“Why are you always laughing? Sometimes I don’t even know what you’re laughing about! Sometimes it’s just mean!”
- Didn’t you get the memo?
“What? What memo?”
- It’s all a joke.
One day a monk walks up to him and asks, “What is the meaning of Zen?”
Smiling as usual, he instantly swung the sack over his shoulder.
“How does one realize Zen?” Budai then takes up his bag and continues on his way.
From Siddhartha “…Siddhartha replies that for every true statement there is an opposite one that is also true; that language and the confines of time lead people to adhere to one fixed belief that does not account for the fullness of the truth. Because nature works in a self-sustaining cycle, every entity carries in it the potential for its opposite and so the world must always be considered complete. Siddhartha simply urges people to identify and love the world in its completeness…”
Awakened by a loud engine sound, pursued by an irritating blowing of horns, the PNR train forced me to jump out on my bed disturbed and quite irritated.
It was 5:00 in the morning and the dawn is soon to break. I wolfed over a cup of coffee and sat on the veranda. Jeepneys came rushing to the scene; people who were bound to go to work trotted the street and establishments though half-baked ready started opening their windows. Soon after, the morning shifted into a business- as- usual mood.
I sipped the coffee a bit faster as I try to mull over the busy scene. Oh, well, it’s been a while since I last enjoyed the loosened and hassle free type of environment. At one point, the mornings I used to wake up to— several years ago are ways too different from the habitual mornings I am facing everyday here in the City—harried and always on the go.
“There is a “what else did you expect?” nature to the outsized role of Western languages in three Western-born products: the mass book-publishing industry, Wikipedia and Twitter. But the results are still meaningful: Twitter really is globally important (just ask the Iranian mullahs or the former president of Tunisia). Sina Weibo and VK (Russia’s Facebook) are not. Their homemade nature may be a point of pride—it certainly keeps censors happy—but it also means cutting down a country’s cultural influence.
For the language learner, the networked nature of languages poses an interesting dilemma: should you learn a language popular among global elites? The tradition of learning French still looks like a good bet here. Or should you learn a language whose number of globetrotting bilinguals is small relative to its importance? Supply and demand says that this will be valuable. This is the real case for learning Chinese: not because it is the rising global language, but because it isn’t—at least certainly not yet. Given China’s huge role in the global economy, the number of outsiders fluent in Chinese is still far too few.”