He Dreams (Cho’s Parents)

It is evening. The setting sun gives off a soft, warm glow.

Holding hands, they take a slow walk down a stretch of deserted beach. They say nothing, but walk, listening to the sounds of the waves making their way onshore.

He looks at her, and starts thinking about how wonderful she is, and how lucky he is to be with her. He starts thinking about the future, their future. He imagines them living in their dream home. Oh! how wonderful it will all be!

He imagines their children running about in the house, knocking into things, getting hurt; and how he would come to their rescue, comforting them.

He imagines them growing up, graduating from high school, and doing well enough to go to University, something he had never done, and probably never will. And he imagines one of them shooting other kids.

He Dreams (Cho's Parents)

It is evening. The setting sun gives off a soft, warm glow.

Holding hands, they take a slow walk down a stretch of deserted beach. They say nothing, but walk, listening to the sounds of the waves making their way onshore.

He looks at her, and starts thinking about how wonderful she is, and how lucky he is to be with her. He starts thinking about the future, their future. He imagines them living in their dream home. Oh! how wonderful it will all be!

He imagines their children running about in the house, knocking into things, getting hurt; and how he would come to their rescue, comforting them.

He imagines them growing up, graduating from high school, and doing well enough to go to University, something he had never done, and probably never will. And he imagines one of them shooting other kids.

In the Woods

I drew a couple of pictures recently. Just felt so proud of them I couldn’t help but post it here. 🙂

Here’s one of an old man with a child. This was inspired by a photo I saw which accompanied a poem (Rudyard Kipling’s If).

If - Rudyard Kipling

Here’s one of a girl. I had actually tried to sketch a girl I knew. But after the sketch was more or less done, I realised it didn’t really look like her.

UPDATE: Then again, it does.

A girl

Does IT Matter?

I’m currently reading a book called Does IT Matter?, by author Nicholas G. Carr. It basically talks about how IT’s competitive advantage has been corroded through the commodatisation of IT.

IT as a Commodity

I had never thought of IT in this way consciously, of IT as a commodity. When we talk of IT as a commodity, we are comparing IT to things like the railway system, telephones, and the electric grid. IT has become ubiquitous: it is everywhere.

No longer can a company say that because they make use of IT, they have an advantage over competitors: that would be akin to saying that by having electricity they have an advantage over competitors.

The reasons behind the commoditisation of IT has been said to come from the homogenising of IT, of the creation of standards, of how all IT hardware and software have evolved to become so similar they cease to possess inherent compeitive advantages.

And with the advent of the Internet, the commoditisation process has been sped up, with standardisation becoming all the more important as we seek to share more and more information with increasingly larger numbers of people.

While reading the chapter on the homogenising of IT, and IT software in particular, Windows Vista vs. Mac OS X came to mind. The similarities between Microsoft’s latest OS and Mac OS X is uncanny.

So, Does IT Matter?

I think that IT does still matter, though no more can have a competitive advantage over others just by possessing it.

The focus is no longer whether one should or should not use IT, but rather, how one can use IT creatively.

Marketing Text

I was reading through my Marketing text when I came across this:

… as when Johnson & Johnson targeted the adult market with its baby powder and shampoo, or Baileys Irish Cream targeted the 19-25 singles segment with its positioning as a ‘sexy’ drink.

Johnson & Johnson’s marketing campaign included the use of videos of scantily clad women showering with their shampoo, and drying off with their baby powder.

Naw, I’m just kidding. But judging from that quoted passage it’s difficult to tell, no?

The Mind is Evil

Falling in love is, to me, an exercise in academia — business academia. Allow me to explain why.

First, let me open this article with the excerpt of the song, The Mind is Evil, by the Indie band Clearlake:

And sometimes I think
If I killed off my mind
Then my heart and I would be free
But somehow it knows what I am thinking about
And it’s always one step ahead of me

The meaning of these words are open to interpretation, but to me, I believe it is an lamentation of the mind’s way of stealing control from the heart.

If you disagree, then disagree, but keep reading, for this is not a literary discourse on lyrical matters, but rather how, like the protaganist of the song aforementioned, I find my head gets in the way of my heart.

Love at First Sight: The Cost Benefit Analysis

The Cost Benefit Analysis — is she good for me?

Within the first few seconds of seeing a girl, I will have to decide: is she good for me? What are the benefits of going out with this girl? Would she make a good trophy wife? Would my friends think well of her? Am I in this for more than the sex? and if I am, what is it that I am after?

Then we weigh the costs. What are the costs involved in wooing her? How much time do I need to spend with her? How much money would I require to win her heart? Do I need a car to do so? Would she be satisfied going for long walks on the beach? Does she eat out often? If she does, what kinds of food would she go for? How much does that kind of food cost? Once she becomes my girlfriend, what would happen then?

Further Analysis: Systems Theory

Systems Theory — what else in my life would be affected by my wooing her? by her becoming my girlfriend?

I would have to evaluate what else in my life would be affected by her in my life. The costs — they’re not stand-alone. They’re connected by a complicated web, one event leading to another. Perhaps I need a car to woo this girl, for she is high-maintenance, and demands to be driven.

So I buy a car, A$5,000. That’s not too much. In Singapore you’d find it hard to get a car (even a pathetic one) below S$20,000 (~A$16,000), so you might consider this a steal. But systems theory dictates that A$5,000 is not all you’d have to pay for a car.

By buying a car, you’d have to maintain it. So you spend money on it. Spending money on it makes you want to spend more time with it, because you don’t want to pay for something you’re not using. So you spend more time using the car. This leads to less time studying.

Less time studying means you get worse grades. Worse grades means you feel stresed. You’d be snappy, and not nice to be with. Your girlfriend realises this, and you realise she realises this, and so you try to recover by cramming at the end and doing well for the exams.

Nearing the exams, you look for friends for some study help. But you realise they’re no longer your friends as you’ve been spending all your time with your girlfriend and car. And so on and so forth.

Greener Grass: Opportunity Cost

Opporunity Cost — going for one girl means I forgo the next best alternative. (The grass is always greener on the other side.)

So I get the cute, hot girl. Unfortunately, her personality doesn’t quite fit mine. One day, while out drinking with some of my friends, I meet this girl, who’s not that hot, but with a personality that fits me like the Pokemon episode “fits” epileptic kids (it “fits” them, get it? haha!).

I start fantasizing about having a relationship with this new girl, and start regretting my decision for having the first.

And so, I stay away from love, and romance. It’s just not for me.

Conclusion

I think too much.

Japanese Dolphin Killings Never Happened

A Japanese friend refuses to believe that his fellow Japanese back in Japan actually kill dolphins.

Another friend and I had come across a similar article in a newspaper while having our breakfast. We showed it to our Japense friend, and his immediate reaction was, “it’s not true, man.”

He continued, “we love dolphins, man. They’re our friends.”

To him, the dolphin killings never happened.

I suppose it’s the same as saying Singapore’s a democratic society, no?

Midnight Studying

Frustrated

It’s close to midnight.

A cup of Kahlua Coffee sits in my tummy, doing its best to burn through my stomach lining.

Too much Kahlua, too little coffee — an accident, I swear.

I’ve got a mid-semester test coming up next week.

I’m studying — reading my text.

“How does a VPN work?” it asks.

I try to answer: “through the use of encrypted… communication lines…” but stop at that.

I don’t know.

Who gives a f*cking sh*t how a VPN works?

Suddenly, a familiar voice from outside finds its way past my door, and into my ears.

It’s her. My mind drifts.

The text disappears before my very eyes.

Oh Jesus f*cking Christ, concentrate!

I try once more. “VPN is…” but there it goes again, the voice.

It’s her.

So I like her, so what?

It’s just a f*cking phase…
I’m sure it’s just a phase…