Sydney Taiwan Festival Experience

This is a video of me and my group mates experiencing the ‘Sydney Taiwan Festival’ that happened on the 5th of September, 2015. From the video you can see that we weren’t actually together as we came at different times. However we still manage to indulge ourselves in the festive activities. The Taiwan festival was first done in 2011 at ‘Darling Harbor’ (Su, 2015), since then it has been an annual event.

Experiencing this festival has been amazing as the amount of different food cuisine that I was able to eat was wonderful. Not only was it different but its Asian style cooking so the taste is different compare to that of a burger. The variety of flavors was also a party for my mouth. From spicy, sweet and bitter all in one bite! Not only that but I manage to experience a mask painting session. It is said that painting mask started in the Qui dynasty (Davison, pg. 62). A king which had a delicate-looking face, wanted to look fierce towards his enemies. The solution to that was to paint a fierce face on a mask, thus came this culture. Overall the festival was such an interesting experience and to just be there to go through all of this culture. Just as how Ellie talks about autoethnographic is about analyzing my own experience from the culture and how I make sense of it. This experience made me realize how vibrant Taiwanese culture is in terms of their history and cultures. It has been passed down from generation to generation and it shows how this is their countries identity. Vibrant, beautiful and simply amazing

Reference

Ellis, C., Adams, T. and Bochner, A. (2010). Autoethnography: An Overview. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12(1), viewed on September 24, 2015.

Davison, G, & Reed, B 1998, Culture And Customs Of Taiwan, n.p.: Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1998., UOW Catalogue, EBSCOhost, viewed 30 October 2015.

Su, A. (2015). Sydney Taiwan Festival. Taiwanfestival.org.au, viewed on 30 October 2015, <http://taiwanfestival.org.au/English/festival2011.html&gt;

My Roti Canai Story

Exploring about the different aspects of Roti Canai has been amazing. I was able to deepen my knowledge of the dish as well as expand my thinking beyond the dish itself. In order to show you what I have learnt, I had decided to use a new platform called “Twine”. Basically it is a story telling base platform which helps link your parts in a unique way. Truth be told I was not easy to use and it as it was a little confusing as I had to use HTML codes. Overall I enjoyed this platform and hope you enjoy exploring my Roti Canai journey.

http://www.philome.la/LiveLifeIvan/roti-canai-experience/play

My Roti Canai Experience

This was my first time ever making roti canai! Back home in Malaysia this is a very common dish that everyone loves to eat. Instead of buying one from the grocery store I decided to make it myself as I love experimenting with food. The first video is on how to make roti canai. If you are interested these are the ingredients and measurements you would need.

1kg Plain Flour

2tbs Condensed Milk

11/2tsp Salt

3tbs Vegetable Oil

560ml Water

Margarine (to coat the dough)

Watch the video as it provides an easy step by step on how to make it.

The next video I posted is my personal experience on making this dish.

The video below is the reference video I used to make my roti canai. Once again this project was done for a university assignment.

I hope you enjoyed it and thanks for watching.

An End To The Ghost

Evaluating my experience on ghost in the shell has been amazing! Not only did I finally manage to watch this classic anime. I manage to learn a little bit more about how I think and even why I think that way. In my first blog post about this anime, I talked about how ghost in the shell presents such an immortal idea. In exchange for an immortal body you must first pay the price with your real body. Having a robot body has many benefits but as always nothing is ever absolute. The Achilles heel for this was the fact that people may be able to hack into your brain, controlling your senses as well as adding false memory. I find that terrifying as you may never know if you are being hacked or if your memories are real.

After that my next blog post dig deeper into this idea on why people would give up their body. From my understanding it is because being immortal is one of the greatest gift for some people. The idea of being immortal was a story that has been passed down from one generation to the other. That story was also known as the elixir of life.  People all over the world has either tried to find this elixir or recreate it, it never works out. Transferring your ghost (soul) to a robot seems like a better possibility. We are currently in an era where a lot of effort is being put into Artificial Intelligence. At the rate AI are being develop and experimented on. Ghost in the shell may no longer just be an idea but an actual possibility.

In the blog post I also talked about what it meant to be human. How understanding the soul is the next level of understanding we need to achieve. Once we do understand that the walls of insecurity can disappear. Finally the last point I talked about was corruption. For me this is huge deal as I have seen how corruption works and it kills the people. Currently Malaysia is having its biggest rally called BERSIH 4 where it demands for Free and fair elections, a transparent government, the right to demonstrate, strengthening the parliamentary democracy system and saving the national economy. Maybe that’s why I was a little bit more influence to talk about corruption in this movie. As a conclusion this experience has been amazing and sometimes digging deep into your own thoughts can be an adventure itself.

The Backbone Of A Ghost

Looking back on my post I started breaking down my thoughts even further. From the concept of people willing to give their human bodies for robotic bodies I stared to wonder why and it hit me like a bullet. From young I have always been interested with myths and fables. From Greek mythology to Japanese legends, always hearing stories about how there was a different world that may be just beyond my reach. Made me even more curious on what’s out there (clearly from this you can imagine my life as a kid was full of faces saying “are you serious” and “what is he talking about, his weird”). There was this one story I always heard about but it had many names so let’s just called it “The Elixir of Life” (Ancient Origins, 2014). This story has many different versions but one thing is clear. Once you have drank it, not only will you gain immortality but also eternal youth. Many had attempted to find and recreate this godly mixture. Does it actually exist, we may never know unless Keanu Reeves shares us his secret.

From my understanding of this myth I see it as a forbidden wish. To live forever in youth would be amazing. Not only will you be able to experience everything of what this world has to offer. You will always stay young and looking fabulous. I believe it is forbidden because currently so much chaos has happen in this world. If we were to live forever how are we going to survive with one another if there is still so much hate. Ghost in the Shell presents this elixir as a robot. In a way they both have the same goal as they both achieve immortality. The main difference is that AI technology is constantly being developed and improved. Artificial Intelligence has reached to a point where we it can now learn and interact with us (JIBO, 2015). Is this movie fiction or is it our possible future?

The next part I talked about Motoko questioning her identity which I believe makes us human. The brain is where we store our memories, feelings and generally who we think we are. What if that is not the case? Following the movie would it be safe to say that it’s the ghost that holds and keeps all these information? Logically speaking we have very limited information about “ghost” as we can’t understand it. We are people that needs evidence and prove as we don’t like not knowing. Instead of living in constant ambiguity of what the soul may or may not be some chooses logic and that’s fine. We all need to make sense of the things around us. If we don’t we end up losing ourselves. That still leaves a very important question as what is a “soul”. Could it be the movie showed that once people have understand the fundamentals of the soul we learn how body image is such a small matter? To me I see her naked and I think she should put on some clothes. To her she may have reached a level of understanding her own ghost. She thinks that as long as her ghost is in one piece no matter what kind of body she gets it’s no different to her. Her body is just a shell that she will moult away.

Finally I talked about corruption in the movie and how people in power will do anything to stay in power. Life is tough, and people always try to make it easier because life is met to be enjoyed and not to be stressed all the time. People who have been corrupted likes to bring in those around them. As it is a form of security. You get everyone in so that when a problem happens everyone will do their best to solve it. If one person goes down all of them would go as well. Even though there is such a risk people still do it. Why? It could be due to social pressure as the rest do it but you don’t. They start isolating you making you feel like the bad one. It could also be the benefits they may receive if they were to accept corruption. Life comes with a price, so if you don’t have enough to trade in. How are you going to experience it? “They say money can’t buy happiness but it sure as hell buys everything else” (Mad Money, 2008).

As a conclusion, from analyzing my previous blog post I noticed how light I was thinking of the movie. This movie introduces so many aspects and issues that we are currently facing. How others may see it may be different but one thing is for sure. This anime has so much more depth then I could have ever imagine and they said anime is for kids.

Link to my previous post “A Ghost With No Fear”

https://thechangeiscoming.wordpress.com/2015/08/12/a-ghost-with-no-fear-ghost-in-the-shell/

Reference

Ancient Origins, (2014). Immortality, the Elixir of Life and the Food of the Gods. [online] Available at: http://www.ancient-origins.net/myths-legends/immortality-elixir-life-and-food-gods-001201.

JIBO, (2015). Jibo, The World’s First Family Robot. [online] Available at: https://www.jibo.com.

IMDb, (2015). Mad Money (2008). [online] Available at: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0951216/quotes.

A Ghost With No Fear (Ghost In The Shell)

I have always been an anime fan but ghost in the shell never really peaked my interest. One of the main reason was simply because I’m not much of a meca fan. However it was good to finally watch it and see what the hype was all about, better yet use it for an assignment. The first thing that surprised me was that the movie was dubbed. My fear of a dubbed anime movie is that it would sound weird and won’t go in sync with the movie. To my surprise the dubbed was not too bad. A little unsync at some parts but much better than some other anime I have seen.

As the movie progresses I enjoyed how everything starts to unfold. From humans willing to give their human body for a robot body. To the politic side of how those in power will do anything to stay in that position. Everybody wants to live, and this movie provides that option to live forever. Not only would you get to live forever but imagine you will never need to worry about being sick. You would be able to be so much stronger as well as being able to endure more damage than the human body can (cause hey your body is like iron man now). Being human becomes a unique feature. As majority of people had either exchange some part of their body with something robotic or they themselves are a complete robots, with a ghost inside.

Presenting such an immortal concept always has a catch and for this it was the possibility of being hacked. The possibility of someone hacking into you, placing fake memories and even control some functions of your body is terrifying. This makes me think about how people believe in the word “security”. It is a false assumption everyone caries around. Nothing is ever safe or secure as there is always a possibility of something or someone that will be able to break it.

At one part they showed the main character had slept and just woke up. This confused me as in my head I was thinking did she need sleep even as a robot? Which brought up other questions like does she need to eat and what would she eat. As the movie showed quite a few naked scenes of Motoko (main character) what is going on in her mind when that happens? She seems as if she doesn’t care as if her being naked is no difference when she wears clothes. Her partner Batou shy’s away when she changes on the boat. He too is part robot, yet he looked away when she change. Could it be that when you transfer fully to a robotic body you lose a piece of yourself?

The main character also experienced doubt on her own self-identity. Is she actual who she think she is? Is she another robot with fake memories? People constantly deals with these questions in real life, maybe in a way it is what makes us human. Rather than saying “My name is Motoko, Model ZYN2806 created by Tech.Co”. We question the things around us and we constantly try and seek out these answers. We learn and expand from the answers we receive, maybe that’s what the ghost is. The part of us that lets us expand beyond that of a robot.

Finally one of the most interesting part of the movie is the plot twist at the end saying that those of higher authority is in charge of all these hacks being caused. Which brings to light a very controversy topic of “corruption”. Power is addictive, people crave for it and once they have it why should they give it up? Like how the movie went, once they knew they could not retrieve the puppet master. They destroyed it as it could have be used against them. Humans are already violent in nature but fear is what holds us back. Being part robotic, breaks down some of those fears. What would we become next if fear no longer holds us back?