I’ve decided to get married. At 43 and having had enough relationships behind me, it is time to settle. After all, it isn’t easy to find someone who can put up with my writer’s temperament and entrepreneur’s risk taking lifestyle — and still want to share the rest of my life with me.
But one thing troubles me.
And this is yet another one of those conventional logic issues that made little sense to my somewhat unconventional mind.
Why are weddings such big affairs?
Across customs and culture, weddings are typically grand affairs. Relatives and friends come, intricate ceremonies are conducted, the hosts serve abundant food and drinks, and guests come bearing expensive gifts. …
“No system of government was ever so ill-devised that, under proper men, it wouldn’t work well enough.”
The English founder of Pennsylvania, William Penn, said that in 1693.
And indeed he is so right.
10,000 years of human history later, we still fight wars over political ideology; as if settling on the right system of government alone can guarantee human society the justice and prosperity we all seek.
That is so wrong.
Democracy alone is not a magic pill for good governance. In fact, countries with elections often end up filling their public offices with politicians instead of leaders.
Because to be elected today means having to play the popularity game and having enough funding to afford masterful propaganda. …
In 1986, when environmentalist Jay Westerveld was still in college, he coined the term “greenwashing” to describe “the process of conveying a false impression or providing misleading information about how a company’s products are more environmentally sound”.
Apple’s latest statement on why it is shipping the new iPhone 12 without power adapters and earphones fits this exact definition. It sounded so convincing that some environmentalists were even praising the move.
But a closer examination of the facts reveals the truth — Apple is just simply trying to make more money from iPhone buyers by doing this.
Without free adapters and earphones in the iPhone 12 packaging, Apple will be saving a lot on shipping costs. …
“The fact that it became what it became is still puzzling to all of us,” said Michael Stipe, lead singer of the rock and roll band R.E.M., in the documentary Song Exploder.
“Losing My Religion is kind of a mistake. It’s a song that should’ve never been a hit single…”
The band had been going on for about ten years, alternating between touring and recording.
They were exhausted — and somewhat sick of being typecast. Lead guitarist Peter Buck said that they wanted to “make a record that’s gonna destroy their career”.
They would then start all over again, reestablishing themselves with a new style. …
On March 9th, 2019, the longest bull run in stock market history celebrated its 10th anniversary. I wondered to myself what might eventually bring it to an end, and possibly even cause a reversal.
I decided it had to be an ‘act of God’. For the last decade mankind had managed its way out of several threats to the economy with stimulus policies. We seemed to have ‘conquered’ man-made recessions!
The only possibility left had to be Mother Nature.
A huge earthquake, a monster volcano erupts, a deadly epidemic… some kind of natural disaster that hits our economy so hard many fortunes would be lost and hordes of investors would have to liquidate their investments quickly to recover cash. …
How much would you need to pay Facebook to ensure that you didn’t get any advertisements in its family of social apps — Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp.
US$2.57 per month.
Yes, as little as that.
How did I arrive at that figure?
Well, it’s easy. In 2019, Facebook made US$69.655 billion from advertising. There were 2.26 billion users who used one or more of its family of apps at least once a day — what Facebook defined as Daily Active People (DAP).
Simple division tells us that each active user, on average, created US$2.57 …
It’s been 20 years. I’ve never told anyone about it. No one else knew except for two friends — who were in on it.
The year was 2001.
Electronic trading for financial markets were in its early days, and retail investors were still transitioning from calling up their stock brokers to placing orders themselves on Internet platforms.
I was in my final year in university. There was a startup which wanted to create an electronic market for currency trading. A couple of industry veterans were behind the startup.
They decided to hold a trading competition among college students to promote their platform. …
Moshe Halbertal, Israeli professor and philosopher from the Hebrew University, said, “When everything becomes political, that is the end of politics.”
He added, “For healthy politics to flourish it needs reference points outside itself — reference points of truth and a conception of the common good.”
That is to say, politics is just a means to an end. A system by which good men can prevail and lead society, making decisions based on the greatest good for the most people.
But when the actions of politicians are guided wholly by political motivations, and not some higher moral compass, then politics is headed towards imminent self-destruction, since it starts to serve only the politicians’ goals, and not the wider population it was designed to serve. …
What are the ingredients needed to dominate the world? The biggest economy, a powerful military, and financial markets that control global capital.
China knows this. And it is working hard to overtake the US in all three.
The US knows this, and Trump has been playing hardball to prevent it from happening.
We are all familiar with the phrase “Make America Great Again”. It was Trump’s campaign slogan during the 2016 presidential elections.
After he was elected, he sought to make that happen by blaming China for trade imbalances and ‘stealing’ American jobs.
That led to more than two years of a bilateral trade war, which finally resulted in China signing a deal in January 2020 to buy US goods and services and crack down on objectionable practices. …
In 2016 I attended a startup event in Shenzhen, China where I saw a cool virtual reality (VR) prototype. It was a futuristic shooter game that allowed the player freedom of movement.
The player put on a VR headset, strapped on a backpack (which was essentially a gaming PC with straps on it) and carried a ‘plasma’ gun. He was then able to walk around shooting virtual enemies without any wires tethered to him.
At that time, most of the quality VR games had players standing in a small room with wires tethered to the equipment all around him, due to the need for high performance graphics and data bandwidth. …