Tag Archives: random thought

Understanding trademarks

18 Oct

My curiosity has served me well.  The action I choose this weekend is to listen to the seminar at national trademark expo under the theme: 

Protecting Your Trademark
Enhancing Your Rights through Federal Registration

 

http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/notices/tmexpo.jsp

It stimulated my thinking deeply. I had a revelation on who we are as social beings.

That trademarks come to being gives the meaning to bourgeoisie as a class.

Two contrasting views on who we are had been leading me to such a revelation. 

On one side, it is the individualistic instinct in us; i.e., we need to be different and to stand out from others.
On the other side, it is the social instinct in us; i.e., we need each others approval.

Both are necessary for us to compete. Fairness in competition leads to government involvement; thus, the patent & trademark office becomes necessary in our civilization. 

Who are we?

18 Oct

I am back! I am a writer because I believe in sharing my thoughts with others. 

My new idea in writing is called “who are we?” It is going to be a series of essay based on what I did during my leisure time, such as reading, doing things, and chatting with others.

In general, “who are we?” is my pondering about whatever interesting while looking at our daily activities.

As a bystander, my living style or living philosophy, I would rather write about what I see than what I can do to take advantage of a situation that is interesting to me.

In this first and the introductory blog, l am going to examine my own subconscious motivation: 
                     

 “unexamined life is not worth living.” 

It is a famous saying by Socrates, supposedly.   Is it true to you? It might be too soon to tell if you have just started your journey in your adulthood. I started to examine my life a great deal more lately; and I found out that the quality of my living have increased substantially. If I share my examination of living in general with you, will it help you to improve your quality of living as well? 

Let’s see 🙂

History, Culture, and Future

26 Nov

The second edition:

History, culture, and future

Society is about people and their living environment; it is identified by its history, culture, and its future.

Language reflects culture of the society we live.

Language communicates history, from which we learn.

Language expresses future, for which we create and build together.

Language is a city to the building of which every human being brought a stone. – -Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Culture is the trending of the happening today collectively, and separated with pop culture and traditional culture or with lowbrow and highbrow culture.

 

For example “swag” is a word popularized via pop singers and their hits. I stumbled on it recently and did a little research to understand it. Justin Bieber, a Canadian teenager singer, had a new song “boyfriend”. In it, he brags that he is going to  “swag, swag, swag on you” swag can be used as a noun or a verb. It is the latest high profile hip-hop slang term, for which, Jay-Z, an American rapper has claimed credit in 2001: “I guess I got my swagger back” from the song “all I need”.

 

“Who invented swag?”is an article of the online magazine, slate, published in March, 2012. Among comments to the article, one noted: swagger was invented by Shakespeare in his “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (Act III, Part I, Line 79.) Another has commented: it’s not important who initiated the term, but it’s important whether the new meaning has impacted the pop culture.

Culture reflects contemporary trends, the pop culture’s representation of slang language is like fashion in clothing: it is timely, unlike the traditional culture, which passes on generation to generation.  However, an attractive design in language is the same as in fashion, it gets recycled.

 

Language reflects culture. Here is another example, in one of my toastmaster assignments, I was the general evaluator and I made some comments about one of evaluations of a toastmaster’s speech.  A senior toastmaster provided me his feedback afterward: “You should evaluate not criticize.” My immediate response was “what’s wrong with criticize?”  To me criticism is the most important part of any evaluation and an improvement is achieved via criticism.

 

In Chinese culture, where I grew up, Evaluation and criticism are the synonym.  Studying and working in the states, as a researcher, I hold my motto dearly “research grows in criticism.” As an engineer, my goal is to build products that work. Criticism can be the best of all helps, which not only sharpening my thinking, but also is keeping me be honest as well as from getting complacency.

 

On the other hand, hearing the explanation of my fellow toastmaster’s definition on the word “criticism,” i.e., “putting down on the people you are criticizing,” I get his point: nobody wants to be criticized. His comment reminded me of a rule of thumb given by an American, a management guru: “it’s more effective if you surround one criticism with five praises.”  That is the culture of our society.

 

It is true that culture is different in different societies. However, the futures of different cultures may have a lot in common.

For example, “Atom” is the word initially used to mean indivisible by Ancient Greeks. It was later recruited by physicists to name small particle of matters in English. It was popularized by its usage in Atomic bomb, a lethal weapon.  Since it is the fundamental concept in nuclear energy, it becomes a popular word. It may have a long lifespan into the future of any society.

 

We learn from yesterday, history. We live today, immersed in culture. We create future, for us and our offspring to live tomorrow. The question or concern is that,  What is the best in us to contribute to the building of our society: history, culture, and future?

I hope I am able to inspire you to ponder along this thinking.

 

criticism

[krit-uh-siz-uh m] Show IPA noun

1. the act of passing judgment as to the merits of anything.

2. the act of passing severe judgment; censure; faultfinding.

3. the act or art of analyzing and evaluating or judging the quality of a literary or artistic work, musical performance, art exhibit, dramatic production, etc.

4. a critical comment, article, or essay; critique.

5. any of various methods of studying texts or documents for the purpose of dating or reconstructing them, evaluating their authenticity, analyzing their content or style, etc.: historical criticism; literary criticism.

criticism c.1600, “action of criticizing,” from critic + -ism. Meaning “art of estimating literary worth” is from 1670s.

Society is about people and their living environment; it is identified by its history, culture, and its future.
Language reflects culture of the society we live.
Language communicates history, from which we learn.
Language expresses future, for which we create and build together.
Language is a city to the building of which every human being brought a stone. – -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Culture is the trending of the happening today collectively, and separated with pop culture and traditional culture or with lowbrow and highbrow culture.

For example “swag” is a word popularized via pop singers and their hits. I stumbled on it recently and did a little research to understand it. Justin Bieber, a Canadian teenager singer, had a new song “boyfriend”. In it, he brags that he is going to “swag, swag, swag on you” swag can be used as a noun or a verb. It is the latest high profile hip-hop slang term, for which, Jay-Z, an American rapper has claimed credit in 2001: “I guess I got my swagger back” from the song “all I need”.

“Who invented swag?” is an article of the online magazine, slate, published in March, 2012. Among comments to the article, one noted: swagger was invented by Shakespeare in his “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (Act III, Part I, Line 79.) Another has commented: it’s not important who initiated the term, but it’s important whether the new meaning has impacted the pop culture.
Culture reflects contemporary trends, the pop culture’s representation of slang language is like fashion in clothing: it is timely, unlike the traditional culture, which passes on generation to generation. However, an attractive design in language is the same as in fashion, it gets recycled.

Language reflects culture. Here is another example, in one of my toastmaster assignments, I was the general evaluator and I made some comments about one of evaluations of a toastmaster’s speech. A senior toastmaster provided me his feedback afterward: “You should evaluate not criticize.” My immediate response was “what’s wrong with criticize?” To me criticism is the most important part of any evaluation and an improvement is achieved via criticism.

In Chinese culture, where I grew up, Evaluation and criticism are the synonym. Studying and working in the states, as a researcher, I hold my motto dearly “research grows in criticism.” As an engineer, my goal is to build products that work. Criticism can be the best of all helps, which not only sharpening my thinking, but also is keeping me be honest as well as from getting complacency.

On the other hand, hearing the explanation of my fellow toastmaster’s definition on the word “criticism,” i.e., “putting down on the people you are criticizing,” I get his point: nobody wants to be criticized. His comment reminded me of a rule of thumb given by an American, a management guru: “it’s more effective if you surround one criticism with five praises.” That is the culture of our society.

It is true that culture is different in different societies. However, the futures of different cultures may have a lot in common.
For example, “Atom” is the word initially used to mean indivisible by Ancient Greeks. It was later recruited by physicists to name small particle of matters in English. It was popularized by its usage in Atomic bomb, a lethal weapon. Since it is the fundamental concept in nuclear energy, it becomes a popular word. It may have a long lifespan into the future of any society.

We learn from yesterday, history. We live today, immersed in culture. We create future, for us and our offspring to live tomorrow. The question or concern is that, What is the best in us to contribute to the building of our society: history, culture, and future?
I hope I am able to inspire you to ponder along this thinking.

criticism
[krit-uh-siz-uh m] Show IPA noun
1. the act of passing judgment as to the merits of anything.
2. the act of passing severe judgment; censure; faultfinding.
3. the act or art of analyzing and evaluating or judging the quality of a literary or artistic work, musical performance, art exhibit, dramatic production, etc.
4. a critical comment, article, or essay; critique.
5. any of various methods of studying texts or documents for the purpose of dating or reconstructing them, evaluating their authenticity, analyzing their content or style, etc.: historical criticism; literary criticism.
criticism c.1600, “action of criticizing,” from critic + -ism. Meaning “art of estimating literary worth” is from 1670s.

Language is a city to the building of which every human being brought a stone. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

Language reflects the culture.

Language communicates history, which includes the culture of the past.

Language expresses the future, for which we are going to create or build together.

Culture is the trending of the happening today collectively. Culture is divided into pop culture and traditional culture. Pop culture is naturally sectored, such as corporate culture, community culture, and so on, and so forth. Culture is created by people within communities and ethnic groups by the use of languages.

For example, “swag” is a word popularized via songs, the hits. I stumbled on it recently and did a little research to understand it.

In Justin Bieber’s new song “Boyfriend” he brags that he is going to “swag, swag, swag on you.” “Swag” can be used as noun or verb; and it is the latest high-profile appearance of the hip-hop slang term, for which, Jay-Z, an American rapper, has claimed credit in 2001: “I guess I got my swagger back” from the song “All I Need”.

Among comments to the slate article, “Who Invented ‘Swag’?” one noted: swagger was initially used by Shakespeare in his A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Act III, Part I, Line 79.) . Another replied, it is not important who used a word initially, but it is important that the new meaning of the word has impacted the pop culture. Pop culture, as opposed to traditional culture,  reflects the contemporary trends, the pop culture’s representation in slang language is like fashion in clothing. That is, it’s rather timely.  Traditional culture, on the other hand, include things that are passed on from generation to generation.

Here is a fairytale posted on the Internet from which we can peek into the meaning in “swag”:

…The palace chiefs are in search of a personality that exceeds all the attributes and quality of the late king in terms of aesthetic, swag, creativity, intellectual abilities, and wits.

Among listed qualities possessed by the late king, swag is to display the rest in a charming manner, the charisma.

Here is another example to explain “swag” with a comic drawing: “who needs good grads when you have swag?” The clue via the title: swag can only get you so far; and the illustration has indicated the meaning of “so far” as working at McDonald’s.

swag

My immediate thought upon reading this drawing is: what’s wrong with working at McDonald’s?

Apparently, “swag” is a quality within people naturally; moreover, the quality in a person is being attractive to others, a leadership quality. It fulfills us with the satisfactions to stay where we are without being motivated to do better.

On the contrary, we should bring out the best of talents in us through education and training. The meaning of “to do better” is that we can build a better future for the next generation and leave a better history for the future generation to learn.

We learn from yesterday, the history and the culture of the past.

We live in today, immersed in culture.

We create future, for us and our offspring to live tomorrow.

My question or concern is that, what is the best in us to contribute the building of our society, History, Culture, and Future?

Humility vs. Arrogance

2 Oct

Coming back from toastmasters meeting this morning, I want to have a little time to do some internal reflection. Instead, it turns out to be my response to a recent discussion on “humility” via reading the blog by a participant in this topic, “Joy of Arrogance.” My immediate joy of reading the blog is  my appreciation of beauty in the natural language we use, i.e.,  its richness and its context sensitiveness.

“Arrogant” is a wrong word but being arrogant can be very expressive in venting out one’s feelings.

The reason for being a wrong word is the following. In any dictionary, arrogance is described as showing an offensive sense of superiority.  It is  universally true that nobody wants to be bullied by present of arrogance in others. However, showing arrogance is like using curse words, it helps literally venting out an oppressed feeling.

Back to topic of “Humility”, in my opinion, the opposite of humility is not being arrogant but being extreme. It is a word describing a state-of-being when we are encountering interpersonal communication. Therefore, I think that humility is about being moderation and not being extreme.
Referring the blog, “Joy of Arrogance”, I am adding my random thoughts as follows:
Doubt what you know” is another state-of-being, not to be faithful in what you know but being open-minded to be curious about what you don’t know. It is not to throw away what you know but to be ready to assimilate new and sometimes contradicted information into one’s belief system.
Find out what you know” is a state-of-being in which one wants to go deeper in such interpersonal communication in making one’s point to persuade.