Quotation of the Day

05 June, 2015

《亂世領袖學 ─ 邱吉爾二戰英雄記》

http://m2.facebook.com/enrichHK/photos/pb.131182603580880.-2207520000.1433477304./980886145277184/?type=1&source=54&refid=17

23 August, 2014

Why Facebook is destroying friendship

For some time I've thought of setting up an anti-Facebook alliance. In spite of all the frenzy and credits it's got, Facebook is actually bad for friendship and to some extent civilization itself:

 1. Friendship is treasurable because every friendship is unique. You may have a group of friends from the same background (e.g. going to the same school or having worked at the same firm) but still, your interaction and relationship with each of them is unlikely to be the same. We are humans, not robots. Yet Facebook classified them all as friends. A while ago, aware of their own limitation, they added the "acquaintance" and "restricted" classes to your friends list. But still, its a very poor classification in contrast with the richness and diversity of possible human relations.

 2. We all know that we say different things in different ways to different people. But Facebook is mainly a broadcasting tool, a loudspeaker in a forum through which you want to get heard by as as many as possible. You're forced to share the same things with a myriad of different friends. You can't even take a few to the corner for small talks as we do in a party or cocktail reception. Of course you can still send private messages but then that defeats the very purpose of this social networking tool. 

Taking these two points together, Facebook is the industrialization of friendship. The result is huge quantity with standardization at the expense of diversity and human touch (craftsmanship).

 3. Facebook makes it fast to share, no doubt. But that's also the potential malice. It's a cliche now that it only takes a second to open a profound wound in relationship but years to heal. And we all know we are more prone to erring than forgiving. I've seen too many instances in which friends have crossed or been crossed by each other, myself included. Sometimes that can just be unintentional. In the old days, one might send off a slanderous letter, regretted it and still be able to fetch it from the post office before it's too late. Overtime communication tool has advanced but not our EQ. The speed at which words travel in bytes in optical fiber nowadays is much faster than our ability to restrain our ill temper.

 4. Even the most intimate friendship requires some breathing space; otherwise you'd choke it. But Facebook bombards you with all kinds of friends' updates, from the most trivial to the most irrelevant. I'm not saying that the little things in daily life aren't important. In fact, these are sometimes the ingredients for a great friendship. But it depends on the context and the persons you're sharing with (referring to points 1 and 2 again). There's just that amount of time and focus we can spare in a day. Too much information is eventually zero information because it'd only be glossed over.

5. Taking further from this, relationship requires a little bit of suspension and mystique. If you know every now and then your friends' whereabouts, and what they're doing with friends whom you barely know, you probably don't have to see them very often. (No wonder I'm seeing friends less often these days. )

 6. Finally, having said all the above, I'd like to just sum up that like most things human, by it good wine or cheese or writing or wisdom, it takes time to mature. So is friendship. The haste with which we can add an unknown or even unseen "friend" here and now, and "delete" this person tomorrow, is nothing what we've experienced in any mode of communications since the invention of language. Yes, you may say that this is simply a tool and we can decide how to use it. But I suspect the same argument, with all due respect, can be applied to many other evil inventions by humans.

 Finally, let's do a little bit of maths. I know people who have more than a few hundred friends or even a thousand. Unless one is a celebrity with a large crowd of followers, I can't figure out how this is possible. Suppose I have 1000 friends, it'd take me three years to see them all even I'm going out every day to meet a friend. (Well, you may say one can play duet or trio. Fine. But still you'd need a full calendar year to complete a merry-go-ground.) And for friends you're not meeting in three years, unless they're abroad, I wonder how they can be called friends at all.
Having said all this, I have nothing against you if you like Facebook. You may even retort, why am I using it? Yes, Facebook was at the beginning a good invention for long lost contacts and friends abroad. I'm simply saying that it's gone far beyond its usefulness. It's gone viral, as the netizens like to say, to the detriments of something most basic and cherished in our lives.

10 August, 2014

《周末感言》(純粹個人意見)

周末同朋友係灣仔慶祝生日,離開時係巴士站等巴士,一架七人車駛至停正站頭落客,架巴士那時剛剛要埋站,忍不住罵了那車上人兩句,反而招來怒目;更離譜是我走出馬路準備上車,巴士司機卻門也不開就走了,跑過去,追不上。 

我罵那私家車司機,是因爲那巴士站前面就有一條十幾米的避車位,夠泊旅遊巴有突,你係都唔停係要阻住巴士入站。香港地方細有時大家好難完全不違例泊車,我自己都做過司機,但你點解犯規重好似你大曬?點解晤可以稍微照顧別人需要?

這幾年我發現香港人真的越來越自私自利而不自覺。媒體還要一味吹捧距地的優越感,一天到晚將我地同大陸人比,你知晤知“五十步笑百步”這句話點解?? 成日話我地公民質素幾高(每次遊行之後都係詌),deserve一個更好的政府詌話喔。對晤住,我老老實實同你講,其實我地質素係好低,所以才有這樣的政府!(你知晤知點解依家消防車要裝攝錄機?就是因爲我們開車的都不讓路!難道那些開車的都是大陸人?)你寫幾句批評港人質素的文章,報紙完全無興趣登,你閙政府,就個個叫好。

巴士飛站,我惟有轉乘小巴。因爲路綫不熟,上車之後跟司機打了招呼在某某街落。跟著好久才有人下車,我覺得有點不對勁,問司機到未,他才跟我說:唉呀,過左啦!晤好意思!! 

我當然詫異。但是更令我詫異的,是那時候車廂裏面突然一半乘客同時報以一陣噓聲!絕!我真係寫個服字!我唔信你班人無一個知道我要落車的地方,但你地班人兄經過時無一個出聲,到左司機認錯時你地先講野。老實說,我不但不會多謝你地,我簡直鄙視你地。 

朋友話,這就是”香港式幫拖“,不是真正見義勇爲,而是事後孔明。總之係自己最安全喞情況下,用奚落、嘲笑、叫駡(最重要係人多勢衆)等等於事無補的方式,宣洩情緒,不但幫晤到需要幫助喞人,亦對改善防止同類事件發生毫無好處。 

唉!在這裡生活了幾十年,我自覺這地方的人是越來越自私;聲大夾惡、無理取鬧的越來越多。老實講,下車之後我不是太怪那司機,起碼他道歉了!反而我在想,那司機就像我們的政府,而車上那群事後孔明、得個講字卻不會真正幫忙的乘客——哈哈,不就是我們市民嗎?? 

坦白說,寫了幾年評論,我對香港越來越心死。心死不是因爲政府,也不完全因爲大陸/大陸人怎樣怎樣,而是我覺得這個地方的人是病的很厲害了,更可怕是如果你跟他們說有病的話,他們第一個就先對付你了(寫著寫著,我怎麽想起柏楊醜陋的中國人的序言了?)。 

有時候我會想,當我們真的有了一人一票真普選之後,我們到底會變得更關心這個共同的家、為之努力,還是更懂得利用選票去為自己攞著數?? 我對佔中不看好,就是因爲我對香港人那種平時做塘邊鶴、出事打落水狗、幸災樂禍、事後孔明的的習性,實在已經很累了。我們真的有幾人會見義勇爲?(我知道這話題又會勾起很多人的神經,所以就此打住)。 

如果你認爲以上不過是低下階層的問題,你就錯了。昨天我在某成交價千萬的屋苑(我知,這在香港實在不算什麽)幫朋友搬家私。我們叫了一架“雞記”,那司機出奇地斯文,完全不像開車的,而且很熱心義務幫我們兩個書生搬東西(事前沒有議定)。可是走到電梯大堂的時候,我和朋友要兩個擡東西,沒有空手按電梯門。那時候至少有四、五個年輕到中年、衣冠楚楚的中產階級(包括一個長得蠻漂亮打扮入時的女生)在等電梯,卻沒有半個走過來幫忙按門掣! 

在臺灣,我經常踫到趕電梯時電梯裏的人按掣等我;在香港,我遇到最多的是見我趕來便急不及待按掣關門!問你服未!

那大樓裏住的不是大學教授,就是政府高官、專業人士,卻有如此的公民質素,我算是大開眼界了,難怪魯迅講過中產階級靠晤住。我又晤係有伊波拉(當時穿著襯衣、西褲)?有需要這樣嗎?真的不懂!我真的不懂香港人是怎樣了! 

事後跟朋友說,難怪中國有句古話:仗義每多屠狗輩!朋友想起聖經撒瑪利亞人故事裏有句話:Who is your real neighbor? 

以上純粹個人意見,如果冒犯了那一個偉大的香港人,敬希垂諒!如果你覺得還能一讀,歡迎轉載。