May 24, 2012
When politicians from the ruling party are so unimaginative and lazy that all they seem to do is take cheap shots at their opponents to gain a political advantage. All they are really doing is showcasing their pettiness and immaturity to the general public. When all the newspapers can do is parrot these bent politicians inorder to further their hidden agendas. All they are really doing is undermining the trust and faith that the public has once bestowed on them as the purveyor of the truth. And when both politicians and newspapers do this time and again – the ordinary man in the street will at some point say to himself, “hey, wait a minute, this is not right….it’s not fair!” Everyone no matter whether they are rich or poor, highly or lowly educated, intelligent or dumb, exceptional or average all have a keen sense of justice and fairness – when these elemental principles are treated as like chess pieces by politicians and newspapers to gain a competitive advantage over the opponent – a point has to come when everyman will simply be so repulsed that they will simply have to choose to be answerable to his conscience instead of someone who is appealing to their support on TV.
This will have to happen. And nothing will be able to alter the outcome.
“There was once an evil deacon in a church who believed he was God. So one day, he told me to repent. So what I did was kick him down a flight of stairs. I think that was the best decision, I ever made in life. In life sometimes for a man to live a no nonsense sort of life, if he is really seriously about pursuing an organically balanced life – it is necessary to stick it right in and worry about what happens latter. If you don’t learn to do this, then people will fuck you whenever they like; they will use and abuse you, till your brain is spinning around – so if you happen to be a policeman, secretary, dentist, dog catcher, politician, bus driver, NTUC cashier or just an ordinary Joe that is trying to find that mythical line in his life – it’s never a good idea to be accountable to anyone, not even God. Like I always said, he is always optional – it best to be only accountable to your own conscience and the rest can go to hell.”
This has been extracted from the Way of the farmer – The Brotherhood Press 2012
We’ve all been told there’s a certain way to live … that, this is or that is the way we should all live…that this or that is what we should all do, if we want to a better tomorrow…that, this or that is satisfying, nourishing and edifying in life … yet, we never really questioned it. We just sort of went along with it in a way a man sees others lining up only to pick a number and stand in line – not really asking ourselves: what’s at the end of the line? But what if that thing, we all decided to pick up is not the best? What if it even works against instead of for us? What if that pastor, politician or leader was simply dead wrong? What if there’s another way that’s better? What if there’s something more to the whole idea of living instead of just existing and getting by? Most of us don’t consciously bother with the whole idea of auditing what’s already in our minds; if we did, we would probably discover to our horror that there are many things that has managed to encrust themselves in our thinking – these things often work against us. They add no value to bring us closer to fulfilling our deepest aspirations. As what they do is root us down in a particular way of seeing the world along with cutting off the field of possibilities that may even exist right before us.
Many years ago before the financial crisis – whenever anyone asked me what I really wanted to do with my life. I would usually tell them that I wanted to be a farmer. The reaction was often aghast followed by – “I am sure, you can do better than that!” – “What a waste!” – “You should think again.” – “you mean, you want to be a peasant.” Recently Vivian Balakhrisnan mentioned that the government is trying to encourage the masses to take on to hawkering – what’s my take? I happen to think that’s a great idea, probably one of the best that ever came out from the PAP steam engine – but let’s be realistic, how many people in Singapore do you think will look at hawkering as a vocation that can possibly actualize their dreams and aspirations? – not many I think. As to be a hawker is to be typecast very much like wanting to be a farmer – farmers and hawkers are usually looked down on in Singapore. Only understand this, it’s not that these professions don’t pay well or that they don’t ever come with the promise of job satisfaction – if we really examine our deep seated prejudices towards these vocations much of it is has to do with our own scripting as individuals. I am reminded people just don’t decide to wake up one morning and develop an aversion to a thing – usually the process is insidious and gradual. Where we are psychologically programmed to look down on certain type of professions – to a point where it’s virtually impossible for us to even consider taking them up seriously as a way of branching out.
That to me is wrong and brings nothing good our way – as when we cut off a way, just because we have alot of old stuff floating in our heads and we don’t even know how or who put them there – then it could be said, we are selling ourselves short. And being short simply means our opportunities for branching out goes right down to zero.
“The lives of people are not so different from young trees in an orchard. They are being choked by climbing vines Gentlemen. The vines are old thoughts and beliefs planted by men who have only known one way to succeed. Not two or three or even four, just one way – which they call, the Way. This if you must all know, is not so different from a man who only knows how to turn the wheel of life by only chiseling one alphabet – hence success to these people can ONLY come by keeping to the tried and tested yellow brick road. This myth needs to be smashed Gentlemen, it needs to be blown up, as it is poison and can only continue to hold us all back – we must go where no mind dares to go. Yes, I do not doubt there are some over there, who would probably tell me and others that we still have such a thing as a choice – a choice to live our life’s under our own terms. But how is this possible, when we all ONLY know the tried and test way of the yellow brick road? Let me be frank here, I do not think that we can take our way of life for granted any longer. Coming to think of it, it’s even conceivable the whole idea of work will go through a transformational change that is even beyond our capacity to imagine. You see Gentlemen, let me share with you my point of view of the future, in 10 or maybe 20 years from now – out of 10 Singaporeans, 8 will have to turn the wheel of life abroad. I want you all in this house to just consider this theoretical possibility, as it is presently inconceivable and that is a problem Gentlemen – Look around you Brothers, this disturbing trend is unfolding before us now! Even as we speak; we see signs of it everywhere and yet what remains incomprehensible to me is why do we continue to remain bovine about the whole idea of branching out? Maybe it has something to do with how we cling to our assumptions or have too in the way a deluded man needs lies just to render his unbearable life more bearable – if that is the case, then there is only one cure for this. We must go out, as we once did to the furthest reaches of the universe. We must do things that are difficult. Now it is still possible to do all these things. We must see opportunity where there is only a blank wall. Let me cut to the chase, why is farming strategic? It’s simple, the dumbest people have always gone into farming. Most of them never had a choice in the first place, the city just chewed them out and spat them back to where they came from, so they farmed. As a consequence, farm equipment has not improved since the 1800′s, it remains a parochial and insular industry – that is why we should go into it, it is ripe for the raid Gentlemen. As when we put a rugged individual into that kind of setting, then he can only thrive in it. We must be imperialistic in our attitude, it doesn’t pay for us to think small any longer – my hope is the Confederation of guilds will support this resolution. If not, be in no doubt that I will have no other choice but to go ahead with the Order of Purple and seek alternative funding from the Legation – Gentlemen, am I threatening all of you? Maybe, but that is because I perceive the urgency of this matter, while many of you remain steadfastly convinced that I am a mad man, a man who dreams of being a farmer. But I say to you, I hold in my hand the key that unlocks the door to another road other than the tried and tested yellow brick road. This resolution will have to go through this house in this sitting today, either that or we will be busted and good for nothing thereafter. We have to act now!”
Captured from a speech in the Imperium in Primus Aldentes Prime – The Brotherhood Press 2012
“The WP first kept totally silent, then supported Mr Yaw, and then three weeks later suddenly expelled him from the party. Until now the WP has not given Singaporeans a full and proper account of what happened, or why it acted in this way. Mr Yaw himself has said nothing, either to explain or to apologise for his behaviour,…”
That’s rich from Mini Lee. As he also never explain so many things that he was obliged to explain to taxpayers – for example are HDB flats getting bigger or smaller in Singapore? Till today, no one knows. It seems to be one of the greatest mysteries in Singapore. I suspect neither does short cake Khaw either. Neither did he explain how it’s even possible for someone who earns only $1,000 a month own a HDB flat in Singapore. Till today, no one knows. This is the second biggest mystery in Singapore. I suspect neither does eight ball either as he is still very adamant that runaway COE and housing prices is not likely jack up inflation. But please explain to me like a baby how does a sack of rice get into a supermarket, does it just walk there or does someone has to drive it. As for housing, eight ball insist, it doesn’t affect the average Singaporean, as he is not going to buy a house, but what if he’s renting or needs more space. Coming to think of it what kinda of pariah logic is this - I doubt this will ever change the view held by so many experts that inflation is really an acute problem in Singapore – so as you can all see, there are so many things that Mini Lee should have done, but didn’t and now he wants to nitpick on small little issues when he has a big giant hole in his own backyard.
Before he goes around accusing other people for misbehaving and shortchanging the general public. Maybe he should look at the shambolic way in which he is running his outfit.
I have a feeling Hougang is cut and dried. People are not stupid and the day of reckoning will come. He just need to suck in all in and roll with the punches – that is as good as it will ever get whether he likes it or not.
“What is it that you all seem to have so much trouble in understanding? After all, I spoke in simple English. Let me try to explain Hougang to you all again. You see it is like this. When your house is on fire. You should put out the fire in your own house first. Instead he is going around trying to put out imaginary fires in other people’s house. So as you can all see. It is very hard, if not impossible to respect such a man, very hard indeed – as in this world, no man can force another to respect another. Please understand I am not trying to be malicious or even personal. I am just very honest with all of you. I am a farmer. And farmers are very straight forward and honest people. They don’t have time for foreplay, they reach directly for the drawers! Even if you disagree with my assesment, I think some of you should at least take my feedback constructively. After all, we are supposed to be in the new normal, so let us at least pretend to be new and normal for a change. Instead of getting angry with me. Some of you should try to be good and try your best to rehabilitate me.”
Captured very recently in a thread in Ekunaba – forwarded by the digital signal jammer KDD Vanquish – The Brotherhood Press 2012
March 10, 2012
One of the toughest things to do is to predict what will happen in the foreseeable future. Typically when we are asked to project the future, we do so by extrapolating from trends in the past. The governing logic appears to be: past performance will determine future performance. Most of the time this approach is fab, but sometimes it’s no good.
Now you know why the world found itself blindsided by the subprime crisis and by ten more that followed thereafter. Let’s face it, man is just lousy at predicting the future.
Today I worked through some math equations to try to extrapolate the future of mankind – I wanted to find out whether it was true that we are facing the biggest food crisis in human history – I find it hard to believe this and nothing that I seem to read these days can either confirm or deny this. So there I was working it all out. First I took the world population and inversed it with the number of people who are regularly dying off – then I compounded this percentage and compared it against the worlds surface area that has been designated for either agriculture or arable farming – what started off as just a few lines on a napkin took on a much larger scaled picture by the time, I had finished off 10 pages of calculations.
I may be wrong, but I could also be right – based on my calculations, the world will face a food crunch five years down the line. For most of us, the idea that civilization itself could disintegrate just because of food probably seems preposterous. If I said, the end will come in a terrorist nuclear bomb or an alien invasion from outer space it would probably sound more believable. Who would not find it hard to think seriously about such a complete departure from what we expect of ordinary life. We are so inured to take something as mundane and everyday as food for granted; we do not even think where that fish, bread or for that matter where all those condiments come from – as a consequence we are programmed to dismiss them as things that will always be with us.
But even as we speak abt the looming food crisis – many of us have failed to register the disturbing global agricultural, population, environmental and economic that have combined to create many of the political tensions and breakdown of governments that we so often see whenever we turn on our TV. I, too, have resisted the idea that food shortages could bring down not only individual governments but also our global civilization.
But facts are facts. I can no longer ignore that risk. Our continuing failure to deal with the looming food crunch by ignoring environmental declines that are undermining the world food economy forces me to conclude that such a collapse is now not just a theoretical possibility but a real and present danger. Meanwhile back home, govt’s should consider designating certain necessaries such as cooking oil, rice, flour, sugar, milk powder as controlled items – I do not believe it is possible to leave these items to the vagaries of the free market any longer. Someone needs to get off their fat backsides and look very closer at the looming food crisis.
I have so much work to do and so little time.
“We take cooking oil for granted. Because when we fly over oil palm plantations, all we see are neat rows of efficient producing trees – but this scene is deceptive – as many of these crops are already in their second or third rotation. Many of these plantations will eventually suffer from reduced yield as the land has a way of rebelling against man when he tries to plant the same type of crop again and again – and nature being nature has a perverse sense of humor, she has a habit of unraveling man’s plan surreptitiously – third rotation crops are susceptible to ganoderma and it is fatal, there remains no cure to date. What is required to redress this imbalance is the creation of a new strain of palm – one that may be a hybrid tissue culture typology that is hardier and more resilient to soil tempered diseases. The guilds recognizing this imminent danger has funded programs to develop a new strain – todate, we have close to 10,000 saps, of this number less than 2% show promise in the first year; in the preceding year, this figure narrowed to less than 0.01% – we have failed, except for three remaining saps – but even then the prospects look dim – very dim indeed. We would all have to work harder it seems. And Gentlemen, need I say – time is not on our side.”
March 6, 2012
A new study confirms the notion of a big breakfast as a weight loss tool may be, well, propaganda for people who are interested in losing weight. As the BBC reports, the research, which was published in Nutrition Journal, found that people who ate a big breakfast actually consumed more daily calories overall compared with people who ate less or skipped eating in the morning, rather than shifting the bulk of their caloric intake earlier in the day. (More on Time.com: 5 Weight Loss Apps That Work)
To be perfectly honest with you all – I can’t understand how that conclusion is even possible as it fails to take into account how much calories has been burnt. All I know is I have always been a big breakfast sort of guy since a baby. It’s not unusual for me to polish off 3 bowls of rice in the morning BEFORE the sunrises. I like to wake up really early about fiveish – and I’ve never ever been fat in my whole life.
But that’s my opinion. Back to the point again. Recently University of Munich researchers followed 380 people — 280 who were obese, and 100 who were of normal weight — who kept a food diary for two weeks. Some ate large breakfasts, some ate small ones; some skipped the meal altogether. The BBC reports:
People who had a big breakfast, on average 400 calories larger than a small one, consumed around 400 more calories in a day.
Dr Volker Schusdziarra, lead researcher, said: “The results of the study showed that people ate the same at lunch and dinner, regardless of what they had for breakfast.”
Although prior research has associated weight loss with higher caloric intake at breakfast, that link seems to hold up only if the total number of calories consumed remains constant. In other words, you’re more likely to drop pounds if you have your biggest meal in the morning (i.e., you reduce the size of your subsequent meals accordingly) than if you simply add a big morning meal to your regular diet. (More on Time.com: Big Breakfasts Are Out. 5 Better-For-You Morning Meals)
But diet research is notorious for conflicting findings, and it remains true that people who eat breakfast tend to have healthier diets overall and are less likely to be overweight than people who skip the morning meal. What could explain the difference?
Could be that people who are healthier and thinner to start are more likely to follow advice about diet, which has been to have breakfast? It’s hard to say for sure. As diet studies have flip flopped for years. The best way to really know what may or may not work for you is to experiment with your body.
“It is not important whether your wife is beautiful or cultured. As in an agricultural setting, beauty is relative and can often be negotiated under the terms of practicality - a woman with exceptional big foot is considered very beautiful as her form accords perfectly with the Tao of the land. She is like a landrover, she can go where no woman can go and she will be a great asset to you. As for culture, the only culture I know in the countryside is bacteria – so it matters very little whether she is well versed in the customs of high society. Those considerations are irrelevant - they are not important attributes. The most desirable attribute a woman can have is her ability and desire to cook for you and your children- when your stomach is full, the world is a very beautiful place and even if she doesn’t turn heads, you should treat her well as she is the mother of your wellbeing and you are really her child, in this way both of you can turn the wheel of life and the spirits of the land will smile benevolently on both of you. But if a woman cannot cook, then no matter how well educated or beautiful she is – there will always be disharmony in the household, as the stomach can be very demanding along with other body parts - she is no good, she is no use and useless things have no purpose or design in the constellation of the way of the farmer. The wise farmer would do well to train his eye to perceive value in real things and not in frivolous pursuits. Study and research this well, as it applies to prospective brides and will probably be the most important chapter in this book. Those posted to the African continental shelve are exempted from this advice.”
Extracted from the Way of the Farmer – Page 51 / Selecting a Partner – this has been proudly brought to you by the newly commissioned Super Class III data storage deep space vessel KDD Parameswara – The Brotherhood Press 2012
February 8, 2012
As many of you may already know the WP has FINALLY responded to the YSL saga. What is this all supposed to mean? To be perfectly honest with all of you, I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA. All I really know is the WP and that other ultra secretive air force base where aliens were supposed to have once landed have a lot in common.
So without further delay –what is does the WP and Area 51 have in common?
(1) Both operate on a strictly need to know basis.Hence they never comment on “rumors” even if closer to statements of fact.
(2) Both cannot confirm or deny the obvious and palpable.
(3) Both are equally adept at explaining the unexplainable phenomenon that regularly confound the X files division of the FBI and have been responsible for the retrenchment of agent Scully and Mulder who are now working side by side in Taco Bell.
(4) Both can say YES and still come across as saying NO and vice versa.
(5) Both regularly apologize for their cloak and dagger way of business and still continue to be highly secretive and non-transparent.
(6) Both can claim someone has been demoted and still be levitated at the same time with the assistance of anti-gravity alien technology.
(7) Both exist to make used car salesmen respectable and trustworthy.
(8) Both regularly use long sentences and paragraphs to say everything and yet nothing along with assassinating the English language.
(9) Both can deny fact as rumor and even claim the right to issue a “no comment” statement and still insist that they are responding intelligently to public queries.
(10)Both insist that unexplained phenomenon such as alien abduction and strange impregnation events do not in any way affect the performance of their employees.
(11)Both can make things appear and disappear at a flick of a switch.
(12)Both regularly disappear into underground bunkers when the spot light is turned on them.
(13)Both are hazardous to goats and possibly confused females.
(14)Both institutions exist to make really useless and overpaid people such as the PAP look really great and efficient and value for money.
(15)Both expect you to be either the reincarnation of Nostradamus or be able to use ESP to read their designs.
(16)Both can take the word contradiction to renewed heights and still be able to come across as so level headed (maybe I should use a WP member as a side table to put my tiger beer and peanuts on when I next watch a football game on telly)
(17)Both can commit infractions without having to account to taxpayers as they believe what they are doing is good for people and planet.
(18)Both Area 51 and WP MP’s regularly patronize Hotel 81. The former because it rhymes with Area 51 and the latter for reasons that have been responsible for the sacking of agent Mulder and Scully. No comment! Please use your ouija board to seek clarification on the issue.
(19)Both regularly claim they are targeted and attacked by imaginary and mavelovent forces that only exist in the figment of their imagination.
(20)Both make Ris Low look like Mother Teresa, Marie Currie and Eleanor Rossevelt all rolled up into one.
(21)Both are a Byzantine waste of taxpayers monies.
And last but not least, both can NEVER be trusted!
Finally what do I think about the latest move by WP in regards to YSL? Like I said, I have absolutely no idea and to be frank with you no longer care – but one thing is clear, PAP is now starting to look like a very attractive proposition – to paraphrase succinctly, WP you fucked it up!
Darkness before he was called Darkness: “Master, should I say something or keep quiet?”
Vollariane: “My young apprentice silence is only of value, if people expect you to say something. But you have foolishly dragged the matter for so long and it appears they no longer care what you have to say – your fate is sealed apprenticed. I cannot help you now. No one can help you. From this day onwards, you will be known as Darkness! The Brotherhood has branded you. You will wear this badge of shame for the rest of time.”
Extracted from the Book of Ages under the Chapter “The Chastening,” Page:602 – The Brotherhood Press 2012
January 17, 2012
When the sun goes down. I have alot of spare time. I’ve taken a shine to a really old Raleigh bicycle and I am working to restore it to it’s original pride and glory. The first thing one notices about old bicycles is the sheer amount of craftsmanship that goes into making it – metal isn’t just stamped, it’s delicately curved, precision butted and lovingly welded to create one of the strongest ever two wheelers.
These days, bicycles never ever last more than five years (even though, you hardly use them). In the old days, bicycles were not just for recreation. They were the equivalent of work horses. In the countryside, there are stories of rubber tappers carrying over 150 kg of produce on their Raleighs often through dirt roads. In the olden days, these weren’t just casual purchases, they were one in a lifetime purchases. Something that father hands down to their sons. Eventually with the advent of obesity inducing mopeds and motorbikes, these bicycles just faded away.
What started as an evening project has now turned into something far more serious than I had originally anticipated. Removing parts is one thing, finding parts that don’t exist is another – and this has led me to write directly to Raleigh to seek the original blueprints. Believe it or not, they still keep original blueprints of their various makes dating all the way back to the 19th Century.
Let’s see how this project turns out. If it’s a decent job. I’ve sell for SGD$2,000. Make the cheque payable to Pathlight School. I don’t need the money. But I know those kiddies, caregivers and volunteers do. And it’s yours to keep and admire for another hundred years.
Show you the pics, when it’s ready.
December 17, 2007
In the early 80’s the trend of forestalling the stork first surfaced predominantly affecting the ranks of professional women (but that was alright. Besides they were all batty and fortunately there wasn’t too many of them. The government even created a spinster happy home to accommodate this erudite lot, called, SPH “Sisters of Perpetual Hesitation.” Neither did it affect the baby bottom line either. In fact, the government saved all the men in Singapore from the purgatory of endless bitching.) Recently on a more disturbing note, we are told even the likes of Sengkang Sally seem to be hanging up their eggs while a chorus of “dowan’s” resound against the backdrop of the heartlands. It’s serious time; is everyone delaying the arrival of the stork? What’s really happening?
Yes, I know the usual run of the mill suspects: cost of living, time constrains, an uncertain future, stress and the impossible demands of juggling jobs and kids etc.
It’s a tough nut to crack: falling birth rates in Singapore or in any part of the world don’t even make the slightest sense not even to an economist (or for that matter even sociologist or any subject matter expert, though watching them field questions on the subject one is left with no doubt they know what is going on. When in fact they are equally as baffled as all of us). According to economic theory, the choice “to be or not to be,” hinges entirely on the concept of “Homo Economicus.” The hypothetical “Economic Man” who knows what he wants; his predilection can be expressed mathematically in terms of a “utility function.” And his choices in life are driven by rational calculations about how to maximize that function: whether couples eventually decide to start a family of one, two, three or more or not at all is based on comparisons of the marginal utility, or that added benefit that comes from making those decisions. If we consider the facts: no point in our history, are we richer, healthier and safer than ever before (so the tome of statistics tell us again and again).
Why then are couples shelving the whole idea of starting a family?
It’s easy to make fun of homo economicus, that sort of theory smacks of zoo keeping and poke it full of holes by suggesting: that model only holds true if human beings are numbers who can easily be reconciled, manipulated and coaxed into yielding a desirable value – fair enough, but it still doesn’t explain, despite the flaws of economic man albeit people do have preferences. Even if those preferences can’t really be expressed by a precise utility function; they still can be counted to make sensible decisions, even if they don’t maximize utility!
Sociological pundits would of course say, “Aha! There you have it Harphoon, the smoking gun!: economic man no longer sees the utility or benefit of raising kids, apart from being a perfect ball and chain, it’s a liability these days. After all Harphoon every industrialize country in the world is experiencing the same phenomenon. It’s not just Singapore who has this problem, its endemic! Duhhh!”
OK, but that argument only holds water if you didn’t realize that both France and Finland are exceptions to this general “Phillips curve” rule. That’s the cue for policymakers to step in and say,“Well that’s obvious Harphoon, those Scandinavians have a comprehensive welfare systems, Economic Man isn’t dumb! He knows that by having babies, he is going to get goodies in the form of day care centers in his work place not to mention tax breaks and parental holidays, which I might add, we don’t half get in Singapore because all those things cost money and the electorate just isn’t going to pay for it! Geez you must really be dumb Harphoon!”
Well, if that’s such a truism then why is there such a “big contradiction” in that argument vis-à-vis baby birthrates are proportional to the quantity and quality of the welfare. Why then are the poorest countries in the world (and don’t tell me its because poor countries are predominantly culturally agrarian, because you would be hard pressed to even find one inch of square footage greenery in either inner cities of Buenos Aries and Dhaka) experiencing the highest birthrates in the world, when they don’t even have the basic structural framework of a welfare state? See what I mean, it’s a tough nut to crack.
Like I said, this is a tough nut to crack and this is where we have to stop for the moment as this is the first segment of a two parter series.
(By Harphoon, Astroboy & Pumpman / Socio / Politics / EP 99037739 -2007 – The Brotherhood Press 2007)
Con’t Reading Part II Here