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Monthly Archives: August 2016

Replying to your brave post and since you asked, here is my inexperienced opinion about eating-disorders.

I should start with a little background, though. I used to eat carelessly a lot of crap with the mindset of “Salad is waste of space in my stomach, good thing I have an extra stomach just for sweets”. But then I broke my jaw and for eight weeks I had to eat through a straw. Beyond the fact that once you drink a chicken, you can drink anything, I not only lost 15kg in this experience but I also lost the sense of hunger. Even though I doubled all my meals (and then blended and sifted them), I was constantly hungry; always carrying this feeling of void in my stomach. Having my hair shaved, at the end of those eight weeks I can testify I looked like a holocaust survivor.

But then I realised that we, in the developed country, hardly ever eat because we’re hungry – we eat because it’s time; we eat because of social obligations; we eat because we’re bored and we eat because we’re all a little bit oral and would like something in our mouth to play with (small tip: I eat dates and keep the pit in my mouth for that reason). Food had lost its original meaning of survival-necessity and turned into leisure. What we eat, how and when is ingrained in our culture, along with the perpetual reminder to keep our weight in toe.

I personally believe that weight is not a good indicator as muscles are heavier than fat. Yes, much like everyone else, I would like to look in the mirror and like what I see – but skinny isn’t necessarily pretty. That’s just a crude reduction. “Fit” in our society is a better description for what we consider pretty, or even “curvy” for girls. I’m not saying we should all become addicted to sports as any kind of addiction isn’t healthy.

What is addiction anyhow? Addiction is something you cannot live without. it’s part of your identity. We are addicted to our family and friends, we’re addicted to the sun and we’re addicted to air. Addiction on its own isn’t bad, it only becomes bad when it actually hurts us or others.

Anorexia is bad, I’m not insinuating otherwise, but one thing should be said on behalf of those who suffer from it – they have an incredibly strong will-power. it’s stronger than those small temptations, and in the context of the highly praised marshmallow experiment it says a lot. Anorexia is a mental disease in the sense that it distorts reality and those who suffer from it cannot objectively perceive their own weight and appearance, but if you put that aside – you see what a strong character they have. And they should know that.

Like most problems, admitting of having a problem is a key-component for its solution. I was addicted to computer-games and chocolate and I’m still addicted to sugar and certain dairy products (in my failing attempts to go vegan), so I cannot give an educated or experienced opinion but my solution to my addictions was awareness and following that – moderation. I won’t play computer games and I wouldn’t bring home foods that I consider ״poisonous”, but would still eat them occasionally when going out on weekends. And during the week? I eat food, preferably vegetables, if not legumes, nuts or fruits.

Many people who are conscious for their weight eat “calories” instead of actual food. These people don’t live longer. It only feels like eternity. I would personally go by Michael Pollan’s advice: “Eat Food; Not too much; Mostly plants”, which seems rather simple and straight-forward (and yet he wrote an entire book to explain this sentence).

We live in a crappy society in which people, especially girls, are being judged by their appearance and the most predominant theme is “be thin”. This is wrong in so many layers as it devalues and dehumanise women into superficial sex object women want men to desire. Yes, aesthetic is important and personally I do consider flabbiness to be a turn off but you wouldn’t believe how sexy would a genuine smile be, or confidence or stamina or simply positive approach to life.

That digital device you have in your pocket? you should call it a “mobile” (or “Handy” as the germans call it). But calling a “cellular phone” is ridiculous. Last month I spent 6 minutes of talking on the phone and 500mb of data, and I might be an extreme case but I assume I’m not the only one. Let me tell you why phones are obsolete.

First, they require an immediate response. Unlike texting of any form, to which you can reply whenever is convenient, phone call must be answered right now. Let’s say someone wants to give you an important message. you gotta answer that, otherwise you’ll miss it. True, you can have a voicemail box. but the original voice message is actually translate to a “you got mail” notification which will force you to actively connect to the voicemail service and listen to the message (hence, requiring one more step). True that with a simple data app we can reduce this step into a PTP (push-to-talk) voice message, but usually that’s not the case. and even so – it means harnessing new technology to support old infrastructure.
In that sense, text-messaging is great, as you can answer whenever you can or wish. No real pressure for immediate response. Plus, it’s much more easy and acceptable to reply while doing other things (like watching a movie) as listening is much more engaging than reading short texts).

Phones are spammer’s paradise. Unless you decide not to answer phones from undisclosed number- you’re bound to have annoying soliciting or harassing phone calls. Adding a caller ID was a necessary step to resolve that. First it just showed you the caller’s number and if you recognise it (because people back in the 80s used to remember and recognise 9 digits phone numbers, today why bother?) you could filter desired phone calls (but no real help with unidentified numbers). Of course, very quickly came the caller’s option to hide us number, giving the spammer the upper hand. Unidentified numbers issue can easily be resolved if instead of numbers the phone infrastructure would convert to meaningful string, like an email for example. and it would allow people to block calls from lisa@gambling.com. but what about jenny.maccarthy@gmail.com ? should you answer a seemingly innocent yet completely random phone call? so it still seems we’re trying to keep a technology alive, while it really wants to die.
And lastly, phones encourage awkward smalltalk. It’s not a real face-to-face conversation to become a real small-talk but asking directly would be extremely unsociable. For example, let’s say you want to ask Berry from accounting if he plans to go to the company’s picnic (and if he does, whether he could give you a ride). so you can text him a single message: “Hey what’s up bro? are you going to the picnic? can I come with you?” and his answer would be a simple “sure thing!” and that would be the end of it. Text messages are far more concise. While if you go to Tim you would actually engage in a conversation when you’ll eventually get to ask “oh yeah, hey, are you going to the picnic?”. Phone calls are pretty similar, but much more annoying to handle as you don’t see the other person, whether he’s actually to busy or occupied to have this conversation with you right now.
I think that the interesting bit was that phone exists for merely 100 years and are you publicly only for about 50 years. cellular phones became popular only 20 years ago (that’s nothing compared the the length of time men has used pigeons to deliver news). Meaning to say, we managed for a very long period  with the need to audio-only interaction, and I truly believe we outgrew to betters forms of communications (emojis and memes anyone?)
The decision of moving from cellular devices should come into affect with the packages the service providers should offer. Personally, I’d go with a package with little to no voice minutes but a large data plan. If need may be, I can always use skype or other voice-over-IP solution in order to have free conversation anyhow.
Less importantly it should with the hardware itself. not so much for its supported technologies rather than its branding – I would rather buy an Ipad with 4G capabilities than an iPhone – which are technically the same thing – but represents completely different mindsets.
As the US election are playing in the background, I’ve been stacking my popcorn supply and getting myself ready to see the world burn, I thought about the ways we elect our leaders and whether we can come up with some better way. Processing it through, I’ve classified most system into only 4 categories. Here it goes:
1. The first party. Public election, or so it seems. The people vote, the most popular candidate wins. Whether it’s the winner takes all or absolute majority, it makes no substantial difference. People may vote for a person or for a political party. That’s still ok. The biggest risk of “first party system” is that it’s actually a “third party system” in disguise. That’s the biggest trick, isn’t it? to let the people have a sense of control over their lives…
2. The second party. That’s when a person became a leader simply because he chose so. He probably used some power or violence to overthrow the previous leader, but not necessarily. he might have crowd-surfed his way to the top, being energised by the people love and faith in him. It’s still not a first party system, as it wasn’t structured. And that is the key ingredient of the “Second Party” systems – this is no structured mechanism to replace the leadership.
3. The third party. Fairly simply, we have someone to select the leader for our – an elite of sort. It may be the richest few, like in the US; It may be the tribe’s elders, like some tribal societies; It may be the most hight people in power – like the Vatican or China. All of these systems roughly says the same thing -The leader, not matter where he came from, must have the approval of the elite. The question remains, though, whether this Elite is open or not – can anyone join the elite? In most societies – yes, it’s possible but it depends on the individual’s ability – to get extremely rich, or climb up the bureaucracy hierarchy, or may live to old. Some societies are closed – picking their elites from some Aristocrat families. But if anyone would like to scale it down, we can actually give a score from 0 to 100, about the individual’s ability to join the elite group and decide his or her own fate.
4. No party. A no party system is the most objective system – we simply take the oldest, smartest, richest, strongest. We take the one who could life the hammer or pull the sword out of the stone. There is a test that anyone can challenge and once passed – he or she will become a leader. It’s not a second party’s revolution because it’s foresight agreed that the person who has the best score in the agreed criteria is the winner.
I find this classification fascinating as you can classify almost any system of governance using these four groups. But one must ask – can we think outside the box? about another kind of election-mechanism?
Let’s take Switzerland for example, that is the closest thing to a healthy no-leadership system operating today. The Swiss vote themselves on all major issues (sometimes in contradiction to ethics and international law. that’s true). Well, some of the Swiss do, at least. The Swiss are organised in communities which build cantons, which build the state. The leader is merely the representative of the people, rather than the monopoly of power.
But Switzerland isn’t perfect, as it gives immense power to the citizens which are heavily influenced from the media, which is controlled by the elite. So is it a first-party or a third-party? not much of neither. But it is a perfect proof for the existence of other governing system that what we’re set to think. can you think of other ways to choose your leader or govern?