Friday, February 13, 2009

Conscience

I had a rare moral dilemma today. It consisted of me having to choose between a free meal and ponying up. Having convinced myself to go for the free meal after much verification that the failed delivery would result to none being charged for it back at the outlet.

This all sounds a bit cryptic, if not a gem of how not to write so...

I'll just lay all the facts out.

I ordered via a pizza chain's delivery hotline. I was given the time and at least an hour from that time for delivery. This means that my order will be handed to me and paid by me within an hour from my call.

The minutes turned on the face of our grandfather clock. The minutes turned into an hour and then into way beyond an hour. I called up the hotline again and inquired as to the status of my order. They informed me that the order still had 4 minutes. I turned my timer on to 4 minutes after that call. But they did inform me that it was unusual that the delivery would take the whole hour.

The delivery man came (rider as the contact person from the hotline corrected me) about ten minutes after the hour given to me. Apparently he still had 8 minutes on his watch because the phone call from the delivery hotline to the branch came say at 330 instead of my call at 318pm.

I said well the hotline told me you guys were late, please call up the branch he said. I called the hotline again and was again (yes they informed me from the very first time that I called that the branch will be calling me) informed that the branch will call. The branch didn't call so I took the branch number from the rider and called them up and laid my case.

I told them that the time difference wasn't attributable to me, and that I didn't need the order anymore because my father and brother (the two persons who'll have to eat it) left already. So there we go, the pizza is something that I wouldn't accept because (1) it was late, (2) I didn't need it anymore. So the woman on the other end told me to just take it and sign on the receipt (much like what the delivery hotline guy said).

I took the pizza!

But I took it after asking from the branch if the rider will be made to pay for this. It's not his fault, why should he be made to pay? It was glaringly obvious that the branch and the hotline center didn't do their respective jobs. So I took it and signed.

Did I do the right thing by accepting something that I didn't need? I initially wanted to return the order and be rid of it all. But the allure of free was too great. Besides I also suffered something equivalent to hurt feelings (if that'll qualify for damages) because I couldn't feed my sibling and parents (yes parents my mom was also here) for the afternoon. I took the failure to deliver on time personally. My wounds were soothed but a new one was torn open, had I just sentenced an innocent rider to be made to pay for something he didn't do?

I also checked with the rider if he'd be penalized he said no. I said yep they told me at the other end that it was production who'd get hit with the blame on this one.

Anyway, I won't rest until I finally come up with something on conscience (I'll look into Aquinas and some other philosophers for conscience) and a piece on conscience and a free meal due to the error of the other.

Please refer to my other post on A friend of wisdom on my other musings on who has to pay.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Be water my friend

Here is one of Bruce Lee's videos. This does not concern the martial arts legend kicking ass and taking names but reflecting on what should be the mentality of a martial artist (at least that's what it says in his book The Tao of Gung Fu).








Again we see the beauty of the frame of mind Bruce Lee had at that time. To be like water, water is the softest substance yet it can penetrate stone. Water is soft and gives but cannot be hurt. Being like water entails absolute freedom from attachment of the mind. As he discusses in his book, the mind should not be focused on any plan of attack, or on any limb, or point of the body. The mind should flow freely, like water. :) 


That's totally unrelated to the rest of this post just trying out my HTML editing skills.

Anyway, building on Bruce Lee's ideas of being like water (which I believe he took from another Chinese philosopher) and of not being focused, I think that we should at the very least attempt to center the mind and the spirit or person or chi or whatever you wish to call the essence of your existence. There is a marked difference between being focused and being centered. To focus is to divert one's attention to a certain point or activity, as Bruce Lee would have it it's like keeping the mind in just one limb trapping it there. Being centered is allowing the entirety of existence to move about you and still controlling it and (all at the same time) being calm. The eye of a storm is its center. When the eye passes over you the wind dies down etc etc. The center is still, while the surrounding activities wreak havoc all over. This I believe is another way of thinking about the example of water. I'll try to reflect on it (water and reflect haha) more in the coming days.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

New new knowledge!

I just learned how to create links in-text. haha Its the newest craze! Please go to this past post to find out why! Harhar

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Gordon Gekko's Greed is Good

The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA. Thank you very much.


Greed is good. I talked about this in i.ph and I'll talk about it here as well, because it's just that good! Greed as a way of thinking is not to be seen as something inherently evil. Although this runs counter to the new circular (or encyclical I'm not too familiar with what was released) from the Vatican retaining greed as one of the 14 (yes 14) deadly sins. In any case, Greed as one of the Deadly Sins should be seen as more in line with the word Avarice, or as dictionary.com puts it "an insatiable greed for riches".

Yes, Greed or Avarice is still greed at its' very root. However, greed as i mentioned in i.ph should be seen as a means to an end, that is a means of generating employment and at the same time satisfying needs and wants. In short, what I would like is for greed to be controlled.

The main difference, I would like to think, is between greed in its "good" sense and in its "bad" sense. In its good sense greed can be used to employ so many people and affect so many lives for the better. An example would be to actually employ fair trade practices. Instead of exploiting situations and people, we could still engage in profitable business but with a social conscience. This has been a thrust in recent times with Corporate Social Responsibility. It should be beyond dole-outs but an actual intent of the enterprise to retain its main purpose of being a profitable business and marry it with a second purpose as an agent of positive social change. This is corporation being greedy and at the same time changing, socially and economically, its means to profit for the better.

The bad sense is when it runs unbridled in the business. If the corporation, or the board of directors, engages in practices meant to achieve a quick-buck goal then chances are it will run counter to the CSR approach. Case in point is Gekko's corporate raiding and most of the Leveraged Buy-Out firms approach of corporate raiding. These practices are engineered to make money without actual production. This results in paper profits. No actual good is caused to the consumers, employees, stockholders and the corporation itself. It generates fast profits but nothing sustainable. It would be good to acquire, turn-around and then sell a business as it begins to generate sustainable profits. Unbridled greed could be seen in Madoff's practices, when people start ignoring danger signs of the venture being beyond the acceptable risk level then there's greed. If all they seek is a quick return without establishing anything sustainable for themselves and for their principals or stockholders then that might be an indicator.

Greed should be a means of guiding our efforts to an end-goal, profits. Greed, however should be controlled so as to prevent it from acting as blinders from the bigger picture. A business is not built on numbers, it is built on people by people.

Evert's Desserts on i.ph!

Hello everyone! Evert's Desserts is now on a blog! It's everts desserts. It used to be on multiply but now its on a blog! Really good food for all of you who have a hankering for a little somethin'-somethin'! :)

Pay it a visit if you're intrigued just ring the number up and order! Thanks!

Its a really clean looking site, not all cluttered and messy like mine! I wish someone would just give me a blog-make over. Not that I don't like the current appearance of my i.ph blog and this one is relatively new so I haven't gotten around to tinkering with it yet.

In any case, even if you don't buy (yet) you'll get to see how nice a well planned well executed blog looks like. :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Random Drug Testing in NCR!

Random drug testing will now be implemented tomorrow February 4! Let's just hope that the money earmarked will be put to good use. I heard some comments from Good Times With Mo on 89.9 about the random drug testing. Their guest at the time was Atty. Adel Tamano, a dude who seems to be someone of standing in society at the moment. Yes, at the moment, there are times when you just suddenly fall from grace. Anyway, Random drug testing in NCR will be rolled out tomorrow! Won't that just be wild! I haven't read about how's it supposed to go down. In fact I just heard about it from that radio station. Drug addicts beware! Let's just hope that all that pissing doesn't go down the drain. :)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Israel and Its conflicts

Israel is a well known Jewish state (in fact the lone Jewish State) right smack in the middle of several Arab nations. It was carved out of this seething mass of Arabs by the British and the United States after the Second World War.

I must admit my ignorance and lack of first hand experience with Israel (the lay of the land, the state itself etc.), with war itself (I haven't been in one and am not looking to get into one) and with the Arab states (I haven't been there, nor have I met enough people from the neighboring states to form a general impression of the people there).

At most I have met one Israeli back in 2006. We met in a Beijing mall. Our group of tourists/students sadly left our passports in UIBE. He willingly helped us change our USD in the nearest bank (the banks refused to let us change our USD for RMB without our passports). He seemed nice enough at the time so I know for a fact that not all Israelis are hell bent on destroying Arabs.

As for the Arabs and other nations, I've met just a few on business trips. Most are entrepreneurs seeking to buy equipment and technology from South East Asian nations etc. Some are looking to sell their nation as a top destination for tourism.

I guess on an individual level the opposing sides of the same coin are inherently good. Isreali and Palestinian both are human and both will therefore have their corresponding strengths, weaknesses and desires. It is at the collective level that we find the irreconcilable differences appear. It is at the level of nation or state that we find that the Israelis will not like co-existing with Palestinians and vice-versa. If you take a step back, however, you will find that the idea of a nation is a mere construct of our education, our different cultures and quirks. It is an idea that is commonly used to galvanize otherwise peace-loving individuals into a rioting mob. I think it was in one of my father's books that I was able to read on the notion of a meme. A meme is an idea that self-replicates by spreading through minds and being stronger than other memes in the "meme" pool. If we think of the idea of a nation as a meme, intent on self-replication, then we can uncover, partially at least, the problem of the never ending conflict. The idea that Israel is a nation for all Jews is so strong among the minds that it can attach itself to that these minds (hence the people that own these minds) would find that a meme or idea contrary to the meme or idea that Israel exists as a nation for the Jews would be threatened greatly. A meme to protect itself will use, at times, different memes to force the mind to act to preserve the meme. For example, the idea of God finds itself in a strong position because it reinforces the idea with the threat of hell. Like Austin's command theory this might be a crude way to enforce preservation but an effective one. So we find that there are probably two memes at least who are duking it out right now near Jerusalem, the idea of Israel and the idea of Palestine. Both ideas will kill each other (each seeing the other as a negation of the existence of itself) and in so doing kill the people that hold these ideas.

And now we find, hopefully, the tip of the conflict.

"A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on. " -John F. Kennedy

And we find it to be an enduring one.

(I'll try to scrounge up the citations for the meme book, I think it was the selfish gene forgot the author now though.)

Editing HTML, Page elements? What?

I really want the readers of this blog, if any, to leave messages. That way I can readily assess how I'm doing. The thing is I have to install a chat-box or some sort of, uh, "widget" in order to be able to put it up. Also, I'm finding that blogger doesn't have quite a lot of alternatives to the shout-out box or chat-box I'm looking for. So I have to go in and edit HTML now. Which I have not done for what 6 years? I'm not looking forward to editing HTML today, not tomorrow nor ever. I find it too hard and too confusing. My intellect has its limits.