a guest post from pi

So yes. Extra extra read all about it! Pi has written a WORDPRESS!! Once in a lifetime stuff folks, come and read! XDDD hahahaha enjoy.

Hm. Weird. A blog by me. I am definitely going to regret this… eh well. I needed to write a speech for class anyways, might as well share my thoughts.

Equivalent Trade

“People cannot gain anything without sacrificing something. You must present something of equal value in order to gain something.”

Having finished watching FMA in the past month, I began to wonder about the so-debated principle of equivalent trade. All throughout the series Ed believes in it, and gets angry when Dante tells him at the end that the principle is not true for the world, saying that some people start out doomed regardless of how much effort they put into living (not her exact words but whatever). Hohenheim of Light also says that the principle fails in reality because materials alone cannot be created into an object; for example the pieces of a broken radio alone are not enough to create a radio.

So, what about equivalent trade in real life (without alchemy)?

I guess that even though I can see where Dante and Hohenheim are coming from, I have to see some sense in the principle of equivalent trade. I believe that if you honestly put effort into something, that effort will be reciprocated. The keyword here of course is ‘honestly’. If you casually flip open your physics textbook for five minutes before the test and expect to do well, prepare to be disappointed. But if you honestly try your hardest to understand optics, or electricity, or whatever you’re learning; that is, you’re not trying to study while chatting on MSN or Gtalk, then you should definitely see results.

On the other hand, sometimes it seems that everything is going badly. You got a crappy test score, hell weeks with tons of assignments, someone is mad at you… etc. Whatever. The principle of equivalent trade states that to gain something, you must lose something. Similarly if you lose something, you gain something. But what do we gain from these hell weeks? These bad tests?

Some will claim that when you get a bad mark on a test you studied for, you sacrificed your time and effort and gained nothing. That is not true. Some idiot once said that you learn from your mistakes. That idiot undoubtedly went on to do great things. It’s because idiots make mistakes, and if an idiot can learn from his mistakes, then he’s well on his way to greatness. If you sacrificed time to study yet failed a test, but you learn from the mistakes from that test, then your net gain is probably worth the time and the fail. If you are even inspired to not fail again, then you just got an extra added bonus. If, however, you fail a test, go emo, cut yourself, refuse to learn, and hide in your room to cry all night, well, I can’t help you there.

So. Does equivalent trade hold? So far, yes. We can learn from our crappy blunders that screw us over and cost us, and in the bigger picture we gain. Who cares about this one 70% if you’re guaranteed never to do badly again?

Back to FMA, Hohenheim’s point makes sense. There are those of us who have to give it our all for that 85%, whereas there are others who can get their 95 eyes closed. I guess this could just be a product of their parents’ sacrifice of time, because their parents studied like good Asians (joke) when they were younger and thus became geniuses and then passed on their genius genes. So the principle still holds.

And yes, Dante’s point is equally as valid. Some people are just born unlucky/ screwed/doomed/whatever you want to call it. No matter how hard they try to live, they probably don’t gain anything and just die young, among other things. Possibly they also screw over those that gave them life… but that’s a depressing topic for someone else. I’m not going to look at those people. I’m going to look at us, the privileged, spoiled upper 1% of the world. For us, the principle can probably be applied. We have freedom, we have chances, we can afford to mess up and there will still be hope for us.

That said, there will always be those screwy privileged people among us who whine about the smallest things, complaining to the world about how whatever they invested didn’t come back, how the time and effort they put into something didn’t shoot something straight back out. Let’s be blunt. Yes, your life can suck at times. You can give someone your all and they don’t acknowledge you. You can try your hardest in a tournament and get completely destroyed. You can be betrayed by someone you put your trust in. What can you do? Live through it. In the end, if you live through a bad time, the sun will shine again [sounds really weird coming from me but whatever…].

We all screw up. We all go through times that we want to skip or avoid. We all have times when we feel like beating something up (sometimes ourselves… not a joke). But if we all ended our lives at this kind of time, then this would be a relatively unpopulated world. Live through the crap times. It’s equivalent trade, in exchange for living through crap you will gain fun experiences later. Just because in FMA they can instantly transmute stuff with alchemy doesn’t mean that equivalent trade is always instantaneous. We have time. If you make a sacrifice, you will definitely gain something for it, whether now or later.


15 comments on “a guest post from pi”

  1. “But if you honestly try your hardest to understand optics, or electricity, or whatever you’re learning; that is, you’re not trying to study while chatting on MSN or Gtalk, then you should definitely see results.”
    *cough* msg for me =D? Don’t forget that if I fail it’s your fault because I can’t count anymore.Anyway, Such happy go lucky thoughts, now if only the future doesn’t depend on me getting an average of 90. *sighs* Also, Hohenheim is wrong! Since I’d be as smart as otou-san then and wouldn’t need your crappy drawing of a mirror explaining why I only need half of it to see my feet. “Wait didn’t you say you were adopted since you were raised by pandas after your real parents ditched you?” details…tch

    …and yeah, FMA is such an awesome show~~ I think that watching FMA and analyzing it should be a course at school ^^,

    Today I finally got my career test, and apparently it says that I should become a librarian, a music performer…and a test pilot?
    TEST PILOT A GUNDAM~! OH SWEET!! That’s right, one day I’ll be as smart as a coordinator and be able to pwn you all with FREEDOM’s hiMAT system. (I like how this is partially irrelevant.)

  2. @@, so philosophical. Too deep for me… I’ll just go wade in my shallow pool of thoughts.

  3. You put more work into badminton than Dan but he got in. I think you should be pretty pissed about that.

  4. “I guess this could just be a product of their parents’ sacrifice of time, because their parents studied like good Asians (joke) when they were younger and thus became geniuses and then passed on their genius genes. So the principle still holds.”

    Btw, thats completely wrong as you can’t create genes or genetic traits. You shoulda took bio. ;D

  5. Wait what? Genius isn’t passed on to children? That can NOT be true.

  6. Well it can be if the parents were genetically/naturally more intelligent, but u said they studied hard and acquired genius. This “passing” of genius is probably just the parents being smart, so they expect more from their children/make them study harder and shit. Probably a combination of both. Lol.

  7. If the trait for genius was a gene that could be passed on then how come we aren’t genius?

    Most of Mozart’s children died, plus he died young.
    Beethoven had 47 affairs but never married and had kids because he had some sort of STD.
    Einstein…is Einstein. We keep his brain in a glass jar hoping we can clone him one day.

    Meaning they were unable to reproduce and pass on their genes to the generations that follow after them. So in theory, the genius trait is an unfavourable trait because the people who had the genius trait were unable to adapt to their environment and reproduce.

    Also, the inheritance of trait is all done by chance (as stated by Mendel’s second law of Independent Assortment). Lets assume the genius trait is homozygous recessive, and the idiot trait is homozygous dominant. If your mother was a genius and your father was an idiot, there is a 100% chance you’ll be heterozygous for genius and idiot (a normal person). Now lets say that both your parents were heterozygous (meaning they are average.) You’d have a 25% chance of being either a genius or an idiot, and a 50% chance of being a normal person. Another situation could be that your father is a genius, but your mom is average. In this situation, you would have a 50% chance of being a genius, and a 50% chance of being normal. What would happen if your father was an idiot? Well, you as their offspring would have a 50% chance of being an idiot, and a 50% chance of being a human being with a normal thinking capacity.

  8. lol but what are the chances that a genius would marry an idiot? 😛

  9. and i think rather than having “genius genes” it’s more about the brain. maybe neuron density/brain size ratio would mean that certain pathways can connect easier (make the it easier for the electrical impulse to continue onwards – this is how we learn, after all, by repeating a certain neuron pathway over and over again so that it becomes a “habit”), making the person better at doing the tasks controlled by those neural pathways. there’s also the dealio about which side of the brain is dominant, and how left-handed people are more creative because they use the right-handed side of their brain more than the left. and there was something saying that we only ever use 10% of our brain in our entire lives, but i think that’s wrong. 😛

  10. and with this post, we have proven that belmore will be the greatest person of all time. QED. XD

  11. No, more like this post has proven that FMA is so profound that not only could you talk about how you could transmute something into something else by changing their chemical compound, its reference to historical events, and musical repertoire, but you could debate about topics and relate them to biology (Natural Selection, genetics, and etc.)

    Really…there should be a course on FMA.

  12. german land speed google glass letter tree german boat

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