Thursday, 21 June 2012

It's comfortable in my cave.

So I just had to check facebook before I left for my run.

Wasn't helpful that throughout the panting I was thinking of my opinion and different views.
It concerns this video that Jia Lok shared on facebook, I haven't watched the entire hour long motivational/christian/chinese flick, and so I only hazard a guess that it is like most motivational/christian/chinese flicks about life, cherishing it, by showing people who are about to lose it how they do. As always, I have a habit of immediately thinking of opposing views, a kind of GP reflex action. The problem is I tend to romanticize that opposing view in light of its minority uptake. A kind of hipster reflex action.

"How can you choose to give up when they
-weak and sick, with their dreams crushed and death sentenced prematurely-
choose to keep smiling, keep fighting, keep loving?
What excuse do you have?
What rights, do you have?"

Is what he said. I decided I would come back and reply, yet again, by giving a differing opinion. Yet, something stopped me. I momentarily had a vision of how things would then turn out. Jia Lok would rebutt me, my point would be dismissed by the rest (more like flooded, seeing as it's Jia Lok's), and I would feel bad for commenting. No I have never said that I take my stand that way, and Jia Lok get's it, but why do I get the feeling everyone else things I'm a jerk? MAYBE THEY DO. Yup. So I decided, to be a wimp and talk about it here instead.

This happens often. For a period of time I come out of my cave and take my stands, say my opinions, or actually, others' opinion, (because mine is usually the boring, politically correct argument that does not enrich the conversation, so why would I repeat what other people are saying? So that I get the nice feeling everyone agrees with me?) I get owned by chivalrous, no nonsense every day heroes like Jia Lok, and I wonder why the hell I didn't just keep my mouth shut. AND SO I DECIDE TO.

Let's take a look at the last two lines of his comments. I am slight discomfited by the judgemental tone, but besides the point, to give a differing view, perhaps such a statement would be counter-intuitive and misguided. It sounds like reprimanding a lazy, spoilt child. But are we all? No, in fact to be cynical would be to assume something even worse. How the movie Coach Carter put it, quoting from Marianne Williamson's poem, "
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure
." Yes. Fear, not laziness or the feeling  of being limited, could be the problem.

The view goes like this, that people, have perhaps early on, realized that they are lucky and have very high potential. Partly because of these sort of flicks, and because the last generation keeps saying it, and because our teachers say it, and because other people in our age group show it. It doesn't help. Do you realize how much more depressing it is to hear that we are supposed to be freaking awesome, but we aren't? This may sound terribly terribly harsh, but those people (the 'disadvantaged'), are happy, because they have met their expectations. Simply put, it is more difficult to fall short of expectations, than to be handicapped, yet meet them.

So perhaps, physically, they are restrained, but with that kind of freedom, the freedom to set your own targets, because society didn't, psychologically they are much better off. This is not to downplay their outstanding mentality and perseverance, no. But to point out that telling people that they could do much better, is not motivational, but depressing. Especially when these people have seen multiple failures, or have had parents or teachers or siblings putting so much pressure on them to get 4As, win medals and scholarships. I think you're just making them more disheartened, the next stage being a sort of mental defence mechanism. The usual blaming, the hiding, the locking away. On the outside, they may seem lazy, but maybe these people, are just defeated. Maybe you shouldn't be telling them that they could have worked harder, or they have no right to be lazy, but tell them not to care what other people's expectations are, but to push your own self, because you can. Positive thinking.

There are people who need to be told off, but perhaps, and only perhaps, it is a sad misguided world where people are applying the wrong medicine.

Also. And fair warning that taken out of context this would be an extremely harsh view, but believing there exists a wonderful place where you can spend eternity with loved ones, loved things, and a loving God, may just make someone accept dying easier than a person who still has his whole future to worry about. And people are scolding them about it. Not an anti-religious view, just a logical observation, am not implying either side is right.

I hope readers understand what I'm trying to say. Just be a little less harsh to the people who could be doing better. Because though these cancer patients are admirable, they are a different context.

There is a different character role model for different individuals with different presets.



Thursday, 14 June 2012

How important is worldly knowledge?

I often get annoyed at 井底之蛙. Something tells me I'm just being mean and judgemental. How important is general knowledge, really?

Let's be practical first.
There is no fixed syllabus (unless you count the GP one), and even if there was, by nature, this hypothetical textbook would just keep expanding and expanding. So why waste time reading today's news if it might just change tomorrow? How do we determine the relevance, the sensitivity of an issue? Frankly, I've probably already forgotten 80% of what exactly I read two TIME issues back.

Even if we knew these things... does it matter? OK so Xi Jinping got kicked out of the Communist Party Politburo. Ok Mitt Romney won the Republican Primaries. Woop Woop. Wait a minute, how the hell does this affect me again?

Perhaps this is something difficult to measure, or understand. Like why music works. Why can it calm someone down, why can it hype someone up? Why do people who know more about the world seem better at analyzing, at thinking and conversing smartly? Perhaps intuition tells us its just a good thing to know about. The world at large I mean.

And I guess, when it boils down to it, reading current affairs is a syllabus that you master over time. That, in the long run, one can tell instinctively, if this is going to be big. That even if it didn't appear on the front page, it's going to in the future. Its a trained, sense. Kind of like social skills right? You just sort of, know.

The context.
Though we live in a relatively safe society (which in itself could be the problem), you never know. If I told you that Incans lived in Africa and predicted the end of the world in 2014, would you believe me? Of course, when I phrase it like that, you wouldn't. But maybe you didn't realize that earlier I said Xi Jinping got kicked out of the Communist Party when actually it was Bo Xilai. And that the former is actually the vice-premier soon to be premier. Do you realize how easily manipulated you could be without trying your hardest to find out the truth? Or just trying to figure things out yourself? Back when information was scarce and localized, was also back when voodoo was widely practiced and people believed that some divine human-looking beings lived on a nearby mountain whose name is now a photography and consumer electronics brand.

Rumours work on the ignorance of its purveyors.

Isn't it scary to think that the people around you could be so easily manipulated then? And perhaps all because they were lazy? Or apathetic?

Sometimes my classmates ask me to chill when I get pissed that they don't know certain things. Granted, I have gone overboard sometimes regarding less well-known issues. But questions like 'China is a democracy? Since when?' should not be disregarded, because it reveals how vulnerable we are should someone attempt to use the foolish to forward his personal whims. I'm afraid the person who asked that question, is also in Raffles Institution. Nothing could be more shocking.

"Two Things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." -Albert Einstein


When you play inverted, you endanger the lives of those around you.

Saturday, 9 June 2012


It's half time. By the end of this month, we'll just be six months away. No not to the A levels, because when I sit down and think hard, when I get that fuzzy feeling that there's more to life than this, is when I realize, and I think a lot of people do when they take the time, that the coming exams, will not be the representation of your life. No, thinking about things that just seem, a step higher. Its half a year, to real adulthood... to really, earning a living, starting to be seriously independent... when academic life ends. (Well, sorta. I kind of feel Uni is gonna be a real different ball game, especially if you're going overseas)


Went to check out what I posted a year ago around this time, and it was about the Econs trip. In hindsight, I didn't really get to know the group better at all... save for a few. Whom I now frequently stalk. Funny how that works right? In some places you can meet all the 'nice friends' but when it comes to the really like-minded ones, somehow they'll be mixed in with the people whom you won't get along with at all... In the deepest parts of the oceans is where you'll find the most fantastical, wonderful forms of life... And the nastiest.

I like the title of this post. (Well obviously, unless you're retarded, Leeks.) Its not just the month... its also a nice girl's name. (as in, the name is nice, not a girl who is nice who has that name) Have you ever imagined this really corny situation where out of the blue in some of your loneliest hours you meet a near complete stranger that would turn out to be your love interest later? (Oh god, sounding like I've had too many rounds of love potion) Yeah really cheesy, but god dammit really romantic lol.

I feel guilty many times for feeling scornful or high-and-mighty at what I deem to be 'superficial', yet being human, I'm no different really, and I fall for the same things sometimes. I don't like to call it self-deluding, because I'm not subconsciously aware of it, I just literally forget sometimes, what its like to be in that person's shoes perhaps. A sort of disconnection from the empathy server. Like for instance when my classmate started swooning and became really blonde talking about this guy she crushes on, I experienced this spurt of annoyance at the general human race. But side-step a little and hey, this classmate is actually pretty matured, musings are for fun anyway. And let's not forget the kind of nonsense you've done when you were crushing right? (oh shit I'm totally reminded that I actually drew someone when I liked her... embarrassing)

So I'll sit here and wait. Listening to alt/indie rock, reading Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and waiting for June to pass and come into my life.

The lyrics are... lacking. But you know, some songs are meant for that, some songs are just for that easy listening and for you to sit there and think about your life. Not to mention it was in 500 Days of Summer. And yes, as the song says, I want the happy ending... No Zooey is not a happy ending, (actually in the movie she's kind of an ass :X, but its k lar she had a troubled past I guess)

Thursday, 7 June 2012


2 Years of no torrent-ing and I'm bleeding dry of legit entertainment. Couldn't concentrate on Chem today cause I could think about was how I wasn't going to do anything even after I finished... URGH. And yet I don't want or can't really do anything about it! Urgh I thought I was supposed to be the adventurous type. But yet I'm somewhat insecure so its like I want to do a whole lot of new fresh stuff but can't afford it ahhhh. Ahhh going cracy omg finished 6 questions on ionic equilibria. SIX SINCE MORNING and its coming to five oclock already... fail fail fail fail fail fail :( going off schedule!!
Just bought ceremonials. Helped me get through yesterday's physics at least... but running out of steam and ideas!! Oh GOD WHY DOES EVERYONE STAY SO FAR.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Walking through Zara and Kinokuniya

Different feels altogether..
It's rather somber to realize what a strong predisposition we can have on certain things.
I think we should come to terms with the fact that at all times, we could be wrong.
I was going to talk about how wondrous it felt to walk through Kinokuniya rather than shopping for clothes at Zara but I pause. Because I know that I do dislike fashion, and I romanticize books. So there was it. A preconceived notion. A bias. So now I can only describe it as a feeling, my feeling, that I prefer books to clothes. But no, let me not be condescending and say that those who do the opposite are lesser, more superficial. Because it is as raw a fact, that book lovers can be equally fashionable, and perhaps the most hipster in fashion are also the advocates of classical literature and graphic design are they not? So what was I going to describe?

I was going to say that walking through Zara was so much less, so much more shallow to me. I saw people who looked like they styled their hair for 2 hours, and wearing jeans that made them partially paraplegic. And that in Kinokuniya, though in generally yes, the people did look more mediocre, less... fit, maybe sloppier, but the point was that no one care, because people were there for a wonderful thing, a love of books. And the flagship store was so large and exciting, like a million hours of entertainment, enrichment.

But I should not shouldn't I? Let's not generate false dichotomies of different interests. Wouldn't it go against my beliefs? That people don't necessarily have to be nerdy to be smart, and that computer scientists and engineers, can play classical piano on the side, or maybe gym 3 times a week? We are all the same species, with the struggles, needs... perhaps we should not antagonize people with interest that seem like fads, seem superficial, but those who are stubborn, who do not constantly seek new horizons and explore the vast galleries of the human cultural museum. Live and let live! Let everyone enjoy their pleasures, be it shoes or books. Why should we be condescending?


I saw two things on facebook that jolted me back into politics, and let me come clean, that my knee jerk reaction is often unpleasant rebuttal. Which I refrain from saying of course, without digging deeper.

One of them was about DPM Teo at the Pre-U seminar and how the participants were frustrated at his responses. Before I continue, I must say that anyone who believes a political dialogue should be ideally apolitical, that is to say, objective, is absolutely missing the point. Obviously some things can't be said, obviously somethings cannot be just thrown at the public, which I must unfortunately add, are full of idiots. (my god just told everyone not to be condescending above). Urgh I'm tired, just typed a whole lot on Tze Yang's fb status. and its 1 am... Need to wake up and study tomorrow!


I like songs with mixes of minor and majors... And kickass drums. Throw in some dubstep.