Posts filed under ‘Week of love’

Week of Love: END!


That was a hard week. schedules and runnng out of topics midway. Geh.

At least I learnt a lot from writing.

Well, time to devour the new season like a starved Yuyuko.

April 6, 2008 at 9:32 pm Leave a comment

The path of hate – where did it all began?


what the shiz wordpress 2.5

Ahem.

We are all aware of how socially taboo (in Japan) otaku are. But where did this term come from, and why the hate?

Apparently the seed of hate was planted in 1983, written in this article by Nakamori Akio (the article is translated in English). It would not be looked at until in 1989, when mass murderer Miyazaki Tsutomu was arrested and it was found that he wanked to loli porn, in combination with a bestselling book of that time relating to this phenomenon. Among other things.

Note that the article was published in a softcore porno book. Oh the irony.

I’ve talked about the otaku issue way too many times and I’m quite relieved to find out the root cause of so much hate. In japan, anyway.

Oh the sheer irony of it all.

April 5, 2008 at 10:28 pm Leave a comment

Adressing hate, and Love, for otaku Part 2 – Ramifications and resolutions


Picking off from yesterday…

There are some, ahem, remifications to such behavior. The most telling is the dwindling supply of quality products to enjoy.

When people can grab what they like online and for free, weird things happen. One of them is that money slowly becomes an issue. People have gotta eat, ya know. In order to get such a precious resource up, they resort to sellable but lower quality products. Things that make customers rather unhappy. As the available pool of money gets lower, they have to cut staff. Less staff means less costs. Which also means more money for new projects. But more people will complain more, screaming about the lack of quality and stuff.  And that means more people grabbing stuff from the Internet. Soon, they will have to cut projects until there’s no more projects to be done or the company has to close down.

It’s slowly happening to animé in particular. At least for videogames, there are free stuff being made to keep us distracted (DWARF FORTRESS ROCKS), and valve’s Steam provides quality entertainment at a somewhat affordable cost.

Another consequence of such behavior is the stuff we see daily on the Internet. Elitism, flamewars, etc. Of course everyone knows abut such things so I’ll not cover it.

Well we all know being a jerk IRL does not net you any friends so why not apply the same principle HERE, ON THE INTERNETS?

It’s not very hard really. A kind word here, not flaming too much, being friendly to the natives… True, the hits and e-penis will not grow but at least your Internet life will be a whole lot more peaceful. And anything people accidently make a joke about, no one will be too inclined to turn it into an embarrassing epic meme to be remembered for as long the community stands, eh?

Hey being kind to people does work1 Dpn’t look at me all funny.

April 4, 2008 at 11:00 pm 1 comment

Adressing hate, and Love, for otaku Part 1 – NERD RAGE against other fans, companies, and the like.


I’ve always pondered upon the question as to why people tend to hate one another when it is apparent they love the same things? Be it the EPL, religion (Christianity in general has a ton of hate in itself, what with the different denominations and all), or even Star Wars, you find the same sort of political backstabbing and hierarchy-assertion in the confines of Internet messageboards, blogs, and the like. (4chan is spared from all this junk, but then again, 4chan is a cesspool of hate and loathing by itself, so…)It’s interesting to note that people have had the same experiences I did, online, as well in real life.

But what drives people to pull off such nasty things? Affirmation of self-worth? Being a jerk gives them endorphins? They’ve been scammed into Scientology? They need e-blowjobs?

Actually, it’s pretty simple: Flawed, totally evil humans, looking for love and acceptance in all the wrong places, and trying to measure success by worldly achievements in order to gain acceptance. If you ask me, that’s pretty much acting like a Pharisee or a Sadducee.

One of the issues Jesus had with the Pharisees and Sadducees in His time was that they were too busy comparing their own worth in their own eyes to care for the people who really needed it. It is also the same issue I have with the majority of the Internet today. Instead of fostering communication and goodwill with all people of common interests, we are too busy picking fights over who has the bigger E-PENIS. Yes, that’s right. We are too busy comparing our own achievements in worldly terms instead of fostering friendship. Gee thanks Internet! You made me see one reason why we aren’t taken seriously OR as a force for good! (4chan notwithstanding. Anon vs Scientology was a masterstroke and an example we can all learn from.)

And then there are those who harbor nothing but contempt against corporations. Be it anti-elitism, jealousy, petty pride, things like quality and customer support, or even a snubbed ego, people will justify ANY reason to hate on corporations.

And why is that? In most of the cases, it’s a sense of self-entitlement. Or to put it in simple terms, GREED. Yes, there are palpable and valid reasons to hate a corporation (dissatisfaction of services received, or goods not up to standard) and I can understand if you hate Microsoft for their bad business decisions, or Creative for forgoing the customer for short-term financial gain, but when it comes to things like music, games, animé, manga and the like, it’s not how the company treats the product or the customer, or something trivial that the masses use to justify their hate.

In this case, it’s a matter of the consumer’s GREED, or sense of entitlement when it comes to goods. “Why should I wait for x period of time when the other guy can get it now?” is one argument I’m hearing from one side of the pond. “Why should I pay for things if I can get them for FREE?” is the other argument I hear. It’s not love talking here, it’s selfishness and greed talking.

Geez I know it’s supposed to be a week of love I’m plowing through here but… some things have to be told. Love is not just about warm fuzzies and hugs all the time. Love is also about making who you love realize that they need help.

April 3, 2008 at 11:19 pm 1 comment

How to build a community using Grace


Let’s see if I can’t salvage a lesson from that horrible (but oh so JUST AS PLANNED) joke that ended in the creation of an epic animéblogger meme :3

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

-John 21:15-19 (NIV)

(I know the whole FAKE DRAMA was all an elaborate prank, but I’ll take it as if it really happened for the purpose of this post.) What Jesus here is doing is forgiving Paul of his sins and reinstating him as one of the Apostles. He didn’t have to do that, if one follows conventional wisdom.

Prior to this, the apostle Peter had earlier denied being one of the12 Apostles after Jesus’ arrest. Jesus noticed that and glared mournfully at him.

Conventional wisdom tells us to kick out someone who does something wrong or betrays your trust. Or for more trivial reasons, like not liking what you like. Even if the person seems remorseful.

I understand that if people have done wrong, they need to be punished. However, we are all too prone to take it too far. And usually, we do. What’s worse is that we have the most effective dehumanizing tool to do it with: The Internet. No one really cares about the fact that behind the monitor, there’s a living, breathing human being.

It’s rather annoying to know that distance and technology usually softens and sometimes eliminates the impact of major events like disasters. It gets worse when people exploit this fact to do what they think is right on the Internet.

Still, it doesn’t mean we all should follow the example of the masses.

It does not matter if you’re the leader or just a general nobody in the community. Whoever offended you, you have to forgive the individual if he or she has realized that they are in the wrong and seek forgiveness. It’s a much bigger emphasis if you’re doing your best to build a community.

Why is that?

People want to feel wanted, to belong, etc. Being part of a community makes people feel like they belong. To be booted out of a community that they feel that they belong is like a crushing realization that all is not well. They go to any lengths to get back into the fold. Unfortunately, it does not always work, and they are forced to look for other groups to socialize.

Worse still is the fact that no one likes being kicked out of a group. Being booted out means that no one likes them and wants them out (as is most of the cases on the Internet). This is not just detrimental to your group but to the other group since discord can be sewn in the other group that the poor guy joins.

However, forgiveness is just one part of building a community. Acceptance is the other thing that must be practised.

Like I said before, people want to feel accepted, to feel like they belong. It is also imperative that all members of the community are ready to accept any new member that comes in, regardless of writing style, general disposition, favorite perversions and so on. True, there might be some quirk that makes the community feel that the new guy might not fit in, but that’s a personal concern, not a community concern.

Hey, it’s hard living in a world that praises revenge than grace, but that doesn’t mean we should follow. If it makes you a better person, I say it’s worth it.

To sum it up, to build a community with grace, 2 things must be done:

  1. Forgive the member who has offended the community and reinstate his or her place in the community.
  2. Accept any new member into the community in the hope that he or she will improve the community.

April 2, 2008 at 11:52 pm 1 comment

Grace – Applying it to business models


I don’t really have an April’s Fools Day joke. The whole WEEK OF LOVE~~~~~~ is for real. Hippies not included.

I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

– Luke 15:7-10 (KJV)

The above parable is the one about the woman and her 10 coins. It’s about a women who had 10 coins, lost one and rejoiced when she found her lost coin. When this was written, the 10 coins were actually a day’s wages. Losing a coin could potentially mean you would go hungry for a meal, at most.

It also precedes one of the most famous and recognized parables: The parable of the prodigal son.

How it went was something like this: A father had 2 sons. One wanted his share of the estate to go have fun. His father gave him his share. The son went out into the world, and lost it all. A famine then came into the land, and he was forced to eventually take care of pigs. He was so hungry he wanted to eat the food that was meant for the pigs. He then realized that he was a fool to have left his father’s home, where even the servants had enough to eat. He decides to go home, not as his son, but to ask for employment. When he got home, he humbly apologized to his father for being irresponsible and that he was not fit to be his son. His father, on the other hand, was so overjoyed that his wayward son, whom he took for as dead, was back alive, albeit thinner and stank of pigs. A party was held, and he was restored to his rightful place. The other son, not exactly happy at seeing his brother being treated in this manner, refused to attend the party. The father had to explain why the party was necessary.

Keep in mind that the story was told to the Jews, specifically to the Pharisees. I’m not going into the intricacies of first-century AD/CE politics (because I don’t know it) or why was the story needed, but I will tell you these 2 points.

1. Pigs are considered to be not kosher (Jews don’t really eat pork, because it is, uh, not relevant to their interests.), so in saying that the prodigal son took care of pigs, the author of the parable was pretty much say much saying he was filthy spiritually, as well as physically.

2. The original story had a much different ending. The father sneered at the prodigal, locked him out, and in effect, disowned his son. The community then praised the father for upholding family values. Keep in mind that this is 1st-century AD/CE we’re talking about here.

But what’s that got to do with the animé industry, you may ask. Or even the music and movie and software industry? Well, it’s got everything to do with those industries, and then some.

I’ve been paying attention to the whole COPYRIGHTS COPYRIGHTS LOL fracas since the RIAA took Napster to court. That was either in 1999 or 2000, my mind’s rather fuzzy on the actual date. Since that success, companies feeling threatened by the ‘power’ of the Internet has either threatened it. If it’s not the RIAA and the MPAA dealing with wayward customers, it’s people like Zac Berstchy and the Japanese Government/ISPs condemning people who download fansubs, calling them hurtful names, or even shady businessmen like Peter Go and Stephen Sing threatening people to ‘fess up to doing wrong or suffer the consequences. And this just in: Creative Labs’ deliciously stupid PR move that could doom them for good. In effect, they’re acting like the father in the original version of the prodigal son: doing their best to disown the wayward customer in order to reap either praise or short-term profit.

How do the masses react? Ironically but predictably, they react in the same manner as the companies do, only with more hate and vitriol. Flaming in forums, heated arguments on slashdot, angry blog posts, and boycotts. And nothing is done about their habits and downloads.

And the cycle continues until someone important either realizes their folly or kills off the masses. Such is the way of the world.

However, all is not lost.

The parable of the prodigal son is one of forgiveness and restoration. Why not apply it to the business world?

The company-customer relationship is extremely strained right now, partly because of the Internet, and partly because of the boneheadedness of the corporations. Both sides do not realize that they are not just prone to making mistakes, but also are prone to do so and justify their wrongful actions.

Are the customers right to download the company’s stuff off the Internet, modding their drivers, making fansubs, etc? In their eyes, perhaps they are, but according to the law, they are not. However, the companies are also doing the wrong thing by going after the people who put food on their tables by becoming legalistic and throwing the book at them. That is also the wrong thing to do. Legally, it is right for them to do so, but I ask a question: Would it be right for you to go after your customers even though the law says you can?

The apostle Paul put it the best:

What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “Do not covet.” But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead. Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.

For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.

-Romans 7:7-13 (NIV)

What’s Paul here really saying? Simple really. The law is all good, but we humans pervert the law in a way befitting our sinful natures. Which is pretty much the case we see in today’s society.

The customers, even though they know they are breaking the law (by downloading [insert item causing conflict here]), use the law to justify their actions. The companies, again, knowing their customers have broken the law, use the law to punish them (which is good), but in reality are using the law to justify their own greed (which is BAD.)

Instead of being the father in the original prodigal son story, why not be the father in the new prodigal son story? We all know that changing human nature is impossible short of massive genocide, so why not forgive the masses for doing wrong?

I’m not advocating a massive propaganda campaign meant to guilt-trip people here, it does not work and might backfire on you. What I’m advocating here is the total dropping of the issue here and now. You can’t fight human nature with lawsuits and threats unless you plan to act on them, so why not drop appealing to the people who will never in a million years buy your stuff and work on the people who WILL buy your stuff? Listening to your customers, implementing their suggestions when it seems sensible, hiring them if they are better and are not employed to your competitors…

If you make your customers feel loved and honored, they’ll treat you the same way. Sometimes, a good deed does go a long way.

Grace is indeed one of the hardest things to implement in the business world. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to do as I say, but hey, getting the word out is also just as good.

April 1, 2008 at 8:23 pm 1 comment

Loving what you blog


There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.

-Ecclesiastes 2:24 (KJV)

The saddest thing that could happen to anyone is that you realize that you hate what you do.  Be it your profession, blogging, even something as mundane is reading and eating, once you hate what you do, it’s not fun anymore, it’s a JOB. Like what happened to WoW to some players. Penny Arcade humorously says it well.

It’s a shame when you realize that you hate what you do. It means you have lost not just the passion to do what you did, but also the determination to push on. Each post you make is like torture, and the only joy you find in making it is when you finally finish what you had to say. Sooner or later, you will give up, making silly and hateful excuses and blaming everyone and everything but yourself for giving up.

Can people hate what they do? Well, yes. I’ve heard people complaining about studies, their job, even about blogging. They’ve realized that it either doesn’t suit them or they hate the subject matter. Some even go so far as to blame other people for making their experience full of coldness and hate.

Going about with a giant chip on your shoulder does not make for good blogging experience. I will admit, being fueled by hate makes for popularity, but it doesn’t make for great posts. Hate has a great way of multiplying itself, becoming bigger than you could control.

If there was one thing I have promised myself (and most probably lived/blogged by), it’s to have fun with whatever I do. Be it trolling Jason Miao, screaming like a yaoi fangirl with a yaoi paddle when it comes to shows I like, making fun of certain drama whores and flamers, I have had a ton of fun doing it. Some would even say I enjoy doing it.

It all goes back to verse I have chosen for today’s article. I’d like you to pay attention to the last part of the first sentence.

and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour.

What is so good about “making our soul enjoy good in our labor?” Or in this case, love what you do? For one thing, it makes the whole process easier. Thinking positive makes anything better. Another thing is this: it does not feel boring or like a chore to do. If you love what you do, it wouldn’t matter if the fate of the world lies in your hands; you’d do it not because you have to, but because you’d LOVE to.

The words of King Solomon rang true in his day, and it still rings true today. If one does not love what he or she does, he or she then hates what he or she does. King Solomon sums it up exactly in Ecclesiastes 2:17 (NIV):

So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

There were times I poured out my bitterness and hate, and there were times I became hateful to validate a point. I did not enjoy those times, and when I look back, I wonder with curiosity what fueled me to do what I had done. But most of the time, I’ve never felt that this whole thing was a big burden.

So I guess what I’ve been trying to drive home is this: Love what you do. Positive thinking makes everything a bit easier and less stressful. Don’t be a Kaioshin, who flamed himself to oblivion. (Dude, seriously, you sow hate, you reap hate back, IN SPADES. And TWUCKS.)

March 31, 2008 at 5:49 pm 6 comments

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And the prophet spake, saying: "Frak this, for my faith is a shield proof against your blandishments!"

- Alem Mahat, The Book of Cain, Chapter IV, Verse XXI

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