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Boston International Marathon Blast April 16, 2013

Posted by @Karen_Fu in ethics, faith, life challenges, terrorism.
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Disaster strikes for a reason. We must keep hope as well as faith in adversity. But we must always try to find root cause and solve them. If a recurring problem exists, something must be stubborn to change and we must change that stubbornness.

The mishap is senseless, but the cause for terror has a reason. It’s recurring every now and then. We need to be vigilant.


(photo: via Todayonline)


1. My other posts on terrorism:

2. New York Times Report on the terror attack :

Add: You know, peace isn’t hard to keep. What is hard to keep is the complexity of minds that go haywire that results from being intolerant. Some people have less threshold for tolerance. Some, more. If you hit those with big hearts, fine. If you happen to meet those with small minds, you are good to get blasted on a land mind. In several ways, the way of being simple or even simplistic may save trouble. At rare times, knowing nothing is better than being over sensitive about many issues. To be too smart is often the cause for trouble. — Karen Fu

My 2011 carrots for the Golden Bunny. February 5, 2011

Posted by @Karen_Fu in change, faith, human quality, life challenges, New Year, terrorism.
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2011 is here. Well it is already here for over a month until the metal (Golden) rabbit pops in just 3 days ago in the Lunar New Year. Perhaps munching some carrots and looking for play, baby bunny may well bring us a brighter outlook than last year.

I have just returned home from a series of visits to different places. I think there has been a lot of changes lately — some good, and some not so good. Some catching up with relatives & a few old friends seem to open up many important issues. But I think I just want to dwell on one — human relationships.

So what is there in store for us all around the world? I came out of the Mass Rapid System just a few hours ago to realise that even the nearest station in an almost harmless place is also putting up with clusters of CCTVs (Close Circuit TVs). I couldn’t believe it when I start to count how many of these security measures have come into the neighbourhood. There are already CCTVs at crossroads and some at lifts of public housings. This is to me abnormal since I have been growing up on a tiny dot of land where there used to be given peace all around, and basically everyone used to trust almost everyone. Under that condition, you need almost no security then. Today,securty measures are installed in car parks, canteens, lifts, schools, offices, MRTs, buses etc. The only place that appears to be clear of CCTVs are the toilets. I suppose no one will want to place a CCTV in every water closet. But who knows, in time to come even such privacy may soon disappear when people start to get paranoid about how terrorists work. Till that point, I think almost all kinds of trust will be evaporated. And for that matter, terror will really take its toll.

So my first golden carrot for the bunny is to wish is that we regain trust as people. ‘No trust = no harmony’: a simple equation that all bunnies old & young should be able to understand. To add in a simple reality is that human relationships are wanning mainly because we think too much in the wrong direction. Almost every crazy day, we read about fights. Doesn’t matter what kind and nature of fights they are, it is often stemmed out of jealousy & over emphasis of self interests. Technological advances may solve certain problems to a point, but ultimately its we ourselves who decide if we are willing to let go and forget, simplify and move on. It is often the various self-interests that blind our minds to progress. And it is also the very fact that people tend to run on double-edged swords that cut not only themselves but others too. Divorces are common not only in the west but also in the east where marriage is no longer that lasting as it used to be. ‘Till dealth do us part’ does not ring an eternal bell. It ironically happens in times when people are living better in comfort.

While I envy those who marry, have kids and a family; I do get alarmed by the reality of how many of these marriages actually work. It often makes you wonder what this world is getting to be like the flickery climate — where you don’t know when the floods or draughts would come in. The most comfortable climate is one that bears warmth, sunshine with some drizzles of snow and free breezes of wind. Not thunders or storms that wreck havoc. Family ties are the most important in maintaining society’s harmony. If such units are destroyed, the multiplier effect from broken families is huge impact to a peaceful society.

Most of us know that our future lies in our hands. The future can only betray us when we betray ourselves. To me, I do not see solving problems any harder unless we choose them to be. It is all in our hands to recognize our priorities for survival that is both happy and lasting. Technologies are supposed to assist us attaining solutions and we should not abuse technologies out of greed to the point that it will someday get the better of us. This is the wisdom and intelligence that I feel is crucial. Just because one could argue in profound words that differentiates one from the other & only believe that only that certain group of knowledge is the best to lead and therefore shunning away all other possible solutions; is not only stupid, but also dangerous.  We want a meritocratic place where people are credited fairly because of what they’ve positively done to society, not silly looking ideas of appearing ‘intelligent’. In that manner, can we be sure to say that such research is truly beneficial. I often find sickening arguements coming from people whose eyes are grown on top of their heads. They think they know it all because they have come from certain classes in society. That is elitistism & elitistism usually have sorry outcomes.

Our problem is not complex. And shockingly the nature of the problems are often similar. Then why is it that we love to expand and complicate them is often beyond me. Surely there are many different scenarios behind different sets of problems, but my point is why should we always use added knowledge to add up more problems when added knowledge is supposed to solve them?

I used to believe that top schools yield the kind of knowledge that we need to perform. Now I doubt if such systems do work. Times have changed, ideals and norms have changed. Let’s wish that the new year spells far less violence like what we are seeing now in various cities around the world. There is a migratory trend that really says something about societies and it is defintely unhealthy.  [People are moving out from what it was the technologically advanced cities fraught with high crime and violence to other places that seem to be safe and peaceful.] And hopefully when the bunny comes hopping in, it knows where to burrow and where to hop in times of trouble. Being passive and docile at times may be better than being mighty & aggressive. Sometimes we need to check our pace, and the year of the bunny may just be the year to check it out before propelling forward just yet in that powerful leap.

Hope I’ve made sense. While writing this, I am redefining what my own wishes are. I still very much prefer the old 80s to 90s and a life of tranquil. I really hate the current greed and all. But what can I do when I live in a pragmatic city where the emphasis of money is getting more and more important ?  — Karen Fu


1. Bill Joy: ‘Why the Future doesn’t need us’

3 big events for the last 3 weeks – terrorism, green design + Obama May 11, 2009

Posted by @Karen_Fu in design, life challenges, terrorism.
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I am back with  some interesting design posts and thoughts for these 3 weeks.. During which 3 big events have happened :

1. One of the JI leaders in Singapore Mas Selamat has just been caught after a year in running away from authorities.

2. New technology to cut down greenhouse gases by designing a ‘green plane’.

3. US President Obama’s recent handling of the tax evasion problems in the quest to keep jobs at home (US).

I have been wondering since if any of these events are really going to value add life ? I will first focus on  Mas Selamat, followed by my other points 2 and 3 for now.— 1: Mas Selamat is finally captured with the help of the Malaysian authorities recently. I thought the hard copy of the Straits Times headline on Sunday (11 May 2009) was somewhat complacent. It wrote in its sub-headline that Mas Selamat’s attempt was only a School boys feat:’20 laps of the swimming pool’ with waters that are ‘4 stories deep’ was easy and  any school boy could do it. If that were a simple feat, then why was Mas Selamat able to escape from the local prison ? Bearing in mind that he is crippled, swimming across the Johor Straits under the coast guards’ eye would deem a very real fact that he was an extremely determined man of wits and guts. How could that be a simple school boy’s feat is really beyond me. Unfortunately his courage and intelligence went into a destructive force. Should he been still in the loose, I bet Singapore would have been in an unimaginable catastrophe.

Terrorism is a dangerous act that  destructs both the terrorist and others. Its a loser’s situation whichever angle you view it. In 2001 September 11, the US witnessed their first unexpected attack on their land. It was an event that 2 planes piercing through not only their buildings in New York, but their hearts as well. It was a lesson  not just for the Americans but for the world to remember – we simply cannot overlook and take peace and formidability for granted.  For since then, a series of other attacks has sprung up  in India, Spain, Indonesia, and attempted attacks here in Singapore. This came in with the freshest memory of the Mumbai attacks.  They are all linked and you’ve got to think why all this has been ongoing. It is frightening to see that a peaceful landscape be always overshadowed by this constant darkness of terror.

We should never be complacent and arrogant about any cause of terrorism because it could actually stem out from our daily carelessness and thoughtlessness that we may not be conscious about what we say, do or act. I believe no one wants to fight and kill people out from a complete nothing. I suspect it  stems out from a misunderstanding of cultures. Maybe you and I are guilty about it without knowing it.  When such problem is left untreated, it usually blows out of proportion. I often believe that most of the hatred could be tamed down or completely eliminated, if we could be more sensitive and careful in the way we treat others. It is sad that Mas Selamat went into this route of anger and destruction. It doesn’t do him good and definitely not in any good for his immediate family and relatives. I don’t know what his story is about but I am sure something must have provoked his anger. Whatever the anger is, we must learn from this lesson that anger only leads to more anger. And when that anger goes beyond the boiling point, it will explode. If we look back in history, all these daily fights between countries, people and within business competition stem out on the pure greed, inconsiderateness, and a sheer lack of wisdom – the type of intelligence that we need to save ourselves and others the sanity that we need in this crazy world. We need to ask hard questions why people choose to do such self-destruction and killing of others; and onwards to look for win-win situations to never repeat the same mistakes again like our forebearers have  done.  I hope we could cool ourselves down amidst our hectic pursuement of wealth and self-interest to ponder about what life  really is.  I think this definition is crucial in setting the foundation of a healthy living that benefits all. There are many ways to a good life. It doesn’t need to be done in a heartless way to get even  and  ‘win’.

Other references:

Some small interesting sites about terrorism: http://www.politicalbase.com/forums/topic/is-terrorism-ever-politically-correct/1118/

causes of terrorism: http://uk.oneworld.net/guides/terrorism?gclid=CKep-MGlspoCFVEwpAodchPlcA