Reason and Passion, we need them all!

Two main topics of this quarter’s humanities are Enlightenment and Romanticism. Enlightenment focuses on science, secular, and reason while Romanticism is about individual sentiment. Though for me I think reason and science is my top priority to learn and observe the world and the society (guess that is why I am here in a university and being in a engineering major), but it is also interesting when we did the video for Enlightenment vs. Romanticism, that gives me another approach to feel and experience the world. I liked the way how personal sentiment are portrayed and they affect people’s knowledge and emotions in Goethe’s work “The Sufferings of Young Werther”. Though I don’t like they way how Werther is so into Lotte that is either get her or suicide, and how his feelings are dependent on Lotte’s action to him, that makes him look like a bipolar disorder patient… So, though I think people in the Western civilization is more into logic and reason. Since as we go through from Hum1 to Hum3, most of the authors are using reason as the tool to think, and is their approach to philosophy. But still we might need some emotional education. It shocked me with the double-rainbow video, apart of finding it funny of how the guy was amazed and then burst to tears, it is thoughtful as well because it is hard to understand from reason point of view. So I guess we should develop romantic feelings, as it is a part of human experiences and it will make our mental world full. So Enlightenment and Romanticism, we need to study them all!

This is from a book cover of “The Sufferings of Young Werther”. This is pretty interesting here that Werther, as a romantic figure, seems he is experiencing some desperate conflicts in mind. While on the other hand, Lotte, acting as a Enlightenment figure like:”What’s wrong with this guy??”

Don’t tag

Photograph-A Scientist

Many people might have seen this iconic picture of Einstein sticking his tongue out. This picture is one of my personal favorites, not only it is ironic since it does not match any other picture of him being serious, so it create a sense of humor; but also how it let me know and take that people are multifaceted, it is never absolute to judge a person, thus, don’t stereotype.

As Schiller believes that art can arise intellectual for people and make them better morally. The idea from this photograph for me is that don’t hold stereotypes. The reason why people find this funny because it create a diverse impression how we usually think Einstein is-serious, genius, and big-brain. However, here he can also be humorous, playful, and maybe…cute. I think that’s is why the caption is called “A Scientist”. A scientist might not be what people believe he or she is, each of them have different characteristics. Scientists are also people, they should not be tagged with a trait of such people often present, and it applies to all of us.

If the idea rises from this photo need to improve us morally, then I guess it tells us that people are complicated, like what Muse said about Odysseus:”Tell me about a complicated man…” .Like Odysseus, and in this picture, Einstein, people can’t be judged or left an impression of a single word, just we can’t merely describe Odysseus as good, or bad. So it is insufficient to judge a person according to stereotype.

(Aside from this but not quite… What I liked about the Champions’ Ballad (DLC2 of Legend of Zelda: The Breath of the Wild) is that it shows an opposite characteristic of all the four champions in their past story, distinct from what they have shown in the main storyline. That gives me a feel that they are REAL characters than a programmed NPC. ) : )

Warning or Rumor? Should we manage speech?

I was walking out from Geisel yesterday and noticed that the chalk writing in simplified Chinese that mourns for Dr. Wenliang Li was still there. As I studied the Bill of Rights before, I am personally glad that whoever wrote it can have his or her freedom of speech practices here as a part of their natural rights. As according to the Amendment I:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the
free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…

It can be seen that the speech right, is a part of the natural right that people have according to the Constitution. People can express freely, and the government cannot make restrictions on it.

So, back to the story, Wenliang Li was a doctor in Wuhan, China. Before the coronavirus outbreak, he was one of the eight “whistleblowers” that warns his friends and colleagues in a group chat but then spread to the public that there’s a suspicion of some SARS (syndrome caused by a specific coronavirus) cases in a seafood market. However, his warning was judged by the government as rumor spreading and had him sign a paper to stop such actions. Except that, the government paid little attention to the case itself. Then the coronavirus outbreaks in China, especially Wuhan, and Dr. Wenliang Li passed away after infecting the coronavirus during work.

Though it is totally different cases between China and the U.S. and it is wrong to use the Bill of Rights as a fact to comment on this (though lots of people, even native Chinese, are questioning the government about their speech rights). But take out the political stuff and focus on the philosophy and the case itself, Will the freedom of speech give a proper solution to this case? I personally say it could be better if people hold that speech right is a part of their human rights. I don’t want it to be a joke that “-if you can time travel back to China, will you save the country? -no, you will be the ninth person that gets punished for spreading lies.”

It is hard to satisfy human desires, really?

I once watched a clip of an interesting Japanese show; it is about what will a homeless beggar do if someone gives him a lot of money. Apart from what I(myself, not Rousseau) thought that he will spend lots of money buying luxuries, to use the money to invest, to find a job, to fully use up all that he can have, he first rejected the offer and ask if he would get arrested or not (lol). When the people recording the show explains and insist on giving him, he steps into a convenient store, buys some cheap foods, water, a toothbrush, and asked if they can let him use the money to live in a hotel for one day. He seems to be happy after taking a comfortable nap and a bath and returned all the money that they give him. I, as Rousseau, would explain this phenomenon in my discussion of the state of nature. I believe that the human state of nature is like animals, actually, human desire is simple, and their needs are little. Basically humans only wish for physical needs like food, water, shelter. Like the example above, a man, even without any interactions with the society itself (not involving, not contributing) can still demonstrate his state of nature. From the homeless’ action of only buying stuff for basic needs, it can be explained by my statement of the state of nature. People in the state of nature should have a good life, it can be seen from the homeless that he was quite satisfied after fulfilling basic needs even he does not receive a lot of money.

A self-intro

Hi guys, my name is Paul Guo, my actual given name is Tianze but it is hard to pronounce, so I choose this one-syllable name instead. I’m an international student from Beijing, China majoring in Bioengineering(Biotechnology). I am interested in the natural sciences, I can spend a whole day exploring natural history museums. For literature, I am interested in Camus’ absurdism, ‘The myth of Sisyphus’ is always my top favorite and it helped me when I’m down. Another fun fact about me is that I’m ranked world top 15,000 in Pokemon Shield.

My favorite book in the humanities so far is the ‘Consolation of Philosophy’ I liked how lady Philosophy reasoned to Boethius that wealth, fame, etc are not the ultimate good, only God is. Though I personally do not hold any religion, I still found the reasoning part interesting. It makes me believe that wealth and fame may not be my goal, and it contributes to my optimistic view that sometimes I can use that reasoning to persuade myself that grades are not that important, and it can release some stress for me: )

The stray cat I adopted in high school and had him being a school pet there