February 2008

Today Is My Last Day At Work

Clearing my desk. Consolidating my emails and documents to ensure that the person taking over my baby looks after it properly. When I took over the project, it was going into production with a bucket load of issues not worked out yet. The previous guy had just returned to India without resolving a couple of outstanding issues. The project didn’t die and I would like to think I played a significant part in its smooth transition to production status. Now, I can’t bear to part with it. Will the next guy be able to care for it the way I did? I’m not sure about that – he is one of those who like to ask ‘how’ instead of just Googling the information himself.

I’m moving on to something different and hopefully better, but leaving this company has been a difficult and sad decision. My time here at this company has had its fair share of frustrating moments. However, the people at this company have always made the work bearable if not enjoyable. Actually, the work itself can be enjoyable – the joy of hunting down the root cause of an issue can be frustrating but solving a problem and uncovering a root cause is an experience equal to watching Manchester United decimating Roma.

I’m leaving because I’m trying to find a work experience as satisfying as the night when my friend called to laugh that Bayern Munich was leading Manchester United in the final of the Champions League, then I witnessed Manchester United scoring twice in the dying moments of the game, and then I got the chance to call to inform him of the result.

There are many other reasons besides increasing job satisfaction but I won’t go into them now. I also want to share about how working at this company have changed my views about foreign talent / foreign labor in Singapore – I’ll do it once I clear all the handover stuff.

Today is bittersweet.

Whispering from the Cubicle

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Singapore Has Our Own Improv Everywhere Inspired Group

Via Tomorrow.sg, I learned of a Singapore group that is carrying out Improv Everywhere inspired missions. You can see the video of their first mission here.

You can join the Singapore based group here.

There is something interesting about the group and I wonder if it mirrors the society we have come from. The IE Global site was started on 24th Jan 2008.

21st Feb, a post was put by the guy who started the Singapore group on the site. The emphasis in bold is mine.

I’ve realise that there have been an overwhelming increase of people who are interested in doing improv acts here. So for the sake of keeping order and most importantly peace, I am proposing a system of organisation for Mission:Singapore.

The Hierarchy will be as follows:

This will be the tentative structure of our group so do leave your comments if you want any suggestions for improvements.
Implementing a structure is important as to avoid an eventuality where missions cannot be carried out proper due to disruptive admin cockups. haha.

I will try my best to organise missions on a monthly basis. In the event that i cannot oversee a mission due to other commitments, the second incharge will have to take my place.

Ok. I’m going to try to tread carefully here. It is cool that someone took the initiative to get a group going. And it is totally justifiable to display a sense of ownership for the group that was started. I understand that if you are the founder of a group based on your own ideas and since your name is associated with it, you would want some amount of control and while people can join in to play, it will be only by your rules. But there seems to be the assumption that the only system to effectively organize such a group (inspired by another group) is to establish a hierarchy.

Now, I understand the times when a hierarchy is needed because there are times when the buck needs to stop somewhere. But can’t this be applied at a mission level and not a group level?

Of course, some people will say I’m stirring shit and that if you want to own the missions, just start your own group. Is there really a need to start your own group just for that? Why can’t everyone play nice in the same group and take turns to be the ‘boss’.

Well, I guess everything you need to learn about human society, you probably learned it when you were playing at the playground. The rich kid with the ball always gets to be the striker. If you argue, you are a trouble maker and asked to sit out. You don’t get to play. And no one will play with you because you don’t have a ball.

Then again, this probably isn’t just a Singapore thing. I found one other group where a committee is also being formed to organize and manage stuff. There are probably more, but I don’t have the time to read through all the groups’ discussions.

Anyway, it is great that this is happening in Singapore. I’ll definitely squeeze in time to be a participant for their missions if they would let me after this post. The comments on the system of organization is just my way of feeding the interest in how groups are managed. There isn’t just one right way, I’m just interested in the way that got chosen.

Happenings
On Singapore

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My First Step In Personal Finance Management

I finally got down to doing something I should have done for sometime – I opened another bank account to save a portion of my salary each month. Each month, once I get my pay, a chunk of it is going straight to this new account. I have been living on a combined savings and spending account for too long. In fact, usually only one thing is happening – spending. While I have managed to save, the amount each month fluctuates with an inverse relation to the amount of beer I drink. The new account forces me to save a fixed amount each month, and no longer do I need to try to save more the next month to offset this month’s spending.

The impetus for this action was the first personal finance book I have ever read finished – The Barefoot Investor.

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Look…Stop Telling Me To Wear Clothes Of Another Color

I’m not sure when it started actually, but I think it was around my first year of university when I started loving to wear plain black colored shirts and T-shirts. Family members, friends and the girlfriend has tried to get me to wear other colors. Of course I resist, but it gets hard when your girlfriend buys shirts for you. I just learned of a New York Magazine article about people who dress in only one color. Nice. Vindication for my poor fashion sense of wearing only one color. If I had a choice, which actually I do if I had more chutzpah to defy office dress code, I think I would only dress in black. I understand that dandruff can be easily seen if you wear black (not that I have any) but I think the advantages outweigh whatever fashion demerits it brings.

The most important advantage – I can eat Laksa whenever I want without worrying that I might leave visible stains on my clothes.

via:buzzfeed

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Mobs, Messiahs, And Markets

Just finished reading the book “Mobs, Messiahs, and Markets“. It is a great read and I’ll definitely have to read it again not just because there is so much material to digest but because the writing is deliciously beautiful and brimming with wit.

The book sheds light on the shenanigans that are currently happening in the world as well as some from the past. The one thing I learned from the book is to think for one’s self. Yet, the book cautions against logical thinking because there is a tendency for us to do it wrongly. We use our thinking to help validate what we want – our brain is the slave to our emotions and desires. Also, there is the danger of thinking we know a lot about a subject matter, if not everything which can lead to disaster.

A healthy dose of skepticism and humility is needed when the gears in our brain start turning.

Investing tips from the book:

1. Don’t Go Looking For Trouble.

You don’t always need to be either a seller or a buyer. Sometimes doing nothing can be good. Although holding cash is actually doing something.

2. Don’t Expect The Market To Give A Sucker An Even Break.

The little guys lose consistently. They pay too much to the financial industry in fees, commissions, and spreads. The market isn’t a level playing field.

3. Don’t Be A Patsy (i.e. a person who is gullible and easy to take advantage of).

Don’t try to figure out what the market is doing by deferring to experts. Always remember that you are guessing and because you are guessing, make sure the odds are in your favor. Don’t buy high expecting to sell it when it gets higher because the market has been going up. Remember to buy low.

4. Never Get Too Far From The Facts.

5. Never Buy Tuna Unless It’s On Sale.

6. Never Buy What Someone Else Really Wants To Sell.

7. Never Buy What Everyone Else Is Rushing To Buy.

8. Gold.

I’m not doing justice by just listing the points above but this is more for my own notes than anything else. I borrowed the book from Tampines Library so the book is in the system. Try to borrow it if you get the chance. I’m definitely going to buy this book to add to my collection once Borders has a discount.

The one fault I have against this book is that it has introduced the phrase ‘public spectacle’ into my vocabulary. I find myself using it quite often now in my conversations with people.

Public Spectacle = Lies -> Farce -> Disaster.

Some associated links:

This is the blog that is associated with the book – Mobs, Messiahs, and Markets. It hasn’t been updated since October 2007 so to read more from the authors, going to their blogs might be another recourse.

I managed to find the blog for only one of the authors Lila Rajiva – The Mind-Body Politic.

Couldn’t find the blog for Bill Bonner so I’m just going to link to the site for his daily newsletter – The Daily Reckoning.

Books
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The Internet As A Confession Booth & Place To Release Trapped Emotions

A while ago, I shared a site about a gal who wanted to chronicle the last 90 days of her life before she killed herself. It has been revealed to be a hoax, or more specifically an ‘art project’. Gawker has the post she wrote explaining the project and her intentions.

Would the internet be yet another place of isolation to her or an escape? If she remained vocal about her intentions would anyone bother asking “why” or even noticing before the fact? Would the reaction (if any) of the public change her intentions?

I thought this mirror might reflect the isolation everyday people feel and the lack of true human connection on the internet.

It is my feeling that the internet is the best and worst example of
human interaction.

The post struck a chord with me. I have been blessed with loving friends and family but there have been extended periods and fleeting moments when I feel the alienation and isolation ‘Jane’ talks about.

The funny thing is that sometimes there are just stuff you cannot share with the people who would most likely bother to listen, care and help. It could be out of shame, guilt, pride or a myriad other unfathomable reasons. Sometimes we try to protect others from the ‘burdens we ourselves must carry’.

Other times, we do try to tell people we need help but not sure how. We try in our own way to silently cry out for help. Or we do something explosive to draw attention to ourselves. Yet, people listen but they do not hear us. They look at us but do not see what is really going on. Is it out of apathy? Out of blurness?

Sometimes, we want to speak out what we feel and think to no one in particular. No one needs to hear what we say or read what we write. The very act of giving form to our thoughts and emotions is a healing experience.

I remember a slope beside my last apartment block. Whenever I felt frustrated, I would ride my bicycle down the slope. Actually, I would speed down the slope. The end of the slope was a pavement running perpendicular to it. The pavement was short in width and on its other side was a plunge down to the carpark one level below. There was something liberating about speeding down that slope as the edge of the pavement zoomed into focus. I would try to see how close to the edge I could get before applying the breaks without going off it.

The Internet now gives us another avenue to confess much like the confession booth in a church. Except this time, we get to confess not to one person but to everyone and yet no one. Do we ‘confess’ on the net for the same reasons? Are we finding another place to lay down our burdens and seek absolution?

The sad thing is while the Internet gives us a place to escape from our alienation and isolation, it exposes us to the worse of the very things that leads to people feeling alienated and isolated – hate, immaturity and apathy.

Anyway, about a week ago, I discovered two sites that are providing a means for people to release and confess.

PostSecret
AngryJournalist.com

In the end, I have the vague feeling we aren’t so much seeking attention or absolution from others, but desiring closure, a way to forget and most importantly finding the capacity to forgive ourselves.

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Here is the Wikipedia entry about Christine Chubbuck who was mentioned in the post by ’90 Day Jane’.

Musing about Life
Tangled Web We Weave

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How To Tell If A Girl Will Have Sex With You (This Is More Science Related Than Anything Else)

In an earlier post, I blogged about why arguments with members of the opposite sex tend to last so long. From the same book, I learned from an interview with Victor Johnston how to tell if a girl will choose you as a mate just by looking at her fingers.

So, how to tell if a lady will mate with you? Simple – look at her ‘digit ratio’. The ‘digit ratio’ in women is one or greater than one. When it is one, the length of the index and ring fingers is equal. When it is greater than one, the index finger is longer.

Women change their preferences just prior to ovulation. In what direction does the change happens depends on the amount of testosterone present in the uterus when the girl was a fetus. The greater amount of testosterone present in the uterus will affect how ‘masculine’ a girl is. The more ‘masculine’ she is, the longer the ring finger. The girl with a lower digit ratio tends to be more masculine and will prefer men with prominent, square jaws because that is an indicator of masculinity in men. Such women will want such masculine men for both sporadic and longer-lasting encounters.

If the girl has a shorter ring finger (i.e. higher digit ratio), she will prefer friendlier, gentle men, more commonly known as the nice guys, when she is ovulating. Note, this only happens when she is ovulating or seeking a longer-lasting relationship – the key thing to note is when the chance of being impregnated by a man is high (like in a marriage), such women with higher digit ratio will choose the friendlier, gentle man – the normal guys get their chance. But if such a girl wants a fling, the macho man still gets first rights.

So, normal guys…either way, your girlfriend/wife is going to have sex or already had sex with that guy with the Superman jawline. But hey, you get to play husband as well as the father of her children. Of course, if she times it wrong or the body sends the wrong hormonal signals, they just might not be yours.

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One Prediction About The Youth Olympic Games

Singapore won the right to host the Youth Olympic Games in 2010. I’m proud of the fact my country got chosen but nothing more because I wasn’t involved in the bid. Anyway, I am going to make one prediction about the games – Chee Soon Juan will stage a public spectacle like the one he attempted when the World Bank was here during the run-up to the games or during the games itself.

On Singapore

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The Difference Between Discovering & Encountering

Via Dave Winer, an article by Teller (of Penn & Teller) on Columbus.

There is a difference between blundering onto something, and discovering its nature, grasping its order and significance. Farmers in ancient fields had experienced mass and momentum. But we don’t say they discovered Newtonian physics. To discover is not merely to encounter, but to comprehend and reveal, to apprehend something new and true and deliver it to the world.

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It Is Official – Singaporeans Are Poor!

I saw this post by Geek Sg on the top 100 sites for Singapore with data provided by Alexa. Putting aside the doubts on the methodology in acquiring the data, what the data shows us is that Singaporeans are poor. Why? A recent post on Techcrunch highlights that poor people are more likely to use Yahoo and those better off more likely to use Google.

The data is interesting and I probably should take a closer look at the sites on the list once I get the time. One quick comment though – For Singapore’s version of Yahoo, the subdomain is sg.yahoo.com. So, I think if you go to www.yahoo.com or sg.yahoo.com, it counts as going to the same site. For Google, the domain is www.google.com.sg. If you see the list, both google.com and google.com.sg appear on the list. I wonder if the combined traffic for those two sites might push Google as the top search engine for people in Singapore. If so, then Singaporeans are RICH!

On Singapore
Tangled Web We Weave

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The Hidden Pictures In Da Vinci’s Art

A group of theorists believe that biblical images are hidden within Leonardo da Vinci’s art and can be revealed by applying a mirror to his works.

Sometimes, I wonder if we see what we want to see.

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Hitchoo Will Probably Not Help My Love Life

I signed up for Hitchoo over the weekend because I wanted to see how the site worked. I did it with the blessings of my girlfriend of course. I guess she was mildly confident about my lack of market value to let me even attempt to score some dates on the site.

I’m not sure if the version of the Hit List I’m seeing is different because I didn’t get a paid membership but from the list of events and the people bidding to go for that event, I’ve come to a few conclusions.

There is an imbalance in the participation of guys and girls.

1. More guys are creating events.

2. If a guy creates an event, the response from the ladies are few if not zero.

At the time of writing, there are only 3 guys getting any response from the ladies for their events. Once has a picture of himself which flatters his looks but I think it might have more to do with the fact he is offering to pay for his date. The other doesn’t have a picture of himself so I think his selling points are his degrees and his job in the finance industry – the ladies are thinking he is rich. The last guy has a cartoony picture of himself and no meaningful information on his profile – either the ladies going for his events are dummy accounts or women in Singapore really love clowns.

The response for events created by ladies are overwhelming.

From a technical perspective, the site is slow and the tabs for the Hit List take a long time to respond and show the respective pages. Sometimes, the content shown does not match the tab.

The founder Yinghan in an interview with Singapore Entrepreneurs shared that about 250 dates had been created for the Hit List in the one and a half months since its founding. I wonder about the response for those events.

Maybe those events did so well, and the members found love such that the site’s services were no longer needed. Maybe.

I wonder how the site is going to increase the level of participation of the ladies.

Then again, maybe it doesn’t need to. There might be guys desperate enough to pay for a membership just for the function to be able to invite a girl for an event instead of waiting for her to respond.

Tangled Web We Weave

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My Uncle Has An Interesting Hobby

I have an uncle who I was quite close to when I was young. He was the uncle who brought me to see movies and football matches at the National Stadium. I’ve always thought that he didn’t have much of a hobby except trying to figure out the next winning number for 4D – he would record down past winning numbers in a spreadsheet and try to analyze them. Recently, as I thought about my uncle and the big part he played in my life, and in a way still does, I realized he had a rather unique hobby – taking part in competitions.

I realized my uncle was a serial competition winner. I have another friend like my uncle who would take part in all sorts of competitions like those you hear on the radio, find in the New Paper, read about in magazines like 8 Days and where you need to collect stuff.

Over Chinese New Year, when visiting him, I asked him about this hobby of his. My sister created the image below which gives one of the reasons why he takes part in such competitions.

[image unavailable]

To my Uncle, the prize of the competition isn’t important. It is the taking part in it or more importantly the winning of it.

Apparently, there are forums dedicated to competition junkies like my uncle. If anyone knows of any, please do share in the comments section.

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What Hollywood Does To Your Soul

An article about the Lindsay Lohan as Marilyn Monroe photoshoot. I searched for more stuff to read about Marilyn Monroe whose real name was Norma Jean Baker. I found this quote by her especially relevant to the noise that has been made about the female actresses caught up in the Edison Chen scandal.

Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.

via:kottke

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Aaron’s Reply To A Comment Made On His Blog

Aaron wrote an entry “Why I Would Leave Singapore“.

The comment:

America is a good place to live in. The food is good, individual freedoms are enshrined in statute, and it’s a global hub of hubs.

However, I cringe when I see the video of Rodney King’s beating, and the race riots thereafter.

I feel indignant for the many Americans whose access to free speech is limited not by law, but by their lack of wealth or lobby contacts.

I am saddened at how Americans celebrate success, while leaving millions of their countrymen without medical coverage.

I shake my head in disbelief that today’s Americans would mortgage the economic future of their children, to pay for their own retirement.

I shed tears for the victims of Columbine and its ever-repeated sequels, and even more tears for the society that enshrines rights which allow such tragedies to recur.

I wonder at how great nations can be so poisoned by street drugs, that their lawmakers must contemplate the creation of supervised injecting houses that whitewash drug addiction.

I fear the grass may not be any greener than the green card you contemplate.

And it is unfortunate, that your rhetoric speaks so much of the “I”.

The reply:

Online New Citizen,

Of course my rhetoric has to speak with “I”. I don’t have the right to speak for other people, and neither do you. :mrgreen:

And to respond, I cringe at the video of Rodney King’s beating and the race riots thereafter, but I’m heartened at the public outrage which led to the conviction of the perpetuators.

I feel indignant that many American’s access to free speech is limited not by law, but by the lack of their wealth or contacts. I feel even more indignant that in Singapore, free speech is limited by both.

I am saddened at how Americans celebrate success, while leaving millions of their countrymen without medical coverage. I am even more saddened at how Singaporeans celebrate success, with a select group defined by a select elite able to access every available opportunity. Barack Obama would never get the opportunity to run for the highest office in this country.

I shake my head in disbelief that today’s American’s would mortgage the economic future of their children to pay for their own retirement. I wonder if it’s any better that my government always tinker with our retirement plan to achieve economic imperatives, and they are always quick to reduce our retirement funds but slow to restore it, not to mention, increase it.

I shed tears for the victims of Columbine and its ever-repeated sequels, and even more tears for the society that enshrines rights which allow such tragedies to recur. I shed tears for victims of the ISA, who were denied access to trial and kept out of public eye. At least there’s a public outcry over the shootings. I shed even more tears for the society that enshrines rights which allows detention without trial and right of hearing.

I wonder at how great nations can be so poisoned by street drugs that their lawmakers must contemplate the creation of supervised injecting houses that whitewash drug addiction. I wonder at the great nation of mine that doles out harsh penalties on drugs but doesn’t bat an eyelid in maintaining economic and political relations with the world’s second largest opium producer, Myanmar. Oh yes, I almost forgot about the “Saffron Revolution”. Surely action speaks louder than words?

The grass may not be any greener than the green card I contemplate, but at least there’s hope. I rather settle for Pandora’s box than to have no box at all.

On Singapore

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A ‘New’ System To Do Affiliate Marketing

The common way of affiliate marketing has been to write copy, stick it on a website and hope the copy convinces people to purchase your product. I’m simplifying of course but you get the drift. New York Times has an article about a new system for affiliate marketing from the company TrialPay.

I’m actually more interested in how the idea for this company’s innovative product and service came about.

Mr. Rampell started TrialPay in 2003 as he looked for creative ways to entice software customers to pay for his products. In the first incarnation of the service, he offered customers his PC-security software free, as long as they signed up for a Netflix account.

He started with the desire to find a solution for his own needs. This is something I have been a big believer of – companies with products and services which work tend to be those that meet some need. It helps if the needs were those that the founders had.

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3 Things I Learned From Delivering Flowers On Valentine’s Day

I spent Valentine’s day delivering bouquets of roses which had been ordered from my girlfriend. It was our first time trying to fulfill orders for Valentine’s day and the experience was one choke full of lessons. I’ll share three things I learned.

1. Valentine’s day isn’t just about the girl receiving flowers.

Valentine’s day is an unstated competition between the ladies. Receiving flowers isn’t enough. Receiving a beautiful bouquet also isn’t enough. What is important is that the lady has to receive the bouquet early and before everyone else. Everyone else has to know your girl has received flowers.

The more people who receives bouquets before a lady, the greater the lady’s anticipation of receiving flowers will be converted to disappointment.

The flowers have to be received before 12 pm or roughly before lunch time. The ladies will gossip about who has received and not received flowers during the lunch break. Ensure the delivery man sends the flowers early so that your girl will be an object of envy and not of derision.

2. Always try to give the flowers personally.

If you are the delivery person, always make sure you give the flowers to the girl personally. Never ever, if you can, leave the flowers on her desk and let her colleague sign for it.

I had to leave the flowers for two ladies with their colleagues. The behavior of the colleagues disgusted me. I’m thinking it isn’t a coincidence that both instances, the colleagues were older women who hadn’t received any flowers – there weren’t any on their desks.

These older women manhandled the flowers. One even raised the bouquet of flowers over her head like a trophy just to get the attention of the other ladies and shook it about, announcing that someone has just received flowers.

Never ever doubt a minute the vitriol of older women threatened by younger ones.

3. It is better to deliver flowers to the girl and not pass it to her boyfriend or husband

For some orders, I delivered the flowers to the guy so that he could give the flowers personally to his gal.

On average, the reaction of the guys were worse than that of the ladies although the bouquets were of the same design.

The reason is because the guys are always questioning themselves if their gal would like the bouquet, so that when they receive it, their satisfaction as a customer is below that of the ladies because their primary objective of ordering the flowers (which is to impress their girl) has not been met.

Once a lady has received the flower, her expectations are met if the bouquet is nice or even just decent. She is satisfied because her expectations of receiving flowers have been met.

I’ll tried to elaborate more on some of these points with regards to what I have learned about starting a service business once I have time to write something for SG Entrepreneurs.

Business Experiences

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Why Arguments With My Girlfriend Lasts So Long

I’ve been reading this book titled ‘Mind, Life, and Universe – conversations with great scientist of our time‘. It contains interviews with a bunch of really smart people. The great thing about this book is that it makes science relevant to our lives and not exile it to some esoteric corner of our society. It is a great book and one that I highly recommend everyone to read if they have the time. Actually, you got to make the time to read it.

I found one particular interview with Robert Sapolsky highly interesting because it helped explain why arguments with members of the opposite sex can drag on for so long.

Our limbic system, which is responsible for our emotion and feelings, seems to work faster than the autonomic nervous system. When my girlfriend is angry with me, what happens is that within the limbic system, the part of the brain which deals with emotions decides for her that she is upset. It then tells the rest of the body she is upset – the autonomic nervous system is activated and her heart beats faster, she sweats more.

Now, here is where what William James discovered comes in. He suggests that the brain also takes its cue from the body when deciding what emotions to feel. The brain checks with the body and finds out the heart is racing – the brain infers that the individual is feeling a strong emotion.

So, this is how the loop happens. You make your girlfriend angry. Her brain tells her body to react to the anger. After you apologize, and she accepts it, her brain tells her she is no longer angry, but her body is still in the angry state. You leave the room to go take a piss. During this time, because the autonomic nervous system resets itself to normal state slower than the brain, the rest of the body as opposed to the brain is still angry. The brain checks with the body what is going on and finds out the body is still in angry state, so the brain thinks it must still be angry over something for the body to be angry and so the limbic system kicks in again and now she feels angry all over again.

Here is the thing. On average, the autonomic nervous system for women resets itself slower than that for men.

So now, the argument is finally settled. We know whose fault it is – women’s.

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After Serving The Best, What Do You Do Next?

Apparently, you shut your restaurant down.

I think that individuals in the service industry who see their provision of services as a craft face difficulties in achieving excellence and management of stress because of the frequent and repetitive nature of the interactions with customers. It would be easy to slip into a state of cookie-cutter monotonous interactions and service.

How does a waitress ensures that every night, the same high standard of service is given to every patron of the restaurant. How does she make every meal special? How does she do it without becoming a robot? Is it possible to cut-and-paste phrases, questions, replies that lead to great service? Does playing by a standard book, which led to one customer enjoying great service, night after night reduce its effective by the every act of it having become a standard?

How does a florist ensure that every bouquet done is the best he or she has ever done. How does one keep every bouquet special where they are all of the same design?

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Why Should I Obey God?

There was a comment for this post which I found interesting. Below are the parts I want to highlight

Loving the Lord means obedience. Disobedience is rebellion, akin to witchcraft.

Loving the Lord isn’t about wanting to hang out with the Dude.

And obedience is all about our human will. Will you or will you not obey? If you obey, you love. If you disobey, you are not loving.

Firstly, obviously loving the Lord isn’t JUST about wanting to hang out with the Dude. But it would seem rather obvious to me that if I love somebody, or in this case God, I WOULD want to hang out with him. Or if you like, be in his presence. Now, it does seem from the comment I’m supposed to disassociate desire to hang out with love. Gosh, there are some really LONELY BUT LOVED people.

The first and third highlighted parts of the comments confuse me. Is Love the cause and Obedience the effect? Is obedience an expression of my love? Or is Obeying equal to love? Has the person leaving the comment confused obeying to love. I mean, in the army, we all obey our officers, but does that mean we love them. To me obedience seems to be about fear.

Here is the thing… I think these two POVs about our relationship with God are conflicting and cannot coexist:

“If You Obey Me, You Love Me”

If You Love Me, You Will Obey Me”

I have a feeling that a significant number of Christians subscribe to the first POV. Just because they obey God, they think they love him. Some Christians go as far as to say how we feel isn’t important, or rather not as important as our actions – Obedience is more important than what you might be feeling. And if You can force yourself to Obey, that action screams love.

The second POV begs the question about why if I love someone that it will lead automatically to me obeying that someone. Obedience is about deferring to authority while Love is, well love is something else.

When I love someone, it’s probably likely that I would trust that individual. If I trust that individual, it is likely I would defer to the person’s opinions, advice and instructions especially if I have the awareness of my lack of knowledge and experience as oppose to the other. When it comes to knowledge and experience, God is probably the go-to guy.

So, when I love God, I’ll probably be more likely to follow him. Or if you like, I’ll be more likely to obey him. It probably won’t always be easy – our human instincts, lack of wisdom, limited knowledge and most importantly pride could at times hinder us.

Here is the thing…Loving Someone means you are more likely to ‘obey’ that person. Of course, when it comes to God, it should be Always ‘obey’ since God probably knows his shit and a wise person would in his best interest ‘obey’ God.

The way of expressing the second POV, like the first highlighted part of the comment focuses too much on obedience in the context of a hierarchical structure – which to me is just like Christianity as a religion. We are supposed to obey just because the person above says so – the person above says so because the above person says so all the way back to God.

We totally miss the point of how love affects the dynamics of influence.

I’m pretty sure by now, a lot of people will have missed my point. So I’ll stop here. Have a nice day.

Musing about Life

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Why God Is Sleeping & Other Theories

Discovered the ladder theory today via Insane Polygons. Helps explain why some guys just can’t seem to make passionate love with the girls they want to.

I found his other theory about why God is an absentee landlord interesting – God Is Asleep.

Anyway, from his about page on the site, I learned who I am and what I’m called. I too am a recovering Intellectual Whore.

I was being used for their amusement and entertainment while they were busy fucking outlaw bikers. Of course they weren’t interested in me sexually; they were too busy with guys with forearm tattoos. But apparently they still needed some intellectual stimulation. That’s when they would call me with an opening line like “Tell me something interesting.” or some other not-to-subtle line. I recalled the term intellectual whore and applied it to this situation. These women had made me into their intellectual whore. Since then I have dedicated a large part of my life to avoiding this trap, and the various bitches that try to put you in it.

In short, it does not refer to a “smart slut” as it were, but rather to males who are kept around by women for their mental entertainment.

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What The Edison Chen Scandal Teaches Us

This post doesn’t really have anything to do with the photos related to the scandal that have been appearing on the net. This post is more related to this case in America where a lady sent a laptop for repair and it got lost than about sex. The Geek Squad’s technicians are supposedly always on the lookout for compromising material on their consumers’ computers.

A few months ago, my computer had some problems. I had some suspicion that it might be due to the power adapter so I went down to the support center for help. I told the lady at the counter my suspicions and she said she needed to take a look at my computer. I passed it to her along with my power adapter and she proceeded to take them to the backroom.

Here is the thing. She closed the door. She took a long time to come out. I got anxious and impatient. I also got pissed. She didn’t need to bring my computer and the power adapter to the backroom to test them. She could have tested at the counter. There were power points there. She didn’t need the computer to actually test the power adapter because she had a similar model and could have tested the power adapter with that model. She also didn’t need to take a long time just to test a power adapter.

I asked her colleague to call her out. I tried to get my computer back but she was insistent that she needed to test it in the room.

There isn’t anything in my computer which normally would be considered worth stealing to spread – no nude pictures. However, there is data which I consider private and wouldn’t want to be copied. Or lost.

I told my friends about the incident and they said I was being paranoid. I don’t think I am and with recent cases about how data on computers sent for servicing have been compromised, I’m more sure than ever I was right.

We as users of computers got to start being more aware of the value and sanctity of the data on our computers as well as our phones. Companies need to value our data more and provide transparency when servicing our computers. For example, there really isn’t a need for a hidden backroom. I suggest such rooms should be done BreakTalk style – with a glass so that we can see what’s going on.

In the end though, you can’t really trust anyone. My suggestion is this – make backups for everything important. When your computer is spoiled, bring it for servicing. If it needs to be taken away from you and can’t be fixed on the spot, decline the offer. Write off the computer and buy a new one. Reload data from your backup. Same thing for phone. Once spoiled, consider it a write off and buy a new one. Don’t compromise your contacts by sending it in for repair.

It is a crazy world out there and easter egg hunts won’t stop being popular. Just don’t let your computer and phone be where the game is played.

On a final note, this is the best quote for non-customer service I have seen. Ever.

“For every customer that has had an unpleasant experience I can show you hundreds who have had a great experience. I have been in retail for a long time and the one conclusion I have come to is that not every customer can be satisfied. Does my store have opportunities? Absolutely! What I can say is that we strive to deliver the experience that every customer deserves to receive.”

Tangled Web We Weave

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The Girl Who Is Going To Kill Herself In 90 Days…

Firstly, the picture she used is giving the wrong instruction with regards to the slitting of the wrists. You are not supposed to cut across the wrist, but to cut downwards along the blood vessels – down the river and not across the street.

The girl’s blog is here. She registered a domain name at www.90dayjane.com.

The blog reminded me of the movie ‘Untraceable‘ starring Diane Lane. The movie is about a killer who uses contraptions that kill the victim based on the number of hits a site gets. The site is www.killwithme.com.

The movie tries to be a social commentary on Internet schadenfreude – the comments on the blog of the girl trying to kill herself are examples of our culture’s propensity to watch and even enjoy other people’s misery. In this case, the girl might be as she claims – not depressed, but I believe that our fascination with her is really about how we perceive her as a miserable train wreck waiting to happen.

Some people have speculated that it might just all be one big ‘viral campaign’.

This girl is going to be like the fat ugly girl on the MRT with a mega wart on her face. Nothing nice to see and impolite to stare, I’ll turn away but probably keep turning back just to see that wart which for some inexplicable reason has me in its thrall.

In case you are wondering, there are no movies opening on the 4th of May.

via:curlywurlybooboo

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Charles Fawcett – One Interesting Guy

This guy had an affair with his best friend’s mother. I love his quote:

“If that’s child molestation,I would wish this curse on every young boy.”

via:kottke

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The Skrull’s Secret Invasion + PAP Online + TOC

Comic book fans will probably know of the big stuff happening in the Marvel Universe now – the Skrull’s Secret Invasion. Here is an interview with one of the guys responsible for this story arc.

In any case, from SingaporeDaily, I learned about ‘PAP’s infiltration’ into the Singapore blogosphere.

Big deal…

But since everyone is speculating, I thought I would just throw in one comic book reference. It has long been speculated that Iron Man was for Registration during the whole Civil War story arc because he knew or kind of suspected the Skrull’s infiltration and being pro-registration would allow him to infiltrate whatever the Skrulls were trying to do and bring them down from within. Or something like that. I haven’t been able to follow what’s going on because of work and a lack of time.

But maybe, just maybe TOC is engaging in a counter-intelligence play.

Or whatever.

Back to watching “House”.

On Singapore

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