One of my escapism is to view progress in future technologies.
Technologies such as quantum computer, full-immersion virtual reality, artificial general intelligence.
I am tired of minutiae of life, where to eat, what procedures to follow to achieve goals, what relationships to build, what is the latest trend, how to entertain people, etc.
I have an irrational need to believe that with the arrival of these technologies, which I believe other experts think is coming too, with the exponential growth of technologies, I would not have to worry about these anymore.
I used to think that back in 2014, reading books such as Michio Kaku, etc. But I still have to live life.
Other people are advancing in life by facing reality in the present, and I am living my fantasy in the future, which I think is grander and more worthy of my pursuit. Who cares what watch to buy now, when you can have a post scarcity society. I am putting my life on hold, disappearing for months on end, waiting for future to come, hoping its better than present.
But some things you have to do at present such as buy a new computer, that can dramatically transform your current life, or change your appearance, go for a massage, have a girlfriend, etc.
I am still holding on to the future, if the future I wish does not come in 10 years, I will be doomed, I will be stuck at the level of 20 yrs old, and already 35 yrs old, while other wheezes pass me.
But Shaun, can’t you live your life, and future will come too. Isn’t it irrational somehow in your generation among so many generations to be the one who will not have to work anymore?
Lazada sales, got it for RM561, arrived in 3 days. After using for 8 months, I am very satisfied, this is the clearest and widest screen I ever had, at 24 inches. I thought my previous screen is big, at 23 inches, but it just got bigger and bigger.
My old computer is Dell Dimension E520 (~RM2000), this is my first computer bought back in 2007. My computer is already 10 years old, so I thought I was going to replace it. It lagged extremely bad.
I ordered a new Desktop online and it came in 6 days. The new Dell Inspiron Desktop 3668 (~RM2000) comes with 1TB hard drive! That’s equivalent to 250 movies. It generates no noise unlike my previous Dell Dimension. It looks like the monolith in a Space Odyssey movie, but fatter, black, untouched surface. I wonder what alien computing technology is like.
It also comes with Dell Multimedia Keyboard (English) – KB216 – Black and Dell Optical Mouse-MS116 – Black.
I have used ~160GB out of ~1000GB after 8 months. It also comes with 7th Gen Intel Core i5-7400 processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM, Windows 10, and more.
It is much faster than Dell Dimension. Finally, I can open and use my Spotify, Netflix desktop apps without lag, Google Drive syncs fast.
I can also open many Google Chrome tabs.
So far, I have used it for 8 months. My verdict is, it is totally worth it to upgrade from my 10 years old computer.
Of lovelessness, the author said that the rich still accrue money well beyond what they can spend in several lifetimes because it gives them high status and thus love. Money, fame, and influence are tools to get love. Difference between sexual love and status love is that the latter has no sexual component, people just want to be taken care of and get noticed. Low status brings physical discomfort but the main penalty is to not get love. People don’t like to feel non-existent in society.
Of expectation, the author talked about material rise in America, people are becoming more rich with the invention of many technologies. But this increase in material wealth has increase the fear of deprivation. People keep feeling what they have is not enough. This is because with the rise of material wealth, your neighbors are getting richer too. Humans are weird because they don’t measure in absolute terms but rather in relative terms, even though we are far better than ever, but the fact that your neighbor is better sets the happiness back.
Paradoxically, the author seems to say that fall of religion and monarchy which treats inequality as normal causes status anxiety. This is because in the new ideal, everyone is equal, the poor has no reason to complain, as they are already given the chances. Previously, John of Salisbury (1159) gave the analogy that society is like the human body, the monarch is the head, the parliament is the heart, the people is the feet, each accorded with a body part. Looking from the perspective of the poor, they feel less anxiety because they think this is what God has intended, and everyone has a role to play, they don’t feel bad for being poor.
Of meritocracy, the author thinks that meritocracy causes anxiety. Meritocracy is the thinking that what you achieve in life is based on your skills and wit, and not your heredity. In the past, it was thought that “The Poor Are Not Responsible for Their Condition, and Are the Most Useful in Society”, “Low Status Has No Moral Connotation”, and “The Rich Are Sinful and Corrupt, and Owe Their Wealth to Their Robbery of the Poor”. But now we think that “The Rich Are the Useful Ones, Not the Poor”, “Status Does Have Moral Connotations”, and “The Poor Are Sinful and Corrupt and Owe Their Poverty to Their Own Stupidity”. Being poor in the modern era is more shameful and emotionally wrecking than in the past, of Jesus time.
Of snobbery, the author thinks that snobs generates status anxiety in other people. Snobs are people who look down on you if you have low status, and pamper you if you have high status. Snobs are born from lower status families. Since young, their parents who are also snobs, drill into them the thinking that having low status is not acceptable. Why does snobs cause anxiety in other people? Because people want to gain acceptance from people who shun them. When a snobs shun you, you want his/her attention, so the snobs became so important in our eyes.
Of dependence, the modern worker is very dependent on outside factors for their status, so they constantly feel at threat. Contrast with the past where your status remains quite constant (lords are always lords, peasants are always peasant), to the modern era, when your status can be lost in an instant. The dependence of our status to talent, luck, employer, employer’s profitability, and global economy causes great anxiety.
Now to the solution, of philosophy, the author talked about such philosophy as “What other people think of you can be accepted or rejected through reason”, “Public opinion is the worst of all opinions”, “Just peer through other’s real character, and you will realize most are brutish and stupid”, etc. These help alleviate anxiety.
Of art, the author said that art has its uses. It is a solution to our anxieties. Art through humor, drama, novels, criticizes life and gives us a way to look into life more correctly, remove of anxieties. Art also used to counter snobbery as in Jane Austen’s criticism of the emptiness of life of the rich. What people value highly in life such as richness is not important in novels, what people value lowly in life such as morals are celebrated in novels. Novels also give voice to the minority and unfortunate by letting us peer into the humanity of which we are often neglecting. Zadie Smith’s White Teeth (2000) tells the story of a middle-aged Bangladeshi waiter in London, Jean-Baptiste Chardin’s Meal for a Convalescent (1738) paints a woman peeling egg for a sick person, Thomas Jones paints Rooftops, Naples, and Buildings in Naples (1776 – 1783), Christen KØbke’s The Roof of Frederiksborg Castle (1834-1835). More forms of art such as Tragedy gives us empathy as it relates how common it is to fall from grace. Comedy is used to correct social behavior without making people hurt.
Of politics, the author thinks that status is created through politics. Politics or power gives the people with power to decide what constitutes high status and what constitutes low status. People in power at different era has chosen different people to held them to high status. So, you can see it is a constant changing of who has high status, a cause for great anxiety. However, politics can change that, nothing is set in stone, ideals are not absolute but relative.
Of religion, the author thinks that the thought of death alleviates anxiety. Death allows us to see what is really important in life and what concert of status is fickle. Death also tells us that everything is temporary, nothing is eternal, including people with high status, the kings and pharaohs of the past.
Of Bohemia, the author talks about a movement of a group of “Bohemians”. Bohemians don’t held worldly achievements in high esteem. They dislikes the capitalist and bourgeoise.
Went to Blue Catch Seafood Bukit Rimau with family. It seems that using hand to eat seafood is a new trend in Petaling Jaya with restaurants like Shell Out, etc. Here’s another one with the same concept.
Everything is blueish here, mirroring the sea and ocean. There’s a big drawing of a blue church Dome of Santorini, an Island in the Aegean Sea.
Here comes the long herbal tea tower (RM18). You can change to Bluecatch milk tea, Coca Cola, Ribena, 100 plus, A&W, Sprite, etc.
We ate using hands, with plastic gloves to not dirty our hands.
We ordered the 8 in 1 Blue Catch (RM128) for 4-5 person. There’s chili crab, Kam Heong lala, asam squid, mussels, ginger onion fish fillet, sweet and sour shell, Kung Pao mantis shrimp, buttermilk praw, chili padi New Zealand mussels. The chili padi New Zealand mussels are very spicy, it is covered with minched chili padi. I like the buttermilk chicken, and those shells.
There’s crab cracker tools to help you crack the hard shells of the crab.
This is a book about the mathematician, Grigori Perelman. Grigori Perelman is known for solving the Poincaré conjecture. Poincaré conjecture is one of the Millennium Prize Problems. Millennium Prize Problems are seven problems that are stated by Clay Mathematics Institute in 2000 including the Poincaré conjecture, P vs NP problem, etc. These are some of the hardest problems in mathematics. Most mathematicians would not expect any to be solved within their lifetime. Poincaré conjecture is the only one solved so far, in 2003 by Perelman.
Not only did he solved one of the toughest problems in mathematics, he declined to accept the Fields Medal (described as the Nobel Prize in Mathematics), European Congress of Mathematics medal, and the Millennium Prize. This book seeks to understand why.
The author traces the history of Perelman to the early Soviet Union, how the anti-establishment mentality fostered in the early Russian mathematical community. Then, the early life of Perelman, from his mother, his tutor, his involvement in the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO), his stay at United States, and back to Russia. He is a very ethical man, this quality is why his tutor Rukshin chose him. He returned the grant money left over, argued that this is not his to keep. This may be because in his aspergian mind, this violates his rules. He viewed the world as what it should be, and not the ugly side as in reality.
The author also suspect that Perelman has Aspergers Syndrome, and interviewed autism expert such as Simon Baron-Cohen and quote Tony Attwood. This is interesting because I myself has suspected to have aspergers by psychiatrist. I see some parallel between him and I. The exactitude of rules, inability to picture from others point of view, see politics as pointless, awkwardness, etc.
It makes me angry that some Chinese Mathematicians tried to take credit despite Perelman already solved the problem. Due to the fact that mathematics community gives the recognition to the final solver of the problem (and not the people who contributed in the pieces), i.e. the Fermat’s Last Theorem honors Andrew Wiles. They tried to frame the situation as Perelman being a “giant” contributor of the past to the solution, that is only part of the solution, and not the final solver of the problem. There are more politics going on than actual merit.
The book gives a good view on why Perelman dislikes the mathematical community and why he declined the awards. He is angry that the Princeton mathematicians does not give him tenure as professor despite showing that he deserved it. This was before he proved the Poincaré conjecture. And after he proved it, everyone flocked to give him honors and jobs, despite him already capable before proving to the world, why only now that the world approve of him?
This book has little mathematical content, mostly explaining Poincaré conjecture relating to Topology, and some terms such as Ricci Flow, surgery, etc.
This book reads like a self-help book but more philosophical in nature. Like all self-help books, it may sound logical and transcendental which provokes the feeling of “This is a new way of looking at life I have never look before”, but time will tell if the philosophy is sound, at least for now, it is quite sound.
I picked up this book because I am trying to find some cure to my anxiety, and have no high hopes on this book, but this book surprised me because it gave some good advice and perspectives. The book is divided into two sections, the first gives 5 causes of status anxiety and the latter gives 5 solutions to status anxiety.
Regarding status anxiety, this is a good read too for general anxiety as most of our worries also consists of other people, our status to them, are we humiliated because of our low status. Reading this book, you will see the idiosyncracies of trying to reach high status, why it seems to matter importantly to us, how common it is in the past and present, the futility of our attempts at the end of life. This book is very relevent to our modern lives.
The causes to status anxiety are lovelesness, expectation, meritocracy, snobbery, and dependence. The solutions are philosophy, art, politics, religion, and bohemia.
The author explained it in much detail. If you were to read it, follow the thoughts, and how the premises lead to conclusions. It is not so common sense as we easily lose track in the pursuit of status. Trying to understand social phenomenon is hard, and the author did that in a way that seems logical and sound, on this topic of status anxiety.
I ordered FoodPanda for burgers and fries from Fuel Shack (E Curve). Total: Aloha Chicken RM19.90 (Extra Add Ons: Fanta Orange and Fries) + Original Shack RM19.90 (Extra Add Ons: Fanta Strawberry and Fries) + RM5 delivery = RM47.49.
BBC Tomorrow’s World series – Starting from 1965, ending in 2003, explored what the future is like, very good to see what people in the past think about the future. Many of the technologies did became widespread, i.e. Internet, Mobile Phone.