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An Accumulation of Random Thoughts Upon Random Thoughts #5

This post talks about politics, equality, MBTI (socionics theory), among other random things. You might also like this post if you were one of the lucky few who read the story called “The Lightning Bolt” from the first version of #4; and got bummed out that I ended up removing it for the final version.

See you all in 2023 (for real this time),
B.

P.S. When I wrote #4, I really thought it would be my last post of the year. But I decided to publish another one because I ended up writing too much random stuff on my days off work LOL. And besides, I can’t end this year’s posts without sharing the most important story in my world. The best is always for last—even if it is a bittersweet story. 🙂

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Writing…

“I would like to write you so simply, so simply, so simply. Without having anything ever catch the eye excepting yours alone… So that above all the language remains self-evidently secret, as if it were invented at every step, as if it was burning immediately”.

—Jacques Derrida, The Post Card.

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Thoughts on Freedom Convoy in Canada

I remembered at the beginning, the movement was about trucker mandates and the travel restrictions that are imposed on the drivers who crosses borders. There are things that I can genuinely sympathize and share concerns for in these initial stages of the protest, such as vaccine mandates, government restrictions, and their concerns for “freedom”. I agree that people should have the right to express their views and opinions which means that I am fine with the convoy protest as long as it is not harming anyone.

However, the protest eventually transformed into something else entirely—something much worse. When you start seeing Nazi flags waving around and white supremacists joining and funding the movement where it is no longer about vaccine mandates, but about taking down governments or certain groups of people; harassing (terrorizing) other people who wears masks, disrupting other people’s lives, stealing food from homeless shelters, and some guy throwing poo at people (lmao), then it might be a good time to ask if the protest is still fighting for the cause that you initially had in mind. Don’t get me wrong, I understand there are people who are fighting for what the freedom convoy was supposed to be about where I, once again, share a lot of their concerns for—even if I think their views on freedom are naïve and short sighted.

That is all I have to say about it.

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Why is philosophy so difficult?

It trains and teaches you to think in ways that most people never considered and thought was possible. Philosophy is basically the pinnacle of critical thinking that pushes the limits and conditions of what allows for the very act of thinking. To philosophize isn’t just about thinking—it is to think about thinking, or to think outside of the box of thinking. It can even consist of thinking about our feelings and emotions, all the way to our existence in relationship with our world. In my opinion, philosophy is one of the most profound and influential discipline in human history. A lot of disciplines in universities used to be part of philosophy, such as math, science, economics, etc. “Thought” is a gift given to humanity. It is part of what makes us human—and sometimes, all too human.

Another reason why philosophy is difficult is due to how they are often a response to other philosophers in history. So in order to understand a philosophy, you have to understand a very long strand of philosophies where you might basically end up studying the entire history of philosophy which takes years and decades. Thus, those who have little experience in philosophy will often have trouble getting past the first few pages of certain major texts due to their lack of historical knowledge in the discipline.

Philosophy will teach you why just because someone is logically correct does not always mean it is the truth. This is because philosophy and critical thinking isn’t just about thinking objectively or being logical. A lot of people can be logical while fail to think outside of it (tbh, critical thinking is a skill that I think 80% of the general population lacks). To critically think is to, in some sense, argue against your own thoughts and logic so to be skeptical about it (skepticism is a form of philosophy). Only in this way will we start to think about why we think the way we do and what led us to think in such ways. When you spend all your life in a system that teaches you how to be logical or to only do this or that, philosophy may offer you a breath of fresh air by challenging you to think outside of everything that you have learned in your life.

Philosophy is a Greek word that literally translates as “love of wisdom”.

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Regarding my last post where I spoke about equality…

Let us consider another one my sister’s boyfriend’s examples on people who supports equality.

Consider his other proposition where he used to question and challenge those who supports equality. Mr. Boyfriend presents a video where the interviewer questioned people on whether women basketball players should get paid the same as men. While many of them supported equal pay, none of them watched women basketball. While he didn’t say it out loud, perhaps the problem for him is that: how can there be equal pay when people who supports equality in women basketball also didn’t watch any of it to support it? And if no one watches it, how can the the sport earn enough money to pay a salary that is equal to men when no money is going into it? In this sense, perhaps the solution for equality is simple: get more people to support and watch women basketball (or whatever other solutions there are). In this sense, he is absolutely correct. However, this further brings up a question: why don’t people watch women basketball more than men to begin with? On the surface, it is easy for us to say something like, “Men basketball is better because they are more athletic, etc.”. While there are obvious differences between men and women biologically, I think part of the answer to this question goes back to what I said last time on gender essentialism (it can be found hyperlinked here) among other things. But let us not go there this time because I already covered it. What I wish to point out here is that, even if economic equality is established in basketball, the problem of equality remains unsolved.

This question on basketball salary differs from his previous question where equality is about women laying bricks equal to men. The main difference lies in that it considers the problem of economic equality which therefore emphasizes on the structure of capitalism. Since economically, no one in capitalism is ever paid the same due the fundamental design of its system, no one is ever economically equal. Even if women got paid the same as men in basketball, both of these leagues will get out paid by other people outside of it from not just other sports, but from people with other occupations. Therefore, women and men basketball players were never economically equal in contrast to other people outside of it—even if they get paid equally within it.

The problem of equality seems simple when you strictly look at basketball by itself, but once you put this problem into the big picture, it becomes a problem that cannot be solved because the system does not allow for it to be solved. Thus, when you see feminists who seeks for equal pay to their male counterparts in our capitalist world, some of them also falls into this same trap. For it is indeed, very difficult to achieve economic equality when the structure of capitalism is designed to segregate people into different social classes with different levels of income. In this sense, we can say that much of contemporary left / liberalism is incompetent in seeing this problem through. Therefore, one can say that liberalism is actually right wing conservatism in disguise when it comes to economic equality. In order for equality to take place, significant changes in our economic structure needs to occur. This is why people like Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels are so influential because it is here where we get into things like socialism where everyone in the system gets paid the same regardless if they are a neurosurgeon, basketball player, a service worker, or a janitor (this is real economic equality that comes with its own set of problems). We may even get into things like communism where money (capital) does not even exist. But it is also here, where we are introduced to the debates on whether these are a good ideas or not.

Many people are only good at looking at things within the system (which has its uses), but they have no idea how to think outside of it and consider the larger and deeper scopes of the problem that is fundamentally at work. Even if Mr. Boyfriend agrees that it is important for both men and women to have equal pay in basketball and that we can make it happen in capitalism, it still does not solve anything about equality since it is only a band-aid solution. In the same way that a doctor doesn’t cure cancer by removing the tumor, economic equality cannot be achieved by making men and women with equal pay only within a certain category. You solve these problems by finding its root causes and removing them once and for all, so that the things that comes after it will forever be liberated from such problems. In cancer, this is DNA mutation. In equality, it is the structure of society.

To be sure, what I presented here is just one small dimension of the problem on economic equality. In many ways, I think Mr. Boyfriend actually asked a very good question. But just like the people in the video, he failed to properly inquire about it. Perhaps what we can learn from this is that, learning how to ask questions is just as important as learning how to answer it. This is also a good example of what I meant when I said that just because you are right does not always mean it is the truth.

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Socionics and thoughts on ENFP and ESFP

As an INTJ (4w5), I had always been fascinated by ENFP and ESFPs. Both of these types are very similar on the outside where they are charming, spontaneous, bubbly social butterflies who are really friendly. In fact, they can be so friendly that people will often mistake their friendliness as romantic interest. ExFPs are sometimes the type of people who will give out their numbers just because they are friendly and enjoy connecting with others. They often assume the best in people (whereas I assume the worst). Both ESFP and ENFPs are really good at making people like them due to how friendly and fun (or flirty) they are. They can be friends with those who nobody wants to be friends with. Both of these types are also really good people promoters when they like you because they may talk to others about you.

On the surface, both ESFP and ENFP appears like they are outgoing with a large social circle, even when they are both loners at heart. They are social in a lone wolf type of way where they won’t always fall into group mentality (due to Fi). This is something that I respect and admire from both of these types. While they may seem like they have a lot of friends and are open to sharing stories about themselves, they are usually only emotionally open to a very small group of people. Just like INTJs, if you try to force your way into their inner world, you will run into a brick wall due to their Fi. ENFPs are usually slightly more random than ESFPs due to their Ne who enjoys talking about abstract theories a little more than ESFP. Whereas ESFPs are more about light hearted fun, who are unapologetically themselves. While both ENFP and ESFPs are really outgoing and social, they are actually secretly judging you with their Fi. And if you violate some of their core values and beliefs, they will keep you at bay or flip out at you. I also think ENFPs have higher introverted tendencies than ESFP. But this might also have to do with their enneagram.

In the past, I’ve had great conversations with both of these types. My presence seem to balance their energy out where I tame their extravagant behaviors. A few of them liked to talk about psychoanalysis with me and analyze other people. I’ve had one or two ESFPs in the past who told me that they wish they were like me and think like me. This is not surprising since ESFP and INTJs are inverted types of each other. Meanwhile, a lot of ENFPs are actually quite smart, but can be too all over the place with their Ne. They are just about the only type who can walk right through all my armors and see who I really am as a person with relative ease.

Several ESFPs in the past had admitted that they really liked me. In socionics theory, INTJ and ESFP are considered as the perfect romantic match because they use the same cognitive functions in reverse order where they cover each other’s weaknesses. In reality, INTJ/ESFP match up is very rare due to the scarcity of INTJs. And when they encounter each other, it’s either they are obsessed or hate each other to death. Due to the unpredictability of inverted types, it appears that INTJ/ESFP relationships has a semi-high potential to fail. Such failure however, also significantly decreases as both types establish mutual understanding, communication and as they mature and develop their weaker functions. I noticed I get along really well with developed (usually older) ESFPs where I am often surprised by how similar they are to me in terms of intellectual orientations and world views despite being so “different” (the same goes for ENFPs). They have potential to be quite deep, despite their reputation for being high energy outgoing extroverts who are often perceived as shallow.

On the other hand, undeveloped (or immature—often young) ESFPs can sometimes strike others as text book narcissists who are attention seekers, impulsive, obsessed with vanity, lack boundaries, dramatic, and likes superficial things such as fame and social status. Until ESFPs are able to tame their Se by developing their Te and Ni (which gives them depth), I think a lot of INTJs will have trouble with ESFPs in a relationship due to the things above (but it really depends on the person). Some ESFPs are also really flirty without much boundaries, even when they are actually just being friendly and playful. They may also do things without thinking about its future consequences. At the end, I think ESFPs are good people with good hearts who just needs to slow down. And to be fair, every undeveloped / immature type can be really hard to deal with. For example, an immature INTJ will strike most people as an insensitive, controlling, blunt, arrogant asshole who needs to get humbled (INTJs are intelligent and they know it).

I think the INTJ/ESFP combo is either a natural disaster, or they work really well together once they can see past and accept each other’s differences and become mindful of them (it takes maturity and love). And when they work, they have a lot of potential to grow and learn from each other which turns them into a power couple (the most famous INTJ/ESFP couple is probably Jay Z and Beyoncé Knowles). The INTJ will become better at the things they suck at, such as learning how to express their emotions and feelings, be considerate, social, live in the moment like ESFPs (not everything in life needs a plan). While the ESFP will learn how to make plans and slow down. They will also learn how to think strategically, intuitively, deeply, and profoundly like an INTJ.

In socionics, the INTJ/ESFP pairing is known as “duality” which is an example of what many people refer as “opposites attract” (even when they are not true opposites; the opposite of INTJ is ESFJ where they have no functions in common). Duality consists of all inverted pairings such as the ENFP/ISTJ and ESTP/INFJ, etc. Whereas INTJ/ENFP is often known as “the golden pair” in MBTI theory by David Keirsey. This is due to how well they compliment each other with their intuitions while simultaneously having enough difference to attract and learn from each other (similar to ENTP/INFJ or INTP/INFJ). Usually, one does not find ENFP and ESFPs to date. When these two types like you, they will find you. Both of them are proactive people who will go after what they want (and when they like you, you will know it). At the end, I think relationship pairings has less to do with typology, but more to do with each individual person and their maturity levels; along many other factors that MBTI consistently fails to account for—such as the power of love that can triumph over differences between two people. In short, I think any pairings can work as long as both types love each other and are willing to put in the work.

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On universities

I think it is unfortunate how people goes to school these days not for self-enlightenment, but for the sake of making money which would lead to all the false paths that our world has now become. I understand this is the reality of life and I don’t blame anyone for wanting to do something that is practical. I once met someone who told me that if he had the courage to be homeless, he wouldn’t be doing what he did for work. He was a pretty funny dude LOL.

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Music

I listen to all genres of music. But right now, I am listening to the Italian piano composer, Ludovico Einaudi. I think this man writes incredibly beautiful music. The track called “The Earth Prelude”, “Oltremare”, and “Tu Sei” are probably some of my all time favourites from him. I am also a pretty big fan of piano music from the classical and romantic eras as well. So people like Beethoven, Chopin, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky. I think piano is the greatest instrument ever invented (I also like violins and cellos). Piano music is soul touching, intelligent, elegant, and serene, with many layers of complexities tied to its musical compositions which allows our minds and hearts to transcend beyond space and time. It’s brilliant.

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Climate protestors throwing soups at art works…

I share your concerns, but you won’t convince people to join your cause when they don’t like you for doing things like this. Ironically, I think there is a bit of cleverness in throwing soups at paintings because it’s kind of like an art on it’s own—even if I think it is very disrespectful. I understand that their goal is to make people ask if art is more important than life that has been increasingly put at risk due to climate change. But little do they understand that life is actually an art in itself. Not to mention that Impressionism and Post-Impressionism are some of my favourite art movements (so people like Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet; Impression, soleil levant is a beautiful piece of painting), so throwing stuff at them is obviously a bad idea.

I found it hilarious how the protestors glue themselves onto the wall at the museum after. It’s comedy because of how dumb it looks LOL. I think they should take it a step further and glue themselves with cement like they are an art piece that is part of the museum. That would be performance art at its finest.

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The One Who Waits

“Sometimes, I want to play the part of the one who doesn’t wait; I try to busy myself elsewhere, to arrive late; but I always lose at this game. Whatever I do, I find myself there, with nothing to do, punctual, even ahead of time. The lover’s fatal identity is precisely this: I am the one who waits.”

—Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments

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When you love someone…

Personally, I am not someone who goes around telling people that I love them. And if you are one of the few ladies who I said this to, then they should know that these words never come out of my mouth casually. Right now, I can only think of two people who I’ve said it to in my life (outside of family; I’m 32 btw).

I think that if you truly love someone, you should always let them know. Often times, I think people make things a lot harder and complicated than it really needs to be (myself included). Yes, it makes us vulnerable. It might even hurt. And it might be awkward. But having the strength to be emotionally vulnerable is also what makes us strong and allow others to connect with us (and this is coming from someone who is very private about their feelings). Of course, there is always the right and wrong time to say something. But I think there are times where it is always better to produce the right time and take the risk to say it instead of living with regrets without them ever knowing. After all, love is one of the signature traits of human intelligence. I think Wolfgang Mozart said it best:

“Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.”

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Wealth and Intelligence

Just because you know how to make money doesn’t always make you intelligent. At best, you are someone who is smart at making money. There are a lot of intelligent people in this world who dies in the gutter because the things that they are good at aren’t valued by society. Most importantly, you can be wealthy in your heart and mind without actually being rich.

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“I learn a lot from you!”

I actually hear this line quite a bit. I also get random emails from people contacting me on this blog thanking me for my work (you’re welcome, I learn just as much!). But I also sometimes hear really funny things from people. One time, a distant acquaintance told me, “Bobby, you are one of the weirdest, but also one of the sweetest person I know”. Honestly, I don’t know if it was a compliment or not. 😂

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The Lightning Bolt

Initially, I had a lot of doubts on whether I should share this story, but I realized there is no reason for me to keep it with me because it is really beautiful. At the rate that I am spilling out random thoughts, it’s only a matter of time that this person would eventually show up on here.

Some time ago, my dad asked if I will ever meet a nice girl and date them. He thought I never found anyone due to how private I am. So for the first time, I told him about this special lady who occupied my heart for the last couple years. I nearly broke down and cried when I told him how many times I messed up trying to talk to her. Due to how well my dad knows me, he actually gave me some pretty good advice. But I don’t know if I will ever get to put them to use.

For the longest time, all my years of studying deconstruction and philosophy had taught me how this world is constituted through differences in truths and perspectives. But it always felt like something essential was absent from this view. And it wasn’t until I encountered her where I realized what was missing. It was love. She not only taught me that love has the ability to overcome differences in the world, she made me realize that love was something which had been missing in my life. She may never know, but she actually gave me the solution to our world. Not only is she beautiful, she is incredibly profound and inspiring to me. And to tell you the truth, a good chunk of my post on psychoanalysis and love was inspired by her—especially the themes on love and infinity. In fact, the entire post would not exist without her. At one point, I even wanted to put her name at the very beginning of the post.

I will tell you a story that I’ve kept close to me for a really long time. It happened during this one evening a few years ago (2018?) at a coffeeshop that I regularly go to. It began when I got up and started walking towards the bar preparing to return my mug where she was cleaning one of the coffee machines. We caught each other’s eyes as I slowly walked towards the bar, where she eventually realized and quickly dashed her head away (we looked at each other for probably over 10 seconds). Her beautiful green eyes put me at peace; but it also brewed a storm in my heart. And when she turned away, I couldn’t get enough of them, so I had to look at her again. We turned to look at each other, as I smiled and quietly said hi. She slowly smiled and said hi back to me, as I looked at her lips, where they were quivering in nervousness. Then I turned around and left the store. It was funny because at the time, another barista thanked me for returning the mug who I completely ignored by accident. She was probably wondering what was going on, but she was actually the witness.

Ever since, this beautiful piece of memory was seared into my soul. I have no photographs of it. I only have words on this page and powerful visual impressions of it in my heart and mind. It wasn’t until a year later, where I realized something really special took place that day. An event happened and I didn’t do anything about it because I was scared of all the feelings that she gave me (I ignored and denied these feelings). Walking out the store that day and not talking to her became the biggest regret and failure of my life. Subsequently, I messed up really bad trying to talk to her and scared her away several times (she gave me chances to talk to her). We misunderstood each other in the worst ways possible. I don’t blame her because much of it was my fault. Although I wish things were different, I still cherish this piece of memory that I shared with her. At times, I would question and get really skeptical on whether my encounter of her was love. I even wanted to continue denying this powerful feeling that consistently overwhelmed me. But no matter how hard I tried to forget these feelings, and no matter how hard I tried to forget her, I knew that my heart had already said yes. She is unforgettable. Maybe sometimes, all the time that we will get with someone are little moments like this.

Whenever I sit down at this coffeeshop, part of me really wish I could see her again where she would give me a chance to talk to her, or at least let me ask her how she is doing. And I do see her every once a while. But I think she hates me. Honestly, I really don’t know. Sometimes, I would look out the window, smile, and tell myself that it’s okay if she actually hates me because I just want her to be happy—even if she ends up with someone else. Yet deep down, I know I am lying to myself because I really want to talk to her and get to know her. But there is nothing left that I can do because getting to know her is not a choice for me to make. It’s hers. 

While I don’t know what will happen in the future, one thing remains certain: I’ve never met anyone who made me feel the way she did that day. It was magnificent, powerful, unforgettable, and outright inspiring. For what felt like ten seconds of my life, everything in this world came to a halt and nothing else mattered except for her and I. What did I see when I got lost in her eyes that day? Was it her soul? The feelings of peace? Was it love that struck me? Or was it everything all at once?

But the worst of all confusions had yet to come: was I looking at her, or at infinity? Perhaps this is where the problem lies. For I am only a finite being. And she—she was my infinity.

Time stopped,
no words needed.
Space collapsed,
distance abolished.

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