Friday, April 05, 2024

A question of Two Apples


I've been keeping up with this blog less than I liked because I am entering a busy stage in my life. This week, I did a webinar with Havend, with whom I signed an Introducer contract. I'm also involved in a Seedly panel tomorrow on FIRE. Next week, I have an entire week of training to attend, where I'm actually the student, which should be fun. This means fewer updates in the next few weeks. 

I am writing articles now that I should have written weeks ago. 

If you can catch this movie YOLO, I suggest you do so because it's one of the rare gems coming out of China that is neither patriotic nor involves loads of CGI. In fact, it is one of the more motivational movies out there that successfully captures the angst of modern China.  

One fairly sweet moment in the movie concerns the philosophical question that was directed at the protagonist :

If you have two apples, one large and one small, and your friend wants an apple from you, do you give up the big or the small apple?

If you are most folks, you might give up the small apple and keep it for yourself. This preserves the Big Apple for enjoyment, but some folks are inclined to give up the bigger fruit because they see themselves as caregivers. 

The movie reveals that the protagonist sees herself as the kind of person who would give up both apples, to which her dad replies that this would mean that she would have friends. The scenes following that revelation were quite heartbreaking to the audience.

I don't want to spoil the movie, but from my point of view, anyone who gives up both her apples sees herself as a martyr—someone who actively sacrifices her own personal interests for others. This is an inherently unsustainable position, very antithetical to Ayn Rand's ideas.

Interestingly, scenarios where no apples will be given to the friend are missing from this philosophical discussion.

In what situation does this friend deserve a single person anyway? That may turn on whether this person is a giver or taker of apples in the first place.

For me, my default position is that no apples will be given. 

Apples should be earned. 

But folks like me who refuse to give up a single apple will naturally be the villains or bad guys in every movie. 

But I don't care because I might be very good at utilizing my apples. I can bake an apple pie for my family and preserve some apples for rainy days. More importantly, I plan to plant the apple seeds, and a generation later, my descendants can have their own apple farm. 

Whether my descendants will give up, and apple for their friends will be moot because they will have enough apples to feed the whole town. 

All because I started out by refusing to give my apples away. 

The Mainland Chinese would obviously want to celebrate the sacrifice of their women and immortalize it in a movie. 

Still, it does boil eventually to what you plan to do with your apples. 

Socialism with Chinese characteristics may not align itself with Capitalism with Singaporean characteristics.

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