Tuesday, October 09, 2007

It's late in the middle of the night again. I'm listening to Ella Fitzgerald and Loius Armstrong. I encoded the whole album to MP3. A gem of an album I bought in the bargain bin in the US. Just puts me in the nostalgic mood...

Anyway, I spend the day shooting in Seremban today. I haven't been to Seremban in years... I think it's been more than 20 years since I ventured into Seremban. Back then, I remembered it was a small town. Today... it's still a small town! We drove around the main Seremban town pass the old bus station and the government buildings. Most of the shop houses look like they were from 1920's.

We were in a small factory in the industrial area. The whole time shooting, I was really sleepy. My body clock is all screwed up. I'm wide awake at wierd hours like now and in the daytime I'm sleepy.

The factory I was at made precision tools. I spied their screws and I asked them if they made screws. They said yes. My eyes brightened up. I told them about the missing screw on my camera and they opened their little drawers and started pulling out screws. Damn, they have a lot of screws. They gave me a few 3mm screws. I was so delighted with my lucky find. When I got home, I discovered it was the wrong tread size. What I needed was 4mm. Damn it! I almost had it!

Anyway... this Ella Fitzgerald and Loius Armstrong calms me down. I used to listen to it a lot in the US. I will pop it into my computer and let it play while I was just hanging out in my room. I used to listen to it in my car in Malaysia but I stopped doing that. I was worried the CD would get damaged. Now that my car radio has a MP3 player with a USB slot, I have a 2GB thumb drive attached to it now. I download a lot of songs and audio books into it.

Before I had the Mp3 player in the car, I used to talk to myself a lot of in the car. I didn't listen to the radio a lot. I don't like listening to radio DJ's talking in the morning. I'm a slow starter. I don't like people talking to me in the morning, I'm grumpy.

So what do I talk to myself about? Mostly philosophy. Wierd questions run through my head while commuting to work and back. Take for example, the past few days while driving I've been wondering why humans want to believe in God. The existence of God is one of the most highly debated topic. Something quite hard to proof. Most of the discussion is now on the proof of Intelligent Design instead of Evolution.

Me, I don't rely too much on God. There probably is a God... or a few Gods. I'm a Buddhist and Buddha says my own salvation depends on me. I make my own karma. No one can bear my burden for me. I'm always reminded of the quote "There are no atheist in a fox hole". It basically means that in times of desperation, we all want to believe in something. I believe it's a human condition as a result of evolution that made us want to believe in God. When we were a few ladders down the evolution chain, we couldn't explain things so we attributed it to God. It was comforting to know that we could affect nature or the course of our lifes by trying to get the favour of God. It's so hard wired into our brain. It's what we do, like how civilizations every where invented societies, bows, growing crops and building homes. It's all random I say. They say it's highly improbable that life started on its own. Hey, but it could right? That's why they don't say it could never happen... they say highly improbable. There is a small probability of it happening... and guess what, it happened! Here we are!

I believe in evolution. Yes, we probably came from apes. Even if Intelligent design is true and that God (or aliens) created life, we have free will (or so we think). One hot summer afternoon in my philosophy class while I was dozing of, I briefly remember my proffesor arguing whether we have free will or not. It goes like this, we are all the result of previous circumstances.

Take for example, a criminal is found guilty for murder of his wife. The judge says it was premeditated murder. Basically the guy thought it out and planned the murder. So it goes to show there was free will in the eyes of the law. However, what if the guy is a victim of his circumstances. What if the guy grew up in a home here abusing women was common? What if the diet he ate everyday affected his mood swings? What if the chemicals in the brains were not of his own control and the synapses in his brain fired in such a way to make him murder someone? Victim of circumstances or free will? Hard to tell the difference isn't it?

That's why I forgive easily... most of the time. Doesn't mean I don't hold a grudge. I always see 'the bigger picture'. When the waiter is slow in service, I try to imagine what the person is going through. Could be they had too many customers or they were distracted. However, if they're just busy chit-chatting away with another colleague then I get annoyed. So for me, there is a fine line that I draw when I decide if someone is the victim of circumstances or if it's their free will that made them do what they do.

Someone gave me a book on the history of philosophy. I read parts of it and all this writers would have been bloggers if they were alive today. They wrote volumes of book and most of them were things that just popped into their head. Hey, that's philosophy. The only reason they got famous was because books were so hard to come by. Today, there's a glut of written material out there. Now we just save the blogs we like to read in our bookmarks. That has become our socrates, Homer and Nietzsche.

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