Saturday, October 4

Ishmael


I moved to Sydney with three books I've been wanting to read for a long time, Ishmael, The Life of Pi, and The Illuminatus Trilogy. It took me a while to start reading these and Ishmael is the first one I finished.

The book is interesting and a rather easy read. It's the story of a teacher (a telepathic gorilla) and his student. The story starts out with the student, Alan Lomax, who "has a vague notion that he is living in some sort of captivity and being lied to in some way but he can not explain his feelings". Since I have a very similar feeling, that of life being a rat race, an endless, pointless pursuit with no goal, I was eager to keep reading, hoping to find some reason behind my own feelings and how to get out of the rat race. Unfortunately the book isn't about individuals, it's about the rat-race of the whole of humanity.

It explores how man is living in captivity, enslaved by a culture/civilization that forces him to exploit and destroy his own world in order to keep living; it is the story of "how things came to be this way". The gist of the explanation being that for man the 'world is a foe to be conquered [and] they will conquer it like a foe, and one day, inevitably, their foe will lie bleeding to death at their feet, as the world is now.'

In the end there was nothing to help me personally but the ideas presented are interesting and make a lot of sense. Ideas on mythology, ethics and sustainability. The book's main theme can be summed up in the following quote by the author, Daniel Quinn:

My warning is about its [agriculture's] continued success."[1] Quinn characterizes the Malthusian problem as "How are we going to FEED all these people?" and contrasts this with his own: "How are we going to stop PRODUCING all these people?"
The points presented, taken to their logical conclusion also imply the following very controversial idea that:
"since population growth is a function of food supply, food aid to impoverished nations merely puts off and dramatically worsens a massive population-environment crisis"

Wednesday, October 1

野村会社員

No pictures for this entry. Just wanted to give everyone an update on my employment situation. All the employees at my office today received a formal contract offer from Nomura, so from today I am no longer a Lehman Brothers employee but a member of the Nomura group.

This is great news as it means my job is secured and I continue to get paid. Yes, this is a good thing. So in short nothing much is changing for me except the company name on my business card. It's been quite a roller-coaster ride for the past few weeks, from the company going bankrupt and being out of a job all the way to today where I have my job back.

Now I can finally start blogging about other stuff!