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A Guide For Socio-Political Bloggers to Survive The Extinction Event

Posted by intellisg on August 19, 2007

survive.jpgWhat’s the Dodo program again? – The proposition: that socio-political blogging accomplishes nothing because it’s sorely lacking in affirmative action.

This is gloss from a two part series, albeit with my own personal twist on how Socio-political bloggers can survive the extinction event. If you have not read the two part series please do so, as it will provide you the foundation to understand much of what I have to present in this article.

Part 1 and Part 2

This is my first attempt at “machine” writing with the kind guidance of my colleagues who have both been patient and very helpful to give me insightful tips. I has always been one of my dreams to write for the brotherhood press and this is a debut article.

The general theme is to tie in many of the loose ends mentioned in Part I and II of this series. Along with this I have also highlighted the importance of setting the right expectation, perspective and strategy for both blogger, readers and researchers if they are to thrive in this brave new age of the internet.

I hope all of you enjoy it. Happy Reading. Aurora. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in B'hood, Economics, Politics, Sociology | 36 Comments »

Is it the “end” for Socio-Political Blogging? – Nailing the Dodo, Part II

Posted by intellisg on August 19, 2007

dodo-2.jpgThis is the second of a 2 part essay.

You can really call it what you want. For me, the whole idea of floating the balloon “socio-political blogging doesn’t accomplish anything just because it’s a wind bag” is as close to buying into Dodo software.

The term deployed is precise, premeditated and deliberate because taken to its logical end Dodo software is just lousy and unimaginative thoughtware – follow it to the ‘T’ and don’t be surprise if it you end sitting in a cave picking ticks off your mate while the rest pick entrails to make sense of the destiny of mankind’s fate.

The whole proposition of linking socio-political blogging with affirmative action or even doing something is flawed because firstly, it imposes a corseted definition on ‘usefulness’ in the context of how it’s able to solicit real and meaningful change. It’s not so different from saying anyone who is over six-foot is tall and useful, and those who fall short of this criteria must simply be relegated to the ranks of “useless.” That’s hardly a new theme. Every age crafts their own respective measures of what constitutes an effective means to solicit social change. Even in ordinary speech, it’s to be seen every where often taking the guise, “get on your bike” – “go and do something useful” – don’t just talk, make it happen” – it’s appears cogent, persuasive even to suggest seeing to be doing something remains the only to effect real change.

However, there is a fatal flaw in holding on to this logic as it elides whole sale the need to first address the first protocol of reasoning: Where are we? What is our environment? What is the best way to cut the cake? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in B'hood, Economics, Politics, Sociology | 22 Comments »

The Art of Agelessness and Timelessness in an Ever Changing World – The 20/80 Rule.

Posted by intellisg on August 16, 2007

agelessness.jpgYou know what? It just dawned on me. There are a few things which are iconic to only “me.” Well not actually the ‘me’ that I am even remotely conscious of – rather it’s the “me’ that others just associated with me.

The stuff that usually provokes the trite expression, “it’s so him, isn’t it?”

One of them has to be my venerable Hewlett –Packard 12c which I never fail to whip out to mark out my boundary on a conference table. I am sure you all seen that prehistoric Soviet era paper weight. Born at an age when microchips where vomiting and struggling to say, gu-gu-mama. These days when my HP 12c sits alongside the likes of modern PDA’s cum phones, camera’s, GPS navigator etc, it just looks like a prehistoric fossil set alongside space age high tools.

But you know what, it doesn’t bother me. For one it’s a dream to use and through the years you’ve be amazed what I have managed to do with this little baby. For one it’s a winner with its easy-to-use layout, crispy buttons with just the right tactile feel, a clear monotone one-line LCD display and the best thing, its discreet, not like the modern ones that all regularly dole out ring tone torture.

Yes, I know these days, one can probably get something that’s roughly a million times better than my trusted HP 12c, but that’s hardly the point of this article – I am asking a very fundamental question here; why do some things endure? While others just go the way of the dodo bird? To paraphrase, why do some things remain ageless and timeless well beyond their age? While others can hardly even maintain their foothold as they’re swept away into the garbage heap of “has-been’s” I guess you could ask the same for monuments, sculptures, music, film stars, relationships, firms, philosophies, ideologies or for that matter anything under the sun.

Have you really wondered, what’s the winning secret that separates a winners from a loser? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in B'hood, Economics, Sociology, Technology | 1 Comment »

The Economics of Finding a Soul Mate – A Singapore Tale of Love.

Posted by intellisg on August 15, 2007

soulmate.jpgRecently, I lunched with a university mate of mine and half way through, he lamented how it’s almost impossible these days to find a “decent” girl. Usually, I don’t butt in till the rant runs it’s course, but on this occasion. It just came out the way it did. Please don’t press me where it came from. I have absolutely no idea besides I have a good excuse, I fell down a flight of stairs when I was six and hit my head in every conceivable direction to qualify as a “believe-it-or-not” showpiece. I am serious. I even have those grainy X-rays and autographed plaster cast to prove it.

What did I say? Well something like this, “Maybe you’re still single because you don’t understand the economics of getting hitched?” That did it, my friend promptly stood up, flashed a flustered look of frustration and promptly packed off leaving me to pay the bill. Now as I sat there negotiating how I could down the remainder of his tuna sandwich without getting half of it on my trousers.

I wondered to myself why can’t we use economics to make sense of love? I am serious. Hell, we use it from everything to send a man to the moon – designing how wide roads should be even how many families should be pigeon holed into HDB estates. It begs the question: why do so many use economics as a basis for making sense of matters of the heart? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in B'hood, Economics, Sociology | 3 Comments »

Let’s not go down the way of the Crazy Horses Again! – A Lesson in Basics in Business.

Posted by intellisg on August 13, 2007

crazyhorse.jpgYou have no possible idea how I rued the passing of the Parisian inspired Crazy horses show. Only because a perky derriere and a silken mane does wonders for a flagging appetite – these days, I am back to staid Sentosa, whenever I have to entertain my regular troupe of overseas customers whenever they make their way to Singapore. Things just aren’t the same.

Recently there has even been talk of turning our little red pimple into a Monaco of sorts. Yes, I know the Formula 1 is scheduled to make its roaring debut soon. Along with the ear shattering screams and the aroma of burning exotic rubber – it’s enough for me get excited again.

But I am already jaded and there is enough of me to say “we’ve seen it before haven’t we?”, the sort who knows only too well how hatching a smart product is only half the story. The other half of is whether such “great ideas” can sustain and more importantly make money without fizzling out like Crazy horses and packing off like a traveling circus. Whenever I am in one of my famous fatalistic moods, I console myself with sobering thoughts like – have you forgotten the helium filled days of the dot-com era? – didn’t Temasek take a dive with Shin Corp? – Hey remember those Iranian Siamese twins who died?

Yes, we have all seen it before haven’t we –the before, during and sad after when some great idea starts off with all the razzmatazz only to slink silently away with an air of abject embarrassment – I wonder: why do good ideas go so bad? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in B'hood, Business, Policy, Sociology | Comments Off on Let’s not go down the way of the Crazy Horses Again! – A Lesson in Basics in Business.

A Speculation on the Sex Lives of Speculators

Posted by intellisg on July 21, 2007

This titillating article explains the concept of dominance and hierarchy in Singapore society. It should not be misinterpreted as an article which advises readers to speculate in stocks to improve their sex lives.

A colleague of mine, a 33-year-old storage engineer which I will call G, was a happy man last week. After purchasing 100,000 shares of a construction company using contra, he watched the stock rise 2 cents and then promptly unloaded his position to make about $2000 in less than 3 hours.

These are indeed happy days supported by a strong bull market.

G wanted to know if this market will rise further and promises that if he makes $6,000 the following day, he will give other engineers in the account a karaoke treat after National day (And it’s more like the kind of karaoke found in Kabuki rather the mellow kind of karaoke found in K-Box).

All my years studying finance has told me that technical indicators are not fully reliable in a market which is steadily increasing in terms of market efficiency. In fact, as my interest in evolutionary psychology is now beginning to eclipse my interest in finance, I believe that it’s actually easier to predict G’s sex life than what would happen to the markets tomorrow. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Chris Ng, Economics, Science | 4 Comments »

Whistle Blowing? Just Make Sure You Don’t Blow Yourself Up!

Posted by intellisg on July 18, 2007

whistle.jpgHe saw it, he wished he didn’t, but he did (what to do?) and when you see something like that, it’s like walking through a door you didn’t know was there, a line gets rubbed out, there’s no going back now (cannot gostan! Sorry) – Besides if he doesn’t get it out of his system, he’s going to explode, he’s already got the shakes and a nervous tic is developing on his left bum cheek and its spreading to the other side even his eczema is playing up these days, so he’s like a little Krakatoa, he’s hot and smoking! Ready to spew out the mother of all truths! (cannot tahan anymore). He knows there’s no going back – yesterday, he passed the point of no return – that mythical line that simply says, from this point onwards its from here to eternity, even if it means risking reprisals from his bosses, suffering great setbacks in his career, but he’s ready to run the full length of the gauntlet – it will all be worth it, he tells himself –the moment of truth! When he peels open the whole can of worms, then they will really listen! Then they will know the error of their ways! Someone has to do it! And the great finger of providence is pointing straight at him – he’s the man of the hour…. Who is he? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in B'hood, Business, Government | 12 Comments »

Rising costs in Singapore? Capitalism to the rescue!

Posted by intellisg on July 12, 2007

This independent article presents a solution that a capitalist would choose against rising costs.

“Not again !” said Geraldo Gan, 34, “The last time we have transport fee hikes, now I have to pay more to watch the sports channel on Starhub and it doesn’t change the fact that some special matches are still pay-per-view !“ The voices calling for a boycott of Starhub grew louder as more people reacted negatively towards the news. The company defended itself by citing evidence that prices have not risen once since 1995 and this adjustment, in view of past record, is a reasonable one compared to many other cable operators around the world.

11th July 2007 marks the day Starhub will increase subscription fees for its cable services. The basic group package monthly costs for cable subscription will increase by $4 every month. The sports channel subscription package will have its cost increase by a fairly substantial amount of $10. Like all previous price hikes, news alike this are often greeted with a lot of unhappiness and accusations of Starhub being a monopolizing entity hell-bent on squeezing every little penny from the consumer is flaying all over the Internet forum.

The truth of the matter is that all Singaporeans have to live with price hikes from time to time. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Chris Ng, Economics | 21 Comments »

Here’s The World. Take it! – How Successful People Really Think.

Posted by intellisg on June 26, 2007

take-the-world.jpgTHERE’S a story – two salesmen who were sent to the African continent during the 1800’s to sell shoes – the first after spending a period in the Ivory Coast telegrammed the London head office and sent the following message,

“All of them are barefooted here! No point. I am coming back home.”

The other sent the following message,

“All of them are barefooted here, fantastic! Send as many shoes as you can!”

This story embodies a mystery, “what does it take to have good business judgment?”

There are some obvious hallmarks that we all associated with those who have good business sense – firstly, they can all navigate themselves out of sticky situations and all of them seem to have the maturity to remain unflustered when the shit hits the fan. Nothing ever seems to derail their sense of confidence and surefootedness. These winners also seem to have a keen nose for spotting opportunities which usually. When push comes to shove, they all have this uncanny ability to anticipate their competitor’s next move – right down to the minuteness detail.

It raises the question: what does good business acumen actually consist of? Does it have something to do with taking action? Following that mythical line called gut feel, intuition or does it have more to do with just plain good olde luck?

Can I or you develop good business acumen? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in B'hood, Business, Psychology, Sociology | 94 Comments »

Of Maids and Coolies

Posted by intellisg on June 4, 2007

I SOMETIMES debate with my wife over affairs of Singapore: national service, CPF, education, political system and most recently, ministers’ pay. One of her remarks is interesting and worth sharing:

“You should be thankful for what the Singapore government has provided you with.”

She remarked this in the context of Singaporeans’ basic education and linguistic ability. Meaning, she thinks we have a linguistic advantage because of our education system attributable to the government.

No, she has not been brainwashed by the government. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Dan E, Economics | 24 Comments »

Why I Think Mixing Money and Education is just Poison!

Posted by intellisg on June 3, 2007

poison.jpgMY university life was a blur. I probably consumed enough alcohol to stun or kill a herd of elephants. Smoked may fair contribute to global warming by melting a few icebergs. Neither do I have any recollection of ever attending a single lecture, not one where I didn’t either lapse into a coma or found myself waking up in an empty lecture hall. Fortunately despite my out-of-control university life, there were a few things that remained steadfastly dependable. You know what I mean don’t you? Stuff like trains running on time, girls saying “I will call you, pleeeeeeeze don’t call us loser!” on the follow up date, the sun making its appearance every morning which would otherwise make an ordinary life unbearable. One of these irrefutable constants had to be my lecturers. In those days – neither I nor any of my colleagues thought much of them. For starters there was an almost surreal and detached quality about all of them. They were shambolic, barely coherent mumblers. The ones who were genuinely intellectually stimulating were invariably far better at writing than at lecturing, so it made more sense to head to the library and read their yarns than try to stay awake with faint pity as all of us tried not to lapse into a comatose state.

Despite their flaws the lecturers and academics I knew were people who were truly committed to the ideal of real education. They were passionate about their work, people and planet. They believed rightly or wrong what they were doing embodied a noble ideal which involved molding hundreds of us into future leaders in industry and government (if only they really knew how I turned out I’ve probably have to give them all CPR!). Looking back, it seems a stretch, but believe it or not that was how it was. They (our lecturers) really meant it. They had to mean it, otherwise the whole thing would mean nothing.

Only that was then and as I reflect now on the whole UNSW Asia fiasco, I can’t help but feel something’s amiss. I can’t put my finger on it, not just yet, but if I am pressed: – “something is very wrong somewhere when academics start prioritizing money ahead of education and students” – would do quite nicely to describe the long tail of my decaying impression of present day education. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in B'hood, Economics, Education, Sociology | 22 Comments »

When the Silence is Deafening: Post-UNSW & EDB Lessons.

Posted by intellisg on May 31, 2007

silence.jpgDO you hear anything? It’s so quiet these days you could even hear the termites feasting on your bed post. Or even hear a pin drop two blocks away. You’re probably thinking, there he goes again being all obscure and opaque again – he can’t possibly be serious this time can he? Except perhaps to tell us all he’s being bitten by a rabid werewolf and slowly morphing into a canine with ultra sensitive hearing. Can he?

Well the reason why I mentioned it’s so silent these days; since UNSW decided to pack up and scoot off like a traveling circus hardly a whimper has emerged from their partners EDB. Neither has the party political machine responded to the fiasco or for that matter anyone else in the real world – that simply bothers me.

Nothing substantive at least, except perhaps Miss Chua’s write up recently in the ST which did quite a decent job of stirring up the tea cup but regrettably it fell short of starting the perfect storm. (good try old girl, pat on a head and well deserved doggie nimble –fetch!)

Let me just tell you all what happened yesterday morning while I was sitting on the great white throne in the toilet as I usually do reading our beloved rag. I came across a “clarification” by Mr Ko Kheng Hwa managing director of EDB in the Forum section May, 30, 2007, entitled, “EDB clarifies involvement with UNSW Asia.” My first reaction can only be described as the sound of music which finally punctuated the silence. No I am not referring to the remnants of the battle of my gut with a dodgy prata. Rather it was my reaction to Mr Ko’s timely clarification. Unfortunately half way through the yarn my initial sense of relief was rapidly replaced by disenchantment.

My main gripe is: Mr Ko’s “clarification” raises more questions than it answers. Yeap folks, I am all obscure again and the silence is deepening even as I tap on my key board; what’s really happening here? Why is it so difficult for these bureaucrats to just answer a simple question? All I really want to know as a regular 6% GST tax payer is; what really went wrong? Aren’t these legitimate questions that deserve an answer? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in B'hood, Economics, Politics, Sociology | 22 Comments »