Forrest Ye's Blog

Connecting the dots

Seeking Answers

It’s been more than a year since I took a leave from a startup I helped founded.

After my departure, I decided to dedicate my time to seek answers to a lot of questions, the questions which have been haunting me for a long time already.

I want to know more about the world. I want to know more about everything. I want to know more about myself.

What is the meaning of life? What are my purposes of living? What about my future, the future of the people I care about, my parents and my extended family? What is the future of this country?

I don’t have any idea.

Good thing is I know money is not my goal. Although I don’t have a lot, I found that I had enough to sustain myself for a while, so I decided to let it go, and see what would happen.

Since I’ve never really played enough when I grew up, first I found myself diving into video games. Quickly I found the pleasures of them mildly at best.

Then I took a trip into movies and TV shows. At first I learned a lot from them, namely casual English, western culture, different beliefs and different lifestyles.

But soon I realized that they are the products of pop culture and driven by consumerism. The information and knowledge you can find in them are shallow at best. They are designed so that the majority of the people can grasp them. I denounced pure consumerism.

Also, there is a chunk load of nihilism in games, movies and TV shows.

Then I submerged into the information overload, and found Twitter to be the heaven of immediate, fragmented, overflown information. Relentlessly I looked for and followed a lot of wonderful people, some of them become my heroes. I observed them closely. I was obsessed with every bit of information they spit out. I want to learn from them.

Also, there is this site called 9gag, and through 9gag I discovered Reddit. Where pop culture meets information overload.

But later I realized that being a bystander is not fun. And I found patterns emerged from the informations. There is a bigger picture. I moved on.

I smoked and quitted. I tasted weeds. I took risks and experienced a lot of mindless physical pleasures.

I sneak-peeked into religions, and found no peace of mind there.

I bought stuffs, and now I find myself heading back to minimalism.

I realized that this is an age of entertainment. To protest, I enclosed myself with books. Several times I found myself spent consecutive sleepless days and nights reading. Just DEAR (Drop Everything And Read).

I found philosophy. A whole new world.

But still, in the community of book lovers, I found a lot of people retreated into escapism or defeatism.

And now I am so puzzled.

People of the world, I have questions for you:

Working people who are proud of being professional, are you just believing in hedonism, working hard just in order to play harder? Are you an excellent human being or just fighting to become a really, really excellent sheep? Are you self-liberating or just enjoying self annihilation?

Social activists who claim that you are to make China a better place, do you really know what you are doing? Do you know how to build as well as how to pose mass destruction?

Celebrities in China, do you really believe that you are controlling the media, or are you just submitting yourselves to the mass, to this age of entertainment?

Party leaders of the Communist Party of China, have you thought about that you are mortal and just a small chapter in the human history?

Engineers, entrepreneurs and all the producers who are trying to push the human race forward, do you know that you might be doing just the opposite and helping the evil? Are you planning to help the people or just enjoy yourselves?

Everyone else, do you have a purpose of life? Have you given a serious thought about that you are going to die some day, and your time is limited?

Sadly for me, I found that most of my types of people are in the U.S., but my roots remain here in China.

I also found that no matter how wonderful a person was, when he labeled himself as a group member of whatever it is, he often degraded quickly.

Therefore I decided to stand for individualism and fight against any kind of collectivism for as long as I can sustain.

But I still haven’t found what I am looking for.