20 November 2006

oh the mountain

after missing a week of classes (which incidentally was meant to be my most stressful week of the semester), i am having to make up all my work in one day. it's 1 o'clock in the morning now, and i would say that i'm about 2/3 finished with the work i have to do. i finished my statistics project, and now i feel like i have statistics coming out of my pores. i finished my dictation project for comprehensive musicianship. i still have a dictation homework assignment to do for that class and i have to study for a portuguese test. i missed two statistics quizzes while i was gone, but thankfully she drops our two lowest quiz grades. i just have to make sure i don't miss any more. by the grace of God (and my music history professor), my 10-page paper on the prague spring music festival which was due last thursday has been extended to next tuesday. that's truly a blessing, since i haven't done much with it, and it would be impossible for me to try to tackle that before the thanksgiving break.

meanwhile friends, i would ask that you all please keep my grandmother in your prayers, if you believe in prayer. she is 91 years old and in her final days now. she is a pure and loving soul, very precious to me.

02 November 2006

i've been thinking...

what if the receipt of our everyday resources and needs depended upon the generosity of others? imagine going through each day knowing that the food you eat, the water you drink, the energy you consume... were all supplied through selfless donations of other people in the world. would you still let the water run the entire time you brush your teeth? would you still leave the tv on when you left the house? would you still throw away the food you don't finish eating? or would you save it for later?

i have been thinking the past few days about capitalism, and how the whole economic structure is based on the idea the humans are ulitmately self-interested. if we develop enough capital by promoting our own selfish desires, we can rise out of poverty. the problem with this model is that since it is all based on self-interest, who will help the poor? the most self-interested people will be the ones with all the money. as a result, they will waste all the resources they have because (since they are self-interested) it doesn't matter if everyone else has enough food, water or energy. decisions are based on immediate gratification for the self, not long-term happiness for all people. one friend suggested to me that maybe the idea behind capitalism is similar to the idea behind darwin's natural selection. the most self-interested people will be the ones to survive, and all the poor will die off. i dont think a capitalist would ever admit that, but it does seem to be the only way this model holds up. and in that case, in any given generation the least self-interested would die off, decreasing the population by more and more each time. then we would eventually be back to adam and eve. i guess everything comes full circle.

ok enough of that. i'm not saying it's actually going to happen. just since i've been thinking about these theories and concepts, all these ideas have been coming to mind.

so what about an economic system that is not based on self-interest, but one that is based on selflessness. of course, this would require a general shift in consciousness of popular society. but should that occur, and should such a system be adopted, our resources would certainly last longer. we would find ways to save money and resources across the board, because it would become more apparent that we're all in this together. not only would be concerned about the resources we consume, but we would also be more concerned about our interactions with other people. suddenly your own survival is partly dependent upon how you treat others. in this type of system, selflessness is actually in one's own best interest. kind of paradoxical i suppose.

i would love to hear your opinions on this. my thoughts aren't totally sorted out yet, and i'm not even sure how coherent this post was. but i would really enjoy hearing what you think.

01 November 2006

a woman meowed at me today. do i look like a cat?!

oh man, i know i've been terrible about updating...the semester has really kicked in. you can expect my next decent and well-thought-out post to be during my next vacation. in brief, here is what my halloween costume was:

can you all guess what i am? people have been guessing it wrong all day long...