Monday, June 21, 2010

Values

ok, u are right, I am trying to escape from my research again..... it's 12:44 midnight and I am waiting for my MATLAB simulations..... it has been quite a productive day, I managed to write 2 pages of programming codes that do work as I want them to be. Thank God!! :) This article has been hidden in my post for many days so I decided to finish it up today.....

I found that human being have difficulties to rationally value many things. For example, how do we justify economic progress vs environmental impact vs social impact vs generation equity vs nationalism and many other things. Another example would be the values of arts. A few weeks ago, I went to Fitzwilliam Museum after sitting for examination to immerse myself into the beauty of arts and history after days of endless calculations and formulation of equations. I saw Picasso's pieces there and it immediately reminded me that one of his drawings was just sold for 100 million++ USD recently. As an engineer, I naturally put them into a very simple calculation. The value for a human being's life is equivalent to about 1 million pound for UK Court. So Picasso's drawing is actually worth 100++ human lives!!!! The last example is the value of Gates Scholarship, the scholarship that I am holding. I remember people told me that when Bill Gates was here last summer, he told the Gates scholars that the money that spend on each of us each year can actually help to vaccinate thousands of lives in Africa and save them from deadly diseases!!!!

While sometimes soft sciences can help answer some of the questions above (such as carbon pricing for environmental impact etc), we as human being depend largely on our gut feelings and experiences in making big decisions, both individually and collectively. That explains why we tend to make the wrong decision(ssssss). Can we change this fact of today into history tomorrow? I doubt so and I hope not. The world will be very dull if every thing can be formulated into a mathematical model and full of engineers and scientists....... I really can't imagine that, can you?

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