Misinformed, my opinion on opinions

I respect the right for everyone to have an opinion.

I also support freedom of speech.

But if your opinion is either:

  1. Not founded on any information, data, research, etc.
  2. Founded on false information, propaganda, etc.

Then you need to willing to accept that your opinion is flawed.

I have an opinion on almost everything, most of them are flawed. For example, I have an opinion on 50 Shades of Grey, in that there is a general negative connotation towards the book.

But my opinion is flawed because I have neither watched the movie, read the book, or done any prior research about what the story is about. I just simply have an opinion. I think everyone does.

However, if an advocate of the book/movie were to come up to me and be open to explaining the story and how there are beautiful nuances to the storytelling and creativity, I need to be completely willing to hear them out so I can better understand the situation.

In the same breath, if you have an opinion that is founded on false information (i.e. you read one source or you are a victim to propaganda) then you need to do a better job and understanding the topic through diverse sources, or else you fall into the spiraling trap of confirmation bias.

The best politicians and economists are not those that completely dismiss the other side. Instead, they understand many areas and try to utilize the best out of each perspective.

Full stop. I am a liberal. (Though, there are different left-right opinions regarding politics, economics, society, etc.)

But that doesn’t mean I support extremist liberal ideas, nor do I completely condemn all the ideas of the right.

I am a liberal (socially), but I respect capitalism and markets (more right-wing). I also believe in certain conservative approaches to tradition.

Full stop. I do not think Donald Trump is a good president. (Even though my opinion has no jurisdiction. I can Canadian, eh.).

I do not like many of the things Donald Trump says are does. But I’ve also done my research. And instead of condemning all the bad things he has done, I will point out the good things he has done:

  1. I believe that reducing the corporate tax rate in 2018 was a smart move on his part to help from billions of dollars worth of money back to America from overseas (Example: Apple)
  2. He is the only President willing to challenge China’s rising supreme power, which I believe can be a tactical move (however I do not necessarily agree with how he has approached the matter, nor his methods). I believe that China has had a bigger upside in trade with America and also has been a country known to curve around certain guidelines. However, I also believe that challenging China is roughly 20 years too late.
  3. Donald Trump has been active in trying to repair relationships between that of South Korea and North Korea.
  4. Donald Trump puts America first.

I remember back in 2016 when disliking Trump was an automatic response. It almost felt like “I hate Trump” could be a personality trait, just like my opinion on 50-Shades is. Yet, Trump had not become President yet, nor did we know what he planned to do, nor did many people actually understand his campaign. I personally believe that my opinion to dislike him is just a bit more grounded in information, having been a person who actively seeks to understand both sides of the situation. My opinion on 50 Shades of Grey? Not so grounded.

Opinions are powerful. And I respect people’s right to have them, and I believe sharing opinions is an even more powerful tool to incite debate and discussion.

I am still trying to understand how I can better understand people that fall into the first two categories (no information, or misinformed people).

Most of my opinions, as I mentioned, are flawed. But when I do have a strong opinion on something, I want people to know that I don’t carry that thought without any extensive research are thought on why I have that certain perspective. I want to know how I can help people understand the topics that I am passionate about. It is difficult for me to reach out to these types of people, and a part of me just wants to walk away and not debate with people who I know are clearly misinformed, but if I do that, I am afraid that my opinion will slowly die off. We live in a world of a sharing-digital era, and I’d feel remiss if I didn’t share my opinions.

If you see yourself having an opinion that is not based on information, I urge you to be open about someone helping you better understand the situation.

If you believe you are misinformed on an opinion, or that you only have on side of the story,, I urge you to seek out more diverse sources and talk to people more familiar with the matter.

So, does anyone want to explain to me why 50 Shades of Grey is a good story?

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Winners and Losers: a cashless society

In Sweden, cash retail transactions have fallen 80%

Digital transactions in China have risen from 4% in the past 20 years to 34% in 2017.

A cashless society provides many benefits to society

Countries spend roughly 0.5% of their GDP managing physical cash

Consumers have better tracking of their money in digital forms, more convenience, and quicker and easier access to payments

Black market transactions dealt in cash will be strapped down

But consumers who value data privacy will also lose, as governments will likely use digital transactions as data

The poor and unbanked will lose out if cash is phased out

And society may become less democratic, with more power funneling towards institutions, governments, and financial corporations who control the digital system

 

The fear of UBI

With the rise of AI and robotics, there is a lot of fear surrounding the job market and job losses in the developed world.

In Kai-Fu Lee’s book, AI superpowers, he mentions three potential solutions to the rise of AI

  1. Retraining people
  2. Shifting people (maybe 3-4 day work weeks?)
  3. A general minimum income, or universal basic income

He notes that although a UBI may be necessary, the fear is that the winners of the AI revolution will simply use UBI as a sedative for the real problem

The real problem is that with any revolution, particularly with the respects of technology and the digital era, the winners are becoming bigger winners in the economy.

Facebook has low or no marginal cost for pumping out ads

Advanced AI will be able to do more for less

And the rich will get richer, and instead of finding a solution, governments will put a “bandaid” called UBI for those that fall behind in the revolution

Which is why education is important. Which is why action is important.

a Universal basic income, no strings or restrictions attached, may have the issue of making society complacent.

He proposes instead to instead offer a societal standard income with criteria to meet.

For example:

  1. Educators, teachers
  2. Public workers, government workers
  3. Social workers
  4. those who contribute back to society in some way
  5. Meeting criteria of education and retraining programs

We don’t want to live in a world like Wall-E, where AI and robots are so advanced that humanity falls complacent, inactive

AI and robots will increase productivity. But humanity needs to continue running the race as well.

 

optimism

It’s easy to be a critic

It’s easy to be negative

When society sees someone going the road less traveled, or going a road that’s never been traveled, our instinct is to condemn the individual for being irrational

But realism and optimism are not polar opposites

In fact, a realistic optimist is the best type of person

They see an opportunity, and instead of simply dreaming about the potential, they actively take steps towards realizing that opportunity

But when someone is too optimistic, they are condemned, or criticized, or surrounded by negativity

Extreme optimism is powerful

But extreme optimism alone means you won’t get anything done. It’s okay to dream of being an NBA star one day. But if you aren’t practicing every day, taking care of your diet and health, and training your mindest as hard as you train your body, then it’s just irrational optimism.

Realistic optimism is unstoppable.

You train every day, you actively work towards your goals, and you are full of unbounded optimism and reach for your dreams.

Rational optimism is how you achieve goals.

Reach for the moon. Just be prepared to also build the rocket ship to get there.

Most gorgeous country

Singapore is the easily the most gorgeous country I’ve been to

Marina Bay is on another level when it comes to innovation, design, and creativity

Returning back to Singapore makes me truly appreciate the intricate details that Singaporeans have put into designing a wonderful city-state

Singaporeans are proud of their country. They are proud of their work. And they are diligent and careful.

There is no wonder that Singapore is one of the prettiest, safest, cleanest, diverse, and richest countries I’ve ever been to.

I want to live here at least for a few years.

 

going against the crowd

it’s hard

it’s really hard to go against the elephant in your head

elephants are huge

no one messes with them

and when they want something they’ll go for it

that is your mind

most of the time

but your rational self is sitting on top of the elephant

you can’t tame the elephant completely, but you can guide it with your reigns and nudge it in the right direction

in the long term, even a small nudge will take you in a completely different direction than just simply going straight

“Consider this. If you’re going somewhere and you’re off course by just one degree, after one foot, you’ll miss your target by 0.2 inches. Trivial, right? But what about as you get farther out?

  • After 100 yards, you’ll be off by 5.2 feet. Not huge, but noticeable.
  • After a mile, you’ll be off by 92.2 feet. One degree is starting to make a difference.
  • After traveling from San Francisco to L.A., you’ll be off by 6 miles.
  • If you were trying to get from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., you’d end up on the other side of Baltimore, 42.6 miles away.
  • Traveling around the globe from Washington, DC, you’d miss by 435 miles and end up in Boston.”

https://whitehatcrew.com/blog/a-mere-one-degree-difference/

fighting climate change

Climate change—or let’s be blunt here, global warming—is a difficult topic of discussion not only because no one genuinely understands the ramifications of a warming Earth, but also because there is not one unified blueprint to tackling the problem.

We fight fire with water. We fight obesity with exercising and dieting. We fight lethargy with sleep. We fight boredom with Netflix. But how exactly do we stop global warming?

First off, this is a global issue. When one person is obese, that individual can fight obesity with independent exercising and dieting. But global warming requires the entire world—or at least, a large majority of the population—to come together and tackle the issue. And this is where we have a quagmire because pollution is an externality: 

“For economists, the problem is that polluters are not required to bear the full cost of the pollution they create in terms of the costs to wider society.”

My proposed solution?

Look. I won’t give you one.

Because, let’s be honest, we all know how to reduce our carbon footprint.

And if you legitimately don’t know how to help the environment, then you’re not being creative enough.

Instead, I urge you to think more about what it means to our world if we don’t do anything. And I mean now. And even if it means baby steps towards a better future, at least we are doing something, anything.

Because in a world where everyone wants to take take take, let’s remember that we need to give back to Mother Earth too.