Thursday, July 09, 2009

No more bottled water

A town in Australia has voted to ban the sale of bottled water. The issue arose after a company proposed to extract some water from an underground reservoir in the region, ship it to Sydney to be bottled and then bring it back for selling it. This shows just what a waste of resources we are doing every day. The full story is here.

Monday, July 06, 2009

You can't feel anymore

Is this the reason so many people are constantly looking for the next new sensation? But if they can't feel anymore isn't this search in vain? They should look inside themselves maybe.

I'm just rambling around here, in fact I'm just hooked on this song from Franz Ferdinand (the video clip is very nice too):

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Things people would like to do

I read recently a kind of survey about what would various (young) people want to do in their free time if they had the means. What puzzled me was that most of the answers were in two categories:
- doing some kind of extreme (or at least exotic) sport like skiing, scuba diving, horse riding, paragliding, motorcycling;
- going to a more or less exotic place like Africa, South America, Asia or an exotic island;

So, basically, all these people are looking around for is a new sensation: adrenaline, visual and more.
I'm kind of tired of looking again and again for this next new sensation. I would like instead to have a couple of hours each week in which to lay in bed and look at the ceiling of the room (or even better at the sky) and re-imagine the world, each time in a different way. Cause if you can imagine it in your head then it is real, isn't it? (For music it is scientifically proven to be this way as Oliver Sacks describes in his book Musicophilia, but more on this later.)

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Doing as much good as you can around you

A couple of days ago I read an interview with Gabriel Liiceanu. It is mostly about the state of the Romanian society and it has a part I like a lot. I will try to translate it here:

Question: Do you think, Mr. Liiceanu, that the progress of this country depends in any measure on the political elite? Can we still consider that the president of this country represents a force that determines in any way the social progress? And I ask you these questions because there was no other president than Traian Basescu with more good intentions and determination for the social progress.

Answer: "For a long time I asked these questions in the same manner as you and, having the tendency to think pessimistic, I thought that, indeed, there is not much hope. Years passed and I realized it is not productive to think in such radical terms. I start to think that the <> that you talk about is done mostly not by the <> of the good, but by decreasing the chances of evil. I'll always think that I'll have to chose between a smaller evil and a bigger evil and that is enough in order to achieve progress in an invisible way. And I tell to myself: Basescu didn't manage to do much, but maybe he didn't have a majority in Parliament to support him, maybe he didn't have a government to work with. Maybe after the next elections there will be better people in the Parliament, etc. And when I am desperate, like you, I think on the following: 1. that I live the miracle to have escaped the communism's nightmare (which I couldn't imagine as possible before 1990) and 2. that from 1990 till now there have been some big advances in a couple of areas.
We have nothing else to do but to struggle all of us, there is no refuge. It is enough if each of us is doing his best wherever he is. And to persuade the people around him that they have a choice between a smaller evil and a bigger evil. That's what I think we can do: as much good as we can around us. If the number of people who think this way will increase then the our society will progress irrespective of one political figure or another."

What stroke me in this part is the same argument that I heard a long time ago. Our philosophy teacher (Mr. Marica) used to challenge us in class in a Socratic way. And one day he asked one of our colleagues what would he do in life. My colleague answered that if he would be the leader of Romania he would change this and that, but for now there is nothing he could do. To this our professor replied that it is not productive to think this way. We should always think of the best we can do now, instead of dreaming on a distant future or relying on another person who has power for things to change.

You know, maybe my philosophy teacher and Mr. Liiceanu went to the same school :)