Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Why use credit cards? 干嘛要用信用卡?

Why use credit cards?
I like to use cash. Why use a credit card unless it’s to keep track of claimable business expenses, do internet shopping, or spend money that I don’t have at a criminally high interest rate?
They try to make me worry about losing cash. Sure, that might happen once or twice in an entire lifetime. But credit cards could also be lost, resulting in more hassle and greater potential losses if I fail to notice and report in time. The total value of credit card frauds due to lost cards is US$50 billion per year.
Are credit cards more convenient? Not if you live in the city with an ATM on every block. I also find it reassuring to have a couple of weeks’ worth of petty cash in my pocket: My money, in my pocket, for the time being. It feels good.
Most importantly, when using credit cards for no reason other than the persuasive power of advertisements, I know I’d be penalising the average small business operator (who must trim every penny to remain competitive), and benefit banks who have done ZILCH in the transaction except sitting there, waiting to take a cut from someone else’s labour. 
They try to bribe me with bonus points. But bonus for what? Look at all that junk. Do I really need them? Am I going to spend like an idiot in order to move some of these unneeded items from the warehouse to my home? 
Last of all, frequent use of credit cards puts me on everyone’s junk mail list, and leaves a trail of my whereabouts. And what if my ass caught fire in the next financial kaboom? With all the plastic in my wallet, it might just give off toxic fumes.
袋现金怕丢?信用卡也有丢的时候呀!正常人一生总会丢一两次荷包吧,如果丢的是现金,丢了便丢了。假如是信用卡,又来不及报案,可能会引致相等于信贷限额的损失。每年由于失卡所导致的损失是 五百亿 美元哦。

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

小说 “笙歌” 第七章 之(3)“情为何物(下)”

第七章  之(3)「情為何物(下)」








Sunday, 2 October 2011

Bush has surpassed Galileo in Western Science?

In the middle of the 18th century, Carl Linnaeus coined the term Homo Sapiens. By giving ourselves this name, we declared that the most outstanding characteristic about our species is the ability and propensity to think. At the time, having emerged from a long dark history of superstition and religious suppression, Europe was doing a lot of thinking, and had produced many momentous figures. Their critical and adventurous faculties were leading the world into a dramatically different age.
From Copernicus to Galileo, then Newton to Einstein, numerous talented thinking monkeys had used their brains to help us better understand the physical environment and ourselves. This way of thinking may not be perfect. But it was extremely useful and generally valid in everyday life, and remains very much so, just as Newtonian science. Observation, curiosity, a tenacious experimental spirit, critical and uncompromising analyses had contributed to the overwhelming success of modern science since Galileo, the effect of which we still enjoy and suffer today.
Galileo risked being barbecued alive for suggesting the earth goes around the sun because objective evidence said so. He was lucky; he only spent his last years under house arrest. But the spirit of Galileo illuminated an intellectual dimension that the Holy Fathers could no longer keep in the dark. 
911 had finally put a stop to that tradition, officially and publicly. Bush might therefore claim to have surpassed Galileo as the most significant figure in modern science. The Nobel committee, having awarded Obama a Peace Prize, might as well give Bush one in Physics.
A very well informed world of Homo sapiens which witnessed the free fall of three towers, defying known scientific understandings, continues to believe in the official story. Except a brave group of 1500 or so American scientists and engineers, most people are willing to see the sun orbiting the Earth because Washington says so. Some in the scientific community even attempt mumble jumble rationalisations to justify the obviously impossible. Well, many of the brightest men did the same in Galileo’s days, but they had the excuse of not yet having called themselves Homo sapiens.
The scientific (or unscientific) queries surrounding 911 are plain and basic. I will not repeat the numerous objective and irrefutable arguments already presented by others. Those who are interested can do their own research. is by far the best starting point. 
I wish to put forward a few common sense questions for those who don’t wish to be bothered by scientific principles:
1. The first two towers collapsed by free fall, ostensibly due to explosions caused by the airplanes, with remarkable symmetry, leaving the neighbours fortuitously intact. Can the collapse be simulated in an experiment? This is a significant discovery for engineering because future demolition can be made MUCH cheaper (hey, just a couple tanks of airplane fuel splashed all over the place and wham!) if we can understand and master this phenomena. 
Is it being studied in any of the civil engineering labs around the world? Why are we ignoring this opportunity of a lifetime to come up with a new cheap way of controlled demolition that no longer requires painstaking “controlling”?
2. Perhaps it was a freak accident, although TWO freak accidents happening at the same time could itself rewrite statistics and probability. Never mind. 
But there was a third building! Building 7 (the 3rd tower that also collapsed by free fall, something that 85% of Americans are no longer aware of because the media are quiet about it in the spirit of Orwellian Minitrue) was not hit by a plane. It caught fire, somehow, and fainted. It collapsed in the same fashion, by free fall.
The Holy See — sorry, correction, Washington — said it collapsed due to office fire. Well, no towering inferno has ever fallen like this in our entire history. Is anyone in the universities curious enough to analyse this unprecedented structural behaviour with significant implications? 
3. Finally, forget Newtonian science. It might have died. Forget Einstein. We are now in the Age of Bushian science. What about social regulations, something that Bush would have nothing against? 
Three landmark grade skyscrapers in New York collapsed in an apparently impossible manner ten years ago. Some said it was due to a peculiar structural design fault. Has the building code been revised since? Were the designers sued in litigious America? What about other buildings designed and built on similar principles? If they caught fire like WTC Building 7 — a definitely possibility — will they collapse likewise? Has anything been done to safeguard or reinforce these structures to prevent recurrence? You’re talking about possibly saving lives — American lives!
So far, no other building elsewhere in the world has collapsed in a free fall fashion due to “office fire” — the official reason. Does that mean American design and engineering should not be responsibly exported until they have a better idea (expressed in accordance with the fact-seeking conventions of Western science) why Building 7 collapsed?
Western science is much more than a set of theorems and principles. It’s a way of objective thinking that refuses to compromise. This intellectual approach had emerged from a long struggle against the deadly drip of the Church, but can it survive the sophisticated strangling of the modern Church and its powerful propaganda machine? If not, isn’t Bush the latest defining figure in Western science, possibly surpassing Galileo, Newton, and Einstein in a reverse sense?

Published 2 October 2011 on Guo Du Blog


在18世纪中叶, 瑞典人 Carl Lennaeus 第一次用“智人”来统称人类,大家都觉得很恰当顺耳,便一直沿用下来。我们自称“智人”,当时来说也不是完全没有道理。欧洲经过了长期的宗教愚昧,当时已经从漫长的黑暗年代中苏醒过来。一代接一代的伟大思想家和科学家,正为西方的学术传统开花,改变欧洲,改变世界。
婆娑世界的“智人”,目睹 911三座高楼垂直倒塌,完全违反自然定律,竟然可以继续相信华盛顿的官方解释。除了美国有一千五百多个科学家和工程师仍然拒绝改变科学来迁就官方胡言之外,大部分人可以面不改容地相信太阳围着地球公转。人家白宫都这样说,还会假?不少有识之士,还放弃了几百年的西方学术传统,胡说八道的乱扯一通,找很多完全站不住脚的谬论来支持官方言论。这也难怪。伽利略的年代,绝大部分的知识分子,也是千方百计的证明地球是宇宙中心。不过他们当时还没有自称 “智人” 哦!
911 技术上的大量疑点,已经有很多人用浅易明白的科学文字分析得很清楚;我便不浪费时间再在这里重复了。有兴趣的人,可以上网浏览。 我觉得比较全面,是埋手的好地方。
我倒想讲讲几个与科学没有直接关系的 911 现象:
1。 既然两座现代摩天大楼差不多同一时间,以同一个模样垂直倒塌,丝毫没有倾斜,骚扰邻居,效果可以说十分意外,但比较令人满意。既然无意中发现这个现象,我们可否在现代化实验室里再加以了解和分析呢?因为掌握了这个技术,将来拆卸巨大建筑物的时候,可以大派用场。只不过两箱飞机油,漏出来随便燃烧,便可以干手净脚地拆掉两大栋房子。这种技术,掌握了可以立即上市发财。
2。 可能大厦的倒塌,还有其它万中无一的偶然巧合所造成。但两栋一起碰上这万中无一的巧合,也可以说是机会率统计学上一件可圈可点的大怪事。算啦,见怪不怪。
罗马教廷 — 不对不对,是华盛顿白宫 — 解释说“第七楼”是由于惹了火上身,所以也塌了。呃,一栋现代楼房由于火灾而垂直倒塌,是人类懂得建造多层房屋以来的第一次。美国是先进国家,科学发达,难道没有一家工学研究院对这个史无前例的现象存有半点的学术好奇,决心研究研究?
3。 好!不再那么土了。二十一世纪了,不要再罗嗦牛顿定律啦。忘记爱因斯坦吧。让我们从不科学的人文角度看看911所带出的社会问题吧。
纽约的三座摩登大楼,同一天烧不了几个小时便意想不到地倒了。据说是设计上的问题。美国的结构设计,完来有这么大的一个“漏洞”, 事后有没有彻底反省,以防止事故重演呢?美国人最爱诉讼,有没有追究设计责任呢?全美国还有不少其它建筑物的设计,与世贸类似。看到了第七栋火烧几小时便倒塌的惨剧之后,有没有作出相应的检讨和加固手段呢?十年了,纽约的建筑条例有没有作出改善和修订呢?美国式的结构设计,是否仍然可以安全负责地输出到世界上其它的国家呢?

Bush has surpassed Galileo in Western Science?