Thursday, March 15, 2018

Stephen Hawking and Christians

My ex boss shared this with me in an email and I looked it up on Bloomberg.

It was a very good read by Nathan Myhrvold but then I thought of what Christians had in the past remarked to me about Prof Hawking: he is going to hell because he is an atheist.

I took the opportunity to share these thoughts in my reply to her email.

Incredible spirit Stephen Hawking had. No wonder it took so many years for his illness to knock him out.

On some occasions Christians have pointed out to me that Stephen Hawking is going to hell because he is an atheist. I wished these people would first care about their own fate before worrying about others. Being the celebrity he was I wasn't surprised to just Googled and find this at Time:

Well I think not a few atheists would wake up from death into heaven. I don't know which ones. I am less sure about Christians though.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Bullying in Parliament

A friend sent me this, the Facebook post by Tan Cheng Bock: Be gracious in parliament.

PAP MPs and Ministers have to bear this in mind, carve it on their hearts as well. If you bully defenseless others, the public will take it out on you. The merit of your logic becomes lost and irrelevant. As politicians you have failed badly even if you may be able administrators.

I have written in this space many years ago that politicians must be politicians and not try to be civil servants passing themselves off as politicians and political leaders, worse as moral leaders.

As persuaders they get a failed grade from me. What is the use if you have workable plans (I don't think anywhere near the best because they lack courage) but cannot sell it to the people. It is as good as you have no plan.

These PAP types are so full of themselves, so arrogant and condescending to others. Sure, they happened to also been known to be humble but it is all show and no substance, often choreographed. These are not humble folks. They have no idea what humility is, which unfortunately is too rare anywhere in this world. Therefore they succeed with "having no airs" which is just show-humility to be the real thing. Even their president is on this.

I feel sad for Singapore. The PAP have gutted and gamed the system that we have no choice but them. This moral corruption could potentially end Singapore's success. These self serving creatures starting from the PM who are in the dark of their hypocrisy. How else can they live with it right? But the public is not fooled.

This is the failing fourth generation PAP leaders. Can't they learn anything from DPM Tharman?

Update: 8:50 pm

I just came from reading Indranee Rajah's post on this matter. I never said the PAP were wrong about the facts or they were bad administrators but they are lousy politicians and communicators. The following are some of the response from the public to her post and see the number of likes on them.

Indranee and her colleagues must be puzzled why people cannot be persuaded. Well they are out of touch. That is the challenge they must learn to overcome. You are a politician and not a civil servant. Your logic is sound but so what?

Long ago, Sim Wong Hoo made the better MP3 player but it was the inferior but also quite good Apple iPod which won the day. Sim was too much of an engineer just as you PAP types are too much of a civil servant. As Philip Yeo advised, let the civil servants get on with their jobs and you better learn to be better politicians.

The trouble with you PAP types is that you are just like the lumberjacks who after many years of successfully cutting down trees look at every problem as you have always viewed them. But you are no longer lumberjacks so why are you still working your old jobs in your newer roles? This is the ultimate evidence of poor accountability in our political system that you can get away with such. Of course we voters would not tolerate this.

So it was never the merits of your logic but your arrogant and bullying attitude we are faulting.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Harder to make it on YouTube now

It was almost ten years ago when I felt something like this would happen. YouTube had decimated my neat little DVD enterprise and I had switched to picking advert dollars than direct sales. Not as good but it saved me much time preparing discs to ship out.

A few months into this I decided this thing is only going to get harder and I am likely to look back and feel that it was not worth it. I had no idea how it might happen but I am sure some day it would. You know, you can fall from the sky with a parachute or free fall. Whatever, you are falling to earth and that is good enough for me to decide this is not the path to take.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

$2 health screening

Not bad at all! Paid $2 for the health screening at the community center with folks from NTFGH people doing it. Afterward we were each given this. This is much better than what we got back in 2015.

I couldn't finish and that is my secret of passing all these health screening and before employment health screening test. People eat too much and beyond the limit you body becomes a dustbin and a recycling plant.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Rehabilitating William Farquhar

Got to return this to the library in about two weeks time, wondering how I am going to find the time to even read half of it. I could only read at most a chapter thus far and that was when I was so tired and needed a break. Some serious break indeed.

William Farquhar reminded me of Wu Zetian whose reputation was also rehabilitated when further evidence was unearthed. Unlike Empress Wu, MG Farquhar redemption has come much sooner. I think Farquhar is out of luck though because Singapore is heavily invested in Raffles legacy and myth making. How are we going to deal with this? Especially next year is the 200th anniversary of Raffles founding of Singapore

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Hoseki Out; Hoseki In

Retiring the Hoseki after 4 years and 2 months with the much smaller one I used to put on my desk. The picture of the two different times explain why one of them must go.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Chinese New Year?

Now I want to record this unusual CNY as quickly as possible.

This morning as I drove out of the car park, I realized it is a school holiday. Traffic on our roads were light. I had to be reminded it is still CNY.

Previous to the last Sunday we had our reunion lunch at my brother's place. For the first time I was late because I forgot to prepare the ang pows for my nephew and niece and had to return home to prepare.

We also have an unusual reunion meal, i.e., it is like any occasional get together makan. We did not have yusheng like every year before.

But did we missed anything as a result? No.

I did not prepare ang pows for the children because I was busy. This year I transferred money into their accounts via e-banking. I said which do you prefer? Cash in ang pows which will not be much or direct transfers to their bank accounts. Needless to say more money is better.

The next day we visited our relatives as usual early in the morning before other visitors arrive. This time I gave only one ang pow to my nephew. I remember I used to give out about ten but over the years I gave fewer and fewer as they got married and mostly with no kids yet.

My children received their ang pows as usual but with a hilarious difference. In the car they opened their ang pows and found there was no money inside.

No, we weren't offended. Kinship is stronger than money despite meeting them only at weddings and during CNY. I just felt that I am not alone in caring less about CNY when I saw that I am not alone in being careless. We don't need the traditions and customs to tell us we are family. We have become so practical.

But we might also have become tired and that is something to be concerned.

What would CNY be like next year? I am not thinking about it.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Mom: 15th Anniversary

My sis wrote on Whatsapp awhile ago: 15 years already. I replied, "and 1 hour, 7 mins ago"

In the last year callous people have been stealing the little ornaments we placed at my mom's niche. This year I have got for her and my in-laws niche these 3D sticker butterflies from Art Friend.

Death is a thief but it is also a new birth. However stealing little decorations from the resting places of loved ones is an evil act. I told my sibling these miscreants probably just cleaned them up and resell them on Carousell.

This isn't the way I like to remember this 15th year but I can't helped it. Perhaps one day their thievery would become a media story as it is only a matter of time they get caught.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Healthy Eating?

I almost never read about eating less, much less than most of us are already doing. It is always choosing healthier options from the foods to their preparation.

All the advice in the world is useless when one eats too much.

Facebook calling: Please come back

I somehow knew this would come. I have no time to blog, much less for Facebook which I mostly use for reading news and following some news makers and experts.

Some friends distract me with their show offs. It is an air brushed life, I know them too well to know how made up it is.

It is not bad as a birthday reminder but I do not send them birthday greetings over Facebook, instead I use another Facebook property: Whatsapp.

I think the going is going to get tougher for Facebook. Many will discover the hard way it is often a waste of time and it would be a tough challenge for Facebook to keep them.

Google products are more useful and in fact indispensable. Can't imagine how I can get by without Gmail, Google, and Maps. Chrome is also for now the most sensible web browser as well. YouTube often makes sense as well.

I almost forgot Android. That is the soul of my phone.

One box of Bak Kwa and two mandarins

I supposed every Chinese in the office got this and two mandarins yesterday. The meat is seem to be vacuum packed, two slices to a bag and eight packets adding up to 800g. The company got it from Kay Lee, which I supposed was bought by Aztech isn't it?

Well I just google and found this.

Indeed by the Roast Meat guys. 

Friday, February 9, 2018

Principal Richard Lim

I enjoyed working with this principal many years ago. How time have passed both of heads are now full of gray hair! 

He was unlike any other principals I have met, very open minded and innovative. I didn't realized how different he was until I had to work with his successor, who was a good fellow as well but more in the mold of a government servant. 

Saturday, February 3, 2018

First Yu Sheng in the Dog Year

Had our first Yu Sheng this afternoon as usual at Ichiban Sushi.

I think they have upped the price from $28 last year t o$29.80 this year. On the other hand quality has gone up. We will be having this many times before the new year is over.

Friday, February 2, 2018

CHC: Won the legal but lost the moral case

I went over the five points, reviewed the comments and obviously we have to agree with the judges judgement on this matter. Now Parliament must act to update the law on this matter. The public will ask why just like the floods, we are being reactive and not proactive. That it is very hard to be proactive and easy to be reactive is not an argument many people here are willing to accept when government leaders are so highly paid.

Shanmugam and his ministerial colleagues should not have bothered to appeal and instead should have gone ahead to change the law through parliamentary action. That would be the takeaway for any reasonable person reading how the five judges thought.

In this town people think the government is proactive about protecting and promoting wealth and the rich but reactive about our needs and worries. This is but only the latest in a long line of examples. Think MRT, floodings, pedophilia, human trafficking, road accidents and hospital beds.

We are not lawyers and why should we be? At the end of the day lots of people go away with the perception albeit unfairly that there is one law for the rich and another for the rest of us. This is bad and clumsy politics. The lack of accountability creates falling standards.

Sure the government will fix this one between section 406 and 409. What about other laws? That we would get to learn about another time when the moral equivalent of the CHC case appears.

Khong Hee and gang now serve a much shorter sentence. They will worship and praise God in their huge cavern over this. That is the second insult.

Update: Feb 6 8:20 am

For 40 years, the law was that directors will face severe penalties for Criminal Breach of Trust (CBT). There were several cases where this was confirmed.

That is practically alluding to had the case been not a church but a business organization, the five would have been sentenced differently. The government expected that but it did not happen. Why? Well what is the difference between a church and a company which caused the judges to view this differently. On the other hand the public by and large is with the government on this matter.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Trump and meaning of words

China is probably among the first to learn how to discount Trump's vocabulary. Only someone like Trump would no recognize the irony of a "beautiful war". No war is beautiful, not even when nobody dies because the loser will still have many indirect deaths. Just ask the Russians who were defeated in the Cold War.

'beautiful future' eh? With beautiful claws and sharp teeth.

Only an idiot says there is such a thing as "beautiful, clean coal"

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Astons up prices

They have up their prices again. We normally pay $60 but not with the chicken but pork chops, and the chicken is cheaper. Next time it would be $66 instead of $60.

I can feel in my gut that inflation is going to accelerate.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

I like TODAY Online

TODAY have been putting out some very interesting stories. I happened to catch this one earlier to today. Is the paper executing a "tell me who and what we are" strategy? It is working for me.

I sent it to my daughter who has started work recently.

Meaning and purpose in what you do even if the work conditions is unpleasant give you and the job a chance to succeed. Along the way the meaning and purpose will shift. I surmised family was the reason he took the job and now it is the positive contribution he is making to the people around him and generally the personal and social benefits of work. Good honest work.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Low low temperature

Really chilly this morning, colder than yesterday. At this time of writing the thermometer has gone down 0.2C lower to 24.1C. Pity it is also drizzling and not a good idea to enjoy outdoors, but what can I expect? Without water it would not be possible to absorb enough heat to lower the temps.

"Throwing money" at you

Found this on our car windshield recently. The trouble some folks will go through to get your attention to improve the odds that you would take a closer look at what they have to offer.

This time they succeeded with us except that I can't remember a thing about their offer. They must have learnt by if this is worth the printing expense.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Corruption in SG: Keppel's price

Back in 2011 I sometime complained on this platform that everything in Singapore is for sale for the right price. Recently we have publicly discovered how much Keppel is willing to accept as a prostitute.

The Keppel example shows that after we had learnt how to move from third to first world, we do  not know how to be stay there on those terms other older first world economies are able to. We prided ourselves on offering first world products and services at third world prices, and we did that by importing cheap labor when local labor became expensive. We have gotten all our values wrong and our corrupt neighbors will help us become like them over time because bribing them is the passport to doing business with them. Keppel has forced us to be public about these things when we are not ready or able to stay first world keeping to first world ethics. Our leaders have failed us and threw away the opportunity to up skill the economy and instead imported cheap FTs (plenty of such in Keppel, Semb Corp etc) to do the businesses which we ought to have moved away because we cannot do that without gutting our moral center. That is the sort behavior which will eventually take us back to third world. Of course when that happen, it would simply be spoken as our neighbors have narrowed the gap with us.

We are in denial of our rot because we have politicians who are small in character and mistook their brains for the size of their character. They will learn that it doesn't work. The Chinese are right to point out that we are losing our sheen.

SG 4G leaders: Many want to be PM

" they have to decide very quickly.." ESM Goh forced the pace of choosing the next PM on the 4G leaders. It is regrettable that he had to do this publicly.

In our system even if you harbor ambition to be the PM, it is absolutely politically incorrect to admit that. We just saw it happened not for the PM's job but the president as well. We prized humility but since true humility is so scarce then many of them just have to fake it. Humility became "he has no airs"

The reason why the 4G is not making better progress to choose the leader among them is simply because a few of them want the job and more importantly judged that they have a good chance of getting it. The result is a decision can only be made when they have practically run out of time. That is a terrible idea and ESM Goh would not stand for it.

I think over time we are witnessing the weakening of commitment of our leaders to Singapore to those who are more interested in their own legacies. Unless you risk losing your lives if this place fails which was what was at stake for the founder leaders nobody can resist the urge to make sure their contribution will not be forgotten. Not Churchill or even Lincoln.

To be realistic we need more checks and balance on our leaders since it is a given that a stronger and more secure Singapore will not produce leaders that will always put this country ahead of their self interest. Sometimes they don't just worry excessively over their legacies, they may or it is simply a matter of time prove to be corrupt and greedy as well. See how they have gutted the powers of the two-keys system in the presidency? Not encouraging.

Lao Zi said this on leadership:

 “A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.”

Lao Zi was too idealistic but he had at least conceptualized the holy grail of leadership. We cannot achieve that but we must keep trying. We need to be more democratic but without going overboard until democracy becomes the reason for bad governance.

What is humility in a national leader for Singapore? "Let Singapore increase and I decrease" Are you willing to be forgotten for Singapore's sake? I don't think so and we must help you put Singaporeans especially the next generation first.

Anticipated Spectre and Meltdown cyber threats

I didn't know the two threats would be called by those names, much less how they exploited the vulnerabilities at the architectural level. What I knew was the designers and builders of our systems exceeded their knowledge when they certify our systems to be safe. There is no fail safe way in computer science or engineering to build a completely secure computer. Safe means the builders can't imagine how security is compromised until it does.

For a while now, I have been using a separate PC to do my Internet banking. In fact beginning from yesterday this PC would be reset to factory condition every time the free McAfee security software expires. At the end of the day, I don't need to be totally safe which is impossible. I only need to be much safer than most others. Like in the safari, it is the weakest and slowest which become prey, so I only need to make sure my systems are stronger and far exceeding my attractiveness to criminals.