Friday, October 16, 2009

Hackers

Apologies to those users who come to my website. It seems some crummy russian hackers have found a way to hack my blog. I'll be finding a way to protect it, else I'll have to change my service provider.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Reputation

I've been reading the book of Proverbs recently, and one aspect that I'm beginning to appreciate is the need to maintain a good reputation.

Maintaining your reputation is a very wise thing to do. The image you project is part of your reputation. It's not just a wise thing, but a requirement for office of a bishop in the church: "He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap." (1 Tim 3:7).

[The fact that Paul mention's the devil also links maintaining our reputation as part of spiritual warfare.]

We work and live in a society. If we live alone, perhaps we needn't care. But in a society of humans we deal with other humans, and humans have memory. They remember. Also, they communicate.

Reputation helps us to extend our boundaries of influence. It helps us to open doors and thereby allows us to create change. (Esther 9:4)

In fact, reputation is so important that the entire industry of marketing and branding is built around the concept of reputation.

But maybe because of that, the idea of maintaining your reputation has gone into the area of sin, as-in spin and lying.

But I think that that is a corruption of something good. We should maintain our reputation but not through lying but in living a good life and as well as demonstrating love, and faithfulness towards others. (Proverbs 3:3-4).

Saturday, October 03, 2009

The Gift Economy

I've been reading about Eric S. Raymond's articles on the hacker culture and the open source movement and realize that the hacker culture is the new economy.

But the "new economy" that the media portrays, one of making millions of dollars overnight isn't what it's talking about.

In Homesteading the Noosphere: the gift economy model is proposed as a better model to explain why people give away software for free rather than to try to charge for it.

The new economy is the gift-economy. In times of abundance, when people already have their basic needs met, it is the gift economy that is working.

And what are they working for? Reputation.

I've been reading the book of Proverbs recently, and one of the lessons I'm learning from the book is that reputation is very, very important. "A good name is better than fine perfume.",

It reminds me of the verse in Psalms 112:9 "He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor, his righteousness endures forever; his horn will be lifted high in honor." Notwithstanding that, the word gift is mentioned 159 times in the Bible and of course, there is the tradition of Christmas.

I think that we should move on to the gift economy and recognize that that is a very good indicator that we live with an abundance mentality.

Some people criticize that gift giving is actually binding people into social obligations. That is true. The word gift may sometimes be used to mean bribes or used to curry favor. But that reminds me of another verse that says:

"And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' lend to 'sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked."

The gentiles when they "give" give with an expectation of reciprocity. But a true follower of Christ gives without expecting anything in return. Does that mean you can steal, and rob Christians by conveniently borrowing and never returning? Could you borrow a car from a Christian and not return it? I think what Jesus meant by this is not to make us chumps but for us not to be obsessed with getting something in return. It does not exclude virtues like being wise in discriminating good from evil, and in good stewardship of money. We shouldn't be chumps in lending money to people that we discern are evil or scoundrels or untrustworthy. But we should not be scrooges hoarding our money, but look forward to blessing our fellow man, not turning a blind eye to those who are in need.

I think gift giving may be a outward sign of someone having "Ubuntu" (the philosophy, not the Operating System), a recognition that we are all interconnected and part of a community of human beings.

But that is digressing the point. Ethics is not the main point of this article.

After thinking about it, I think that we should not be looking for what is fair. That we should look for what we think we should receive for what we gave, but instead at the end of our lives to look back and see that we have given of ourselves more than what others expected or deserve.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Discipline Necessary

The problem with the word discipline is that the emotional linkage to that word is that of punishment.

But discipline is a good word. It's a hard, it's tough, but that's the only way to train yourself to be a warrior, to be a lean mean fighting machine.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Sergey Brin and Larry Page Didn't Have A Textbook

One thing about the Internet age is that to create a new enterprise there is no course for it.

Sergey Brin and Larry Page didn't attend a course on "How to Create a World Class Search Engine". There was no textbook for them to refer to. No model answer on "What will you do to become a billionaire." Bill Gates did not attend a course on "How to write an OS for the IBM PC 101".

In fact, that wasn't their goal in the first place. What they wanted to do was to create a search engine that was better than the rest. What Gates wanted to do was to take advantage of an opportunity. They didn't plan to become a global dominant leader. They started out in pursuit of excellence.

To be an entrepreneur means that you always have to learn. It means that there is no course for you to attend. Entrepreneurship is a journey of learning and self-discovery. You discover and create solutions to problems you come across the way, some will have been encountered by other people along the way and you can learn from them, but there will be some situations which will be unique to you and that only you can solve.

Therefore I think that attitudes like being goal-focused, discipline, trusting yourself and skills like being socially aware and problem solving are more important. There is no model answer. Life isn't just a knowledge game, it is one of doing, of becoming, of overcoming.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Fine Line Between Sanity and Insanity

I just visited someone in a mentally ill facility recently, and it only reaffirms what I read a therapist say about it: that mental health is complete dedication to reality.

The mentally ill believe or cling on to ideas that are unreal. Those that are committed to institutations may believe that someone may hate them, or another person is jealous about their skills, or that they are the king of world, Napoleon Bonaparte, Jesus Christ. They may believe someone loves them when they don't. They may have some grandiose dreams like creating a theme park, etc.

But the more I think about it, then perhaps all of us are in some ways mentally ill. It's just that those in mental wards believe in it too much and impose it on others to the detriment of society. For the rest of us, with our mentally ill ideas we keep secret.

And that's why we all need therapy. For those of us who are not committed (yet), we harbour our own grandiose ideas, ambitions, longings, desires, fears, paranoia. The desire to be rich, to be well liked. These goals are not wrong in themselves, and we should do our best to be creative, to excel, to change ourselves, to create in the world and in ourselves something that did not exist before.

But if reality provides feedback, then we should reconsider it with due wisdom and diligence, we should take both the "good" and "bad" as feedback and readjust our goals and effort accordingly instead of accusing the world.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cowards Not Allowed

It's interesting that it is mentioned in the Bible that cowards aren't allowed into heaven.

"But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars--their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death." (Rev 21:8)

Cowardice is something that isn't really tolerated in a child of God. Yes, the meek shall inherit the earth, but meekness doesn't mean cowardice.

It's a verse that often tells me to do the brave thing and not to let fear rule over me.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Finns Say That A Man Isn't A Man Till...

I had a Finnish colleague once who told me that he built his own home. In Finland, there is a saying that a man isn't a man till he has built his own home.

For us in Singapore, it's not possible for us to build our own home. But a comparable achievement could be to build our own company.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Assumptions on God

Someone who says that they don't believe in a God who allows tragedy to happen like earthquakes and tsunamis shouldn't then even start to believe in the Christian God.

That's because if you believe that God shouldn't allow such things to happen, then the book of Revelation quite contradicts that kind of belief where we have prophecies of God allowing unimaginable amounts of destruction on the earth including allusions to meteorite impacts, devastation of 1/3 of the earth's land mass, contamination of 1/3 of the water supply, diseases that ravage 1/3 of human population, etc.

We'd like to believe in a Santa Claus god. A god who gives presents, or treats us to ice-cream or molly coddles us.

I think the book of Revelation puts that to bed. Yes, God is one who loves us so much that he gave his only son to die for us, but there are so many aspects of God that no one image can adequately describe him. To subscribe to one image is idolatry.

It's interesting that when it comes to thinking about God now, how can I pray or communicate to him without creating an image in my mind?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Maturity and Change

I wrote before that maturity means changing our beliefs.

We do not become mature by default. Age does not mature a human being. Unlike the natural world, humans have this thing called freewill.

A bottle of wine matures by default. Humans do not, if they so choose. A 70 year old can be as mature as a 17 year old.

The reason for such immaturity is because someone that old may not have chosen to let go of his self-limiting beliefs, or hurts, or fantasies.

Maturity means we make a decision. Sometimes these are tough decisions. But it is the journey that we all must take. Maturity means accepting the truth that we as humans have freewill. Negatively put, it means that humans are condemned to be free. But in a divine viewpoint, we have been given the gift of freewill. And that with freewill comes responsibility. It also means that there are consequences to our actions that what we say do or even think has an impact.

On a side note, I just noticed in the newspaper today that even terrorists can be charged and jailed for plotting to blow up a building, even though they did not commit it. I wonder if it can be compared to what Jesus said, that a man has already committed adultery just by lusting in his heart. Even though the man did not commit adultery, he was already plotting to do it.

But going back to the idea of change, we change first in our minds. It must start with our hearts and minds to make a decision and a decision can only be made when we have gone through the facts, and accepted certain facts as truth.

Perhaps that is why journaling is such a great tool in maturity. At the end of each day, we write down what happened, we search our feelings, our thoughts. We write down our decisions and the consequences of those decisions. And by examining them we strive to understand the truth, accept reality and make appropriate changes in our behaviour. And by so doing we become even more mature.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Love is Not Sex

How To Use Time Travel To Seduce A Woman - in which you're in love with one of your friends, but she has a boyfriend and probably wouldn't have sex with you anyway. (Cowboy Caleb)

I couldn't help but wonder the implied implication that Cowboy Caleb equates love with sex.

Love isn't sex. If a man truly loves a woman he will honour her and NOT have sex with a woman.

If a woman cannot have sex does that mean a man can leave her because he cannot have sex and henceforth cannot love her? In fact, quite the opposite, it is the test of a man's love that he will remain with her despite not having sex.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Despair

Despair is the absolute extreme of self-love. It is reached when a man deliberately turns his back on all help from anyone else in order to taste the rotten luxury of knowing himself to be lost...

Despair is the ultimate development of a pride so great and so stiff-necked that it selects the absolute misery of damnation rather than accept happiness from the hands of God and thereby acknowledge that he is above us and that we are not capable of fulfilling our destiny ourselves.

But a man who is truly humble cannot despair, because in a humble man there is no longer any such thing as self-pity.

Thomas Merton

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Just Don't Do It

I like Nike's tagline, "Just Do It" and I think that we shouldn't over analyze and hem-and-haw or delay doing something. It's a weakness I must overcome. Just do it.

But I realize that "Just Don't Do It" is an equally good motto. I know a couple of friends who will just give me "the look" if I even mildly suggest something that is off track. "The look" tells me "don't do it!"

If some activity has no benefit but plenty of pitfalls, their "just don't do it" message gets me on track. There are some things that we should just not do. Not because of being holier than thou or to be better than the fellow man or even as a programmed parent-child ego state response, but just because there is absolutely no benefit and plenty of drawbacks. That look that my friend gives is one of "don't be a stupid fool", and to tell the truth, I'm thankful for my friends for it.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Being Holy vs. Holier Than Thou

I think one of the things about the Christian life is the struggle between being holy and yet not inadvertently sending out the message of being holier-than-thou.

The term being holy doesn't seem to be one that is common in our everyday language.

Yet that is part of the identity of a Christian. We are chosen, holy and dearly loved by God. But somehow we don't behave as if we were. Being holy means we are special in the eyes of God.

Do we believe we are special? It doesn't mean we are better than our fellow man. Its not that we are cleverer or more beautiful than others. But it's just the realization that our position is different in the eyes of God. And because of that, we should walk with our heads straight, not down.

Because of our position, we should behave in ways that befit it. How would we expect the King of England to behave? How should we expect an ambassador to behave?

Imagine a prince or emperor goes out to visit and mingle with his people. But he is in disguise. He comes out in disguise, sometimes as a beggar, sometimes as an engineer, sometimes a teacher. In this disguise, he is sometimes respected, but often times looked down and insulted. Yet does the treatment he gets while in disguise entitle him to behave unroyally? No, while he has not revealed his true identity he must maintain his dignity. No matter the situation he is put in, as long as he remembers his identity he can maintain an attitude of self-respect and servanthood.

Being holier than thou is a form of pride. But we must remember that our fellow man is also a fellow prince, the only thing is that he too may not realize it or refuses to acknowledge his identity. You may as well be proud that you are human.

But back to holiness. Realizing that we are holy allows us to even do menial things with dignity. It gives us also authority to rebuke (or overlook) insults. The more we realize our identity, the more we will change our behaviour.

It is because we are holy that we do not engage in impure behaviour, actions, thoughts or speech. It is because we are holy that we have esteem. It is because we are holy that we can do the simplest task with dignity or achieve great things with confidence.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Just For Laughs Shoot

Micro ear piece used for hidden camera gags.On Tuesday, I went for a shoot with the Just For Laughs team in Singapore.

The photo on the right is the teeny tiny earpiece we used as actors for the gag. The director would give instructions through it. It's as small as a single peanut seed. But it costs S$2000.

It was a great experience. I worked with the director Dagan for a special gag. (I won't reveal what it was, but it will certainly raise a few eyebrows).

Nico and Cheryl Ann SngLessons learnt from the audition process and actual shoot:

For JFL gags, if yours is the first on that day. Don't be late. Every bit of sunlight is important to squeeze in more takes. If it's an 8:15 call time, be there at 8. I'm glad I took a cab. Filming was good to go at 8:30am.

Bring a mirror with you on shoots, its easier to see your expressions and know what the director wants. In fact, bring a mirror during rehearsals, so you'll know what he wants. It's hard to create a certain expression without seeing what you are doing right or wrong.

Nico and Eloise TanWear a singlet underneath your shirt to absorb sweat. It's hot filming during the day time outdoors.

Wear something with a plain colour. Stripes may cause a shimmering effect for the camera.

If you're shooting a kissing scene, floss, mouthwash and brush your teeth before the shoot. Bring breath mints as well.

If you are bringing a partner for an audition/shoot, always have a backup in case she backs out. Always explain to the partner what the shoot entails.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Outliers

Outliers: The Story of SuccessMalcolm Gladwell writes with such an interesting story-telling technique that you can't put down his book.

He piques your interest in success with down-to-earth descriptive stories about hockey players and anticipates some of the objections that you would raise and rebuts them with other examples to put forth his case.

The first chapter was an eye opener on how birthdate can affect the success of a sportsman or even a student. That 12 month gap between a student born in January versus one born in December can have a profound effect on his or her success. Much like a 0.01 degree in trajectory can cause a vast difference in location after travelling hundreds of miles, so birth month can cause differences in selection, coaching, and promotion.

The second chapter though reinforces one age old maxim and breaks a modern myth. It says that you need to work hard to succeed. And that, very hard. Having the talent is the seed. But when you are comparable to another seed. The thing that makes a vast difference is the number of effective hours you put in. 10,000 hours versus 8,000 hours is the difference between being a star and a professional. I.e. 25% more hours spent per day or week makes the difference between a star and a professional. A professional programmer may spend 40 hours. A star programmer spends 50 hours.

The problem with Geniuses part 2. I think that this chapter will change the way we think about parenting. That good parents are interested in how we learn and behave. That we don't see them as "cute" or "ways to get attention". That we learn to love them as they truly are. Not as how we see them as. That way, they get the social and emotional security to survive in this world. Because success in this world involves navigating the social arena. Nobody in this world succeeds through his own effort alone. He does it with the help of other people.

The three lessons of Joe Flom (a successful lawyer specializing in takeovers and mergers).

1. Importance of being Jewish. Being Jewish back then, meant being discriminated. In the end, Jewish lawyers had to find a niche in an overlooked specialization of takeovers and mergers. By the time the 80's came about. This specialization became valuable and the Jewish lawyers experience in it brought them to the top.

2. Demographic Luck. Being born in the right year is important, just as being born in the right month is important to the hockey player. He was born when his cohort was small. There was better teacher-student ratio in school. It was during the depression. His teachers in school were overqualified for their jobs.

3. The Garment Industry and Meaningful Work. He was in a culture that allowed him to learn about business. Because the garment industry allowed him to get understand market forces, negotiation,

In the second part of his book, Gladwell touches on the legacy of our cultures. He illustrates this using the example of Korean Airlines which had the worst flight accident in the world. The problem wasn't in their airplanes. It was human error that caused their crashes. And human error in the pilots. The Korean language has several ways of denoting respect to authority. And because of this hierarchy of authority, the co-pilot could only politely tell the pilot in hints that what he was doing was wrong.

Another aspect of a culture is their language. Chinese are better at math, not just because they study hard but because of their language. Twenty is spoken as "two-tens" whereas for english it's "twenty". I extend this to think that perhaps that's why Malays have trouble in Math. It's because their language have entirely different wordings for 11 and 21.

Next, it's the agricultural background of a society, wheat growing cultures think of getting spring breaks, whereas rice growing cultures must work all year long. Even more interesting, foraging cultures like bushmen don't work hard because their food is plentifully found.

In the end, Gladwell concludes that success is owed not only to hard work, but to the right timing, right culture, the right opportunity, even right skin colour. Even the best seed needs to have the right conditions of the soil, sunlight, and rainfall to grow to be the tallest.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Earth Hour in Singapore's Orchard Road


Earth Hour Singapore, Orchard Road.

Shaw Centre and Wisma Atria were quite conscientious in turning off their lights as was Ngee Ann City. The bad boy in Orchard Road was the Heeren which was still brightly lit as I walked along the road.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spending Time

Time is really the most valuable commodity that we have. And yet we fritter it away needlessly.

Surfing the net, playing computer games, talking cock.

What we really need is to really have in mind what is the purpose for every moment.

But it's tough. Why, because thinking is tough. Thinking of what we want for this moment, of taking responsibility for each moment, for each word that we speak. It's something that doesn't come naturally.

It is easy to do whatever comes to our eyes at that moment, a TV program, a newspaper article, an email. But thinking "What is the most important thing must I do?" is hard. Secondly, actually doing it is hard, not physically hard, but the inertia of moving our bodies based on what we command it to do. Doing chores for example is easy. What special skill is there in sweeping the floor or doing the laundry? But it's hard because our flesh doesn't want to do it, even though our mind and spirit wants to do it.

I think perhaps one idea to realize is that we must relinquish our lives. Life is like that. We don't control our environment, but only how we respond to it. I wish that there were never any chores to do in life, but life is like that. There are so many things that we wish in life, but in reality is different.

I wish that I had more time in the evenings when I come back from Bible study or from rehearsals. I wish I could learn the guitar, learn martial arts, learn dance, and so many things. But life is limited. In reality, minus our sleep and working hours, eating, exercising, we only have about 2-3 hours of free time each day. I wish it was 5, but it isn't.

I wish I was a better teacher, actor, had more money, had my own house, were married to a beautiful wife, more intelligent, more confident, had a better body, had better business skills, had better credentials, more loving.

All these are good, and some I am right now working on accomplishing but we have to have priorities, do it step-by-step, have a plan on how to do it, and constantly monitor our progress towards them. But we have limited resources. Time, money (I can't afford a maid to do my chores), relationships, physical limitations (I realize I need 7.5 - 8 hours to be in peak mental condition), mental limitations (I only know so much, I've only learnt so much).

So, we have to make decisions on how we use it. Letting go of one thing for what we must decide is the most important. Sometimes I think that the distractions that we allow ourselves to get distracted with are our way of avoiding facing the important questions in life. What is the most important thing I have to do? What is my purpose in life? How am I going after it?

But whatever our condition, God asks what we do with it. I am not Bill Gates or Warren Buffett or Steven Spielberg or Hugh Jackman. I am Nicodemus Chan. And that speaks something. And I can do something about it. God can use me.





Friday, March 13, 2009

No Such Thing As A Break

There's no such thing as a break in life. Life is a dynamic moving environment. The moment we decide to prop up our legs, that's the moment we start stagnating.

The real break is in eternity when we join our Lord and Heavenly Father above.

But in the meantime, there's still goals to achieve, things to accomplish while on this earth.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Appearing to be Clever

I wrote in my personal journal this line the other day:
Success doesn't belong to the clever. It also belongs to those who appear to be clever. But if you don't think you're clever yet know that you have to appear to be clever to succeed, doesn't that make you clever?
Inspired by:

Epimenides the Cretan says, "All Cretans are liars". (The Epimenides Paradox)

Justice must not only be done, it must also appear to be done. - Lord Hewart C.J., R. v. Sussex Justices, Ex parte McCarthy

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Learning A Skill

I realize that when you are learning a skill, books are the starting point to gaining knowledge. However there are certain things that memorization will not do. There are skills that can be learned faster when you are actually doing it not just reading about it. Learning isn't about just reading and memorization, it's also doing. Imagine learning swimming merely by reading a book!

The same goes for skills like programming, photoshop, social skills, speaking. You can read about it but you also need to do it.

And it's not just reading what the manual says. There is a culture, conventions and practices that go with it. There are certain habits that good practitioners of the skill do, even without thinking because they understand there are certain pitfalls and safeguards to prevent.



Thursday, February 26, 2009

Things Are 4-Dimensional

Anything created isn't created in 3 dimensions. It's 4 dimensions.

A car is a 3-dimensional object, but it is created in 4. The fourth dimension is time.

Anything that we want to create needs the 4th dimension to be taken into account.

Writing a poem, installing a water heater, assembling a jigsaw puzzle. Time is the fourth thing to take into account.

Everything in this world also takes up space in 4 dimensions. You and I occupy space. But we also occupy time. We are born at a certain moment and we cease to live at a certain point in time.

It makes it easier for us to manage when we realize that and its effects on our planning. If we forget that time is needed even to walk from the bus stop to the MRT it makes our estimation inaccurate. It's like thinking that a piece of paper has no thickness.

I think that is the reason for some of the mistakes I make in estimating and managing goals. Because the 4th dimension was neglected.

I wrote in a previous blog entry that a lot of people go about life aimlessly without realizing that they will die. They are forgetting they don't just exist as a 3-Dimensional being also live in the fourth dimension of time.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Actor's Tip #1

In your personal wardrobe at least have:

1. A black shirt.
2. A white shirt.
3. A black pair of trousers.
4. A pair of black shoes.
5. A business suit.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Love Goes Beyond Civility

I head the other day one rule of life being expoused was "To do no harm to others".

And while being good in itself, it is not the same as "to do good" or "to love your neighbour".

Having a philosophy of doing no harm does not compel a person to do good. It is not a proactive way of life. It is a passive way of existing in the world.

Whereas on the other hand, to love your neighbour, to do good is a proactive way of living life. It is a way of living life that means getting involved even when it is uncomfortable.

Just as a dentist may cause pain while extracting a decayed tooth, loving your neighbour may mean that you may even cause pain while doing good. It won't harm, but neither will it be painless.

In this modern world of comforts, we have come to shy away from discomfort, from painful realities that must be faced. Life in the post-modern age has shied away from ideas like bravery, boldness, and responsibility creating an unbalanced moral structure.

Love means going deeper than mere civilities, than just discussing the weather and being good in small-talk. I need to ask myself, how have I done things that caused me to go beyond my comfort zone, to do, to give, to ask, so that a greater good can be done more than for my own selfish convenience.



Sunday, January 25, 2009

Best Programmer Font To Use

programmer_fonts.pngTeaching helps to keep you sharp. You never know what sort of problems students may give you that cause you to question, "Why so?"

One of the problems in class was that some of my students decided to change their fonts to whatever they fancied, anything from Arial bold in 20pts, to Comic Sans! I told them programmers used a monospaced font to correctly gauge indentation and formatting.

I asked them to change it back to Courier New, the only monospaced font I knew. However, that set me researching. What is the best programmer font to use?

It has to be monospaced and easy on the eye. But which?

In all, here's my winner after testing the various fonts:

Consolas which is a ClearType font shipped with Microsoft Windows Vista is actually the best. It's a new font specifically built to help programmers. It's also shipped with Visual Studio 2005 onwards. If you don't have it, download it here.

First, it has nice rounded curves and not hard edges. Compare Consolas's periods, commas and semi-colons. They are rounded and not drawn with straight lines like the other fonts. Secondly, the zero character has a slash, which helps us to distinguish it from capital-O. Finally, it is the most compact of the fonts, saving horizontal space.

The runner-up for me was LIberation Mono. Which is a GPL licensed TrueType font used in Linux.

Consolas font used for Java code in the Eclipse IDE:
consolas_font_code_sample.png

Friday, January 23, 2009

Desk Phones Out. I Suggest Multinumber SIMs.

The Straits Times here in Singapore wrote a story about deskphones being phased out.

Office workers will no longer be familiar with a desk phone. And why so? People aren't at their desks often. I'm hardly at my desk. And when I am, I don't like being chained to the desk line if I want to walk out and discuss a matter if it becomes sensitive. At home, I don't have a residential line. There's no need for it.

I see a need here then. People will need multi-number phones. With one SIM card, they can be contacted using more than one number. That way they can receive calls from both the office and home.

Alternatively, there can be virtual numbers. A telco like Starhub can sell office lines without a physical line. Rather, the office lines merely redirect to the users mobile phone.

Having a multinumber SIM would be useful too if the telco agrees to allow foreign SIMs. If for example, I commute between Thailand and Singapore often, I would want to have a local number in each country each calling me on my single mobile phone. Having two phones is an inconvenience to maintain. A business model could be negotiated between an alliance of telcos or so where a subscriber can subscribe to multiple phone lines between partner telcos.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Forbes Success Calendar Jan 17-18 2009

I use Forbes Success Calendar (a daily desk calendar) at work to inspire and motivate myself. I like this weekend's quote, allow me to quote it:

Make your plans as fantastic as you like, because twenty-five years from now, they will seem mediocre. Make your plans ten times as great as you first planned, and twenty-five years from now, you will wonder why you did not make them fifty times as great. -- Henry Curtis.




Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mathematical Proof of God

Kurt Gödel, a brilliant scientist who was a friend of Einstein thought of this mathematical model to "prove" or I would rather say, point a way that God does exist:

godel_ontological_proof.pngI can't understand it because I was not trained in this branch of mathematics. It looks like a bunch of gibberish to me, but if it can convince a brilliant scientist of God's existence, it's good enough for me.

Some people object to the theory by attacking it because it cannot have incompatible properties, e.g. mercy and justice. But the question of mercy and justice coexisting is easily solved for a Christian. Just look to the cross where both mercy and justice was satisfied.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Unmentioned Words

I was reading a humourous book last month, The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by AJ Jacobs. It's about the author's attempt to live Biblically (and sometimes too literally) according to the Bible.

One particular quip was the difficulty of him learning how to pray and that the only times that the words God and Lord occurred were after "Oh my" and before "of the rings" respectively.

That made me think that our vocabulary does reflect the way we think.

Do we use the words "righteousness" often? How often do we tell our friends, "that isn't righteous" or think to ourselves how can we become more righteous?

Instead the media and society are often times filled more with 4 letter words of the obscene kind.

The more we listen to those words instead of thinking of spiritual words, the more earthly we become. But the obverse is true, the more we think good words, words that have become outfashioned by the world but remain eternal in value the more of eternity we embed in ourselves.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Robot Chicken Parody

Robot Chicken is a parody show, I stumbled upon their Star Wars parody through surfing.

Enjoy:

Robot Chicken Star Wars Episode 1/3



Robot Chicken Star Wars Episode 2/3




Robot Chicken Star Wars Episode 3/3



Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Hope is more important than money

I realize that having hope is a more important motivator than money. You may have money but no hope for a future. But a person with hope can and does better in his circumstances.

When we have hope we start planning. We make changes in our lives. But without hope, our lives start sliding towards despair.