Having a party at my place on the 28th,

If you are in Taipei on the 28th, and you are a reader (evidently you are), please come join my for a drink.

Send me an email to [neouto at gmail dot com] and i will reply you with the location and contact infor.

If i have to be a Christian…

over drink last night, a dilemma was put forth:

“Would you become christian if its the only way to be with your dream girl/boy?”

hmm.. first of all i thought she wouldn’t be my dream girl if she is a Christian.
but let say, she is although not a perfect dream girl, but one close to it. She happens to be ritual Christian who does not believe in the supernaturals in bible or the existence of god, she just follow the rituals and consider them community bonding exercises. However her parents are real Christians and somehow she feels that she needs to marry a Christian to keep her parents happy. Is this a probably senario? probably not, but just bear with me for a bit longer.

First i thought, fuck that. i cant pretend believe in a 2,000 year old rumor.
Then i thought, yes i can, i will just have to interpret bible slightly differently:
1. God by its most fundamental definition is the creator of the universe. So God is Big Bang
2. Everything in the new testament that cant be logically or scientifically explained are metaphors. Jesus was great as if he was the son of god. We were so inspired by Jesus, water tasted like the more expensive wine.
3. All the crazy stuff in the old testament are stories that were result of corruption by wrong headed/fanatical translators or transcribers.

There we have a modernized bible and me a modernized Christian now with a hot ritual Christian girl.
(hat tip: Jefferson)

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.

Blog retitled: I am a cosmopolite

Before i start on the new title, let me explain what i envision in the old title “neouto rewrites”
After several title changes i previously end up with “neouto rewrites” because it humbles the blog from the very outset.
Writing an opinion blog can a little pretentious, as if people should consider my opinions to be more than a grain of salt.
“neouto rewrites” announces to the readers that although i am presenting my thoughts to the world thought this blog, i cannot claim complete originality
It does not mean that i am plagiarizing, everything i wrote on the blog i wrote my self, unless otherwise noted.
What the title reflect is the view that now a days very extremely rarely does anyone have completely origin ideas.
Because it is likely that all knowledge that can completely infer from ones own observation alone has already been inferred and formed the bases of thousands of books. In our time, new idea are ideas that are basically remix, reinterpretation or revision of existing idea(s) with or without a dash of original observation.
Hence the title “neouto rewrites”

Now, since i have change the looks of the blog (using an existing theme) i though a new title is in order.
Perhaps the best way to the genesis of the title is to tell you a little about myself.

Having lived in Taiwan till the age of 12, and receive all education in Australia, except for primary school and a year of exchange in Japan, i like most kids with this kind of experience had a crisis of identity. “Crisis” may seen too dramatic, but most kid in their adolescence finds anything a little distressing a crisis.
I suspect other people with identity crisis resolve it in one of the following ways:
(A) pick one of the conflicting identity and sometime go extreme to overcompensate, (eg: western born muslim terrorist, anti-gay closet homosexual paster/republican or just become excessively nationalistic)
(B) compartmentalize, which is to say, act one way among one identity group and act another way among other groups. You will have to split your social networks into groups too. Theoretically possible, but i think its very difficult.
(C) demeaning all conflicting identities then associate your self with a new identity group that can encompass all your identities. This strategy was used brilliantly by Barack Obama when he said “There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America; there’s the United States of America.” in his 2004 convention speech.

Going back to my crisis, which i eventually resolved with (C). I demeaning identities that are based on nation-state, I become neither Chinese, Taiwanese or Australian. A believe later reinforced by my studies in international relations where I learn how the nation-state is an identity artificially constructed and a system becoming obsolete. In its stead I chose the creed of cosmopolitanism. I have since met many cosmopolites even if we didn’t all here through the same path. We are a growing identity grouping, nourished by the reality of intensifying globalization. Eventually, we shall inherent earth. This blog is so titled, so readers will know where i the perspective/bias/agenda of my posts. I am a cosmopolite. Will you join me on this winning team?

Cosmopolite is also a butterfly found in many place in the world.




そのあと 夕方から
Event: ‘o Soulo Mio
“Joe Russo Photography”
What: Exhibit
Host: Beat Studio, Joe and Frankie
Start Time: Saturday, October 4 at 3:00pm
End Time: Sunday, October 19 at 12:00am
Where: 臺北市富錦街359巷2弄14號4樓
Posters below: