Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Trump can persuade many

Finally I gave myself the chance to hear the man but only for the first 10 mins of this session with the well respected 60 minutes program.

The man doesn't talk any sense at all but I think he will succeed with quite a few, exactly how many I don't know because I don't feel the pulse of American society.

Just as people can be persuaded to buy useless doodads on TV they would buy his nonsensical shallow messages. I wonder how many voters are emotionally vulnerable to him. These are the ones who felt left behind and the present system work against them, however they try they will not do well. These people want to the change the entire system and that is what Trump is selling them. But like Brexit, Trump promises are just promises. He can't deliver but nevertheless can cause a lot of trouble especially outside America where there is no check and balance to stop him.

Update: July 20 5:15 am

Accusations of plagiarism against Melania Trump flew quick and fast. The Economist has even gotten creative with Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V as the typical Trump supporter probably doesn't know what that means i.e., copy and paste.

Melania Trump was of all things speaking about integrity whilst stealing parts of her speech from Michelle Obama. Not some obscure personality who spoke in a totally different context but during the 2008 DNC.

What an epic embarrassment for the Trumps. All these is reminding me of  Sarah Palin. It didn't stop with her. The juggernaut of idiocy and stretchable morals rolls on. Donald Trump, I am sure won't be apologizing if he can help it.

This is not available to the Dems to use against Trump, but what if as blunders and contradictions accumulate along the way, Trump supporters began to be self conscious that they might actually have little brains.

Update: July 20 1:20 pm

I won't go as far as him but in a relative sense I would agree.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Nice tragedy suggests how to defeat Daesh

Quoting the French PM in the article,

MrValls defended France’s record
on attacks, saying security services
had prevented 16 over three years
and said ISIS’ modus operandi of cajoling
unstable people into staging
attackswashard tocombat.
Daesh gives unstable individuals
an ideological kit that allows them
to make sense of their acts... This is
probably what happened in Nice’s
case,” he said, referring to the Arabic
acronym for ISIS.

Immediately that suggest an obvious strategy to use against Daesh. Turn them into losers and they will not be attractive to these criminals and deviants as some ideological kit to give them them confidence and motivation to carry out their heinous acts. It is important that Daesh is humiliated and defeated soundly in any places where they have claims to territory.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Anxious about new PSLE?

I have been there done that. I am sure parents will always be anxious about the PSLE to the point that if the government scrapped it they will be anxious there is no PSLE. Government should already be smart about this behavior long ago.

The objective of the new PSLE from the little I have time for is that pupils no longer focus on beating their peers and shift their attention toward getting into the band they are aiming for. This is the same strategy we have been using in this household and I am sure we are not unique. What we have always done is to get the school's record and estimate the bands the kids need to be in in order to move on successfully. Say 70% of their secondary school cohort has 7 distinctions, 30% with 6A1s or better then if they are in the top 20% the chance of them getting into a good JC is very high. Then we repeat the same exercise using the JC past A level performance to target the results we want etc., which by then you want to at least have 4 H2 As.

MOE have simply made it easier for parents what I used to do with my children.

From my experience this new PSLE will for most families reduce academic stress and give them more confidence and time to pursue other interests. But to get rid of PSLE anxiety, forget it. That can only happen if you are a bo-chap parent or do not have any kids.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Change in car policies?

I think there is a smoking gun pointing to a change in government attitude toward car ownership and use here, which is not made known to the public. This first got my attention when they relax loan restrictions for buying new cars, the way they are accommodating industry disrupters like Uber and Grab. Now this.

What does Car-lite mean. To me it means the total number of cars go down but the existing stock of cars are run much harder. It also mean more cars will have more than just someone driving himself about most of the time as well. Eventually the majority of cars would be driverless. The end point is easy to tell but the journey there is much harder. This is tricky business as land transport is a highly politicised topic. I imagine this is best done with a little public interference as much as possible, by stealth if possible.

One of those changes could be a shift from fixing car population like we have seen since the 90s toward targeting prices as a higher priority leading to car population reduction. In other words COE prices will be kept high. Liberalizing car loans and shrinking COE quotas help to bring this about. Allowing Uber, Grab and their wannabes to compete for the same scarce COEs will help to achieve the same result rapidly. Eventually the taxi fleets would become smaller, which is probably helped by drivers quitting.

Car transport is becoming like our meals. We eat out often on plates that we do not own and wash afterward, we will also increasingly be riding in cars that are not registered under our names which we never need to worry about maintaining as well.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Huawei: PRC Chinese different understanding of honesty

Only managed to look at this old email this morning but it stayed with me because I connected it with Jack Ma bad attitude about fake goods sold on Alibaba platforms: he claimed often the fakes are better than the genuine, but the rest of us outside China could tell he has a serious blind spot about intellectual property. But what has that got to do with Huawei P9 phone? The link is blind dishonesty or you don't know you are dishonest. Because it is probably not wrong that the P9 Leica lens could take shots similar to the Canon 5D under certain conditions for certain subjects. To justify the deceit they probably tell themselves most owners probably cannot tell the difference. I am afraid lots of Chinese enterprises have a too practical attitude toward right and wrong. I have bought enough stuff from them off eBay to notice this habit.

To buy from the Chinese you need to know the product well because they will not hesitate to take advantage of your ignorance. Most of them who get a really good deal from the Chinese are the industrial buyers purchasing on specifications and tests for quality assurance.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Negative Surprises with Annuities

Got this in the mail from the Economist this morning which I no longer subscribe. I am sure I can find the same info elsewhere and often there is no need to either or I will end up the whole day reading instead of working. 

Just imagine if they achieve a big leap here and also a couple of major killer diseases. What would happen to life expectancy and how would it affect annuity plans? I think it would be under a lot of financial distress and the possibility of some of them going broke would no longer be theoretical. 

You might not want to work after you reached retirement age, but doing things you enjoy or do not mind and getting paid is going to make more sense. Retirement lasting decades without income is simply fantasy for most people. Even if you have robots to do most of the work, there would be endless argument and even civil war over income distribution. Technology is taking us farther and faster than we know how to handle. Time to prepare by reading some good Scifi which explore moral and social issues. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Need stronger and more attractive Islam

This war against Islamic Terrorism is not about bodies but ideas and hearts. Many must be shocked to read that the perpetrators of the attack in Dhaka were all youths from affluent families. I suppose they had everything in life except meaning. Pity they didn't have something to worry about keeping them alive searching for answers. Since they were already nominally Muslim, what they failed to receive is a less known peaceful and truer Islam. If you are not a Muslim reading this you won't know what I mean. Myself I only know it not from Islam directly but Christianity. How true Christianity is not as often taught vis a vis Prosperity and Self Help Christianity. At least the Christian versions in this age do not resort to violence, which it once did. I hope we never return to that, but you never know do you?

Look at this, what sort of deviant Buddhism is this? Of all the religions, the commitment to non violence is clear in Buddhism but for the wickedness of man which exists across all religion. These people also need the peaceful and truer Buddhism.