Friday, September 30, 2005


最 近在某地產項目上看見一個不懂的〔馬尺〕字。問了幾個朋友都不知其所以,翻查常用的中文字典亦找不到。記得日本的車站似乎是用這個字,懷疑是古漢字。但翻 查〔辭海〕、〔漢語大字典〕、〔康熙字典〕、〔古漢語字典〕、〔常用古文字典〕都找不到。最後還是在〔日漢大辭典〕找到。原來真是日語,相等於漢語的 〔驛〕字。很想問一下:既然有一個相等的漢字可用,為何要用一個日語字?

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Is there a purpose to life?

There are lots of interesting snippets in Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything. For example, a lichen grows very very slowly and it seems the only purpose of its life is to just keep on living. As for human beings, the whole history of our existence is very very short, compared, e.g., to the history of the Earth. If I should stretch my arms to their fullest extent and imagine that width as the entire history of the Earth, in a single stroke with a nail file I can eradicate human history. It seems so insignificant!

Yet most of us human beings feel, or believe, that there must be a purpose to life, at least to "my" life, if not the lichen's. We refuse to accept that our lives are purely a matter of chance, that there is no long lasting purpose or meaning to it. We find it hard to believe that we would exist for no particular purpose. Some people commit suicide when they cannot find the purpose of their lives; other keep on searching. Most people feel lost if they do not know the purpose of their lives. It is a cruel world indeed if we are compelled to spend our lives looking for a purpose, while there is none to be found.