Love shared by a dog and a human is the pure joy of lying by each other, seeing each others' face after a few hours of departure, and running on each other's side. You love each other merely because of who you are and the bond you share. You are the center of her world, and she is the center of yours. She would be upset when she can't find you, and you would be anxious when she is hiding. You don't need to share common interests; maybe she can't talk about engineering with you, but she would put her head on your arm when you rumble. Her little head is so soft that it melts your heart. Maybe you are not such a great person, but she jumps on you every time she sees you. You don't need to be charming, funny, witty, smart when around her because she doesn't care, not like humans. She just cares if you are here with her, if you can rub her little tummy, if you are alive.
What a good feeling it is that you can care because you care and she cares back because she cares.
--- To Ka'ala, my dog friend, who I love dearly
Connections to people
In a thought experiment, I have some new thoughts of how to categorize people in term of how I want to connect with them. So if there is one day, we developed a spacecraft that can take us to fly into the core of the universe that hides the ultimate truth of it, and I was the human in charge of this program, and I had decided that I would take the flight even though the spacecraft will not have enough ability to fly back to the Earth. I can invite as many people as I want to the spacecraft, and I don't have to think about how this flight would benefit human beings in this thought experience. I can choose people merely based on my own preference. People I invite should not need to worry about coming back to the Earth in this thought experiment. I then thought I could basically categorize people (including many strangers) into five groups:
Hard Times by Charles Dickens
I wish I could have read this book much earlier, but perhaps I would not perceive it from the angle that I am looking at it today. A friend mentioned it to me at the end of 2018; I did some quick research about it and got some quotes from the internet. It is not until last week in 2020, I picked it up and could not stop reading it. I never thought that I would be able to read a classical literature so fast because classical literature, despite my interest to analyze them, is often very emotionally overwhelming to me and so deeply rich that I cannot digest them smoothly in a moderate amount of time. I often find the intensity of my attention to a story or project is utterly giant; I don't want to change it tough, as I do try to follow the earnest desire of my heart. However, sometimes this intensity does disturb my health, so I am trying to write down thoughts throughout time so that it could be released instead of being repeated again and again in my very limited brain.
Upon what I learnt from this incredible fiction, the most precious "fact" is, and has always been, the person who introduced book and fantasy to me. As much as I enjoy my engineering education, sometimes when my mind calms down I wish so much to take a night literature class in where I could approach the feelings who could not find their places in days. In days, under the sun, I let my passion burn as much as it can; yet when night comes, after finishing up works, I think more and feel more. In most of the time, gratitude, happiness, longing to the next great day come, in which case I can go to bed happily. But when some feelings become wild, I wonder if having more experience with literature would help me take of them better.
Love is what transforms everyone.
The themes of this book seemingly contradict to my belief of technology/engineering -- a field filled with facts, statistics, equations, calculations, and so on. However, it would be very wrong, in my opinion, to take this books as a judge who declares the winning of art in its battle with science. The rigid concept or rather mindset in this novel is a symbol of an aged system in where people follow the principle laws, logistics, and reasoning. They are confined in a box where no innovations are allowed. They aren't fantasying, feeling, or imagining. This dominant system would be catastrophic in any field. A poet can't write the most beautiful poem if she or him isn't allowed to think out of the box. In the same way, an engineer will never be able to invent the most elegant machine if he or she can't fantasy. This book ought to act as a voice to urge people imagine -- imagine the best of the world and have faith in it.
I had long time struggling with my disbelief in utilitarianism because it is so logical, reasonable, and seems like the best idea for the society to operate. But, (excuse my word) f*** it. What a wise man Kant was when he wrote down his opinion on moral philosophy and aesthetics. Follow your heart; trust it when you don't feel doing something is the wise decision. Of course, any deliberate action cannot hurt others per Mill's argument in On Liberty. Dream when no one else believes in your fantasy. Imagine the boldest innovations that could change the world in the direction of uniting humanity. Wonder the nonsense and have the romantic affections even as an engineer. Feel the passion as much as you feel love! The power that those feelings could give you is no less powerful than the power of calculation.
Dickens, Charles, et al. Hard Times. W.W. Norton, 2001.
Always great to embark on a new journey
“All grown-ups were once children... but only few of them remember it.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
New journey is exciting but fearing sometimes because we are facing the unknown and all the people, places, and objects that we were used to are left behind. But the unknown also has its beauty. The beauty reveals when you realize how much you missed the old places, people, and objects. The beauty shines when you wake up, look outside the window, and see a different color. The beauty stores in every step that you take bravely for finding who you are and what life means to you. The beauty reflects not in the tears but through the napkins that she gives to you. The beauty hides in the daydreams and craziness of finding aliens. The beauty goes by every day, and you realize what important is never the road but how much you grow and people & things that you tame or tame you along the way.
“I see you everywhere, in the stars, in the river, to me you’re everything that exists; the reality of everything.”
-- Virginia Woolf, Night and Day
Lack of International Leadership
I read this article today and start to think about how chaotic international leadership and poor execution of international laws have resulted devastated consequences. From crimes that some UN peacekeeping soldiers have committed (recommend the movie The Whistleblower), increasing conflicts at Middle East, inefficient aids for countries at Africa, to reaction to global epidemics, and so on. In solving many problems, some individual countries might have done much better job than the international collaborative force.
International collaborations might have put a lot of efforts into solving world issues, and there have been indeed tremendous improvement of global welfare, but it is just simply not enough, not enough at all. There is hard data showing extreme poverty, famine, disease transmission, and so on in countries that have been helped but yet not improved much compared with the resources that have been put into. Of course, solving problems that have been existing in the system for decades is not easy, but progresses could have been made much faster if countries can put down their prides and hostility to others.
Does GPD really matter when there are 9 million people dying every year because of hunger ? Does who takes the oil matter when "early 1/2 of the world’s population — more than 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. More than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty — less than $1.25 a day" ? World wealth distribution is overly skewed and the amount of people suffering from poverty exceeds everyone's imagination. Medias do not cover it everyday, but it doesn't mean the problems have been solved. Those issues should always be the top priority of every single world leader. Nothing is more valuable than human lives, and no politics should stand in the way for universal human union.
What Harry Potter is for me
After watching the Harry Potter movies for a tons of times, I finally picked up its book two weeks ago. While reading the books, I am also reviewing the movies two more times.
Although I found that the story is still incredibly warm and exciting, I am viewing it from a brand new perspective. As a child, I always thought that Harry Potter is a story about magic and adventure. However now, I perceive it as a story all about love and bravery.
Lily Potter loved her son so much that this love was strong enough to destroy Lord Voldemort. How astounding is it? The power of love, an non-material creature, could defeat the strongest magic that is visible and petrifying. Love is a magic, but it is not a magic we could see, touch, or hear. It is a magic out of human reach even though it is created by humans; it is a gift. The ability of love and being loved is not one that everyone could own because each person will need a special individual to activate this ability for her or him. This individual could be mom, dad, brother, sister, teacher, friend, and so on. It is certainly lucky if we could meet this special one in an early age. For Harry, I think this person is Ron, the first friend who cares for him unconditionally. The Weasleys is a crucial group on Harry's journey to love and being brave. Then, he met all the great beings, Hermione, Hagrid, Professor Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall, Sirius Black, and so many who loved him and whom he loved.
Luckily I met my special individual at 16, but the whole activation process took 2 years. This individual really taught me how the feeling of love and being loved is like. Before I met this person, I had a long, hard time of feeling love; I had no idea what it was, and I still don't, but I understand that love is some magic that we do not have to rationalize. I now know I love a person just by feeling it and know I am being loved merely by experiencing it. How did this individual teach me about love? I have no idea, but I could feel it worked. I later found the root of this theory from Immanuel Kant, Critique of Judgment: there are two kinds of knowledge, one is rational justification and one is feeling/sensing. We need both of them in the world; no one is superior than the other. Clearly love belongs to the second category.
Love makes a man or woman brave for a reason that I have not yet figured out or maybe it is a "reason" that we can only feel. I know it not only through Harry Potter (in which the essence of this statement can be easily observed) but also through my own growth. After accepting love, I feel that I have owned all the power to achieve my dream. I live through everyday happily, sometimes maybe restlessly or sadly, but I deeply know in my heart that I am not afraid of any obstacle partially because none of them could be more difficult than understanding love and partially because of the power of love. I truly embraced who I am; I never thought that I was hiding something from families, friends, or myself Here, but only after my rebirth (raining in the background ...) I realized that I have been not showing a big chunk of my personality to people surrounding me or even myself. I have never been able to envision my future so well that I am living in it most of the days. I deeply appreciate the person who activated my ability about love.
Maybe we are all so familiar with Harry Potter's story that we take what he and his friends could do as rather normal things in magic world. However, if we try to forget what we knew about the story and just focused how Harry adventured through then ask ourselves if we would be able to do what he did in the same situation, we would know how brave a person has to become to survive in Harry's world.
Love is indeed what transforms everyone.
An engineering student who wishes to record her quest to the eternity of knowledge.