Post for Mar 8-14 2015

[another last-minute insertion, actually 3] TaN: First, it was the Luneta hostage incident and the latest is the Mamasapano tragedy. It is a beginning to look like another Blame Game — an apparent signature trademark of the Noynoy administration; second, in The Philippine STAR article headlined, “MILF to De Lima: Get report from KL“, it misleads the reading public into thinking that the MILF was arrogant in the response to Justice Sec De Lima’s request for a copy of the probe into the Mamasapano incident when in fact there is nothing in the article that supports the implication of the title; third, the case of Mrs Clooney and GMA is evolving into something messy..

In the first insertion, it would appear, as we are getting into the home stretch of the current administration, that the (bad) habit of denying and passing the blame on to an underling is still alive and well. Although I am not saying that the president is accountable or is to blame, it is not wise to wait so long — in excess of a month since the tragic incident — to say that he was “fooled” by an underling. This is not something that needs an extensive probe or analysis because it is a personal or first hand experience. It does not seem logical or credible that if one has been hoodwinked that one takes such a long time to realize it — otherwise, one must be extremely dense — notwithstanding the critics and detractors who will not pass up such an opportunity to bash and shame the president.

In the second insertion, it is not good journalism to “mislead” the reading public with headlines that are not supported by the contents of an article. However, in the contents, it appears that the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) is implying that it is not a Philippine entity but a foreign one, specifically Malaysian. Assuming the accuracy of the report, it is understandable that the MILF will submit its Mamasapano incident report to the Malaysian third party because it is but proper and giving due courtesy to the goodwill assistance in the peace process. However, being a Philippine entity, the MILF should still provide the Philippine government with a copy of the same report and not say that it is up to the Malaysian facilitator panel to decide to provide a copy to the Philippine government or not. This is uncalled for and shows no respect towards the Philippine government. Unless and until the planned sub-state is in (full) implementation, the MILF remains under the jurisdiction of the Philippines and should behave accordingly, giving due respect and cooperation in the peace process — and not threaten with violence if the BBL (Bangsamoro Basic Law) is not passed in en toto and soon. It would appear that the MILF is mistaking the accommodating and respect being accorded to it by the Philippine government as a “sign of weakness” and this is not only bad manners but may be outright dangerous.

In the third insertion, it is best that Mrs Clooney keep her pretty nose out of purely internal matters — with respect to the case of GMA (Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo). As an official of the UN (United Nations) on human rights, I can understand her voicing her concern and sentiments on the case but it is an entirely different animal to become personally involved as becoming a defense lawyer. The Philippine government is correct and wise to treat the matter with diplomacy but there is a limit to it and should be prepared to tell her (in the (in)famous supposed words in the ZTE-NBN case) to “BACK OFF!”

[last-minute insertion erratum] TaN: I must apologize for my earlier TaN regarding Mrs Clooney.  It would appear that I was mistaken in my commentary and I am hereby retracting what was posted.  I have taken the said TaN down and remove it from this blogspot.  And my sincerest apologies.

TaN: It was not until lately that the irritating nuisance, especially in YAHOO!, of pestering users to change passwords to improve security is not a reliable strategy.  In fact, it could be downright disastrous.

While it is true, in principle or theory, that changing passwords frequently reduces the risk of someone guessing your password — as compared to a “static” password — there is no guarantee that the new password will be less prone to hacking.  The idea of changing passwords constantly presupposes that the hacker or intruder will be “following your line of choosing passwords so you merely have to keep 3 to 4 steps ahead to outwit him”, but this is so delusional.  For all you know, it could be that as you change to a new password, it just so happens that it is the same password that the hacker has thought of thereby giving the perfect opportunity for access.

There are better ways to improve security than merely changing passwords consistently and regularly.  In fact, it is even possible that there have been so many password changes that you are now confused as to which one is the current password — unless, of course, you have a system to keep track of the passwords used but ironically this being systematic makes you prone to hacking, which is what you were trying to prevent in the first place.

So far, for now, the best way to have a secure password is to use terms in or from some obscure or even “dead and forgotten” language that only you and probably a few others like you know — or, if not possible, then at least the phonetic equivalent, just like how Chinese, Japanese, and other non-English alphabetic (graphic) languages translate English words to their language.  Another alternative is to use a non-English alphabet character set, like (again) what Chinese, Japanese, Arabs, etc do.

Finally, an added security measure would be never to put anything precious to you online — no matter how temptingly convenient it is, especially when you move around a lot — as in the case of the trending and spreading cloud computing.  You will only be setting yourself up for hacking and cyber theft, not to mention invasion of privacy and piracy.

Me?  I never put anything online except my emails and this blog spot.  And hell can freeze over and I still would go near social media.  They are soooooo only for people who crave (because they lack) attention or have low self-esteem.  I do not even take selfies.  They are only for the vain and narcissistic.

TaN: Another analogy for why God gifted us with free will is because He is “testing” us.  This is the argument explaining the contention that God is all-knowing and all-powerful.  That even with these qualities, He is “powerless” to predetermine whether we will be good (and deserving of Heaven) or evil (and deserving of eternal damnation).  God may know all the possible scenarios to our end or death but due to free will, He does not know which one of the myriad of possible ends it will be.

Like a farmer planting a tree, he will not know whether the tree will bear good fruit or not until we bear fruit.  Then and only then can He decide to keep us alive or chop us down and throw into the fire.  Because of free will, He will not interfere or even slightly influence our lives.  We must cede our free will to Him and permit Him to completely takeover our lives for Him to take control.

God being all-powerful is limited by our free will by His choice otherwise free will will not make sense or redundant.  As for being all-knowing, God knows all the possible scenarios but only one of the scenarios will “come true” and it will only be determined by the choice we make (during our lives) using our free will.  He knows what all the consequences from all the possible choice we make but as to which choice we will make is “unknown” because of free will.

TaN: Because God gave this world — this reality — to us FREELY, it is wrong for us to profit (i.e., gaining from the sale of anything natural or not man-made) from it — like what is happening all around us.  If we are to profit, it should only from the added value we put into things — specifically our labor.

We have no right (whatsoever) to gain profit from anything that did not come from us (from our labor) and, therefore by extension, everything and anything in this reality not originating from man does not belong to us.  Whatever not originating from man belongs to the common good or public domain.  This means man can neither own nor sell anything and everything that is not man-made.  Natural materials going into the making of anything man-made are exempt from inclusion into the price.

Profit should only come directly from our labor and whatever our labor produces.  Fruits from trees are not directly from our labor, ergo we should not be profiting from them.  However, we can profit from fruits that have been harvested from the trees and brought to the market but only for the labor component — because we exerted effort to make the fruits available to others.  We performed a service therefore we deserve to be compensated for our effort.

As I have argued and maintained in earlier TaNs, profit should only be gained from other people’s laziness or stupidity.  [Btw, “laziness” here includes not only unwillingness to exert effort but the inability or the non-opportunity to perform.]

TaN: In whatever we do, no matter how insignificant or trivial, always strife for perfection.  It is acknowledged that perfection is impossible in this reality but this should not discourage nor deter us from striving to achieve it.

As in anything and all things in this reality, this universe of ours, there is duality.  This is true likewise with perfection.  There are two types of perfection: absolute and relative.  Absolute perfection is impossible to achieve in this reality (simply because this reality is “imperfect”), whereas relative perfection is perfection with respect to how a thing fulfills or satisfies its purpose or design — something like a screwdriver turning a screw is perfect because it is doing what it is designed for instead of using a knife.

My advocacy regarding going after perfection is that most stop at excellence.  The only higher level is perfection which one can never hope to achieve or reach in this imperfect reality.  However, levels have transitions between and there is transition between excellence and perfection.

If we stop at excellence, then that is all there is.  But, if one continues beyond excellence despite knowing that the next level — i.e., perfection — is unreachable or unattainable in this imperfect reality, one will just and always fall short of perfection.  But that should not deter one from going beyond excellence and striving for perfection even if one knows one can not and will not ever achieve it.  This means that one has gone beyond and not settle for just excellence.

And this leads to my (and my close friends’) motto: Excellence is not enough; it must be perfect.  This motivates me to go beyond mere excellence and go as far (or near) perfection as I can even though I know that I will never be able to attain perfection.  This pushes me to go after my full potential because I may be able to be better than being mere excellent.  Get what I mean?

TaN: Laziness is being redefined as convenience — another case of modern “new normal”.  There is a fine line differentiating laziness from convenience.  Convenience is a benefit when it is temporary (not to be a complete change in lifestyle or behavior) and unavoidable (when there is no other immediate alternative), otherwise it is plain and simple laziness.  Taking the escalator or elevator when there are stairs nearby, one is in good condition to walk (and climb), and one needs to go up or down just 1 or 2 floors (especially down and the stairs between floors is short) is laziness.  Taking the elevator because you are in crutches, a wheelchair, or otherwise have difficulty walking is convenience.

More and more people today are justifying their laziness by claiming that they are merely taking advantage of technology, that the “convenience” is saving them time and effort, that it would be foolish not to use what is available.  This is a load of hogwash if I ever heard one.  They just want to avoid feeling guilty of being lazy and taking the easy way that were intended for those who truly need them.

Remember, any technology or methodology that facilitates work is a convenience only if and when it is availed of by the intended user and for the use it was intended for, otherwise it is plain laziness.  The alibi of using technology simply because it is there for use is just bovine ordure or crap.


About anotherworldispossibleforall

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