#MOMChats Townhall Session
Passion is all you need.
Having attended #MOMchats Townhall Session held on 11th October 2012 at Singapore Management University, one of the key topic that I found most memorable was the discussion on passion. In particular, the question posted by the audience was, “Can we survive on passion today?”
“Can we survive on passion today?” Minister Tan was filled with his conviction as he took on this question. He described his personal experience about how his passion had led him to where he is today. His passion for public service was deepened when he served National Service (NS), which was why he enjoyed his stint there tremendously. This propelled him to the public service sector and eventually becoming the current Acting Minister. Still, for most people, it is about finding the right balance between passion and survivability. Minister Tan gave the advice that, ultimately, we will have to decide what is most important to us, at different stages of our live. There are times when we have responsibilities we can’t fulfill should we just follow our passion. What really matters would be to find meaning in what we do.
I do not share Minister Tan’s passion for NS to such a large extent, and this placed in a slightly unique position of not being able to pursue my passion during the two years while I was in army. However, I agree with Minister Tan that it was simply a matter of knowing what is most important at different stages of our lives. While I may not be able to pursue my passion during the two years in army, what was most important to me during the time was character molding, and the two years in army certainly helped me be a more mature and resilient individual.
In order to answer the question on whether we can survive on passion today, I think we have to first define what “survive” really meant. Is “survival” defined as a) earning barely enough to put food the table but living each day with meaning or b) defined as commanding high pay so that one could live comfortably? I am inclined to go with the first definition.
I feel that as long as I am able to put food on the table, I am surviving. The beauty of thinking this way is that I don’t have to spend all my time thinking about what I should do to make more money. I would then be free to pursue my passion even if it could just barely put food on my table.
By pursuing my passion, every day will be meaningful, exciting and full of happiness.
At the end of life’s journey, I know for sure I will be smiling.
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Protected: Willy Wonkas
More points of suspicion regarding Alvin’s appeal into NUS
While Alvin finally bothered to rectify some of the misleading facts regarding his admission into NUS on his appeal site, many netizens began to raise suspicion over the “Hungry Hippo” final year project created by Alvin.
Firstly, he claimed that Microsoft Surface was “poorly documented” at that time. This might not be true as Microsoft seldom release any “poorly documented” SDK to developers.
Next, let’s look at a video of one of the first game that some Microsoft engineers threw together as part of a demonstration of the technology.
View the video
Finally, we look at the design of Alvin’s page, and the uncanny resemblance it has with this page, an appeal website by a 19 year old in Slovakia.
Untruths Behind Alvin’s Appeal Revealed
In my earlier article, I raised questions regarding a site created by one particular Alvin regarding his appeal to get into NUS. Looks like my suspicion is confirmed.
Although Alvin’s site is all about “helping Alvin get into NUS”, Alvin was ALREADY given a place in NUS even before he started the appeal site. This was reported in a Today’s article.
Mr Wang, who was… offered a course in Information Systems at NUS, is hoping to use this website as part of his official appeal… to pursue a degree in Computer Science
In other words, this is NOT about Alvin not being able to get into University, or NUS being lousy in their admission process. This is about a guy not being happy with the course he have gotten, and trying to garner the support of so many people deceptively.
Information Systems and Computer Science in NUS shares many same modules, and they even have the exact same programmes during freshman year.
Yet, Alvin seems adamant about the whole thing, saying that he does not intend to enrol in university should he fail in this appeal and that, “To me, it is not so much about… getting that paper qualification.” Huh? Then what is this about?
Are you one of those misled by his half-truths? Perhaps he is better suited working in a advertising agency.
Finally, let’s take a look at the weird resemblance with a campaign by a 19 year old designer from Slovakia
Help Alvin become a chipmunk
Recently a dude who goes by the name of Alvin created is own site to tell the whole world that he wanted to get into NUS, but couldn’t. Many people supported this by spending 2 seconds of their time to click a “like button”. I thought otherwise.
Before we get overly emotional and applaud him for his perceived courage and stuff, let’s think about this rationally and logically and decide whether this is indeed a cause for support.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not against this if it can be proven that his passion in IT is genuine. Right now there are more questions than answers, and I am withholding my support for this until when support is deserved.
I am hungry for your answers.
You make me smell.
The problem with being me, is that I’m mildly dyslexic.
And when my girlfriend dropped me a sweet SMS, I replied:
Dear, your msg makes me smell.
The 3 types of Muggers
I am not a mugger in all sense of the word, but I have lived among them for nearly 10 years. After observing muggers for 4 years in The Chinese High School (now known as Hwa Chong Institution), 2 years in Anderson Junior College (the No.1 mugger JC with NO results to show that fact) and 3 years in Singapore Management University, I realized there are actually only 3 distinct types of muggers. Let’s see.
The Serious Muggers
The Serious Muggers are the most rare breed that you can find. They can be found in huge abundance in The Chinese High School but I don’t really see them in Anderson Junior College. A small number of them can be found in Singapore Management University, but they are the exceptions rather than the norm. Serious Muggers are muggers who meant business. These people spend the bulk of their life studying. They look exactly the same and have the exact same posture whether or not it is 7am in the morning or 11pm at night and you would have sworn they are mannequins if not for the occasional rise and fall of their chest when they decide to input something other than knowledge into their body and output something other than grades.
The Closet Muggers
No, they don’t literally hide in closets, even though if they can find a closet large enough with sufficient lightings, they probably would. These muggers are seriously in need of psychological evaluation, as they often have issues with coming to terms with their own identity. Their favourite phrase to their peers is “Why mug? Don’t need mug lar…” Some may say that this is a smart application of game theory, but we may never know the truth. Some Closet Muggers are also Serious Muggers, and Serious Closet Muggers are the most scary muggers in existence because they give a whole new meaning to the words “zombie”, “no life”, and “bell curve”.
The Social Muggers
Social muggers love to mug in plain sight of their peers and in fact, prefers to mug with their peers, who are also Social Muggers. They are characterised by their loud chatters and abundance of food and beverages during mugging sessions and tend can be randomly encountered in places with lots of good books or cheap food, such as Libraries and McDonald’s. Sadly, like any other pests, they multiply and displaces the natives in any environment they go too. Avid library goers stop going to libraries because of the huge noise population that Social Muggers produced, and McDonald’s customers have to take out as there are no more seats in the restaurant. One may argue that Social Muggers aren’t really muggers at all – they spend more time eating and talking than studying. Social Muggers can never be confused with Closet Muggers, since the lack of good books and cheap food in closets make closets unlikely habitats for Social Muggers.
So this is it, these are my 3 classifications of muggers. Can you think of any more?
O, Rose Tea
O, my sweet sweet rose tea.
Thy fragrance engulf thee,
and makes me want to pee.
The first day I hear of you is also the day you die
Executives in local companies simply don’t understand that execution is the key to success. They think that throwing money in to hire some random people to run the show and spamming money into marketing can get you a sustainable business.
Mac to PC: Look, no condoms
All of us software developers know that all software will have vulnerabilities. To err is human and software are created by human. There will always be bugs, loopholes and possible exploits.
So why do Macs have such a good reputation when it comes to security? Simply because so few people use Mac that it is not economical for hackers to attack Macs by creating viruses and malwares for it. Hackers are smart.
Sadly, many Mac users (not ALL Mac users, mind you) are at the other end of the intelligence spectrum. So they go around telling people, “Hey, look at my Mac, I ain’t need no anti-viruses on, because there are no Mac virus!” However, the Internet is a treacherous place, with viruses floating everywhere. Mac users’ proclamation sounds to me like dickheads waving their dicks around and yelling “My dick has never gotten Aids before, so I don’t need condoms!”.
We, the smart, all-knowing, all-wise PC users can only look at them in disgust, perhaps sometimes with envy. After all, putting on anti-viruses sort of slows down your system, taking something away from the somewhat amazing computing experience just like what condoms did to sex (I am guessing on this one, sex is not my area of expertise). And when we look at some of the more recent Apple advertisements that proudly proclaims how “safe” Macs are, we can only hope that some malignant god that governs the ethical realm will be kind on Apple and gullible Mac users one day…
Well, that day has come sooner than expected. Sadly, society is structured in such a way that there are more gullible than rationale people, so more and more users switched to Mac. The value of writing viruses for Mac has increased tremendously.
Look, no condoms.
Don’t work. Be Hated. Love Someone.
This is a commencement speech written by Adrian Tan, author of The Teenage Textbook (1988), was the guest-of-honour at a recent NTU convocation ceremony. This was his speech to the graduating class of 2008. Reposted from Half Half. This speech resonances very strongly with me, having been inspired when I was 14 by the movie Dead Poets’ Society.
I must say thank you to the faculty and staff of the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information for inviting me to give your convocation address. It’s a wonderful honour and a privilege for me to speak here for ten minutes without fear of contradiction, defamation or retaliation. I say this as a Singaporean and more so as a husband.
My wife is a wonderful person and perfect in every way except one. She is the editor of a magazine. She corrects people for a living. She has honed her expert skills over a quarter of a century, mostly by practising at home during conversations between her and me.
On the other hand, I am a litigator. Essentially, I spend my day telling people how wrong they are. I make my living being disagreeable.
Nevertheless, there is perfect harmony in our matrimonial home. That is because when an editor and a litigator have an argument, the one who triumphs
is always the wife.
The Truth About IT Helpdesks
It is sad yet sometimes undeniable truth that many enterprise workers are only aware of an IT helpdesk and its value when something broke down and a phone call has to be placed.
Since budget allocation to each department would be relative to the perceived value of each department in an enterprise, it follows that IT helpdesk staff have to ensure that things constantly break down so as to maintain awareness of their existence and to give themselves perceivable value.
In short, because they are paid to solve IT problems, it is in their best interest that you face IT problems regularly.
If you don’t face IT problems, then their career is in jeopardy.
Conflict of interest is so interesting.