Monday, April 27, 2015

Nepal 7.9 Earthquake

Who is that man deep in grief crying. He was doing so for his dead sister Today Online explained. There were two more photos and one shows several funeral pyres.

My wish and prayer that the number of reported deaths would slow. It was under 2,000 when I checked this morning.

I also remember some Pacific island recently suffered a Category 5 typhoon. They were devastated and practically nobody went to help them. In this sense Nepal is a lot more fortunate but this is only because they are connected to the wider world as an irresistible spot with Everest beckoning. So it is important to relevant to others. Now they are rushing aid to the country.

I was also trying to find out if there wee rioting and traders hiking prices. There were none. I would like to quote one:

Mr Jaiswal said stocks were running out, and more shipments were not expected for at least a week, but added, “We are not raising prices. That would be illegal, immoral profit.”

God bless Nepal.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

SCDF superior to SPF?

From the SCDF I think we are getting a real time lesson that helping others is no different from helping ourselves, and we always need to do that for ourselves.

My thoughts return to the superior performance of SCDF during the Little India riots. Putting one and one together I wonder if not for all these rescue missions would SCDF be a superior performer than the SPF? Peace and stability lull us into complacency but the SCDF never could rest on its laurels. They expect to be constantly tested and now they are heading into the next mission.

Even with a corrupt man at the top before, they continue to perform. They are going to do even better with a good person at the top. I hope to see a woman leading them some day.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Don't tell me Meritocracy

Meritocracy even when honestly applied is often a matter of luck. Lots of people apply for a position and regularly the wrong person gets chosen. Sometimes the mistake is really graphic and there are innumerable examples. The latest I come across is Michelle Phan from a story I just read off CNet.

Lancome turned her down for a beauty counter position and the rest as they say is history.

Yesterday I came across a young lady whose name I cannot now remember. She tried and tried and failed to get a position in Airbnb. But she was very determined and creative and figured a way to promote her merits for the job. You see the judges of meritocracy are often also blind and deaf.

Meritocracy yeah? I submit the organizations that beat others in spotting talent wins.

Which stupid committee placed LG Desmond Kuek into SMRT? And how did he became an LG in the first place? Costly staffing mistakes are made every day. Can we afford this? I am afraid most times people don't care. Those at the top in the best organizations do but what is the use when pay back time is often very far away.

Women complain men don't want to marry

First impression, I am interested to write about this article because my oft repeated point about marriage is that it has little to do with love. Good for you if you are among the exceptions but by and large marriage is about dollars and sense (cents too). Not in this article but children used to be about pensions too.

I didn't read more than 20% of the article. There is no need to do that now, may be forever.

But marriage that is based on making calculations is a big a loser as blind faith. One don't get married and eventually suffer the consequences of their short sightedness when they grow old; the other produced a brood and get stuck in a vicious cycle of poverty and want. British society is polarizing into both ends eh? Here we are doing better but I am not sure for how long. We are imbibing external values unaware. If we adapt them constructively for our use well and good.

I think our problem is we calculate too much, i.e., too much sight and too little faith. The problem shows itself as delayed marriages and no kids. It might eventually and may already have lead to no marriage as well. For faith is something policy makers have no blinking idea of and rationality is the only strategy they bring to solve all problems.

Whether people are conscious of Keynes oft quoted and misused remark that, "in the long run we are all dead", fewer and fewer people are going to entertain marriage and having children by just working off Excel models. Those who do must decide to throw away those spreadsheet models and go with their heart. I love kids damn what the numbers say would be a good starting point if very risky one. To be practical and that is also absolutely true which I had been wrongly taught from my days in church: A wife is meant more to be loved than as a partner or helpmate. Of course again to be practical find someone that is easier to love. Exceed your faith to our peril. God have mercy on you!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

What deflation in Singapore?

Five continuous months of deflation but meanwhile for my neighbours and us, the price of roti prata around my place has gone up by 10 cents. Apricots in one kg packing had gone from $12 to $14 and the fruit slices are smaller and inferior quality. Oranges seems to have gone up to. Saboten looks like giving up serving oranges as desserts for their set lunches. And I haven't finish, only listing those I can remember off the top of my head.

Sure some things are cheaper but they are just on offer. Normal prices will return shortly.

Honestly we are experiencing deflation as the process of calculating the CPI is not gamed. It is just that for many of us the basket is simply not meaningful.

SMRT and LTA admitted they were clueless

So it is true that SMRT and LTA do not understand the train system (ST yesterday). Sad it took them so long to admit and ask for help. If they had more sense of shame and responsibility that would have gotten to this point much sooner. Wasting time and money.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Don't ignore Amos Yee

In an earlier post, I suggested that the best way to deal with Amos Yee is to ignore him. However the media just loved to milk him for eyeballs. It is just good business for them.

Now I think we shouldn't ignore Amos Yee because Vincent Law a parent and youth counselor just posted bail for him (CNA story). Vincent is also a Christian, i.e., the group Amos was publicly disparaging.

Unless Christianity gained political power, the faith is very familiar with verbal abuse and even persecution. Right now ISIS, Boko Haram and its evil brothers are hunting them down to be killed. In return the families of the murdered Christians ask God to forgive the murderers. Amos will have to try so hard beyond what he is capable of  to offend the Christians. The Christian Vincent Law is more interested to help him than take revenge on him.

Muslims share a common prophet with the Jews and Christians in Abraham. Those with evil crazy ideas of fomenting a theocracy by any means in a multi-religious society ought to consider how the way of Christ is superior.