Youngest kid of six with an inferiority and black sheep complex, but determined that God saves not just his soul to heaven but the remainder of his manic-depressive life, so others won't say he became a Christian and remained a jerk.


On identity
i won't be transparent before i'm opaque. and you'll get to know me starting from the small things: who my favourite bands are. what kind of movies i like. who are my heroes.

On Christianity
I’m convinced that when confronted with sincere, real love, the Jesus factor will become obvious. But let’s not plant the cross before we carry it. I’m not trying to con you.

On dreams
Some dreams are meant to be achieved. I know that. But maybe other dreams are meant to drive us, privately. Never known to anyone but ourselves.


On melancholy
It is a sadness that, when choosing between crying and sighing, will choose sighing. I'd almost say that melancholy is being sad about sadness itself.

On memory and nostalgia
It saddens me when life moves forward and people decide that certain things are worth forgetting.

On language
I've learnt that the word irregardless is filed as a non-standard word in the English language. That's a lexicographer's way of saying it's not a real word.

On politics
Crowds are fickle things. So when we stand in the thousands and cry against the present government, do we know who we're actually crying for?

On society
People always want the best for themselves. But I want to sometimes take second or third or fourth best, just so that the loser down the road doesn't always have to come in last. It must feel like shit to always come in last.

On growing old
Leasehold property make me feel sad. It doesn't matter how old the family photos are that you put on your wall. It's your family but it's not really your wall.

On philosophy
I ask you, if God loves everyone, and if God is also incapable of loving evil, how can there be such a thing as an evil man?

On a daily basis
One line quips, like this.


Sunday, November 08, 2009

i've never really wondered why critical thinking, as a learning method, has always been the domain of western education. chinese education prides itself in diligence and rote learning but i've never heard of a chinese school that fostered asking lots of probing, critical questions. i've always taken this as a given, but i've recently stumbled on what's possibly the fundamental reason why.

in mandarin, the words for "question" is "wen ti". but "wen ti" doesn't only mean "question". "wen ti" also means "problem". it all clicked. if asking a question is phoenetically identical to introducing a problem, you're not gonna ask many questions.

when someone says "wo mei you wen ti", they are essentially making a simultaneous double comment that when "i don't have a question", "i don't have a problem".

questions are not associated with discovery, wonderment, understanding, truth, or clarity. questions are associated with problems. and nobody wants problems. so nobody asks questions.

i fully understand that the chinese tradition largely ignores asking questions because it's not really the confucian way of learning, which is pretty much one-way traffic from senior to junior. but something tells me that the double meaning of this mandarin term is at least partly responsible for generations of chinese teachers who would rather you just shut up and listen.


Genusfrog [ 3:33 pm ] | 2 comments