Thursday, May 8, 2014

Week 4/28

                               Made a Change
Perhaps Chapter 18 is the most influential one in the entire book. It addresses a potential problem among my generation of lacking creative thinking in a way that most of us do not challenge legacy thinking. This is exact where (thinking stage) I was before reading this chapter. Along this semester, I always had this great "inertia:" I felt that many of the problems we discussed have been on-going for centuries, and they do not seems to be solvable at all, so I held the opinion that there are no reasons to even expect such problems would be solved in the future. This chapter just enlightened me. As Woodhouse says, " it simply is not true to say that things have to be the way that they are." 

Before reading this chapter, my primary belief is that one is responsible for and should rely on oneself but nobody else. If one has a problem, one solves it; if one is poor, one works harder and gets rich; if one is unlucky, well, other people have their unlucky time as well. Opponents may argue that then what is the whole purpose of education or civilization. Isn't it all about helping each other to live a better life? In fact, the point I am trying convey is that people should absolutely not take other people's benevolence for granted. For sure, in modern society, helping other people is considered as moral and respectful, but apathy is not outlawed (this is a more like a personal belief, specifically, I am always willing to help other people, and if I get into trouble and receive no help, I tend to be introspective rather than blaming others or asking more from others). Under such premise, and with respect to our course content, I used to think that some of the questions raised by Woodhouse to be outlandish and even lack of critical thinking. For example, the struggle for fairness continues for thousands of years, from an engineering perspective, if a problem remains unsolved with 3000 years of endeavoring, then this problem is almost 100% unsolvable. It is impossible to convince people that this problem will be solved in the next, lets' say, 50 years. Thus, originally, I am against Woodhouse's argument in a way that "why would I bother to these problem, I should just work hard and remain in the privileged position or maybe, get even more privilege.

However, after reading this chapter, I realize that there is a innate defect in my original belief. In a word, my original belief is that 

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