~ Archive for philosophy ~

Never expect too much, never settle too little.

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Today was the day when my thesis director agreed to sign on to supervise my thesis. Now I am finally on the track of graduation. My research advisor, Don Ostrowski, was great to help me with my initial process, and passed my initial proposal and narrowed down my potential thesis directors. My thesis director, Richard Cooper, was generously agreeed to help and supervise my thesis. Now the time is back to me again.

Through this thesis writing process, for example, I have learned that I will never expect too much from others, but never settle little for myself. I have talked to many people on my research topic, but some, who I thought would help, were just not interested. Some, who I did not expect, ended up giving me a lot of help. It is true that my standard is high, as I often joked with my friends that I wanted to a Nobel Prize winner, or likely, to direct my thesis. Unless I got a Ph. D in Economics, there is no way to find a Nobel Laureate to supervise my thesis.

Overall, I am honored to have Professor Cooper to supervise my thesis, as well as many friends helping me with comments and editing. Today was one of those happiest days in my life.

It is interesting to think of happiness. There are many versions of definitions, from psychological interpretation to economic definition, from mental notion to constitutional stipulation. Happiness perhaps is just a feeling. I remembered that the most popular course at Harvard based upon the number of students enrollment was happiness, or something related to happiness and psychology course in 2007, according an article on the New York Times.  Many psychologists, economists, and doctors are looking for happiness in academic settings. Many scholars tried to explain anything with psychology due to the emerging trend today. Many economists tried to explained economic phenomenon by borrowing psychological experiment. Many lawyers tried to explain the legal reality by exerting to psychological theories. Many doctors are trying to figure out how actually the brain works . . . There are many theories and there are emerging articles on such topic.

What I learn from many published experiments, and my personal experience is that my feeling of happiness is that I never expect too much from others, and never settle too little for myself. It has been enforced in many interesting experiments, such as . . .

To be continued . . .

from “brick” to “see you” (sounds like this)

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From “brick” to “see you” (sounds like this.)

Emerging Market Giants, so called “BRIC”, has generated such a buzz until 2008, when the fear and expansion of global recession hit hard on those emerging countries. Each letter of the BRIC represents Brazil, Russia, India, and China, and the Index tracking the BRIC has fallen by almost 70% during 2008. The investors are drowning now because of the loss, even the paper loss, and the question that comes to light is where should investment go?

Well, it is hard to say. The entire global economy has been hit hard by this economic recession, starting from the US financial bubble. However, the money is comparatively safe to flow to “CU” countries, C – China, the major economic driver to the global GDP; U – the US, the economic giant to the world economy. The concept is not new. Some scholars have already mentioned the “G-2” concept after realizing the importance of the two countries’ economy. Distinguished economists across the global, including Nobel Laureates in Economists, have expressed the philosophical backings on this issue. The empirical evidence has to be verified as the time goes by.

Some distinguished economists includes: . . .

To be continued . . .

Darwinian theory in I-Banks

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Darwin is so influential such that even not only it bring the revolution to the science community, but also it sorms the revolution across the globe. Today, I found a more interesting Darwin’s theory in Lehman’s analysis on financial situation. One Lehman’s memo says that “Darwinian Process – Healthy for Progress”*

* Sources: oversight dot house dot gov slash documents dot 20081006141120 dot pdf

time is on our side

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A sand is small, but no one can across Sahara desert without aid;

A water drop is weak, but the sea is the womb of lives;

An atom is invisible, but the power of nuclear-bomb out of it can be disastrous;

A small second is less, but it might change the course of success and failure.

Time is precious, but at the transitional point of 2008 and 2009, everyone gets one extra second.

Second be second, the chances of being successful will increase.

veritas and virtue=道德经

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“道德经” the oldest philosophical book in China.

老子的”道” = Roman’s Veritas

老子的”德” = 孔子的”礼” = virtue

All old-version, translated into “the way”, only covered partial meaning. It is sad to know it, but not knowing well.

interesting life story about Alexander Severus

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There is some interesting moment about Alexander by in Edward Gibbon’s book, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, in public domain, at books dot google dot com slash books?id=YrJGPLuSHmoC&printsec=toc&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0#

page 165

“Alexander rose early; the first moments of the day were consecrated to private devotion, and his domestic chapel was filled with the images of those heroes who, by improving or reforming human life, had deserved the grateful reverence of posterity. But, as he deemed the service of mankind the most acceptable worship of the gods, the greatest part of his morning hours was employed in his council, where he discussed public affairs, and determined private causes, with a patience and discretion above his years.

“The dryness of business was relieved by the charms of literature; and a portion of time was always set aprt for his favourite studies of poetry, history, and philosophy the works of Virgil and Horace, the republics of Plato and Cicero, formed his taste, enlarged his understanding, and gave him the noblest ideas of man and government.

“The exercises of the body succeeded to those of the mind; and Alexander, who was tall, active, and robust, surpassed most of his equals in the gymnastic arts.

“His table was served with the most frugal simplicity; and, whenever he was at liberty to consult his own inclination, the company consisted of a few select friends, men of learning and virtue, amongst whom Ulpaian was constantly invited.

“The dress of Alexander was plain and modest, his demeanour courteous and affable.”

His failure was due to his too dependence to his mother and his lack of his power in “his” court.

One reminder by Mencius

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孟子曰:”舜發於畎畝之中,傳說舉於版築之間,膠鬲舉於魚鹽之中,管夷吾舉於士,孫叔敖舉於海,百里奚舉於市。”

“故天將降大任於是人也,必先苦其心志,勞其筋骨,餓其禮膚,空乏其身,行拂亂其所為,所以動心忍性,曾益其所不能.”

“人恆過,然後能改;困於心,衡於慮,而後作;微於色,發於聲,而後喻.”

“入則無法家拂士,出則無敵國外患者,國恆亡。然後知生於憂患,而死於安樂也。”

The second line can be translated by quoting Friedrich Nietzsche, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” however, it can’t cover some connotation in which only Chinese version can illustrate.

Thus, my version will cover most, but not all what Mencius says. It goes like this:

One who is destined to lead
has to endure one’s heart out and to work one’s butt off
regardless of starvation, destitution, or even jumble,
so that one can be nurtured from mind to heart
to become resilient and persistent
to the extent in which one otherwise cannot.

Interesting earlier life about Zedong Mao.

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The following was the expert from the reporter and journalist Edgar Snow’s memoir.

Snow, Edgar, Red Star Over China, New York: Grove Press, Inc., 1968.

p137
“I had never before seen so many children together. Most of them were sons of landlords, wearing expensive clothes; very few peasants could afford to send their children to such a school. I was more poorly dressed than the others. I owned only one decent coat-and-trousers suit . . . . Many of the richer students despised me because usually I was wearing my ragged coat and trousers. However, among them I had friends, and two especially were my good comrades.”

p147
“Feeling expansive and the need for a few intimate companions, I one day inserted an advertisement in a Changsha paper inviting young men interested in patriotic work to make a contact with me. I specified youths who were hardened and determined, and ready to make sacrifices for their country. To this advertisement I received three and one half replies. One was from Lu Shiang-lung, who later was to join the Communist Party and afterwards to betray it. Two others were from young men who later were to become ultrareactionaries. The ‘half’ reply came from a non-committal youth named Li Li-san. Li listened to all I had to say, and then went way without making any definite proposals himself, and our friendship never developed.”

p148
“But gradually I did build up a group of students around myself, and the nucleus was formed of what later was to become a society that was to have a widespread influence on the affairs and destiny of China. It was a serious-minded little group of men and they had no time to discuss trivialities. Everything they did or said must have a purpose. They had no time for live or ‘romance’ and considered the times too critical and the need for knowledge too urgent to discuss women or personal matters. . . . I built up a wide correspondence with many students and friends in other towns and cities. Gradually I began to realize the necessity for a more closely knit organization. In 1917, with some other friends, I helped to found the Hsin-min Hsueh-hui. It had from seventy to eighty members, and of these many were later become famous names in Chinese communism and in the history of Chinese Revolution.”

p148
“Most of these societies were organized more or less under the influences of Hsin Ch’ing-nien [New Youth], the famous magazine of the literary renaissance, edited by Ch’en Tu-hsiu.

p151
“I did not want to go to Europe. I felt that I did not know enough about my own country, and that my time could be more profitably spent in China. . . . My office was so low that people avoided me. One of my tasks was to register the names of people who came to read newspapers, but to most of them I did not exist as a human being. Among those who came to read I recognized the names of famous leaders of the renaissance movement . . . in whom I was intensely interested. I tried to begin conversations with them on political and cultural subjects, but they were very busy men. They has no time to listen to an assistant librarian speaking southern dialect. . . . But I was not discouraged. I joined the Society of Philosophy, and the Journalism Society, in order to be able to attend classes in the university.”

p152
“While I was working in the library I also met . . . now vice-chairman . . .; vice-Minister of Education in Naking. . .
“My own living conditions in Peking were quite miserable, and in contrast the beauty of the old capital was a vivid and living compensation.  . . . When we were all packed fast on the k’ang there was scarcely room enough for any of us to breathe. I used to have to warn people on each of me when I wanted to turn over.”

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