Review of 2012 : A Year in Blogging

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 5 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

What’s Wrong With Western Science?

Western science has been a tremendous force behind the advancement of human civilization for the last 300 years or so, and the benefits it generated are as evident as they are numerous. But like everything beneath the heavens, it is not perfect.

Let’s look first at the positives of western science, which are plenty to say the least. The emphasis on the observation of “observable facts” and the collection of “quantifiable data” are both empirical foundations in western science. Combine that with “experimentation” and the testing of hypothesis before it becomes thesis, you have yourself an extremely effective “system” of answering questions with ostensibly “observable answers”. I say it is effective because it really is. From medical technology to transportation technology, and not to mention the ever expanding electronic and digital computing science; western science has allow us to transform the way we live in mere decades, and it will continue to do so. These are the actions of western science, an area which it excels in, but what of the underlying morals that guides these actions?

The problem with western science is that it lacks an underlying set of morals to guide its super-effective actions, this lack of morality comes from a dearth of deep and clear understanding of the world and it’s natural patterns and tendencies, an area which is fundamental to Oriental science. The nature movements of the seasons, the changing of the weather, the never-ending cycle of sun rise to sun set, these are all observable facts in both Oriental and Western Science, but western science only sees these as “observations” or “physical and chemical reactions” in motion, while Oriental science digs deeper into these observation to see clearly the “nature” of our world. Oriental Science goes deeper than to say there are “+ and – charges”, “protons and electrons”, it explains the nature of opposites combining to form an ever-changing world, a world of “yin and yang”, and a world where humans are actually equals with “heaven and earth” and not a product of it, so as to instill a sense of respect for the world around us in order to co-exist with it as we advance forward with technology, it’s like getting along with your partner of the group project of your life.

What western science suffers from is a absence of  “responsibility” in their questions and action, that comes from an overall lack of respect for the world which they can “observe in detail” but cannot “understand with clarity”. This problem is as much a product of western philosophy and religion (individualism, democracy, “God gave us this Earth to”, etc.) as it is the influence of an unwarranted “Western Pride” that has co-developed with European imperialism and expanding technological advancement since the 2nd Industrial Revolution. Many authors and film-makers has warned us about the “irresponsibility” of western science, from films like 2012, I am Legend, Prometheus, Planet of the Apes to childhood books like Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax. They are all warning us of this “slight mishap” within Western science, and that if we do not start to change it soon, it will amount to momentous disaster. That or they can start reading the “I-Ching” aka Classics of Change, the building block of Chinese culture.

I Miss My Friends..

Rarely do I express my “softer” side, but that doesn’t mean it does not exist.

Knowing that most of my friends have come home for Winter break, and seeing them post pics of meeting up with old HS homies really gets my emotions going and reminds me of just how much I miss you all. I miss talking to you guys, spending time together, and just being in y’all’s presence.

Making it worse are my painful injuries (in my ankle, and knee) which keeps from training and gives me the time to sit around and think about my old HS homies and how much I miss them. But do not worry, time flies, and it will be soon before we see each other again, so I am gonna try my best and learn as much as I can, so we’ll have something to talk about when I get back.

In the meantime, I am going to send y’all my best wishes for this Holiday season, have yourselves a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. The Mayan Calender might end tomorrow, but I believe it is just the start of new, and better future. Our future.

PS: Seeing people posting KBBQ pics and Boba pics really get my stomach missing things too. But if you would like a Happy Holidays msg from me on “why I miss ya”, you can just like this post or like its counterpart on fb, since I am nursing injuries, I got lots of time.

Martial Arts is kinda like Writing

Two of my favorite pastimes, other than to sleep and eat, would be martial arts and writing. I might not be that great at either, but I really do enjoy both and in return they provide me with a chance for growth.

Though apparently unrelated, they are actually quite similar. There are hundreds of different forms of martial arts (JKD, TKD, Wushu, Muay-Thai, K-boxing, etc.) just like how there are many ways to write, some more flashy than others, some more narrative based, some more report-like, and others more journal-esque. But no matter which form you chose, they can all get the job done. Whether it is avoiding conflict with technique or communicating your ideas with writing.

Just like how there isn’t a “best form of writing”, there also isn’t a “best form of martial arts”. It depends very much on the practitioner/writer himself. It is the person that makes the form, not the form that makes the person. Depending on the situation and the parties involved, some forms can be more effective than others. If you are writing to an individual of humor and culture, a more flowery form of writing with satire and content would serve much better than a simple, bland, straight to the business one. If you are fighting a very long individual whose reach is greater than your own, than a form that involves close contact (which eliminate  long-range attacks) such as judo, grappling, and wrestling would be better served than per-say TKD.

Even the actual process of learning are very similar. In martial arts, you start with basic skills of flexibility, stances, and punches just like how one starts with vocabulary, grammar,  and intellectual thought in writing. Then one moves on to  “structural forms”  such as long fist with combines the kicks and stances together,  like how we first learned the Jane Shaffer format and “1CD and 2CM” or the later “Thesis-3  body paragraphs-Conclusion” format of Eng Comp. This second stage of structural writing and practicing of martial arts can be quite long depending on individual understanding and talent. Most students in college or even working college grads still use very “formulated” or “structured” ways to write (not that there is anything wrong with that), just like how numerous excellent martial arts practitioner are still stuck on doing techniques in predetermined order and style.

The most difficult step would be to “Make it your own”, to make your writing style “yours”, or to make your martial arts form “second nature”. It takes decades of practice and daily repetition with thought, even then most aren’t able to achieve this level. Which is why not everyone who writes for 30 yrs is a published author and not every Wing-Chun practitioner of 30 yrs should open gyms and teach class (though most of them do, sadly) . But if you don’t practice day after day, then I am sure you won’t make any form “your own”, whether it is in regards to writing or martial arts.

Why is Everyone “Gangnam Styling” ?

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So, I just found out about “Gangnam Style”.

Please excuse my lack of  knowledge about pop culture, but after being in a temple for the past 5 month, I haven’t been tuning in to the world as much as did before.

Anyways, now that I am off on break, I am seeing this “Gangnam Style” every I go, at basketball events, Communist meetings, elementary schools, even senior Tai-chi Championships. I am taken aback at first cause I really didn’t know what it was, it was only until I met google did I found out that apparently some Korean named PSY has beaten my “boy” Bieber’s Baby on the Youtube all-time view list.

Sure, it has catchy tunes, interesting animistic dance moves, minimal social satire in the lyrics, but can anyone please explain to me why this stuff is so contagious that it has reached almost every age group in every corner of the world? Really this is a legit question, cause honestly I thinks is a valuable question to ask.

Just want to throw that out there, please comment below, post on fb, or email me at koshimomo@gmail if you think you know the answer.

A World Without Boarder: Mission Impossible or Optimism?

As I learn more about human beings and our beginnings, I began to observe  undeniable similarities between different ethnicity  countries and people. There seems to be a common bond that keeps us together, much like the attraction of different charges within an atom; though different, they all function together to keep the world intact as a whole in a very systematic yet complex cycle.  Humans have an inextinguishable tendency to be attracted to other humans, studies have shown that when put in a completely dark room, a human will search immediately for first sign of warmth. When two humans are put in the dark room, they will inevitably look for another. The same does not occur with animals, minus a few intelligent species similar to humans (such as Chimpanzees, Orangutans, and apes).

I foresee a world in the future, maybe a hundred years from now, or maybe thousands, where all ethnicity and races are living together in harmony under the the flagship of one world, because we are too similar to be divided by the boundaries of cultures and nations. In that world, we will seek to achieve commonality, while saving individuality, for one of the greatest threats to unity will be each group’s fear of losing their own culture and identity. One of the “car-pools” to get to this world is the education with responsibility, we all know that the expansion of education can help increase awareness and all that, but what kind of education? There is not enough responsibility placed upon the contents of education, and more importantly the directional compass behind the contents, in western education today. We learn so much about individuality and seeking to become the “best you can be”, that we sometimes become too shrouded in our own “confidence induced narcissism” that we forget about the commonalities we share with everyone else on this planet and the moral responsibility we have as living organisms and citizens of this world to sustain and improve its systems as we co-evolve with it.

But to get to this “future’ I am referring to will be hard and long…….very long.  The few giants standing in its way will not move easily. One of them is economic profits, profits generated by third-world low-labor and first-world high prices, profits from exploiting and destroying natural resources in developing nations, and profits from the government fed war-industry that still stands as the number 1 industry in the world, miles ahead of the drug one that we never seem to forget (as we should not). Behind the profits, are some undeniably human characteristics  such as greed. On top of that, we have the unreasonably wasteful lifestyles of the first-world, which has now become socially acceptable and wrongly deem as an “example” that the developing nations are now all striving to be. And I haven’t even began to mention the cultural differences so often exaggerated by our own false sense of “pride” and the religious conflicts so often set ablaze by the blood of ignorant extremists, whose puppeteer is to blame. The world I described above is far, far away from the one we live in today. But that doesn’t mean we should not strive for it, because I think it is worth striving for.

You all know MLK’s dream, well I guess this is my dream.

I Am Still Alive…

I would just like to make it known that I am still alive despite being absent online for the past 3 wks or so. (which I guess is a big thing nowadays, to be off-line for such a “prolonged” period of time) And I would also like to thank everyone who thought “thankful” thoughts about me around Thanksgiving but weren’t able to get them to me, don’t worry it’s the thought that counts, which is why I had thankful thoughts for you guys too.

Quick news update as of late. I am no longer at the Shaolin Temple, I left about a week ago for an early Chinese New Years Break, it’s basically like the only-est Holiday and the biggest holiday here, so they were quick to give me an early leave for break. There was also a big snow storm at the temple a bit before that, which destroyed the little electricity we had (thus causing me to disappeared from the internet) and the temperature dropped to around 0-10F  with us still having no heating of any sort. But the real reason I left early for break was because the homies I trained with all left for 3-month long performance tours at Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, and etc. , and I really dislike training alone.

Since a wk ago, I have been living in Xinjiang with my family, where it is even colder than the Temple (from -10-0F) but thank god the heating here bring it back up to the 70s. I have been practicing with the University Martial Arts team here, and also training with the  State Sanda & K-Boxing team on the odd days to sharpen up my reflexes. I just got back from the State Championship Wushu Competition a couple days ago, where my university practically dominated all events even though we only had 13 athletes (plus me), even though I didn’t even attend their university I was able to go and compete for fun in my specialty “The Mantis Fist”. Yeah, FYI, anything is possible in China today, depends on whether you have what it takes or not.

My daily schedule now consists of training in warm gym and get sick cause the outside is so cold when I leave, watching NBA games online in the morning cause of time difference, and going to see retired, or “lazy” NBA players playing for CBA teams live at night. T-mac is in town next Monday, so if you want autographs, let me know. Though you won’t get them till I get back in 6 months.