Thursday, July 24, 2014

BRICs Bank: Envy and Inferiority Complex

Read this two days ago but no time to pen my quick thoughts.

BRIC and many developing countries continue to do well economically but their global influence do not reflect their wealth. Often they look like children before the age of maturity that cannot be allowed to put their hands into the trust fund they had earned. They are not waiting and there is some degree of truth that they will not get the keys to their own money and voting rights in the international arena unless they fight for them. So when you can't get your voting rights up in the IMF and World Bank, you make your own Bank. This is a very long road. Really, so what if you have lots of money stashed in reserves when money is cheap and getting cheaper. It is the wealth producing capabilities, influence and power of your society that matters. Who cares how much your money buys tomorrow? Can you produce and sell, especially name the price too now and tomorrow which really matter.

The West can be heavily indebted but oddly they much much are richer. This is absurd but true! Gotta learn how to count all over again eh?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

PSC scholars changing profile

I see a young 19 year old Loh Jia Wei on a wheel chair. She is going to read Law in Oxford come October on a PSC scholarship.

PSC this year also have many scholars including two from Temasek Poly that are not from RI and HCI. PSC is walking their talk on how they are selecting scholars.

I had discouraged my girl from applying for the PSC scholarship and I am hardly alone when I talked to other parents. But they are moving in the right direction and hopefully more families will no longer think like me and my friends.

DPM Teo admitted that bringing in good people into public is more challenging now. My response is that is what happen when the government is only the top boy in a class of failing governments. The best wants to sign up with the best, and I mean the global best. A friend's son could have taken a PSC scholarship but today he is going to join Bridgewater Associates come October. He is just too many PSC had failed every year to attract.

Vinyls: Did it say, "I will be back?"

Who ever expected this? Vinyl is making its way back! I bet once the trend is with us there are no shortage of experts explaining why it happened but none was able to predict this. Likewise I have also by and large given up divining the next fad. 99.9% of the time it is too hard. Hear how it had also perplexed Indra Nooyi of Pepsco.

Very very few are able to find and bet on the next winner.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

MH17 disaster: The Propaganda War

The first casualty in a war is truth.

Emotionally I have felt the Russians were guilty of shooting down MH17 but there is no solid evidence to go by except American claims that they do. The right thing to do is to wait for the evidence to be produced. After a bruising lesson of the Americans coming out empty handed for Saddam Hussein's WMD, I have had enough. Show me the evidence first.

So the West fired the first salvo in this propaganda war with Australia's PM Tony Abbott using a bazooka right into the cavern of the UN Security Council. I waited for the Russians to respond and didn't want to commit to any post regarding who dunnit on this blog. The fog of war eh.

I don't have time to collect every piece of information I come across but this is a good proxy of what is going on.

There are countless such tweets circulating with damning remarks of the separatists like the example above which I went to Google to pick up.

But what is the truth? See this video of what really happened. It was nothing like what was purported and going viral.

Well this isn't the disreputable Fox but better ABC News. Note how they describe the picture: Pro-Russian Militants Pick Through Debris at Jet Crash Site

No wonder the French is going ahead with selling those Mistral Class warships to the Russians.

Time will uncover the truth for us. We just need to be patient. What I am seeing all over the place is people looking for pieces of information to support their prejudices. Unfortunately people simply love to persist in their errors. If only they could place bets and lose like in the markets, they might learn faster. We really need to learn.

Monday, July 21, 2014

NTU freshmen orientation camp: Poor Safety Culture

If my memory serves me well, every year there is something unflattering about these university orientation camps making its way to the media.

To me, many of the organizers are inexperienced and also incompetent young adults taking risks they don't understand. They were lucky, someone could have died. In this case one would have thought having been through NS there would be enough of them who knew better.

This country as I have lamented a few times in earlier posts have no proper mindset about safety. Off hand I remember two incidents out of too many well. One fatality at the OCBC sponsored cycling event last year and another of my friend's kid at another public games.

Of course SIA along with a bunch of safety clueless airlines flew over Ukraine without knowing the risks. Meanwhile I note with admiration how Qantas had months ago avoided overflying the country. I also recall Kim Peek who inspired the movie Rain Man as the autistic savant with a perfect photographic memory fearful of flying would only accept Qantas and no other airline. His research and memory served him well.

Here is an example of Qantas pilots' performance. I wouldn't trust our SQ pilots to be up to this task.

Prabowo urged to lose graciously

I had feared that Prabowo might win because most people hadn't think he had stood any chance at all in the beginning. The guy is no democrat, a wolf in sheep clothing but the system permit anyone to stand for elections.

For a candidate who saw losing is not an option, no wonder he is a sore loser. I wouldn't suggest much less press it; if indeed losing is not an option you should pay with your life for the defeat. Simply those words have no place in a democratic system. Sure, in some other systems you could lose your life if you lose. Surely that is the true meaning of losing is not an option. Had he won, he would try but I think he would fail in the end, to roll back Indonesians political freedoms. Sure happy to see that he had lost.

Kudos to the Indonesians for making the better choice.

For wifey: four scarves, sixteen ways

Wfiey shared this on her page but I bet she can't remember how to do this when she wants to. So I have located the YouTube version and placing it here for her to come back to when she needs them.

Perhaps the elder girl would also find it useful?