Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Philosophy and Uncommon Sense V2.3

Its 1 month into 2007 and our blog site is still deep in the still water, untouched since and yours truly here has now taken the liberty to post the first blog for 2007.

How has 2007 been for us here in Malaysia? Well it's a rather sad turn for us here with 2 prominent bloggers being hauled up in a Civil Suit by a leading newspaper. The Press now resorts to the court to go after minnows. With all their $ and exposure, they choose to go after fellow bloggers in the name of freedom and justice.

A philosophical question here is, can there be real justice if one party is a huge giant with all the funds and lawyers $ can buy and the other party is a mere mortal man on the street with a pen/ keyboard on his fingertips. Is the pen mightier than the sword? Will David be able to withstand Goliath? Anyway, will there ever be any real justice anywhere in this world we live in? Some say justice can only be sought in the after-world (if there is such a place).

On my personal front, how has my journey into philosophy been so far? Well it started before 2007, with a fellow blogger here IO who suggested reviving or starting a Philosophy Special Interest Group with a retired politician speaking at a talk to kick start this group. That idea is probably going ahead although when, I'm unsure. I also met up with another fellow philosophy blogger YJ who told me our "Matrix Trilogy" movie-thon cum discussion may proceed this year.

Another friend of mine at a Think-Tank has got me interested in Islamic Philosophy/Religion which we debated/ argued for 2 hrs around midnight recently. Last weekend at a kiddos birthday party of a friend of mine whose kid turned 3 yrs old, I met the grandfather of this kid who is a well known artist in Malaysia and we started to talk about life, philosophy and consumerism. That got me interesting in talking/ writing about consumerism and how many become slaves to brand, fashion, shopping malls, credit cards and spending.

Which brings us to the question, how much do we need to live a reasonable good life? What are "needs" and what are "wants"? Do you need to change cars every 5 years? Why are "durable" products no longer durable today, i.e. they fail 1-2 years after your warranty expires? Is technology so advance that producers can build in a failing device to fail a product after in use for a short while? Why must we upgrade software which we really don't need? How much of a software upgrade for mobile phones or other digital equipment like digital camera do we really need? Should we go for faster, better, quicker, efficient etc.?

With all the above, has our quality of life really improved or worse still, deteriorated?

I've decided not to participate in the race and made this decision many moons ago and where possible, resist change.

So I now own a 4 year old mobile phone (without camera and colour screen), drive a 23 year old car, shop at factory outlets, pay a bit more for really "durable" goods possibly minus the "gadgetery bells & whistles", avoid goods that we don't really need e.g. toys for man etc., carry a real notebook made of paper and scribble with a pen, keep addresses in a book that will never crash or get virus infected and avoid reading magazines with glossy covers that has no substance (ever notice that we pay $ to buy/ read magazine advertisements since advertisement forms the bulk of most magazines nowadays). Most of my non-essential money is now expended on books, my only sinful past time!