Friday, November 30, 2012

New Type of Milk Powder Purchased From Telcos

  • ~2.55 million S Koreans are addicted to smartphones, using the devices for 8+ hours a day.
  • Addicts find it difficult to live without their handsets & their constant use disrupts work & social life.
  • New mobile devices that instantly respond to a touch of a finger seem to make children more restless than before & lack empathy.

"I get nervous when the battery falls below 20%"- 11 year old addict

Reading news of South Korea to stem digital addiction from age 3, i reckon S'pore is just as bad from i have observed. Is common to see people 'umbilical cord' to their phones on trains & buses.

I experience the most outrageous sight at a traffic light with 6 others waiting for the light to turn green. 5 are playing with their cellphones & 1 talking with his. It seems as if the pace of life has gotten out of control where people 'must do something' via their phones & no time to watch the traffic, trees, night sky.

I have a basic cellphone with no internet connection because switching to the cheapest data plan is still a heck lot more costly than the discounted plan i'm on after many years. As such the phone lacks the ability for me to connect to the internet. Most of the time for long journeys i'll either read a book on trains or listen to music on buses.

Suck milk not enough. Must "suck" smartphone too. 'New type of milk powder' purchased from telcos.

I leave my phone at home at times:
Work-life Balance Suffers Due to Technology

Thursday, November 29, 2012

No Sustained Demand in S'pore Due to Depressed Wages

The strike by the chinese bus drivers for same salary as Msian bus drivers is a small crack with regards to income gaps.

Monkey see, monkey do. Seeing USA CEOs pay themselves absurb fat salaries & S'pore's ruling hybrid regime & its govt-linked companies top honchos also follow suit.

Previous 'cleopatra CEO' of SMRT salary is $1.8M & not punished for the pile of mess she left behind with breakdowns, denial, decline of service standards etc. Look at the dismal salaries of bus drivers before 'noises' led to an increase:

Instead of debating whether the chinese bus drivers should get a $200/mth increase & 1mth bonus, the bigger issue is to push for major reduction of excessive salaries for the top management. Reduce excessive pay for the top people (govt ministers, CEOs, top management) & divert it to the average working Joes.

The current hybrid regime is the best example of excessive pay & yet deliver much of the populace into suffering in terms of depressed wages, standards of living, leisure time. Henry Ford understands that paying his workers good wages creates sustained demand. Our govt scholars study so much & yet they either ignore or don't understand this basic concept.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

S'pore's 1st Workers Strike in 20+ Years

Parody laugh:

You can take satisfaction in knowing that we will be facing Pro Alien Party in our first merging in some time!

Unity is strength. Unite!

I'm thrilled that 200 bus drivers hired from China went on a strike. I consider their request for same salary treatment as Msian drivers reasonable though they lack english speaking skills & accustom to driving on the left back in China. I've written about the pathetic 3rd world wages(using bus drivers as example) last week in the 11 Years Experience = 1 Year Repeated 11x .We have finally reached the tipping point on this issue.

Both China & S'pore practise State Capitalism but china's version is their citizens well-being come first. S'pore's State Capitalism model made citizens lives hard by flooding in cheaper foreign workers to suppress/replace citizens so the state owned companies have higher profits.

Is been 20+ years since S'pore had a workers strike. Many sinkies are docile & meek & thus the pro alien party made the life of many hard with suppression of wages. Though the china drivers are generally lesser educated they are not dumb. I admire their guts in standing up for their rights.

J. Paul Getty who was one of the richest man in the world during the 1950s-1960s wrote in his book 'How to be Rich:
I've usually found that organized labor is fundamentally fair-but it wants to know the facts.
They are asking for same salary as Msian drivers which is $200/mth more & 1 month bonus. I consider it fair considering the damn Cycle Fest charges $68 (previously $78) for a short 29km which is darn expensive even for sinkies.

Workers are not ignoramuses. They are perfectly capable of recognizing attempts to mislead or misinform them & like anyone else, they are quite likely to resent & rebel against such treatment. On the other hand, once they are given the unvarnished facts, the workers are generally cooperative to the maximum extent consistent with their legitimate aims & their responsibilities toward their fellow workers.
China drivers know sinkie drivers shun the job since is 3rd world wages. They know they are being exploited like sinkies by the Pro Alien Party.

Perhaps part of the cause of the spate of accidents by china bus drivers are due to resentment as they drive. How many lives are at stake?

Labor's propensity-its high earnings & consequent high buying power-represents an important factor in the prosperity of the nation as a whole.
S'pore looks prosperous on the surface but beneath it many sinkies buying power are eroded. Debt & more debt provides the facade of prosperity.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monster Moves Never Seen In S'pore

When people in tiny S'pore say move house they mean packing their furniture & stuff, loading them onto trucks & moving them to their new place (usually a pigeon hole). In other developed nations, moving house is really moving house. The likes of which we won't see in tiny S'pore. Look at those wheels under the building:

Monster Moves is the documenatary series by the same maker of the Big Bigger Biggest series that i enjoyed earlier. Again with superb computer animation illustrating the concepts.

Besides the computer animation illustration i also like:
  • Boss of moving company slog it out in the field with his workers.
  • Plenty of cheap foreign workers like sg? Ain't such thing over there.
  • Cheaper to move whole house over a managable distance than build a new one.

Definitely worth watching them at Chocobullet's Monster Moves youtube channel

Look at the heavy pulling by the heavy vehicles of the house up a slope:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Penang Banning Polystyrene Containers. What Has Pro Alien Party Done?

Malaysian state of Penang bans polystyrene containers as food packaging from Dec 1 after more than 3 years of awareness & educational campaigns. Businesses flouting the ban will have their licences revoked.

S'pore has launched wednesday as No-Plastic bag day. The campaign is a big failure while our northern neighboring country is pushing ahead with more green initiatives. The govt has to come in(intervene) & act as referee to force compliance. Leaving it to free market doesn't work as evidenced in S'pore.

World Bank warned that global temperatures could rise by 4 degrees this century without immediate action, with potentially devastating consequences for coastal cities & the poor.
“The time is very, very short. The world has to tackle the problem of climate change more aggressively”- World Bank President Jim Yong Kim
There is still plenty of oil (unconventional & expensive) left on Earth. Problem is we can't continue burning fossil fuels & emitting more greenhouse gases without triggering the tipping point.

I find it sickening that S'pore's ruling Pro Alien Party is so blinded by greed & $$$$$$$$. Massive importation of foreign beings into this tiny island that now make up 40% of the population so as to boost consumption/usage of plastic in order to boost gdp at all costs like cancer.

Switizerland which was once S'pore's role model as i've written on their Gotthard Base Tunnel doesn't resort to massive importation of 'consumers' to drive, eat, drink & use plastic bags/containers to boost their swiss economy.

And the Youth Olympics Overbudget minister is employing scare tactic of slower gdp growth against sinkies. I see nothing wrong with slower growth. Is their grow gdp at all costs like cancer mentality that will doom S'pore as sea level rise & submerge it.

Plastic Bags Banned in Penang, Msia - Got Balls

Monday, November 19, 2012

11 Years Experience = 1 Year Repeated 11x

11 years tank driving experience vs 1 year tank driving experience from highly entertaining russian T-34 vs T-90 - Fearless Russians Dare Use Antique Tank from Museum.

It just shows that 1 year experience is more than enough for majority of cases. Many people like to list 5, 10, 15 years job experience doing certain stuff. Do they expect to be paid 5x, 10x, 15x more? (celebrities being 1 of the exceptions)

I have nothing against those folks who like their jobs doing the same stuff for 5, 10, 15 years. But that's a terrible way to live being stuck in a job they despise.

Speaking of drivers, the public transport drivers in S'pore are paid 3rd world wages (See Bus Drivers Pay Comparison). Hence many locals shun the job. The govt-linked transport companies squeezes the workers so as to pour more dividends into govt coffers. In other developed countries like Australia or Germany, their drivers are decently paid. They are paid 3x,4x more than s'pore public transport drivers. Does that mean the aussie/german drivers are 3x, 4x more productive, drive 3x, 4x better?

Economist Chang Ha Joon wrote that the aussie/german drivers are paid much more because the talented people at the top of their societies provide FAR MORE VALUE than their counterparts in other countries thus lifting the rest of society. What Chang wrote is an eye-opener to me when i think about the 'top talent scholars' in S'pore govt.

Instead of those 'top talent scholars' lamenting sinkies are not hardworking(work-life balance already in the news), lack drive etc, they ought to look at themselves instead & ask themselves why they cannot match their counterparts in Australia/Germany using their talent to pull up the rest of society so drivers can be better paid.

We already know how talented our govt scholars are. Out-of-formula when resorted to building not 1 but 2 casinos in this tiny island. Their talented way of lifting the rest of society is with gambling & massive imports of foreign beings to boost gdp......

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Scholars Are Primarily Booksmart

Came across an old message board discussion thread on what Jim Rogers said about sovereign wealth funds in Abu Dhabi & S'pore that made large investments in Citigroup & UBS during the subprime financial crisis:

"They're making a big mistake; these banks have many more problems still ahead. They should wait until these companies are really on the ropes a few years from now . . . and trading at $5 a share."

But aren't they supposed to be the smart money? Maybe not. "I know these people, and they have never given me the impression that they're smarter than anyone else," Rogers says. "They have gigantic amounts of money, but they've made a bad judgment in these cases."

Though Jim Rogers didn't mention who those people are, i reckon for S'pore he is referring to the 'scholars'. As you can see from the chart in my previous writeup Mutation of PAP as Seen from S&P500 Index , the scholars are lulled into thinking they are smart during the super bull run from 1980s to 2000.

However the scholars just happen to have their boats lifted in a rising tide.

"Only when the tide goes out do you discover who's been swimming naked"-Warren Buffett

Other than the billions of investment losses, we can also see our govt scholars getting screwed by the chinese streetsmarts in the Suzhou Industrial Park investment.

Singaporeans including myself have since birth been beaten down through the education system. Many are beaten to think they are stupid when they didn't score well in the primary school leaving exam at age 11-12. These beaten down folks need to reclaim their self-worth,esteem as what Jim Rogers said & what we can see from these scholars' dismal performance outside the classroom.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Low Returns from Unconventional Oil = High Prices

Yesterday, i wrote that France has ban fracking to protect environment as America has grown desperate to drill deep using fracking. Wikipedia has list of a dozen countries regarding their stance on fracking. Just how input intensive (thus expensive) & harmful is that oil extraction process pointed out by Richard Heinberg?

2:50min video sums it up:
"19,000,000 litres of water needed throughout each fracking operation's life- enough to supply 1,000 europeans for 1 year"

Hydraulic fracking is underground so is hard to imagine the amount of materials, $$, workers, water & energy invested to get energy. It takes energy to 'get' energy. With 'low hanging fruit' gone/running out, it takes more & more & more inputs to output a unit of energy. Result= high energy prices.

To undertstand why the french govt said no to hydraulic fracking due to public pressure, we can look at the large-scale mining of tar sands for oil in Alberta, Canada though it is above ground.

Titbits from 11:39min Tar Sands Oil Extraction - Dirty Truth video:
Tar sands production uses enough natural gas to heat 3,000,000 homes & spews out as much greenhouse gas in a day as 1,340,000 cars.

Tar sands extraction in Alberta, Canada:
  • there is nowhere else on earth where we are destroying the area the size of Florida/England
  • there is nowhere else on earth where you have toxic ponds that are so big that you can see them from space
"We are at a real crossroad on getting the energy economy right. Decisions are being made today that will make that happen or commit us to perpetual decline & more & more filth, more & more disease & less & less choice."

Look at:
- scarred landscape from 00:59-01:26
- how much greenhouse gases at the processing facility are being spewed into the atmosphere at 5:32min.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Desperate Oil Drilling by USA via Hydraulic Fracking

I was taken aback when International Energy Agency reported that USA to become world's biggest oil producer. They are already desperate drilling for oil in deepwaters as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster in 2010 has shown. That means the 'low hanging fruit' is gone so how can USA be world's biggest oil producer?

Continuing reading further the 'low hanging fruit' is indeed gone. USA is resorting to hydraulic fracking to drill deep. France has ban hydraulic fracking in 2011 due to environmental worries.

Because of high oil price, fracking is economically viable after paying for the high tech stuff & inputs.

What is hydraulic fracking? 6:22min video:

"But, if pursued with vigour, they would also lead to huge increases in greenhouse gas emissions that would put hopes of curbing dangerous climate change beyond reach."
Already the weather is changing in S'pore. USA has been hit by a superstorm just a couple of days back. Worldwide addiction to fossil fuel needs to be curb. Renewable energies make up a pathetic % & this time window of drilling for unconventional expensive oil might be the last window mankind have before even higher prices hit virtually everything.

High oil price --> High costs in making, transporting, storing food & stuff ---> mayhem/collapse of modern civilization
"What's new is high oil prices. It's high oil prices that make unconventional oil worth producing in the first place. It takes lots of oil, $$$ & energy, not to mention water, to frack low-porosity rocks. & the environmental risks are staggering."-Richard Heinberg
2:33min Fracking Lies by Oil Industry video:

Algae as Biofuel, Not Crops As We Ain't Enough to Eat

Monday, November 12, 2012

Not Playing According to Rules the Winners Play

I don't expect the current ruling party of S'pore to change their entrenched habits/mindset. Besides political parties, it also applies to companies & individuals clinging on to old successful ways.

To undertand why it is so darn hard to change a success formula, one can look at history being replete with examples of victors sticking to their old success formula only be be outmaneuvered by rivals who simply play by another set of rules.

Since i delved into history particularly WWII i'll use that for examples:

French Sticking with Static Defensive Warfare
Victory with static defensive combat in WWI, made the french to construct the Maginot Line. We all knew what protection it offered the french during WWII. The germans simply bypass much of the line & attacked through the Ardennes forest.

Japanese Navy Obssession with Battleship Big Guns
Pearl Harbor attack was launched with carrier-based aircraft.
"The result shocked the USA & other leaders around the world. Aircraft, an auxilliary weapon had sunk the enormous battleships."
Yet it took a hell of an effort by mastermind of the attack Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto to get the go-ahead. A large part of the japanese military establishment are convinced that battleship big guns are the way to go as that's the way the japanese navy beat the russian navy(a feat) making Japan a naval power.

Assasination attempts were made on Yamamoto's life when he suggested to change the 'big guns' formula. It should be lauded that Yamamoto himself was a naval gunnery officer & for him to switch to naval aviation is a feat itself. I learnt it from 70min video: Pearl Harbor: View from Japan [New window]

Imperial japanese navy obsession with big guns (old success formula) are best known for their construction of Yamato & Musashi which are the heaviest & most powerful battleships during WWII.

If the imperial japanese navy had emphasize more on aircraft carriers instead of being obsessed with super battleships, a different chain of events would occur......

Sunday, November 11, 2012

What MASSIVESOFT's Windows 8 Can Teach Pro Alien Party

I'm still on WinXP & the game XCOM-Enemy Unknown which doesn't support WinXP is the first nudge on the back to upgrade. I'll probably upgrade to Win 8 like after 1-1.5years upon upgrading of CPU, motherboard, RAM. I held back from upgrading all these years mainly for support for my 10 year old MP3 player. By skipping Vista & Win 7, i probably saved $200-$300.

I'm no fan of Massivesoft due to its huge size which allows it to act as a monopoly & bully at times. Doesn't it resemble S'pore's ruling party with virtually a monopoly of parliament & a bully making lives hard for much of the populace?

However i have to give kudos to Massivesoft for making significant changes with Win 8 in order to stay relevant in the marketplace. Did the massive Pro Alien Party make significant changes?

Making significant changes is deem risky but if Massivesoft play safe by continuing to just tweaking here & there, it becomes more risky further down the road. In S'pore the massive Pro Alien Party is just tweaking here & there because they are so frickin entrenched in their success formula of the past since the birth of the nation. In fact some netizens say they are 'out-of-formula' since have to resort to opening not 1 but 2 casinos.

The scholars running the country are terrified of making significant changes because they are 'scholars' (old man being alive is another reason). So as scholars(risky adverse from education system) they must look smart by not making significant changes else fail which make them look darn stupid.

Staying relevant in this fast changing world:
  • MASSIVESOFT making significant changes ---> safer route in long term
  • Pro Alien Party small tweaks here & there ---> risky route in long term

Kudos again to Massivesoft despite their massiveness & past successes are able to make the leap with significant changes for Win 8. Cause if Massivesoft don't, smaller competitors which are nimble might change the rules & landscape.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

"World Class Marketing" for Guniness Cycling Convoy Record

Grow gdp at all costs like cancer also sibei shiok (feel fantastic). Can grow can already. After all the cancerous effects, "chemotherapy" is coming up.
2 cycling events coming up to repair/heal the divided nation:

Would you pay $2.73/km to ride 26.8km? Hell no, for me!
S'pore Cycle Fest's main event is 5000 cyclists ride 26.8km ride for guniness world record for most no. of riders.

$78 to take part in the main ride event. That's absurb to me. The website got the audacity to say:
"Singapore Cycle Fest 2013 hopes to involve the whole nation & bring it together through a common interest & participation of activities".
Considering the 3rd world wages many local workers get, the event has become a rich man's event & they got the cheek to say 'involve whole nation'.

Pay so much just to cycle. Bloody leeches. I rather spend my $$ in Malaysia & boost their economy.

As you can see above, the sponsors come first & you don't even see any relevant info when the page load up. You have to scroll down. Clearly they put sponsors $$$ as higher priority than having relevant info to get more cyclists to join.

Doesn't the Cycle Fest 2013 reflect exactly the same illness plaguing the country? The illness of outside look very good with $$$ but inside is rotting & rotting already.

Even if they are not marketing, they are already marketing. See how 'fantastic" their marketing is!

Govt Grassroots Machine Organise Largest Community Night Cycling to Unite Sinkies
The fee is more acceptable but i wouldn't take part. Bunch of deadwood come up with this stupid registration process:

Look at their pathetic website design. See how 'brilliant' their marketing is.

I pointed out website design errors when working in big corpseration but is not taken heed.  Bosses don't like my assertive tone & i lack degree in Web Usability (if such thing exist in 1st place). They prefer a docile & obedient puppy dog which i'm not. There are plenty of foreigners who are obedient & won't make noise cause they want to earn the mighty S$. Even stupid orders they will carry out.

I don't know if above 2 cycle event websites are done up by locals or foreigners. That's 1 of the danger of hiring foreigners. They keep quiet & don't make noise so as to collect S$ paychecks month after month after month then sayonara SG for a comfortable life back in home country. I doubt they care about the loss in businesses resulting from poor design of website.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Mutation of PAP as Seen from S&P500 Index

Let's see how the hybrid regime of S'pore mutates over time as seen from the S&P 500 index.

Independence & Growth of Young S'pore
When S'pore was ejected from Malaysia, the old guards leaders of the current hybrid regime ain't have a clue how the tiny island is gonna survive- Stop at 2! Stop at 2! Stop at 2! Please don't make any more babies!

Albert Winsemius a Dutch economist from UN was instrumental in helping steer our young nation during its inception years till 1984. I don't recall any mention of this dutch guy in school textbooks. Sinkies are brainwashed into thinking that the current hybrid regime is the savior of S'pore & the old man in particular.

Golden Age till Early 1990s
I regard the early 1990s as the end of the golden age of S'pore. The golden age is a period when the population of S'pore are cohesive & inclusive. People have leisure time with rising standards of living.

Compared to now, life back then for the masses are:
  • not as stressful
  • not as fast-paced
  • not as kiasu
  • time for home cooked dinners with family
  • not as crowded/congested
  • citizens instead of consumers
  • enough retirement $$

Mutation: Greed Comes In
A rising tide lift all boats. The hybrid regime are seduced by the rising tide of the world economy & became greedy as during the golden age seeing how 'easy' to roll in the $$. Their mantra became $$$$$$$$$$, market value, market value, market value. Hence the decline of S'pore started somewhere around mid 1990s.

After early 1990s, many shops become half-half shops(what progress is that?) due to ever increasingly killer rent. Hence the phrase 'S'pore mutates into a rent-seeking economy' seeps in.

Birth rates plunge to world's lowest & now the hybrid regime wants consumers (i don't use citizens) to make more baby consumers to keep their easy $$ gravy train from crashing.

Decline, Decline, Decline. Long-term Decline of SG
Wave of post war baby boomers are retiring. Birth-rates lowest in world. New imported consumers ain't gonna reproduce much in a high-cost, overcrowded & stressful tiny island.

As seen from chart history, the stock market is in a sideways pattern for 12 years already- dotcom bust in 2000, housing bust in 2007. We are around the corner now for another recession especially after Obama is reelected(no need prop up economy to gain votes).

Cheap oil, the life blood of the world economy is running out. Consequences of end of cheap oil & the demographic time bomb are just 2 factors that would spell the end for the current hybrid regime.

- Appreciate Golden Age of S'pore from Train in 1991
- Singapore Back in Late 80s

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

T-34 vs T-90 - Fearless Russians Dare Use Antique Tank from Museum

As 2012 has less than 2 months to go, it would be 2 years of no tv watching for me. This greek guy 'BitnikGr's channel on youtube is my fav for russian WWII & military related videos.

His channel offers a glimpse into russian made tv programs. Is a nice break away from western perspective(US & British) especially on WWII. I enjoyed 'Wings of Russia' which he uploaded. Now i'm around 80% through the 'Weapons of Victory' short clips of WWII soviet weaponry.

Switch to 480 quality & full screen view---> Tank Race! T-34 vs T-90!  [New window]

I found it simply amazing the russians drove the granddaddy WWII antique tank T-34 out of the museum. Russian tv is so much better than S'pore's mediacorpse. No kiasuism fearing the antique tank will get damaged/spoilt which it did during the program.

Even if you don't delve into WWII history or military stuff i still recommend watching the entertaining 33min show to see how lousy & lack of creativity S'pore's tv programs are.

Is new necessarily better? You'll be surprised at certain aspects.

Related Soviet WWII video:
Soviet Storm: Soviet Perspective of WWII

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

What 54% Drop in S'pore Airlines 2nd Qtr Net Profit Mean for Sinkies

Due to weak demand & high oil prices, S'pore Airlines(SIA) posted a 54% drop in 2nd qtr net profit. It was reported that fuel costs accounts for 41% for the airline & 50% for its cargo planes.

Its CEO Goh Choon Phong said: "Every US dollar increase in fuel cost per barrel will contribute almost S$45 million in terms of cost for the group.

No clear skies ahead for SIA also means no clear skies ahead for the masses. As baby boomers around the world are retiring, there's ain't much $$ to spend(weak demand). Era of cheap oil is over as Deepwater Horizon oil spill diasaster has shown -drilling in deepwaters is desperate.

After a break of 26 years, now the Youth Olympic Games overbudget minister is buildling 10 hawker centers in 5 years. Previous timeframe is 10 years. If don't build the hungry old peasants gonna riot already!

Asset rich cash poor is what describes many sinkies as bulk of their retirment $$ are used for housing mortgage. High oil prices will eventually force these baby boomer retirees to sell/downgrade their homes to buy food.

The incumbent Pro Alien Party cannot win against these greater forces (expensive oil + boomers retiring). Hence the collapse of the property market which is already in bubble territory.

The economy does not like high oil prices as seen in the oil shocks of the 70s. This time we have a wave of retiring baby boomers as 'catalyst'.

Expensive oil + Boomers retiring = Property market collapse(SG) & Severe Recession