terça-feira, 3 de julho de 2012

what makes you a good person

In difficult times, such as the one my country is going through, it's usual to be taken by the "impotence" speech. The "there's nothing I can do" allows us not to take responsibility for our own future and justifies that we simply don't intervene in society. 

But it's important to focus on what we really can do. The trick is not to try and go over our heads, which can lead to failure and cause us to quit. Let's start with the little things, such as.. trying to become a better person.

This isn't as easy as it sounds. To be a good person is a complicated task, and even worse when we don't surround ourselves with the right examples... it's easy to slip once in a while. But I've been thinking about what I could do to keep myself on track so... here goes nothing:

  • respect others and Nature
  • speak the Truth
  • help, whenever possible
  • look at life in a positive way and try to see the good in bad things
  • avoid conversations and people that feed gossips and arguments
  • tell your real friends from those who just need something from you
  • enjoy Life and don't compare it to other people's 
  • respect and love yourself (including the little things)
  • remember basic ethics when dealing with others
  • feed your individuality and share with others what you find valuable (hence, this post).

It seems to be that if everybody, individually, would create their own list on how to become a "good person", the world would automatically change for the better. Maybe it's not in our nature to be "good" (and I truly believe it isn't), but to make this effort would certainly pay back.

On a more personal note, I've been going through a terrible misanthropy period, caused by several disappointments with "friends". But instead of doubting and hating the world, the best thing for me to do is start emanating light and surrounding myself with it. What about you, what could you do get back into the light? Think about it.

sexta-feira, 25 de maio de 2012

red horrors

A while ago I wrote about how a strong, united Left wing is needed in Portugal. Our communist party is still holding on to old dogmas, while the more recent "Bloco de Esquerda" refuses to approach them, creating a pit that difficults the struggle for a more fair and equal society. Along with these difficulties, I've recently noticed that people simply abhor Left ideologies. And also that Right and Left people turn every little subject into a war, based on their political differences.

All over the Internet rise angry comments against the "little lazy Lefties", remembering (in horror) the Soviet Union times as soon as they hear words as "fraternity", "social justice" or "welth distribution". Mention "fraternity" and you must be a mason (suddently masons are among the most hated people in Portugal); talk about "social justice", you're a Socialist (and god knows what that means, right? even Hitler was a so-called socialist); but, dear lord, if the words "welth distribution" come out of your mouth, you're a dangerous communist and you must be put down.

Of course I'm exaggerating it, but that's why I decided to abolish from this blog (and my political discussions in general) simple words as "capital", "working class", "class struggle" and such, that can be an excuse for people to immediatelly see me as a "commy". Because that's when half my readers shut their brains down and activate the "I'm not listening" strategy (yeah, I might just make some sense and they wouldn't know how to handle it).

I believe vocabulary should evolve, because the one we're using today is only good to confuse people and set off certain alarms in their minds, making it impossible to continue any rational discussion. That's why when I recently signed a new Left Wing Manifest (simply against unemployment, for a better life and equal opportunities - no, noone was looking to end the right to private property), I had two feelings: first, I identified myself with what was written and some of the people who wrote it; but then I was afraid. 

Afraid that the Left Wing "flag" would be enough for many people to turn away from this manifest. Afraid that people won't be able to see beyond the hatred they feel about past failures. Yes, communist dictatorships existed. They must never be forgotten. But do you really believe that the current Left Wing parties in Portugal have those same purposes? Ideologies, as well as people, evolve, change, aren't written in stone.

To talk about Left parties or Left ideologies should no longer mean "sound the alarm!!!", specially when the Right Wing policies are here, to be seen at plain sight in our country... there's no doubt or hope about those : they are what we see and live every day. Now, regarding true Left wing measures, like François Hollande's reducing the Government's paycheck, there is still hope... doubts, yes, but also hope. 

So... why all the fear?

quarta-feira, 2 de maio de 2012

dead social

Today I found out about the newest social network around, Dead Social, that allows users to schedule messages to be published after they're dead. Leave nothing unsaid! this could be their motto. A genious tool, for some, but surely it leaves us with some ethical questions... let's see.

First of all, if the platform falls into "evil" hands, I can't imagine the traumas it can create. For instance, it wouldn't be nice for Juliet to receive a posthumous message from Romeo, saying "I never loved you, you're a nag and I only married you for the Capulet's money". Or "Your sister is hot", or "I killed your parakeet", or something equally nasty. By this I mean to say there are secrets that should definately follow us to our grave... and to have the possibility to unleash chaos amongst those who stay, without dealing with the consequences and using a simple computer... just feels wrong.

Then there is the whole identity theft deal. Imagine Rupert died and left a loving message for his grandchildren, ignoring the fact that his archenemy Rufus had stolen his password and changed the message for something barbaric... not pretty.

And we still have the quality of service issue. Who can ensure us that the secret message will, in fact, be delivered faultlessly, if the author is already dead? According to what I've read, the site will let the deceased family or friends "unblock" the messages. But... who can tell for sure if that was indeed what he or she wrote? And what if someone releases the messages by mistake and generates panick among the (not yet) "deceased" acquaintances?

Oh well, the whole idea seems macabre, but it's true that this can be an interesting way to achieve a certain degree of immortality. Or not. What do you think?

Originally posted in portuguese here.