Journal

It’s 2:08 AM in Sydney, Australia right now. I flew out from Singapore at 1:45 AM the day before, and it’s actually 11:08 PM in Singapore now.

I feel like I’m writing this from the future, but only because I came from the past. So many things in life feel that way, don’t they? Well, that’s just rhetoric.

I’m in Sydney because of my job, we’re running an event this coming Thursday. I feel so displaced, because one day I was at awake when they announced the passing of Lee Kuan Yew, and the next, just slightly less than twenty four hours later, I’m still awake cajoling myself to write, so that I don’t forget.

In my own ways, I have my own things to grieve for. Something deeply personal in me, not to do with Mr Lee, but something I will probably have to come face to face with very soon.

Cryptic, yes I know.

Mutterings and the littlest of words weigh the heaviest on my soul.

And I choose to deal by listening to things I cannot understand. To sounds and melodies that are dissonant, panged and not commonplace. To find solace in alien places, to find hope in the unknown.

I wish for so many things, but I don’t wish to be happy, if happiness was just a transient, fleeting, disposable emotion.

“That changed after Sean died. [Nigel's] attitude was, ‘Make this as lo-fi as possible.’ Looking back I think grieving had a lot to do with that. All those sounds make no sense when you’re grieving. Instead it’s lo-fi, gritty and just a bit ‘fuck you’ when you’re in a lot of pain”

- Jonnine Standish (HTRK), Interview with The Quietus, 6 September 2011

Mutterings; Little Words; Lo-Fi and just a bit fuck you

Aside
Journal, Leadership

We remark at what a great man and leader Lee Kuan Yew was. I’m intrigued at his leadership, benevolent dictatorship, a mix of fear and power.

On some level, he managed to rally an entire nation to his vision, not just his cabinet, but the populace. At the same time, he also removed every (political) distraction so that Singapore in the 60′s, 70′s and 80′s would be accelerated, and provided enough of a head start when the 90′s started.

Looking at that, he wasn’t interested in being a politician. Politics was just the means to give him the position, authority and influence to shape Singapore according to his vision. And that vision ultimately translated and trickled mostly to the pioneer generation that came before me. My grandparents, and my parents.

Lee Kuan Yew led the vision, but it inspired many others to sustain that vision and also tow that unbearable burden. It takes a certain kind of leader, and a certain kind of team (read: all Singaporeans) to wade through the uncertain mire, to stand up even when we fall, to always look towards tomorrow, that it is worth building.

I say, remember Lee Kuan Yew, and also, remember the generation before us, the sacrifices everyone made. Singapore did not arrive, an era has passed, but the story is still being written.

We close a chapter, dedicate another man to history, but we have not stopped writing history.

This message is also not just for Singaporeans, it’s not a nationalistic emotion I feel. This message is for every startup I’ve come across, every family and friend who face our own struggles and insurmountable mountains. May you find your strength and purpose, just as this man did.

Thoughts on Lee Kuan Yew

Aside
Technology

I’ve been reading with some interest on the recent comments made by US President, Barack Obama on Net Neutrality. On the one hand, Obama doesn’t want telcos and ISPs to be able to restrict the Internet speeds (The slow lane) of users and other content providers, simply because they’re not paying a premium. (Read)

In the other corner, Quartz suggest that “while the big telecoms may be willing to make concessions on discrimination and blocking, they will fight and tooth and nail to avoid any suggestion that the government should consider internet access a necessity of life rather than a consumer good.” (Read)

In the war of words, should an Internet connection be classified as a consumer good? Or is this a case of first-world-problem policy making?

Barack Obama and Net Neutrality

Aside
Startups

Today, independent journalism got some good news. Digital News Asia, a Malaysian technology news portal just announced raising RM1 million in seed funding from Idea River Run (IRR).

I’m bolstered because their CEO and Founder, Karamjit Singh has been quoted as saying, “One of the reasons this deal materialised was that Tan Sri Vincent was agreeable to DNA retaining its editorial independence… To our readers, rest assured that with editorial independence in the hands of the founders, we will always endeavour to deliver quality content to you – that is in our DNA,”

I, for one, am looking forward to the high quality journalism and analysis that these friends from across the border have built their brand around. And once again, congratulations, Karamjit, Asohan and Gabey!

DNA raises RM 1mil in Seed Funding

Aside
dust
Journal

The dust settles as it’s bathed in moonlight

It really has been too long since I chronicled anything on this site, and while I did have a good run some time in September, I must have internalized somewhere that I didn’t need to update this on a regular basis.

Funny how as a twenty-plus year old, I didn’t understand why my thirty-plus contemporaries didn’t see the joy in updating their peers through online connectivity, and now that I’m at that age, and more importantly the stage in life, I can see why some aspects of online journaling do seem trivial. To me at least.

But that’s just my myopic preference to how much of the Internet I don’t like. There are still plenty of joys that I come across, fellow contemporaries whom I do appreciate for sharing their thoughts in the online realm, and if it’s a chance that I can contribute to the good of the Net, then I can only continue to participate.

Just don’t call me a “Netizen”.

Standard
Nick_Cave_Kylie_Minogue
Mixtape

WATCHLIST #03: 22 Sep 2014 – 28 Sep 2014

It’s the start of a new week, and I came out from a pretty hectic last one. I didn’t really get a chance to chance across new things, but the stand-outs from last week are definitely Nick Cave releasing the performance of Where The Wild Roses Grow that he did as a duet with Kylie Minogue for the filming of 20,000 Days. It was an amazing duet in 1996, and it still is 18 years later.

I also thoroughly enjoyed the new music video and song from Spazzkid. Sarah Bonito‘s guest vocals also add a cheeky hook to the playful beats, but the performance by Ayumi Yokoyama and the visual direction is probably what I’ll constantly remember this video for.

There’s a new game called Hack ‘n’ Slash coming out which sounds really interesting, and if you haven’t watched Community’s La Biblioteca rap, you should. Last one’s from Korean producer, Hitchhiker, which I’m still deciding if it’s good or bad. But damn, it’s trippy.

WATCHLIST
1. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Where The Wild Roses Grow (Live at Koko) ft. Kylie Minogue
2. Spazzkid – “Truly” feat. Sarah Bonito (Official Video)
3. Hack ‘n’ Slash – Launch Trailer
4. La Biblioteca Rap
5. Hitchhiker 히치하이커_11(ELEVEN)_Music Video

Standard
Destiny-DevilWalker
Leadership

Communicating without words in Destiny (PS4)

I’ve been putting quite a few hours into the new MMO shooter, Destiny. After sinking about 24 hours into the game, I’m a Level 22 Hunter currently focused more on PvE (Player vs. Environment). I hit the soft-level cap of 20 by about 16 hours, and have been progressively doing Strike missions to level up some rare equipment and also earn my Vanguard marks and ranks to purchase Legendary equipment later on.

When I went on my first Strike mission, it was an absolute mess. I had no idea what I was doing, nor where my teammates were. If I did know where my teammates were, I’d stick with them. Power in numbers, right? However, every time we got surrounded by a swarm of enemies, or a boss character focus fired on us, we’d become another nasty smear on the wall. Trying to revive someone without covering fire was also another incredibly silly way to ensure a premature death.

However, as I became more familiar with the game, and more confident in my own abilities, I noticed a trend as I played even more games with total strangers, fighting against the Darkness.

After awhile, you notice that the more experienced players playing PvE aren’t good because they have more abilities or better equipment. It was because they had better team work and non-verbal communication.

For example, if I was reviving someone, a team mate would not repeat the action, and he or she would be on another side of the map drawing enemy fire. Or the moment someone is revived by me, that person would use the 1 second of invulnerability to cover my escape. Likewise, during boss rights or large swarms, we wouldn’t be bunched up in a defensive position putting rounds down only one angle. Almost immediately, we would each scatter to a separate location and lay down overlapping fields of fire to create a maximum killzone, and also ensure that the enemy’s efforts were diluted.

And these tactics were all communicated without the use of speaking to one another. When you enter a fireteam of 3 Guardians, who have been forged in the fires of PvE, we don’t waste time talking. We lead by action. And when someone is taking point, you check your ego and cover their unguarded flank. When someone is being hosed down by a particular tough boss or swarm, you reposition and flank the enemy without that person screaming for help.

In a nutshell, non-verbal communication is actualized by your ability to access the situation you are in and act accordingly while trusting your fireteam (team mates).

Nothing is sweeter than overcoming a level that is deemed Impossible, and yet there you are, standing victorious over the odds with two complete strangers, never having spoken a word to each other. You give a silent hat-tip to your randomly generated fireteam, and perhaps you will meet again by happenstance.

Standard
Fire
Leadership

Leading yourself to lead others

This rather cliched thought came to me in the middle of a walk home as I was thinking about the team I was leading. I hated that it was cliched, but the more I let it percolate, it made sense to me.

I still stand by that a leader isn’t someone who outranks you because of seniority or position. Conventionally, it is role-based, but in reality, it is attitude-based. A leader takes the initiative and acts on situations, not react to them. Couple that with grit, ability and trust in team mates, and a leader can lead their team toward the goal.

So the question posed to us then is this: Are we waiting for someone to lead us? Or are we taking active steps to set our goals, and lead ourselves toward those goals through planning and motivation. Because if we aren’t planning our own lives and motivating ourselves to push forward, then we’ve lost the initiative, and we cease to lead others effectively.

Before you can lead a team, you must be able to lead yourself

Standard
litford_watchlist_2
Mixtape

WATCHLIST #02: 08 Sep 2014 – 14 Sep 2014

Last week was pretty rough for me, so I didn’t get a ton of time to unwind with new videos, but there if there seems to be a trend with last week’s WATCHLIST, it’s that I enjoy the randomness of certain videos.

Also, new material from Ryan Adams and Nick Cave.

WATCHLIST
Parakeet
Peter Serafininowicz – Dalek Relaxation Tape
Guitar Power ep. 2 featuring Dave Harrington
Peter Serafinowicz – Building A Human
The Creators Project – Nick Cave | 20,000 Days on Earth

Standard