AMERICA-land of the free

I love America, and her ideals of freedom for all:

1. What is America to me?

eric kim red seas

What do I think America is?

For me, America is the land of the free.

America is about making the best out of the hand you were dealt in life.

America is the chance of a new life. America is the chance to live in a society, without fear.

2. Why I would not want to live in Singapore or Hanoi (long-term)

eric kim photography monochrom28

I was in Singapore a year or so ago — and while everything was beautiful and perfect, I came to the sad realization: there is no freedom there. No freedom of thought, or speech.

Sure, you can wallow in luxury, you can live a very comfortable life without fear of crime, etc — but is it worth it if you don’t even have the freedom to say what is really on your mind?

In Hanoi, life is good. I can live like a very privileged Westerner, essentially with ‘infinite’ money. In theory, I can live in Hanoi for the rest of my life and never ‘work’ another day in my life (just based on my savings, and residual income). But — there is no freedom of speech here. Is it worth living a cozy and cushioned lifestyle, as a privileged ex-pat, when I don’t have the freedom to do what I want to do? To have the freedom to say what is really on my mind? To have the freedom to access any website I want? (Facebook, Twitter, and many other sites are disabled on some wifi networks in Hanoi). And even though Facebook is now available to use to the masses— it is still highly monitored by the government. So if you say something anti-Vietnamese government on Facebook, you can have the secret police knocking on your door.

3. I love America

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There is no other country I want to live in (for the rest of my life) besides America.

In America, I have freedom of speech. I can say whatever I want, and I can express anything that I truly feel in my soul.

In America, I have the freedom to setup my own business, and to partake in capitalist enterprises — with no restrictions (to a certain point) from the government. Compare this to other countries in the world, where you have to give explicit bribes just to start a business.

In America, I can have doves5-1freedom of sexual expression. It don’t matter if I’m gay, lesbian, trans-sexual, bi-sexual, or questioning. I won’t be sent to jail for showing love to any other human being.

In America, the government can’t suddenly come knocking on my door, and asking me to surrender all of my private property.

In America, we (technically) have the right to privacy. Granted, the CIA is still spying on everyone (Patriot Act), privacy is still ‘respected.’ And certainly, I have more privacy in America compared to other countries in the world.

In America, I won’t have to partake in military activities against my consent. I won’t be drafted into no war (unless, maybe there is World War III).

In America, I can have as many (or as few) children as I want. No 2-child policy in America.

In America, nobody dies from starvation anymore. Even if I totally got fucked up, and ended up on the streets— my ‘basic’ needs would be supported by the US Government.

4. America’s strength is from her diversity

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I love America, and what America represents. To me, I see America visually through the statue of liberty. She holds her torch high, illuminating the path of all immigrants from all around the world to arrive at her shores at Ellis Island.

To me, America is freedom. She loves all. She accepts all. She doesn’t judge.

America knows that her strength comes from diversity. The best innovations happen in America, because of our ethnic and cultural diversity. The world wouldn’t have had Apple, iPhone, or Steve Jobs without his Syrian father. The world wouldn’t have had Tesla and self-driving cars/Tesla/Space X without the ‘immigrant’ of Elon Musk (from South Africa). The world wouldn’t have Google and free access to the entire internet without the ‘immigrant’ families of Sergey Brin and Page.

5. Diversity or die

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In biology and nature— diversity is strength.

Consider the potato famine which killed millions of people in Europe. Just one virus wiped out the (one) variant of potato. Therefore all the potatoes got this virus, and there were no longer any more potatoes. Millions died.

If there was a bio-diversity of different strains or varieties of potatoes, millions would still be alive.

In-bred dogs are sicker, weaker, dumber, and die sooner. Pure-bred dogs are just dumb in-bred animals. It is kind of disgusting— imagine if you had a bunch of children with your sister or brother (or even worse, your parents), and for several generations afterwards— your children had sex and children with your other children.

The strongest animals or dogs are the ‘mutts’ — the ones that have a diversity of parents. A mix between a pitfall and chihuahua. A mix between a greyhound and a poodle. Whatever it may be— these mixed-race dogs are stronger, smarter, healthier, and better.

The same happens with human beings. If we had 100% ‘pure-bred’ humans, we would all be in-breds. Nothing more disgusting than fucking your own sister. It makes more sense to have ‘ethnic’ or ‘racial’ diversity. When I have kids with Cindy, I am proud that we will have ‘mixed-race’ Vietnamese-Korean kids. And I hope that my kids marry and have children with white folks, black folks, or purple folks.

Why is it that it is generally accepted in finance, and economics that you need to ‘diversity or die.’ Or Charles Darwin: adapt/evolve/diversity or die.

Why don’t we treat society the same?

6. Diversity of ideas

eric kim photography monochrom8

The best ideas are the diverse ones. The cross-over between physics and painting. The cross-over between industrial design and nature. The cross-over between zen minimalism and capitalism. The cross-over between an SUV and a compact car.

James Altucher calls this ‘idea sex’ — taking two disparate ideas and letting them copulate. Then the resulting idea is far more unique and valuable.

Seneca says the best way to be creative is to be like a bee— visiting many different flowers, with different pollen, and creating a unique honey from all these different sources.

For me, here is a mix of fields I am interested in:

The list goes on. But somehow making ‘idea sex’ between all these ideas, have come up with some interesting blog posts. Such as:

And many more.

And oh yeah, I was born from immigrant parents.

Conclusion

I want to live in a society where America is open to everyone, and anyone.

Fuck borders. Fuck racism. Fuck closed-off shit.

America needs to be a shining beacon. Lady freedom loves all humans, regardless of their social status, their ethnicity, their race, background, parents, whatever.

Let us yell at the top of our lungs:

FREEDOM FOR ALL.

Be strong,
Eric

Equality for all of humankind: