There is no random

Filed in General

There is no such thing as random. Rather, random is an ordered order, the order of which is beyond our comprehension.

Within the world, everything is the direct consequence of another action and this is true down to the very smallest of the physical and atomic and sub-atomic world. We think things happen randomly because we can't explain them. We use probability to calculate the chances that an outcome will occur but the outcome will in fact be a sure thing if we understand all of the factors involved.

Do people have free will? On the surface, yes. In reality, no. People are chemical and electrical machines. Our feelings are the results of the environment in which we live, combined with the chemical makeup of our bodies. Our thoughts are electrical and everything within our minds is a result of what we've seen or heard. We appear to have free will because we appear to have a choice. In reality, the choice was made before it was shown to us and our decision was never really a free decision.

In science fiction (and non-fiction) circles, people talk about parallel universes. The concept of parallel universes is based on the concept of random outcomes, that even every microscopic movement of air can lead to countless random outcomes. Consequently, all of those outcomes are actually occurring, all at the same time but in different zones of the 'space time continuum'. If random is a fallacy, then so is the notion of parallel universes.

Unfortunately, if random is a fallacy, then so is choice and decision. For many people, that would be the equivalent of fateism and that would in turn lead to apathy. In todays world, that wouldn't be a good thing so it's probably better that most people don't understand the truth about random.

The Anti-Christ nears?

Filed in Current Affairs, General, Hong Kong

Many many years ago when I was still a young person growing up in Australia, a New Zealand evangelist by the name of Barry Smith used to make the rounds of the churches preaching about the future of the world. In very basic terms, his message was the usual "repent or die with everyone else". Many people did convert and become Christians at the time but the end of the world didn't come. However, Barry's message was much more than simply that the world was coming to an end. He included many specifics, his (divine?) interpretation of the prophecies found within the bible. A few of his specifics may have been wrong but many were correct although they occurred much later than he had predicted. You can't fault him on that. Throughout history, many evangelists and foretellers of doom were very enthusiastic to see the end of the world sooner rather than later. Even now, we really can't be sure how close the end is, and if it will in fact actually occur.

In any case, some of Barry's specifics were correct. One in particular was that Europe would become the world power after unification. He also predicted according to the bible that a few more nations would join the E.U. He was much more specific than "a few" but I don't have his book on hand to refer to. In any case, the Euro is now worth far more than the USD which makes sense if you are aware that the U.S.A. is in fact in extreme debt and has been since the early 60's after people from the Bank of England were able to get into the U.S.A. and influence the way the Federal Reserve works. Extreme debt is probably not the best word to use. Broke would be the better word. But if a country is in debt or if it's broke, then someone owns it by virtue of the debts, so who owns the U.S.A.? The Bank of England and its owners. Come to think of it, the money part of this prose didn't come from Barry. It came from another book about the history of money. If anyone is interested, I could locate the book and publish its name for you.

Barry also predicted that governments would introduce money denominations in odd sizes and shapes to confuse their citizens. The ultimate goal was to introduce electronic money as soon as possible. In Australia, they introduced smallish one dollar coins, and even smaller two dollar coins. Some people might explain that this is a reflection to inflation but you can always dilute the metal content of a coin so the size shouldn't be a direct result of its metallic content. In Hong Kong, the government introduced a ten dollar coin to replace the ten dollar note only to re-introduce the ten dollar note again later. The ten dollar coin is smaller than a five dollar coin, and to add to the confusion, the government released new editions of paper denominations whose colors likened the colors of other nominations. The color of the twenty dollar bill is similar to the color of the original ten dollar bill. Confusion reigns supreme, especially in the dark when you're paying the taxi driver. (I once gave a taxi driver a five hundred bill instead of a one hundred bill by mistake and the driver happily accepted the four hundred dollar bonus without a single syllable of surprise or an attempt to pay back the correct change)

So where is this all going? There's a lot more that can be discussed and there are countless books out there that talk about various current and futuristic developments but my point today relates to the death of the Pope.

One of Barry's points discussed the Pope. According to the bible, the number of popes was counted, metaphorically of course. Near the end of the world (well actually at least a thousand years before the the destructive end of the world if you include the thousand years of Christ-reigned peace), a pope would die, another would take his place but not survive long. This pope in turn would be replaced by one who would turn out to be the anti-Christ. The question therefore is how long will the next pope last? I'll be watching even though he might last five or even ten years. In any case, if he dies prematurely; possibly by gunfire; it'll be a sure sign that the future is near, one filled at first with wonder and peace and then followed by world war, the last and the most real of the religious wars of all time.

People will be fooled by the anti-Christ because he'll introduce amazing cures and treatments for illnesses and ailments of all kinds (probably including AIDS), and he'll introduce world peace. That won't be difficult given that government agencies hold many technological secrets within their vaults, and given that the government agencies sponsor most of the war factions out there. One word from the true world leader and all these can be used to seemingly and miraculously bring peace and well-being to the world.

In any case, we'll have to wait and see. As I said before, people have always foretold that the end was near and it never happened. It might be another case of "the sky is falling" and only time will tell.

One other thing that Barry mentioned which is of particular importance in my part of the world refers to communism. Barry said that communism would only appear to go away. It would in fact go to sleep until a time at which it would awaken with more strength than ever more. The Chinese government is truly the subject of this foretelling. While pretending that it's becoming more and more open every day, and that democracy is a possibility, it will in fact always remain communist and it gets stronger by the day. It is however not communist in the true sense of the word. With true communism, every one shares in the profits of the community. With China communism, only party members share in the profits of the community.

For now though, I'll keep my eyes on the new pope.

Comments in Chinese?

Filed in General, Technology

今晚好開心同 @kayeepo 譚嘉儀 合唱歌。舊年喺YouTube 見到佢嘅時候估唔到我會有機會同呢個靚女 Superstar Youtuber 合作。

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Comments in Chinese?

Filed in General, Technology

This is a heads up for those of you who might want to leave comments in Chinese. It's not a problem. I can comfortably read Chinese and even reply in Chinese if necessary.

Multitasking; ie, using the phone while driving.

Filed in Current Affairs, General, Hong Kong

There's a good article over at CNET News.com about Attention Deficiency Trait (ADT). I've seen similar symptoms in my own life. For example, I tend to work on multiple tasks at home; including home repairs; at the same time, moving from one task to the next until they're all finished. I have a hard time completely finishing one task before beginning with the next.

People claim they can talk on the phone while driving. I don't see it. I have tried it, even with hands-free accessories, and for me personally, it is simply not possible to perform both tasks as the same time and be aware of working on each task at the same time. If I focus on what the voice coming out of the phone is saying, my driving goes into auto-pilot mode. If I place extra focus on my driving, for example while driving through a round-about, then I don't really hear (as opposed to 'listen') what the voice on the phone is saying.

As Doctor Edward Hallowell says in the interview; You're brain literally can't multitask. You can't pay attention to two things simultaneously. You're switching back and forth between the two. So you're paying less concerted attention to either one. I particularly like the word concerted.

The message? Don't use the phone while you drive, and use an answering service or a secretary when possible so that you can complete the task at hand without interruption.

No more blisters but…

Filed in GeneralTags:

你們能否猜到我們「香港有寶證」今天在哪兒拍節目嗎?可惜這個有意義的展覽到今天為止。明天已經沒有了
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奇妙電視77台

No more blisters but…

Filed in GeneralTags:

I have been running pretty consistently now for almost four weeks. I'm running at least four times a week. The distance is not far. I've measured it in the car and my normal run is just under two miles. This is suitable for my purposes because I need to give my body time to adapt. It has been a long time since I last ran regularly and my muscles and ligaments will need time to develop again.

The blisters which my first run rewarded me with (four on my left foot and three on my right) stayed with me for almost two weeks. I had to puncture a couple of them because they would not flatten out on their own and even the simple act of wearing shoes would keep them alive. All of the blisters did eventually flatten and dry up. Even so, I left the skin there to dry and scrape off naturally during my daily runs. I conjectured that the dry skin might serve to protect the underlying new skin during my runs, and allow the new skin to develop appropriately before it was exposed to the harsh surfaces of the road and sidewalks.

It must have worked because I don't have any more blisters. Running is now very comfortable except for one thing. My calf muscles are still having problems adapting. Running barefoot is different to running with shoes. With shoes, people land heel first. Without shoes, you land with the ball of your foot. This means that the calf muscles and ankles become shock absorbers (as they were designed to be). My right calf muscle is especially troublesome but I think I might have a solution: stretching!

I've been lazy. Even though I'm running, I haven't been stretching enough before and after my runs. My calf muscles need a special stretching exercise, one which involves standing a couple of inches from a wall and flexing the knee while leaning forward until the knee touches the wall.

Better late than never. I've begun these stretching exercises and will be doing them at least twice a day until my calves feel better and I can run without pain.

Everything else seems to be fine. My heart is having no problems but I'm not pushing for speed yet anyway. Breathing is also easy except when I'm coming back up the slight inclines in the road. My legs and feet and great. So if I can overcome the difficulty with my calf muscles, I should be able to increase the length of my runs sometime within the next month.

I'm not sure where I'll be running though. Running up and down hills is not good for the body but there's almost no flat road around my home. That's something to think about.

The "you're not wearing shoes!" comments keep coming. People simply do not understand that my feet are actually more comfortable without shoes than with.

More next time.

Thy coffee runneth over

Filed in Food & Drink, General

While at the first reading for a new stage play I'm involved in (「香水」 "Perfume" by Springtime Productions to run from May 2 to 11, 2005), a funny incident happened.

I wanted a cup of coffee. While there was a drip coffee machine there, it was turned off and I don't like drip coffee anyway. I'd prefer either instant coffee or coffee made with cappuccino machines. There was a water dispenser but for really good coffee; even instant coffee; boiling water is the best way to go. So I filled a mug with hot water from the dispenser and then placed it in the microwave oven for just over a minute.

After taking the mug out of the microwave, the water was still boiling but not in a normal way. The bubbles were smaller and more vigorous. Without another thought, I dropped a teaspoonful of coffee into the cup.

The reaction was instant. The water and coffee immediately foamed up and overflowed the mug, running down the front of the cupboard. There was a familiar click to the right of me. It was the sound of a fuse going off but I couldn't see a fuse box nearby and I couldn't understand why my coffee overflow might concern a power fuse so I ignored it.

Within minutes though, one of the people in the office was asking why the photocopier had switched off and I realised that a fuse really had gone off. Then while cleaning up the coffee, I discovered why. The coffee had run down the front of the cupboard and poured into a power strip just inside the front door of the cupboard. Apart from the power strip, there were also a couple of network routers, a PABX box, three power adapters and some telephone wiring. Somehow, I don't think they should have placed electrical equipment inside the kitchen cupboard.

Anyway, I unplugged the power strips, turned the fuse back on and everything was fine again.

The way that coffee foamed over was pretty incredible though. I remember reading somewhere that the bubbling is caused by expansion of air within the small crevices and cracks in the surface of the mug. The temperature of these bubbles can get extremely high and lead to the kind of reactions that I saw last night.

So, if you need to heat up water for a cup of coffee, using a microwave is fine as long as you don't leave the water in there for too long.