Saturday, October 22, 2005
I don't really listen to music, I'm more visually stimulated than aurally stimulated.
But this music video is one of the first to be shot entirely using camera phones.
Makes you wonder what else can be done with our little device in the pocket.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
"They started well and maybe better than us but in football the first goal is always important because it gives more confidence." -- Jose Maurinho.
Football is a lot like life. But a lot of people often miss that fact.
Often, we think that just slapping together a bunch of people giving them a target and things will turn out right.
No, I've seen too many companies and ventures fail, not because they didn't have the right ingredients but because of their motivation.
CEO's and managers sitting in their ivory towers think that programmers are cheap "$1750" only. However, not all programmers are the same.
And then they prod their staff into getting the goal done.
But football shows us what management really is like.
Even the highest paid players can get demotivated.
But somehow, I felt that managers in some companies don't understand this.
Even worse, if you are getting paid $X, you are expected to be worth $X. You get the message: "You don't need a manager to motivate you or manage you. You're paid enough."
Yes, some degree of self-management is important and maturity. But you read in job adverts "must be self-motivated, able to multi-task, work independently." Read in between the lines it is: "I may be the manager, but I don't have the time to talk to you to understand your needs, motivate you and to help you achieve your tasks assigned. There are so many things to be done that I'm going to dump it all on you. I'm also spending too much time politicking and climbing up my own ladder that I won't be able to mentor you."
If football managers were to manage football teams like corporates, you would really get lousy football teams.
I get the feeling that achieving company goals is just a matter of managing resources, about unit cost, of finding the cheapest, that all programmers are the same, so just find cheap ones from India or China.
With $10,000 I can only hire 4 programmers in Singapore, but I can hire 8 in India. Yes, that is true. But what of the quality?
With $250 million you can only buy a Chelsea. But you also can buy all teams in Malaysia and Singapore with that. Does that mean by just spending half the amount and buying every Singapore team wil win you the Champion's league?
Another thing about football is that. Even the best players train weekly. It is unthinkable to think that a football team not train.
However, in companies, we see companies cut back on training. Or stinge on their training for staff.
"If you're doing what you're doing adequately, you don't need training" which is the message. Or, "training is given out to those who performed well", another message I got from working in a previous company.
This series of football and management will be continued...
A lot of people of have been asking me the type of woman that I like, and I've been always been
answering "My type is hard to find!"
Okay, now I'm going to publicise just a few of the things that I want in my woman. It's not the
complete list, but just some, as well as to prove the chances of me finding such a person is hard.
|Attribute||Percentage In Population.|
Out of a total of about 6 billion people in the world, we assume that half
Intelligent & Educated: Yes,
However, just being intelligent
So how intelligent should she be?
I happen to qualify for membership
Out of our total of 3 billion women, we
We make an assumption that all people professing Christianity as their religion
At 30%, this leaves: 9,000,000 women in the World.
Independent & Confident. An estimate of the number of people who are confident and living without bondages
At 15% this leaves: 1,350,000 women in the World.
Rationals: 3%, Idealists: 4%
At 7% this leaves: 94,500 women in the World.
(I'll be generous here again and believe that I can go for a much
At 14% this leaves: 13,230 women in the World.
Physically Appealing & Compatible
I have to be honest here. No matter
At 5% this leaves: 662 women in the World.
Humourous & Witty
At 25% this leaves: 166 women in the World.
At 15% this leaves: 25 women.
I meet her basic criteria.
Statistics have shown that people
At 16% this leaves: 4 women in the World.
So that leaves me with only 4 women in this entire world that may actually be compatible with me.
I can now safely say to my future wife truthfully "You're one in a billion. Or more precisely
4 in 6 billion." Hey, I've done my maths to prove it. *8)
Monday, October 17, 2005
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Today's Foxtrot comic illustrates beautifully what it means to learn things your own way.
One of the problems with education is that it imposes its own structure on learning facts on students.
The structures and framework of learning facts may or not be the right one to be absorbed by someone.
In fact, it is because of standard frameworks and structures that we are caught thinking in the box and forget the that facts and ideas can be rearranged to produce different ways of thinking.
For example, one of the constraining facts in physics space-time theory was that time was constant. It took Einstein to come along and think differently that it wasn't and that time could be dilated.
Another way of looking at the periodic table of elements now is the periodic galaxy. (A larger version can be seen here.)
When I grew up, during standard one, my mother tried to drill in me the mathematical times table. I cried when she used the cane to beat it into me. It was only the intervention of my uncle that stopped it.
The funny thing is that until now, I have never memorised the times table. I still cannot recall instantaneously what is 6 * 8. I think in my mind 4 12's, 2 24's = 48.
Yet, I scored A's in almost all of my math subject. The reason is because I found my own way around mathematics, trying to understand why instead of memorising by rote. Why this, or why that. During secondary school, the teacher gave various formulas for integration. However, the reason was never given. I took it upon myself to read up why it was so. Finally understanding the background and rationale for integration allowed me to look at the subject in a different light and absorb it.
One of my classmates is a lady who has only 2 O' levels. One in English and another in Cooking.
She now has her own security company and grew her company in 10 years time. She earns between $60,000 to $100,000 in profit each month and her company is on sale in the low millions.
How did someone like that do it?
I asked her during mealtimes and here is part of her life story I gleaned:
She started out working as an administrator in the police force. Where do you go anywhere with just two O's?
She volunteered to do anything during her time there, offering to organize courses, prepare coffee, be the prize presenter and basically doing tasks that other people would think below them. She took any courses that was offered by the police force or human resources department and more importantly applied them.
After she left the police force, she didn't know what to do. She sold insurance for a year and earned some money through hard work.
Then came up the offer of security company licenses for bid. She tried it, even without much paper qualifications. But she got it because of the familiarity she had with the police force.
She then grew the company. Doing everything from accounts to sales to invoicing to administration. Futhermore, handling men who have been toughened bythe police force takes even harder steel inside.
But now, she owns one of the bigger security firms in Singapore supplying major construction companies and MNC's like HP with security personnel.
The one thing I observed is her positive attitude and people skills she learned from courses she took and her never say die attitude. When asked "Did you ever think of giving up?" "No, never" was her reply.
Even now, when she could relax and lie back and say she has it made, she comes for an entrepreneurship class. (And a gruelling one I say, 60 - 90 hours a month). For one who has the qualifications to teach entrepreneurship on her own, she wants to learn more.
What an amazing lady.
(Ms Penny Ang recently won a Spirit of Enterprise award. An interview with her is listed here.)