Monday, September 1, 2008

i hate writing random thoughts, but that's all we have

majestic, slinkachu

i have a very peculiar disadvantage in that i am the worst decision maker i know. Often, based on past errors i feel quite simply unable to determine what is the best course of action. Other times, with fairly solid confidence i will make a decision (and always after thorough scrutiny and contemplation) and it will be disastrous, because my scrutinizing and contemplations had been completely on the wrong premises. (for example, one should choose to take a walk today because one did not take a walk yesterday- failing to note that it is currently raining) (though, to be fair, i generally favor walks in the rain, but you get the point, which is the flaws of reasoning). For a while i had hoped that if-(S)He-exists-God would simply nudge the universe this way or that, and jiggle some sense (or nonsense) into a few weekdays, blow some starlight on a Saturday night, and by Sunday afternoon everything would have been made ok. Not in that The End! sort of way where the credits roll and everyone leaves the theater happily- rather in the the sense that the beginning is determined for me and i can just do the hard work of getting to the end. i have changed my paradigm as of late, and have attempted to take a more autonomous view of things, a sort of soi-autocrat of destiny. To be truthful, it is a somewhat ill-fitting model for me. Firstly, (and those who actually know me will testify to this) my unfortunately pessimistic temperament makes it hard for me to cast all reasonable concerns aside and face the world with a smile! (You TOO can find happiness, love- whatever YOU are after! All you have to do is wwaanntt it! It all starts with a dream! If You have a dream, then You can achieve it!) Secondly, a person's perspective is only partially a matter of temperament. There is the all important historical context to consider. One makes decisions based on previous encounters, victories, losses, assessments of judgments and so on. I mention this as a sort of minor-defense of myself, some portion of my current pessimism (though I am unsure if it really is distinct enough to deserve that brand) is based on past misfortune. could happen to anyone. and if it did happen to someone, then they'd probably see things the way I see them.

In any case, here is a list of the futures I can feasibly begin in the near future.
  1. MSc in Statistics (Financial Mathematics) at the University of New South Wales, Sydney.
  2. MSc in Applied Statistics (Financial Mathematics) at the Australian National University, Canberra
  3. Juris Doctorate in Laws at Bond University, Gold Coast

    and now, this is where it gets interesting. I had a recent... odd conversation with someone who probably thinks too highly of me, and who is very generous with the benefits of their position of some prominence, who used these words: oh, you're being admitted won't be a problem, i assure you, you tell me when you want to start, any quarter, and there'll be a spot for you. So to the list i'm going to add:

  4. M.Architecture (school withheld) San Diego
As you can see we are at something of a crossroads. The only downside to point 4 is the ~$65,000 pricetag... which points 1-3 conveniently avoid (more or less).


Something I think about alot is the application of moral (or its more theoretical albeit abstract root spiritual) principles to matters of economics; understandably, since I know very little about both, and being ignorant of something often leads you to have many lingering questions about it. (or not) (but in my case, so). To remedy this problem, I'm currently reading ECONOMICS, A Very Short Introduction, written by some baller or another and published by Oxford University Press. I have at present come across three incredible first-principles (rational deduction, no technical knowledge required) proofs of how moral principles are related to matters of economy. One example was a proof that a community working together in unified organization (the principle and chapter heading was trust) will reap greater monetary gains. This latest find, requires some thought, although it proves a causal relationship between gender inequality and fertility rates (defined as the number of live-births women have in a lifetime), I'm not sure what the ideal situation is with regards to quantity of baby-making a person/society deems appropriate. In any case, it's got me thinking, and since I know alot of ladies read this blog, have a think about this (I've skipped the chapter long proof and exposition and quote only the summary):

Gender imbalances in health within households in the poor world are related to fertility choice. Since women bear the far greater cost in bearing and rearing children, we should expect men to desire more children than women. On the other hand, if women are economically more vulnerable than men, they would desire more children than men because children offer an insurance against particularly bad circumstances [he means you can put the children to work]. Either way, birth rates would be expected to be lower in societies where women are more empowered. Data on the status of women in Sub-Saharan Africa [he's been using this region as a general example of the Third World] display an unmistakable pattern: high fertility, high rates of female illiteracy, low women's share of paid employment, and a high percentage of women working at home for no pay, go hand in hand.


i suppose i'm probably alienating many readers if i carry on with this... typical-blog-what i'm thinking about/stuff that happened to me today-approach (which by the way, i swore my blog would never be about). But truth is... I'm sort of out of creative juice. (though not entirely, yesterday I went walking in the cemetery by my dad's house again. It's the oldest in Adelaide and is actually Heritage Listed, it has graves marked 1853. Please stop a moment to think about how far away that is. That this patch of land has existed here, and has been a place of sadness, respite, peace, longing, fear, family, bitterness, disappointment, rejoice, Faith, and solace for well over a century. In the short-story I wrote the other morning, I say regarding epitaphs: it's our last chance for literary fame.

Old cemeteries are amongst my favorite things ever, and this particular one ranks in my top... perhaps 5 places in the world. So I walked, and (unfortunately forgot my prayer book), so I stood in front of these stones, and read them, and thought about

______WIFE OF

and what EBENEZER JARVIS was thinking on June 1891 when he stood there and lowered his wife, surrounded by which of his friends and family? and where did he find the inspiration for these words that he put under her name?


and i said prayer, for Mr. Jarvis, for his awkward rhythm, for that day and how he felt, and for the days after. and i wondered, when did Mr. Jarvis's children pass away themselves? and who knew about Mr. Jarvis today? and how long had it been since someone had stood here and noticed Mr. Jarvis. and did anyone recall what his story was?, and what words he used to describe his wife during her (supposed) eulogy? And. most importantly, since Mr. Jarvis is the name of the now-dead body of Mr. Jarvis, does anyone pray for the still-alive soul of Mr. Jarvis? Is he lonely? (i finished my prayer, since i know too few from memory, i said the same two or three over and over for the entire afternoon, and looked up to read the rest of the stone:

_WHO DIED MAY 16 1897


(and that made me sad.happy)

(and my mother read the draft of my short-story the other day, and called me, rather hesitantly today, and eventually said, - um, q... so... i read your story
____- right
____- well. you see, perhaps it's just me, and you know, i'm not so literate and as much an intellectualite [this is an endearing term she ____uses to mock me] but... well... did your story have a point?
____[Q laughs genuinely]
____- good spotting mom! that's why i told you it's a draft. it's just the language and 'sense' and feel of the story. i just have to find the ____point.
____- oh.
____- yeah.
____- ok. well. when you have a point, send it to me again i guess.


so... on the heels of a very tumultuous and memorable, and in many ways difficult year, we have (as i rather surprisingly perceived today) everything i had asked for: peace, quiet, a handy piano, time to myself, and many books to catch up. Also, as seems to be the case in my life, very frequently, a difficult decision to make. (and martha knows first hand how difficult it is for me to choose between pancakes and omelettes, and the last time I picked a career it was on the basis of a television show- there's that flawed reasoning i told you about) and that's what we've got to do now. So here's my reading list:

ECONOMICS, A Very Short Introduction (almost finished)
A Users Introduction to the ASX (ASX = Australian Stock Exchange) (to be read simultaneously with:
Run, Rabit by John Updike (the great American novel of dissatisfaction and restlessness... i wasn't aware someone wrote a story about my life, i'll keep you posted)

and then something or another about the Theory of Architecture (as i was told if you find the theory intriguing, and captivating, the technic follows easily).

oh, and

LITERARY THEORY, A Very Short Introduction (eventually)
(because I want to)

in short, i'm going to base my flawed reasoning this time, on 160 page, pocket-sized introduction books to things. (god help me)


Apsy said...

Go for the Financial Mathematics options, nice and challenging. Hard to get a job though. The maths is good. Stochastic calculus is great tool to have in the mind. Go for it mate.

rho said...

Studying Law at Bond University and bad decision making are fully compatible concepts.