Wednesday, August 20, 2014  

[I guess that's one way to reduce your debt...]

^^^ by Locksley @ 10:10 PM. 0 comments.
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Tuesday, August 19, 2014  

[The problem with mortality...]

I’m watching Cosmos now. I’m nearing the end. The last episode I watched was one about global warming.

The facts speak for themselves. Global warming is real. And we are the cause of it. The facts and impact on the environment is startling to say the least. If I recall correctly, there hasn’t been this much CO2 pumped into our atmosphere for the past million years.

Confronted with all the facts, evidence and projections of what could happen, why then are we, humanity, not taking action? I suppose it can be argued that we are, but I feel that whatever we are doing now, it not enough. So why aren’t we doing more? Why aren’t Governments doing more?

I think the reason is because compared to the lifespan or timescale of the universe, our lives are but just a blink. We have no incentive to change our ways for the better because we won’t be the ones who have to live with the consequences. It will be our children, our grandchildren, or maybe when our great-grandchildren.

If we knew that we would have to confront the consequences of our actions in our lifetime, I’m sure our responses, by now, would have been very much different. We would not be continuing to exploit our planet for short-term monetary gains. We would be trying to restore the balance, to fix what we’ve broke.

I hope we won't go down in history as the generation who screwed Earth up for all subsequent generations.

^^^ by Locksley @ 5:02 PM. 0 comments.
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[Survivorship bias...]

NDR has come and gone. One of the things our PM put across is how we do not need a degree to be successful.

I have a degree. I agree with what our PM said.

That said, there is an article in the local papers today about some people who made a name for themselves and they don’t have a degree. That’s nice for them, but people who read the article will probably be somewhat misled. Survivorship bias is at work here.

For every one such successful person highlighted, there are probably hundreds or even thousands more, in the same position who are not doing anywhere as well as the highlighted person. Not even close. They may be struggling along, trying hard to make ends meet.

Don’t be blinded by a few successful examples. Be aware of the reality on the ground.

^^^ by Locksley @ 4:49 PM. 0 comments.
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[I am the greatest!]

In the book Good to Great, author Jim Collins introduced the idea of level-5 leaders. Among other things, these leaders will groom the next generation of leaders to take over when they are gone.

In contrast, there are the “superstar” leaders. They have huge personalities (read: egos), and their management style is basically they call the shots, and everyone else around them should just execute their orders. More often than not, when they leave, the company suffers. Such leaders do not groom the next generation’s leadership. When the company flounders after they leave, they take it as evidence of their genius, how their presence has been sorely missed.

What am I suddenly writing about this? Because I came across the latest outburst from a former Prime Minister up north.

Some people should just learn to shut up.

^^^ by Locksley @ 4:31 PM. 0 comments.
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Sunday, August 17, 2014  

[The Art of Thinking Clearly...]

I read a very interesting book recently. It's titled "The Art of Thinking Clearly". It's a collection of short chapters that illustrates common thinking errors. The book has its share of people who love it and people who hate it. To each his own.

I won't go into the thinking errors raised by the author. But a simple flip through of the Sunday papers and I spotted two of them straight off the bat. I would not have spotted or analysed these articles in the following manner before I read the book.

Why should we take financial advice, or follow the financial habits of an actor? Is he qualified?

This is a bit more interesting. This reporter is claiming that the PAssion Card is driving the growth of the debit card sector in Singapore. However, what she failed to mention was that recently, there was a major push by all the banks in Singapore to replace the ATM cards of their customers. From the traditional ATM/NETS cards to debit cards, which also comes with ATM and NETS functionality. So really, is the PAssion Card driving the debit card sector? Or is false causality at work here?

^^^ by Locksley @ 12:12 PM. 0 comments.
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^^^ by Locksley @ 12:02 PM. 0 comments.
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Monday, August 04, 2014  

[Let the tinkering begin!]

Intel NUC

^^^ by Locksley @ 9:47 PM. 0 comments.
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Thursday, July 24, 2014  

[They're all here!]

^^^ by Locksley @ 10:26 PM. 0 comments.
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Tuesday, July 22, 2014  

[The meaning of life...]

I think I can safely speak for almost everyone in my generation when I say this: Our parents lied to us.

Let me explain.

Our parents grew up in very different times. It was a time when simply being able to speak English put you well ahead of the curve. A time when having a University degree was a guarantee (that’s right, guarantee) of success.

Most of our parents are not that lucky. They don’t speak English, and forget about having University degrees. They did manual or repetitive work. No matter what they did, however hard they worked, they stayed more or less where they were in life (sidebar: I guess some things never change).

Like all parents, they naturally want their kids to do better than they did. So what did they do? They pushed us to do well in school, drummed into our heads the importance of getting a degree, getting a good, high-paying job. Things they never had. Good things are supposed to follow once you had a degree. Everything, from your professional to your personal life, was supposed to fall into place just because of that piece of paper. Because this was how things worked for their generation.

But we now know that things don’t work this way. The world has changed. Society has evolved. Having a degree now is definitely not a guarantee of success. In fact, in some ways, it can even be a hindrance. Most degree-holders (including myself) are reluctant to take risks. Why trade a stable, decent salary for something risky? On the other hand, if you don’t have a degree, you have no choice. You have to take a leap of faith sometimes, you need to take risks. While the going may be tough at times, many of these people I know are doing better than I am.

For the longest time, the picture painted in my head by my parents (my mother, mostly) distorted the reality and my expectations of how life is going to and has turned out. While I now realise the picture painted in my head by my parents is wrong, it still takes some effort on my part to push out the wrong assumptions. And I still think a lot of my dissatisfaction with life is due to the flawed expectations I had due to what my parents told me. What they promised. Promises that can never be fulfilled the way they had me believe.

I’ve been thinking a lot about life. This morning, I came to realise that I’m not happy with my life and how it’s turned out so far. Both in my professional and personal life. The good news is I’m only in my early-30s so there’s time for me to do something about it. However, I don’t know what I should do.

And that, perhaps, is the biggest disappointment of it all.

^^^ by Locksley @ 10:43 AM. 0 comments.
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Monday, July 14, 2014  

[How do you want to go?]

On my way to work this morning, there was an old man on the bus. The bus was packed, and no one offered him a seat. Either that, or someone did and he declined.

After a while, it became very evident that there was a urine stench coming from him. He was drooling slightly, and was blowing spit bubbles at his mouth.

Clearly, he’s not in the pink of health.

My maternal grandfather passed away when I was about five years old. He had his share of health issues, one of which required him to carry a urine bag with him. So yes, he smells like urine too. I was young, but I still remembered it vividly. He eventually became senile in his later years before he passed away.

My maternal grandmother was also in ill health for a long time before she passed on. My paternal grandfather passed away after a short bout of illness, while my paternal grandmother passed away in her sleep, and was in seemingly good health prior to that.

Seeing that old man on the bus today got me thinking. Death is a part of life. Something we all have to face one day. When our time comes, how do we want to go? Without warning? So there’s no suffering, no burden on anyone. But you may not get the chance to get closure, to say what you want to say. On the other hand, if it was a drawn-out affair, we would have enough time to say what we want to say. To have closure, but also (probably) place some burden on our loved ones.

When your time comes, how do you want to go?

^^^ by Locksley @ 2:32 PM. 1 comments.
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