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Oppositional Identities

So, everyone's got an identity. What you think you are, what you identify with, how you'd describe yourself.

This identity thing is a big deal in terms of how you see the world. If there's a clash between the world and your identity, you'll probably favor your identity over the world.

That's... not good, but it's almost everyone. A few people seem to dissolve their identity, or base it around a rather robust principle (like truth, in the pure abstract unfiltered form) - but that's incredibly rare.

So okay, you've got an identity, it affects how you react to the world, and if the world and your identity comes into conflict, your identity is probably going to win. That's not necessarily a good thing, but it's how things are.

Given that, it's really important to not have an "oppositional identity" - that's where you define a big part of who you are as what you're against.

Raffles Institution's 189th Founders' Day Speech

On Econoception


The speaker, Mr. Bilahari Kausikan, makes references to economics several times in his speech: when he talks about the unpredictability of life's events and what life may throw upon us, he is echoing Keynes' very ideas about capitalism and chance. There is simply no way we can quantify the odds of cataclysmic occurrences and the probability of a scientific discovery or breakthrough happening in the world. No risk management model and no amount of statistical analysis or modelling can ever predict the future. Ironically, it is this false conviction that the future can be predicted or that risks can be managed effectively that ultimately causes calamities, whether natural or man-made, to befall on us.

Hope you will enjoy reading his speech as much as I did.

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