Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Chen Show Mao: A Scrubby Sunday Story


Saw this first thing in the morning. What I heartening post! We are spoiled until we don't want to be. Many of us are like that. We will come together and do the right thing but not during normal complacent times. May we never lose this in ourselves.

See Chen Show Mao's post.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Trade War: Only needs to sign off

At his last woodstock for capitalism Warren Buffett declared he was confident there would not be a trade war between the US and China. I think it time for him to get ready to eat those words. The craziness of Trump must have appalled the wise man.

Who should I quote? More than a few of his cabinet secretaries have called him a moron or idiot.

Beyond the shadow of a doubt he is reckless and stupid. That was what I came away feeling after just reading the Prologue of Bob Woodward's book, "FEAR".

Trump claims himself a Christian. Now if you go to the Bible he will checked every single test of what a fool is. Full marks!

Time for US leaders to put country before president. You all have sworn an oath to do that. Alas there are some mad advisers especially in trade. There are sucker losers who do not know they are cutting their noses to spite their face to stand behind this buffoon.

Sister cradling sister


Found this picture in Sunday Times yesterday. Shared it with a couple of friends telling them that it reminded me of those times when our elder daughter would sometime cradle her younger infant sister.

She has never bullied her younger sister but have always protected and looked out for her. They are young adults now.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The Financial Crisis 10 years later

Ten years ago we were living in Dubai and the kids were still young. Today they have become young adults. Ten years ago the world changed for many and this morning I spent some time taking it in with the stuff PBS is putting out to do a stock take of then and now.

I sent the two articles to the family.


Link to the first article: ‘We Have Families Watering Down Soup’: Inside One City America Has Left Behind

and the second story: How Struggling Dayton, Ohio Reveals the Chasm Among American Cities

It's an American story because I think I have seen this before in their history. But they are so bad at knowing where and how they got to be, so they are repeating history. Also structure breeds behavior, in that sense it could not be helped.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Non-Speaker: Telling our own stories without confessing them

First I got this from BookBub which I had no time to look at until this morning.


Then searching on the author I found these a our eLibrary.


and "Chinese Cinderella" which I quickly reviewed the first chapter brought back memories of my mother's childhood. Just like Adeline, her mother also passed away and she had to live unloved with a step mother. She eventually "escape" to live with her late mom's sister. She must have felt unwanted. But it did not stop there and instead brought me back to primary school when during one music lesson the teacher taught us this song which shocked and left an indelible mark on me.


"Nobody's Child" effortlessly reconnected me to an unusual manuscript I read days ago. I think the book is going to be very well received if the writer can market it successfully - you know the trial of a new author. Now as I see how the book had stayed with me in my subconscious instead of fading away, it might even be a best seller if it has the same effect on other readers as well.

Nobody's child was born blind and rejected but a non-speaker would be born deaf mute right? This is a handicap but not as grave as born blind. I think that is how my subconscious must be connecting them except that Non-Speaker is not about that at all. In fact it is worse than nobody's child. It is being nothing.

May K the author told me she has made Chapter 1 available online and a very limited way I am trying to help since this is Blogging for Myself.

Chapter One reads like the equivalent of Adeline Yen's "Chinese Cinderella"

Chapter one reveals May K's unexpectedly imaginative device she used to tell this story by inventing a new relationship between humans and birds. The plot then unfolds in surprising ways.... but in a note to myself earlier, I summarized it as:

In Falconia, your social class is assigned by the birds you can speak to. The lowest of the lowly speak to the humble sparrows, nobles talk to the various birds of prey, the rest of humanity in between. If you can't speak to any bird, you are a non-speaker, a nobody worse than India's Dalits. This is the story of struggle against class, for resilience, courage, friendship and finally between war and peace. It is a story about honour and sacrifice.

That was the macro angle. At the personal level, "Non-Speaker" is about telling the story of how we sometimes feel about ourselves and our hopes without admitting them to others. It can be a metaphorical story for your aspirations and also keeping them private as well. Everyone should find and own their fairy tale and approximate it for reality.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Jack Ma left before getting married


Clever fellow this Jack Ma. He once said this about the government and the CCP: Good to fall in love but do not marry. As Xi Jinping presses on to make many firms wives and concubines of the Party, Jack Ma has shrewdly decided to end the relationship in style. Indeed 拿得起放得下, most of the other tycoons are not able to do that. Quite a few are in the doghouse. More will follow.

Jack Ma will focus on education. For China there are many low hanging fruits he can pluck to make education better. It is an area he can still be in love with the Party and not marry. LOL! It is a good place to stay rich, burnish your image as a public saint and the Party cannot touch you. Recall Tan Kah Kee education philanthropy.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

377A is not about LGBT or the Christian Agenda


Received this message shortly after midnight this morning.

I see it is equating Christian with Citizen eh?


Another similar request hours later. In fact I am expecting more of such from my Christian friends. Since this one arrived at a more sanely hour, I responded as follows.


But I must give credit to my response to a book manuscript I have recently reviewed: Non-Speaker.

I quote from relevant bit of the book:


Exactly as I responded to the message that this is a question between the past and the future. The public quarrel that is happening is just partisan and narrow minded. May K, "Non-Speaker" is worth a read. You can read chapter one online for free.

Update: 7:10 pm

This is not a discussion of the future but fear mongering by the Christians. It is borrowing thoughtlessly entirely from the US experience which is a different environment from ours. You can suggest such possibilities but you must also explain how repealing 377A gets us from here to there. Then you are not fear mongering but meaningfully discussing the future. Otherwise it is just a mischievous way for hijacking the future for your hate agenda but having said so, the LGBT idea of love isn't what I think love is either. We don't want to be used by either camp to advance the agenda of either side. Live and let live. We are a secular state and we fashion a future as guided by our national pledge.




Update: Sep 9 9:25 am


I mentioned in the main post and an earlier post the heart of the issue over 377A is not what the LGBT community or the Christians have put up but our future which the government if failing to provide leadership because they have set themselves up as the only entity that could to that.

Alaric Tan story in the Sunday Times is locked up behind a paywall. No point providing a link to it. Pondering over it I thought about the future of this growing community of  LGBTs. We either learn to live with them or continue to persecute them, keep them underground and pretending not to see which is no longer tenable. It is also evil and who are we to judge them? As Blaise Pascal pointed out the world consists of only two types of people: Righteous people who think they are sinners and sinners who think they are righteous. I am afraid many Christians belong to the latter. On the other hand LGBTs are no saints themselves. Homosexuality is a sin and all of us are sinners too, mostly fashionable sins and feel guilt free about them. What we need are righteous people who think they are sinners. These are the types of people who know we are different so we are one.

Friday, September 7, 2018

377A: Politicians calling themselves Political Leaders


By definition political leaders which our ministers style themselves as, must lead. Meanwhile politicians everywhere in the world look at opinion polls which may I remind ourselves LKY and his colleagues disdained.

Take a stand on this issue. Lead! Persuade! Even the western politicians do that, which you have often disparage. But you are so afraid of losing power. Singapore is more important than your ministerial careers.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

You own your HDB flats


Lawrence Wong and his colleagues do not understand that the public is emotional and illogical. Also it is a fool's errand to try to level with their minds when it is the hearts that is ruling. On top of that the public think it is rational. Good luck.

Of course the HDB flat on 99-year lease was sold to us. If the flats were always appreciating in value, people will consider it an asset and owners. If it at any point it stops doing so then isn't. Buyers of BTO flats definitely do not consider themselves renters but will joke about it as 99 years rentals.

Every magic pill if given enough time becomes a poison pill. Too bad in politics you haven't understood this and have prepared new magic pills. Now I can see them trying very hard to turn poison pills into magic pills again with HIP and VERS. You just have to be creative with the national finances knowing that perception is reality.

Update: Sep 5 6:20 am



Yes, the value will never drop if we are even more successful that we are today. Also if we are even less successful than now, not only will the value of old flats fall, even new ones will be sold at a bargain. That was the most important point in LKY's message. The prices of our flats is the measure of our success spread around. If the prices are high it must be accompanied by our young earning far higher incomes than they do now, which is not the case.

We were promised great, the best government but we only got the good or compared to other countries, the least worst. So the promise "Your HDB home value will never drop" could not be kept.

The government can solve this problem fundamentally but it doesn't know how. They will be forced to used clever financial engineering to redistribute wealth and various indirect taxes to keep the value of our flats up. The highest political cost to them will be meted out if they fail to do that.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Where Dimet used to be


Happened to pass by 107 Neythal Road today and noticed an office building which was very familiar to me. I was here twice for internship during my NUS days. They no longer do cathodic protection any more. It is now occupied by Richport Technology.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Waiting for Thum Ping Tjin

to say that he was misquoted or misinterpreted by Seah Kian Peng and the rest of the PAP leaders.

With the PAP you mustn't trust until you verify that they can be trusted. It is issues specific. With Dr. Thum and his compatriots you can't trust them at all.

Indeed Seah Kian Peng might be guilty of contextomy regarding Dr. Thum but I don't see why they should be reaching out to Mahathir at all who is always waiting and eager to do us in. He is no good for Malaysia in the sense that at this moment he is less bad than Najib, which is a pretty low standard to beat.

Update: 8:00 pm


As expected, "Seah appeared to have misunderstood" and that was first published in the ST at 3:49 pm and updated at 6:04 pm

Update: 10:12 pm

See Sonny Liew's response on Facebook

Update: Sep 5 9:00 am


I don't believe this to be Kausikan's motive but he is offering Thum a helping hand if he knows how to make use of it.



Monday, August 27, 2018

McCain's funeral: Trump told not to attend

George Bush and Obama defeated him in the presidential race and John McCain exhibited grace to request their eulogies. As for Donald Trump he was told not to show up for John McCain's funeral. Even in death it is still incongruous to be gracious to Trump. That must be the penultimate definition for a lowlife in real life. Trump is just vileness personified. After you have scrubbed it clean there is nothing left to show and you cannot invite nothing without making a fool of yourself.

But Trump is also a symbol of those who supported him. In Trump they have a daily look at the mirror of who they are. Losers with disappearing opportunities for redemption. That is where rage takes anyone who is drinking wrath.

Three Presidents on John McCain

Three presidents tribute to the late stalwart Senator John McCain. One of them spoke strictly only for himself. He could not do better even if he played actor and memorized the script. When you multiply something with zero, you get zero.

He is a stain on America and will be the judgement of many of those who voted for him. Time will prove this to be so. But because their system made Trump possible, they are able to avoid a civil war. The lesson from one is enough.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Canadian doctors refuse pay rise

Read the BBC version of this story.

These are the doctors whose hearts are in the right place. We do not know who they are until an event like this revealed them. Similarly we do not know who should govern us until we have an equivalent event i.e., probably an existential crisis. Meanwhile we have to be practical with the system we have and always keep the government on its toes as much as possible. Don't stop complaining, demanding high standards and accountability. Uniquely Singapore the public is the opposition party until it can't.

Of course we will eventually get into trouble. Greatness got us here but as always good is the enemy of the great and good is what money buys provided you are extremely careful. Pray greatness is available when the time comes. Meanwhile I strongly suspect some of our greatest have chosen to leave. The silver lining is that I think they will return when we need them. Also some never left. Well we don't have the event to reveal them yet.




Friday, August 24, 2018

We got no haze


Jokowi as Indonesia's president has meant no haze for us. This is wishful but it would be good if all future presidents from there would have the same commitment. To see haze today, a friend living in Seattle sent me this. By the way their president said nothing. He is more concerned about his own survival at the moment. Would love to see them show him the door asap.

Bleak future for Carousell

Carousell doesn't get it that scams on its platform is as deadly as corruption is to governing. There is only one attitude: Zero Tolerance. If it was a listed company, I would be waiting for the opportunity to sell my entire position. With that attitude there is no business future for that platform.

Zero tolerance isn't No Scams. I know some people oddly equates the two. They must have lived all their lives in text books. Get real.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Permafrost may thaw faster than expected


I am sure I wasn't alone feeling frightened when I read that. That was probably Natgeo masterful way to get people to read the whole article. I have and felt somewhat better but still more afraid than before. If Natgeo have raised awareness and added more interest to the phenomena of rapidly warming global climate, they would have made a useful contribution.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Christianity at its most accessible


Kenneth and Adeline Thong gave up having children of their own to do this. The only way to beat this is to have more doing the same like Kenneth and Adeline.

From Francis of Assisi, to preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words continues to be the most eloquent way to tell others that Jesus lives.

Let the Christian witness look ordinary because much of life is ordinary. But the sacrifice of giving up children for others sake is and will always be extraordinary. It lurks in the background and only come to the front why people ask why do you do this?

When necessary use words. Meanwhile please go easy with Cru's Four Spiritual Laws.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Yesterday choices, Today options


What I am going to write next has nothing to do with river water pollution in Canada or the Singapore River. We are doing much better than them if that is one take away from reading the story, a pretty typical Singaporean observation.

It is the thoughts which surfaced in my mind from reading the story that I want to record (as usual not so much share, but record). It is about the choice we made regarding public housing ownership and perhaps paying our ministers million dollars packages. More to the point, I am thinking of the educational choices we allow the government to make for our children and the environment we have created to bring them up.

How do you link up home ownership, ministers' pay and education?

Home Ownership & Education: This girl had a sense of ownership of her country because she could do something about it. In their culture such initiatives are encouraged. We pretend to do the same because when we discover what others are doing, we can't disavow that but what we do is that we neglect and starve those possibilities because we choose "our way" i.e., how we compete in school and then for jobs and success which is always narrowly defined here. The decision looked good at the beginning but all good choices have some ways to turn bad over time and we are there now.

Two trends. There is a shift in developed societies to move away from owning to sharing/renting. It is further along in Japan, America and Europe but it should become increasingly prominent here as home schooling is becoming.  The other is a wake up call to what a 99-year lease means, which the public is presently quite unhappy about. This is not the government fault but they took advantage of people's misunderstanding of a leasehold when it was convenient for them to win elections.

When we use home ownership to anchor our sense of belonging, in a top down society we are, other forms of ownership are neglected and perhaps heavily discouraged. The consequence is we will not produce kids like this 11-year old Canadian. In fact we educated our kids not to be like her but pretend we did not and could even point to features of our education system supporting that as evidence. But that is missing the point. Beyond the first two or at most three top priorities, the other priorities are practically as good as absent. Simply after you have focused the lion's share of your time and effort on the top priorities (mostly exams outcomes) the rest are often a chore unless they help you to succeed on the recognized path.

Home ownership will no longer anchor Singaporeans to this place like before and we did not bring up our kids to be like this young Canadian. We have crossed the bridge and there is no turning back. How to deal with this challenge? Since we are a top down society, we look to the government for solutions and this bring us to ministers' pay and quality of leadership.

Ministers' Pay and Quality: We pay them to perpetuate the past but not preserve the status quo. What does this mean? It means keep things the same with small adjustments. Following this economic growth can only become slower and limited. The law of diminishing return is an iron law in Economics. However our leaders do not suffer the same life situation that we all do. They pay themselves first and they play heads they win, tails we lose, which I often wrote about here back in 2011. There is no need to repeat them.

The apt metaphor is that government under LHL is flogging an old horse. When he says "work harder" that is exactly what is needed because the horse is old. Exiting the metaphor, it means the paradigm of governing Singapore is tired and cannot produce many new ideas. Once we seized opportunities now we face limitations. Typically such limitations are overcome by taxes and they warned us it is going up.

They also play it very safe. That way their positions are secure. But the total risk the country faces is like a pie. If the government assume less risk then the bulk of the risk must fall on the rest. Big business also has the power to transfer risk to workers and between them they form the elite. That is the conceptual underpinning to heads they win, tails we lose. All these come about because we have a pay system which rewards caution and self preservation. At the end of the day ministers look after themselves, their families and their party first as the proxy for putting Singapore first. We ranked last especially when you fall outside their plans. And this will happen to practically everyone since all must eventually grow old. What have they done about the growing problem of ageism. They only appear to try very hard but there are no results. We should only pay for results and not hard work. In this sense they are overpaid for what they are delivering. They are mostly delivering for the elites. The ranks of billionaires here will grow.

GIC as an example of transferring risk: GIC invests CPF monies but a huge chunk of the returns is used to fund the budget together with contributions from Temasek. It is actually a deep indirect taxation on the CPF member for it explains why he/she isn't getting higher returns. Unless you are a high income earner and frugal at the same time you will not leave enough in the CPF for retirement because as the income was made, a large chunk went to finance the budget. Sure, taxes are low but indirect taxes are high. In other words real taxes are high. They pull wool over our faces when they say their good administration keep taxes low.

We can't go back and choose differently but growing unhappiness will produce viable options eventually but it takes a lot longer to happen here than elsewhere.

Update: Aug 20 7:45 am


Yes, what the PM proposed at the NDR yesterday regarding housing was innovative. It is the linchpin for anchoring Singaporeans to this island. This is the road we must travel as long as we are still able to lay new road. It is scary when we run out of road but for now the PAP is confident it would be good for the next twenty years at least.

The government has near total control of real estate and so the power to make things happen. On issues which we are price takers the problems are nearly impossible to solve e.g., replacing good jobs aging PMETs lost.

ESM Goh proposes good but not great monkeys


Goh is only interested in what works for Singapore. Our leaders are no different from Cao Cao. From time to time they need to borrow some heads for the good of the country. Recently they had been borrowing many heads in the guise of FTs. When EDB can't find the high paying jobs for highly trained locals they have to settle for good enough and cheaper foreigners.

The better Singaporean engineers can either suck it up to lower pay or head for Silicon Valley and be handsomely remunerated. That is the meaning of attracting investments and creating good enough jobs. FTs loved it, locals with high local cost find themselves under employed or worse, high potential fresh graduates do not get the working experience and training they need. Just go and check how they are doing audits now at the Big Four. The standards were far higher thirty years ago when we were still a developing country.

In my previous post as usual without much elaboration I submitted that we have no choice about the monkeys we have to live with. These monkeys will likely work especially for their families and associates interests. They like the FTs they bring in would be good enough but not great.

We will continue losing our best and brightest to other countries, especially America. Come on, even the best FTs come here as a stepping stone to the USA. Even after Trump makes America worse, they will still be a great nation.

Our leaders do not want to be leaders of a great people because they can't and specifically the EDB can't with the other agencies unable to foster enough indigenous opportunities. They are only capable of leading good people. A silent brain drain of great people is going on in Singapore. Family held some back or bring back some but that homeward pull is also diminishing.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Monkeys whatever you pay



That is what has become of our system since we took this path of richly paying our ministers. It is not going to be better if you cut pay. It is no good except for the elites and themselves if you pay ministers well as it is their instinct to protect themselves and their kind first in any policy making. We have the least worst situation when settle for the good to stop the great from coming in. Now we can't get the really great ones until we face an impending crisis. Problem is we will then see the good is the enemy of the great.

Mr. Brown is right. Pay well you get exceptional monkeys. Pay poorly you get mediocre monkeys. All are monkeys until there is a forest fire.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Our Zero Sum Games


Zero sum games getting more common here because we have ran out of space. 

How do you manage this when there is no escape from winners and losers? You got to have a society of give and take. One which is always asserting their own rights, calling it human rights even will create tension and discord. Right now there is no so much give and take but whoever has money wins, followed by the majority wins provided they make a lot of noise which is also capable of pushing back those with money. The majority do not often raise a hue and cry but they will eventually when they learn from experience. Then what would we become? Some might say this is not going to happen. Well that is thinking of those who is also in the same breadth saying, "I will be out of office" 

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Selecting leaders: Good is the Enemy of the Great


To me there are two minor stories on top of the main story focusing on Bitcoin (Finally someone is making sense of this thing when Jaime Dimon and Warren Buffett could not).

I am interested in the main character Jeff Sprecher ability to spot talent. Something which our leaders and system refused to admit (afraid to be honest about) they can't do without using very high pay as a screen. Jack Sim the maverick could have been a younger Philip Yeo but the post LKY generation would never be able to deploy his talent inside government. As for pay, he is willing to work for free, and he is doing exactly that now for global sanitation.

So we run a system where we pretend to have great people by hiring good ones. People cannot know what are the great leaders when the jobs are taken by good ones except to compare them against the better ones before. Indeed Good is the Enemy of the Great!

Read the Fortune Magazine story.

Pay: Right Policies+Bad Politics...


EW Barker's daughter pointed out how out of touch Goh Chok Tong and his club have become. I have a slightly different take on this. I do not assume the daughter could speak for her father unless he had left behind writings for her and siblings. Were Eddie Barker a young and rising lawyer now, he might adopt the attitude of let others serve. But he was a product of a different time. There may be no Singapore if men like him to do offer themselves. GCT had referred to a repeat of that if this place ever face an existential crisis again.

I think we have good policies and bad politics. That is a combination which eventually produce bad policies, and we are at that point now. The baseline for a competent and effective politician, and we are not even talking political leaders which is what the PM thinks his team is, is to be able to connect successfully with the people. When you are out of touch with voters in politics that is the beginning of the end for you. If you are able to stick around for a long time, that is because the dustbin is sealed shut. Then the place really begins to stink.

Right policies + Bad politics = Bad policies. It is only a matter of time.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Two National Pledges

On Singapore's 53rd independence day, I received these and shared them with others.


Update: 1:25 pm

I added this during discussions with friends across various chats.


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Ministers Pay: The solution is also the problem


Goh Chok Tong thoughts on this matter is still stuck in the 90s. If high pay were a beautiful solution voters would have gladly accepted if after decades of this experiment. In fact the opposite is true.

Now we have a problem that clearly cannot be solved by money. The example of Edwin Tong suffering a pay cut from $2 million to $500K was just convenient because he is a senior counsel. Almost all the ministers cannot get what the government pay them if they leave their jobs today. They are fond of picking lawyers and doctors as their examples. What about the generals? What about retired permanent secretaries?

When these leaders by and large cannot get the pay government pay them if they leave the service, their big pay package is indeed a problem. Just ask their wives. And when they serve it is not a sacrifice for most of them unless they were former lawyers doctors and bankers or CEOs of the largest companies. This only read like some and not the majority of them especially former army officers.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Girls discriminated against for the GEP etc,


At least the Japanese know what happened. Medical school adjusted the test scores of women applicants lower so that way more men than women got admitted. We on the other hand are as clueless as ever when even at the level of primary schools, there are way more boys than girls in the GEP. For years I used to tease them. I asked which of you smart kids were actually girls dressed up as boys? Unless of course you believe as 9 year to 12 year olds God has made boys much brighter than girls. I think MOE discriminate against girls in the GEP selection test. At least the Japanese know why. We are still clueless. 

Should we be surprised that girls are paying a pink tax?

Friday, August 3, 2018

The First Trillion Dollar Company

Briefly woke up to learn two things.

1. My order for Facebook still not filled.

2. Apple is now a trillion dollar company, i.e., its market cap is bigger than Indonesia GDP, a member of the G20

We are now in the territory of what is good for Apple is good for the US stock market.

Last day at the office

Last day at this office today. These are parting gifts for them. Nice to eat and easy to remember. The Godivas aren't in the photo because their prices are unforgettable LOL.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Monday, July 30, 2018

Shanmugam habit of stoking fear



English conceived in England but given away and owned by the world. Shanmugam is over reacting. Just ask any of our school kids and they will tell you that ASEAN scholars speak and write better EL than scholars from the PRC. A few years later when in our local universities they have not closed the gap with their ASEAN counterparts. Shanmugam confused high averages against the top down hand picking of a handful for competition purpose.

So what is the meaning of "China has caught up"? This is his cheapskate attempt to proliferate fear and increase pressure. To me he is the most intellectually dishonest minister regularly succumbing to the temptation of convenient arguments and theses, exploiting the ignorance of the masses.

I hope people can see the link between stoking fear among our people and public policy making. Fear is a very useful device for justifying brutal and often painful policies. "We have no choice..." does that not resound and echo inside your craniums? We must not tolerate fear mongering by our leaders. We should demand intellectual honesty first and always.

Update: 4:29 pm

This is a valid fear and not the Shanmugam's nonsense.


See story at Today.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Opportunity Costs of Parking is unacceptable


These are American numbers by Dr. Richard Florida. He is the guy who brought us the idea that creative cities are tolerant of gays. I am not aware if there are any equivalent numbers for Singapore but can easily imagine that year after year of economic growth can only raise the numbers towards the sky. Economically we will eventually pay too much for parking on real estate that is simply too valuable for cars. Society is subsidizing those who drive.

The long term future for car ownership is bleak. It will be a shared asset so that we can release a phenomenal amount of land by taking them away from parking.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Good bye to an ex colleague

Yesterday an ex-colleague sent me this. Yea Yee is the first in our orientation batch from the early 90s to go. May he rest in peace but I think he left us way too soon. I always thought he was our age. Turn out he is a few years older. He was a very nice and helpful guy, a high flyer in the company.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Cyber warfare against us: Offence is the best Defense


This could never appear in our media but in cyber warfare offence is the best defense after we have further strengthened our defenses. The most important objective after the attacker have gotten what they wanted is to cover their tracks in order to avoid retaliation.You never provide others with a justification for attacking you.

In cyber warfare if you attack others you better be sure you are very strong and they are afraid to attack you. There are far fewer such countries than there are fingers in a hand. Now even if you are a very hard target, the retaliating country only need to keep up with watching you for the opportunity to hit you. I think when you pick small nations like Israel or us to attack, you are making a big mistake. We are the sort who will give you a memorable experience because that would discourage you from trying again which is what we want. We are not some developing country with limited capabilities living in fear where lying low the be best defense against attack.

Dental Calendars

Went to the Dentist today as we have since the kids were old enough. These will calendars be useful when the time comes for me to make the next appointment.





The highlighted dates are the clinic days for this outlet.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Risks: Should it be a common pot?



Whilst people could accept that the healthy young pay less premiums they cannot accept that men pay less than women. There is always the option to putting all risks into a common pool. The result is the young and male will pay more, the old and female will pay less. Society has to agree which is best. This is a zero sum game. This is also one of those moments we search ourselves on what our values are. We have almost never done that. The government have typically make the choices for us.

Personally I think we ought to pool the risks. That is the meaning of one people. No point if lofty words are not backed by real money.

The young discover the plot against them


Were Peter Drucker still alive, he would not be in the least surprise to see such poll results. As for me, I get to see them at first hand and coming away with a very bad feeling about this. It is not too late to fix this but there is always the risk the old idiots in power or simply as voting blocs continue to rob the young to pay the old.

Our government is probably the least guilty at robbing young Peter to pay old Paul. Our personal accountability system helps a lot e.g., CPF. Pay as you go system is ideal for transferring wealth from the young to the old. Meanwhile the old having arrived a generation sooner command most of the attractive positions in the economy, calls the shots and the millennials suffered as a result. To add insult to injury, in fact this is the worse problem, the elites erect impossible barriers of entry against the rest even as they succeeded at sucking up the lion share of capital.

The elites are a global class and they have been blackmailing us and naming their price. The euphemism for blackmail is that if are not competitive they simply decamp to another city. So the choice we have is between a bad choice (like now) and a worse one i.e,. high unemployment. On the flip side despite their impractical idealism which the young need time to realize they are by and large much better schooled. They can leverage their intellectual superiority but first they must leave the rock they are living under.

The government is caught between a rock and a hard place with very little room to maneuver. That its senior officers are also deemed to be part of the elite certainly do not help. They are afraid to offend the global elites and is squeezed by unhappy young people and disenfranchised older workers because of the "taxes" of the elites. As people do not know the plot of the global wealthy they blame the government for being out of touch. Well this game of the rich getting richer cannot go on indefinitely. The sooner we pull back the better. The rules of the game is set in America and that is why that poll chart is most relevant. We are price takers in this game and are trying to mitigate its effects as best as possible. Our young is not doing as well as their parents if comparison is made after adjusting for time and place but they are doing much better than their counterparts almost everywhere else save the offspring of the elites and that include the children of ministers.

Meanwhile our elites try to pretend to be normal by eating at hawker centres and scolding those who are higher on the totem pole. That is just hypocrisy.

If the young in America, Europe and China lose faith in this system what would they replace it with? They are setting up themselves to learn through bitter experience if they lose faith in capitalism. Better reform capitalism instead of throwing it out of the window. Now is that realistic if capitalism reputation keeps worsening.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Being watched by Google Intelligence


This morning interested to find out which is a better day to visit the Gardens by the Bay, I learned from Google Map the dates in the last three months were there. That is Google Intelligence and what else would they do when they combine all sorts of factoids about you to "form a picture". Perhaps eventually it could even tell me things from my habits which I am not even aware of.

Big Data is about insight from massive data. In this instance their data on me is even better than what Gardens by the Bay have because Google Map had even tracked how I got there, when I left. Did I drive or took public transport and where I went after the visit to the Gardens until I was back home.