Friday, 28 December 2012

First world problems

No TV no internet no family at home. What. I dont even think the DS, iPad and Daph90 are at home. All i have is a phone, aoe and coffee. Hope there's an issue of TIME and Economist this week

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Argo Alone

Went to watch a movie by myself yesterday for the first time. A lot of people place unnecessary drama on the fact that you do things alone, like for example if you eat lunch alone in a food court. But not many think about the fact that we spend a lot of time by ourselves at home too. No difference then, just enjoy yourself no?

Was definitely a good film (if rotten tomatoes can give 95% for any film, definitely worth a watch). Do agree there's a little bias in nationalities here and there, but forgive-able I guess. Compare it to 300 (or even AC3, where I can tell you I've killed more British regulars than Leonidas has killed Persians) and you can see why. These sort of films will always find criticism in such areas.

Many people also dramatize the fact that I'm entering NS soon. Truth be told I would have probably taken up a holiday job and would have been somewhat busy too (but not stay in camp obviously) or else spend a lot of time on Civ. #woops.

Halo 4 sucks by the way. (except if you have multiplayer) Campaign levels and story was shit, seriously. Anyone who's played that Halo 2 mission where you enter some ruins to kill the Prophet of Regret will know. I think something gravely lacking is the epic music/score in Halo 4. (Heretic, Hero was played on that level) Made even traversing High Charity in super dark settings seeing nothing but rocks and covenant purple relaxing even. (Peril was playing on that level)

Still, despite all the anti-drama. Walking down the streets in Katong and observing the 10 o clock and 12 o clock crowds was definitely emo as hell.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Bus Drivers

I am glad that there are several opinion pieces in the Straits Times about how we need to do 'soul-searching' over the recent SMRT strikes. But I cannot empathize. With the journalist I mean. Call me pretentious or hipster if you like, but I've never seen them differently. Common humanity has always been a strong ideal in my life. From the street sweeper to the CEO of Citibank, I believe that all should be treated with equal respect and dignity. The journalist says that 'we've all been there' when she describes how she abhors foreign workers and ignores them. That just screams auntie to me. I've always smiled at the cleaners in my school, the bus drivers on my way up the bus, I've spoken to strangers on the bus before, and of course to the numerous wise taxi drivers, and many a times given directions as I'm sure anyone would have with a smile. I cannot understand it that after so long, humanity is still climbing out of the dark ages of mindsets and culture. That so many still cling to discrimination and class.

When news broke of the strikes, I was not concerned at the illegality of it. I mean come on, seriously? The fact that there was even a possibility of wage discrimination in such a publicly regulated company disturbed me deeply. Yet the media don't seem to care as much as the poor Chinese workers do they? How can it be that in our 'first-world' transport system and economy, there exists an underbelly, a different society altogether that accepts wages close to the minimum wage in China (but facing the higher cost of living here)? If a country lays claim and ambition to becoming a first-world society, then all who reside should be given equal rights and ownership of public infrastructure.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Dreary Days

Terribly sick and off to Army in 5 days. Loning at home all day and no coffee makes a potent mix of depressants. I definitely need something to do.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

News and Views

An unfinished post I might as well post since I'm not going to finish it.
Israel and Hamas
I'm not a H2 History student. But it's really interesting to watch all these events going on.
I say first that I'm not an Israel fan.
Their military is wicked awesome (6 day war anyone?) but their aggression and pandering to the US is very disturbing. I empathize though. Anyone who plays Civ 5 knows how irritating it is to have aggressive allies who don't ever want to co-operate with you and will declare war on the first sign of weakness.
But this mentality has gone too far. I think Palestine should be a free state, yet Israel doesn't look ready to give up land even to peaceful people who don't really like Hamas either. Hamas on the other hand, are being foolish. They cannot hope to win a war I tell you. And being equally aggressive only serves to strengthen Israel's resolve and shun the rest of the world's backing. But it is also understandabe. Most revolutions of secession in the past have been bloody, especially in the face of ruthless government. And if you know the situation of the embargo and military presence, Israel is not being a very nice neighbour.
Israel's search for a so-called "long-term" solution looks increasingly like a ground offensive. Which by many means will be a long-term problem.

The defence minister and the inflammatory comments
No this isn't the f you incident. I'm talking about page 2 of the Straits Times today. Apparently two websites posted baseless allegations of Dr Ng and was then told by Dr Ng's lawyer to remove them and post an apology. Both did so, but because one of the websites allowed comments that criticized both Dr Ng and his lawyer (Mr Singh), Mr Singh wrote to them again and asked them to do a second apology because the first was 'insincere'. I'm conflicted on this. On one hand, I utterly dislike non-fact checking Republicans opposition websites like TR because this so-called usage of  'freedom of speech' is more like an excuse to LIE. It paves the way towards Terry Jones Koran burning style society, and only causes useless unnecessary divisiveness due to politics in our society as a result of wrong information. And we all know what happens when a group of people are washed in wrong information. Brainwash. The obsession of freedom in some Western societies amounts to nothing more than a cult. Think Jim Sleeper calling us sheep and repressed people. Clearly he is 'enlightened' because he lives in America and not third-world society Singapore.

This sort of dangerous thinking if very hard to remove. Because as people get older and drowned in even more misguided views, they become more close-minded and cannot be convinced.

On the other hand, it is also rather disturbing how swiftly (I admit I'm not aware of the contents of the e-mail) came the government response. Right now, the government is relatively free from corruption, clean and efficient. There might be a time when it isn't. Think why we study Venice in Social Studies. What happens when there are real problems with the incumbent and when people voice their dissenting views, the corrupt authorities abuse their power to remove real truths about the government much in the same way?  Hence I remain conflicted. This sort of thing was in my opinion acceptable, even pragmatic, when SG gained independence, especially in a multi-cultural society where one person's stupidity could erupt into open racial conflict. Right now, I just don't know. Perhaps some freedom and trust should be given upon the people to make accurate, critical analysis of information.

Then again, we are talking about human beings in a democracy. Quoting my good friend "One man's stupidity is worth my intelligence"

Not sure if not publishing top-scorers is a good idea...
The purpose of it is to celebrate achievers, people who worked hard and should be proud of it.
It is true that more emphasis should be on students who have other gifts or are strong of character. Perhaps then, we should be trying to celebrate them more rather than celebrating less of the academically-inclined. But it is also true that really the problem is cultural. Even if you publish an article of a student with exceptional leadership qualities next to a high-scoring student, doubtless most of the Singaporean public will ignore the former. It is disgusting but cultural is a long-term strength and weakness is most societies. It will take time.