I MUST EMERGE FROM THIS CHAOS A BETTER ME

How so?

  • calmer
  • cooler
  • more collected (originally I scribbled: "定-er" {thinking of the lousiness of Hong Kong people’s English and my classmate George Cheung who said “I have English” and my mum’s HK colleagues who couldn’t even express themselves or even over the PA “ ‘the airport is approaching us now’ / ‘I am Willy Yau and my name is Willy Yau’ / ‘lo, lo, lo’ when one meant ‘No! No! No!’ / ‘食nunch’ when one meant ‘eat lunch’ "})
  • more knowledgeable
  • better able to manage my time
  • better able to maintain my boundaries
  • closer to God / more godly / more holy / more spiritual — yet still master my mind and intellect and thoughts and feelings
  • mastered more languages
  • mastered my fate
  • mastered technology (“geekier” without the jargon-y trappings)
  • gain more friends (!?)
  • faster typing speed with higher accuracy (fewer typos) and only use touch typing not looking at the keyboard at all
  • better social skills
  • healthier
  • stronger
  • tougher
  • more resilient
  • more eloquent (in speech and conduct esp. online)
  • clearer in communication
  • more diligent and studious and industrious
  • appear more stoic since nobody likes anyone venting or moping around except themselves to gather around themselves a pity party; the vulnerabilities belong to God alone — or should I say, you can only expose to God one’s vulnerabilities?
  • more refined and squeaky-cleaner in speech and not have to spew out expletives like in this little diary entry 31/3/2020 here
  • learn more skills for life and master them like never before, especially tech: data science, machine learning, engineering, science, ethics, education that honours God and doesn’t tear him down

Why am I saying “God” now {relating to God as an unsaved sinner} when in days past it has been “Father” {as a child of the Most High}? Where has the originally intimate connection gone??? I HATE MYSELF.

Apostle Paul:
1 Corinthians 9:27 King James Version (KJV)
But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
2 Corinthians 10:5 King James Version (KJV)
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

This morning I’ve been venting into my diary a lot of things, and in light of the Scriptures, they’re merely ideas that exalteth themselves above and against the knowledge of God, as if these ideas want to tell God they’re “holier than thou” and their existence (aka licence to lodge in my mind to poison people like you, the reader) is justifiable. So let’s leave off writing (oh how I loathe the practice now) and finish the race set before me today.

Privacy and Discomfort

Why do we say we value privacy, but we give away too much of ourselves to apps and large tech companies, knowingly or unknowingly?

I’d like to say a little something about two podcasts I’d heard while I was away from the digital world:

My theory, after listening to both, is that even with security experts, we are reluctant/slow to take actions towards securing our digital privacy (such as changing passwords, not reusing the same password on multiple websites/apps, making passwords ridiculously long, or updating our apps), because “neurologically, everything we do, we do for one reason, and that is to avoid discomfort” (direct quote from Nir Eyal in the transcript of the second link), and securing our privacy on digital devices and services increases our discomfort.

What are the merits and faults of this “tendency to avoid discomfort leads to negligence of Internet privacy” theory? On the point of discomfort, what can we do to lean in to the discomfort, and protect our digital footprint?

This is the kind of thing I hate to write

This is the kind of thing I hate to write

I charm people for a living.

I charmed my teachers when I, an aspiring writer, took up science and maths instead of literature.

I charmed my students when I showed them the wonders of my subject matter when I wasn’t at all convinced with it — I would rather read novels than slog through a book filled with formulas and esoteric terminology.

I charmed the folks I met on the Internet by not disclosing my physical whereabouts except in cases where time zone differences would affect my health, and I almost always only tell people where I live through private channels.

The problem is, the situation is so terrible where I live now that I can’t disguise it with clever wordplay anymore.

And in case you think I could have escaped, you’re right — except that, despite having the right credentials, I can’t even go to the airport now.

I’m a foreigner living on what I’ve believed all my life to be a stepping stone to elsewhere greater, but I’m stuck and the crocs are gathering…

Thank God for technology. I only hope where I live does not become the next Iran.

The real meaning of “Cassandra”

It turns out that “Cassandra” is the female form of “Cassander”, one of the four generals who split up Alexander the Great’s kingdom after the ruler’s death.

“Cassander” means “light of man”. No wonder my mum’s admonitions to me NEVER TO BE FAMOUS didn’t work. This Bible verse speaks to me personally: “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid” — Matthew 5:14 (KJV). In other words, I cannot be hidden. It’s also no coincidence that I’m born at a time when anyone with tech savvy and grit can dig up information about us. Nobody is hidden anymore, not even Luddites. Everyone is out there to discover everyone else’s secrets.

Therefore, the next time you read that the meaning of “Cassandra” is unknown, you’re looking at an untruth. Lamentably, in this age of female empowerment, almost everyone has taken for granted that “Cassandra” is a girl’s name and never considered that, historically, some girls’ names were derived from boys’. I can think of Victor/Victoria, Eric/Erica and Julius/Julia. Your examples may be better than mine.

Heads-up for skimmers or superficial readers, because you’ll need to read this paragraph many times lest you take my words out of context. This sorry revelation easily suggests a claim, which I duly hope is erroneous, stating “females don’t matter without males”, which, as we can see from recent history, has been challenged time and time again. On the flip side, how many men’s names are derived from women’s, how many names are unisex, and, most importantly, is gender supposed to be a point of contention and division, or a reason for unity, community, cooperation, mutual “put down your weapons” vulnerability, and, above all, love?

I stumbled across “Cassander” as I was studying Daniel 8’s prophecies today, and I wondered about its fulfillment in history, since verses 8 and 22 mention the split of a great power into four, and that reminded me of Alexander the Great. Thankfully, it’s rare for a man to be called “Cassander” now, lest someone mishear and disrespect him.