a review that can truthfully reflect how I had been feeling these past several days of re-reading Jane Eyre, but I found such task is beyond my current English language skill. So to avoid putting myself in the risk of blaspheming a genius work I admire infinitely, I like to quote some words that I found from goodread, which are far more superior, and can do far better justice to this timeless masterpiece than any words I could contrive at this moment:

Jane, you are not only the essence of womanhood at its best but the finest specimen of humanity - so refined, so just, so fragile yet so iron-solid. So full of scorn yet so humble. So elegant even in utter distress.

January 17, 2015

Susannah York And George Scott - The Best Jane and Rochester

To me (or to most Chinese people who were educated in 70s or 80s), the film adaption of Jane Eyre means only one: the one made in 1970, stars Susannah York and George Scott. It is the only one I watched, remembered and cherish since my teenage years.

The movie was relatively short, probably too short comparing with original, that's why I was disappointed the first time when I watched it. However, something dragged me back to theater, and after several times re-watching it, I had to admit, the power of the movie was almost equal to the book.

January 12, 2015

When Does Philosophy Begin?

Philosophy begins when one learns to doubt - particularly to doubt one's cherished beliefs, one's dogmas and one's axioms.
--- Will Durant (The Story of Philosophy)

January 11, 2015

A Few Thoughts On "The Idiot"

After more than 2 weeks I finally "tottered" through over 600 pages of The Idiot. I first tried in Chinese translation, somehow could not stand it, then moved into English translations, jumped back forth between two different translations: one by Eva Martin, another by Henry and Olga Charliele. I found overall Eva Martin version was easier to read, but also bears a few "hard errors", which might not be such big deal (except one that made me very confused and I had to go to another version to clear it out). I checked on internet that the best translation should be the one by Pevear and Volokhonsky, so I ordered from amazon, decide that I will read it again, may be not whole 600 pages but at least some parts of it.

This is a book that I certainly would not take it "lightly", for it's philosophical profoundness. I personally feel related to the hero of the book, the prince Myshkin in many ways, though at my current age, I become more cynical than Myshkin in regard to this thing we call "human society". The prince Myshkin is known by Dostoyesky's readers as "Christ like", for me, he is nothing more than a pristine model of humanity, in contrast to most people (or majority of population), who are spoiled by qualities such as greed, ambition, vanity, etc.

January 9, 2015

Is Majority Always Innocent?

Shaikh Mahmoud Halabi, the founder of Hojjatie...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
People always separate "people" from "government", majority from a few "extremists", as if majority people are always innocent, and they are always victims of power classes. Truth is, any extreme religions, or any groups of religious fundamentalism, or any dictatorial systems, like those of in China, North Korea, LITERALLY can not exist without support of their majority of population. This is not to say that all those people are evils, but just that we cannot ignore a plain fact, which is how stupid we humans are, and how hopeless our situation is.

January 7, 2015

Can We Choose Our Emotions?

Emotions, especially the kind that are strong and destructive, such as rage, angry, feeling offended, are not something we can choose, or necessarily choose, but something we should learn to control.