I find it eerily strange. Alien even. Why a conscious mind would let another control it. Tell it what to wear, what not to wear. Tell it what they can say and not say. Tell it what and when they can eat and not eat. Tell it what it can think and not think.

To me, there is nothing more beautiful in my consciousness than the ability to think freely. To be wrong, to discover, to learn, to try and understand for myself. To find beauty through my own eyes rather than through a set of polarised glasses prescribed to me by some abstract idea. I refuse to have my life and lifestyle enslaved and shackled by superstition and have people who manipulate me with it.

“Only the illiterate smoke. Because every box of cigarette and tobacco products have warning labels. Smokers must not know how to read.”, my mum once told me. Today, we get gory pictures of cigarette boxes. We still get smokers. So it’s not because some people refuse to read, it is because some people refuse to open their eyes.

C’est la vie. It is your life. I only take offence when I see people being oppressed and not realise it. I guess it would be the same feeling that one gets talking to a happy slave who loves to be a slave. You can keep telling them that slavery is wrong but they are happy in it and constantly invites you to join them.

More than half the people in Malaysia have already lost their human rights. The other half have theirs under threat. The struggle for secularism in government should not be taken lightly. Even if you are a Bishop, a high priest, an Imam, an agnostic or a hard-headed Atheist, no one can differentiate our tears. We need the freedom to be who we want to be, when we want to be. This goes beyond freedom of speech, it’s freedom to think.

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#MH17 A string of unfortunate events coincide with the struggle to cut cost and save money. If the last mysterious tragedy raised serious doubts on the future of the company, this current event should easily seal her fate.

Beyond the company, we must not forget the increasing volatility of our planet. Peace appears to hang at a cliff edge. We no longer live in a simple polarity but a patch work of ideologies. We live in a world in conflict, we live in between war zones, we live in war zones. Think of those who were flying out or back from a summer holiday on that plane. Someone elses bullet landed on their lap. It was a suprise last minute addition to their travel itinerary. Senseless stupid ideologies. Politicians should be stopped from playing their games with human lives.

To the men holding the guns/missile launchers or bombs and say it is because of war. Say what you want, cry all you want, to everyone else you are just a terrorist.

The world is a small small place. We live in a small blue planet, suspended in space. Given enough distance, this planet is but a faint dot in a dark sky filled with billions of brighter stars. It’s a small world. This makes every bullet, every bomb and every other weapon ever fired much bigger than it actually is. It kills who it hits, mortally maims their surviving families, crushes their friends, knocks the future of children off their tracks and scars humanity with digital shrapnel. It’s a small world, every bullet fired will affect you in one way or another. There is much hate in the world so the solution to this must be to add more love and understanding. Adding more hate and violence to the equation of solving “hate and violence” is obviously not the answer.

From star dust we come,
to star dust we return.

In living memory, we remain.
In written knowledge, we persist.

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A bench spotted at the new science museum in Dallas.

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” ― Carl Sagan, Cosmos

Context: Uproar by some Malaysian Muslims on a discovery of trace elements of swine DNA in certain chocolate product.

I find it the reaction by these certain quarters quite comical. With threats of lawsuits and jihad against the company. I find it comical because all of them probably carry quite a bit more of “pig DNA” in their pockets and wallets already. I think it’s quite well documented how dirty physical money is.

Money, paper money. It is widely circulated and touched and handled by all members of society.

From criminals to religious scholars.
From butchers to bankers.
From prostitutes to librarians.
From drug addicts to doctors.
From church to mosques.

Humans, we love the smell of money. We keep them close to us, our prized profession, our Mount Everest. All these hands contribute to trace elements on money. Faeces, bodily fluids, food, oil etc. You handle it with your hands, you eat with your hands. Yet this elephant in your pocket never seem to cause you any discomfort as something smaller than a microscopic trace in an industrial scale. Humans, sometimes it’s surprising that we call ourselves intelligent.

 

1/Thesis:"Do what you love" / "Follow your passion" is dangerous and destructive career advice.

 

According to Marc Andreessen, apparently this is so. He goes on so say that successful people who loves what they do are outliers. So the anti-thesis could be “Do what you hate”; which is an odd proposal from the start.

Passion is a fuel. It drives innovation and perseverance. It drives uniqueness and fuels us through differences in opinions. It leads us to discovery beyond the mountains of failure. It was what drove us to explore the savannah and take over the world.The passion that fuels curiosity and powers the very greed that fills the investor’s eyes.

His advice, together with that of Marc Cuban, the other rich Marc, seems to be through their beady investor eyes. If we could hear the echoes from the boardroom which could tell a story of fulfilling financial returns in the quickest way possible. Angel investment is not about helping your dreams to become a reality. It’s about making their money make more money. From this perspective, they do not care about your passion. They care about your promise of returns when you presented your game plan to them. It’s business.

Money doesn’t make the world go round, the greed for money does.

If you are starting out, the last thing you want to be is a slave to money, instead choose to be a slave to your passion. It makes the world a better place and if you are successful in your passion, people like Marc and Marc will come knocking on your door to give you money. It is only then do you have to decide if you would like to sell your soul. They will then take your soul and start changing your dreams for theirs. This is where you could possibly be living in Marc’s anti-thesis, you will be under the investor’s control, doing what you hate so that the investor can earn their buck.

In closing, listen to Nicholas Negroponte talk about starting a life with meaning to make a world a better place.

Is the tragic event in Santa Barbara, California symptomatic of a viral social media behaviour?

Ever since cases such as Columbine, we seem to be getting steady occurrence of such events. It’s not just localised to the US, this phenomenon has gone global. With school shootings globally on the rise, not to mention the Norwegian tragedy, violence in schools in China etc., there has been a tangible increase in troubling violent events happening outside the scope of war, general crime and terrorism.

The world may be getting smaller but certain problems appear to be getting bigger. Is this a case of higher visibility due to pervasive media or higher population density, or a real issue of mental disease spread through social networks. We know the active use of social networks in “organised” conflicts such as war and terrorism and even it’s use in organised crime. It is also known for it’s direct influence in the success of viral marketing and social influences. The term “going viral” can take on a real serious and scary place in dark teenager’s bedrooms around the world.

The phenomenon of social media in youth lone-wolf violent behaviours should not be overlooked.

It’s amazing how insensitive many sensitive people are. I have always wondered about the missing empathy and found an overwhelming insight from a quote from Anaïs Nin.

We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.