Sunday, August 31, 2008

I am glad you like the fat brilliantly glowing duck. Get well soon.

In other news,

Name: C (Mr)
Relationship: Nephew
Present occupation: Baby
Job description: Uses larger older persons as personal transportation to look alertly at interesting things. Mastery of assorted repertoire of cries to indicate shock, diaper change, hunger and general 'pick-me-up'ness. A little narcoleptic - falls asleep between one cry and the next when picked up.
Big plus point: Still looks macho while wearing pink. A good omen for future relationships with other babes next time.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Today I did some measured yelling at a client. It was the strangest thing ever, because the measuring of it actually worked very well - all targets achieved.

I have an irresistible urge to grin, as a result.

Monday, August 18, 2008

American healthcare blog, 1 of the ten thousand million out there. Angsty. Written by a doctor. How representative it is, I do not know. If true, would put House of God in the shade. Feels more real than House of God though, probably because contemporary. Found via Jolene.

Disadvantages of an elite education. Found via strangeknight, who is one of the nicest nicest people around. Jolene and her partner love this article, by the way. I'm sure she's making it go viral amongst her friends right now.

In the remains of my shattered mind, I read this:

"When we're in a group, we tend to think as that group does: we may even have joined the group to find "like-minded" people. But we also find our thinking changing because we belong to a group. It is the hardest thing in the world to maintain an individual dissident opinion, as a member of a group.

It seems to me that this is something we have all experienced - something we take for granted, may never have thought about. But a great deal of experiment has gone on among psychologists and sociologists on this very theme. If I describe an experiment or two, then anyone listening who may be a sociologist or psychologist will groan, oh God not again - for they will have heard of these classic experiments far too often. My guess is that the rest of the people will never have heard of these experiments, never have had these ideas presented to them. If my guess is true, then it aptly illustrates my general thesis, and the general idea behind these essays, that we (the human race) are now in possession of a great deal of hard information about ourselves, but we do not use it to improve our institutions and therefore our lives."

And, in another essay of the same book,

There is a certain social process that is known and very visible, but perhaps not acknowledged as much as it should be. It is that one where a new idea (or an old one in new form) is accepted by a minority, while the majority are shouting treason, rubbish, kook, Communist, capitalist, or whatever is the valued term of abuse in that society. The minority develop this idea, at first probably in secrecy, or semi-secrecy, and then more and more visibly, with more and more support until ... guess what? This seditious, impossible, wrong-headed idea becomes what is known as "received opinion" and is loved and valued by the majority. Meanwhile, of course, a new idea, still seditious etc. and so forth, has been born somewhere else, and is being cultivated and worked out by a minority. Suppose we redefine the word "elite", for our present purposes, to mean any group of people who for any reason are in the possession of ideas that put them ahead of the majority?

When you get to my age - I was bound to say this at some point, you'll agree - when you get to my age, watching this process continuously at work in society is one of the more entertaining ways of passing one's time. It is an entertainment on the whole denied to all but a few of the more reflective young, because the young are still able to believe more easily in permanence. What! That the beautiful ideas they cherish are destined for the dustheap? Of course not!

- Doris Lessing, Prisons We Choose to Live Inside,
published 1987, Harper Perennial

Sunday, August 17, 2008

If you were looking for that stunning video of Jason Lezak winning the 4x100 men's freestyle relay for the US of A (and for Michael Phelps as well), it's here. Awesome, I tell you. Awesome.

A scant 2 1/2 months later.....

The Rogers Indicator of Multiple Intelligences
created with
You scored as Verbal/Linguistic

You have highly developed auditory skills, enjoy reading and writing and telling stories, and are good at getting your point across. You learn best by saying and hearing words. People like you include poets, authors, speakers, attorneys, politicians, lecturers and teachers.















From Chiao-Lun:

Tuesday, May 9th, 2006

I can trust that I know myself, at least, better than anyone else does. From this sovereignty flows firm convictions about improvement and happiness, about the manifest desires and ambitions that power my core, and how they instantiate and tie together the actionable principles on the surface. I am whole, and I must accept that. I cannot learn in part, I know only complete assimilation. I do not condone indefinite quarantine - every datum eventually gets discarded or reaches core. This is the sincerity of my thought, the monolithicity of my relativism, the justice of my ways.

Hear hear, and agreed.

Monday, August 11, 2008


When you told me you were "a little different", some time ago, I didn't realise how different you were until I started working where I'm working now. The others of your profession are exceptionally alien - I wonder if I've landed on another planet. When stopped in their tracks they smile widely and say hi. Two milliseconds later they break eye contact and keep looking anxiously past my shoulder while talking to me. And they'll keep "talking" to me while looking angrier and angrier. I cannot finish a single question without this thunderous metamorphosis from smile to anxiety to apparent anger, all in 1 1/2 seconds. It's all very, very disconcerting. I am at a loss to explain it.

You, on the other hand, are a pretty normal human being. You remain precise in verbal expression even with only 6 hours of sleep in 3 days. A little loopy, but still coherent. You are unfailingly succinct and comprehensive when tasked to answer a question that you didn't have to answer, thus showing the most rational human response of getting things done (" 'twere well it were done quickly"). A little brisk when busy. Reschedules conversations when very busy. Does not suffer fools gladly but tolerant of beginners and learning. A very nice and normal human being, you are. If only more of your profession were professional like you.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

When Zahara told me what anhedonia and a foreshortened future were, I recognized those immediately.

You know you're hopelessly in love when the NDP fireworks look far more beautiful over the Marina seafront than yesterday's spectacular China Olympic ceremony fireworks. Now the question is whether I'm trapped in an abusive relationship. ;-) Happy National Day.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Thegreatsze on truthseekers. Hear hear.

Adrian Tan, in possibly the most concise punchy commencement speech ever known. I'm atypically young to have read The Teenage Textbook but I have :) very many years ago.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

I'm walking away from this blog until such time my mind returns to me.

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