Ideas

Elections Hangover: Understanding BLAME in 3 minutes+

The elections has past by for almost a week now. Some people were surprised, some disappointed. Some were glad and some were mad.

A handful chose blame.

What is blame and how does blame affect our lives? Here’s a three-minute short on blame as explained by Dr Brené Brown.

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Ideas

Three Feng-Shui Reasons why PAP could do well this election

Feng Shui master's Luopan by Warren R.N. Stuart
Feng Shui master’s Luopan by Warren R.N. Stuart

It has always been an interest to me if the G would do things according to Feng Shui. Disclaimer: I’m no professional. But this doesn’t stop me from observing the good “feng-shui” factor for the coming 2015 elections.
(1) Polling Day falls on a 青龙(黄道)执日

According to baidu.com, 执日 is also translated as “Hold On”. Hence, with Polling Day falling on a 执日, the G would be able to “hold on” to its power.

(2) Lunar Seventh month is a lucky month for people born in the year of the Dragon

According to chinahighlights.com, the lucky Chinese lunar months for people who are born in the year of the dragon are the 3rd, 4th and 7th. Not surprisingly, our PM is born in the year of the Dragon! Who cares whether we are still celebrating the Hungry Ghost Festival which falls on the 7th month on Polling Day? Luck is with him!

(3) PM Lee Hsien Loong has secret friends Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Chan Chun Sing to help him

Elections are after all a team effort and this goes in Feng Shui too. According to World of Feng Shui, a Dragon’s secret friend is the Rooster. Both Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Chan Chun Sing are born in the Year of the Rooster hence our Prime Minister does not just have one, but two secret friends to help him win this election.

What do you all think? Could there be a great geomancy master out there advising them on every important step? I think so although I could be wrong too!

Ideas

To the Politicians of the World

Above all else, we ask that you show up, let yourself be seen, and be courageous. Dare greatly with us.

– From ‘The Leadership Manifesto‘, Brené Brown –

Since the 2011 Singapore General Elections, I’ve taken an interest to study a bit more about politics and governance. I looked at what it means for a nation to be democratic or communistic. The ideals of capitalism and socialism. How a libertarian and an authoritarian governance could be like. There are probably a dozen ways more to classify this. In fact, I can’t even agree that this is the way governance should be classified! However, for the simplicity of discussion, please allow me to generalise things as such.

I am no expert but I’m beginning to realise that there might not be a solution to satisfy everyone’s idealism.

The capitalist will likely feel that their logic is right and when he explains his logic to the socialist, the socialist will likely feel that the capitalist’s logic is way off.

The libertarian will likely hope for more freedom. The authoritarian will likely think that more order is required in order to run things efficiently.

Among the most powerful countries in the world, US and China, represent the world of democracy and the world of communism.

Furthermore, all these scales are not in black and white. Everyone’s ideal will likely be at varying degrees.

I don’t think we can argue based on logic. What is perfectly logical to you may not to me. But I was just thinking, maybe we shouldn’t argue at all. Maybe we should just connect with each other and try to see things from each other’s point of view. We’ll continue to agree to disagree, but we will understand that our actions are going to have some form of impact on the other party.

Whatever actions we take, let’s try our best to go for a Pareto efficient one where possible.

To the politicians of the world, if you want the support of your people, I hope you choose to connect with your people. Have an honest conversation with us. If you feel insecure about getting our support but yet you are absolutely sure that you are the best person to serve the nation, why not share with us. I’m sure the people will be happy to share some of their ideas with you.

At least I will.

Journal

Under A Vast Sky

People who know me long enough would know that when I listen to today’s music, I tend to follow the artistes themselves. I like to know about their history, I like to read about what their views on life is. This brings meaning to the songs that I’m listening.

With Beyond, it was a bit different. I bought their CD, which happens to be the final commemorative CD, for a single track (very rare would I buy a CD for a single track). I didn’t read about them till a few days ago.

This is the song which I bought for, this exact version on YouTube is on my CD:

Today was the first time I ever saw this rendition live. I stumbled upon it while browsing through some news on Hong Kong’s Occupy Central situation.

I can’t describe my feelings when I watch it but all I can say is that my heart goes out to the people of Hong Kong. I really hope that both sides will continue to exercise restraint.

There is this Chinese saying that goes:

忍一时风平浪静,退一步海阔天空

(*Note: Coincidentally, the name of this song, 海阔天空, is embedded in the saying)

It roughly translates to this:

Literal Translation: The winds and waves will be calmed with a moment of patience, the seas and the skies will look vast (I interpret this as being able to see a bigger picture) with a moment of compromise

Meaning: A little give-and-take will make a conflict easier to resolve.

For me, I hope that conversation will take place and all things will go well. We can only understand each other if we start talking to each other. I guess it takes courage to start talking. Something like that courage described in the song.

Journal

Scottish Independence Referendum 2014: Three Lessons from the BBC

18th September 2014. A historic moment for the UK as Scottish voted in a referendum, answering a simple question, but one which may impact many generations to come.

“Should Scotland be an independent country?”

The Scottish Referendum Cupcakes
Image Source: The Edinburgh Reporter

It is in the wee morning hours in the UK but for me, being in the +8GMT timezone, I’ve logged on to BBC, running the live result shows on my dual screen while doing my work on my main that entire day. It is bit of a multitasking, but I can work and find out the latest news at the same time.

I’m exceptionally impressed with three things:

Filming in the Counting Stations

BBC actually got access to film inside the counting stations. You can see the counting process on TV. Of course, the film crew is unable to get into the area demarcated for counting, they are able to film up close from the sidelines, allowing the public to observe the counting process as well.

This, to me, was about trust, showing that there is nothing to hide about the voting process.

Reasons Behind Spoilt Votes

Every vote was accounted for. Reasons as to why votes were rejected and the corresponding number of votes that were rejected based on those reasons were announced. Rejected votes were categorised into the following reasons:

  • Marked with an unofficial mark
  • Voting in favour of both answers
  • Writing or mark by which the voter can be identified
  • Unmarked or void from uncertainty

This to me was accountability, showing that the vote counting process has been a fair one.

The third point, where votes were actually rejected because the voter can be identified impressed me the most. This to me was about protecting the voters, in case that the voters can be targeted due to the choice he or she made as he or she could be identified, they void and discounted those votes anyway.

Analysis from All Sides

BBC had neutral analysts, pro-union analysts, pro-SNP analysts and the public with them to do the live show. Such an arrangement gave depth and insights to the ethos, pathos and logos that are motivating the choice of the people from all sides. It gave the viewers a chance to hear from the other sides as well. Viewers are empowered to make their own judgement on how they would like to view the issue, giving them sufficient information to make a sound one.

I felt that this process also gave the minority a chance to understand why the results came out to be a certain way, gaining an appreciation of the democratic process so that they may agree to disagree more congenially.

What do you think?

Ideas

We Only Read the Headlines: News on Population White Paper spreads to Japan and China

An article titled “China immigrants are the greatest enemy; Demonstration held against new immigration policy – Singapore” on the Population White Paper found its way onto Yahoo! JP.

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20130218-00000028-xinhua-cn

Articles of similar titles are also found on many China websites (for example: here).

If you have only read the headlines:

1. What do you think this immigration policy is about?

2. What will you think of Singaporeans?

3. What will you think of China immigrants?

Frankly speaking, I don’t think these headlines are reflective of the situation. To me, it sounded as though the new immigration policy seeks to give an advantage to Chinese immigrants. And I can’t help but feel afraid to see the reactions of the global community to this piece of news.

Only if you read till the end, the article then explains itself that it was the protest organiser, Gilbert Goh, whom deleted his comments about the new Chinese immigrants which he publicly admitted it as dangerous before the protest was held. But even so, the impression the headlines made coloured my perceptions of what I thought this article was really about.

On a separate note, what do you think of the headlines mentioned in the following song?