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James Yang

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    May 2016
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  1. James Yang

    science and world

    By the way you kept saying that democratic socialism is going to happen. How is it going to happen, then? Governments aren't gonna hand over power by themselves, corrupt officials aren't gonna step down volunteerily. "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely". But if governmental power is reduced, how is it able to maintain high social order? Unrealistic dreaming never works either, and in reality does more damage. Instead of being a Don Quixote in politics, let's just face that we simply can't get everything in life. With some gain there's bound to be loss. If truly everyone becomes equal in the end, where's the incentive for achievement and success then, since every one is just the same?
  2. James Yang

    science and world

    I indeed intended to say that stability cannot happen without loss of freedom to a certain degree and that science can help achieve this, but I never blamed science for that, not even to say it sucks! My quote: "You can biologically engineer and hynotize people so they don't have those emotions (like depression, hatred, anger, any negative ones) that would cause miserya and diminish happiness." Please read it one more time and find out that I was referring to THOSE emotions (like..."ANY NEGATIVE ONES") that would "DIMINISH happiness". Regarding Utopia, you contradicted yourself again by saying "no one cares about your unhappiness" as long as "you don't commit crimes"--this definitely is not what should happen in a perfect society, but rather what is happening nowadays. How are you going to eliminate the chaos then, if you don't "care about" its very fundamental root? Your statement is just confusing and makes me wonder whether you DO care about people's happiness or you are just an authoritarian who cares only about society's stability. You kept using the current society as a "proof" that we don't need to worry about emotions, but do you honestly think that our current society is an absolutely stable one? Obviously not. So don't say emotions are absolutely fine while they are now causing all sorts of problems. It could be just okay to ignore emotions just to maintain the status quo, but most definitely something will have to be done to obtain the final stability. It's most contradictory that you sometimes claim that "oh, we are doing fine now" and other times that "chaos should be eliminated". You said we could just "control our feelings", but how do you seriously even think that everyone is always capable of controlling emotions by themselves? Minor feelings like annoyance and dismay can be suppressed easily, but what about fury, envy, and intense hatred? Do you honestly expect everybody to just "suck it up"? Funnily thing that you said "jealousy is good and motivational", but really, does no one ever have malicious intents and thoughts when they are envious? Maybe in your democratic utopia one will only work harder and do better things when he/she is jealous, but not in the real world. That being said, every one needs external help in getting over all negative emotions, and here comes another even funnier thing you said: "You bring up hyponisation & bio-engineering. Well, I totally support these technologies because they aim to remove bad emotions from people to help them take back control of their emotions, thus preventing them from causing chaos." Mostly correct except the "take back control" part. You really need to know that when a person is hypnotized or bio-engineered, they LOSE some control over their brain, which is obviously loss of personal freedom! "well, because it’s hopeless for them to control their emotions by themselves." There you go, for depression patients to remove their bad emotions, they must sacrifice some of their personal freedom, because the medicines in a way make them lose some ability to feel sad, ie, losing some control over their own emotions. (and it's NOT a bad thing) To make people absolutely happy, which of course is the ultimate goal of a Utopia, the only way is to remove the negative emotions biologically or use some other means to suppress those emotions--in either case, you've lost your freedom of having whatever feeling you want. "We don't need government control" and yet "not cause any chaos"? You are too naive and idealizing humans way too much! People always want more and more (with only few exceptions compared to the whole human population), so how are you going to make them volunteerily satisfied and happy, when they still have much materialistic desire? By "educating and civilizing" them? How are they going to listen? You yourself said that no one is completely rational("Even the best scientists (who are often considered to be the most rational individuals) still have a bit of irrationality in them."), and this is especially the case when people are told to forfeit their desires and become satisfied with what they've got. If you MAKE them listen, then isn't this exactly another form of brainwashing, and these people's freedom of desire is lost? Or what if, in this democratic utopia fantasized by you, some citizens want more than what others have? Will they be allowed that wish? If yes, then it will be totally against socialism and will set others to demand more as well, disintegrating the societal stability; if no, then the equality and stability are preserved, but personal freedom lost. You might try to say: let's prevent this whole scenario from happening--by which means then? If you try to stop people from having these kinds of thoughts, isn't this already against personal freedom? Let me be clear, in case you decide to distort my idea again. Science doesn't suck, emotions don't suck, freedom doesn't suck, stability doesn't suck. Freedom and emotions can co-exist; a certain degree of freedom, emotions and a certain degree of stability can co-exist (as in the current society). BUT absolute stability cannot co-exist with either absolute freedom or negative emotions. Science can help achieve total stability, which is tolerant with positive emotions. Science can save the world, which doesn't necessarily have to be stable to survive, but my version of a perfect world is a stable one.
  3. James Yang

    science and world

    I think he meant that if emotions are not the direct cause for crimes and wars, then humans are primitive animals without motivations, which I agree with. Humans differ from animals in that men have more purposes and motivations in everything they are doing, and so there must be a motivation for every case of crime or war, be it revenge, some manias, ethnical hatred. All these motivations will be traced to emotions, such as but not exclusive to: hatred, revenge, jealousy... Ironically, Vioh immediately contradicted himself when, after first saying "chaos stems from emotions", he all of a sudden states "emotions are not the direct cause", and he didn't even give some concrete real-life proofs.
  4. James Yang

    science and world

    No, it doesn’t depend on your perspective! If something only brings chaos and misery to the world, it should definitely be banished; and it is just counter-intuitive to think otherwise. That’s the reason for why the police and the security exist. Look at ISIS, do you think that we should do nothing to get rid of it? It’s obviously a source of chaos. It is true chaotic acts mostly stem from emotions. However, they are not necessarily caused directly by emotions. In other words, lust, desire, hatred or jealously may not be the direct reasons for why people commit crimes & wars. In fact, I think these irrational emotions are even good things because emotions are part of the human nature. If you think that emotions can be taken away from humans, then you better come back to reality from the imaginary unrealistic world that the dystopian literature likes to paint. Emotions are genetically engineered into us. For example, altruistic behaviours of humans can be seen as the product of our genes, as shown by Richard Dawkins in his book The Selfish Genes (1976). Even the best scientists (who are often considered to be the most rational individuals) still have a bit of irrationality in them. In fact, I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t. The important point here is that even though all of us are more or less irrational, but most of us don’t commit crimes or go out and kill other people. In reality, I think that most of us are driven by our emotions; but at the same time, we use our rationality to keep our emotions in check. People who commit crimes are the ones who let their emotions stay out of control. And this is important to understand, because it shows that in order for us to achieve stability, we need to educate people on how to control their emotions, rather than eradicating all of our emotions. In a world full of stability that I can imagine, people can still have these emotions (like lust, hatred, etc) and conflicts can still exist between individuals. However, in that world, people would know to handle the conflicts in a peaceful manner, by sitting down, discussing, and cooperating with each other. So I disagree with the idea that if we use science to achieve full stability, then emotions have to be removed. By the way, you said: “Please note that I never said utilizing science made us robots; I was saying that if we want to use science to accomplish absolute stabilityâ€. Well, notice that the original question that zahrah asked was not about using science to achieve absolute stability. The question was about whether science can be used to save the world! If you are interested in the other question, you can start a new thread instead. If you check the definition of “freedom†on Oxford Dictionary, you will see that it says that freedom is ‘the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants’. Now, in a society that is full of stability, individuals living there are civilized enough to not want to commit crimes and wars. In other words, these people want to live happily in a world full of stability. This sounds a bit like communism discussion. A communist society is a society with absolute stability & happiness. But as you probably know, communism is often associated with revolutionary movements (i.e. wars), which means that a communist society is often the one that suppresses freedom. In contrast, Democratic Socialism is an ideology that aims to achieve this Utopia society through democratic means, and not through revolutions. And since democratic means freedom, it is not true that freedom is lost in exchange for a Utopia. By the way, a word of advice: Remember that dystopian literature doesn’t always describe the reality. It’s often an exaggeration, scaring people away from reality. Read it for the fun story in it, but don’t let it be the force that makes you oppose against science. Always look at the reality. And as I have mentioned in my first post in this thread, the reality is that: “If we follow science, the world will be saved. If not, then we are just a bunch of idiots who sit there and wait for the world to burn.†Well, some nice points. I see why you got A in TOK. If you've read the posts more carefully, you would have found out that I didn't even express my personal opinions on whether emotions are bad or not; I simply stated a fact that emotions cause crimes and unhappiness. You couldn't even give an example of how a person commits crimes for purposes unrelated to emotions! (I consider mental illness as results of extreme emotions, e.g., you get depression when you are extremely sad) Emotions are good things in some ways, that's true though, but you just can't ignore its bad for that. And if you read my post again, I said hynotization and brainwashing are also good ways, not only bio engineering. And if you keep saying that it is "scientifically impossible" and "modified into our genes", this whole discussion started by OP is to talk about science in future, and a few thousand years ago people couldn't even dreaming of using computers. Here you also just contradicated yourself twice. First you said you want chaos completely eradicated, but you later stated the irrationality, which of course leads to chaos if uncontrolled (and not everyone is capable of controlling his/her emotions), is good for scientists and other people. So obviously if you don't want any bit of chaos, you need to get rid of the irrationality. Second, in the end you said always look at reality, well then, just before that you spoke of how a democratic socialist system could lead to Utopia (with freedom retained). Here is the real reality: every Utopia assumes that every of its citizen is sensible and law abiding, its government always thinking for the best of its people "through democratic means". This is my advice: with power comes corruption. No government is ever going to be completely clean; very few people are sensible and hard-working (compared to the whole population). Communism failed because it assumed that everyone would work hard on their own (you studied history so you probably would know that it's not the case in Soviet Union in its later years, because everyone just got the same ration--no incentive to work hard). And your democratic socialism isn't working either due to government corruption and behind-scene rigging. If you do want to reduce governmental powers to the lowest however, you eventually get anarchy, chaos you would want. I really do not understand how you disagree with me anyways. You hate chaos, I speak for stability; we should agree with each other in the first place. "Save the world", well, a saved world is a stable and happy one. And I wasn't arguing against science in the first place; I was just pointing out how the world will be saved to the ultimate level. If you want to talk about maintaining the status quo, then yes science will be the savior if used properly.
  5. James Yang

    science and world

    Sorry if I didn't make it crystal clear in my previous post. In the personal freedom part and the chaos part I was referring to the philosophy put up by the two books. It basically pointed out that all chaotic acts (crimes, wars, etc.) made by humans stem from their emotions. For example, you may commit a crime because of your lust, desire, hatred, jealousy, etc. As long as men are allowed to have unhindered individual wills, these crimes and wars are gonna repeat themselves because no one is completely rational and logical (if there are the number will be low). You said it will be a good thing if those sources of chaos are banished, but think about this: aren't there a lot of people who died from sectarian wars? aren't there a lot people who are shattered by rivalry among each other? Religions and desires in this case bring chaos and misery, but should they be banished then? It really depends on your perspective. As I just said, you can't just achieve absolute stability or eradicate chaos as along as people can think for themselves, since there's always a bit of irratinal emotions inside them. If you get rid of emotions, then you become a "mechanically thinking robot". Please note that I never said utilizing science made us robots; I was saying that if we want to use science to accomplish absolute stability, then our emotions have to be removed and we become "robots". Or you can biologically engineer and hynotize people so they don't have those emotions (like depression, hatred, anger, any negative ones) that would cause miserya and diminish happiness. By "easy" I mean "done without great effort", which is Oxford Dictionary definition anyways. We now can move to another place more easily, do computations more easily, and even kill people more easily. Everything becomes easier, but I wasn't saying it's better. My original point was that science indeed could make everyone happy and the society stable, but something is bound to be lost in exchange, because absolute stability and absolute happiness can never co-exist with freedom. Whether it's good or bad really depends on which one you prefer.
  6. James Yang

    Physics HL Notes

    Maybe try to use Recuva to recover the files?
  7. James Yang

    science and world

    Have you read the Brave New World by Aldous Huxley or We by Yevgeny Zamyatin ? Basically in both novels the society achieved overall stability and high living standards through scientific advancement, but personal freedom and other things that contribute to chaos are abolished. So yeah in real world science can never solve all problems once for all, if we are not to become brainwashed mechanically thinking robots, but science can definitely make life easier.
  8. James Yang

    How should I start studying for IB mathematics?

    Be prepared to get your mind blown by calculus, if you haven't taken it already. (well that's what most people say anyways)
  9. James Yang

    How do I score well in Physics?

    Sometimes your intuition doesn't work in physics. Always trust in force diagrams and the math, and then intuition.
  10. James Yang

    Coursera/edX courses for Math HL

    Introduction to differential equations by Boston University on edx: it helps if you take Calculus option You can also go to MIT Open Courseware and watch Professor David Jerison's "Single-Variable Calculus"; it covers all the calculus you need in Math HL as well, except the option. And it's free!
  11. James Yang

    Stopping Stupid Mistakes

    Well this may sound unpleasant, but punishments sometimes work in preventing these mistakes. You can, say, do 5 addtional practice problems if you make 1 such mistake. That should make you more careful.

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