vinyarb

Singapore’s next Presidential Election 2017

Nov
21

singapore

So recently, it’s been made known, that Singapore’s next President shall be Malay. Before this election, nobody’s actually raised the issue of race representation in the Presidency (which is a symbolic one anyway, and one that does not wield any power).

Interestingly, the internet was actually talking about who the next Prime Minister might be, and the people’s choice seemed to be DPM Tharman. In fact, it made so much noise that he had to come out and rule himself out of the PM race.

Then out of nowhere, this race representation in the Presidency came up, and conveniently swept the important debate (the Prime Minister position) under the rug.

CNA then came up with this article: Singapore’s next President: A look at potential candidates.

A Dr Norshahril Saat, Fellow, ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute said the following:

The purpose of having a President is not as a check and balance to Parliament. So I think one issue that the candidates should avoid is to act as if they can check the Government. They can’t because they’re largely symbolic even though they have custodial powers.

That makes sense. We all know the President’s role, in terms of affecting government, as largely non-existent.

He then follows that up (in the same article!) with this:

You must ensure that every vote counts. You must ensure that citizens feel that their vote counts. Candidates must come out very strongly and tell voters that they’re voting for the future of Singapore.

So, just to recap: You’re asking us to vote for someone, acknowledging that he will have no real power, to sit in a role full of symbolism and pay him S$1.54m a year.

You then say that they should then try convincing us that we’re actually voting for the future of Singapore?

That’s like asking us to vote for a Survivor winner without seeing them jump through hoops to earn it, and spinning the most bullshit story on why they deserve it.

Sure, looking forward.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

A race against Time

Nov
16

Time heals a lot of things; broken hearts, wounds, animosity. But time, together with humans, also destroy a lot of things. In fact, I believe it’s only a matter of time before the human race destroys the planet and makes it uninhabitable for us.

Climate change due to human activities and the rapid growth of the human population will doom the planet, and with it, our species.

Unless.

Today, a few groups of people are working actively to make that “Unless” come true. And it’s a race against time. The race against time notion becomes even more apparent if you’re aware of The Fermi Paradox.

The Fermi Paradox asks the question of why – given the huge estimated number of Earth-like planets there are in the Universe – we appear to be alone. And one of the theories is that there is a Great Filter, or an obstacle SO huge that other civilizations and lifeforms just could not overcome, to become an interplanetary species. Waitbutwhy has an incredible article on what some potential Great Filters may be.

If that Great Filter is still ahead of us, then it makes sense for us to diversify (terraform other planets) as soon as we are technologically capable of doing so. So back to the people working on “Unless”…

 

Elon Musk – Interplanetary Champion

elon-musk

You should really slap yourself if you have not heard about Elon by now. This man is almost single handedly pushing on the mission to ensure humanity’s survival.
How? Glad you asked.

First, he is trying to stall for time on Earth meeting an earlier demise with all the carbon emissions it’s inhaling, by working on Tesla, his electric car company. Tes;a is currently working on its 3rd iteration of electric cars, imaginatively called Model 3. This is the first that’s aimed at the masses, costing $35,000 before incentives. Tesla is working on an acquisition of SolarCity, of which he sits as the Chairman. SolarCity is the largest provider of solar energy services in America.

Second, he is also the CEO of SpaceX, where his ultimate mission is to send 1 million people to Mars by 2035, in order to enable a self-sustaining human colony. You can view his Mars project as an insurance policy for humanity in case something terrible happens on Earth.

 

Mark Zuckerberg | Priscilla Chan – Disease Curer Billionaire

zuckerbergchannov2014

Next, we have Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO and his wife, Priscilla Chan, donating $3b via the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, in an audacious bid to cure all diseases.

Leonardo DiCaprio – UN Representative on Climate Change

Lastly, we have Actor/Producer/Environmental Activist Leo DiCaprio. He narrates Before the Flood, a documentary distributed by National Geographic detailing the effects climate change is having in various parts of the world.

In order to bring about higher levels of awareness of climate change, the film was distributed free on various platforms, including YouTube, and you can watch the trailer here.

Until these folks succeed on the bigger picture, we as individuals can also do our (small but powerful when done together) part in reducing our carbon footprint.

It doesn’t help that the second biggest contributor of carbon emissions is now being presided by a President Elect who thinks climate change is a fraud.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The Tans take Perth 2016

Nov
12

Before Trump took the Presidency (I know! I’m having trouble believing this, too), the Tans took Perth. All 3.5 of us packed our bags and headed down under for a leisurely week of not doing much. (That’s what happens when you have a pregnant mum on one hand and a bubbly toddler on the other.

Against all of our fears of a toddler approaching his terrible-two on a 5-hour flight, it was relatively uneventful, thank god. We arrived at Perth, grabbed our rental car, and off we went in search of adventure!

First things first, the hotel. Or rather, the view from the hotel.

After gawking at the view and having a quick rest, it was time for dinner. I can’t remember now what we had for dinner, because look at that view!

We also took the chance to visit the Caversham Wildlife Park, a privately owned and operated petting zoo, where Oli had fun getting up close and personal with the kangaroos, koalas and a bigger than expected wombat.

We then headed out to the Blue Boat House, an iconic boat shed to visit anytime you’re in Perth. And another major reason for this visit, was also to celebrate this little toddler’s 2nd birthday!

Of course, any trip down under should come with some…. wine. :)

I guess after this, our next family trip will be a trip for four. And we’re greatly looking fourward to that!

This is the end

Jul
25

Between Donald Trump and ISIS, I think the world has peaked. Enjoy the ride down.

this is how the world ends

Before It’s Gone! #1

Jul
20

Social media is now so heavily entrenched within individuals and corporations that a lot of our thoughts are conveyed on these platforms, rightfully or not.

But social media, as with any other tool, can be used for good, bad, or just used plain stupidly. And then these comments come in fast and furious, and seemingly unabating, a lot of times, admins have no choice but to exercise the delete button.

So, in a new segment I like to call “Before It’s Gone!”, I’m collecting and posting hard truths, before the social media police have the time to press the delete button.

Today’s submission:

disappoint to death

OK boys, go get em…. after the rain. We don’t want you catching colds.

 

Twitter tests Twitter Live ahead of the NFL

Jul
08

So, I can’t believe this is my first post of 2016. Yeah, it’s been that busy a year! But more on that for a later post (promise!).

Today, I want to talk about Twitter. Twitter’s stock, for those financially aware, have been more or less in free-fall since early 2015. A lot of critics of Twitter pointed to the fact that Twitter as a platform is not easy to onboard for newcomers. There’s a sense of “what do I do with this?” (which is exactly how I feel about Snapchat btw).

Adding to that problem, Twitter also has issues keeping new users, and turning them into regular users. They are not small by any means. 2016 Q1 figures had them at 310m monthly active users. Wall Street has not traditionally been kind to tech players, with the exception of the FANG stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google), everyone else has been battered.

But Twitter’s been gearing up with a new upcoming feature called Live. Essentially, through it’s platform, you’ll be able to watch NFL games being live-streamed, directly on Twitter. Other live events are being discussed and apparently close to getting to a deal.

Why Live will be essential to Twitter’s success?

Twitter Live

 

A big use-case for Twitter is it’s ability to act as a second screen for people whilst watching their favourite show on tv. During the 2014 World Cup season, Germany’s 7-1 trashing of Brazil amassed 35.6million tweets! Just for that game!

People are already organically discussing about live events and tv shows on twitter. Twitter’s move to screen these events live on twitter would only make the platform more popular. Better yet, I believe Live is available even to people not signed in to Twitter. They too can follow the action both on screen and tweets as comments.

I believe Twitter will rise in value on the back of this and other event deals they’ll be announcing over time.

As a twitter user and a newbie stock observer, I’ll be watching this unfold closely over the next few quarters.

ST vs CNA reporting

Dec
18

The screengrabs below shows the reporting of the same piece of news from ST and CNA.

Note how barebones the ST article is.

ST_News

Now contrast this to the CNA article:

CNA_News

Where are the hard questions, ST??

Watch Shia lebeouf watch Shia Lebeouf

Nov
26

No, the headline is not a typo.

Shia Lebeouf, actor turned performance artist’s latest project is #AllMyMovies, a 72-hour “performance” in which you’re invited to watch Shia watch his entire catalog of movies in reverse chronological order.

If watching Shia Lebeouf watch his own movies (all of it) is something you’d be interested in, you can watch it here.

 

But if you just want to skip to the after-interview, here it is.

I wonder what happened with Shia that he would want to torture himself like that.

Also, this.