~ Abstract Reflections ~
"To perceive the world as it is, we need a healthy body and an engaged mind. Only with both can we grow the heart to work at finding a fit for life’s functions. Only then can you move on from who you are, to discover who you can become."
"To really practise what I preach, I cannot hide behind the guises of others’ Sociology. In fact, I cannot hide behind Sociology itself, as a way of thinking. It is a disciplined perspective, and as a human, I cannot allow the tool to define its user. I need to make central my unique sensibilities. I need to write with the force of a being that keeps evolving, rather than that of beings who keep ceasing to."
"The respect for exam testing and sharp thinking share in common an assumption: That knowledge is embodied in individuals. It is (wo)man who makes knowledge, and so it is the (wo)man who is consistent or inconsistent; either intelligent or unintelligent."
"Knowledge is actively constructed within individuals, yes. But between generations, knowledge is mostly transmitted via texts. Why begrudge the student who has managed to create something special, even if it was only during a particular weekend of inspired Alt-Tabbing? What has faded in individual memory just needs to remain in collective memory."
~ Op-Eds ~
"Customization is supposed to give us more freedom. But the customization of our news feeds is biased towards a static description of our inclinations. By feeding us what they think we want, we actually lose our freedom. The unexpected insight that might lead us to change our minds rarely shows up."
"Report books were fascinating at a younger age. Whether you were struggling or soaring, the numbers mattered as a symbol of pride and a validation of one’s infant identity. I took relish in continually climbing up the overall school rankings from Pri 2 to Pri 6. Yet despite my love for numbers, my favourite part of opening my report book at year’s end lies elsewhere:
Form Teacher’s Remarks."
"To create conducive conditions for learned conviction, the last thing we should do is to condemn the curiosity of self-help readers.
Self-help can be serious. And serious books are a form of self-help, too."
"It is surely comforting to put a scientific label on such an unsettling experience. Yet the ‘high place phenomenon’ is just a stand-in concept to protect against flawed understandings of humanity."
~ Travel ~
"Four years ago, I thought that travel was pointless, or at least optional. Three years ago, I thought that travel must not be allowed to become tourism. Two years ago, I thought that travel should be a project of accommodation. One year ago, I thought that travel can indeed rejuvenate one’s life.
Today, I think that travel is simply what we make out of it."
"If you don’t mind the traffic, then it is quite the experience to stay put and watch the Stories unfold incessantly, in real time. What a blue sky! What a tiny portion of food! Then put down your windows and let the sounds reach your ears. What an awesome busker! What the noise was that! And you hurry to turn down the volume of your phone speakers."
"Taking photos was easy in the thick of camera-equipped crowds. The main issue was, how well can I represent the cultural realities in ever-moving crowds?"
"In this process of selection, I realized that ethnography is a process of argumentation. Ethnographers seek to minimize distortion of the field of study, but eventually, the choices of representation are very personal indeed – personal in their understandings of local subjectivities."