Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Reading the news between the lines

I was never a big fan of reading the newspapers when I was young. It just seemed so dry to read about politics, disasters, crime and I never seemed to see how all these could relate to my life. I was happy just going from day to day, and thought I had more than enough to worry about with upcoming school tests and within my own small circle of friends.

I only started reading newspapers in university as it became a compulsory course assignment to do so everyday. Our lecturer would usually start the class asking us what are the big issues that we see in the papers every morning. He made us read between the lines and see things that were not said, things that we have easily taken for granted if we treat whatever we read or see in the news at face value. Needless to say, the lecturer was an expat with his own particular points of view on Singapore. :)

Now I find myself enjoying it when I catch up with the news. Particularly local news. The recent buzz about election has gotten me pretty excited in a way. For once in my life, I get to play an active (albeit tiny) role to shape the world I live in. I remember when I was a kid, I didn't understand why my father would vote for an opposition party candidate. I mean, aren't things good as it is? Today, I look at it as an opportunity to voice a change that I would like to see around me. I mean, what is the point of sitting around cups of coffee with friends, complaining about things getting expensive, the difficulty of getting a place to stay and build a family, worrying about the challenges of life ahead for my kids, if I'm not going to do anything about it. If there's a slight chance that something can change, why should I let it go? Even if the results are not going make an immediate impact on me, or if the proposed alternative may not be the ideal solution.... I think a contest of different voices and opinions will still work in everyone's favor. It sounds like a better situation than to be a blindly obedient sheep like the ones in Animal Farm. That said, I do acknowledge that many of my friends are just content with the way things are... at least, there is no need for any major adjustment, nor do they anticipate or fear how change may rock their boat.

I'm looking forward to the day actually. In the meantime, I'm enjoying reading the news, and comparing it with the reality I face day to day, and seeing things that are between the lines. :)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Why limit ourselves?

Seriously, I think humans find every opportunity available to impose inhibitions on ourselves. Whether it is concerns over what people around us think, or simply motivations born out of a more basic instinct of self-protection or preservation.

I'm not saying we should throw all cares out and run amok doing whatever we want. It just grates me when such inhibitions happen at times when what is really necessary is a willingness to "bite the bullet and just do it." Be it in our private lives i.e. instead of worrying if the price is going to drop further tomorrow or by end of the year, just go ahead and make the purchase after having done your research that it is worth it.

In another instance, why limit ourselves to using obsolete technology under the excuse that it is secure when it is obviously so lacking in capabilities and applications! Of course it's secure... cos it's so obsolete that no one bothers to use it, much less try to hack it!! Technology is flying at warp speeds these days and it just peeves me to no end when people stops you from moving along with it just because they are set in their comfort zone and wishes to exert the bare minimal effort to adapt.

Dinosaurs are supposed to be extinct!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Word Definitions: Self-Awareness

I was looking up the dictionaries online trying to find a definition of what is "self-awareness" or being "self-aware". I guess the closest I got to an objective definition was this from Merriam-Webster online dictionary:
  • Main Entry: self–aware·ness
  • Function: noun
  • Date: 1880
  • : an awareness of one's own personality or individuality
hmm... a definition that is defined by even more abstract concepts of personality and individuality.

Anyway this was what prompted me to wonder about this word. How often are we aware of how we behave in others' company? Are we too loud, too soft, too assertive, too timid, showing too much ego for our own good? Are we being intrusive or are we giving others the kind of quiet and private space they need to function?

Maybe some food for thought before the next time we carry out a conversation with another person / a group of people in the workspace.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Getting confused over O3

Recently dad asked me to look into getting an Ozoniser or Ozone vegetable washer for him. Was checking around the web to see what is available on the market .... which is very little if we are just looking at Singapore. Well, there are suppliers, but many of them, in my personal opinion, look a little dubious. Afterall, it just doesn't feel quite right ordering a product from someone who operates out of an HDB flat.

Besides, all this craze about the benefits of Ozone... is it for real or just marketing talk. I can't help noticing the discrepancies between product claims and medical research reports (that ozone is safe at 0.05 ppm or something like that). Most products don't even mention ppm...

So how to find a safe and right product? Is it necessary at all? I wonder.....

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Right... when was the last time you did that?

Quote of the day - "please allow us one working day to turn around the results instead of giving us last minute requests..."

Sometimes when i hear this at work, i start wondering... when was the last time anyone ever gave me advance notice to allow for turn around time instead of last minute requests? hardly ever... and yet these are the same people quoting the above to me.

Right... some day if they do give me that turn around time, I might consider giving more advanced notice for my requests too... tit for tat.

Friday, February 20, 2009

It's easy to say... but act on it too!

Maybe I'm just being difficult... but I get really peeved when I get requests from people who have no clue what they are asking. And this, I refer to people who think they know what they want (and therefore they request for it) but they have no idea how to get it done or what is required to get it done... and worse, doesn't take responsibility for their own role in getting it done.

A simple example is a question like "I need to market product X and reach out to potential customers through a website. Please help to do up a website for product X."

Seem like a pretty straightforward request, right? Wrong. Because when one probes further with basic questions like:
- What is product X?
- How is product X different from other competitors' products?
- How does product X fit in with the rest of the company's product?
- How should it be positioned to the customer?
- What are the benefits of using product X?
- What are the specifications for product X?
- How soon will product X be ready?

... the person who made the request had no clue. And I get especially peeved when that person happens to be directly involved in the development, marketing and positioning of product X. If that person, whose role is to drive product X, is not doing his / her job to act on his / her responsibilities and find out or even have some clue about these questions, how can he/she expect others to be able to support his work?

In other words, it is always very easy to say things and express what you want in words.... but you need to act on it and make sure you do your part too. If you did not, don't blame others...

Monday, January 05, 2009


I hardly dream when I sleep.... or rather, I hardly remember my dreams even if I do when I sleep. But last night's dream was an absolute nightmare.

I was dreaming that I was out with some friends on a tour bus, and suddenly there was this wave of ghostly spirits that appeared out of nowhere. Everyone on the bus was nervous because we knew we had to get out of there before the "ghosts" discover we are human and decided to harm us. It was even more strange that we found out the "waves" of "spirits" appear once every half an hour or something and the best we can hope for is to get out during that time when they are not around. As my friends nervously got out of the bus and gathered their things to escape, I found that to my horror, I've misplaced my belongings i.e. mobile phone, wallet. Without them, I couldn't get out because I had no money to take a taxi and I had no car. I was running to and fro frantically trying to search for them and none of my friends were able to take me with them. And it was difficult to run... as though every step I take was in ultra slow motion and I had to avoid bumping into the spirits. As my panic grew, the half hour was up and the next wave of spirits was due to appear again. Suddenly I ran past a table and I saw my belongings among the heap of stuff kept there, almost like a lost and found counter. I made a mad grab for my mobile phone and wallet....

... and I woke up. *Phew* it was just a nightmare... but strange one... Maybe I've been gaming too much... hahaha