• Part 7 in “How to Watch the World Burn and Stay Sane,” posted in bite-sized segments. Intro here. P1, P2, P3, P4, P5, P6
Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Cancel culture and the “-isms”

Finding sanity in our current socio-political discourse is a challenge, with our everyday actions scrutinized under a microscope, where the wrong word or action(reaction) can ruin your career/livelihood. The current landscape of cancel culture in mainstream society stems from “leftist” groupthink: The prevalent ideology and narrative developed in “liberal” universities, trickling down to societies’ other institutions. Orwell once wrote, “some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.” This is notably true in an age…


  • Part 6 in “How to Watch the World Burn and Stay Sane,” posted in bite-sized segments. Intro here. P1, P2, P3, P4, P5
Photo by visuals on Unsplash

In the 21st Century, identity politics has consumed almost all cultures and societies in the West. With the “death” of religion, the fraying of traditional familial bonds, and the advent of globalism, we needed new ways to conceptualize and ground ourselves in an alienating and complex world. Enter identities: A way for people to distinguish themselves through markers of socio-economic class, ethnicity, sex, gender, religion, political affiliation, nationality, etc., in an oftentimes intersectional manner. Identities are important…


Photo by Ambitious Creative Co. — Rick Barrett on Unsplash

*Part 5 in “How to Watch the World Burn and Stay Sane” posted in bite-sized segments each week. Intro here. P1, P2, P3, P4*

According to teachings in Eastern philosophy and spirituality, and specifically in Buddhism, attachment is the root of human suffering. All life involves suffering — Dukkha(in Sanskrit) — and not only embodies forms of physical pain but also emotional and mental discomfort: anger, frustration, disappointment, heartbreak etc. Attachment is to seek pleasure, aversion, or comfort, especially as a disguise for happiness concerning objects or others in the external world. However, attachment is not only to material objects…


*Part 4 in “How to Watch the World Burn and Stay Sane” posted in bite-sized segments each week. Intro here. P1, P2, P3*

For those who remember studying basic physics in high school, Newton’s third law of motion states that for every action, there is an opposite or equal reaction. The universe abides by these laws, and humans, as part of this universe, are no exception. Although power and social structures in society do not allow for the “equal” reactions of the physical world, the action/reaction phenomena are prevalent in every human interaction. …


*Part 3 in “How to Watch the World Burn and Stay Sane” posted in bite-sized segments each week. Intro here. P1, P2*

Disorder

The second law of thermodynamics states that everything in the world tends towards disorder/chaos. This law affects every part of our daily lives, e.g. the lukewarm coffee on my table dissipating heat or my tabletop collecting more and more dust. On a grander scale, events unfolding around us: the COVID-19 pandemic, economic crises, etc., are to the naked eye, also forms of disorder and chaos. Instinctively, we see disorder as something negative and attempt to avoid it at…


*Part 2 in “How to Watch the World Burn and Stay Sane” posted in bite-sized segments each week. Intro here. “Who Are You, Really?” (Pt.1)*

Photo by Alex on Unsplash

When most people hear the words: black and white, they think of the colours (shades), or they might think of “race.” However, black and white are also concepts to help understand the world around us. Black and white are opposites, just as nighttime is to daytime, dark is to light. How could we know what sadness is, without happiness? That something is hot or cold. Soft or hard? If we only ever had darkness, that…


*Part 1 in my short e-book, “How to Watch the World Burn and Stay Sane” posted in bite-sized segments each week. Intro here.*

Photo by John Baker on Unsplash

If I went around and asked you this seemingly obvious question of “who are you,” what would you reply?

You might say your name: “I am Jane or John Doe.”

“Okay, Ms./Mr. Doe, where are you from?”

“I’m from so-and-so country and was born and raised in town so-and-so.”

“But where are you really from?”

A person might say his ethnicity or someone proud of his heritage might answer: “I’m 50% British and 50% French… I did…


*This is the intro to my short e-book posted in bite-sized segments each week.*

“In a time of universal deceit — telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
— George Orwell

Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash

Intro:

When you look outside, what do you see? The world seemingly up in flames. The worst pandemic of a generation, endless conflicts in the Middle East, the subsequent refugee crisis, economic crises, and impending environmental catastrophe. Not to mention systemic racism, police brutality, xenophobia, poverty, hate crimes, gendered violence that persists in our world and the list goes on and on. The most recent image of injustice that stuck…


“When men die, they enter into history. When statues die, they enter into art. This botany of death is what we call culture. That is because the society of statues is mortal. One day, their faces of stone crumble and fall to earth.”
-
Alain Resnais (Les statues meurent aussi, 1953)

Photo by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona on Unsplash

Human beings have a constant and futile desire to attempt to change the past in the present. We suffer from a sort of symbol fetish: whereby we obsess over symbolic meanings, from the past, in the physical world, rather than the actual happenings around us. The recent uproar over…


Photo by Mihai Surdu on Unsplash

To Whom It May Concern,

We don’t want to entertain an opposing idea. It is more comforting for us not to hear anything that could shatter our worldviews or say something that may lead to ridicule or embarrassment. We avoid debates, as many of us lack the patience or aptitude to engage in challenging discourse. We encounter difficulty in separating our identity from our ideas and beliefs. Anything to the contrary feels like an attack on oneself. How can we have a rational conversation on a topic, if the person is personally offended by our idea or comment? Of course…

Nathan LIAO

Economics. Politics. Culture. Society. “Pennies for my thoughts?” @natesnotwoke

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