Facebook

Friendster is out, facebook is in. In the past few weeks, facebook seems to grow exponentially around my circle of friends. Everyone is ditching friendster and signing up with facebook. I registered my facebook account two weeks ago and now I already have over 30 contacts. People even send messages in friendster to tell people they are switching to facebook. It is fair to say friendster is showing its age. The site is always slow and it lacks of features. Facebook is much more user friendly and the interface is quite intuitive. How the photo album supports tagging people’s name is really genius, highly recommended. It is only the matter of time before facebook overtake friendster, repeating how MSN overtake ICQ. I am pretty sure a few years, some better social networking site will comes in and out shine facebook. Then there will be another round of mass exoduses, everyone migrate their contacts from one site to another.

There is one thing about this kind of social network I love to hate or hate to love. Before everyone you ever known is connected by social network, whatever passed is passed. If you want to forget someone after you two’s circle of life drifted apart, normally you won’t hear any news from each other.  Eventually the memory will be preserved under a dusty corner somewhere inside your brain. Now with these kind of massive social networks, that someone is just always a few click away. You may tell yourself you don’t want to and you don’t need to know anything about that person. But curiosity makes people click in and take a look how that person is doing these days. Is she happy? Has she find someone to take care of her yet?

相對貧窮

說起什麼是貧窮﹐大部份人必定會想起非洲那些餓很瘦骨如柴的飢民﹐ 又或者在電視新聞上看起那些衣不蔽體﹐頂無片瓦的難民。畢境不論是基於人道責任還是身為人類的同情心﹐我們也不能接受社會上有人連生存的權利也沒有保障。可幸的隨著經濟發展人民生活日漸富裕﹐社會有能力負擔公共福利為人民提供最基本的生活必需﹐在發達國家中生活於貧窮線下的人數已大幅減少。在今天的香港社會中﹐相信不會出現路有凍死骨或小孩子要挨肚餓的慘況。正當我們的滅貧大計取得空前成功﹐一些社會學者卻提出貧窮一個的新慨念。他們把上述的問題稱為絕對貧窮 (absolute poverty)﹐而引入一個新的相對貧窮 (relative poverty)觀念。貧窮不再單純是吃不飽穿不暖的問題﹐而是由於未能負擔一般人一樣的消費能力﹐未能享受社會上一般人的生活模式﹐從而感覺到自己貧窮。於是貧窮從一個客觀性的經濟指標﹐變成一個主觀性的文化心理慨念。那些社會學者更進一步指出﹐經濟發展不能解決相對貧窮的問題﹐反而會不斷產生新的貧窮﹐只有重新分配財富﹐改變現行資本主義的社會架構﹐才能在根本上解決貧窮的問題。可是他們有沒有想過﹐相對貧窮有必要解決嗎﹖

首先從字面的定義上去看﹐相對貧窮這個慨念並不存在。相對貧窮只是窮﹐並不是貧。很明顯翻譯這個詞語的人只是囫圇吞棗地﹐把英文詞語照字面的意思硬譯過來﹐而沒有細心思考過在中文裏﹐貧窮二字已包含絕對和相對兩個不同的觀念。物質上的不足為貧﹐是絕對的慨念。窮則是相對的慨念﹐例如龔如心比李家誠窮。世界各國大多有扶貧滅貧的社會計劃﹐只有共產主義的國家﹐才會有做又三十六﹐唔做又三十六的滅窮計劃。在數學上來說﹐除非所有人的收入也相同﹐否則一定會有人比別人窮。貧可滅﹐窮永不可滅。以史為鑑﹐滅窮只能像共產政權那樣製造均貧﹐可是均貧肯定不是我們樂於見到的結果。

窮本身並不是一件值得讓人懼怕的事。正所謂人窮志不窮﹐在生存有基本保障後﹐不必擔活在赤貧的人﹐他們可以憑自己的努力﹐去創造財富逐步爬地上社會階梯。反之富有的人著終日無所事事揮霍無度﹐他們的財富也有花盡的一天﹐會從有錢階級掉下來變成窮人。最有效保障階級上下流動的社會制度是論功行賞的功績主義(Meritocracy)。生產力高對社會有供獻多的人﹐相對的獲得更多財富回報作為鼓勵﹐而生產力低對社會供獻少的人﹐則以相對較少的生活享受作為的懲罰。只要使用得宜﹐富與窮正是最有效增進社會生產力的葫蘿白和棒子。

每一項經濟增長均是來自科技或制度的進步﹐在經濟增長的初期﹐擁有新技術或新知識的人﹐因為生產力相對上升有比較優勢而先富起來。剩下來低技術低知識的人﹐生產力相對下降淪為窮人。讓他們脫窮的唯一方法﹐就是提升他們的生產力﹐通過教育和培訓讓他們在技術和知識追上其他人的平均水平。若果強行把高生產力的人的財產通過分配手段﹐白白送給低生產力的人﹐只會傳達一個錯誤的訊息﹐變相懲罰提高生產力的人。最終只會造成反效果﹐導致社會整體生產力下降或停滯不前﹐對人民不僅益處反而有害處。

透過經濟增長增加社會上的總生產力﹐社會才能夠投放更多資源在低收入階層﹐改善他們客觀生活條件。人民得以豐衣足食﹐貧困也成為過去的代名詞。事實上在今天的香港社會﹐只要沒有不良嗜好﹐就算領綜緩住公屋的市民﹐他們的客觀生活質素比五十年前的中產階級還要好﹐大慨比一百年前的大地主也過之而無不及﹐這就是經濟增長帶來的好處了。經濟增長可以滅貧﹐但不能滅窮。要滅窮的話﹐倒頭來就沒有了經濟增長。不過若果窮是因為人比人比死人的心理問題﹐只是因為生活享受不夠別人好﹐就感覺自己是貧窮的話﹐那麼經濟政策絕不是解決問題的方法。心病還需心藥醫﹐向低下階層傳揚佛家道家無慾無求的思想﹐又或者基督教的克己追求精神而非物質滿足的傳統﹐也可以令他們不再覺得自己貧窮﹐這才是根治窮人心理問題的良方。

TV commercials

Normally, people hate watching TV commercials.  They will avoid watching commercials by pressing the fast forward button in recorded programs, change channels or go to the washroom in live programs.  I can’t believe I watched nothing but commercials for almost half an hour today.  I haven’t watched Hong Kong TV commercials for a long time.  Although I watch TV programs from HK quite frequently, those program are usually commercial free.  I am curious how the TV commercials in HK look like nowadays and what are the differences with those here in Canada.  I downloaded a collection of HK TV commercials and watched it half-heartly this afternoon.  Actually I am quite disappointed, out of the hundred or so commercials I watched, there are only a few good ones with a sense of humor or with artistic expression that is  pleasant to watch.  I always thought commercials in HK would be more interesting than those broadcast here.  I guess commercials are just equally boring everywhere.  Some commercials hire celebrities as speak persons, which I found quite this type of commercials often lacks substance and instantly turned me off.  Ok, commercials with showering scenes by famous female stars are exceptions, but I still won’t buy those products because of the stars.  Some commercials trying to be too informative, giving boring useless sales number to the audience so that they can forget in the next second.  There is one clueless commercial featuring Chow Yun Fat with lots of weird visual imageries.  It turns out to be the commercial for the new casino in Macau.  No wonder the advertisement company can make an expensive commercial seems so meaningless, that is exactly the effect they want to archive.  You can’t hard sell gambling in TV commercials.  To my surprise, I found some ancient commercials from my childhood days still on air these days.  The tag line of those commercials are part of the collective memories among people form different generations.  Actually, I am more surprise those products are still in business.  Who wants to by a product running an aging commercial?

Choice of life style

What is a good life?  I have been asking this question to myself lately.  The definition of good life have different meanings to different people.  Someone want to be rich and powerful, someone want to live simple and humble.  At the end of the day, it comes down to the choice of life style.  It is a known fact that happiness does not correlate with wealth.  The pursuit of wealth may make other parts your life suffers.  But on the other hand, money can fulfill many of your desires.  One way out is to eliminate your wants like a Buddhist monk or convert your desires to intangible spiritual values that comes free like those religious people.  It seems to me forgoing the wish for materials is an adjusted preference that people change their expectation when they realize they can’t achieve their original goal.  Then they justify to themselves why the new goal is better than the old one by looking down on the things they once aspired to.  I am turning middle age and I have done some reality check on myself.  I know I can’t fulfill all my wants, so I have to discard some of them to keep myself in balance.  I have decide what to keep and what to let go yet.  But one thing is for sure, I won’t look down on the things I once like.  I sacrifice some goals to archive some other goals.  I should happy for those who can do what I can’t fulfill.  The things I would look down on is those that I never had and never will have interest.

Homeworld 2 萬艦齊發2

homeworld 我也好久沒有玩電腦遊戲了﹐對上一個玩的遊戲已是多年前的三國誌十﹐想不到「萬艦齊發2」這個三年前的舊遊戲﹐竟然讓我重溫打機的美好時光。即時戰略遊戲「萬艦齊發」第一代在九九年推出﹐是首個凝造出太空艦隊間戰爭氣勢彭拜的遊戲。當年憑著突破性的畫面﹐引人入勝的科幻故事情節﹐以及創新的3D即時戰略操控介面﹐成為那年度最佳評價的遊戲。「萬艦齊發」第二代變化不大﹐只是改良第一代的遊戲引擎﹐並加入一個全新的故事。本來只是一個毫不起眼的續集﹐不過由於這個遊戲是屈指可數的太空戰略遊戲﹐成為很多科幻系列擁躉私下改良的對象﹐把遊戲中原本的船艦換成喜愛科幻系列中的船艦。在網上流傳的改良版本眾多﹐有「星戰大戰」﹐「高達」﹐「超時空要塞」等等著名的科幻系列。我原本只是好奇下載了「高達」的改良版來看看﹐結果開啟後一發不可收拾﹐要完成單人故事模式方肯罷休。

第二代的故事很普通﹐主角的母星受到外星人攻擊﹐基地的新型太空戰艦及時逃出﹐要去尋找上古文明遺留下來的超級武器來扭轉戰局。前後總共十五個任務﹐任務內容不外是在地圖上搜集資源﹐興建更多的太空船擴張軍力﹐消滅地圖上的敵人。當然不同的任務有不同的變化﹐大至上也是即時戰略遊戲的基本模式﹐在時限內防衛敵人進攻﹐拯救受攻擊的友軍﹐護送特別任務小隊到指定地點﹐當間碟潛航偵探敵軍﹐登陸搶奪敵艦等等。同樣例牌地隨著任務的發展﹐玩家可以建造更多種類和火力較大的船艦。與其他即時戰略遊戲不同之處﹐就是每個任務完成後﹐玩家可以帶著所有部隊去下一個任務。因此每一個任務也要小心運用艦隊保存兵力﹐船隻的生存率足以影響下一個任務的成敗。

這個遊戲的賣點是艦隊戰﹐顧名思義艦隊是這個遊戲的中心。一個隊艦隊有各類不同的船種﹐每種船艦必需要互相緊密配合﹐取長補短才可以發揮最大戰力。戰鬥機轟炸機要依靠航空母艦作補給﹐空母防衛力低要依靠護航艦保護。驅逐艦的主炮火力強大是護航艦的剋星﹐可是面對靈活小巧的轟炸機卻束手無策。基本規則是火力越強﹐越難命中細小目標﹐裝甲越厚﹐則行動越慢。玩家要因應戰況而採取適當戰略﹐大炮巨艦主義不一定行得通﹐在正面以火力硬碰只會落很傷亡慘重的下場。面對兵力比自方強大的敵軍﹐孫子兵法中的分而攻之是最有效的戰略。先集中火力攻打一點拉開距離﹐以空間換取時間﹐讓我軍在每次遭遇戰有壓倒性的兵力。當消滅一隊敵軍後馬上作維修作業﹐趕在下一隊敵軍到達前回復最佳狀態。在其中一個任務中﹐我軍就用這個戰略﹐以三艘驅逐艦的兵力﹐戰勝敵軍逐一投入戰場的十艘驅逐艦。引誘敵軍追入報滿地雷的陷阱也是一個很有效的戰略。我最得意的那場戰役﹐是先引誘敵軍的戰機群離開驅逐艦﹐讓他們追擊佯逃的我軍時中伏擊全滅。我軍火力不夠的艦隊停在驅逐艦射程之外﹐讓沒有戰機護航的驅逐艦為轟炸機隊的最佳靶子。

這個遊戲最吸引之處﹐就是讓遊家指揮一整隊太空艦隊作戰。那一個看過「銀河英雄傳說」的朋友不會幻想自己是楊威利﹐指揮著第十三獨立艦隊在太空與帝國軍決一死戰。「萬艦齊發」正好讓玩家滿足這個心癮﹐事實上戰鬥時槍彈橫飛的畫面與「銀英傳」也有幾分相似。 遊戲畫面雖然華麗眩目﹐但只是起初幾任務會留意。到了遊戲中段後幾百艘船的艦隊交戰﹐我也沒有空閒去欣賞那些3D效果。遊戲畫面切換成最多資訊的介面﹐地圖放大至每隻戰艦只剩下一個小點﹐好讓我在最短的時間內可以作最多操作。也許在前線的戰艦正在浴血火併﹐但我已看不到艦身爆炸的火花﹐我看到的只是一個個的數字﹐告訴我雙方戰艦的生命值還剩多少。其實現實世界的戰爭也都是這樣﹐坐在指揮部的將領看不到士兵的面孔﹐只剩下戰述地圖上抽像的符號和數字。那些將領本身不是冷酷無情之人﹐只是必需要把士兵的人性抽離﹐簡化為地圖上加或減的數字﹐才可以有效率地指揮龐大的軍隊去作戰。

Moleskine notebook

moleskine When I was small, I remember I used to buy those made-in-china black cover with red corner notebooks.  The paper quality of those notebooks are not great, but I have wrote countless lectures notes on them and they accompany me through my high school years.  Actually life is quite decent being able to afford those notebooks, some schoolmates only take notes on the back of a pack of staple d recycle paper.  On the other end of the spectrum of notebooks, there is the the legendary Moleskine notebook used by Van Goh, Picasso, Hemingway, and Tom Hanks in Da Vinci’s Code.  The report notebook bound on the top is a standard equipment for journalists portrait in classic Hollywood movies.  Moleskine is made of very high quality paper. The elastic band holding the notebook when it is close gives a distinct look of a Moleskine.  Moleskine is very popular among artists, writers and intellectuals.  In the digital age, many people think PDA and laptops are going to make old fashion notebook obsolete.  A Moleskine notebooks have a special aura that makes it a irreplaceable cultural icon.  I just got my first Moleskine notebook today.  Now the problem is whether the contents in my notebook worth the paper I write them on.

反重置皇后碼頭疑點重重

queen’s pier

看罷香港獨立媒體的皇后碼頭FAQ﹐我發現有關反對重置皇后的理據疑點重重。反對重置者若不能清楚回應以下的疑點﹐不免令人質疑保留皇后頭碼的合理性。

若將皇后碼頭重置於別處,香港的下一代將無法透過原來的空間布局理解殖民者當年的規劃意念

先要問殖民者當年的規劃意念是什麼﹖ 那個年代政府起樓實用行先﹐很可能根本沒有考慮什麼勞什子的殖民規劃意念﹐不過中環新填海地剛考有空位﹐就把需要覓地重建的大會堂與皇后碼頭搬去那兒﹐中 間剩下來的空地就僻作廣場。若不澄清這個規劃意念的內容﹐則這與共產黨常說的”有中國特色社會主義的規劃意念“一樣﹐只是一堆空癈詞語﹐堆切出來扮高深混 淆視聽。

其次算澄清了殖民規劃意念的內容﹐反重置者還要舉證了解這個殖民規劃意念對現代香港人的必要性﹐不可以單說句認識香港歷史就虛應故事。若做民意調查 ﹐相信大部份香港人也不知道這個殖民規劃意念是什麼東西﹐亦不會對之感興趣。就算大部份人忘記了﹐或要去博物館才可以看到﹐也不是一件值得可惜的事。

香港政府過往亦不是沒有試過以拆散重置方式「保育」歷史建築,但效果強差人意,就算政府官員自己亦表示不理想。

上次重置保育的效果不理想﹐不等於今次的保育效果也一定不理想。政府可以給取上次的失敗經驗﹐制定出一個成功重置方案。反對重置者根本從來沒有認真 考慮過重置方案﹐只是想當然爾地不理性地為反對而反對。皇后碼頭保育的支持者﹐大可以與政府坐下來慢慢協商﹐共議出一個理想的重置方案。或至少反對重置者 有責任證明所有可能性的重置方案也必定不會成功﹐只舉出單一重置失敗例子沒有足夠的說服力。再說也不是沒有重置的成功例子﹐山西元朝永樂官就是成功的例子﹐重置後仍然可以入選世界文化遺產預備名錄﹐重置無損其歷史價值。

反對填海,原址保留皇后碼頭的建築物及功能,並非蠻不講理。

也許很多人會反對在第三期計劃後再去填更多的海﹐但相信沒有人會反對填埋現在皇后碼頭對開那個四四方方的水”乙水”。這個水“乙水”一來醜樣﹐二來這潭死水會帶來環境問題﹐反對填皇后碼頭對出的水“乙水”﹐正正就是蠻不講理的表現。

在權衡輕重後,我們認為將碼頭遷到新海濱以維持其功能,並不是保育皇后碼頭的最佳方法。

請詳細例出如何權衡輕重的各樣考慮﹐請不要像政府的跨大工程估價那樣誤導市民。把皇后碼頭移去新海旁﹐絕對可以保留其功用和美觀﹐而皇后碼頭的歷史意義真接聯繫著碼頭的建築本身﹐移去新海旁亦不會失去﹐一舉三得﹐何樂而不為﹖

原址保留的「皇后涼亭」除了讓下一代了解殖民者管治的歷史外,也可以讓他們親眼見到,回歸後的特區政府如何繼續漠視「保護城市環境」的責任,將市民共同擁有的維多利亞港私有化為「摩地大商場」。

這點不成原地保留的理由﹐把皇后碼頭重置去愛丁堡廣場也有同樣功用﹐甚至可能有更好效果。

香港的古物保育部門研究並評估碼頭的歷史地位,再由規劃部門制定最適當的保留方案

年頭古物古蹟辦事處已發表香港歷史建築的物評級報告﹐皇后碼頭榜上無名。

暫且撇開天星皇后對香港的歷史和文化價值,涉及天星和皇后碼頭的第三期填海工程的「合約」,究竟包括甚麼,各項工程合約簽署的情況為何等,有關當局一直含糊其辭,令市民認為「皇后碼頭必須拆」是一個既定事實。

暫且撇開皇后的合問問題﹐涉及天星和皇后碼頭的歷史文化價值﹐究竟包括甚麼﹐重置又有何損失﹐反清拆者一直含糊其辭﹐令市民認為「重置皇后碼頭歷史價值蕩然無存」是一個既定事實。至少以資料的數量去計算﹐政府公報的合約數字的計算就多過反清拆者公報的歷史價值計算。

若不興建這條有可能浪費數億元的四百六十米隧道,原址保留皇后碼頭﹝甚至天星碼頭﹞就再無問題。

興不興建機鐵掉頭隊道要考慮機鐵的客運量﹐與原不原地保留皇后沒有關係。是不是過十年若有需要起隊道時﹐就可以重置皇后碼頭﹖

兩項工程都包括在中環第三期填海工程的合約內,但兩項工程都是可以透過更改設計避開皇后碼頭。

若政府可以跨大工程造價﹐支持保留者也可以小報工程造價﹐市民也有權要求反重置者提出更詳細的工程評估報告。不可以有雙重標準﹐政府說的數字就話不可信﹐反重置者提出的數字想也不想就照單全收。

總括來說﹐反對重置皇碼的理據大都是後設理論(post-hoc reasoning)﹐他們先原教旨地預設既定立場﹐再堆切理由藉口去合理化他們非理性的保育行動。細心推搞下﹐他們所持的保育理由根本不成理由﹐只不過是後殖民政治意識型態的無意義口號罷了。

An Inconvenient Truth 絕望真相

Inconvenient Truth 過氣政治人物通常在落選後消聲匿跡﹐前美國副總統戈爾(Al Gore)是少數的例外。他在二千年大選因幾百張有問題的選票落敗給小布殊後﹐到處演講致力環保工作﹐希望喚醒世人明白地球暖化的危機。說起來他在這幾年間的貢獻﹐比他行行企企當副總統的日子還多。去年他拍攝了「絕望真相」這齣記錄片﹐希望讓更多人知道這個問題的迫切性。這齣電影更榮獲奧斯卡最佳記錄片的獎項﹐喚起了大眾對地球暖化問題的關注。

這電影是齣十分平實的記錄片﹐主要是記錄戈爾的一場演講﹐加插回憶片段去交代戈爾熱心這個議題的原因。戈爾是一個十分有說服力的講者﹐他的論點也很有科學根據。雖然這幾年間媒體早已把這些論點翻抄很多次﹐一般對科普時事有認識的觀眾也不會陌生。但前因後果從戈爾口中娓娓道來﹐讓觀眾有更深一層的體會。科學數據指出大氣層中二氧化碳含量對地球氣溫有直接影響。近百年間因為環境污染二氧化碳含量不正常地上升﹐將會導致地球氣溫嚴重變暖﹐最壞的情況會可能在五十年內上升十度。戈爾很懂得運用舞台視覺效果﹐在展視二氧化碳與氣溫關係那張圖表時﹐他動用升降機去指出二氧化碳含量上升的嚴重性﹐在觀眾的腦海留下深刻印象。當然開場那段由The Simpsons作者繪畫的短篇動畫﹐和從太空船拍攝回來的地球照片也功不可沒。他說服了觀眾接受氣候變暖的事實後﹐他進一步解釋氣溫上升對地球環境的影響。南北二極冰塊溶化令海面上升﹐會淹沒鄰近海岸的陸地固然是一個問題。更大的問題是大量淡水湧入會影響海洋水流流向﹐令南北半球冷熱交流的循環停止運作﹐導致地球天氣兜亂大反常。地球上一部地方小則出現暴雨成災﹐重則可能冰河時期再臨﹐而在另一些地方則可能出現旱災﹐這是影響數以億計人口的生態大災難。

戈爾在影片最後解答三個對氣候變化的常見誤解。有人說氣候變暖並不是事實﹐只是環保份子虛構出來的危言聳聽。可是細心追查那些質疑的來源﹐會發現那是來自石油企業的宣傳策略﹐藉此保衛他們千絲萬縷的利益關係。有人說環保會影響經濟發展﹐我們要在發展與環保取得平衡﹐不能全面推行環保政策。環保除了減少能源消耗外﹐更重是新科技的研究和應用﹐讓我們可以更有效使用能源。推行環保政策對現在製造大量污染的工業一定有影響﹐但新科技行業方面會創造更多的發展機會﹐在整體上對經濟發展反而有利無害。最後有人說氣候變暖這個問題太嚴重﹐我們朿手無策只好坐以待斃。其實現有科技足以有效控制二氧化碳排放﹐只欠推行環保政策的決心。全球推行環保政策雖然艱難﹐但也不是不可能成事﹐各國合作修補臭氧層就是一個成功的例子。

無疑這齣電影是一套十分精彩的記錄片﹐給觀眾上了一堂環保知識的科學課。氣候變暖會影響人類的生存空間﹐就算我們反對環保份子口中虛無的大自然價值﹐只是從人類利益角度出發﹐氣候變暖也是不容忽視的問題。至少在科技發達至人類可以移民外太空前﹐我們應該要好好珍惜這個地球﹐畢竟人類目前還得依靠地球生存。不過這齣戲的中文譯名「絕望真相」譯得不好﹐若果從今天起我們積極對抗氣溫上升﹐真相其實並不是那樣悲觀絕望﹐環境還未差到無可救藥的地步。

Western philosophy vs eastern philosophy

I have a good chat with an old friend tonight.  I told him I was taking philosophy.  He said he is quite interest in eastern, especially Chinese, philosophy too.  We talked about the difference between western and eastern philosophy.  Both philosophy originated around the same period, 2500 years ago.  The two most famous scholars are Plato in Greek and Confucius in China.  Both of their teaching comes lots of things and enlightened later generation.  However the development of the two philosophy is very difference since then.  Eastern philosophy seems got frozen in time without getting much further development, we are still reading the same ancient books people read thousand years ago.  On the other than western philosophy has fully developed into a system covers almost everything knowledge man had ever known.  I think one the of key difference is that in western philosophy, philosophers are like scientist, their work is to discover the ultimate truth.  People respect the great philosophers, they learn from their works but they don’t take the works for granted.  In eastern philosophy, people regards the philosophers as the absolute standard.  Instead of trying to make improvement and discover more truth, they focus on figuring out what did Confucius really said in his books.  No one even bother to challenge whether the content of Confucians teaching is applicable.  It is important to understand the teaching of the great philosopher, not only that we want to learn from them, it is more important that we want to surpass them.  A forward looking culture brings progression and strive for greatness.  A backward looking culture always points to a golden standard in the past can only be deteriorated and slowly rotted away.

Cooking Mama

Cooking Mama I played Cooking Mama for Wii last night at my friend’s place.  Although the graphic is quite primitive, I found this game is really fun.  As you can see from the title, it is a cooking game.  You may wonder what’s fun about cooking through the TV screen, there is no food to eat.  This game is basically lots of mini games sharing a common cooking theme.  It has over 100 recipes for dishes from all over the world.  In each recipe, the procedure to make the dish is breaking down into small steps focusing on a few basic motions.  Some complicate dishes has over 20 steps, from cutting the ingredient, mixing the sauces to timing how long the strove should be on.  The presentation of the game is quite girly, cute cartoon character giving you the cooking instruction, most of the graphics are in pink, yet I think this game is suitable for both boys and girls.  The cooking in the game is far from real cooking, but you can still apply the recipe to make some real dish.  Moreover, it is always a good thing to raise the interest of cooking among players.  There are still some concern for feminine image for the male who play this game, maybe Nintendo should make a Iron Chef version for male game players.