Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Dr. Henry Lee: A Good Man

Saw a pretty interesting show on TVBS’s SUMMIT 101, where the featured Dr. Henry Lee, the forensic science expert. What captured my attentions is not his skill nor capabilities, but him as a person and his characters, and perhaps some of his insights as well.

Lee gave me a very solid feel, someone strong and trustworthy, yet excellent and open minded. Some quick background: I think he was a former police officer who went to US in the early days with just USD 50. Then he worked his way through university to get his PhD and fight for his chance to achieve his life ambition: Police Forensic Science.

I think he is a pretty famous person nowadays, got a few of his moment in the interview which captured my attention.

When he was going for the university, he tried to cram the subjects of 4 years into two. The tutor said he was crazy and wouldn’t allow him to do so. He said, “It’s my fault if I fail. It isn’t my fault if you don’t let me to do it.” Somehow he convinced the tutor and succeeds at the end (after all, this is a success story). So, should blame others for the lack of opportunities to try, as it is us who didn’t try hard enough to try.

The interviewer ask him, wouldn’t things be different if he didn’t venture to US? It’s the person which matter and we just go through different path at different places. Every profession had its peak, and it’s still possible to turn out to be great. I guess we shouldn’t blame on the places we are at, and we still have the freewill to move on.

To succeed in any profession, what is important? A team. You must treat others better than you treat yourself, so that others will be happy and willing to work for you. No matter how great you are, you can’t function without a good team. You need different people to do different things, and it’s the collaborative effort which give you result. Another thing is you must have curiosity and courage. We must be willing to take risk, and don’t take unnecessary risk. I guess I kinda have the second half, but not the first half. I think it’s kinda difficult to find a good and responsible partner, which we could work well together. I co-operate with Simon for a few times, but he is busy nowadays with his son and law degree (prioeity shift). Mei Ru is my best partner at the moment, helping and supporting me whenever she could. Perhaps I really have to look seriously getting people together to venture together, yet good and willing people are hard to come by.

About crime. It is not enough to depend just on the police, but the people's heart. If everyone can do a good deed everyday, the crime would definitely reduce significantly. The state of economy relate closely to the crime level, sounds logical and undeniable. If there is more 1st time offender, it means the society’s education is not functioning. If there are more repetitive offenders, it means the correction system is not working. We should give leniency and forgiveness to 1st time offender and enforce a heavier punishment for repetitive offender. In order to counter crime, we must learn how to prevent crime (society education and economy), stop crime (severe punishment for repetitive offender) and reduce crime (enforcement effectiveness).

At the end, I believe a good character is more important than intelligent, skill, capability or money. It is all about what you are made of, how you carry yourself and how people look upon you. I believe Lee is a good person, at least he gave me such an impression (it maybe be the truth, or he is damn good at it).

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Is human nature predictable?

Once upon a time, I would like to study Psychology, as if it would help me understand human, or predict them. It sounds like an amazing and interesting course, but I guess it might not be a magical pill in real life.

Today I woke up late, due to constant screw up thoughts and excuses just to avoid getting up from the comfort of my bed. Since the day begun late, I somehow unconsciously decode to screw up the entire morning by watching Ed of Stuckybowl.

Ed is both the owner of Stuckybowl and a lawyer. To cuts things short, Ed somehow was involved in defending a scam artist, Danny Devito. It turns out Danny is not really a “full-time” scam artist, but a psychology with 30 years fo experiences making use of his knowledge and taking advantage of the predictability of human nature. If you were to pick a number between 1 to 4, which one will you pick? (Answer is at the bottom). If you we to choose 2 numbers, the 1st one must be an even number followed by the 2nd one which must not be the same as the 1st one, what would be your choice?

Any, Danny orchestrated a sports betting scam, where he successfully predicated the outcome of 5 wins consecutively, and ask his victim to pay to get the result of the 6th game. How does he do it? As long as you think in the shoe of the scammer and not the victim, you might get it subsequently. (Answer is at the bottom as well).

Probably this episode is all about psychology and predictability of human nature. By nature, human don’t take risk, and they need to feel safe (may be it really safety or just a false sense of security). There is a bowler who want to retire with a perfect score, and dare not to bowl one more time because scared of loosing his perfect touch. There is a women who probably like Ed dare not risk her current relationships just to be with Ed, no matter how hard her heart told her to do otherwise. It is said she knows she already screw up, and dare not to risk it further.

It’s human nature, for not taking risk in such a compulsive and non-logical manner, said Danny. Then the bowler came in the middle of the night to make one last bowl, to finish off the game, to take a risk and sleep tight again. Luckily, he made it and go home with a smile. Thought it’s human nature, but it also means higher probability, and not everyone might react the same, just most people would (miracles could still happen). On the other side, the women decides to marry his current boyfriend because he threatens to leave her. Perhaps it’s the fear of loosing, and she didn’t take the risk.

Human nature predictability and probability, what most of the people would do. Again, there is always some people who doesn’t fall in the norm, thus not so predictable. For better or for worse, is totally unpredictable.

Choose a number between 1-4? Answer: 3

Choose 2 numbers, the 1st one must be an even number followed by the 2nd one which must not be the same as the 1st one. Answer: 67

How to scam people into believing that you could predict the outcome of 5 games consecutively?
Answer: In the 1st game, you set 50 letters saying team A will win, and another 50 letters saying team B will win. If team A wins, you forget about those 50 in team B. In the next game, you continue sending 25 letters saying Team C will win and another 25 saying team D will win. At the end of the day, there would be a few of them which received the prediction for 5 consecutive wins. Imagine you would start with 1000 letters.

PS: At the end, Danny was not found guilty as a scam artist. Why? Because he didn’t cheat or make any false claim. He didn’t claim he can correctly predict the results, he just does his predictions and people assume he can do it precisely. Is it his fault that people believe he can? Or the victims’ fault? It is not illegal, but perhaps morally incorrect to take advantages of the weaknesses of human nature. He is just being smarter. Sounds like some advertising campaign out there, taking advantage of human behavior. Again, the best way to deter scam is being smart and not greedy.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Time is Lost

It’s difficult to find time to write nowadays, as time is taken up by love and work. I seem to have a lot in my mind to write about, guess I’ll just have a squeeze in 30 minutes before sleep to write this.

Dancing had been less fun than it used to be, perhaps due to the changes in my working location and my relationships will my dance mates as well. My work is switched from KL to Puchong, yet my dance class is still in KL (I stay because of the friends I have there). I no longer had the time (or convenience) to attend additional classes or practice classes, thus there isn’t some much sharing and synergy going on between us. I felt my feelings towards dancing with my dance mates had been drifting apart, which kinda sadden me at times.

Perhaps it’s just an inevitable part of life, where our priorities shift and I move on. The time where we are close and spent a few days in a week for dancing and dinner and movies and karaoke together are gone. Dancing is just a weekly thing I attend to now (sounds like Church), nothing more and nothing less. Perhaps is my love affair with Mei Ru, thus my relationship with Michelle, Tang and Li Mun is no longer as close as it used to be. I guess it’s inevitable as well, the must be a reason why most married couple are anti-social among friends, and it get worst when you have children. I guess our priorities shift (the way we spent our time), and partly it isn’t that “convenient” anymore. Even though we could make an effort to make things just like old time, but it just wouldn’t feel the same, as things had changed and time passes by.

I guess there is nothing wrong with it, and it is nobody’s fault, and it just seems inevitable and sad. The feeling is lost. Things are no longer the same.

For a moment, I thought of my time at BASS with all my friends just seems like yesterday (and quite sadden by it), but those time isn’t going to come back anymore. Everyone is leaving and move on with their life, the group is broken going their separate ways. There is nothing wrong, just how life is. We gather and we left.

Sad and inevitable, just the way of life?

Friday, September 15, 2006

A few Words

“You could do all the right your entire life, but it only takes one mistake to screw up totally” Life could be forgiving at times, but not always. I believe the life cycle is invented in such as way that it shall give you a few warnings before the bad shit hit you, but it isn’t always so obvious and you must be ready to listen. Perhaps I just don’t believe in total randomness without cause.

“When you dream of someone, it means that someone want to see you so much that his or her spirit leave the body to meet you” – Honey & Clover. Supposed to be ancient Japanese believe, or something made up by the writer of Anime. I dream a lot, but I seldom remember them anyway because they didn’t make much sense (too cluttered and weird of a dream). Perhaps too much thought in my mind, but it does feels good to believe the myth :)

“Fortune favors the adventurous, and reward awaits the persistent” I am holding on to this, believing this could be the way to make exceptional things work. What else could we do but keep trying, as quitting too many times is bad for morale and our spirit. It would to nice to see how things came out if we persist until the end, at least for once in our life.

“If money isn’t everything, why are we working for money most of the time in our life” Perhaps we need good schedule to spend our time? Or are we actually buying a lifestyle? Or we have no idea what else we could do? Or money is most of the things? We live in a world of capitalism, so we kinda accept money as the way of life. Unless we opt for ideal communism such as Star Trek, where everyone work for self en-betterment and can engage in any career as they wish, and currency does not exist.

“Why does the night always seems tranquil” Perhaps it is cooler air and quietness, or perhaps there is something mystic about the darkness. But a night without day wouldn’t make a good night. I guess too much of everything is no good.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Animax (Japanese Anime) Rulez

I guess Japanese always have a distinctive taste and innovation. Look at their fashion and style, their porn industry, their robots and automations, their designs and cartoons, their food and culture. It is one of a kind, for better or worst.

Lately Astro introduced the Animax channel and I had been instantly hooked on it. I notice Japanese Anime since the comic days, and I didn’t BT them due to the lack of time to watch them. Anyway it is nice for Astro to have Animax, so I can catch on a few episodes when I take my break.

Not all Anime are interesting and good, but I noticed a few good ones currently showing at Animax.

The 1st one which captured my attention is Brain Powered, with robots with organic form, and the collaboration between human mind and the robot brain (sounds like Evangelion). Anyway, I am a sucker for robots, and organism and a brain of his own just make it more interesting.

Then we have The Law of Ueki, a bunch of children with special abilities and a green theme. They are supposed to fight each other so that their sponsors get to be a god, and they get an ability of their choice as the ultimate reward. The main character is funny and dumb (maybe smart as well), which makes the cartoon more interesting besides the utilization of their special power.

Teenage Goddess might seem pretty boring at 1st, but its world of god is pretty interesting. It had old Japanese styled magical kingdom, with lots of gods and funny mystical creatures (reminds me of Totoro and Spirited Away). I like the setting and creatures.

I kinda dislike Honey and Clover at 1st, at it seems kinda like some boring stories among a bunch of friends. It is about relationship and love, and I slowly kinda like their thoughts in the story, kinda felt meaningful at times (plus some Japanese quirkiness as well). Perhaps it is a good watch after all, just slow and lots of love relationship and inner thoughts.

Chronicles of the Wings is not bad as well, about Sakura (she looks like Sakura the Card Captors) loosing her wings and a bunch a kids with magical creatures and special abilities. Yu Yu Hakusho, Samurai 7, Dragon Ball, Hungry Heart, God(?) Save Our King! is average, Dr Dokkiri could be funny. I am not very fond of Paradise Kiss, Gokusen, Alice Academy, .Hack/Sign, Absolute Boy.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Ponder: Is life that difficult?

I guess once in a while, I would felt some fear, some uncertainty, some reluctant which immobilize me. Perhaps it’s part of the confusion of what to do with my life, or how am I going to go through it. Too bad there isn’t a quick fix or answer, as I have to gather strength, stand up and continue my journey again.

Sometimes it is really not easy to gather consistent strength. Though I have no idea where I would reach at this moment, but I think it is important for me to keep moving no matter what, at least for the moment. Perhaps I was hoping one day that the clouds would clear and I could see what is installed for me.

Sometimes I look at people around me; I will kinda sadden with their lifestyle. A middle age man drinking coffee alone with a worrisome face and working cloth, an old man drive his trucks around the neighborhood trying to sell some buns, or a 30-ish women going from table to table trying to sell some biscuits. Somehow I felt sadden that their life have to be such, working so hard just to survive, yet the future is insecure.

Am I being too complacent or lazy, or afraid of hardship? Am I worry for my future, or am I asking too much of a lifestyle. I guess I know what I want for the moment and trying to give a chase for it (before I no longer have the energy and determination or luxury to go for it). Sometimes I do forget that I am 27, thinking I was way older. But 27 are neither too young, as time passed by really quickly.

Again, for a better tomorrow :)

Cameron Photo Blog

Kuala Wor - a hotspring river (before going up to Cameron)

Big Tress in Kuala Wor

Lata Iskandar waterfall, a pretty cool place to hang out for a while (remember to climb to the top)

Lakehouse, look very grand and expensive. European style with fireplace.

A lake filled with green plants.

A nursery in Lembah Bertam, a small town.

Bharat Tea House, a must visit. Nice tea, brownie ice-cream, carrot cake and tea hills.

Rainbow Girl in Brinchang

Pasar Malam (Night Market in Brinchang), lots of food and vegetables

Steamboat. This little girl like me very much, yeah!

Chim's House. Talking about how Kok Ming is going to open his birthday present.

Palas Tea Plantation

Some butterfly farm, nothing much. 5 jun bin jui!

Rose Garden, a worthy visit. Cancer in action.

This sunflower boy looked old

Photo Link: Mei Ru's Multiply

XPDC Gunung Challi / Charlie

May it be Challi or Charlie, this is definitely a very tiring mountain to trek (or had my stamina deteorated) and very bad for people who are tall or big sized. The climb start somewhere near the Blue Valley at Cameron Highland, and it’s a 7 hours trek.

Team Charlie

The 1st few hours seems pretty normal and easy, just going through some trees and bushes. The scenery kinda changed after the 3rd hours, where you get some mystic forest feel ala mini Lord of the Ring. It feels kinda cold and misty, and lots of algae and green stuff hanging from the trees, and the land seems softer. The scenery and feel is kinda amazing, and it seems kinda like the little forest for the hobbits.

Misty Forest

Then things get kinda tricky when it started to rain, and we have to put on our poncho. The problem is not just the rain, but the path and bushes. The path is pretty narrow, and short as well. You gonna get lots of branches on both side scratches your arm and tearing your poncho, and to mentioned a lot of big branches on top which make you duck or crawl. Like I said, the path is narrow and short, and full with obstacles. My backpack keeps getting stuck at the branches, and I have to crawl most of the time, which is quite irritating. Not to mentioned the small branches and torn on both side keep scratching me and hang on to me. And the rain does helps at all.

Don't we look good together?

Generally, there are a few types of trekkers I saw:
  • The slow mover, people who really take their own sweat time and move really slow (or they really couldn’t keep up)
  • The enjoyer, people who keep an average pace while enjoying the journey and scenery
  • The rusher, those who aimed to rush to the destination as fast as possible
  • The helper, those who always help others
I guess I am the Enjoyer, since walking too slow tired me out easily, and I am not capable of rushing or helping others too much. I believed there is more than reaching the destination in mountain trekking, but I shouldn’t be too slow either.

Ah Fong the cook came along this time as well, and she is a very serious cook as usual (only when cooking). I dare not come near or help her when she is cooking, since I know I can’t meet her level of expectation. But she is generally a nice person, just need to know what to do and what not to do with her. Muscleman Chim joined us as well, and he can survived the cold without any cloth at the top (no sign of catching a cold either), and he is helpful and felt very enthusiastic about mountain trekking (perhaps his 2nd hobby after fishing).

It's is wet and COLD!

Somehow, when there is too big of a team (around 26 persons), the trekking just doesn’t seems fun. Perhaps there is less bonding, or perhaps lack of someone to glue us together. For a moment, I felt quite uncomfortable with the atmosphere up there, but luckily it didn’t last long. I still prefer the Rajah group, though it consists of pretty much the same group here, but something is different or missing.

The girls get to sleep in the camp, and guys have to sleep under the fly ship, and it is raining. Luckily the rain stop and it isn’t too windy. My sleeping bag is wet, so I am uncovered in the opened. Advice: Always cover your sleeping bag and cloths. Anyway, I never quite like sleeping in the camp, I enjoyed the openness (perhaps this is what I enjoyed most from a camping trip). BTW, Muscleman Chim snore like a train with different tune, and it’s a miracle that I still managed to catch some sleep.

The Reward up there

The top of Charlie is covered by bushes around it, thus it might not be a good spot to enjoy the mountain scenery. It got a misty feel, but lack of openness. Thus the top isn’t too satisfying.

The path down took almost 7 hours as well, and it ain’t pretty. The Charlie track is a dragon mountain, the same amount of going uphill and downhill on either way. So it ain’t a relaxing trip down. Wynn got sick slightly due to lack of sleep, but she managed to survive. The trip down is quite painful for me, thus I need lots of fresh fruit and pit stop.

We have a lot of nice people in this group. Perhaps that’s what mountain trekking is all about, nature and good people. And perhaps to just focus on one thing and forget about our busy city life for a moment.

Photo Link: Mich's Multiply, Tang's Multiply, Mei Ru's Multiply, Wynn's Mutiply

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Ponder: What am I doing?

With so many things happening in our lives, haven’t we many times wondered what are we doing? Or rather, what are we supposed to do?

I didn’t ponder upon this question very much when I was young. The one thing which seems to troubled me the most is my studies, and I seems to manage that pretty well (though I have some unaccomplished finishing, but that does really matter, but it did bothers me at times). Sometimes I did think of what I want to be when I grow up, in terms of career of course. I thought of policeman, soldier, businessman, astronaut, scientist and I think my last one is computer expert, and here I am as a programmer.

After following the conventional route to finish college and get into employment, perhaps I wanted to do something fun and useful, never quite thought of making a living. I did get to do something fun and exciting, and troubling as well. But somehow I am unsatisfied with the pay and the bureaucracy which is taking place in the office. Perhaps this world would be better without lousy and irritating managers.

Then I though of perhaps it’s time to be a young entrepreneur, start a business and getting rich all that. But I guess I wasn’t well prepared for that, and had no idea what is installed for me ahead. Perhaps I need to understand the business world more, thus I get back to employment and hoping to learn a trick or two about running a successful software house. Sadly the company I joined isn’t pretty as well in the end. Perhaps the only think good about it is the colleagues in there, but the leadership sucks with no vision and management whatsoever.

Again, I though I can do much better than all those suckers out there. I had an idea or two in my head, and start executing them. What am I trying to accomplish? At the moment, I just wanna flush all the idea out of my head into execution, to know once and for all that will they work, or am I really as good as I thought I am. Though I am earning far less now, and perhaps worry at times, but I am somehow happy at times. Perhaps I had only been this happy in terms of work in the 1st year of my 1st job. I guess I had never been this satisfied and happy ever since. Perhaps my only worry at the moment is how to make a living out of doing what I am doing now.

Again, what am I trying to do at the moment? I am trying to make a living out of doing what I like and the way I like it, and hopefully I would not need to worry about money in the near future. I like the work I am doing now, and I do hope for financial freedom as well, so that I can have an easy lifestyle and helps those around me as well (worry less about money, so to speak). Perhaps in order to make “Money is not everything” meaningful, you need to have a lot of them.

So, what am I supposed to do? Beats me. I guess there shouldn’t be any supposed, just what had I chosen to do, based on my condition, knowledge, awareness and exercising my freewill whenever possible. I had only been through 27 years of my life, and there should be a lot going on in the near future.

Besides work, now I have a girlfriend, which I feel very happy and lucky. Perhaps in life, happiness does come in small packages. If it had always been there obvious, everyone would have gotten it. If it had been that hard, everyone would not find love and happiness. At times we really happy to slow down and ponder for a while, take life as it is before getting busy chasing our dream and ambition again. Though I yearn to achieve my ideal career and lifestyle, I want to bring her happiness as well. So I should always make time for her, and not to mention learn to get along as well. Perhaps there really should be any selfishness in love, or in a pure relationship. We want them to be in good shape, and we don’t mind sacrificing slightly (I am not so sure about big sacrifices, as I haven’t faced that yet). Perhaps is like the love of parents for their children.

Again, for a better tomorrow :)