Friday, November 25, 2005

No Decision is a Decision

There is no such thing as no decision. Even no decision is a decision.

There is no such thing as no religion. Even atheism is a religion. If we say that religion is a set of beliefs. So atheism is a set of beliefs that there is no being that created the world.

There is no such thing as no style. Even 'no-style' is a style in itself.

It seems simple enough. But that means one thing. We are always choosing, we are always deciding at every moment. We cannot say at any time we did not choose anything. We choose something at all times. Even if we choose not to make an active decision, we then make a passive decision.

Perhaps to extend Jean Paul Satre's thoughts that men are condemned to be free, men are condemned to decide all the time.

Now, with this thought, what responsibility do we have? Unless we consciously choose the right thing, then time, circumstances and fortune does the choosing for us. And that isn't something that we like would we?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Sacrifice really means giving up something good for something better. It could really be called up-leveling. When a person has a vision that transcends himself, that focuses on an important cause or project that he is emotionally connected to, then the real course of least resistance is to put service above self. To such a person it is no sacrifice.

To an outside observer it would appear to be a sacrifice because he is denying some present good. Happiness is essentially a by-product of subordinating what we want now for what we want eventually. Rather than being the course of most resistance, sacrifce is the course of least resistance to one who is deeply, spiritually and emotionally connected to a cause or a calling or the serving of another. Service above self is the ethic of all great religions and of all philosophy and psychology that has endured. Albert Schweitzer said, "I know not what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be truly happy are those who have sought and found how to serve."

What is sacrifice?

During entrepreneurship classes we were asked what we were prepared to sacrifice in order to achieve our goals. In order to achieve success, we sacrifice some TV, some social time, some leisures that we go without.

Some sacrifice sleep. But a sleep sacrifice needs to be repayed. But after learning about the consequences of inadequate sleep, I realize that sleep may not be a good sacrifice.

However, when it comes to success in the family life, the success of the material world then becomes the sacrifice. To have good relationships, it may mean postponing an important business meeting for a PTA or little league baseball meeting in order to support our kids. Other types of sacrifices may be "prestige", "being #1" (isn't #2 just as good?), "convenience", "ego".

This concept of "sacrifice" is interesting.

What makes a good sacrifice then? It recalls to my mind images of Cain and Abel each sacrificing their offerings respectively. One sacrified the fruit of their own labours. Cain, the farmer, sacrificed vegetables and Abel the best of his flock.

It wasn't the type of sacrifice that mattered, vegetables or animal (or mineral) but rather whether it cost the person something.

It showed between Cain and Abel who valued God more. By sacrificing something that is not valuable, we show that God comes second in line.

To put God second best by giving him the lame and blind isn't a good sacrifice.

King David knew that sacrifice meant costing something. Araunah wanted to give his land away free for David to perform his sacrifice, but David knew better and still insisted on paying for the land. "I will not offer anything that costs me nothing."

"Negaraku" a.k.a Mamula Moon

Listen to the original Negaraku: Mamula Moon by Felix Mendelssohn and His Hawaiian Serenaders.

Is Negaraku from a Hawaiian melody?


KLUANG: Is the Negaraku adapted from a Hawaiian melody?

This question stirred in his mind when Mohd Zain Sahadan, 49, heard his son playing a record from his antique collection.

The song, entitled Mamula Moon by Felix Mendelssohn and His Hawaiian Serenaders, carried the melody of the national anthem but had a slower and more romantic beat.

ON RECORD: Mohd Zain showing the old record that contains the song 'Mamula Moon' which has the same melody as 'Negaraku' at his home in Kluang.

Zain, who works as a junior general administrator with the National Institute of Public Administration (Intan) here, said he felt excited when he heard the tune.
An avid antique collector, he said he had owned the record for more than 10 years without realising the significance of its content.
"I bought it together with 10 other records from an old man for RM500.
"Recently, my son rummaged through my antique collection and played the song on the gramophone.
"Only then did I notice the similarity," he said, adding that he believed the record dated back to the 1940s.
The record showed the name of song, the artiste and also indicated that it was made in England, but there was no mention of the year it was released.
Checks on music websites showed that Felix Mendelssohn and His Hawaiian Serenaders were artistes in the 1940s.
According to, they played Hawaiian-style music, while described the band's music as "immediately recognisable by its swing, swooning, sensual ethnic style".
This Mendelssohn should not be confused with the 19th century German composer and pianist Felix Mendelssohn.
History has it that the Negaraku was adapted from the state anthem of Perak, which had a similar melody to the keroncong-influenced Terang Bulan, a popular song in the 1930s in Indonesia and Malaya.
It was also a familiar tune in the island of Mahe in the Seychelles where a former Perak Sultan lived in exile. A French band used to play the tune when it performed on the island.
There is, however, no record of the exact origin of the melody.
Some historians believe that a well-known 19th century French poet and composer, Pierre Jean de Beranger, wrote the music.
But there is no reference on any link to the Hawaiian Mamula Moon.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Things Learned

Authority is not an item that can be held and passed around like sticks of butter in a supermarket, but rather a structure of a relationship.

Decision making can be shaped by our language.

We sometimes ignore huge warning signs, because we think that something so wrong could never happen and ignore the signs.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Game Developer Workshop 17-19 Nov 2005

The past 3 days was a fantastic time of meeting some internationally renowned game developers.

The picture in this post is that of Matt Costello, who wrote the story for Doom 3. But when I asked him whether he's seen "Doom" the movie, he said he didn't.

I am a game designer. We think alike!

2 of them even shared that they suffered from a dysfunctional family background.

The ideas for games and ideas for collaboration, the metagame, and ideas like metaphors behind the ideas were affirmations of things that I was thinking about games.

I really liked the encouragement given by a lot of people who said that they were excited by my 2 minute intro to my game and during workshop discussions. They wanted to play my game! And these are professional game designers.