Monday

Art Showcase, Authors, Blog, Omar Abdelhamid, Philosophy, Poetry, Society, Uncategorized

Monday

A Poem by Omar Abdelhamid

It is Monday.  

The sky is freshly rolled out

the air is soft and silent

A single crimson leaf

dances above my head

 

And the world is in front of my eyes

but my arms cannot reach out and grab it

 

I am a speck in the ground below

Some hear my whispers

Stoop down to listen.

Pick up the words I drop

And place them into my humble basket

 

  1. Am.  Sinking.

My arms and neck  are stuck in the cement

I cannot reach out, nor do I have a soul to lift me

I am bound to something, something more than me

and it rushes through my bones

through my mind bouncing back and forth and breaking through every thought every memory

And I can feel the frozen bodies of those who fell behind me,  screaming, hoping,

 leaving their legacies

to be plucked by the vulture time

who eats his meal with no haste

they leave it for me

for me  to drop

and for you to stoop down,

pick up, and place into my humble basket

 

They will find me here

if they care to look

frozen

a moment in time

an echo, a memory

 

And every echo is smaller

when there is no one there to hear

please hear

 

Send help

Give my words a way

To break me out

out of this cage

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Skyscrapers

Authors, Blog, Omar Abdelhamid, Philosophy, Society, Uncategorized

Skyscrapers

A Short Story by Omar Abdelhamid

      Exhausted from the walk and relieved to have found a seat, I braced myself for the roar of the train as it took off. Suddenly we were in the dark, and I could spot blotches of graffiti on the inside of the tunnel as we whizzed by. I could not think, because my thoughts,unable to keep up with the speed of the iron beast, were left to float in the emptiness of the tunnels, to be ignored, if even noticed, by later commuters. The screech of the friction of the rails as we shot through exhausted my mind, until I could see nothing, I could hear nothing, and I could know nothing. And West shot the beast towards home.

Are We Who We Think We Are?

Authors, Blog, Omar Abdelhamid, Philosophy, Science and Technology, Society

 

My name is Omar Abdelhamid. But is that really who I am?  Is Omar, the Omar that speaks to others and shares opinions and ideas the whole of my being? Or is Omar just one of the many functions of my human self? And does this self, this communicative, social self, really physically exist?
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Dreams and Goals

Authors, Blog, Omar Abdelhamid, Philosophy, Society

What is the difference between a dream and a goal?

Quite literally, a dream is the sensation you feel when you are asleep.  But when we use it in everyday conversations, it means a perception or hope for the future, your future, what you would like to happen, or what you would like for your everyday life or reality to become.

Is there  a connection between the sleeping-based dream and a dream for the future? After all, why would there be a connection in the word itself if not?        .

A goal is a set and established landmark you want to reach in your life. A goal is thought of as something to work towards , a step to take.

Now, to the question, how do they differ. Well, you could think of a goal as small, but you don’t normally do that with a dream. For example, you could say, my goal for this week is to finish writing this article, or you could say My life goal is to be rich. You could only replace goal with dream in the latter of these examples.

So a dream is, relatively big, or spanning a long period of time. I mean, you could say my dream is to own a little house in the woods. It isn’t necessarily extravagant, but it’s significant.  A goal is therefore a collection of goals, but a dream is also a collection of goals, and a dream isn’t a collection of dreams.
When you are young you dream big because you aren’t quite sure about what goals you should set. You aren’t sure about the process that goes into achieving goals and dreams. So in essence, your dreams are from where your goals derive, and each small goal that you think of puts you closer to that dream.

But that is in a more creative sense, as a child. But when you are a part of an institution, for example a company or a school, you can’t really normally stray off from the direction of the institution and make a monumental change in it, so you  stuck with making small goals to inch your way through improving it or yourself in the institution. In a school or institution, you, even if you think in terms of dreams, are goal orientated. You have a big dream, like being the best student , but  there are goals that are forced onto you, that you can’t actually control, and although your performance in achieving those goals controls how well you reach your dream, you have no power over the goals themselves. In that sense, in all cases, your dream is just an output of your goals.

In school, you might want to be a great student, but you can’t choose the means by which you do that. At the essence of being a good student is doing well on tests and doing your homework, and you can’t really control that, those are the standards on which you base your dream.

So a dream outside of an institution, for example, in starting your own business, is more free and is more based on the dream than the goals. Because in many ways, you get to decide how to get there.

Steve Jobs was fired from Apple. His own Board of Directors fired him, and although this might seem crazy and terrible, he says:

” I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”

So in being in an institution, even as the head of it, he found himself forced to follow the goals set and standardized to be a good and successful business, he had the dream of having a better company, but the way he got there was pretty much controlled by the traditions of doing business. That’s something about the notion of dreams, they could be revolutionary or crazy or wild, and no set of goals can limit them, they decide their own rules and steps.

Out of an institution, he was able to dream more, and from his dreams was able to stem ways of getting there, and so he was able, with his creativity, to find the best steps to help him achieve his dreams.

We can’t control the fact that sometimes we have to dream and sometimes we have to stick to the script to continue living the dream once we’ve reached it or stop chasing after a dream once it’s been deferred, its just a consequence of the nature of goals and dreams.

Keep Dreaming.

Free Will, Life, and the Damned Future

Alwin Peng, Authors, Blog, Philosophy, Science and Technology

By Alwin Peng

Let’s start out by addressing an important question: What is free will?

Well, kind seeker of answers, free will is the idea that living things have the CHOICE of what they are going to do. Judaism sees free will as something that naturally goes with the naturally
belonging human soul. For example, free will was present in the Old Testament, where Adam and Eve chose themselves to defy their omnipotent lord.

Well then giver of answers, what the heck does response have anything to do with the title?

My friend… I am just getting to that. Life, in a scientific sense, was created when random particles (namely hydrocarbons, but that science gunk really bores people so let’s not talk about it) reacted with each other. Over billions of years, these mindless reactions happened, until one day, a being was created that can reproduce. Mr. Charles Darwin will take over from here.

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“You see, my good inquisitor, that evolution happened. That being slowly mutated as it moved into different environments. Stronger mutations would be able to reproduce, and this passed down the genes
that helped it survive. Gradually, these beings evolved until they became as complicated as we are.”

Okay Mr. Darwin, you may step down now. So one may see life as the free will of the universe, and based on whether you are an atheist or not, you may draw different conclusions.

So, giver of answers, you told me why the title had the words Free Will and Life, but what is with “The Damned Future”. That’s rather depressing.

So here goes… but this could be a bit more depressing… Remember when I talked about random
reactions that created life? Well let’s zoom in a bit further. When you break down the situation to its simplest form, it is basically atoms moving at velocities at certain positions, their courses predetermined.

So you’re saying that life was predetermined?

In essence, yes. Now let’s go all the way back in time, to the moment the big bang happened. Each atom had a certain position and velocity as the universe expanded. From that point forward, you can calculate what will happen to that individual atom as it reacts with others. In a nutshell, if I had a computer that knew the position and velocity of every atom, I would be able to predict the future correctly, as the interactions of the atoms is the future.

Then why the heck don’t we predict the future?

Well… we can’t. It is impossible to know the position and velocity of any object at the same time: in the process of measuring, both values are changed. Due to quantum mechanics, an object stays
in superposition of both existence and a lack of existence before it is measured, making predicting the future impossible. However, the future is indeed set in stone, but we cannot predict it. Free will does not exist. All your thoughts are due to movements of particles in your brain, sending electrical signals
throughout the body.

You’re still not answering my first question about the depressing title.

The future may not be damned in an apocalyptic sense. But we cannot choose our own future. That, is why I see this future is damned.

The Bystander Effect

Authors, Blog, Derek Leung, Philosophy, Society

By Derek Leung

Usually, when there is a physical fight, if there enough people, they will soon form a circle around the fight, usually without helping the victim of the fight. After the fight is over, the crowd will disperse, leaving the injured victim behind with little to no people helping them. This is often attributed to the bystander effect.

On the Elements of Love

Authors, Omar Abdelhamid, Philosophy, Society, Uncategorized

by Omar Abdelhamid

 

To encompass the benefit and the reason for the survival of love in humans, one can describe all forms of “Love” as the basis of all motivation. The reason for doing anything that has ever been done is love.

We can further break down love into 3 different forms.

One kind of love is loving something for what it has done before. Another is loving for what it is doing. And the last is loving for what it can do.

All these forms are similar, despite being listed in the dictionary as three entirely different definitions of the word love. Because all three types of love is giving very passionately because there is something that can, is, or has been given to you before. You love because you were given or will be given and you are grateful. So love is in a sense gratitude as well.

These categories seem vague at first glance, so it would help to provide examples for each kind.

Black And White

Authors, Blog, English, Omar Abdelhamid, Philosophy, Society

by Omar Abdelhamid

What do you consider blank?

If someone was to ask you to draw or express something blank, what would you draw?

Would you take an 8 1/2 by 11 piece of computer paper and not draw anything? Is the paper blank? White reflects in all light and absorbs none, so is the paper blank because it is free of absorbed color?

Or would you color the paper in pitch black? Black reflects no color and absorbs it all,making your eyes see no color. So would the paper be visually blank?

What does blank mean?

The Itsy Bitsy Spider and The Pheonix

Authors, Blog, Omar Abdelhamid, Philosophy, Society

By Omar Abdelhamid

 

“There was a silly damn bird called a phoenix back before Christ, every few hundred years he built a pyre and burnt himself up.But every time he burnt himself up he sprang out of the ashes, he got himself born all over again. And it looks like we’re doing the same thing, over and over, but we’ve got one damn thing the phoenix never had. We know the damn silly thing we just did. We know all the damn silly things we’ve done for a thousand years and as long as we know that and always have it around where we can see it, someday we’ll stop making the goddamn funeral pyres and jumping in the middle of them.” ( Bradbury,163)

Peanuts and Child Philosophy

Authors, Omar Abdelhamid, Philosophy, Uncategorized

Charles M. Schulz, famous for being the creator of the Peanuts cartoons, once remarked about his profession:

” If I were a better artist, I’d be a painter, and if I were a better writer, I’d write books- but I’m not, so I draw cartoons.”

The key element of his skills description is his lack of proficiency in writing. He may have not been good at writing, but he was still able to express very powerful messages. He did this by taking on the view of children, who have ideas like he did, but are not able to organize them into eloquent writing,and instead were more abstract in their mindset. He used his persona as a child to justify expressing his ideas in abstract and unclear ways.