Monday, August 08, 2005

A short one

I will be busy hitting the books for this coming three days, as I have an exam on Wednesday.

As such, there will be a break from blogging. It will resume on Thursday.

Oh, I have carelessly left out another person under the Two Degrees of Separation post. I mentioned there are two colleagues of mine whom we share mutual friends from outside the organisation.

There is another person who knows the colleague sitting next to me. This person needs no introduction to my loyal readers; he is wingedman.

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I have added a few links under Malaysian bloggers. They are androjane, keatix, Zeem!, As Suanie sees it and Akuma.

Androjane: I have been lurking at his blog for some time now. Love his daily experiences and he updates almost daily.

Keatix: Linked from kitjar. Very prim and proper. Straight to the point.

Zemien: New to the blogsphere.

Suanie: I think she can give Jay a run for his money. She's that funny!

Akuma: Err ... coz he's cute? ;P

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I have bought a book last week, called Socrates Cafe by Christopher Phillips. I have just read the first chapter and I am glad that I bought it.

Here I would just like to share some of contents and ideas of the book. If what I have written here pique your interest, I hope that you will do more research on this great philosophical figure and his thoughts on moral philosophy.

Don't be put off just because it is philosophy. It is not some deep stuff which is beyond most of us. In fact, philosophy is very much accessible because the great philosphers have been asking the same questions that you have always asked.

In fact, whatever questions that you can come up with, have been asked in the past by someone or another.

Socrates said that "The unexamined life is not worth living." He didn't say that it would make us happier or more fulfilled; it could also leave us more uncertain, more troubled and unhappier.

The Socratic method forces people "to confront their own dogmatism," according to Leonard Nelson, a German philosopher.

When I typed "unexamined life" in Google, this page came up.

There are two quotes which I like from that page and I have posted them here.

The whole person is always greater than the cultural roles because the living organism always has more potential behaviors than the particular cultural game that society sets up in order unthinkingly to further the business of everyday living. The total individual, in other words, is always greater than the cultural role self. But man does not realize this, except in rare cases, because he must live as society has set up the plot.

The result is that mostly people approach each other from the point of view of their roles, rather than as whole beings. The role player stages life; the whole being acts spontaneously. But spontaneous action is a momentous problem for most, precisely because they have learned to keep action going smoothly and satisfyingly by simply and uncritically following out the roles that the culture designed for them. They have, in effect, subverted the possibilities of their total being to the narrow interest of action and uncritical survival. Now this is not a criticism so much as it is a simple observation; man is hardly to be blamed for accepting the ongoing version of the life drama, and drawing the ready satisfactions that this entails.

Besides, this gives what man needs most--it gives conviction. When everyone upholds unflinchingly his roles, within the cultural fiction, the joint staging seems right for all time.

[Ernest Becker, Escape from Evil 272-273 (New York: Free Press, 1975)]



If individuals act automatically or conventionally, if they do only what is expected of them (or because they feel they have no right to speak for themselves), if they do only what they are told to do, they are not living moral lives."

[Maxine Greene, Landscapes of Learning 49 (New York: Teachers College Press, 1979)]


Have an excellent week ahead. Till later.

11 comments:

keatix said...

wow...another deep post. my shallowness is struggling in its endeavour to keep up.

will dedicate another session to digest what u hv written...hehehe. cool.

Chaichakri said...

i have to agree with keatix.
too deep for moi ....... non-religious philosophy and metaphysics such as abidharma are not easy to comprehend, and can be a chore to read

KW said...

Oh wow!! i love the quotes..!! hopefully they'll have the book at the library.. sounds interesting

Chaichakri said...

By the way, i might sound very cliche

GOOD LUCK in your exams

Asian gay guys are usually the smarty-pants, I am sure you will ace the exams!

Jay said...

Suanie very the superfarnee lah, how to compete?! Have you seen the promo campaign to get her a boyfriend?

And androjane is very good too - and yes, he writes very often.

As should you, young man!

(Do I sound like your mother? I think I sound like mine.)

CHris said...

ehhehe Awww shucks *blushes* *waves hi* and good luck to your exams. :D

CHris said...

ps I am kazeki on fridae. feel free to email me there. ;)

suanie said...

*paiseh*

good luck for tomorrow!

Derek said...

keatix & kitjar: It's not deep lar.

The gist of it is that, you look back at your life and try to understand why you did the things you did.

With that hindsight and/or insight, hopefully one can lead better lives.

You know, like doing the things that you have always wanted and avoid similar mistakes. To live a more fulfilled life.


KW: Hey, welcome back. I am glad I got you interested in the book. Hope you find it at the library.


Kitjar: Thanks.


Jay: You have been reading her blog and you kept it all to yourself?

*goes to Jay's blog to make sure Suanie is absolutely not on his links*

Hmm, I wonder why hor?

Nope, you don't sound like my mom at all. She speaks Cantonese-lar.


Chris: *waves hi* Welcome, Chris.

Now it's my turn to blush, as I didn't know you actually visit.

*reminds self to be more careful*

Checked out your Fridae profile. Really cool and sweet.

Err ... you still available, right?

Oh, and my deepest admiration for being totally out! ;P


Suanie: Welcome, welcome. *rolls out red carpet and throws confetti*

No need to paiseh. Even Jay concedes defeat in the laugh-o-generator.

And thanks for the wishes.

Derek said...

Jay: Though it's hard to ever forget your first love. And you are my first love. ;P

As in love for witty and laugh-out-loud writing.

CHris said...

hehehe yes I am still availble. YOu can email me there to let meknow who you are. hahahah