Thursday, April 29, 2010

Dunia yang Tidak Pernah Chukup

Sa-sunggoh-nya-lah dunia ini tidak pernah mempunyai kechukupan. Jika orang berlari mengejar kekayaan wang, dengan tidak merasa orang telah miskin dalam perkara budi. Kalau orang berlari menchari sahabat yang akan mengangkat-angkat, dengan tidak sadar ia pun telah miskin dari sahabat yang sanggup menunjok menyantuninya. Kalau orang berlari menchari pergaulan di dalam kalangan orang tinggi-tinggi, dengan sendirinya, orang itu telah kehilangan teman dalam kalangan orang rendah-rendah. Pada hal jika sa-kiranya orang beroleh ni'mat hidup di-dalam kemewahan, di-dalam harta banyak, hendaklah orang insaf pula bahawa di-balek itu terdapat ni'mat hidup yang lebeh indah lagi iaitu ni'mat jiwa, di-dalam kalangan orang-orang miskin terutama kalau sakiranya orang yang meningkat naik itu dahulunya dari dalam barisan orang miskin pula.

-HAMKA, Tuan Direktur

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Socrates’ Predecessors : Philosophy and the Natural Order

Philosophy began when humans’ curiosity and wonder caused them to ask the questions “What are things really like?” and “How can we explain the process of change in things?” What prompted these questions was the gradual recognition that things are not exactly what they seem to be, that “appearance” often differs from “reality”. The facts of birth, death, growth, and decay – coming into being and passing away – raised not only the question about personal destiny but also the larger questions of how things and persons come into existence, can be different at different times, and pass out of existence only to be follow by other things and persons. Many of the answer given to these questions by the earliest philosophers are not as important as the fact that they focused upon just these questions and that they approached them with a fresh and new frame of mind that was in contrast to that of the great poets.

The birthplace of philosophy was the seaport town of Miletus, located across the Aegean Sea from Athens, on the western shores of Ionia in Asia Minor, and for this reason, the first philosophers are called either Milesians or Ionians. By the time the Milesians philosophers began their systematic work, roughly around 585 B.C., Miletus had been a crossroads for both seaborne commerce and for cosmopolitan ideas. Its wealth made possible the leisure without which the life of art and philosophy could hardly develop, and the broad-mindedness and inquisitiveness of its people created a congenial atmosphere for intellectual activity that was to become philosophy. Earlier, Ionia had produced the genius Homer, whose Epic poetry projected upon the cosmic scene Mount Olympus, where the gods pursued lives not to different from their human counterparts on earth. This poetic view of the world also related the life of the gods to the life of humans, by describing various ways in which the gods intruded into or interfered with people’s affairs. In particular, the Homeric gods would punish people for their lack of moderation and especially for their pride or insubordination, which the Greeks called hubris. It is not that Homer’s gods are moral and require goodness; they are merely stronger than human beings and exact obedience. Moreover, when Homer suggests that there is a power that he calls “fate,” a power to which even the gods are subject, he appears to be reaching for a way of describing a rigorous order in nature to which everyone and everything must be subordinate. But his poetic imagination is dominated so thoroughly by his thinking in human terms that his world is peopled everywhere with human types, and his conception of nature is that of capricious wills at work instead of the reign physical natural laws. It was Hesiod, writing sometime in the eight century B.C., who altered this concept of the gods and “fate” by removing the gods all capriciousness, ascribing to them instead a moral consistency. Although Hesiod retains the notion that the gods control nature, he balances this personal element in the nature of things with an emphasis upon the impersonal operation of the moral law of the universe. The moral order, in Hesiod’s view, is still the product of Zeus’ commands, but to these commands are neither capricious nor calculated, as Homer thought, to gratify the gods, but are rather fashioned for the food of mankind. For Hesiod the universe is a moral order, and from this idea it is a short step to say, without any reference to the gods, that there is an impersonal force controlling the structure of the universe and regulating its process of changes.

It was this short step that Milesians Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximenes took. Whereas Hesiod still thought in terms of traditional mythology with a peopled universe, philosophy among the Milesians began as an act of independent thought. To ask, as they did, “What are things really like?” and “How can we explain the process of change in things?” indicates a substantial departure from the poetry of Homer and Hesiod and a movement toward what we should call the temperament of science. Although the Milesians can rightly be called primitive scientists, it is a fact of the history of thought that science and philosophy were the same thing in the beginning and only later did various disciplines separate themselves from the field of philosophy, medicine being the first to do so. From the very beginning, however, Greek philosophy was an intellectual activity, for it was not only of seeing or believing but of thinking, and philosophy meant thinking about basic questions in a mood of genuine and free inquiry.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Me, my car and the game

History repeated itself.
This is the story of a boy, namely - me, his car - Ferrari Kancil Ex850 and the game of futsal.

It was a couple of years ago, when the grads of KYUEM '06 planned out a reunion for the class. We were to have it our way, that is by playing futsal together. The joyous event was to be held in Shah Alam, near K-Day's place.

Everything was going smoothly before the event. Couple of my friends and I were to travel from Bangi that eventful night. At the time, we were in a LITTLE bit of rush because we were a LITTLE late from schedule. You guys might be guessing - "Why were they late?" I'll start by answering "I don't remember and I believe it is not that important to tell" because....what is more important was the consequences.

I drove my Kancil as fast as I could, pushing not only my limit, but also the car. I don't really remember what was the speed of the car at that time, but just four your information, in my driving life, my Ferrari Kancil had reached 150km/h at least. I love the game and missing one would be a nightmare.

So, from Bangi to Sg. Besi. From Sg. Besi to Seputeh. From Seputeh, to Federal Highway passing through PJ, then Subang and at last Shah Alam. This is when the real story start....

I was not very far from my destination, and believe me, I was going to reach it in time when the car started moving awkwardly and at last, stopped in the middle of the highway. The car was out of gas. Long story short I missed the game. Nightmare!

Today something similar happened.

My friends and I were to play futsal at 10pm. I was at PJ that evening and I planned to start driving to Bangi for the game after the Maghrib prayer. And guess what? The car suddenly release white smoke from the hood in the middle of the congested people-coming-back-from-work-road just before Maghrib. This time the radiator broke. I have to wait for two long hours before the tow truck arrived. This is the most awful April Fool's joke I had.

What is the problem between the car and the game? Why it had to be before the game? Like I said, history repeated itself, in a very unique way indeed.

Luckily this time, I managed to borrow my mother's Citra and sped my way for some futsal. I would not face the same nightmare twice.

At the end of the day, I was happy because I got to play the game but at the same time I was a little anxious with the car. It cost me RM600 3 weeks ago due to almost the same reason and I don't know how much it is going to cost me this time.
Needless to say, Money what makes my head goes around(upside down).