The thought of starting to blog again has entered my mind quite a few times over the past year. It just take a special day to give it the kick into reality. Unlike its prior self, it will exist simply for myself; a place to sing, to cry, to laugh, to cook, to contemplate the world. It will be a space for myself, even if it exist only in bytes and pieces in cyberspace. I challenge myself to update at least once a week, and to alternate between English and my rusty Chinese. The latter will be a source of hours of agonizingly slow typing but I don't wish to forgo my mother tongue.
So there, cheers to 22nd birthday and the beginning of cangzi 2.0.
A random video that I linked to from watching another equally thought provoking and educational one on TED. This one is "Money and the turning of the Age" by Charles Eisenstein. Here I will paraphrase the parts which intrigued me, along with my own thoughts on the issue.
He started the talk with a little quiz:
What is it that...
pervades all things, knows no limit, has an essence that is immaterial and invisible
yet makes the world go around, direct human affairs,
all things comes from it, and all things return to it
Is it Adele, God, Spirit or perhaps... money?
On closer scrutiny, money does have some perplexing characteristics. It is identical by all means, they are merely symbols on a piece of paper or metal, yet it drives the world forward with the power of a hurricane. 'Of all things man knew satiety, but money knows no limit'. It is unlike any other substance of the universe and is imperishable. As a result we would 'hoard' money and not part with it.
We convert goods and services into money. What used to be a 'gift' economy is now based on money. Business model for the past few centuries has been to find something 'common' and privatise it to convert it into money. Natural resource such as oil, forest, fish, services such as food preparation, entertainment, house cleaning. But what happens when nothing else can be converted into money? Debt builds up and originally productive units, business, farms, homes, are mortgaged into money.
He compares this period of rapid economical growth and unidirectional 'receiving' from Earth to childhood of humanity, raising the question of where is humanity heading towards as it progresses through this stage into adulthood. We would need to reinstate the 'gift giving' culture we left behind. He explored ideas to merge 'money', such as negative interest on bank reserves, to encourage giving instead of hoarding.
Personally I am intrigued by the pictures he painted from his childhood; people singing on buses, community gathering on weekend evenings, food preparation at home etc. I feel that now, with all the distractions and entertainment available, the chasm between people are ever widening. Evangelion and the AT fields keep surfacing when I mull over these thoughts.