Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Saturday, January 8, 2011
This is a must have book for ALL citizens of Malaysia. Other than your I.C and driving license, this is the third ‘official’ documentation that you should have at all times. Not so much for flashing it to law enforcers but more like a ‘financial bible’ to understand what you have been contributing your taxes (current and future) to.
I am appalled by our government’s indifference and incapability to be accountable for the management of our country’s budget. Running in high deficit for the past 5 years isn’t a laughing matter for any tax-paying citizen. We have done our due, yet we’re not seeing better systems in education, transportation, health and even internal security looking at the soaring crime rates. I recall participating in a friend’s relative’s survey in researching ‘tax payers’ sentiment’ when it comes to paying what they rightfully owe the country. I completed the survey with utmost honesty and mind you, I AM a tax-payer and I did comment on my displeasure on how we’re contributing like good citizens yet whatever the government has planned, does not seem to benefit me nor my family nor my future generation. And from this book which is superbly and most eloquently put together by Teh Chi-Chang (he’s now my local financial hero), I finally could see the light. Well, I saw the light long ago, but now I could finally put it into words based on black and white.
Imagine 10% of us is supporting the country’s 90%. No wonder some of us just got fed up and ran away. I was also appalled to read that 2 million Malaysians who consist of at least 90% bumiputra are living in poverty! The people need to wake up and open their eyes. These pro-bumi policies that have been put together, protected and sworn sovereign by these dudes in UMNO are only benefiting the ex-Menteri Besars and the endless list of Datuks and Datins who need cheaper electricity to light up their multi-million dollar bungalow in Bukit Tunku. What is oblivious to people is the fact that these pro-bumi policies should be benefiting the 2 million bumiputras who are living way below the poverty line. They should be given due opportunities to upskill and earn better wages with subsidies for schooling and basic home necessities such as food, water and electricity. Don’t even talk about non-bumis!
I beg of you, my dear reader. That if you carry a Malaysian ID, birth certificate and/or passport, then thou shalt know where your money is going to. Now that the can of worms is opened, I wish someone would do something to lead us out of this darkness. The careless handling of the country’s expenditure does not only affect you and I, but it will affect generations and generations of Malaysians thereafter. Therefore, I beg beg beg of you. If the government will not be accountable, you as a citizen can. And if there are a volume of us (regardless of ethnicity, religious and political views) that have had enough of this Monopoly child-play in this country, it will undoubtedly put enough pressure on them to at least, buck up and get smarter. Efficiency is one thing that we’re truly lacking and let’s not wait any longer.
Of course you can borrow the book from me. Or BETTER, buy it from here.
I got this wonderful wonderful wonderful book for Christmas and the illustrations are nothing short of heartwarming and to a certain extent, they do steal your pity. The first ‘how do you do?’ that we exchanged was a slightly furry sensation. The book was wrapped with dark crimson velvet.
‘How to rescue my delirious heart’ by b.wing is another child narration of very serious heart-related matters faced by grown-ups. Although it’s difficult for me to compare this to the likes of Oliver Jeffers and legendary Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, but I must applaud the creator for at least bringing it close to home. The main character has a childlike demeanor that must be the representative of our inner being, metaphorically speaking. The child’s perspective sometimes bear strong nuances of how unbearable and cold our world can be but sometimes I feel that the linkage is so subtle that it’s hard to continue substantiating that emotional connection. During these ‘pauses’ in the narration, the words and their meaning somehow lose momentum, and I’m afraid this is the very reason why it is unable to thoroughly capture the audience’s heart as it would have been expected to. But having said that, the job of engagement is relentlessly carried through by pages and pages of visual expression brought to life by crayons, a highly imaginative mind and a delirious heart.
I haven’t got the answer to the rescue but I’ve certainly grown soft towards this gentle being and wanting to protect ‘her heart’ from whatever that may be threatening it. Perhaps you will. And when you do, won’t you rescue mine too?
Saturday, January 1, 2011
The Invisible Gorilla checks and rechecks many myths that have been governing our minds. I won’t be as far fetch as to say that they’ve successfully debunked these myths, since the cases which are brought up in this kind of psychological thesis are isolated cases. Which means, you argue one way, it goes one way. You argue the other way, and you find that it could be a possibility too. But the interesting thought here is that their argument is pretty substantial when it comes to how our misconceptions of various truths about ourselves led us to perhaps make less than accurate decisions. It may not seem like very much of a big deal when it’s menial day-to-day business but take instances from the courtroom, sometimes it may cost a lot more than saying, “Oops, I guess I thought wrong”.
Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons both received the Ig Nobel Prize for Psychology in September 2004 “for demonstrating that when people pay close attention to something, it’s all too easy to overlook anything else”. Sometimes we’re too quick to jump the gun, too eager to close the case that we forget about other perspectives and possibilities, and start drawing conclusions based on our own intuition, our own experience, confidence and even memory. But if you realize, take memory as an instance, it is written by ourselves with absolutely no details of how the outcome might be to someone else. When a situation happens, the track involves multiple ‘actors’ and almost always, we’re just one of them. When we record the situation through lenses which are tinted by our own expectations and previous experience, we cannot remain neutral in saving that piece of memory. Which really means that even if the same incident happened to both you and I, there could be a discrepancy between your story and mine simply because we processed the information in different ways which are entirely biased. If there was a shootout on the street, we would have captured totally different images that are sometimes drawn from our own biasness. You see a black guy shooting. I recall clearly it was a white guy. So who’s right and who’s wrong? Memories, like history is written by the winner and in our story, who else but us take the leading actor role? And this is just one of the many ‘illusions’ that we base our everyday decisions and judgments on.
In their words: The Invisible Gorilla is a book about six everyday illusions that profoundly influence our lives: the illusions of attention, memory, confidence, knowledge, cause and potential. These are distorted beliefs we hold about our minds that are not just wrong, but wrong in dangerous ways.
Pick this book up. It’s a must read if you, like me, like them, enjoy Malcolm Gladwell.
Here's a sneak peek on what to expect: