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Rare, I’m voluntarily examining a small math problem:

Person A is giving out 9 tickets to be competed for and has a better reputation when it comes to giving out tickets.

Person B is giving out only 6 tickets to be competed for.

You want to get a ticket and you are competing with a very large group for it.

The method of selection is seemingly random, but all you know is that it is not a first-come-first-serve way.

You don’t know anything else — even crucial facts like how many others are competing for each of the tickets and their preference.

(If you want to complexify things, Person CDE are giving out about 2 tickets each. Person F giving out 1. But I don’t think we want to even try our luck with them(

Will you appeal to Person A or Person B for your ticket?

[...]

At first glance, I think it seems easier to get it from Person A. (Math SL brain: 9 tickets are more than 6 tickets) But because of this initial perception and especially so because of A’s better reputation, I speculate that more will attempt to get tickets from A.

Eg. Random numbers illustration — 20 people might try for A, whereas 10 people try for B. 9/20 is less of a chance than 6/10. In other words we don’t really know what the probability of each will be, because we don’t know the total number to base it upon!

But because it is more likely that people find A to have a higher chance and be more appealing….On the premise of minimising competition, I should then attempt to get my tickets from the second best instead.

I hate these math games…anyone with a H2 math brain?

Tomorrow’s  Sunday, remember to give to god generously — especially if your church needs to pay for legal consultation fees. Allen and Gladhill is hardly a cheap place to seek consul from.

I don’t know what it means to give to god anymore, whereas once upon a time churches collected money in order to hold a communal feast. Has one considered examining a church budget, nevermind the business projects, just amounts to say pastor salaries (which are essential i suppose?) and to utilities (essential also), and would we consider a new paint job or new piano as giving to God too? Perhaps those are necessary for the service of God. Then what about luxuries like a really really new paint job or a really really good piano, or a posh-ass architecture? What about legal fees then?

Outside of church, I have become disillusioned with charity processes in practice. Much gets siphoned off — and like the old argument i made before “the twenty dollars you give from a phone call will be used for the next charity show to collect a twenty dollars for the next charity show to…” My rule of giving is very simple — no limbs plus giving directly rather than through all these middlemen. Legally the organisations that send people to sell gifts or collect tin can money have big people on top who collect money from sitting around and doing nothing (according to my superior who once worked for them)

So so, what does it mean to give to God? I really don’t know…but do you? Nevermind the questions, lets give generously anyway!

I’ve always wondered how the Very Firsts of two different ethnic groups speaking languages communicated when they met for the first time, at a time before translators. Or for that matter, how did people even start to learn the foreign language for the first time, giving rise to the first translators? Ah linguistics, linguistics.

Pidgin English which was spoken by the Canton Chinese at the time when the ‘Foreign Devils’  arrived in 1800s might demonstrate some of these evolutionary stages in linguistic integration. Pidgin actually comes from the word ‘business’, which would make sense…though I have no idea why sex is ‘lofpidgin’ in Pidgin.

Like learning any language, you must read it outloud, class!

west wind: wi-sze-wun
January: che-na-li-le
one two three: wun, too, te-le
document: chop
urgent document: chop chop! (LOL)
tomorrow: tomollo

…. as you can see there is still some remnant of pidgin in some areas of society. It’s like a more primitive and crude from Engrish. I HEAR IT QUITE OFTEN THESE DAYS cough. And its quite bad ,one can be quite easily and subconsciously affected by the surrounding pollutants. There is now this slight bolo-santosi-esque tone in my accent at times. SLIGHT, i say again. It is a problem that I have to safeguard against and quickly remedy — the BBC world service has replaced all my playlists in my zen player!

****

The Pidgin Syllabus today was taken from Jonathan D. Spence in his book on the Taiping Rebellion — God’s Chinese Son, page 8 of the hardcover book and bought for less than twelve sing dollars first hand Credit to him, I have no idea how he found out how the Pidgin sounded like a hundred over years ago, but I assume he had fun writing this part.

A Chinese Perception of Foreign Traders (Lol at the Crocodile in the background)

(Also note the furrier moustache and thicker fingers of the foreigner — very subtly realistic!)

Ever wondered why there wasnt a Pidgin Chinese instead — shouldnt it be the Foreigners be adapting to the language of the locals? Maybe there was, just not recorded by most (western) writers of history…or simply incomprehensible.

Its old news I know, but quite funny — my sister  just came back from Malaysia (and quite ill, heh) told me that the Great Singapore Flood was on their front page too.

Bearing in mind that newspapers serve a political agenda, normally playing the tune of the government or (in most other countries) the tune of what the people of the country want to hear and that the front page is reserved for media spotlights on ‘key events’, I wonder what the purpose of selecting it to be put on the front page is…

okay la, maybe a bit hard to compare still ><

****

Or  ”maybe they just have really short legs!”…Possible.

Better still, someone said “oh, why did they build their house in the canal?” — giving fishing village a whole new meaning!

A picture speaks a thousand words — often it means a different thousand words to different people.

You ask yourself: Is it fair? When you say Government, ultimately the people pay for it

In practice, just because the government is not paying for it doesn’t mean that the people aren’t paying for it. The average econs student should realise that putting the onus entirely on SMRT will only result in the increased cost of operations being transfered to the consumer (especially when demand is relatively price-inelastic!). In less economic jargon without drawing a graph, if SMRT has to pay more for security, it will simply raise prices of transport, in the same way that levies make cigarettes expensive. So we’ll end up paying anyway. After all, the law minister Shanmugam called SMRT a private organisation which is profit oriented and makes money for their shareholders. I foresee that transport costs will hike again if SMRT had to bear the entire brunt…by sharing some of it with the commuter.

In fact….if I were SMRT, I will intentionally raise price since I have an excuse to and can direct political flak to the government for not subsidising the increased security cost which is a deviously vindictive response for the current criticism! (I scare myself with what I can come up with sometimes..)

And if either way someone has to pay for it — better the taxpayers (which at least  includes the richer income groups) than commuters pay for it. After all it is those that take public transport and not drive around that need the money more and feels the pinch.

Although there is an unpalatable argument that since the rich aren’t the ones using public transport, they shouldn’t be paying for it.  But think carefully whether the government paying equates to the taxpayer paying. I am inclined to believe lately that the two are distinct. But leave this for another day (or domain).

In principle, we can subcontract the work , but we cannot subcontract the responsibility (as I have learnt from the privatisation of things like the cookhouse and clothing store!). Especially given the ‘security‘ which we speak of is not one over private property where we try to keep the thieves or mere vandals out — the moment it involves the public security, it is an entirely larger sphere. As debate rhetoric teaches me: “it is lives that we are talking about here“.

At the end of the day, it is public transport, isn’t it? Surely this is a big difference between your everyday train service and Keppel/DBS.

And on a final tier, even if it really isn’t public, since when has there been a problem in stepping in anyway?

So if the government isn’t going to pay, who really is going to? I am guessing if not the government, then in reality, when you say SMRT, ultimately it is your ah gong, ah po , market-going aunty and you who will pay for it when you next tap your card.

*****

And I might not even be doing anything econs-related at uni….I hope. But anyway, the above is all economic speculation which is always on a myriad of inconsistent assumptions, which means I might be wrong…I hope (My disdain for economic thought is clear)

I seriously hope my speculative guess will be disproven…simply because I don’t pay tax but I top up my own EZ link card with my miserable…nevermind. T_T

The National Library is currently holding an exhibition on William Farquhar to shed some light upon his role as a founding father of Singapore. While the exhibition states to “[provide] an insight into the often-untold contributions of William Farquhar in the development of early Singapore”, it seems to go beyond that. It almost seems as though the Singapore Heritage Society is almost trying to subtly (or not very subtly) portray Farquhar’s contributions to be larger than Raffles in building Singapore.  In fact, I hardly find it implicit.

Most Singaporeans perceive Farquhar to be a secondary figure compared to Raffles. And it is hardly their fault — far less streets or institutions are attributed to Farquhar. Farquhar street is a short and seldom used stretch of road as compared to Raffles Place. Keppel Harbour which was sighted by Farquhar as a “new harbour” could be named after him but isn’t.  Even our history textbooks, such as Understanding Our Past together with the primary school social studies books, which is the only source which the historical knowledge of most Singaporeans is entirely built on, places Raffles in a light which outshines Farquhar.

The exhibition appears to have the intention of changing such a public perception. From the onset, an explicit comparison is drawn between the two — Farquhar spent 58 months in Singapore whereas Raffles was more akin to an absent father who spent 200 odd days in Singapore. This was accentuated by the fact that letters sent to Raffles from Farquhar requesting funding went “often unanswered for months on end”. By extension, much of the policies were decided by Farquhar as a key figure. This can also be seen in how Farquhar had the ability to defy Raffles’ orders which might mean that Raffles is in too distant a position to interfere.

Many of Farquhar’s contributions are not known to the average Singaporean and even the history students. For instance, there was one policy implemented by Farquhar to cope with a rats problem that Singapore faced by paying people for every rat they caught. (The exhibition very vividly mentions some to be the size of cats!) As a result, our very cheapskate and enterprising forefathers invested time and money in inventing all sorts to traps to spend the day catching rats. The rules of ecology tells us that when you remove one pest, the pest below it in the food chain will multiply since it has less predators — leading to a centipede problem. Farquhar then implemented the same policy and the cycle repeated. No mention is made whether the pests which centipedes fed on flourished.

In fact, almost a quarter worth of the exhibition is spent on the conflicts between Raffles and Farquhar. It is apparent that Farquhar is far from being the executioner of Raffles’ bidding. If anything, the two had a strained relationship where Farquhar went against explicit orders. Such orders were depicted to be detrimental to Singapore, such that Farquhar had to disobey them out of pragmatism. In one instance, Farquhar used a portion set aside by Raffles as government land around the Singapore River for merchants to use under pressure from influential traders who would have withdrawn their businesses from Singapore. On another instance, Farquhar allowed taxes from gambling and opium as a source of revenue even though Raffles was against such vices. Both instances of disagreement were out of the tight budget which seems to be due to Raffles’ refusal to increase funding.

Hence, the exhibition can be said to not only show Farquhar’s contributions, but portray them as greater than Raffles, or at least being closer and more involved with Singapore. The organisers intentionally chose to display an article by Farquhar rebutting the widowed wife of Raffles that the merit of founding Singapore goes entirely to Raffles, perhaps to let the words of Farquhar to speak for themselves.

Taken to another level, perhaps Raffles was portrayed as even an impediment to Farquhar’s management as seen by how his name makes multiple appearances under the section detailing the four difficulties Farquhar faced. Furthermore, the various policies implemented by Farquhar mentioned above were opposed by Raffles. The typical audience-member is led to believe that more credit deserves to go to Farquhar.

Above all, the exhibition mentions how Raffles is responsible for dismissing Farquhar both as a governor and resident of Singapore. Building upon how Farquhar has been portrayed as a capable governor who made an immense contribution in his 58 months, the next logical conclusion that can be inferred is that his dismissal is a loss of Singapore. The exhibition goes to the extent of detailing the sadness of the people as he departed by ship.

I think as a good summary of the underlying theme behind this exhibition, this line would suffice: “He [Farquhar] was a practical and pragmatic administrator who manifested what Raffles could only dream about”. Indeed, Raffles has been said to be a “driven visionary, a dreamer and highly ambitious to boot [who] saw imperialism as a sacred vidilising mission and hoped to liberate natives from feudal ways of thought and behaviour.” A phrase which reeks of colonial supremacy and arrogance (which I’m reading about now in Niall Ferguson’s book Empire) that the Singaporean will find hard to accept. In contrast, Farquhar is arguably portrayed to be closer to the people as seen from the fact that he married a local by the name of ‘nonya’.

As an end-thought, we are left to think about two fundamental questions — first and foremost, what defines a founder of a nation? Second and more subtly, is there an underlying purpose behind selecting such a historical figure to represent the founding father of Singapore? Perhaps such is politics, where the boss (or your warrant officer) will claim the credit of the work of the underling.

It is quite interesting that these questions be posed especially with the recent deaths of some great men. And perhaps as we look at history as a whole, why is it that some impactful figures have faded from prominence in what defines “national history”. The next figure I am going to look at will be David Marshall, and by that I mean more than his trials.

How unfortunate it is that at this exhibition all I see are angmoh old couples — maybe because it is to look at the conflict between two other angmoh men.

****

Rahrahrahrahhh-fuhs!

This post was almost titled A Week Period by mistake. It is ironic that those who are ‘ill’ end up carrying more heavy load. To pick up heavy and bulky loads off the ground, the proper procedure is to squat down to pick up. Unfortunately, yours sincerely has a knee problem that is an impediment to squatting down all the way. As a result, I did not follow the proper procedure, which as a result, gave me this week-long back pain.

It is the Curse of the Sloth — being unable to slouch and relak one corner properly. Funny how the other lazy bugger I know is unable to slouch also due to TITANIUM SPINE. Funnier how I have actually been walking around very erect all weak, i mean week. To the astonishment of some of my friends  … I am suddenly taller than them when they thought I was short all the while! As for those who are short to begin with, hell they seem even shorter.

My madam who injured her back before also (probably some ten to twenty years ago) has very kindly offered to help me get some chinese herbs this monday to cook with a pig tail. (Not the manchu kind but the actual tail of a pig). She adds that such injury to the lower back normally takes several months to recover.

Fortunately enough, my back pain has recovered by around 80 to 90% already. The pain is hardly there and only very slightly when i really really really slouch — which is an abnormal degree of slouching for the average person to begin with. The other instance initially was when bending over to wash my face at the sink.

However, it appears that the back muscles are actually more important than I thought they were both to the upper body and to the lower body. I still can carry some heavy load (like everything in my cupboard on Friday all the way home) but not as much nor as long as before. Elevating my legs can get slightly uncomfortable and I wouldn’t even consider trying a situp at this point of time.

I think that for the time being I should stay away from carrying heavy things and most exercise (what little that I do already). I’m slightly saddened at my current weakness and would hope to renew my storeman strength soon so that I can do work properly next month. Instead I should focus on some stretching exercises and massaging my own back — which is what I’ve been doing for the past few days and might be why I have a speedy recovery. But believe me, its not easy to have your arms massage your own back >< Some things are always easier when performed by other people.

****

My mum had this exaggerated worry about bearing children (for some reason she had the same paranoid fear when I hurt my leg — not that I see how one limb links to another so easily). When I told the (top)  RJ guy in my bunk this, he replied “all you chinese care about is having children and grand children…” I couldn’t help but to reply that he and his parents obviously don’t have that concern.

And if you look at this entire post again carefully, it might be another one of my carefully crafted innuendoes.

Groggy all day,
With not much to play,
Home’s still better anyway.

“I, too, saw mud through mud.”
Or as LC said “THE MUD ON MY FACE IS SOIL. I HATE SOIL”

Apologia does not mean to express remorse for one’s actions. Quite the contrary, apologia is a defence of one’s actions. How remorseful can one be when defending their actions?

Essentially I have done nothing wrong, but I have done what is right and good — for myself mainly, but still. There is no third party harm, apart from self-inflicted envy. My presence adds nothing, my absence removes nothing to the world around me but adds a lot to my own happiness.

The most hypocritical part is of course — that you would do exactly the same if you could, if you had the balls to, if you had the brains to. Your actions are dictated not by enthusiasm or joy (for if they were, you’re either on Morphine or there is a terrible malfunction in your mental faculties) but fear and cowardice. But you simply cannot — which gives enough reason to do condemn those who could. It’s just envy, for there is no other reason to feel any grudging resentment. (CHALLENGE TO BREAK MY LOGIC HERE)

And why is there even the need to find man-pride in these? Nothing will change the reality that the pescee sodjer is already a pussy sodjer — apart from a medical review upwards. Anything else would be denial. Maybe its just a very raw part of human nature to find consolation in being better than others. Like how even a beggar could laugh at another poorer beggar, a pussy…nevermind.

But as I said before what is the ‘intrinsic spiritual reward’ but a pat on the shoulder and a consolation prize. In my opinion, definite and certain rewards trump the undefined and uncertain rewards. If you really want it, you could get a pat on the shoulder from me though!

Your resentment is a small price (especially when soon you will all disappear from my life) but your envy…actually spices things up.

It is ironic indeed that those that the less diligent are rewarded and the competent punished. Or that those that were absent in fact learnt more about the real job. But that is the Alternative Reality for us.

And this is what I mean to be from All-Cock-Sure. To be certain and insistent about your beliefs and actions whether or not you’re right. Or perhaps it is more of I don’t give a damn about what you think about my views.

There is one final thing of importance that I must point out. None of this is my own doing. Everything came by chance. It is a bit hard to create things like rashes, or the fact that my lungs are clogged, my nose is my blocked and my throat is swollen even as I type this. Or even that a knee is messedup. None of this was created and could not be created willingly. Although it is possible that I have a uber subconscious mind that grooms my body in certain directions for pragmatic purposes. Nonetheless, I must admit that I am thankful.Who wouldn’t?

(Tho I’m still hoping to recover quickly so that I can actually enjoy my Reclaimed days and not spend it trying to breathe properly ><)

For the past two weeks I have been overspending slightly but on value-for-money things… or so i’d like to believe!

• Thrice on long distance cab fare. Like from bishan to jurong, or sembawang to bishan kind of thing.
• A fair sum on yoghurt, a java chip frappe, and this yoghurt raisins and peanuts thing that i’m very much into (especially when they are on 40% discount!!!)
• A new creative x-fi 2 (because i wanted to try x-fi quality but more of because i left my old zen in the Shit-Hole so I solved it the AC way by buying a new one!)
• Aurvana earphones cos they were on a \$100 discount (LOLWTF)
• Twenty plus on mrt fare for two weeks even though I only travel on the weekends (i have no idea how) Public transport without concession isn’t cheap but they do provide quality transport especially with the new Circle Line up.
• A hair-cut for less than five dollars at the MRT station
• And FIFTY in order to get a three day mc, i mean treat my throat infection and flu. Damn the expensive antibiotics. Also at the MRT station

One then wonders why the discrepancy — why is it that the hair cut at the mrt station is cheaper than everywhere else, whereas the medical consultation is so much more expensive than elsewhere. For haircuts, I normally got mine done for ten dollars. Its not that much since in school I only cut once a term. For clinics, Gremlin got her MC near the archery place for twenty dollars with more medicines. andthe family doctor i go to more often was on average \$35, plus minus five dollars at most.

Initially I thought that the MRT doctor would be cheaper since the MRT hair-cut was cheaper by like more than half. The MRT bakery is also quite affordable especially with their CLOSING TIME PROMOTION of one-dollar pastries (to get rid of the cold unwanted buns before the next day, otherwise they’ll probably need to throw it away)

For the hair-cut, I think it is because of lower rent at the MRT station that allowed them to lower prices below typical hair-cut prices. This grants them quite an edge over other places that charge ten dollars or more for a similar quality hair cut. What better way to standout from a market of monopolistic competition with almost homogenous products than through price competition! As I was told — “no matter where you go for your hair cut, it looks the same anyway!”. I’m not expecting this to last for long, its probably just a market entry technique since this place is quite new.
But for a clinic, there are probably other factors to consider. It has other high costs to cover apart from rent. Medication is one of them. Paying the salaries of all FOUR doctors of the mini clinic is another. Doctors are paid more than hair-dressers the last I checked.

I only noticed all these after I entered the clinic. 1) It was small on the inside with few seats in the waiting area, meaning normally not many people need to cramp into the clinic at one time. I suppose an MRT station is an unusual place to have a clinic. Its main customers are probably those on the way to work or those coming back from work feeling ill.

2) It opens from 8am to 930pm daily, which might mean that either they have a diligent work ethic (possible) or they don’t get enough customers in the usual hours that they have to open till later. Meaning to say, when they do have customers, they need to milk them a bit more!

Being slightly sore about how much i had to fork out (i was keeping within budget until THIS THING), i went back in the evening and asked the woman at the counter for an upgrade. All the doctor did was sign without seeing me . And i left without paying a cent but feeling like i bought time for myself. Well-deserved time that is supposed to be stolen from me.

Also, I cannot help but to wonder if there was a degree of Price Discrimination in deciding my bill… Given that the MRT is based in a heartland area, it will be difficult to consistently make patients pay such prices. I don’t know. I did hand over my identity card after all.

Somehow I think those doing an econs EE have room to explore this, but I’m biased — I find it hard to get an A for an econs EE since there is so much primary data to collate (through your own nonsense surveys)

***

Funny enough, for the past two weeks, I haven’t actually spent money on real meals yet! Only on random ‘healthy’ snacks, yoghurt and maybe a pretzel! Must be cos I haven’t been meeting up with people to talk over dinner/lunch with. I should soon — after I get well.

INTRODUCTION (the bullshit before getting to the point)
Normally I’m not one who believes strongly in any bonding to a body or organisation. (In fact I find it quite distasteful) Nor did i previously believe in broad sweeping generalisations — i have always thought that it was unfair to stereotype individuals by their greater organisation. There are always examples of exceptions! (This view i still maintain there is never a 100% generalisation)

But of late, upon some experience, I come to believe that organisations have a culture that flows from the old blood to the new blood. Due to the human psychology of peer pressure and overspilling influences, the culture of an organisation reinforces itself. This is especially so in close knit organisations, say large families with tight bonds (a rare find these days).

Having been in a 11 week shithole with enough ming-pai JC to start a school war, not to mention people mentioning how those from my school are mostly screwed up (not knowing that I’m One Of Them), the question arises — What does it mean to be an ACSian? What is the single most important commonality between us all?

BACKGROUND: The Rich Stereotype (and more bullshit before the point)

Here I will put forward a less common argument. Most would characterise ACS to be a rich kid’s school. This could be explained by (the conjecture-lacking-proof) that the  fees and its prestige even in the older days as a rich kid’s school started a rich first few generations who subsequently wanted to graft their children back in. This is seen in bodies such as the OBA (which seems like a cash pool).

Those who believe that background makes it advantageous for students to excel will say that this enabled their children to do well enough to go back to the Family.

The cynics will point out that such parents have priority to the Primary Schools who then have affiliation (which till now I dont see how it adds to the purpose of education) and grants an unfair advantage to their children just because they are children of the acs soil.  Failing which, there is the Donation Appeal.

Some would have wanted to send their children to Bishan Institution, but unfortunately due to LANGUAGE WEIGHTAGE, things become harder for the children of the earlier generation set primarily in english speaking backgrounds. (In my opinion, there is a strong correlation between language background and family background. I also speculate baselessly that maybe chinese is one of the harder ones to do.)

THE POINT FINALLY: We think we’re better no matter what.

But being rich is not a ‘mentality’ or a ‘culture’ by itself. (And I generalise that Suck Cash girl’s school is richer, speaking from experience.) We are not as competitive in a political and self serving manner like the Higher Chinese, nor are we as spirited and enthusiastic as the Victorians. (Pull MC on track and field day, cross country, founders day =D). We are simply just cocksure about ourselves with a very strong “better than thou” mindset — like BOTH the English and the Chinese in such arrogance and insistence! Often I’ve seen cases of overestimating self and underestimating others, where we think we are faster, stronger and smarter. In some cases, we even think we’re holier — it is like a sinful christian practice (like christian principles in fleshly practice or is it fleshly principles in christian practices??). Overall it is a sheer insistence that we are right and we are better than others…even when we’re not!

Case in point: on various occasions at my11 week ShitHole I heard the line “lets look for another smart person” or from various people who claim that they can only think of a few people who are smarter than them in school (self included) And admittedly in my head i go, “they themselves very smart meh” before the realisation of “shit, I’m one of them ><”

DIGRESSION: Since I have nowhere else to put this.
I write this after being told by my nearest bishan friend that its rare for an AC boy to say someone is smarter than him. (This was after I gave a compliment, but one that was very grounded in sexist beliefs ><)

CONCLUSION (and a bit of end thought)

Seems like it is literally a school Pride where we’re All-Cock-Sure. But I’ve a small ending thought — whats the difference between a rafflesian culture and an AC culture? I really don’t know (maybe apart from one having more substance than the other, i intentionally leave my stand neutral) but we could both hope for the best to be here tomorrow!

At the end of the day, to me these school politics doesnt matter. I am not so immature to defend the emblem when under attack by bishan people. (one wonders what other larger organisation i wont bother to defend ><). In fact, I have denied Oldham three times and claimed to be a humble peasant from Jewrong. After all, a person is a person is a person — what is a man-made Organisation when it comes to a person’s identity? In fact ANYONE could have this mindset even from the other places. Though it is interesting to consider the idea that a group culture can affect the individual’s mentality and perpetuate itself for future generations of the group unless an individual is detached and isolated — then he becomes one of the so-called “exceptions” to the stereotype. (I am alluding to something else beyond schools, note the italicised parts and piece the clues like a jigsaw puzzle) It is but something to toy with while wasting time and trying to prevent brain rot. Not like I’m a middle aged man with better things to do, heh!

Maybe I’m right, maybe I’m wrong. It is all open to debate.

BIBLIOGRAPHY (and a little bit of caveat)
Written in the room while waiting for the others in the jungle to return and the storemen are slacking and smoking. Surely you can’t blame me? Have been wanting to write this for a while though, just that I have more sanity than to do it while I’m still in school.But not like I wrote anything offensive or vitriolic, I do quote some generalisations and stereotypes, but that is exactly the point which is to examine the underlying theme of whether there is a basis for stereotypes and what reasons support the generalised trends.

To McHell with the McHappymeals, I present to you from the Alternative Reality of the Middle Years, produced by their very own Dark Sages of the Telekinetic Arts: The MAGIC MEAL.

Its a bit like how you need to feed your RPG game characters some times in order for them to recover body strength to use cool moves in a fight. But we dont want to waste time eating, we just want it all done in a magic click of the button. Don’t you wonder how game characters can eat things like berries to omelette to RISOTTO in the middle of battle?

The MAGIC MEAL packages all the nutrients provided in a warm dinner (plus a dessert…and fork and spoon.) into a compact emerald metallic wrapping. It is capable of instantaneously removing any sense of hunger and all desire to eat….upon the sight of what is inside the package, not to mention the Uniformity in the smell of its preservatives.

Never before has hunger been removed without the use of the alimentary canal at all! This enables our Third Generation to sustain several days without food.

This is truly a very fast food-revolution. Before you know it the sense of hunger evolves into a sense of revulsion. You no longer want to even think about food. It has a beautiful ambiguity in that you cant tell whether it has been chewed thoroughly before being spat out or not… Thus deterring people who try to share whats in your magic meal.

Better yet, in the long run, it actually spurs the Third Generation to go eat more and savour proper food the moment they have a chance to. It makes sons more appreciative of their mother’s cooking — suddenly, it isnt as bad as it used to be…

But there is a small problem with the MAGIC MEAL though. Some say that it causes constipation. It was quite the opposite in my case, but that was probably because of the milk in the dessert. But I know of one specific case just this morning where someone shat blood. Probably no correlation though!

****

By the way, I managed to get myself into a position through sheer cunning and chance that enabled me to have ALL YOU CAN EAT for magic meals >< At least I had the luxury of variety and choice!

Even while in the Alternative Reality of the Mundane Years, I try to keep my brain alive by reading and observing people. Some times my hyper active brain cant help but to produce random nonsense…even if its just over breakfast.

OPPORTUNITY COST: You wake up early in the morning and decide to go for breakfast. The opportunity cost of going for breakfast is about 45 minutes more of sleep.

MISALLOCATION OF RESOURCES: In the case of state-planning, there is often under-allocation if not over-allocation. Simply put, there are five jars of jam which nobody eats and one jar of peanut butter that everyone prefers.

SCARCITY: The peanut butter is running out ><

SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST: Wake up early, walk faster, beat the queue and get your food before it runs out! Its literally the early bird catches the worm.
TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS: The peanut butter is shared and free for all to use. Better to use it or other people will finish it anyway. There is no disincentive to ration the peanut butter and so it finishes quickly. (i’m over simplifying it i think)

PLAIN BASTARD: You’re the last ****er who is scraping out all the peanut butter and applying copious amounts of it on your own bread. You then gloat about it in front of those people behind you who have no more peanut butter.

CLASS DIVIDE: Those who have peanut butter and those who do not.
SOCIAL BACKLASH: Consequence of PLAIN BASTARD (see above)

CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY: Part of SOCIAL BACKLASH. Threatened by the disenfranchised in the CLASS DIVIDE against the PLAIN BASTARD.

RETRIBUTION: (See SOCIAL BACKLASH and CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY)

APPEASEMENT: You give away some of your peanut butter. Typically this leads to them demanding even more peanut butter and eventually all of it.

PURGE: What you do after breakfast. The food wasn’t that good, was it? :X

****

Speaking of the Tragedy of Commons, Jared Diamond asks in his book Collapse (my read for the past week) “what was the last man on Easter Island thinking as he cut down the last tree?”

In the case of peanut butter, i would think –

“MINE!! ITS ALL MINE

By the way, I hear the world supply of tuna is running out. BETTER EAT MORE BEFORE ITS GONE.

Very cheesy country music that probably would win U2 in that area (I like the Bellefire cover of the U2 song better). This ‘All I Want Is You’ seems to be a very common line — theres this, theres U2, theres The Cars who in this song which I like goes “you might think I’m crazy,all I want is you.”

But I recently wrote a list of things I wanted. I titled it life’s simple pleasures (not complete)

Chamomile tea
Mint tea
Clorets
Ice Water
Soy bean
Ice Cream
Hot Shower
Conversations with close friends

and I can’t quite remember the rest.

“Of your list of ten, around eight are edible…”
“Actually there’s one more thing there that’s edible!”

****

And I shall throw in a few lines that carry on from the song, expressing the same theme of wanting since its linguistic appreciation week.

like a flower needs the rain,
and a druggie needs cocaine.
If you were a holic, I’d be a drink.
If you were a smoker, I’d be nicotine.

Fifth June eh?

I very happily said this the other night

even though i ate a bit,
after dinner i went to shit.

It’ll be so awesome if we all spoke in verse and rhyming couplet or at least two lines with same number of syllables and a rhyme. Easy for an overarching playwright (when life is a stage, the playwright is GOD) to craft, not so easy to do when conversing in everyday life. The literature which i learnt like mathematics (and paid off) taught me that if King Lear stopped speaking in verse, its cos hes angry. If cordelia is speaking in couplets and her sisters aren’t, it makes her more elegant.

Poems can be copied by taking a structure of another and replicating it by modifying a few words. The kiddy poem I learnt ten years ago went something like

one two three four five
once i caught a fish alive
six seven eight nine ten
then i let it go again

I insist that as much as i bullshitted last year about how there might be purposes and deeper meanings behind technicalities like rhyme scheme and meter to somehow draw a tenuous but plausible (and appluasable) link to themes, it really is bullshit. From a perspective of a poet, its part of his craft to intentionally follow certain rules. And what better reason is there than that it simply sounds nice. All other explanations linking it to mood.

Anyway heres some i toyed with in the middle of lectures (what better is there to do anyway. you pretend to teach, i pretend to learn) in the process incurring the WTF looks of the people around me…

One two three four
I’m sweeping the floor
Five six seven eight
then I go and clean the gate.

Very reminiscent of my life on the island earlier this year.

one two three four
i’m at a mall
five six seven eight
i forgot the exchange rate…?

complete utter randomness. Such things are better verbalised — theres more humor in it

one two three four
i’m on the floor
five six seven eight
i go home to mas.. go to bed

****

Seriously, im too free during lectures. my mind is as hyperactive as an adhd canoist that forgot to take ritalin. Heh, if Scribbly who helped me substantially with IOC ever saw this literary appreciation week (among other nonsense poetrics) he’d weep, i mean flip.

### Key Quotes.

"Let us be lazy in everything, except in loving and drinking, except in being lazy."

-- Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-81)

### …

If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.

-- J.R.R Tolkien (1892-1973)

### …

Your priests are not going to be happy to hear this, but God is going to be much more pleased by your being transformed into a loving person than by saying, "Lord, Lord."

-- Anthony de Mello
(1931-1987)