The 747’s built before 1984 all have a very weird array of alarm sounds along with a very intimidating male voice warning, it’s scary if you’re not used to it.

Every time something new and seemingly innovative makes alot of money in an impossibly short time. Otherwise ‘smart’ investors make really dumb decisions by rushing in, all because they invariably suffer from the fear of missing out complex and this psychosis (for lack of a better word) seems to be amplified considerably when they see rival investors and funds jumping on the bad wagon. The problem as I see it is like this – when these risky investments turn out to be duds. Then you know that all the talk about due diligence has to be unadulterated bullshit! BC if it was real due diligence where you have seriously smart folk going thru the numbers with a fine tooth comb. They would NEVER have made a decision to go in. The way I see it is like this. If the decision to invest in FTX was made without due diligence, then don’t insist that was the rationale for going in. Keep quiet. Or if you really have to disclose then just hang a big sign in red letters that say ‘Casino in session’. Because insisting the rationale for the investment was based on the outcome of the due diligence report when it wasn’t is nothing short of misrepresentation of a crucial fact. In the same way if I take my car in for a regularly quarterly service and there are 25 items on the ticker box that has been contracted to be checked off by a qualified mechanic. But let us assume this mechanic derelict supervisor just signed on the dotted line knowing full well that none of the work was actually done. Then in my book that’s willful negligence and possibly even fraud. I don’t wish to mince words here! There is a clear presence of deception here. Now if that really happened and one day I am driving on the PIE or AYE and suddenly a mechanical failure that could have been easily avoided had the checks been done. Then I have a right of claim on the garage BC they owe me a duty of care to be diligent and professional. So I think this example is extendable to the FTX case as well. Because when the term due diligence features as the basis for investing and it turns out to be a lousy call that makes a mockery of the DD report. Then these big investors have to bear a certain degree of culpability to the small investor for the same reason as the example of the wayward garage as the owe the small investor a duty of care to disclose honestly. Because the question you have to ask is this – would a small time investor like dumbo farmer me or some kid whose just investing in crypto as a hobbyist be unduly influenced to invest in FTX when he has been informed A, Y or Z whale investors have decided to go in after conducting a rigorous due diligence?

He asked me, why does it always seem effortless for you? I told him, you try too hard and when you hard sell that’s a big turn off. He asked is it wrong for me to put my best foot forward by grooming myself well and conveying to her that I am a good catch? I replied, real men don’t need to talk too much. They just go about their business of drawing out the man from the boy daily, weekly, monthly and yearly quietly with dedication and grace and if still she can’t see it, it simply means she can never make out a good thing. Not even if it stands right before her! BUT if you keep at it. A day will come when a real woman will be able to make out the real man in you and she will drawn in naturally because this is the way attraction works. He asked, how do you know these things? I asked of him, BC you know I am real. Otherwise why are we having this conversation?

This conversation took place sometime before covid. He called me up just then and told me he was getting hitched. I am happy for the real man.

If you fear…. U r not alone

November 28, 2022

Many of my readers imagine I am fearless. This not true! I am susceptible to fearing from everything to snakes and things not going to plan. However, I believe the way I regard the things, situations and people who I associate with fear is very different from most people n it is this aspect of how I deal with fear that comes across as fearless. There is no magic to what I do. I don’t even have a technique that requires me to penetrate my fear and to come out wiser from the other side. All I really do when fear threatens to overwhelm me, if you must know is remind myself that I am not the sum of my fears to paraphrase. I am not my Thoughts. They’re really just stuff that come n go thru my brain. This dynamic is NOT me! The indelible part that is me is the witness whose watching very quietly in a non judgemental attitude what’s going in and out of my brain. This is not a trick or life hack to deal with fear. It is very deep understanding of a way that I had to develop to live in the wild so many years all by myself.

The Dilemma of Modern Man

November 28, 2022

Modern Man is hollow. He suffers from emptiness and restlessness. This was what T.S.Eliot expounded in his poem The Wasteland abt the dilemma of modern man. Ancient man did not suffer from the brain fog of identity and gender crisis. This was because there was plenty of opportunities to sharpen and even define his sense of manhood. But since modern man lives in an epoch where warmaking is considered primitive and uncivilised and the opposite of progressive. There is no longer a need for modern man to prove or for that matter perpetuate his manhood. Instead modern man has been emasculated by the marketing manifesto that even considers it anathema for a man to insist on his manliness. Hence modern man is now so confused as to who he should be and there lies the seed of his perpetual emptiness and restlessness.

T. S Eliot did not expound this theory. It is I who see this disease in modern man.

Maturity & Being Alone

November 27, 2022

I don’t think it’s possible to talk abt maturity without mentioning how it’s so intricately intertwined with the idea of having the integrity to stand alone. It took me 10 years of living (I am slow) to figure out why the word integrity is so closely associated with standing alone. That’s because most ppl who choose to stand apart all alone, do so usually for selfish and contrived and nefarious reasons. They don’t stand alone for honest and noble reasons. Usually it is done to convey disapproval and to punish those who they have differences with or simply out of a narcissistic desire to stand out from the crowd. Only a mature soul can stand alone without malice, anger or for that a hidden agenda. As to do so requires integrity of the highest order.

The one question that I get regularly asked since FTX went into bankruptcy is this – how did I know FTX was fake? Let me fully disclose. I did NOT know it was a badly managed company. Infact I had absolutely no idea that FTX was even going to crash and burn as it did. Why should I? Especially against a backdrop of blue chip investors that FTX had managed to garner, Sequoia Capital, BlackRock, Tiger Global, SoftBank, Temasek and even the Ontario Teachers Pensions fund. I remember saying to myself – ‘Hey! You are just a dumbass farmer! do you mean to say, you are more financially clairvoyant than the due diligence team of these firms?’ So to be honest with you. I was seriously thinking abt using FTX as an exchange. But, I never got around to it and one reason for this was because I was busy obsessing about why SBF had such a lousy ranking in the online game league of legends. I had big difficulties understanding how a gamer who played this game for three years straight was still stuck in the mud in Bronze III… cut a long story short. I never got around to using FTX as an exchange. I think from this episode we can draw the lesson that big investment outfits owe the small investor a duty of care that they don’t inadvertently endorse or render kosher risky investments.

Because whether whale investment outfits realise it or not (they should). By virtue of their legacy, prestige and sheer size, they can often sway markets along with modulate market sentiments. Like Spiderman said, ‘with power comes responsibility.’ Alternatively just hang a big red disclaimer like ‘Danger! Folk who like to live dangerously juggling hand grenades here!’

Blame yourself. Because in life, if you didn’t confer power ontu others, they could NEVER have power over you! But in the case of FTX, many believed SBF was a genius. They were so mesmerised by his brilliance (mostly imagined) that they were prepared to be open minded abt everything concerning SBF, from his sloppy beach bum attire to his impossibly wide sweeping claims on how well FTX was doing. But if there is one compelling reason why those who lost $ on FTX should blame themselves and not SBF or any one else it is this, they were all first and foremost guilty of unmitigated greed. Had they been free of this one character flaw, all this could not have happened.

Most Malaysians irrespective of class, race and religion are genuinely happy that AI is the 10th PM of Malaysia. They are happy bc its been a long ardous odsessy for AI to finally get the PM seat and many believe he has been unlucky not to get it due to a thousand reasons. Malaysians by and large are hopeful. BUT and its a very big but, they are also cautiously optimistic and possibly guardedly hopeful that life in Malaysia will improve meaningfully. When one stands on the bridge of time. It is understandable why the average Malaysian has adopted this guarded attitude. In a sense, the rakyat (citizenry) is like a bride that has been stood up so many times at the altar that she doesn’t dare to harbor any hopes and aspirations of a better tomorrow any longer. BC all that does is bring the pain of shattered dreams. I understand. I understand this completely. My fear concerning AI is simply this, the collective expectation of the nation is simply too high, out of reach even and this means, there will always be a irreconcilable gap between yearning and fulfillment. So in a sense, AI has an impossible mission.

Long time no see

November 26, 2022

Analog cockpit. I guess you can only find them these days flying cargo and in boneyards where planes go to die……. Nice to c u again. πŸ™ƒ

Silence & Maturity

November 25, 2022

A guaranteed sign of a mature mind is the lack of will to prove to others who you are by telling the whole world the story of your life……when you are completely comfortable in silence that by itself is louder than a freight train.


β€˜It is needless to talk too much….people who talk alot if you observe all come across as insecure and unconvincing. What gives them away is they try too hard and most who they’re trying to convince can sense it.

Its the people who talk very little and mind their own business, who usually command the most respect, authority and attention.

So dont fall into the trap of trying to explain, justify or prove….it is a waste to direct so much of yourself in that worthless direction. Makes more sense to go inwards and invest in the self.

This is not to suggest for one moment you should be an anti social person. Rather it is the wisdom to know your priorities and to focus on only what you can truly change – yourself.

For me, speaking personally. I don’t ever trust someone who had it all easy in life. So when I come across people who have always had it their way in school and career, that always scares me and I am wary of that sort of person when it comes to managing himself and others. One reason for my biase has to do with my belief that suffering imparts wisdom. Because it forces one to areas that we would normally not go too. Painful zones such as having to deal with the terror of feeling abandoned and marooned in one head along with battling the desolation of loneliness. That could be why. If you examine the lives of effective leaders they all seem to have one thing in common. They have all been victims at some point in their lives and they have suffered their fair share of slings and arrows. Roosevelt had to deal with the ravages of polio that robbed him of the ability to walk and stand. Winston Churchill battled crippling depression all his life. As evidenced in his morose writings. De Gaulle, struggled with raising a mentally disabled child. Mandela had to deal with demons of decades of incarceration in Robbin Island. Martin Luther King constantly struggled to find meaning despite being afflicted with chronic bipolar syndrome that caused him to take his life 13 times! I could go on and on, but I think you could just as well do a better job of filling the blanks here by dredging such illustrations from your circle of family and friends. My point is. In every single case you will have no problem in discovering that a hard life where things come to one only after having paid the price once, twice and thrice is an indispensable education in effective leadership. In this regard Anwar is imminently qualified for the PM job. In my opinion, there is no one that even comes remotely close to Anwar when it comes having the requisite core competencies to be PM. But I want to be clear here. When one has suffered it is not always a bed of roses Deepak Chopra moment that only gives one character depth, nuance and contours to bring everlasting happiness to the oppressed and disaffected and disenfranchised. There is also the dark side of suffering as well and I want to be clear, this side has fangs and claws and it can rip a person into shreds, it is this aspect that is hard to scale and even predict….so suffering is a double edged sword.

I will Survive!

November 25, 2022

Conversation between a man and a papaya tree in Bugis.

Tree: What the fuck are you gawking at?

Man: Sorry, I didn’t mean to stare.

Tree: What you mean? Don’t I have a right to sink roots any where I want?

Man: I didn’t mean it like you don’t have a right to grow…..

Tree: Oh, I get it. You’re wondering how I got so big without someone with a name tag chopping me down!

Man: Yeah.

Tree: If you must know. I try not to stick it too much πŸ™‚

I have mixed feelings abt AI being the 10th PM of Malaysia. On one hand its a long awaited and fitting chapter that caps his personal odyssey to lead Malaysia. I am happy for him and his family. But when I ask myself – how much ground did he have to give away to secure the PM seat? Its a question that has all the power to disturb simply because this election has highlighted some serious issues that Anwar needs to deal with. The first is the Malaysian psyche has never been as polarised along religious, sectarian, racial and ideological lines as it is today. These are great divisions that cannot be easily bridged. The best one can hope for is some form of detent or agreement to disagree. The second is Anwar’s hold on power is at best tenuous and fragile. This means his mandate will always be challenged in and out of Parliament. The third is the opposition this time round isn’t the rag tag motley crew that it was in the last elections. This time round they seem to have established a respectable foothold in the rice belts and they are menacing. And finally the biggest question I have is abt Anwar himself. This may seem like the strangest concern, but it isn’t simply because I don’t believe these issues that I have raised can be resolved with a benevolent hand. Ideally that should be the ideal approach. But in practical terms, thats like trying to bring down a 3 ton elephant with a peashooter. What’s needed is the heavy stuff and a PM who can stomach doing what needs to be done……hence for the moment. I much prefer to remain cautiously hopeful abt AI ability to stay on.

Pattern matching in computer science is the checking of specific sequences of data of some pattern. Unlike pattern recognition, the match has to be exact in the case of pattern matching. And why is this observation so jugular to the tragic relationship between SBF and his dearly unfortunate investors. Because SBF ticked all the right boxes. His parents were the gold standard of sobriety. They were both Stanford law professors. SBF was a ivy leauger who read physics in MIT. After that he worked as a trader in the prestigious Penny Street Capital where he perfected crypto arbitrage into a science and this led him to give birth to Alameda Research. I think what differentiated SBF from most actors in the crypto world was his enthusiasm to engage regulators. He was not defensive or for that matter mad dog territorial and irrationally paranoid abt the whole idea of regulation like so many in the Crypto fraternity. Infact SBF saw the guiding hand of officialdom as a necessary precursor to the final evolution of the crypto sphere and this attitude commanded a very high level of competence trust in starched collared investment community. I think many investors saw SBF as a sort of pathfinder or partner who they could collaborate with to navigate the volatility of the crypto sphere which they themselves regarded as a sort of financial terra incognito. I don’t think many really understand how compelling this aspect of the attraction is simply because it has a strategic dimension. For once the high brow investment community seem to have one of their own in a perplexing growth sector that could not only speak their language, but he was also seemed to have the uncommon power to demystify the Crypto sphere to make an incredible amount of money in a very short period of time. I really dont think it was possible to say no to SBF. You see when the object of desire which is opportunity in this case is packaged in such a way where the fidelity of the pattern matched is 1 to 1, its virtually impossible to say No. And let me share with you something scarier, it’s impossible to say no even if SBF was a lousy fake either. Because by that stage, the mythology of SBF has overtaken his reality and since many who signed off on the cheques really only wanted to see what they wanted to see, it was impossible for them to say No! That’s the real tragedy of FTX.

Russians will go thru many iterations of death. Since they were removed from Swift. The most highly educated, mobile and cosmopolitan Russians have been relying on FTX to manage their finances. Germany’s ranking is a big surprise to me. BC there’s no compelling case for crypto. Both Turkey and India are understandable BC of strict currency controls. I would expect countries like Lebanon and possibly Israel to be in the top ten, but not so.

The delimma of Crypto

November 20, 2022

Yes. Of course. There is a risk of owning Crypto. But there’s also another risk that most investors don’t seem very interested to scale in and that is the risk of NOT owning Crypto.

The Anatomy of Failure of FTX

November 20, 2022

I think it’s important to study WHY and HOW and WHO was responsible for the catastrophic failure of FTX. This is a type of knowledge we term strategic. The problem currently is there’s too much noise to enable one to drill right down into the marrow of the story. To really get to the bottom of this. We would need a pretty big wall and it begins by sticking a photo of SBF right in s6the center. Then we ask who does this guy know not when he was in MIT, but we go further back to maybe when he was twelve grade. Who was his mum and dad, did they have happy childhoods…what were the earliest records of the Bankman in the US. Then we drill deep into what kind of trades SBF was dabbling in when he worked in Jane Street Capital. Where did he lunch? With who? Does he take jerkins with his hotdog? By that time more photos will fill up this wall maybe the other walls in this house and red threads would criss cross endlessly, so much so, its like a giant spider’s web. But we instruct the ASDF to put in more man power and drill deeper. We dreg up every single game that SBF ever played before league of legends. We get a team to go thru every decision nexus he ever made in the gaming world. By this time we have probably used up the entire real estate of this wall and now more photos and names have spilled into the driveway and we continue drilling deeper and deeper and deeper. And after that. We scrub it all clean and we get the Mentats to do it all again to see whether we get the same results and we do it again till we can answer the question to the Primus quality of zero logic deviation – how did this all happen? Because I have a terrible feeling deep down in my gut that the truth will never come out cleanly about FTX…..take this. It is my signet ring, it bears the witness of the four houses and cannot be lobbied by the Laanstrad, give it to the bird of prey. He will know what to do. This conversation did not take place. The man who goes by the name of Darkness was never here. Go! Obey me!

Message Capsule 018349-29892384-0092 Primus Aldentes Prime

It would be nice :)

November 19, 2022

According to a blog post from venture capital giant Sequoia Capital,Β Sam Bankman-Fried played the online game League of Legends during a super high-level video call with their investment team. That it seemed didn’t put them off at all. Sequoia Capital thereafter proceeded to invest $210m in Sam’s now belly up company FTX…….. But had a gamer (novice level) been a fly on the wall in that video call. The scene would have piqued his curiosity to ask casually of Sam – Hey what level are you in League of Legends Mr Bankman Fried? And had Sam replied – Bronze III……. that gamer would have probably thought to himself – There’s something terribly wrong with this picture! How is it possible for another gamer whose so obsessed about LOL that he even plays it during high level business deals to have such an abysmally low ranking! That observation by itself would have set off alarm bells to those who are perceptive enough to know about the power and politics of online gaming……… Infact its such a gigantic red flag, it might have even be grounds to justify another round of fact and background check cum due diligence to determine whether Sam Bankman Fried was even the real Mc Coy. After all, Sam Bankman fried wasn’t just another run of the mill CEO. He was marketing himself as a self styled philosopher king/Messiah of Crypto who was out to save people and planet and who really didn’t care about money…. And if this was all above board – what could possibly account for his low score ranking in the online game league of legends? …… unfortunately. There were no gamers in that video call that day. Now that was USD275 million sad.

The moral of the story, it’s not entirely true to say of Mr Sam Bankman Fried that there was nothing to be really concerned about till the day, the shit hit the fan. In truth, there were enough character contradictions to suggest that he was not entirely honest, authentic or even true to his much publicised ‘effective altruism’ cause, but despite the danger signs, the ‘smart’ folk who bankrolled him just wanted to see what they wanted to see and no more.