Thursday, October 17, 2002

In the news is the bombing in Zamboanga. Incidentally, my officemate is there this day and have been updating us through text message like CNN, every minute by the minute. Violence looms this world. Just last week, a bomb blast in Bali, Indonesia killed almost a hundred and eighty people. And right at this moment, a sniper must be aiming for a victim at the other side of the globe. It is quite strange how people think, like that sniper leaving a note and saying that he is god. Like he has the "power" to take away life he did not create and not of his own. What benefit to him is taking another's life? I find it strange that people could do such a terrible act. And what about those who strap themselves with bombs and commit suicide in crowds of people? Isn't it strange how, for a certain group of people, find it "heroic" to "sacrifice" their life while taking with them mass of innocent victims? For what purpose? To achieve what?

What value is life to them? If they do not value their own life, they should not expect others to do the same. Surely, I wonder what Cain must have had running within his mind?

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

I just updated a checklist of things to do for tomorrow. I feel good seeing that it I've got it organized. Yeah! However, the more I get it organized, the more I see that I've got a lot of stuff going on. Wait up, am I getting the raw end of the bargain here? Whatever, for tomorrow, tomorrow only, I've got three meetings to attend to, three issues to discuss (not included in those meetings) with key people, six items to accomplish for my travel to Cotabato. Plus, plus, plus.

Speaking of my travel to Cotabato, I'm a bit, yep you heard it... a bit, scared. Who wouldn't with all the news of bombings in the South? I didn't have a choice though. They say I am the best candidate to go there since I'm a bachelor. Since when did getting married become an excuse to danger? Well, I can't blame them, being married is enough danger in itself. hehe.

I'm going to Cotabato to follow through the product trainings conducted within the area. I guess I have to do a little interview here and there, provide a little suggestion, receive complaints, perhaps make a call or two to head office and what have you. Exciting ba? And during the night there, I'd probably stay in the room, turn the tv (if there is one) volume low and lock all bolts of the door. Quite exciting nga! I'm going to enjoy this, I hope!

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

It is said that man is a rational being. So, if man is a rational being, and being rational would mean the ability to have reason, could fear of the unknown be then be diminished, if not eliminated? I ask so, because fear is caused by an unexpected danger, of which reason is usually unknown. Often, it results in unpleasant emotion. If fear is caused by what is not known, and man experiences fear, could it be said then that man is not a rational being? I think not. If it is not, is my definition of what is rational then become incomplete or untrue? Because if man, being rational, could make calculations like in a chessboard, then fear could perhaps be diminished.

However, not only is man a rational being. Man is also, and more so, an emotional being. Which would justify his fear, intuition and gut feel. Which explains why people love and hate sometimes without any reason. And if reason is overcome by fear, that may well be a definite cause for paranoia.

Ironic. For even though man, in his increasing knowledge in technology and science, would always return and rely on his emotion in making decisions, even if it is most often unsubstantiated by facts.

However, this may not be a weakness at all. It could as well be a strength. For how often has it been that when the evil of genius abounds, that the emotional man joins together in the guise of peace, love and kindness? How often is it that reason, in defense of truth and justice is overcome by mercy, in appeal to the emotion?

Monday, October 14, 2002

Some interesting thoughts on friendship.

"For when people are in trouble they should be left alone and not be bothered by visitors. That at least is my idea of friendship, and I am sure I am right. So I shall wait till the spring comes, and then I shall pay him a visit, and he will be able to give me a large basket of primroses and that will make him so happy." said the Miller in the story of "The Devoted Friend" from the book "The Happy Prince" when his friend Hans, a gardener was sick during the winter.

I heard from a little kid that she has a “bestest” friend among her best friends.

In the movie "The Sicilian" by Francis Ford Copolla, the Sicilian, when he was about to be killed by a trusted friend said "only a friend will betray."

"Don't flatter yourself that friendship authorizes you to say disagreeable things to your intimates. The nearer you come into relation with a person, the more necessary do tact and courtesy become. Except in cases of necessity, which are rare, leave your friend to learn unpleasant things from his enemies; they are ready enough to tell them." said Oliver Wendell Holmes.

Merriam Webster simply defines friend as a "person one likes." Last night, I watched the movie "Man from La Mancha." It was about the story of an old man, a dreamer, Don Quixote and his adventure with his trusted esquire Sancho Panza. Aldonza (whom Don Quixote affectionately calls Dulcinea) asked Sancho why he serves him. He, being not able to give sufficient reason simply says "I like him."

Friendship has a a lot of different meanings to a lot of different people. It is a word which different people put different value into, much like how people put different value into love. In fact, it has been thoroughly mixed up that the effect is that it is most often interchanged in meaning with love, or the adverse effect is that a dividing wall between love and friendship is created. That it often becomes taboo to love a friend, in a more romantic way I mean.

In depth, friendship has its levels as well. To some, a simple acquaintance is already a friend. Thus, they might be those who consider themselves to have lots of friends. Some people say that "your friends you can choose, but your relatives you cannot. Thus, there are those who end up discounting their relatives from their friends. And they end up considering their friends more important than their families.

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

Again, I was surfing at a webpage called "Astronomy Picture of the Day." This time I was looking at the image of Venus. It is said that it is perpetually covered by thick clouds and that it remains hidden even from the telescopic eyes of earthbound astronomers. Yet the image I was looking at was taken by the spacecraft Magellan orbiting Venus. Using an imaging radar, spacecraft Magellan was able to give a detailed picture of the planet named after the Goddess of love and beauty. Science and technology is truely amazing.

Venus is the second planet from the sun, and the sixth largest. It was named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty probably because it is the brightest of the planets known in ancient times, second only in brightness to the moon and the sun. It was thought to be two different stars, the morning star (Eospherus) and the evening star (Hesperus).

It was considered to be earth's sister planet because of its size, just a little smaller than the earth, and because it has less craters than other planets. However, it is a hostile planet composed mainly of carbon dioxide. Its gas clouds create a greenhouse effect which makes the planet so hot that it reaches 400 to 740,000 degrees of temperature.

Yes, even among the planets, beauty may only be superficial.

Monday, October 07, 2002

Happiness... is temporal and variable.

It is based on expectation. We base our happiness on an ideal which has to meet a set of conditions or criterion if you will, a standard. And if that ideal is not met, we are not happy. Would it be that we are happier if we lessen our expectation? Then we might say that happiness is inversely proportional to expectation.

It is based on events. Happiness is based on conditions conducive to our desires. The sudden surge of a tragic news affects our emotion. And more often, our tragedy outweighs our joy. It is easier for a tear to fall than to lift a heavy heart. Thus, happiness is the absence of tragedy or sorrow.

It is an idea, solely different for each person. A psychopath's happiness is different from that of a sane person. A simpleton different from that of a learned, a child different from that of an adult. It is an ideology. It is an attitude. Those who grew in an environment full of hostility will find it difficult to be happy. Wrought in anger, they will start the day with hatred and end the day in despair.

Moving on, and on the same note, I just received an unexpected news. I got an email from a former girlfriend. She already got married. Happily married at that, not that she shouldn't be. I am actually glad she is happy, finally. Yet how come I feel heavy as if a dark cloud hovers over me? Selfishness dictates she should have been mine. Pride dictates I should have been the guy. But life goes on.

Moving on, and on a brighter note. I was quite early out of the office, which was unusual. So I happened to pass by National Book Store today. I was looking for a book on either philosophy or history when I ended up in the classical literature section of the store. I saw “The Happy Prince and Other Stories” by Oscar Wilde, which lead me to this topic about happiness. I know and like the story of The Happy Prince but I wouldn't have bought the book had I not seen that the price was irressistible. At P69 (approx $1.30), it was a bargain. I had P200 left on my wallet but what the heck, it's a good book and a good book is a good investment. I'm happy. And life goes on.

Saturday, October 05, 2002

Reading a webpage about astronomy, I found out some interesting facts.

The nearest star system in the Milky Way Galaxy is the Alpha Centauri, which is a three-star system. Its smallest star, the Proxima Centauri (named Proxima because of its distance) is the nearest star to the sun, which has a distance of 4.23 lightyears. One of its star, Alpha Centauri A, the third brightest star in the galaxy, is as large and as bright as the sun.

I am awed by the greatness of the known universe. Like clockwork, the planets, in their own axes, orbit around the sun, and moons around their planets. If evolution is true, it would have followed a grand design. For evolution was sparked by random, and the universe operates by order. Without order, planets and stars would have followed unknown course which would result to collission. The planets, moons and stars would have been like corns popped inside an oven, without direction. Without order, there would have been no astronomy, only astrology. Without order, there would only be magic and no science.

Surely, the universe is a large place to live in. Yet we crowd in a very tiny planet.

Friday, October 04, 2002

"If the world was without any natural evil and suffering, we wouldn't have the opportunity, or nearly as much opportunity, to show courage, patience and sympathy."
Richard Swinburne -- The Philosophers' Magazine, Winter 1999

Does it mean that the presence of an object or idea necessitates or even enhances it's exact opposite? Following that line of thought, would we then say that if the world was without any natural ugliness, there wouldn't be any beauty at all? Or the opposite, that beauty is enhanced by the presence of ugliness?

Did i just deviate from Swinburne's original idea? I guess so. However, it is not quite comforting to tell that to someone who is undergoing suffering.

And if that be the case, that the presence of natural evil and suffering provides for the opportunity to show courage, patience and sympathy, then must we not rejoice in the presence of every natural evil and suffering? So that we may have the chance to show courage, patience and even sympathy? Then, those who show sympathy must be grateful to those who suffer, for without them they can't have the opportunity to show their sympathy. Yet, wouldn't those who choose to show sympathy feel superior over those who suffer? I for one would choose the former than the latter.

Then we can say, that the world must have needed a Hitler. What a dreadful idea.