Freedom, Security, and Trust
I spent an hour at the gym today. Of that period of time, my average heartbeat per minute was 147. That means in that hour I spent 8,820 heartbeats. That is 0.000882% of my life spent. It is an odd concept to judge life in heartbeats rather than time.
Time is a relatively strange concept to begin with. And much stranger yet is how time is perceived by different cultures. A western view is more precise about timing, whereas an Eastern stance is more fluid and general. Thus we get the term "Asian time" implying being 30 minutes or so late. It is not out of disrespect, but just the norm.
I do not wish to die. But I know that one day I will. Knowing that our time on this existence in this form is limited allows us to plan ahead. Sometimes we stray from our paths that we lay in front of us, and other times the path simply disappears and we must find another. It is like a mini-game. Although I personally do not care too much for it and would rather much prefer to spend adequate time on the path, where I would be able to plan time to spend wandering.
I do not agree that there needs to be a choice made of security over freedom. Moderation is the key to most things, and security and freedom are not by any means exempt from those rules. The degree of freedom that a person requires varies on that individual. Many would not abuse total freedom and would rather much live in a world without freedom with the hope of security. I personally need very few freedoms to be content, but I would prefer to have those freedoms allowable.
Trade-offs must be made in order to accommodate the future. In order to live in a society, we must trade our personal freedoms in order to live with one another in an acceptable manner. The root reason behind this is because we all have different comfort levels to which we should exert our freedom. Everyone has a different level of intimacy that they are willing to share with strangers. For some it is none, whereas a few people would be willing to share their life stories. If something as integral to living as water and air has no agreeable point, then certain freedoms must be sacrificed in order to accommodate. People vary in their capabilities and understanding. Empathy is lacking.
People have different conceptual agreement of what security means. But most people agree on basic security such as the idea that we should not murder others. The irony of this fact is that we punish those that commit murder through death. This basic security requires us to give up the freedom of sporadically killing people. And I am glad to give this freedom up in order to have that known security. This is but one of the basic security we grant ourselves by partaking in a society with those rules. Each rule that the society promotes is at a sacrifice of our personal freedom. There is nothing that can be said to stop it. Personal freedoms and personal securities are complementary. They are two sides of a coin, or two cuts in a pie. What cut of the pie is larger is dependent on the choices we make today. Which freedoms are we willing to give up in order to guarantee certain securities?
This is basic knowledge. But the more pressing concern is what happens when you have given up your freedoms and still are losing the security? What happens when you sacrifice so much without any guarantee in the security to be delivered to you? There are many issues today that arise in which we sacrifice certain personal freedoms, assuming that we gain certain securities. This is mostly true, but when it fails we falter and fall back a little. We reexamine the issue and question how could we have prevented the action. Of course, the only way to prevent actions is to give up more freedoms. So the question of what freedoms one can live without is tied to the question of which securities must they have in order for their optimal comfort? This varies on individuals, but can be grouped by cultural norms.
There are seemingly quintessential securities such as life. But we cannot promise it without giving up the act of killing, which can be done either on purpose or accidentally. And in order to prevent those things to occur, every action must not be audited, but preemptively examined. Actions that have the chance of taking a life would have to be completely removed. Such things as gun ownership would have to be removed. Martial arts would have to be outlawed. We would not be able to participate in many of the sports that we take part in today. All of these add risk. Since the banning of these things seem quite ridiculous, there is another option at hand. And that is to have not a complete guarantee of the securities, but to give a high probability of the security to be provided. And that is the approach we take part in today.
The world today is filled with these trade-offs. And the point at which we chose to make the trade-off of freedom and security should be examined with deep scrutiny at every point in turn in order to ensure that it makes sense today as much as it did when it was first put into place. Since the world around us is quickly adapting due to ingenuity of the human mind with its endless thoughts, there are better means to combat these risks. Examples of these preventatives can be seen everywhere, from sporting gears to techniques in cooking. Even the invention of language was a preventative, as it allowed us to pass down certain knowledge that would help prevent death.
However, each of these things have a drawback and thus we must be a bit skeptical. There are peculiar instances where the introduction of risk-reduction actually adds additional risk. An example of this is the original boxing glove. This help prevent boxers from injuring their hands when throwing punches. However, by doing so, it had the side-effect of making it much easier to punch people in the head with more force. By reducing the damage the hand took, people were more willing to do these knock-out blows and thus added a higher risk into the sport.
We should not be too easily accepting of new tools or mechanisms. But if the evidence does prove to mitigate risk, then we should integrate it piece-wise. If it works in the sample group, then it should be integrated to everyone. We already see this being done today through our several layers of bureaucracy. But those organizations should be examined with even more scrutiny than they give to these things. Through preemptive examinations, we can attempt to ensure that the organizations are performing in a manner that reduces risk.
But at the same time, we have to have a certain level of trust, otherwise we would spend all our efforts in our days watching everyone else. We have to be able to trust one another else the system implodes. So the question that arises is how much trust can we give? How is trust earned
We must be able to trust others in order to guarantee securities. This means that our society must be structured in a way that it is built upon trust. But this trust must not be blind. This trust must be earned. Trust blindly given out is a bad idea. Trust earned makes much more sense because it implies a sender and a receiver. Trust should not be a broadcast, but be a direct line from one individual to another. In this way, we can truly guarantee the trust.
This trust can be transiently given to others, such as when asking a friend for help. And let's say that the friend does not know how to answer, but they know that someone they trust knows how to respond. And thus the trust is transiently given. However, the question comes down to if the trust that was transiently given permanent? Or does it have to live through the medium of the middle-friend? I believe this trust should be at first through the middle-friend, and if over enough time, the receiver deems the sender agreeable and vice versa, then the trust relationship can begin and the middle-friend is no longer necessary.
The reason I bring up this trust issue is in the case where the trust in the middle-friend is lost, does that mean the trust between the two endpoints is removed? It can if the trust was transient through the medium of the middle-friend.
But this assumes that the trust is validly agreed upon by both individuals. And it assumes that neither one is devious. Because even if one side is dubious of another, how can they truly know if the other is devious? By making the assumption that no one is devious, we will run into many times where we will falter and fail. This is indeed non-ideal, but given the circumstances, there is nothing better. It is a harsh fact of reality that we must live with. A general rule of thumb is that trust once earned should be kept until that trust is lost. Trust should be broken through auditing, not preemptively.
However, if one becomes questionable, then that can signal the beginning of the trust being broken. At which, it may be brought upon the one in question's attention in order so he can either reconstitute the trust or break it off. In order to trust an untrustworthy source, they must be given a trust exercise. If they answer correctly, then they be trusted. If they do not, then trust is lost. Of course, this should not be done over in the course of a single try because people make mistakes. But if over the course of a decently large set, if the outcomes are less favorable than desired, then the trust should be broken. This is the bases of security questions today. We ask several questions expecting positive answers. The security questions are posed to us in order to check whether we can be trusted.
Do not give up all your civil liberties. Choose the ones you require. Hold on to them as your precious. If everyone does so, then we can come to common grounds on what is required to move forward. If there are divergent thoughts, then let that be. Let those that deem certain liberties too strong band together and live with one another like-minded fellows. Let us trust one another that we know what we want.
And if our mind changes later, let us be able to readjust to the scenario. Humans are creatures that can adapt. It is in our history. It is in our blood. We can coexist peacefully through discussion. Our ability to reason is what got us this far. Let us continue relying on it rather than other means such as intimidation or fear. Logic and reason are reliable means to pursue all our endeavors however big or small.
Sacrifice a few freedoms, but not the ones you cherish. We all need liberty. For what is the point living if not to be able to express yourself? To learn. To advance. To push yourself to the limit. What is the purpose of life if not to dare - dare to do and dare to dream? Of course, I am talking about positive actions, in which pain and risk should not be a likely outcome, however still possible. We must risk in order to truly live. A life lived without the risk of failure is a life much similar to that of a machine. We are men. Not machine. We may strive to be machines in our workplace, but do not live like one in life. Dream. Risk. Fail. Rinse and repeat. The only true failure is the failure to stay down and not get back up.
On a side-note, trust and friendship seem to be correlated in a way. You trust your friend to a certain degree, otherwise you would never have allowed them to be your friend. Unless you give out trust left and right, in which case you are positively optimistic about people's behaviors. I salute you for your bravery, but I warn you to be vigilant. Friends are people that you confide in. But this also means responsibility on your part, for you should expect them to confide in you. Friends are people that you can support, and whom can support you. Friendship should very much be earned. However, do be friendly to everyone. Being friendly to a person does not immediately make them your friend. It simply eases the process if you decide that it is wise to do so. Treat everyone as a friend, but do not assume you are friends with them. Lend a helping hand with possible. Be amicable....
One day my time will be up. That is one of the only certainties in life. I am not scared of death. My greatest fear is not of death but of leaving too early. I do not like leaving things half-done. I would rather much prefer to have everything I sought to do accomplished.
Self Pity and Automation
It has come to my attention that the last 23 years of my life have amounted to very little. And I do not think that I will accomplish very much, if anything, in my lifetime. But I will try my best to record whatever information I can and perhaps leave an impression for the future, even how undoubtedly unlikely it may seem.
What I have learned in the last near quarter century is that there is so much breadth of subject material in existence today, and a myriad more that has not been discovered. There is seemingly endless depth of most of these topics, and yet we have scratched but only the surface of many. I am astounded. Left in pure awe of the human capacity to grow. For all our many faults, no matter how overbearing, we have surpassed them in unimaginable manners. For every single vice, we have but virtues to look up to and act as our crutches in times of despair. Even if we seem to stumble every once in a while, we always seem to get back up. And in that fall, we re-imagine the world.
We begin to question things even further and develop ways to solve the problems of the past. The past is forever haunting our every movement. Which is not necessarily an evil, but if it was an evil, I doubt if it would be a necessary evil. We can predict the future. We have not only the resources today, but the data to light the path ahead. I frequently entertain the notion that the world we live in is quantifiable. I know that this assumption is a simplification of our world, leaving out the qualitative values behind actions such as motive and reason, but when playing with large numbers, these qualities seem to not take into effect as much. These qualities are more anomalies than norms, and for the most part also have a counter to them, that will be part of the sum. And thus a simplified version of the world, stripped of qualities that are perceived relative to the viewer rather than as an absolute on society's scale, play very little. It is difficult for a single man's view to override a system, although it does happen every once in a while. And I hope, for the tomorrow's sake, that these occurrences happen more often than not and one day become the norm, because otherwise I do not see how we can continue exponential development technologically. And I do hope that we will be able to develop a better future through adaptation of our life with technology.
I am in favor for a more automated future. I do not see how we can progress onto a higher level of understanding if we have to work and toil the earth. I do understand the consequences of automation, such as removing jobs, which implies removing a source of revenue in which lives depend on. But I find that belief quite perpendicular to that of progress for the human race as a whole. The reason I hint at this is because we need more free time to pursue our own whims. Because in our pursuits of dreams, we are bound to meet failure, and in those falls we grow so much more than we would ever would. And for every time we fail, we will grow stronger. And if we truly believe in our dreams, the passion will drive us. People will become ardent and fervent. This will rekindle their passion, and in turn, amplify their capacity for growth and understanding. People will grow to understand that every other individual is attempting to do the same in their lives. This, in turn, would mean they can identify with other people for they have walked not only a mile in their shoes, but a lifetime.
Would it not be marvelous if we were to retire the word empathy for not requiring such a word? I know how odd that sounds, as empathy drives us to do compassionate things for our brothers, but what if everyone innately possessed the characteristic? The word would be as useless as the word water would be for a fish. But enough of that, the time for such a thing to occur is much further away than I will see in my lifetime. People are not creatures of change, but of habit. It takes a strong force of will to encourage us right now. And unless we grow the habit to be willing to entertain ideas without accepting them, we will not be able to move forward.
The qualms of not having resources to spend seems peculiar in a world filled with so much. And in order to push for a more automated world, we would have to allow for the basic necessities to be met without the requirement for work. Such things as food and shelter would need to be given out freely. This is indeed a dangerous discussion - much like opening a Pandora's box - but please just relax and read on. This is an opinion that you may not share, or even be the opposite that you have conceived. But if it is different, then is it not a penny of your time? Through conflict and strife, opportunities arise. Let this be but one of those opportunities. A young man already thanks you for expending the time to read this.
There is a notion that people are by nature lazy. I agree to this. We may naturally be indolent creatures. But what separates us from other organisms of this planet is our capacity to think. And with this, we have the ability to innovate. To live in a world of imagination. And by accessing this world every once in a while, we are allowed to dream of novel ideas and inventions. And this gives us the ability to progress even further. For through our imagination, we are encouraged to pursue boundless whims. Through laziness, we grow endlessly in the quest for more effective means.
People think laziness means that we do not want to do anything. I do not agree with that, but for the sake of argument, I will accept that notion as truth. If people do not want to do anything, then we would would be quite primitive and underdeveloped as a species. We would not have the ideas of societies. Heck, we would not have language because language takes energy to learn and teach. Now by not having language, this would mean you would not be able to understand what I am writing right now. But since you can comprehend this, then you have already expelled some of your energy to consume knowledge. Now you would argue that learning was forced upon you. Now that may be true for some, but how does that explain the multitude of people freely pursuing education? I am not talking about the increased number of people attending schools, colleges, and universities. I am more along the lines of addressing people that go out of their way to learn things. People returning to school, not driven out of the workplace but for the sake of knowledge. People that attend meet-ups, go to seminars and conferences. The people that participate in these gatherings willingly, and not because it is the better option of skipping out of work, but because they are driven to want more. For the sweet succulence of knowledge is an addiction that is hard to shake off. These people will help usher in a brighter future.
I do not want to ask the simple question of whether you are passionate about anything to the extent that you would want to pursue it for the rest of your life. Because I know that it is a foreign concept to many. For myself, doing a single thing for the remainder of my days seems unfathomable. I am too quick to change. And through my exploration of the world, I have discovered quite many people that go out of their way to not do anything. To not want to learn. To become settled in to a rigid schedule of day in and day out until the day they die. I have met people that seem to be completely functional and content, without dreams or hopes. And that is all right. I do spend time questioning whether it is a fault of their upbringing or if it was entirely in their nature. I am okay with the fact that there are people that do not want to pursue more. That there are people that do not want to spend the time or energy to grow accustomed to a world to only have it disheveled. But if all the base necessities are provided for them through no labor of their own, they would have very little justifiable complaints? I would rather live in a world where people's needs are met and can complain about other things than not.
People have different skill sets and abilities, in which they have their own limitations of. I truly agree with that, because in my investigation of various studies, I have found myself at a barrier to understand a concept. And even with all the efforts that I spend, I may never fully grasp the idea because of how foreign it is. So I know that people have skill caps and so they would not be able to contribute to the new society. And that is all right, as long as they uphold a conditional. This conditional is quite controversial and even more alarming than this topic that we are discussing, and the conditional is that they are considerate of our current resources and do not waste it. That they become compassionate individuals, not necessarily empathetic, but by the bare minimum sympathetic to others. For empathy is quite a strange concept, and unquestionably tough to master. I applaud all of those whom have integrated empathy into their daily lives, and encourage those that have not to attempt to do so. What a wonderful time it would be to live in if everyone lent a helping hand.
Now you may think this is too ideal and not restrictive enough. That the worst case scenario may occur, in which an individual just messes up the entire world. There must be rules to dictate men for most were born to follow. I currently cannot provide an adequate solution to this issue, but I would love to hear about them. The solution that I have is brittle, for it relies on the society to accept that it is their duty to stop others when their actions are meant to hurt others. This is what is done today, except through a more direct means by shifting the direct responsibility from the citizen to law enforcement officers. But if we have more free time, we would hopefully have more time that we can spend to help others, as well as notice if someone is trying to be disruptive. There may never be a proper solution to this, as you enter a gray zone of freedom and allowed liberties. I do not want to touch this topic today as it is a long winded one and better done as a conversation and dialogue with the varied viewpoints.
People will be unemployed. This will be true because of the skill cap involved in every single person. People may not be able to develop the skills in order to obtain a new job. They will become displaced workers. Now on the other hand, if they wanted to do any work within their skill level, nothing is necessarily stopping them but themselves. They can find similar work outside the work place. The conflict arises when people yearn for something outside their ability, and are not satisfied with what they can achieve. This happens even today, and may not be resolved with switching over to an automated work force. But on the contrary, but releasing certain people from performing remedial tasks, or procedural work, then they can venture into other fields. In which he will be both more satisfied with life and also possibly be able to contribute. So through automation, the lower workforce will be abolished.
If we have automation, we can step toward a world where all our basic necessities are met. Where everyone is fed nutritional meals. Where everyone is clothed in adequate warmth. This is indeed idealistic, but we have the technology to do so. We would just need to implement it. We already have methods to automate full farms. We can automate the delivery system through self autonomous cars, or through trains. For clothing, we have factories that can create enough warm clothing for everyone....
23 years is plenty of time. Almost a quarter of a century, most probably already a quarter of my life has vanished. Seconds turned into still memories, some of which forever lost whereas others are very less than pristinely kept in the minds of not only myself but of others. With every passing day, I question how many people I have actually affected. How many will remember what I have said or done? And if any, what memory would they have of me?
It is odd to think that our life is so fleeting. A life can be measured in a billion heartbeats. It is quite extraordinary that someone made such a measurement, or estimation. Now you can quantify your life in heartbeats if you wanted to. How much will a cup of coffee cost you? A couple of heartbeats more-so for the next few hours so you can concentrate on an important task?
Another question that stems from this is how does the heart work? If you got a new heart that has never beat before, would you have another billion beats to go? If you were to use stem cells to grow hearts from cells of your own heart, will it be interchangeable? Can you get a new fresh start on life like that? Even if it is a 10% of the last, would it work?
Making a small update. Now instead of random text here, this has a few words that I am learning. Two weeks ago, I started using duolingo to learn German. Why German you ask? Well, I thought it would be an easier language to learn rather than an Asian language. And I did not want to learn another Latin-based language since I "studied" three years of Spanish already. So here we are, 15 days later. I felt compelled to also start drawing using a mouse and msPaint. Mixing those two together, I have a few very descriptive diagrams of words.