Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Value of Time depends on the Perception of the Mind

I haven't entered any new entry for quite a while now but I was still flooded with the occasional thoughts nonetheless of the past week or two.

If it wasn't for this one particular issue the above wouldn't have been written too, along with the rest.

In the midst of such a busy schedule I've found time and space to question myself about the relevance of the thing I do.

Socializing and entertaining friends, they are good but spending too much time on it is unnecessary when the negative outweights the positive. That's true unless I've got nothing else to do, or have a mindset which thinks like that.

That is not me.

Sleeping is something I enjoy but like every nice thing in the world, they are only nicer in the mind that in reality. Nicer when short in supply. When I can sleep peacefully I will sleep peacefully.

That is not true.

Correction- When I have time to sleep peacefully I more often don't because I believe that time could and should be spend on something else, something deep down inside we owe ourselves doing certain things we are owing ourselves. Maybe like learning a new language, embracing a new concept, analyzing a certain self behavior or simply reflect on our past and present to plan for the future.

Even reading story books, I love doing it but before it becomes a habit I intend to break this consistency.

To many reading books already is a good habit worth cultivating but to me even that is not enough. Sometimes it feels reading books here, now, is a waste of time when I can use my active mind to construct something bigger than just a story written by someone sometime ago.

As I've always stand up for, I believe living in this modern world gifted with technologies and media all around is a curse to humanity if not controlled properly. When we live our life fulfilling things we deem necessary ie check FB, check news online, check blogs which are actually just marginally necessary in respect to the big picture then it's true but we are engulfed by it already. The negative outside influence which steal our time. Everyone should know that, know better than just sit infront of the computer and "think later" or TV and "let it think for us".

Stripping myself of all these time eaters I've down to almost nothing now. I'll just stand at the corridor of my hostel and stare out at the dark blue night sky and think. Even so, I do not let my mind wonder aimlessly to nowhere ( thats called dreaming/fantasying) making sure it always go forward.

This is one thing I feel I owe myself, of decoding the meaning of this life. A small step ahead a time is still better than many steps in a cycle of yesterday.

Some people just won't understand why do I appear so inconsistent lately, I play cards one moment, the next I seem afraid of playing cards. They think I'm crazy and no life for opting to do nothing than do time fillers, but it's okay. Not many people see things the way I see anyway.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Smart vs Hard

When I was younger they used to say you need to study more, study harder, more hours!

But seriously it may ring less bells now but last time it barely made any sense to me.

1. No one ever taught us how to study. Everything is tried and tested.
2. Couple that with a person's determination and ability and you get a big, big gamble. That's why some people works out and others just don't.
3. And if studying harder means better than it should, but, there is a limit too. The time constrain. Besides, I didn't know how to study to start with.
4. Everyone have their own way of absorbing knowledge sincerely, and related to it, their own way of grinding out the grades to show it.

Some are honest like my sister, others are cheats like me. Little go in but grades remain good. Sometimes it's bad to wholeheartedly reject knowledge but other times when the judgement and believe that having that knowledge there and then is not good then it isn't bad.

I've never question the relevance of scoring good grades but I've always question the general acceptance that grade directly relate to a person's knowledge and intelligence. Higher grade = smarter. False. Higher grade = (maybe study more, study harder, study smarter, or just born smart) either way it's inconclusive.

Perhaps if I was less lazy and all that I might have been a better student and won myself more decent reward but ruing the wad ifs' of the past hardly IMO change the future. Maybe it does, in a negative way.

In my opinion, studying (or more accurately learning to learn) itself is a skill one gravely needs acquired the sooner the better. Time spent acquiring it is time lost when acquired. Learning is a lifelong lesson so this is indeed a one sided view.

I've came up with a new theory in recent times about the whole concept of studying. Here is where it gets interesting.

What is the difference between primary school, secondary school, diploma, degree and masters education level? Beside the obvious degree of speciality , it is the pace of which the knowledge is absorbed. Them, playing around with new ways of teaching us and us learning from them also suggest this- that the whole purpose of it is to train up the multi-ability in us to ultimately learn better.

If we already are beyond that then whichever way the knowledge is present to us, we see no problem in it, be it a lecture, a tutorial, a case study, an assignment, a thesis, a self study, whichever.

To cut the crap,

Studying at this point seems to be not about going with the fixed amount of knowledge absorbed over a long period of time( aka gradual consistent study) but rather surprisingly, it is about pushing the limits of studability while on a on-and-off basis. Instead of studying a little bit over a long time, it's studying alot of a short time.

And the best part is, it accommodate future space for growing unlike the other where time is a fixed known constrain. In this way, as the education gets higher the frequency of die-hard studying increases too, which come to think about it, is perfectly natural of the way we live our everyday life.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Amazing Human Nature of Love

A music file is like our modern day crystal ball, one which holds infinite details of a story within itself and it's true extend are only seen by a few.

I have a story to tell which I've been keeping in me for a great long time. It's about my memories of once upon a time with a girl named Valerie Tan. Despite it being almost 4-5 years ago the memories of this particular story still live vividly in my mind. The place, the surrounding and the people in it never gets old. Like recalling the sweet times with a deceased but only that nobody died here, we just went back to the norm.

This story is a one-hit thing.

It was back in 2006, a few months into my Singapore Poly life. I was still new to Singapore Poly and infact Singapore as a whole and was still half the time lost and following, blur and almost always second best. I was active in Rover Scouts and already starting to fit in well.

One fine Friday as planned we had an outing to Sentosa Island. It was a overnight activity or something and we met up at Harbour Front mrt station around evening. As always I came with a few others who knew the place better. I was just like an ant, incomplete on my own but functional with a unit.

We had dinner at the foodcourt opposite Vivo City in the evening. The usual normalities followed and of the 20 people or so, after minusing the seniors and the guys, there was only 3 girls. One is attached with one of the guys, the other is just not my type and the third.. fair and innocent, soft and gentle, quiet but charming. The guys were trying to be cool around her and all sort but because of language difference they just weren't going anywhere. I thought to myself, she's something interesting, something different.

Evening faded and soon we were already on Sentosa Island playing some icebreaker games. I couldn't remember this details well but we were divided into 3 groups and she happen to be in my group. I had the chance to talk to her and know her better. Time flies and an hour or so later we became really close, almost mysterious. Some would call it chemistry, some would say it's from the circumstance but for me I never seen the need to unearth the reason behind that. Some things are sweeter as a whole with unsolved mysteries at it's core.

We were close to each other by then and perhaps side by side, the outside world closing around us. Some says it's honeymoon period when people are just in a new relationship, that's what it feels like.

After the ice breakers we had another activity which was a night walk through the dark jungle paths in Sentosa. It's actually a direct path cutting across the hills from Pahlawan/Siloso Beach to the center of the island via the dark hills. We were told to walk through it as a team and I had her with me then. Maybe the darkness and the cold jungle path made her more clingy to somebody, anybody, and similarly interestingly it is exactly the environment that thrills me. I used to go for alot of camps in the dense jungle of Malaysia with my original troop in my secondary school years and in a way I've grown to love it. Put together, it's a chapter of a love story in the making.

By then the guys in my group was already getting uneasy of this newfound closeness between us and sure did make themselves be noticed but just not in my eyes.

As the night wares on and as the activity grew more serious we grew closer. We had another hike to a remote part of the island, also in the darkness of the midnight jungle, to an ex British battery. The seniors did their thing of trying to scare us with stories such as the prison is haunted and the island is filled with restless Japs souls but it only made me naturally more protective over her. I think she knows it.

That was my first real love. I didn't know the paths of this trade but didn't matter because I knew the feeling is so great that even wrongs didn't matter anymore. She is all that mattered.

During then as I was still new I've later on came to realise that I was acting in denial of my feelings. Of living with the handbreaks on.

Before I realised it was late, 3am or so, and they called it a day. We all were given our rest time by sitting around a wooden hut by the beach. Most have already dozed off and in the middle of the night two of us just sat side by side overlooking the sea and the darkness of the sky.It was cold and surreal. Surreal. That perhaps was what this whole thing is.

The next morning a few of them were starting a boycott on me for just being Jordan and I've made new haters in this new place. In a way, awesome. Perhaps it was tiredness and a lack of sleep but by morning me and her were feeling awkward already. Maybe it's the sunlight, maybe its the others action taking its toll on us. Whatever it is, the closeness seem to have gone with the darkness of the night.

We went home but for the next two weeks nothing else mattered. She was in my mind and in my heart. I spend my nights sitting on my bed hearing over my few songs I had with me then while thinking of her and smsing her, all night. One of the less familiar song I had plugged in became the crystal ball which went on and captured my emotions for her, this whole 2 week long dream in it. It gradually went downhill from there because of our apparent difference, the peak of it all is and was always during that first night.

It's some unexplained human side in it that attracts each other when still in the unknown. That everybody can who you want them to be when you still don't know them.

The song is by Jem, titled Falling For You. The lyrics of it became the frame of my emotions to tie itself onto for good. Eventhough this was a 5 years ago it just felt like it was recently, still at the back of my mind.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Start With the End in Mind in larger context

One of the reasons from the 7 Effective Habits book is titled Start With the End in Mind. To know what is the end we need to know what is it that we want. What is the purpose.

What is our purpose in this existence of ours?

Take some time to think about it.

After spending so long living if a person still don't have a good answer to himself for that then he is as good as dead. An existence with no purpose is as good as no existence.

The next time take some time out and ask what is our real purpose of living.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

With Great Authority Comes Great Responsibility

I thought of something interesting today.

If a human needs of cars, houses and money is like a cat's needs of fish, partner and attention then what different are we from animals?

We all know the reason humans are uniquely different from animals is because we have this thing called the mind and the ability to think. If we think of only our needs in this routine lifestyle then we are seriously no different from cats and other animals, with just our standard of our needs from a higher level.

In our hunt for more of everything everyone wants we are the same as animals. We all have a mind of our own and most people use it to think of ways to have problems and ways to solve the problem. Then, new problems and new solution. Like how to earn money and more money, like how to look cool and look cooler. Like how to be pretty and prettier, smarter and so.

Just a lame cycle.

If that applies to me then I would be no different from a cat wanting fish,fish, fish, house, house house, friend friend friend. Fish, house, friend, fish house friend fish house friend. It's a cycle, a never ending cycle. In our rush for " the next- " we blind ourselves from this fundamental fact. That we are humans and have a mind to think and use, in a way it could be used - not just to solve our problems.

We should be going and and creating new problems and new troubles to venture into the unknown without knowing what lies at the end. That is what our minds are capable of. That is what differentiates us from animals with a passive mind. Humans have active minds. Humans like me who's mind cannot just shut up and let me sleep in peace and always creates a void in me in myself to analyze, understand and solve. Like this, here, now, today.

I was sick of doing the same thing I do everyday and be disappointed by not living up to my own standards. I decided I would make a list of things I would stop doing, things that I do routinely as free time fillers like playing facebook pool, playing window's freecell, playing facebook, playing cs, reading my story book. I am better than this and by doing all abovemention it a sad waste of talent and life.

A short evaluating thought later and I made out that humans all live by a pattern. We all have 24 hours each, we spend it in doing things listed in either of this categories: 1. necessary human needs ( ie sleep, eat, rest, shit and a little entertainment to replenish our energy) then, 2. Main objective ( ie work or study or do assignment or business or family care) then, 3. Secondary objectives ( meet up with friends, check updates, clear something from the To Do List) and the rest falls into 4. Others( Time fillers)

My cycle goes like this: Basic human needs(50% of time), Main Objective (30%), rest (20%). Note that I've excluded secondary objectives by merging it with others. Unnecessary stuff can do without. The other interesting fact is that basic human needs is 50% because I've included in it the need for entertainment and socializing as necessary to replenish my energy for the primary objectives, which is really individualistic and debatable.

A human with a mind, I asked myself today if I could in some untried way, toy and play around with that formula in hopes of creating something new to fuel my growing hunger for challenges of life.

I could, if I tried hard enough. I would have time if I set my mind onto it and make time for it. But ultimately, is it necessary?

of Monetary Matters

A guy friend told me that that girl is not to be messed with because she have lots of money since her family owns a petrol station. Okay. Girl, lots of money, family petrol station.

This matter is getting really old for me already, the matter of monetary and background wealth. The way I see it( genuinely bias-free from my own background) a person brought into existence with a background wealth is fortunate but very clearly not along the same line as superior.

Background wealth can buy a person things and toys, opportunities and exposure, can buy out a person from trouble and problems and in my case, education. But at the back of every parents mind they all know it does not buy them a definite and guaranteed good future.

Money can buy car but source of money can't be sure child in car will survive an accident. Money can buy things to get a girlfriend but source of money can't be sure child finds genuine love with that. Money can buy friends but not always friend's help. Money can buy education and exposure to foreign countries and cultures but not character.

Point is background wealth is a plus, a small plus but the big plus comes from the person itself when he/she uses his/her own talent/availabilities/abilities to make his/her own money. That is the real deal.

As for the child, whatever we have is a plus but whatever we don't have(inherited) is not a minus. Just be thankful.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Where do we go from here?

There is someone stealing cloths from the hostel laundry section. Seriously, it's not funny when things disappears into thin air.

If one day a thorough spot check is conducted on the whole block they will find many things such as drugs, liquors, sisha and the latest addition, a black market of stolen secondhand branded cloths.

Time to move out soon.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

We all owe ourself a explainations for who we are at the end of the day

I'm gonna free up my Sunday every week to do nothing and take time to reflect on life.

Time is a straight line but in our world for sanity's sake it's made into cycles
. Short but endless cycles. I think the most dangerous acceptance of life is by taking time for granted, that there is a next year and next 20 years waiting for us. I think we can only count time when it's the past, use it for planning for the future but not take it as the future.

For my generation we are surrounded by all sorts of influence and it is threatening to lead our life for us and I don't want to be one of that

Hanging out with soccer minded friends makes one more a soccer person, with clubbers a clubbing person, with church mates a church person, studious people makes studious person, with mandarin speakers we speak and think mandarin
. Bottom line is despite what we tell ourselves what are we, we are actually what our environment is. What we let our environment be is what make us, us. To mix everything is ideal but at the core of it, we will still have to have our own identity.

I expect to walk my own path, I'll need some time free from influence. No parents, no friends, no trend, no media, no worries, no concern, just an empty mind.

I won't want to wake up one day and wonder where have the missing years gone
in trying to reach here.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Next Week is Last Week.

I've been working on a five person per group project for the past whole week (which quite explains why my regular efforts is absent from this blog) and it's finally coming to an end.

I'm not excited because it's finishing, I'm not excited because it's not finishing either, but I'm excited because I finally get to present my efforts to a proper opportunity, a worthwhile cause.

A teacher who can evaluate and grade. A real focus to the attention. Another 4 days.

I feel powerful I can kick a ball into a flight without the influence of gravity, up up and away.


Friday, August 6, 2010

The Reverse of A Key Unlocking a Lock on a Door.

What is the study of predicting human social behavior in relation with future plans and time called? Recent observation sprouting new ideas brings me back to that question over and over again.

Was browsing through Facebook and searched the name of my institute against it's database and I came to conclude that despite over our 5k student population here, our online identity is almost non existing. There are the odd groups here and there of present and past but nothing whole.

In such modern era where physical presence and hand phone number no longer is enough to convince the truth of a genuine existence, everyone should and have an online identity by now. Even my father have one, even Ivan's mother have another. Even my ex's friend's dog have one!

It is really just a matter of time before this future prospect becomes a way of life, and though I don't follow some flow, I lead some other flows.

From the recent student council election held we all know how much reach paper, printer, picture and words combined posted on strategic eye height view has. The only reason the whole school is littered(oh, it's litter and littering too) with these obituaries-like posters is because beside being a tried-and-tested method, it is actually the only one thing, one way, everyone who comes to classes every week have in common, putting aside the official way of course. But I'm more than convinced anyone with half a brain at here here would have heard and almost surely have an FB account. An online double. Many online doubles. Living in the same online world as neighbours that does not know each other.

What the heck. Someone's gotta rewrite the codes of the past that we no longer need to meet in person first to be connected again online. That is outdated. The inverse is now and coming.

The only thing missing is an online platform of a regularly frequent site(Facebook!) that connects everyone in a direct manner. As a whole, without the segmentation's and categorizations. If the future comes knocking on our dream telling us it will come knocking on our doors tomorrow, when do we choose to embrace it?

It is in a way, a key locking a door, walls and ideas of the future together.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

In Less Is More

For a person like me who have a demon in the form of complacency, I've always been not good enough in my own eyes. Add a unorthodox mind to it and at time I'm an enigma to myself.

In an effort to venture into new grounds I've tried breaking the routine today by skipping my evening nap and instead join my friends for their evening class. It was fun and productive but also tiring.

While in the midst of being heavy eyed, brain slowed and tired, when I expected to be half myself because I'm at half full, I came to realise and remember what I once known and forgot.

That in situations of inadequacy and temporarily substandard, the character takes over to make up for it and things seem to have greater meaning. Just like how a person who have one hand looks highly upon his own abilities to undertake a task a person with two hands takes twice as much to accomplish. Like how one hand's potential of a one hand person is greater than two hands of two; it's a state of the mind which governs it.

In having less we give more with what we have, and maybe this is the root idea of solving the problem of complacency. To know for sure, only time will tell.

Of Redefining To Something I Believe In

Nothing ventured nothing gained.

In this case, it's less with gaining anything but about the willingness to actually venture into something new which thrills me.

After waiting for 5 long weeks and watching in anticipation as my friends get theirs, I've finally got a proper assignment to spend my effort into doing. The subject is Hydraulics and Hydrology and the assignment is to do a case study on a dam. I'm so excited about it, if anything this is as close it gets to showing the love for the course. An assignment with a excellent lecturer who expects the minimum from his students and an unspecified boundary which allows imagination like mine to show itself.

It is a case study, which basically means studying a case. Usually this refers to something/some event that have happened and we study it to learn again what it has taught us mankind before.

For this assignment I intend to push it to the upper limits and show what a person with the correct mix of time, effort, opportunity, experience and enthusiasm can produce. It is not a matter of getting the perfect grade or impressing the viewers, it never is. The way I see it, it is always a stage for us to show ourselves what we are really worth.

Growing up I've always been a anti believer of academic grades being the sole representation of a person's ability to a neutral, but to survive I've accepted studying as a way of gaining respect from others, while never once changing my stand that true learning goes way beyond that. It is a combination of character, opportunity, luck and desire.

I've prepared myself experience wise, I've never doubted my passion, and yesterday I've finally got my opportunity. Here goes.

The case study, it's for them. I'm gonna try something one step different from the lot by doing a case study on an ongoing event. On a ongoing construction of a dam. This redefines the term case study already but I do believe if I were in his shoes I would want all my students to surprise me and impress me by showing me their own definition of how should be done instead of just following how things are being done. Creativity and ingenuity are one of the colours which paints a character of an engineer.

In Singapore I've tried that but the way of the culture opt repetitive tried and tested method over new ideas and surely, I look stupid at times.

In contrast Malaysia have always been the inverse of what Singapore is the opposite of what Malaysia is like so this is the chance once again.

We can fault purpose but we don't fault effort. In this case the effort to try and be different.

A elaborated principle shown in a simple assignment about the definition of a Case Study. I consider asking people does case study covers ongoing event but I expect most to change my mind and pull me back to normality. No, no.

Cheers all.