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Ah, we are from the Planet C. Why Are We So Complex In Mind ? July 26, 2010

Posted by @Karen_Fu in change.
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Pic source: //img0.liveinternet.ru

@GreatestQuotes: “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” Albert Einstein

Just retweeted it. Thought I add a few thoughts about the perplex layers of the human mind. We’ve come across great men and women whose paths have been obstructed because they have been different. Einstein was not alone. Together with many other great minds in innovation and invention, politics and literature; thinking different often means opposition. And its true even today when we are supposed to fully evolved and morphed into this new kind of cacoon which it should be born a free and beautiful butterfly.

The type of butterfly that is supposed to be from the new age, new born, new minds that are big and open.

But are we?

Everyday we could read from our papers (doesn’t matter where the heck you are on this little blue planet of ours) there must be some kind of fights: from domestic violence to national disputes; from toilet politics to international politics; from simple words of simple thoughts blown out disproportinately into complex thought & fights. Some people appear to be able to just find fault in some people somehow. I often think we are all weird speices of the strangest kind. First off,  we could see the bad in others. Next off, most of us fail to see the good in others and third off, we can’t see the bad in us. Well maybe we do. Just that we forget all about it very soon after.

I think this is negativity in the worst form. Its venom seeps into the mind in making it far more complex than it really should be.Ever wondered why  the crazy human mind has rarely evolved beyond being genuinely nice?  And why there must be shades of grey in every kind of human relationship?  I believe most of it comes from self defense – the kind of defense that links to the way one feels that they might be walked over, and hence must do a plot or a con in self defense, often in the name of ‘survival’.

I think that is an excuse.

And we need to requestion about what is real ‘survial’.

‘Survival’ actually really means to allow what is good for us to prevail. Great minds and ideas to flourish. Not there because of certain hidden interest.

Societal problems, like different kinds of discrimination, has never really eluded us. Most of the time, it has been haunting us. Kingdoms have formed and take over the weaker races / dynasties to create a variety of social classes. Its how one forms power. It has always been happening and I’m afraid it will continue to happen. In the many books I’ve come across, people do take sides. And often at a discriminative account. History has never been really fair in making 100% truthful accounts.Then again, history is written by us — human beings.

For as long as the idea comes from a human being, I supposed it will not be 100% fair. It’ll most likely be from Plant C (Complexity) where simple issues would be wired from one to another; into several volumes of history, rarely wanting to look just simple and clear.Which really would be the ultimate form of sustainable survival. Agree?

PS: CHANGE is actually about facing  reality. To deliver the truth and admit flaws would be the real guarantee for the future.

Aftermath of a Great Reset & Sex & the City – what it means for design of cities / societies (episode 2 – Design your life) July 23, 2010

Posted by @Karen_Fu in change, environment, human quality, life challenges.
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Sex and the City 2 got me exactly thinking. Carrie mentioned about ‘designing our own lives’. True in its own right, but lacking the latter of mutual respect and understanding of why we need to change and what we actually need to change probably wouldn’t land us any better. These days affluence has bred new types of thinkers & a generation that asks questions and try harder to break free from the tradition than anything else. Change may not always be good if we do not know what we really want. The new era of freedom appears to bring in abrupt relationships of all kinds in a rush. Often to the demise of what could be great relationships with human and nature. At least that is how I candidly see it. That is why a rise in broken relationships that creates a domino effect onto other forms of relationships; and  inadvertantly onwards to changing the way people think. And when things get too deep and overtly profound, that is exactly when things start to fall apart rather than sticking back again.

While I do not condone the weak mentality of the girls, who seem to have totally lost direction in their lives; what I can understand is that people can’t be strong all the stime. In merit, the film reminds us of the inert weakness in us all when it comes to values in a lusty, glam life of the city.

What bears a thought is that designing a life with branded goods is actually a very minor thing. Design, in essence, is the ability to make one’s life as meaningful and happy without at the expense of innocent people who bears no fault on their part. Unfortunately, many times, people tend to forget because a city life usually demands social and financial success. Personal success is more about living life the way with millions at hand, freedom to enjoy life without considering how others feel. Then the next thing that could prop up is to send a surrogate mother bearing one’s offspring while one enjoys his/her late 30s and early 40s in the high class social environment that most people cannot afford. Not so much due to the fact they are untalented or lazy, but just because they probably didn’t have the slightest chance to show their abilities. I think its demeaning for the poorer party to pay their time to do what the better off wants. It reminds me of the surrogates in India, China and some other parts of the world; where the much poorer ones would do anything to get out of poverty. So here we have the social elites doing whatever they want because they have the intellectual ability and the financial abilties to do so. I don’t think thats quite fair. Assistance shouldn’t be in the form of just patronizing the poorer nations and using their services. It’s really sharing the fundamentals of knowledge that will uplift them from poverty for good.

[pic source: /www.crystalxp.net/]

No doubt one could design their lives without kids or to have a life in a high class apartment with a spare one as a reclusive space. What could be a real question is to ask why the confusion of what they actually want out of their lives. Would a cream Valentino skirt with 2 red hand prints stamped right onto the pair of buttocks be a screaming affair ? How and why should it be so? Then how did the older generation manage it without so much reprecussions? Leaving a busty nanny to take care the kids and then be suspicious of her same pair of boobs to steal their men away is another area of distrust, which is common in real life.

Traditionally, the woman spends more time at home to understand their kids. Ideally the modern woman should be able to balance both home and work.  But I think there is a way to it where both the man and the woman could share responsibilities, which is not exactly that difficult if a bit of thought is put in. That requires some look into about priorities and replan of schedules of tasks to do with healthy priorities in mind.

For what one individual life that is designing in the wrong direction, a more than social economic problem that is far harder to design in the sustainable path will produce.

The film also spells in another culture that is considered and seen as traditional but in my opinion a far greater form of relationship which is fast disappearing -that is  the ability to tolerate lonliness and the lure of materialism and yet maintain a healthy relationship that is devoid of extramarital affairs.

This also reminds me of the older generations when they have to be apart most of the time during the world wars./ under colonial years. Yet they were able to bring up all their children in the right path despite great poverty. Its very similar everywhere in the world. They rarely have to decide which nanny to hire, which school to pick, what brand of clothes to have. Their kids somewhat understand the difficulty and are far more filial children at home and diligent students at school.

As I was watching the film, I couldn’t help to think the culture is getting stranger than I thought . And in some ways, selfish. But I do admire the positive lessons about life from SATC2. Not a bad film afterall. At least it taught / remind me lessons in the real world that some things can’t be changed. More later! — Karen Fu

Great Brains in (n) types of design – a quick draw review on ‘America is Rotten & China is Awesome?’ July 19, 2010

Posted by @Karen_Fu in China, creativity, Innovation, USA.
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[pic source: www.gmtmag.com/en/]

I read this article: ‘America is rotten and China is awesome?’ by G.E Anderson at the Forbe’s website just a while ago; and felt compelled to write quickly about my 2 cents on innovative & creative thinking. I’ll zap it straight to the point.

We all know we need to know enough and have solid foundations in our subject areas. Yet we also need to know how to quickly think via various channels in different scenarios. From an outsider’s immediate point of view, many American students seem to lack the former and the Chinese students lack the latter. Having taught both nationalities before as a teacher tells me that certain curriculums need to be changed.   But that again, it has always been difficult to say how and why because I always feel difficult to put in my comments especially when I do not come from a big country. And that coming from a tiny young one makes everything all the more difficult.

Americans, like many other Western countries, tend to have more creative minds that could twist and turn to create ideas of thoughts, innovative solutions etc. But having lack the depth in both Math(s) and Sciences is going to stunt them in the near term and we can start to see the effects even now, where a lot of foreign students who have graduated in the States are now working in the US developing niche products and services. All this new preference for the humanities and the arts by the Americans come from somewhat a natural distaste for numbers & physics. I also suspect that it has a lot to do with affluence where looking towards the arts where social sciences would be more interesting to learn than fomulas in math(s) and the sciences (especially Physics and engineering sciences). Natural sciences, however, doesn’t seem to be much of this kind of problem. However the reality is many advancements in technology, typically with the ones that directly affect us in phyical life, requires one to be superior in these subjects.

Chinese students, on the other hand, are masters with numbers and logical thinking. Too again with many other Asian countries and typically with Russian students, where mathematics to them are like playing magic with figures.They are not uncreative but they do not appear to learn how to sit and think of other ways to come up with new solutions. Everything appears to have evolved from similar or the same common base. I attribute this problem to the way the society and economy works. When you are striving to get out from poverty to become extremely well off, the first thing you need to do is to just follow the path that will send you fastest to sucess. And that does not often allow you time to think and try. In certain instances, daring to think in a different path may be a personal economic risk, where your time and effort may be grounded to a far less profitable result. From another flip point, countries which are industrially established in the east, still tend to carry on the safe path of thinking where you focus on the safe path to climbing up the social ladder. Creativity is often set aside after you attain your financial freedom, which is exactly the formula to stunted creativity as it is better to start early and have it in our living surroundings.

In the States or indeed in the west as a whole (bearing in mind the different cultures in the west) have more accessibilities to innovation as far as the culture of free thinking / sources of various information goes. Free, also as in the freedom of  not having to worry about the basic needs — as in the society allows you the luxury of time and money to truly try different things in store.

Personally, I do not have a preference for whom is going to be the super powerhouse of the future. I think if you were to clear your minds a little, thinking a little far a little, the optimal that will keep the world sane and healthy is to actually not have any single super powerhouse in innovation. It simply isn’t healthy. Creativiity, in my opinion, depends on a rich array of experiences that we can share under the common umbrella of the skies, where different creed, people etc will offer you various insights of true wonder that our own cultures may fail us in seeing what could be the best solution. We cannot be benifiting anyone, if we think true innovative thought must come from a certain part of the world.

Great brains, in my modest opinion, is one which is not only solid in the fundamentals of as many subject areas possible; but also in the way it develops over time to be fluent in the nth number of ways to come up with solutions despite under any circumstance. (politically, economically, socially etc). Innovative thinking has to make the world as one, where it shows sensitivity to the rest of the world and other people’s needs. You can’t do this when you start to brand one another, or trying to sit somebody off.

So in a way no one is exactly rotten and no one is exactly awesome. We have everything to share and learn from everyone. And the brain that has the ability to sort nth number of problems has got to be also a brain that is very open to all.

Quick draw at one go. Doubt a lot of people would read about it. But I thought I might as well hit the keys since I have been interested in such topics for a long long time. I don’t believe in certain stigmas and a crazy few dogmatc thinking egos. My approach may somewhat look slow, but it has gained me a lot of invaluable insights and train me to think fast.

Got lots to say but I really need to pop into bed. Its 2.25 in the morning ! — Karen Fu, some little nobody sitting on the equator, in front of her PC, smattering away from tiny Singapore.