June 19, 2013
“I can very well understand Shanmugams frustrations – it seems this haze problem is not an easy problem to get on top of. The way I see it, trying to get the Indonesian authorities to put an end to open burning is as effective as trying to plough the sea.
Let me speak frankly corruption is a problem in the Indonesian archipelago. Besides open burning has been practiced for melliania – it’s really way of life – every season during the Kemarau (dry spell), it’s very natural to slash and burn to nourish the soil before replanting.
The only way to solve this problem is to get China and India to put pressure of Indonesia – as these are the primary consumers for crude palm oil.
Concurrent this strategy should be complimented by having a table talk with Robert Kwuok, the great Arowana.
You see it is really very simple, planters are by nature a rebellious lot – they are people who basically do what they like to do regardless of what governments think, say and do – but if they see that the leader of pack is not burning….then even they will follow the leader.
I did not say this. I was not here. This conversation never took place.”
June 19, 2013
Recently eight ball Shanmugaratnam reiterated the importance of banks in Singapore, particularly the foreign ones, to develop a “Singaporean core”.
Eight ball went on to add, “it is also important that they take on a good spread of positions, including the best jobs in front office for treasury and trading”.
Will eight ball be able to reverse the trend where natives can regain back the intellectual lost ground to allow them to reassert themselves as the movers and shakers in the banking industry?
IMHO, it,s very unlikely that eight ball or anyone else, including Chuan Jin will be able to reverse this trend – as it’s conceivable the erosion of natives from the banking industry has been neglected for so long that its beyond all hope of economic repair – as it’s conceivable, what the policy makers are trying to deconstruct here, is an embedded problem that is so serious that the lost of natives in the banking industry is very much a systematic problem that goes right into the marrow of the banking industry. To put it another way, we are dealing with a chronic problem – that is my considered opinion, much of my pessimism is rooted in the belief, jobs are not just jobs – they’re much more than just a vocation – rather they encapsulate a whole range of social, economic, political and cultural set pieces such as relationships, the delicate master and apprentice hierachy along with the shared experiences along with the whole idea of creating the right conditions to nourish that industry so that it will grow from strength to strength – change any of these attributions too fast without sound planning and you’re likely to create undesirable outcomes.
Worst of all many of these undesirable outcomes can never be reversed – as when the change comes too fast without any forward planning beyond blindly chasing the allure of GDP – then what is likely to happen is that an entire cohort that would have been able to perpetuate that idea of a core will simply be swept away.
And that is really the beginning of the end. To put it another way, it is finished, finite, la fin, kaput!
In life it is often very easy to destroy, very hard, it seems to grow a thing.
As for me, I have absolutely no illusions – none whatsoever, banking is dead, for natives at least. And I certainly don’t except anyone to be able to reverse the tide – certainly not a finance minister who created this problem in this first place.
Besides how many bankers would even heed what he has to say?
“If you go to countries like Australia, Germany or the US. You will never ever find businesses saying, “our people don’t see to want to do these sort of jobs.” Go to any restaurant in Munich, New York or even Brisbane and the chances are natives are in every vocational sector – but in Singapore, you will find that certain jobs are no longer attractive to natives – this should prompt us all to ask, why?
My point is our aversion to some jobs is simply an acquired taste – it is not because natives do not want to work in those vocations – it’s simply because those jobs have been systematically and in some cases industrially hollowed by the opiate of cheap labor that natives no longer feature in the social, economic, cultural and political that make up that vocation.
It doesn’t matter whether it is laying bricks, fixing air cons or even ping pong or even football. Bring in too many foreigners and what will invariably happen is the foreign will just drive out the native. It’s not so different from adding too much tomato sauce into laksa. A little is fine. But overdo, then at some point a local delight will just taste like spaghetti Bolognaise.
On the other end of the job spectrum – you will also find that high paying PMET jobs have also gone the way of these jobs that natives don’t really care for. Only over there, you find that many native PMET’s have been displaced by foreigners. In many cases the shift has been so dramatic that the native core simply doesn’t have either the time or opportunity to adapt to the frenetic pace of change – and the results are catastrophic. As not only has the native core been hollowed out, but there just isn’t enough native intellectual capital left to perpetuate the industry coherently any longer, under their own terms.
Once this delicate equilibrium between native and foreign is thrown out of balance – I think, you are really finished. As what you need to understand is every system can really only take X number of abuses – once a critical point has been breached, then what is likely to happen is the attributions which would have allowed the system to regenerate and grow from strength to strength would simply fritter away, leaving absolutely nothing.
This idea may seem odd to most people. But it is not strange to me at all. And if you read history it is really a reoccurring theme, the Ottomans brought in the Jani to revivify their martial ranks – in less than one generation, the Turkish art of loosing an arrow with the thumb was lost. Before them, the Romans did the same when they filled their ranks with Gauls. Within a very short time, the invisibility of the Roman legions just went to the dogs. Time and time again, we see this need for maintain a balance.
I have seen this many times – not very far from my plantation resides a very stupid farmer. This fellow likes to use foreign workers as they are cheaper and in some cases faster and less troublesome – but since this fool never ever bothered to invest in the locals – within a short period of time, no one in his area knows how to harvest oil palm bunches any longer – not only that, they are all stealing his crops and this fool has to hire armed guards to patrol his land – as since none of the locals are stakeholders in his estate – there is no incentive for them to protect his crops. As this fool thinks it is very easy to cut oil palm.
But I don’t think it is that easy. As when I sit down on a stone and watch how a harvester goes out with his son early in the morning and teaches his apprentice how to hone a chisel with three variety of sharpening stones and how to cut a fruit from a twenty five foot palm, which he needs to master the clean and jerk to cut the fruit down. Or that during lunch time his wife and his friends come over and help him out and after a hard days work, they all spend some money on a local restaurant that benefits from this one man’s hard labor. Then to me even the simple job of harvesting palm can indeed be a very complicated and important thing – to me this farmer must be very short sighted not to realize a job is much more than just a job.
As it is, this foolish farmer is now in deep financial trouble as since all his foreign workers have returned back to Indonesia where they have chosen to stay – this fellow now has no locals to cut his fruit.
These days, no one in his area knows how to cut fruit any longer – the skills have frittered away, the relationship that once cemented master and apprentice is dead along with simple art of bringing down a fruit. As for the three polishing stones – no one even knows what they meant for any longer – as the proud men who used to carry them tied their Kris as they turned the wheel of life are no longer keeping those traditions alive any longer.
It’s gone….poof!…..just like that!
But not too far from this foolish farmer is a wise landowner – this other farmer has no problems sourcing native workers to cut his oil bunches – and since his workers are all staying nearby – they also protect his estate from brigands and thieves as they are all stakeholders in his plantation – so when there is trouble, the whole village will turn out in force. And since this man has always invested in the right things, the knowledge to cut oil bunches is a tradition that is still kept very much alive. And since many of the ancient skill of arms of cutting fruit is still alive – this landowner has even developed a prototype to cut palm using a machine. They have used their critical knowledge to develop a new way to cut fruit using automation.
Do you all see the difference between the Tao of the wise and the fool?
The moral of the story is the fool will always run an enterprise right down to the ground. That fool may give all sorts of happy reasons, but run it to crud he will! The wise man on the other hand will always know how to grow a thing from strength to strength. This man will know where to plant his seeds. He will know how to nourish that thing and elicit the best out of it – it doesn’t matter whether it is a harvester, chef, intern or even someone who is under his charge – that person will fly!
To me this is a litmus test of true leadership – as to me the goal is never just the primal notion of the survival of the fittest.
The goal is to create conditions where everyone can still believe in the idea that if they are industrious, clever and brave, then even they too can live the dolce vita – this idea to me is the linchpin of what it means to create a real meritocratic society – the rest you can just throw right out of the window – it wouldn’t matter in the slightest.
People who do not understand this simple idea of how to take care of a thing will always find that they will have to end up fixing many broken things…..if you look at them, that is all they seem to do…..trying always to fix so many things that have gone terribly wrong…as that is really their karma.
They have no one to blame, but themselves….”
June 18, 2013
I don’t ever just do business. Never. Usually, I like it to go along with food. Preferably good food…specifically the variety, I cook myself.
June 17, 2013
I am very fond of my bushjacket. I especially like the deep pockets it offers. I like best the loose and airy way in which it hangs on me. Truth is I’ve grown accustomed to the habit of wearing my bushjacket daily – and it’s darn hard to trade it in for standard issue G2000 city wear – especially when it becomes your trademark.
Not that it matters much to my Samurai wife – she’s of the opinion that if I don’t want to be regularly mistaken for the dengue policeman by residences in the condo - or regularly asked by pesky kids, “can you please direct us to the the zoo.” Then I have to lose my bushjacket.
I don’t believe my wife knows how attached I am to my bushjacket - nonetheless, I reckon there is no winning this one – she’s after all right, (coming to think of it my Samurai wife is always right) – my superman suit, the bush jacket doesn’t seem to have the same extraordinary magical properties it had in the Kampung – over there, the image of the man who wears the bush jacket has always been the stuff of folklore.
As it is the symbol of the magistrate, benefactor and constant mechanic of the great wheel of life - the mere sight of a man sporting a bush jacket is enough to quell a restless mob, stave off fainting spells and miscarriages, shoo away malevolent spirits and evil spells, send riff raff, carpetbaggers, criminals, bent politicians and sex maniacs scuttling like rats, as they know, the super duper accurate supersonic shoe of the farmer is going find their bloody heads, if they don’t make tracks fast. Good to go for even lowering high blood pressure and palliating the daily fears and anxieties of villagers – all this a man in a bush jacket can do with by just wearing a bush jacket and remaining perfectly calm and composed.
Hence through the years the spirit of that mythical figure has permeated the very essence of my being – it is now, as much a part of me. As I am a part of it – and now it seems I have to give up my beloved superman suit…my armor….it is very hard for me.
But in the city – it seems the awesome power of the bush jacket doesn’t to have the same effect. It’s powers are dim here. Faint. Rendered useless.
Perhaps my wife is right after all. Maybe I should switch to the super powers of G2000.
June 16, 2013
There are at least five trading houses that control the global bird nest trade – Kam fah (golden flower), Foong Chow (dragons claw), Hong Mein (Red face), Sak Pak Seitong (18 immortals) – all these trading houses are controlled by one Tai pan – the eighty three year old grand elder who stays on the hill in the city behind the “Ang Mui” (red door).
Tradition plays a preponderent role in businesses of these sorts – it should not have come as a surprise when a messenger knocked on my door this morning and mentioned that the old man expressed his interest in meeting with me for a spot of tea - it’s customary after all for a reputable trading house to pay their respects to a visiting landowner – perhaps the grand old man and his troupe wants to know whether my stay in the city will be permanent or just a passing fancy – nonetheless there were enough signs from the old country to suggest that there was a far more disturbing underlying reason for this unexpected invitation for tea.
The seat that I was offered faced the East – the teacup was placed on two chopsticks - even the duck that was served with its peculiar arrangement with its wings inverted skywards told a story – to those who know how to read the alphabet of the old country…and how cutlery can speak the length of a complete sentence and much more…all this can only mean one thing…I HAVE BEEN WARNED!
Despite the generous offer of the old man to up my percentage from a paltry 20% to 40% – providing, as he mentioned, “I stop my nonsense and saber rattling and stop giving everyone high blood pressure.” A VEIL THREAT HAD BEEN MADE! AS CLEARLY AS IF A LOADED GUN HAD BEEN SLAMMED TO THE TABLE!
The old man went on to mentioned in passing, “I was a very well known trouble maker….probably the best in the world.” Of course lah! When the old man ended it all with the cliche trading phrase, “don’t tell anybody that we are giving you friendship terms.” I realized then, 90% of bird harvesters are getting the same so called super duper deal. Naturally, I feigned indifference and even shifted in my chair to signify that they could do better.
Naturally, I even denied snapping up all the suitable lands to build more bird houses in the future. I even vehemently dispelled rumours that I have been secretly fielding my own proxies into the bird nest association along with putting an end to rumors that I may even consider buying up all the bird houses along the Southern coastal regions in an attempt to corner the market….. Despite the air of civility and congeniality that pervaded throughout the meeting….at one point, I managed to catch a glint of a naked blade…it revealed itself in the most unexpected way – when the 26 year old wife of the grand old man waltzed in….with a fuckability rating of a perfect 10, this I imagined was the old man’s wonder weapon – this woman was meant to unsettle me….she did precisely that - threw me off, ruined my hunting rhythm in a way a courtesan blows in the eye of an archer forcing him to blink before he looses his poisoned arrow at the emperor…from that moment onwards…I knew that the timing was all wrong…from that moment…I knew that I would have to retreat and slip away like a failed ninja in the night.
A woman when placed in a business setting I reckon always complicates things – they’re always the joker in the pack – the great unknown quantity. For me at least they will always be a potent form of poison, destroyer and great distractor - I wanted this so much to be an ultra clean surgical mission. In and out. Smooth like a well oiled machine. A blade across the throat that kinda of thing. like a professional bank heist…but it seems it will not be so simple after all.
I am dealing with professionals.
Through it all, I noticed the eyes of the grand old man – he peered at me intently. As if saying to himself,
“You are the assasin I have been waiting for all my life……..and now you have come before me.”
And then it occured to me when the hot wife of the grand man flashed me a smile of desire. These motherfuckers are not frightened. Not at all. They are not even ruffled. This was expected all along….I may have walked right into a trap.
How foolish of me…Before I left the tea house. The wife of the grand elder escorted me to the car – as I was just about to leave the dragon lady cum professional courtesan assasin leaned seductively towards me whispered,
“To come so far, to lose so much and to find nothing.”
To me that says it all quite nicely. This is likely to be uphill all the way.
“A man who ventures into the business world is like a young tree. You must stand tall and listen only to your inner voice. That is the only way to grow strong and straight. Without this discipline there is no way to find the mark. But if you bend to listen to other people all the time, you will grow crooked and weak. You will fall to the ground with the first strong wind. And then you will be like a weed, growing wild in all directions, diffusing your precious energy to the capricious wind, running along the ground until someone pulls you out by the roots and throws you away like rubbish…..keep your goal clear….never be distracted!”
How does one go about the business of being more creative and innovative? Is it related to intelligence? Or does it have more to do with life experienced?
To be honest. I don’t know. What I do know however is what it takes to kill creativity and innovation – here a little goes a long way like a drop of herbicide in a tumbler. My point is, it doesn’t take a lot to kill many of the attributions needed to nourish the idea of building a nation of creators and innovators.
All that needs to be done is to come up with a law that puts a policeman in everyone’s head – do that and even before you write. You probably realized that you have successfully managed to join the split personality club, where that other person leaning over your shoulder and perusing what you read and even suggesting you should replace, “fuck up!” for “room for improvement,” – “calibrate” for “fucked it – and so on and so forth.
And who might this new person in your head be?
Once he’s there wandering around in your head – all your creative juices shut down faster than one of those dumb suicide bombers dicks who suddenly go to paradise and realized that the 72 virgins are all eighty wear old journalist cum spinsters like Bertha from the Sister’s of Perpetual Hesitation. SPH lah! Fast acting…that’s the FEAR, when you study it like a hunter.
You marvel at it’s economy. You study every feature of this weapon system carefully. You even admire its design along with philosophy. It may be a base, feral and primal thing – but its very beautiful in Its own devastating right. You even appreciate FEAR’s sense of irony – in how it’s able to recruit the ‘i’, the ‘me’ and turn it against the individual to produce another facsimile of the perfidious faced masses.
Do know why even the merest suggestion that a policeman might reside in your head is enough to diminish every hope for you to ever be able to leverage on the power of creativity and innovation to better your lot?
FEARfull people don’t go into business for themselves. They prefer to work for people. They may tell you they’re just people who like a simple life – but in truth, they are disabled by the poison dart of fear – that’s just a simple example how FEAR can take away an opportunity to improve your lot.
Specifically the suggestion that you should FEAR, will FEAR. must FEAR….or else….or else what? No one knows. It’s like that dreaded room 101. No one knows what’s the sum of all our fears that lurks behind that door in that imagined space.
To put it another way, no one is supposed to know.
You see it is very simple really, there always needs to be an air of uncertainty to amplify terror. If everything is clear cut – it’s no good.
That’s why a little goes a long way.
What do you do?
What can you do now, when FEAR seeps into the small of your heart? You don’t stick your neck out any longer. Instead you tow the line. So you’re an honorary member of the Yes man club. A little longer and all your opinions and beliefs will just fritter away. The individual will give way to the greater ‘we.’ Your conception of good for you and your family will be subsumed into the greater struggle of the ‘common good.’
Never mind the pesky details of who gets to define the ‘good.’ Never mind even that there is nothing common in the ‘common,’ as from what you are able to make out (and it’s even a miracle that you can then as only the drone of propaganda can be heard amid the deafening silence on line) – it only serves a small select group of delusional folk who are still fans of soviet self styled zoo keeping.
There are no questions in this new digital utopia. No real questions at least that can appeal to the thinking person. Every narrative exist only to engineer consent – and since you no longer have a brain to truly call your own – you watch it all go by with a frozen dolphin smile on your face. Welcome to the digital dystopia future scape of Pongpyang lah!
Here no one ever grumbles – it’s now a pan optical state with funny characters who give closed door speeches in the school of Rajaratnam running around along with others. They see. They make sure you know, they’re watching – and the worse part is you can never outrun them in the digital world. They’ve got you like a fish in a steel bucket – you’re flaying around in the digitalscape, but there is no escape.
FEAR is the great obliterator, the great reset button – it must be….no, not even negotiate or try to seek a compromise. It’s feral. Primal. There is not an ounce of humanity in FEAR, nothing that even suggest that it can produce ‘good,’ let alone for the benefit of the ‘common’ to string the mantra of new age of mind control, ‘common good.’
Now you understand why for me there is only one choice – to need to hold down this policeman in my head. I need to pin him down like a frog stretched out on styrofoam – I need to cut his rib cage starting from the hollow above the solar plexus and rip his chest out with two hands – dig right in and pull out his still beating heart and eat it.
Once this is done – you are free! FEAR will have no dominion over you.
June 15, 2013
Whenever I am in the city. It’s not unusual for me sit for hours in a restaurant. There is a good reason for this – I do some of my best thinking there, especially during the lull between meals. I am fortunate. I know how to cook. And I cook very well - that simply means most restauranteurs like to have me around - that, if you didn’t know is the unwritten rule of those who belong to the fraternity of pots and pans – the man who can cook better than anyone else – let us say, he’s always a welcome friend….a mensch…ronin.
Usually, I make myself useful like running the restaurant – it doesn’t take much effort – all I do is take a seat in a discreet corner of the restaurant – and give my opinion on a new range of menu, wine list, dessert servings etc etc etc.
I like to believe, this is a very conducive environment for creativity, where I am able to work through many of the issues of the day in a leisurely and relaxed pace - it’s hard for me to describe this feeling – it could well be a mixture of familiar smells that wharf out of the kitchen that seems to put me right at ease.
Smell has always played a big role in my well being – that I imagine might seem peculiar to the uninitiated – as most humans seem content only to “see” the world through their eyes and ears. Not me.
Often we neglect the sense of smell— some of us even suppress our awareness of what our nose tells us. That’s only to be expected as most of us have been scripted since the moment of our youth that there is something shameful about odors.
But I’ve never seen it that way – not at all – after all, mothers can recognize their babies by smell, and newborns recognize their mothers in the same way. The smells that surround are not only imprinted into our memories forever, but it’s also a means to connect us with who we are and whence we came from.
Smells I am reminded have an uncanny power to shift our perspection ever so slightly without us being consciously aware of how it can subtly alter our mood and attitude - just then when the I had uncorked a bright Reisling to test run - the delightful aroma conjured up a storm of memories, scenes and emotions that reminded me of Singapore.
When I brought the cork to my nostrils. I could just make out the familiar smell of Dotty – it released a storm of memories that brought a smile to me.
A profusion of wild flowers and undertones of fresh mossy ferns is one way to describe this fire cracker - there’s always a haunting quality whenever I chance across such smells that always seem to release a pantheon of images and scenes from my past life.
In The Remembrance of Things Past, French novelist Marcel Proust described what happened to him after he had dipped a biscuit into a cho of tea
“No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through my whole body, and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me,” he wrote. “An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses…with no suggestion of its origin…
Suddenly the memory revealed itself. The taste was of a little piece of madeleine which on Sunday mornings…my Aunt Leonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of tea….Immediately the old gray house on the street, where her room was, rose up like a stage set…and the entire town, with its people and houses, gardens, church, and surroundings, taking shape and solidity, sprang into being from my cup of tea.”
Just as the biscuit dipped in steaming tea had released a flood of sweet memories for Proust – I imagine, this fine wine has done the same for me as well. It’s a poignant reminder after the chastening passage of time has crushed everything else from my past life in Singapore, after the people who once came into my life have gone, after things are broken and scattered…after hopes have been leveled by the realities if just living….only smells of things, people and places remain, like some old sepia print one comes across…they seem almost to conjure up another world – a distant world from the murky past and for that moment when time stands so very still and quiet…..I am with Dotty again….I miss her terribly in the city, much more than I can ever express in words.
June 14, 2013
It’s very hard for me in the city. I constantly feel like Dracula on a sunny day in Bondi beach. As besides really good coffee that you can really only get in the city – there is very little else that I find endearing about city living.
I’ve always had a hard time fitting in a city. Always getting myself into knots and endless complications. Back in Singapore, I knew three call girls in my condo who always tried to run me over with their muscle cars whenever they saw me in the car park – those sort of complications. All I did was change their flats and when they kept poking me in the lift behind the back of wifey, for reasons known only to themselves – I told them, I didn’t want to fuck them. I just wanted to change their tires. After that they took it personally and all hell broke loose. These sort of complications are very common to me in the city along with other unbelievable tales of misconstrued kindness.
Harder still I imagine is the idea that I have to return to the city when I have just got used to a happy sort of routine in my plantation – but I remind myself, it’s hardly a matter of choice – if the goal is make more money. Then I can’t do it stuck in a time warp circa 1800′s. It’s no good.
Harder still is the idea that I will have to do it this time, without a kindred spirit like Dotty to pair up with – Dotty made it easier for me to blend into Singapore. She was someone who I drew strength from whenever I felt disorientated and lost in the city – we would often met for lunch. Go night cycling. At times, when the evening rolls in, we would met up and rush to the tops of buildings and just lie down, watching the birds fly back to roost.
May not sound like much to you – but to me, those moments made it much bearable – city living that is – to me it’s a leaching existence where the soul can be scoured clean off leaving very little else except work, work and work – I am mindful of this corrosive aspect of city living – that idea of has always bothered me about the city.
To me the city is a very funny place, where everyone is pretending so purposeful, self contained and hermetically sealed in their own bubble of iPod and iPad’s that no one really talks to each other – you could well be surrounded by a sea of humanity, but everyone is just putting up a front that they’re whole and complete. I happen to know this aspect of city living well. As I am not the sort who has any hang up’s about talking to people. It’s always the same – at first, they all give me a surprised, ‘do I know you…’ look. I guess they all need to do that in the city. But once the conversation starts to thicken, then you realize they are only lonely people who live unfulfilled lives in the city.
That’s why I don’t really care very much for the city.
Harder now, as I don’t know yet how to break into the global bird nest syndicate.
I have a rough idea what this might demand from me. I need to switch to my Mossad secret agent mode. But I don’t have anything near a plan. Don’t even know what to incorporate into this plan. For the moment it’s just a rough outline – and that very idea of uncertainty is something that I find unsettling.
The folk who run it are a mysterious and secretive lot – they have their own way of doing things that nobody knows about. It’s a darkened world not unlike the illicit ivory and diamonds – a world that stretches beyond this world to other worlds in Shanghai and Hong Kong. At the apex sits a couple of tycoons who have got this right down to a science – the percentage, cuts and kick bats are so very intricate. Last night, I doddled it all right out and it ran five pages – when I ran out of space, I took to splaying out in the kitchen wall. I never knew so many people were involved, so many changes of hands.
I need to proceed carefully. I don’t want to step on toes, not if I can help it – I don’t. Besides, I rather work with these folk to get a better price, so what is the point of fighting to get a better price.
Already a couple of players have told me outright that they don’t want to carry my produce as I complain too much – I just want a better price! After all I am the guy who takes all the risk, puts in the back breaking work of managing a bird farm – so why do I only get 20% while the others split up the remainder of the 80%.
I have every right to foreclose on 80 and they should settle for 20. After all what’s it that they do that I can’t do? Or maybe I am just not focussing hard enough on the details – to me there’s something about this business model that just doesn’t sit quite right….something is amiss…there’s a piece missing somewhere in the jig-saw.
I need to still my mind. Get my mind entirely off this whole preoccupation of trying to beacon out the murk – besides there are limits to just trying to connect the dots by just using raw brain power – if I keep this pace up any longer, I might just get a spot of brain freeze. I need to relax and watch the birds and be with the trees.
But here in the city, they are all so faraway from me…..especially Dotty.
Since I have decided to seek my fortune in the global bird nest business – I’ve had to move to the city.
My Samurai wife who heard that I was relocating to the city with only three changes of bush jackets and a couple of military fatigues was mortified – she flew down from Singapore with the kids with two suitcases of executive clothing and took it upon herself to take me shopping.
I am not allowed to buy anything without her approval. That’s how it’s like with my wife – she likes to be on top in the city.
The undisputable mighty city Huntresses – I imagine she must secretly belongs to an elite cadre of womanhood who all see the city as their natural hunting ground. They are so adept, they can even draw their mythical strength from air conditioned malls to go right on without skipping a beat – these warrior women are in their element in the feral city as their tribe has staked a claim in the city – they are strong – they hunt in packs – swift, as they seem to be able to talk on the phone and with me without skipping a beat and merciless to those who would defile the sanctity of city living…
I never ever argue with my wife when it comes to anything to do with the city – I may put up a small fight and insist that I am fond of my bush jacket and I want to wear it today, but at the end of the day, I can never win – as if I am too argumentative, my favorite things will just automatically disappear from the wardrobe – whenever I ask the maids…they just make teeth sucking sounds.
It’s been this way ever since I could remember – so I always find myself behaving like a standard one hapless boy before the mighty city Huntresse….all the time.
I told you all the city is just one giant kryptonite - my bush jacket, hunting bow, doberman, tribesmen etc etc etc….don’t have any extraordinary power in the city.
“Gentlemen, to defeat evil. It has come to my realization, we need loads of money….handsome words will not get us very far – the only way to gainfully make more money is to go to the city.
That after all is where the action is. Gentlemen, we all have to shift gears pronto and get out of our farming and mining modes and jettison this whole idea of the macho Tarzan man – we have to sit in one room buy a lot a liquor and crack our brains on how to grow enterprises that take off like one of those magic beans that Jack has – we don’t have a choice….spread the word to the others….tell them a new directive has been issued directly from Primus….tell them it is marked with double and triple skull priority seals signed off by the Council of the wise…these seals cannot be revoked!….so that they all take this latest directive with utmost seriousness…
Money gentlemen is the only means to fashion a better tomorrow, to be precise the power of money.
However, before we all dive into this new frontier…I have a confession….I would much prefer it, if someone else led this expedition..someone who has corporate experience like maybe Nacramanga, scholar boy or even Harphoon – you see, I am not very good with city folk….I much prefer to sit this one out, if you all don’t mind…..I don’t mind been a follower on this campaign… By the way I can cook and play the violin…..whatever that’s worth. I just thought, I mention that…
We all need to go to the city!”
June 12, 2013
If you have only a tube of Mentos in your pocket and your nett worth is loose change – it really doesn’t matter how smart or well researched you come across. No one will listen to you. Sure, they’re all polite enough to give you the man the benefit of good light. They may even pretend to be engaged and really interested in what you have to say.
But at the end of the day, they don’t care. Don’t take it personally – they don’t need to care. Why should they? Try to see it from their perspective – they’re at the top of the food chain and we are all bottom feeders – want it in a nut?
Here goes! All they see is an inconsequential man. Now just set aside your delusions of granduer, ego and how you like others to refularly see you and just allow that suggestion to sink slowly into your grey matter.
Go on relax as this hint swirls in your mind – if possible marinate yourself in it.
What do you think they see? A performing bear. A blunderbuss. Yes. May even be a clever one, but it’s nonetheless a variety that seems to make more noise than move mountains.
But if you’re someone like Rockerfellar, Carnegie, Li Kah Shin, Robert Kwouk et al. Even if all you can do is manage to make animal grunts that no one can possibly understand – others will always strain to make out the hidden meaning of your intent.
As you are the man who can move mountains.
Yes….it slowly dawning on me. This seed that has been planted deep within my consciousness is slowly shifting….it is growing….germinating.
I am beginning to understand how the game is now played. It is another level….
“I know this may sound odd. But I always feared the city. I much prefer the pace in my tiny hamlet where the days go by so slowly that it’s like the snail march of amber along bark.
My superman suit, the bush jacket doesn’t have any power in the city – the city is just one giant kryptonite rock – here kids often stop to ask me the way to the zoo and pesky aunties often mistake me for a parking warden. It’s no good. Besides, I feel naked whenever I walk around the city, I am too accustomed to the weight of my parang as it tugs on my waist – that sensation fills me with a sense of comfort. I am too attached to my doberman guard dogs – in the city it’s not uncommon for me to turn in my bed.
I am not accustomed to air-con. I’ve grown accustomed to sleeping on a stiff military camp bed with my dogs and a tribesman perched on a tree with a blow gun. I am too set in my ways. All these things are like a very fluffy security blanket feeling like the gentle weight of another pillow against the small of my back when I sleep that just sets the mood. The birds and trees never speak to me in the city. Not without me having to expand tremendous effort. Since I always need my birds more than they need me – from time to time it is not uncommon for me to dress up as a spy and scale tall buildings and scaffold with climbing rope and grappling hooks just to get really high enough to say ‘hello’ to my friends. Ridiculous!- I remember back in Singapore, we used to climb buildings – Dotty was never a confident climber, she giggled often…as if drawn into some gyre where both fear and fascination were so well balanced that FEAR simply could not exist.
We used to impersonate maintenance workers on rainy days just. All that in the Singapore just to get to the flat tops and lie down and watch the birds – it felt so special. That’s how I’ve always seen the city, any city, except maybe Singapore – it’s just a place that rubs me the wrong way. The sound of fingernails against the blackboard – it’s a discomfort zone that in my last life back in Singapore I thought, I could get use too – that was why I promised Dotty that I will never leave Singapore.
I didn’t mean to mislead her. Not really….I just didn’t know it could be that difficult to live in the city.
I thought in the beginning my disdain for city life might have something to do with not having really marinated myself in city life – and I blame Dotty to some extent – as she encouraged me to believe in such nonsense – but no matter how I tried, I just couldn’t fit in.
You know how it feels like, its like one of those lego blocks that fit on another block minus the click. I tried so hard. Had it not been for Dotty’s constant harrying that I was making remarkable progress. I don’t think I could have lasted so long as I did in Singapore – I tried to fit in, I did everything other people around me did, took on a regular job, towed the line, held my tongue, knew my place – but something always comes out.
Something always sets me against everything that the city stands for – maybe it is me. Maybe it’s a problem that I need to dive right into my being like one of those divers who are all geared up like an astronaut to really find out – what lies at the depths of my inability to be in my element in the city.
I can’t pin point exactly where the growing awareness first dawned on me when I was back in Singapore that it was time to throw in the towel – to call it quits – to say to myself, this is not my life. One evening when we were both on the flat tops lying down and watching the birds. Dotty cried. She cried for no reason. When I asked….her turned her face away…..I asked again. And she said that she knew that I would break my promise. I said no. But as soon as those words passed my lips – I could help but feel a wave of regret sweeping over a parched soul…..I don’t want to dwell on the past.
Let us say the city holds bitter sweet memories….it’s a place that I keep seeing Dotty from time to time. I can’t help it, a whiff of a familiar scent in the elevator – the cut of a dress, gait, the sound of high heels against polished marble – but it always ends the same, it’s never Dotty. Never.
Maybe it is the case of you can take a man out of the jungle, but you can never take the jungle out of him.
I don’t know. But to play this game at this level. I need to play in the city – those are the rules of the game and there is absolutely no way to negotiate around that – the facts are stark. I am just a kampung hero – sure, multi millionaire, but kampung stock lah. Got plenty of styli Milo, but still terminally kampung from my toes to the last hair standing.
That’s all I’ll ever be, if I can’t will myself to stay in the city. Those are the cold cut facts of life……”
Even if you happen to have a whole stadium load of people who are screaming for change – nothing would happen, if their combined nett worth can’t even add up to a hill of beans – as the sum total of their lament wouldn’t even add up beyond the chatter of maids in a wet the market complaining about the bad habits of their masters.
But imagine this. Let us just say it were possible to get a roomful of tycoons into one tiny room – a group of serious no nonsense individuals who have both the brains and financial muscle to see a thing through to the very end, then I believe everything is possible and nothing is truly impossible.
It is becoming clearer and clearer to me now.
It all comes down to money…..I’ve got no time to blog….I need to get on my bike and go to city and earn more money.
Following Mini Lee and his gang’s latest brain wave to muffle dissenting online voices by secretly rolling out the world’s most repressive internet laws. Unbeknown to these super duper millionaire idiots is this latest move will undoubtedly provoke many of the young and mobile natives to just vote en mass with slippers to live, work and play elsewhere….
After all it is the 21st century, it beggars the mind how Mini Lee, Yaacob and the MDA could still possibly harbor the old fashioned belief that they can indulge in spot of blast from the past Berlin wall zoo keeping.
The only reason why I felt it necessary to describe this latest move as stupid is because this whole idea of using draconian laws to control speech these days is one of the most dumbest ideas ever to have promulgated by any government in the world in this age.
I SUMPAH. I cannot imagine a better way to destroy all remnants of trust along with everything that is necessary to sustain an effective relationship.
For this reason alone, I am nominating Mini Lee for the World’s Idiot Award for 2013! If you win – you get a bottled fart from moir. Guaranteed to scare away mossies, if not knock them dead like mustard gas…….hope you win!
Hint: This reality is not going to hit them just yet. But given time, the sad realization will eventually sink in….majullah Singapura….welcome to the extinction game.
“If you happen to be an ISD officer. Then I believe it pays to know the profile of a netizen. Why am I sharing this with you? We will come to that at the end (do invite me for coffee, if I happen to be absent minded).
Fortunately, they are all not like me. They happen to be very reasonable and in most cases well adjusted in every sense the sort of people that one usually manages without too much difficulty having a pleasant conversation with in a cafe and exchanging phone numbers thereafter – ordinary folk.
Mini Lee and his gang says, ‘we have this power, but we will not use it.” But let me ask you a question – how comfortable would you feel if a siege machine sat outside your city walls?
Now you understand….let that cold cinder of FEAR seep deeper into your skin, muscles and deep into the marrow of your bones. Feel FEAR in all it’s nuanced forms penetrating every cell in your body – notice how fear can paralyze the mind, render confused the once clear….suddenly you find yourself in a fog.
Do you understand see?
Or maybe you don’t – perhaps I should elaborate further. My point is FEAR is not nearly the pointed gun or the naked blade that catches the pale moonlit and glints menacingly. Yes, that’s certainly FEAR in the full frontal sense – but a far more insidious form of FEAR is the subtle variety, where it’s the mere suggestion of FEAR that is really enough to get the job done. Disable a mind, force one to betray the self etc tec etc.
I know this litany well. But many here don’t – they break like twigs over here….craaack! That’s all it takes.
I know this well as I am a practitioner of fear. Don’t sound so surprised lah! I mean you can exactly deal with gangsters who pour petrol all over you by using the seven habits of highly effective people can you?
FEAR is the weapon of the mind – the power to disturb by just walking into a room. To project a heady musk of danger to intimidate and cower one’s enemies – all these I consider the necessary implements I regularly use to further my business ambitions.
I am frank about it. But even I draw a line on using these methods against the uninitiated. Against professionals I have no problems about the methods. But NEVER against folk whose FEAR tolerance is slightly higher than a bunny rabbit.
That’s how I see them bunny rabbits – not predators, but the furry creatures that run around all day and do the things they do, believing that it’s a bright blue-eyed world – where good can always be trusted to triumph over evil – if possible most netizens even try to end off what they have to say when they stuff their thoughts and throw it out into the wilderness of the digital sea with a promise of redemption. The Hollywood variety where the powerful can always be counted to protect and serve the weak – to me this is crock of shit. As when did good ever just triumphed over evil.
What if I told you, it never happened once.
But let us go back to the subject of FEAR.
The type of FEAR where a little goes a long way – the variety that merely hints of FEAR, but is not FEAR in the obvious. Imagine this strain as a very fine cellared wine. A wine that hints of currelean skies in Tuscany in June, of oak aged in catacombs where bottle lie like the dead – hints…just hints.
When FEAR takes this form then it can only be elevated to a science of psychological warfare.
That gentlemen is the reason why there is so much nervous energy online. It is not a great diffusion of energy without end or purpose – look at it again. Only this time ask yourself, what really is the root of all the anxieties and concerns that we see now in the digital consciousness?
To me it is the variety of FEAR where a policeman is put to patrol the head of every netizen.
Do I agree with these methods? NO! Why? Irrelevant for the time being (I might speak about it later) What remains pertinent is that I consider the methods used unsound. Primitive. Feral. Metallic. An effrontery – you see I will come to the square and level with you.
I JUST DON’T LIKE TO BE THREATENED!
I don’t imagine most people do either, including you.
I want you to hold on to this idea of personhood – the idea of ‘i’ but not the bullshit ‘we.’ but the ‘i’ not even the big ‘I’, just the ‘i’, the small guy. Now if I told you right now that small guy in your super duper system even agrees with whatever is said here or elsewhere in the Internet.
Now, let us just stand back and consider that picture carefully from our distanced vantage – do you now see how complicated this game is going to get before it winds down to a close?
Now my hope is that you will understand why I mentioned in the beginning – do ask me the reasons for why I feel compelled to write this entry.
In these few days for example. You have noticed my entries have been much more strident. That is deliberate. It’s goal is to instruct you on how strident views can find their way into the digital space. It can even root and proliferate under a given set of conditions.
Now you understand my sadness.
My utter sadness….I need to work harder for my community….I need to earn more money instead of behaving like an old man sitting in my rattan chair.
Need to earn more money! Need to lose my bush jacket and shift gears to G2000 mode. Need to switch my trusted Toyota Hilux for a V12 Masserati. Need to go to Shanghai instead of Shanghai Barber shop. Need to infiltrate the ultra secretive bird nest global syndicate.
Need to earn more money…do you know why I need to start living the Shanghainese playboy life And infiltrate the ultra secretive bird nest syndicate like a Mossad secret agent?
Because many of these people who populate the net are good people – in this day and age one has to be good to even wordsmith and root for the idea of a better tomorrow – and they need to be protected….only money can do this.
I have to work harder to earn more money.”
Why the real and complete man will never STAY and take the shit dished out by Yacoob, MDA, Mini Lee, ST etc etc etc
June 11, 2013
Life to the whole and complete man is a very simple affair. Since he knows WHAT he wants out of life – this man does not take very well to others who regularly tell him what he should and should not be, read, think or write – should anyone who is silly enough to even suggest this to such a man – minimum lah, a pair of supersonic flying shoes.
Trust me, this man will go his OWN way. To me this has always been the ultimate expression of the art of manliness – the confidence to say, go fuck your mother lah Encik Yacoob! Go fuck you as well Chuan Jin for your half man parrot explanations in Talking point (maybe you should consider giving a closed door speech in the School of Rajaratnam?)
To put it another way – the rugged individual will just direct all his attention to make his lot a better one elsewhere.
That is to say, the real and complete man will NEVER allow another to hold him ransom or set the benchmark of what is success, acceptable or even ‘right.’ No way!
Try to do that to him and he will definitely give you a piece of his mind. And you can’t blame him as his mind is not something that can be manipulated and controlled.
Since all these metrics have always been CLEAREST to the real and complete man – what others think will always be irrelevant to what he already perceives to be truth and the only way he ever wants to live his life – this is the philosophy of the real and complete man.
Independence. The right to think and go wherever he wants to go!
Hence the real and complete man is indestructible. Human history has proven time and again, the rugged individual can NEVER be pigeon holed, put into a mould and forced into any shape. Nothing can stop his quest for liberty, not the secret police, razor wires, high walls, alsatians, search lights, cyber surveillance etc etc etc.
They all do not work lah!
He will always go his own way, do his own thing and live life the way he wants it – as for the custodians of power, politicians and bureaucrats, they have NEVER been vital to his success – they have always be optional.
Now you must all excuse me, I need to go to the city and earn more money.
“For many years I have propagated the idea of the rugged individual. As I have noticed this attitude of going where no mind dares to go has been and still remains ONE of the most important difference that separates the whiner from the man who can get on his bike and gainfully improve his lot for himself and his family.
When this spirit was recently threatened, by Mini Lee and his gang to put FEAR into the hearts of the online community. I have very little fear. As the real and complete man in our community will NEVER allow those cheap pirates to have their way! Never!
The half or quart man can NEVER ever undertake this perceptive shift of the mind – all he can do is try to seek whatever morsel of happiness from the vampire policies of the PAP. Or leech of it like a parasite. He would not go very far – as how far do you think he can go even if he is industrious, when they have this habit of tweaking the rubber playing field all the time?
No! The rugged individual will NEVER, put up with such nonsense. He will just tell those gypsies to go take their song and dance elsewhere.
If you don’t believe me – you can speak to ANY of my friends who are from the Singapore tribe – the real core – not the half cooked version like the missing in action MDA boss whose hiding underneath her waterbed when she was supposed to be in a talk show, a paper mâché politician who doesn’t even take pride in cultivating his own mind and the two guli’s to put across his genuine thoughts beyond reading off a laminated card like a call center receptionist when he appeared in Talking point – or for that matter any of the increasing ranks of anonymous decision makers who so often run away from their responsibility to stand by their actions and defend them like real men.
If you think I am imagining all this….then consider this!
Till today, no one knows who wrote the white paper. No one knows who those two mysterious ministers who tried to fix Nizam are either. No one knows – coming to think of it. Not even the PM or the invisible President is any where to be seen when the worlds most repressive Internet laws were rushed like a bullet train by passing constitutional convention, parliament and the entire compendium of checks and balances.
Not a single academic stood up. Not a single jurist even penned an opinion about the constitutional merits of this whole gloss on the broadcasting act.
That gentlemen is what happens when FEAR goes into the marrow of a man – he loses his manhood. He tows the line instead of speaking out. He becomes someone elses man instead of his own man. He lives a life another instead of his OWN life. He never sticks his neck out. And insteads keeps quite as he’s always afraid to rock the boat!
In short he is a useless poor excuse for life.
I cannot bear such a man! Nothing fills me with more disdain than this category of men!
But rest assured – all these mind control, zoo keeping and trying to sell us the glorious life of the battery chicken will fail – as the rugged individual can always pick up, get on his bike and just go!
I think, it’s very important for all of you to read what Limpeh has written as to how to live, work and play abroad – start there.
Not to worry, if you do not know how to fuck these people off in one straight line……as time goes by…..it will come naturally to you….as this is what any real and complete man would do when they come across nonsense…they will just call it rubbish! And that is exactly what it is.
I reckon the time is about right….it is time for all of us to go elsewhere…. But it all starts with us.
As for those hollow, half and quart politicians Andrew Loh is delusional, if he believes he can go to them with a begging bowl and discuss the latest Internet censorship laws – I happen to believe a far more effective way to deal with these used car salesman is to just vote with your slippers like Limpeh and just give them a vote of no confidence by putting your faith in another country, another leader and another life.
And to even think, those monkeys dare to even dictate terms of how I should think, read and process information in this age today.
You’ve got to be kidding me!”
Life to the whole and complete man is a very simple affair. Since he knows wants out of life – this man does not take very well to others who regularly tell him what he should and should not read, think or write – should anyone be silly enough to try to do so. This man will just tune out, go his own way and do his own thing.
To put it another way – this man will just direct all his attention to make his lot a better one elsewhere. That is to say, the real and complete man will NEVER allow another to put him down, set the benchmark of what is success, acceptable or even ‘right.’ Since all these metrics have always be clear to the real and complete man – what others think will always be irrelevant to what he already perceives to be truth and the only way, he ever wants to live his life.
The real and complete man is indestructible. Human history has proven time and again, the rugged individual can NEVER be pigeon holed, put into a mould and forced into a shape.
He will always go his own way, do his own thing and live life the way he wants it – as for the custodians of power, politicians and bureaucrats, they have NEVER been vital to his success – they have always be optional.
“For many years I have propagated the idea of the rugged individual. As I have noticed this attitude of going where no mind dares to go has been has been the most ONE enduring difference that separates the whiner from the man who can get on his bike and improve his lot for himself and his family.
The half or quart man can NEVER ever do this – all he can do is try to seek whatever morsel of happiness from the vampire policies of the PAP. He would not go very far – as how far do you think such a man can go even if he is industrious, when they have this habit of tweaking the rubber playing field all the time?
No! The rugged individual will NEVER, put up with such nonsense.
If you don’t believe me – you can speak to ANY of my friends who are from the Singapore tribe – the real core – not the half cooked version like the MDA boss whose hiding underneath her waterbed when she was supposed to be in a talk show, a paper mâché politician who doesn’t even have his own mind to put across his thoughts beyond reading off a laminated card like that sorry chap Chuan Jin when he sounded like a robot garden gnome in Talking point – or for that matter any of the increasing ranks of anonymous decision makers who so often run away from their responsibility to stand by their actions.
Till today, no one knows who wrote the white paper. No one knows who those two mysterious ministers who tried to fix Nizam are either. No one even knows – coming to think of it. Not even the PM or the invisible President is any where to be seen when the worlds most repressive Internet laws are rushed like a bullet train to put fear in the hearts of so many.
But rest assured – all these mind control, zoo keeping and trying to sell us the glorious life of the battery chicken will fail – as the rugged individual can always pick up, get on his bike and just go!
I think, it’s very important for all of you to read what Limpeh has written as to how to live, work and play abroad – start there.
Not to worry, if you do not know how to fuck these people off in one straight line……as time goes by…..it will come naturally to you….as this is what any real and complete man would do when they come across nonsense…they will just call it rubbish!”
This morning just out of sheer curiosity. I fed some data into a simulation program – the goal was to get a rough feel of what the PAP would gain from the latest initiative by Mini Lee and his gang to censor the internet.
As it turned out – there were virtually no material benefits. All that the program produced was truck loads of bad karma for the ruling hegemony. To put it another way, this just happens to be the fastest way to destroy trust, sow discord and enmity.
Personally, I really can’t see the PAP living this down. Not even with the benefit of time. There’s a simple reason for this, some stupid acts by governments are just unforgettable.
Please be informed under Measured Response all code writing work that has been designated for District 15 will be terminated on the 24th June 2013. This is in response to the latest move by the Singapore government to censor the internet.
I understand many developers and code writers are not very happy. I hear you all. I understand. You have my solemn word I will sit down and explain the reason behind this latest move – I do not expect everyone to be happy. Then again, we are living in extraordinary times where happiness seems to be fragile. It is best if I met up with each cell directly, cook for all of you and explain the rationale for this latest move – you have my word as a gentlemen, I will not dodge any questions.
So please remain calm.
I am not happy that some people seem to be ruffled that I have managed to break into the highly secretive bird nest business. This evening I attended a Cheena dinner hosted by a local bird nest king pin.
Everyone calls him Tai Koh (big brother). I do the same. For the time being at least. But in a couple of years when my supplies outstrips all these monkeys – I’ll hold my tongue and just play the water boy.
I can bite my tongue and wait – can even nod my head like the others.
But one day. Not very long from now. When my prodcution of bird nest commands a larger cummulative production pie – I’ll get my own people in.
For the time being, I just need bide my time. I need to project a image of a fool. A newbie. Yes….a fumbler….a fluker….someone who just got really lucky on the first strike – that should throw them off the scent.
The only way I can get a good price for by bird nest is by playing the game within the game. Yes, it seems this game after all doesn’t differ so much from our own game. I need to trace out the whole supply chain – I need to follow it like a blood trai, where does my bird nest go too after they are sold? Who cleans them? How is it processed and packaged for sale? What’s the throughput like? How does the middle man funnel it to their primary markets? Is it to another businessman? another middle man? What’s the margin like? Who are the politicians who have their hands in this? What is their role?
So many questions. No answers.
Mmmmm….meanwhile it just doesn’t seem right that I farmer do all the work, take all the risk, home grow all the acoustic technology and instead of getting the largest cut – these motley crew of cheap pirates are getting the choicest cuts.
All I want is a fair price for my produce. I have asked nicely. They say wait. And the way I see it. I just have to take! Yes, take….declare a secret war to saw a hole under these fucks even. Engineer their downfall. Switch them out. Put in a system where I get 80 and they 20. The way it should be.
I need to change my wardrobe for this game. Need to slick back my hair and put on a Zegna suit travel to Shanghai and Hong Kong – infiltrate their social networks like a Mossad field agent along with intimidate by just a look.
To play this game well I need to rub shoulders with the decision makers – get me a rental V12 Masserati, stroll into the Macau VIP roulette wheel etc etc etc etc…..can’t do this in farmer mode…have to change gears and lose my bush jacket.
There is only one man who knows how to do this – the Singaporean gangster who used to carry a bag in London Chinatown. He is somewhere in my head. I need to find him and tell him,
‘I have a stone in my shoe.’
“In life when people do not value a thing. Usually they treat it like shit! I think a better way to frame it is to say, they do not know how to see the value in a thing.
They do not know, is key to understanding why decision makers can be callous, reckless and even downright happy go lucky when it comes to the internet.
But to me the Internet will always be a cutting edge resource – if you want proof all you have to do is drop by and visit my bird house in my plantation – this is not in the virtual. This is real. You can touch it, watch it and even play around with it.
But it didn’t start that way. It all started in an obscure planet called AR 0091 in our game – a rock. A nothing. Well not quite nothing because the community who lived there had learnt the art of weaponizing sound. That’s to say, if they wanted to do you in – they would do it with our standard issue plasma armalite – they have their own weaponry known as the acoustic rail gun.
We captured a prototype during the Ascension Wars. I met up with this group in the real world. We met in Long John Silver just across our real world stargate Bugis library – it was a motley crew comprising of one middle aged hi-fi buff who serves the net in his shop just across Peninsula Plaza and at least 8 or 9 mix bag of hobbyist who were all really in the ministry of sound.
To cut a long story short. I offered them amnesty and even threw in a space station and a terra forming offer to transform their rock into a plush green sound of music sort of place complete with fairytale castles – but there was a deadly serious intent to my kooky mission in this enactment of fiction and fact whaccamightcallit.
I wanted them to built for me a real world sonic code that could project bird sounds.
It was done after three years – and today if there is one factor that accounts for my maiden success in the bird nest enterprise – it is because of their invention that has made possible the whole idea of 3D high fidelity sound projection to attract birds.
This will be my wonder weapon when I close in on my competitors and buy them out one by one….till only I control the market.
So do you see now, to me the Internet is a resource – it is not a place populated by the indolent, anti- social troublemakers etc etc etc. Granted those quarters do certainly exist. As you may just as well find the odd nudist colony in the place that you least expect it – but it’s there in the real as it is in the virtual.
But these people ars not odd. You don’t know this. Because this is just a marration of a what once transpired. I am so sorry. It seems that I was mistaken to have even begun this conversation.
You don’t know. But you know this! Now you know why I don’t care ver much for this stupid idea to put a policeman in the head of every metizen.
To put it crudely. You who do not know how to transform the internet into a resource – a bedrock of innovation and creativity.
Just do not know….other how could you be so callous.
I don’t understand. I want to understand. But I don’t.
I need to take this name and face of FEAR out of my tribe. I need to hold down this policeman in their heads. I need to cut decisively and rip his rib cage aside and gorge out his beating heart and devour it whole like a chieftain.
I want you all to understand. It’s nothing personal between me and the policeman who runs around in my head and every other netizens – I want you to understand, it’s strictly business with me.
I can’t lose the internet. Learnt to farm there. Even won a tractor in Slovenia in the farming Olympics. Came first in the world! Best farmer.
Now best bird house farmer. Thanks to those sonic brainiacs with their killer math formulas – in short, put too much in, have too much invested in the virtual, digital and whatever sphere you may wish to call it.
And the best part of it is – although I am just a farmer with a bird house in the real. I am not exactly a bum who pushes a cart there either….like I said, it’s nothing personal, strictly business.”
“Listen very carefully……never do something just because you see everyone doing it. Never be lulled into a false sense of confidence just because you see everybody treating this like a carnival.
Remain so still that you are invisible. Even your thoughts cannot be fathomed by others. They can only speculate. They are never sure. Never assured. As whatever they know is only what you have planted in their heads – no more, no less.
Let them come to you. Allow them to even pour men and material to find out more about you. They will do this – they will try to fashion a form of understanding from all this. Draw them in like a hunter.
Deeper and deeper….deeper still.
While the other side is diffusing all their energy. You are conserving yours. You are alert…..calm….and you have all the time in the world. You wait…..and wait…..wait still.
Do not cloud your mind needlessly with trivial pursuits that can only lead you away from your goal – never feed your ego and delusions. As when you do this. Your judgement can only be impaired.
Above all remain so very calm that you are like a lotus floating on a lake of serenity…..do all this and the truth will reveal itself with great clarity.
Now with this renewed state of mind….do you see that it is a trap? Good. Now run deep and silent…..”
“To hunt effectively in an oil palm plantation – it is very different from the methods that one may deploy in a jungle. In a oil palm estate the distance that separates one tree from another is exactly 19 feet. Point to any tree and it will not be difficult to make out that the arrangement of the other trees from this one tree takes the form of a hexagon – it repeats itself unfailingly – so it is not so different from a beehive with it’s intricate arrangement of lines and patterns.
Knowing this will allow you see yourself in the way the prey sees you.
In this symmetry of endless repetition – there are 19 light conditions during a sunny day. When the sun is low early in the morning or during sun down – there can even be up to 30 light conditions. 5 light conditions during an overcast day. And at least 3 conditions during a rainy day. Knowing this will allow you to blend in seamlessly with your surroundings.
Positioning. Stand in the wrong place in an oil palm plantation and you will cast a long shadow or form a silhouette against the skyline that allows the prey to make you out – stand in the wrong place and the winds are likely to pick up your scent and spook the prey. Stand in the wrong place and instead of being the hunter. You will end up being the hunted. As you have not prepared for a fall back position.
Stand in the right place and you will see everything and yet remain invisible. You see everything so very clearly from this position that just fools the eye and senses of your prey. There is no need to rush….no need to fumble….you have gone through this a thousand times…..trained again and again so many times, you can even pull off the shot blind folded.
Never move hastily during a hunt – train yourself to breathe and to move so very slowly and calmly like the gentle sway of the palm. Move only when the trees sway. When they are still do not move. Again, this will give you the power of invisibility.
Without the element of surprise. It is impossible to bring down a prey.
Even when the prey is right before you – you should never get too excited. If possible set your bow quietly down to one side and close your eyes as it moves closer to your position. Even if the prey moves into your sweet spot. Do not move. Still your mind for the moment of quickening. And wait….wait….wait. Let it come closer….closer….closer. All the while you are calm and alert. Be so very calm that you can even feel the gentle breeze against your cheeks…..yet you are still, so very still….it is as if you have somehow managed to be at one with the trees, birds and even the prey that is right before you….
Then open your eyes….”
June 7, 2013
Many years ago when I was a salary man back in Singapore. It was not unusual for me and Dotty to spend hours sitting on a park bench just watching birds. To many people I imagine we must have been quite a odd couple - not that we really cared what other people thought about us.
That’s how it was with me and Dotty. We did our own thing. Not a care for the world. As we had our own little world to call our own – a world of birds and trees.
Many years later when I made it big in plantations – I built one of the largest swiftlet house on top of a hill. Again many people must have concluded this has to be a very foolish man to pour millions into such a risky venture. As statistically out of ten bird houses, only two succeed.
Today this bird house I built is a resounding success – it seems to be filling up so well that I will be building another bird house very soon.
My only regret is Dotty is not beside me to share this special moment. I know this sounds petulant and self centered. But I blame it all on Dotty. She once told me,
“If you leave Singapore just to seek your fortune. You can make all the money in the world. But you will never be happy.”
In a sense Dotty was right. I never knew success could be such an anti-climax. Never. It just doesn’t seem fair at all. Not at all – when you consider in this whole wide world, Missy Dotty is the only one who really believes I can talk to the birds and trees.
There is no one in the whole wide world who believes me when I tell them that I can talk to the birds and trees…absolutely no one….except Dotty…and that simply means, I am all alone.
I never knew it could be so lonely at the top. Never….
“How do I even begin to tell a bank manager or for that matter any bank manager, that I know deep in my bones that I will succeed in my bird house business.
Do you realize there was this time when I did consider sharing with these people the truth. That is to say. I was going to tell them, that this is the place where the birds and trees actually told me, this is the place where X marks the spot?
But I chickened out. As I didn’t want to come across as weird.
Besides I don’t believe anyone would believe me even if I told them the truth. No one except maybe Missy Dotty – and when you look at it that way – it’s very easy to understand why I will have absolutely no trouble in giving up all this to just sit down on a park bench with Dotty like the way we used to in Singapore, just watching birds – it may seem odd and peculiar for a man to give so much for one moment – but when you look at it from the way I see things – who else is there to understand all these things that I have in my head? And when you consider that, I don’t think that’s a very heavy price to pay, not at all.
I guess what I am trying to say is in the great journey of life. You will definitely come across moments where ONLY you will know whether a thing will work or not – and there are times when this reckoning or feeling is so powerful that you may even have to go against the grain – go against what all your friends are doing – go against what seems to be traditional and conventional – but one thing is for sure.
It will just be you and you alone in this journey. But in my case, I was never alone – as I’ve spoken about this idea of building a bird house with Dotty years before I even did it – so I was very lucky. And I don’t think many people who find themselves having to go their own way in life is that fortunate to share with another person who understands them completely.
As most of the time, the world can be terribly cruel, insensitive and down right dismissive of people who decide to go their own way in life. But I was very fortunate, I had Dotty.”
June 7, 2013
I do not believe the vast majority of netizens realize how serious these latest gloss to the broadcast act really is. If they just take the trouble to read, the definition of what the act considers as a news provider – it’s so wide, it covers virtually every activity in blogoland. Let me give you all an illustration of how repressive this latest gloss is – even if you are blogging about your grand ma’s dentures, it’s included!
Now to me the question is not whether we can continue to ‘trust’ the PAP to remain sane and wise enough not to muffle netizens from speaking their mind’s without fear and favor. As in this day an age, I don’t believe trust comes into the whole equation at all – that has to be an irrelevant and facile argument under every conceivable in which one chooses to frame the issue – as the crux of the matter is NOT whether the government of the day intends to use the broadcast act against ordinary bloggers.
Rather that they can – as they have been empowered to do so by the law – and this should beg the question: why should any bureaucracy such as the MDA be empowered with such wide discretionary powers to issue a take down notice within 24 hours ( and please bear in mind, they can do without even explaining to you where you have gone wrong) – or for that matter commence proceedings to foreclose on a bond of $50,000 or to put a blogger in jail for three years?
Can anyone please show me a similar piece of legislation that exist any where else except for maybe North Korean and Syria? So I want to be clear here – now we have joined that league of banana republics.
This should prompt us all to ask – how can government guarantee us all these powers will not apply to bloggers? I do not believe we should take these assurances on face value alone – neither is there any basis to take them seriously – as when one reads the latest gloss on the broadcast act and what all the ministers have said concerning this issue – even they are NOT in a position to guarantee that this will not affect bloggers in the foreseeable future. After all ministers come and go, but the black letter stays.
And even if they issued a guarantee – it wouldn’t be worth anything beyond my grand dad’s piss pot – as between the word of a minister and the black letter law – the latter will always take precedence – and if that is the case, then even if the prime minister himself comes out to issue a personal guarantee that this enactment will not be leveled against the general blogging community, it would really be worthless.
That I believe is the main problem here. And if this is the attitude that the government has taken – then in all probability, the primary motivation of the custodians of power for doing all this is just to crush anyone who stands in their way of holding on to power.
Personally, I can no longer invest one of molecule of trust in such a shambolic political outfit – to sum it all up, this latest move has led me to seriously question the PAP as being a reliable purveyor of a better tomorrow.
One reason why I have mentioned on numerous occasions that the PM of Singapore has the world’s lousiest Internet advisors is because anyone who pulls this off has to know this is just the beginning of a long, debilitating and costly war of attrition between the online community and officialdom – maybe they expect us all to put all this in the back burner of our consciousness and count on us all to be bovine and forgetful. But i warn you this is a very dangerous attitude to take.
As this is a sort of war that many of us have fought in the China theater – a war of cat and mouse – a war of anything you can do, I can do better. A war where both sides will dig in and they will take their respective positions.
But most importantly, it is a war where we may have to all learn a new way of blogging – one where we will always run deep and silent and keep the other side guessing.
When trust dies….all that one can do is to run deep and silent. As I suspect we are dealing with very desperate people who are really prepared to do anything to just win.
Think about it. As this is just the beginning. Besides it will be a long campaign lasting ten to fifteen years……it is best, if we just take it one step at a time.
Why leave it open ended with so much room for legal improvisation?
“Not very long ago Kishore underscored the importance of the public to continue to trust their institutions. But when one looks at how both the white paper and the broadcast act has been surreptitiously butchered without even the barest hint of logical rationale – then perhaps Kishore has the answer as to why most netizens will continue to view the whole idea of government with mistrust, askance and skepticism.
I happen to believe this is karma – brought about no doubt by the failure of the worst Internet advisory team who not only failed to scale the threat accurately. But who were so cavalier and happy go lucky that they didn’t even bother to prepare logical arguments to back up their actions – wonder no more why most netizens are spitting on them.
Who is to blame?”