My atheism is ultimately faith based


My atheism is ultimately faith based

My atheism derived from my observation of reality,
since the accuracy of observation cannot be proven,
conviction in my understanding of reality is therefore an exercise in faith.
Thus, my atheism is ultimately faith based,
as with almost all forms of knowledge,
except for the existence of self.
(hat tip: René Descartes for “cogito ergo sum“, and Monicks for my muse.)

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Why i left my doctorate program


Having decided that i didn’t want to pursuit a career in academia sometime after (!) i entered the PhD program. My only remaining interest in doing a PhD, is the pursuit of knowledge. Which is not exactly what PhD is about.

PhD is great if its ok for you to spend 4 or more years of your life doing independent research to make a tiny dent in the knowledge frontier. However, like me, if you are just want to consume knowledge in general, you should just read what has already been written. There are plenty out there, and knowledge are dirt cheap now a days. So, I ended up spending about 2/3 of my time, reading things that does not contribute to my thesis. So in 2006, roughly 3 years after entering a PhD program at age 23 in 2003, i decided to discontinue. And that is my story, there are many others.

According to The Economist:

In America only 57% of doctoral students will have a PhD ten years after their first date of enrolment. In the humanities, where most students pay for their own PhDs, the figure is 49%.

Read the whole report. Its very well written.
The same article also reports that “Research at one American university found that those who finish [their PhD] are no cleverer than those who do not.”

I know 🙂

Written on a V.

Google’s destructive innovation: world’s largest content searchable digital library


Google’s new project to digitize books from five of the worlds largest library is an important step for the digitization of society and the biggest beneficiaries are the world’s poor.

If the primary function of traditional libraries is to store and distribute knowledge, then Google Print Library Project is on enhancing these function rather than competing with it.

Google Print are taking stored knowledge from Harvard, Stanford and the University of Michigan, as well as Oxford University and the New York Public Library and giving all internet users access to it regardless of geographical barriers.

This is good news for the world’s poorest countries who’s limited access to knowledge has hampered their  development effort. As demonstrated by the catch-up development of all countries that industrialized after the Second World War, foreign knowledge is not an advantage, its is an absolute necessity.

Currently Google’s endeavor is being delayed by book copyright holder’s protest on the bases that Google’s storage of their copyright protected books is a violation of their rights. Even though Google’s plan for protected books is to “displays only a snippet of several lines of text, plus bibliographic information and, if the book is still in print, giving links to where it might be available for purchase” according to New York Times. Google is in effect offering free publicity for these publishers. Why are they still complaining? According to one the publishers they are not happy because they will not be able to share the revenue gain from advertisement Google display with the search results of copyright protected material.

Get over it!