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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Facebook philosophers

In the ancient days, we had philosophers such as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. To a lesser extent (though not to those who study philosophy), we had the likes of Socrates' predecessors such as Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes, Heraclitus, Leucippus and Democritus. China was also well-known with philosophy and had well-respected philosophers in figures like Confucious and Micius. During the zenith of the Islamic Civilisation, we had philosophers (who were also polymaths) such as al-Kindi, al-Razi, al-Farabi, Ibn Sina, Ibn Rushd and al-Ghazali, just to name a few. There are also numerous philosophers from the west from the time of the Renaissance all the way up to the modern day. And in Asia, there are also a number of well-known contemporary philosophers.

Today, in the age of Facebook, I notice the number of "philosophers" growing. These are people who put up their "philosophy" as their status. A few of these stem from their own experience and observation. Some are humourous. There are those which are in response to current issues. Most, however, are quotations of others.

I admit I do this from time to time. Putting up so-called "words of wisdom" for friends to read and comment. But I hope let us all who do this be honest to ourselves. Let's not preach to others what we don't do ourselves. Let's not have the holier-than-thou superiority complex.

What is important is that these "words of wisdom" are there, not just to remind others, but more critically to serve as reminder to ourselves.

This posting is beginning to get philosophical. I think I'll end here before this gets too deep.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Another tragedy

I am truly, truly saddened with the news of the landslide that hit an orphanage at Hulu Langat that buried 26 people alive. Until midnight, 12 people have been confirmed dead while another 4 are still buried. Another 9 are injured.

Most of the victims are children. Words fail to describe my feeling at the moment. Although I do not know the victims personally, as a human being the tragedy still affects me emotionally. My sincerest sympathies to the family members of the victims. My greatest admiration and thanks to the rescue workers who show their courage and commitment in continuing the search and rescue mission even as I write this, in spite of the darkness of the night and the continuous rainfall. I pray that those who are still missing will be found alive.

I honestly hope that this tragedy would not get politicised.

Al-Fatihah to those who were killed in this tragedy.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A journey to remember

It has been quite a journey. Seven semesters (or three and a half years). That is the duration I took to finish my PhD thesis - from discussions, identifying relevant resources, coming up with the theoretical framework, reading, interviewing experts, analysing texts, writing, rewriting, rewriting the rewrite... I think you get the idea.
I am grateful that I have been able to get this thesis done (finally) in the midst of the other things that I do. Unlike the majority of PhD candidates, I enrolled for my doctorate while keeping my day job. About one semester into the candidature, the university asked me to lecture part-time. So, it was quite a juggling experience having to give time for my family, my full-time job at the foundation, my part-time lecturing job at the university, my where-do-I-find-the-time-for-this passion for writing novels and short stories, my involvement with three committees - a research ethics committee at another university, a task force at a ministry and a scientific advisory committee to an NGO, and of course my studies.

Alhamdulillah, I am very happy that in spite of the odds, I managed to complete the thesis-writing part. The PhD journey is not yet over though. This Monday, I will be submitting my three-month notice for submission to the university. After which the university will proceed with the necessary procedures of appointing my examiners (two external and one internal). On the 3rd of June, I will have to present my research findings at the departmental level. Then I will have to wait for the date for my viva voce.

Nonetheless, to me the most difficult part (and also the part that involved a lot of procrastination) is over. Even if I have to do corrections, at least the body of the thesis is already there.

With this thesis done, I can now redirect my energy to other ventures. I know I owe a lot of people out there the sequel of Transgenesis: Bisikan Rimba. So, I guess that will be my focus for the next few months. Oh, I guess I should have more time for blogging as well. As a start, I have changed the blog's template to give it a fresher look. Who knows, I may blog on a more frequent basis.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The last stretch

It has been a stressing three weeks for me. I have only been sleeping less than three hours daily. I just want to get this over and done with. This is the final lap... the last stretch.

Looking forward to type the final full stop.

Friday, May 06, 2011


I have to recognise the fact that I don't actually give much time to myself. I think I may have to act a little bit more 'selfish' and do the things I need to do and the things that I want to do.

Top of the list: 

That is my priority at this point in time.