October 29, 2010 0 Comments

Was taken aback by the spools of cotton wefting across the azure skies.

Clouds are beautiful. They were, am and would be continue to be beautiful. But today's clouds, they are special.

They stretched endlessly across the skies, little pristine patches of white against a dainty china blue. Absolutely breathtaking.

Once, when I was feeling frustrated with drawing, someone told me to look at clouds and be dazzled by them. "The clouds that God painted." Today, as I was immersing myself in these fluffy joys, I recalled this friend's words.

A sea of patchy whiteness which unfolded forward and backward endlessly.

It seems to be a good way to meditate, to look at the skies above and feel their ancient wisdom flowing through every fiber. Nothing matters, not to these clouds.

Us, with our petty problems, egocentric-ism, academic, financial and social woes, doesn't matter to the clouds. They float along, peacefully, serenely. They want for nothing.

In the greater context of life, many things we feel are important may actually only appear to be important. Cloudy steps.

There's no need for a resolute approach/ intellectual rigour when viewing clouds.

Simply look at them, appreciate their beauty and step away from the mindless races.


Peaks and Valleys

October 26, 2010 , 0 Comments

Peaks are moments when you treasure what you have; valleys are times when you miss what had passed.

The path out of the valley appears when you choose to see things differently.

What will you do if you aren't afraid?

It is safer to search in a maze than remain in a cheeseless situation.

- Spencer Johnson

Came across these quotes while thumbing through my friend's book and trawling through the internet.

Read Spencer's "Peaks and Valleys" - it's a beautifully succinct narrative.


glp and mit

October 23, 2010 0 Comments

Realised that every entry is becoming rather melancholic and morose again.

Henceforth, he's no longer going to write about pseudo-philosophical issues but focus more on contemporary ideas.

(No one's going to be influenced for the better by his consuming - currently futile - search for meaning in life.)(He's going to make private every single contemplative post.)

Perhaps, write about something more useful so that the ~200 pageviews/month is justified and friends leave with more practical knowledge.

On recent IPO

Global Logistics Properties, MC0, $1.93/share, 18 times oversubscribed, opening price: $2.16/share

Mapletree Industrial Trust, ME8U, $0.93/share, 35 times oversubscribed, opening price: $1.15/share

Both shares experienced a whooping 20-25% jump in stock price on their debut. If you've applied for these shares and was lucky enough to get them, it'd really be a windfall. *gasps*


Initial Public Offering (IPO) refers to the act of listing a company on a bourse - in this case, Singapore Exchange - so as to raise funds for further expansion, pay off cumulative debts and raise profile of the company.

Anyone who has shares of a company, and therefore, a stake in the company, will be known as a shareholder. (If you buy the really cheap shares, like at $6 per lot, you can be a shareholder too :] )

For every IPO, they will have institutional investors and cornerstone investors who will buy more than 80% of the shares before public listing.

Institutional investors - speculative funds, sovereign wealth funds, banks, corporate entities etc
Cornerstone investors - a homo sapien individual with lots of money

The leftovers will be left for retail investors - aka - will ballot for the remainder. The just have to be satisfied with the scraps.

Why apply?

For capital appreciation in this age of non-existent interest rates.

If you're saving all your money in the bank, make no mistake, their absolute value will not drop. $10 000 will still be $10 000 after 10 000 years.

However, their relative value will definitely drop, due to inflation etc. $10 000 in 1890 can buy you enough land to build a sprawling bungalow; $10 000 in 2010 will put an area big enough to put a single bed.

IPO balloting

It is really based on luck.

For GLP, if you applied for 1-10 lots, you'll be allocated 1 lot. Results summarised below:
1 -10 lots applied: 1 lot allocated
11-20 lots applied: 2 lots allocated

For MIT,
1-20 lots applied: 1 lot allocated
21-30 lots applied: 3 lots allocated

(Not very sure about the above data, simply quoting from memory but it should be accurate enough.)

Retail investors will be split into bands - like em1, em2, em3 in primary school, erm, no link - before they're randomly chosen and given the shares.

IPO results

You can get your results from the ATM.

I can assure you that it is very exciting. It is like getting back A level results from the machine that normally gives you money.

Instead of spewing out red and blue notes, the machine will show your IPO application results on the screen and spit out a piece of paper stating the corresponding results. Kind of paiseh when there are people queuing behind you and perhaps wondering why you're spending so much time at the ATM but not drawing any money.

This is the gist of an IPO. Of course, the whole process is far more complex and intriguing. Feel free to read up more on it.

P.S. very suay didn't get any MIT shares. sian
P.S.S. did get one lot of GLP though :] life sort of balances everything, doesn't it?



October 22, 2010 0 Comments

He realised that there's no point trying to bring conversation to a deeper level, at least not in the society of current acquaintances.

Every issues that he feel strongly about, he realised, are social taboos.

About the purpose of a paper certificate, about the purpose in life, about existential futility, about mindless competition, about people who see without seeing.

'Let's change the conversation; this is getting depressing.'

'I think you think too much.'

Each issue end awkwardly with a resounding silence.

It wasn't like this, not during NS or RWS. They had connected so easily, readily, became tight friends in a short space of time.

In a way, he had taken the easy camaraderie for granted. He had stayed in the garden of Eden and enjoyed its bounteous beauty with careless disregard, always believing that everywhere is equally pristine, equally Utopian. He had treated comfort as an entitlement, a right, not a gift.

Some things, when lost, are irretrievable. The ignorance of being blissful, it is gone forever. It is replaced by this terrible awareness of something malignant.

Nowadays, even when he felt like raising certain issues with close friends, he realised he could no longer put thoughts into words.

He felt rusty. It had been so long since there was a genuine meeting of soul. Also, there was this fear of being rejected, of being viewed with an outright - perhaps even scientific - curiosity.


Conformity - Internalising the Gaze

October 22, 2010 0 Comments

While it doesn't matter to me what others think of me,
it matters to them what they think of me.

Realised that I'm comfortable with who I am
and satisfied with what I'm doing.

Realised too that there are many people
who aren't really that comfortable with the XY
who I'm comfortable with.

It's the little things that bring out this discrepancy most starkly.
It almost doesn't matter what others think about me. I know what I am not and their thoughts, while mildly irritating, doesn't displace me from my equilibrium.

But, since it's obviously important to them what they're thinking, perhaps it's good to pretend an interest in their thoughts about me, themselves and the whole wide world.
There's no need to understand or respect anyone as an individual anymore.

Perhaps, they don't want to. Perhaps, they're afraid to. Perhaps, they don't want to because they're afraid. In any case, it doesn't matter.

It is as it is.
Gazing inwards then outwards is dialectically different from looking outwards then inwards.


Convenient Companions

October 19, 2010 , 0 Comments

We were strangers and still are.

It's okay, there isn't anything wrong.

We go for lectures and tutorials and lunches and dinners together.

Not because we are friends,

at least, not friends in that way.

We go together, simply because

we have no one else to go with.

There really isn't anything else to say,

for what can you say to strangers?


Neither Hearing Nor Seeing

October 17, 2010 , 0 Comments

There is nothing more to say for no one has ears to hear.

There is no need to look for there is a fear to see and a fear to be seen.

Silence is overwhelming but it cannot be replaced. For beyond silence, there is nothing else; nothing, nothing, can replace silence.

Perhaps, in blindness, we can see truth more clearly than with two open - but closed - eyes.


On failure

October 13, 2010 0 Comments

People make monuments out of their mistakes by saying things like, 'I tried it, and it didn't work. They said it couldn't be done, and they were right.' Mark Twain said that if a cat sits on a hot stove, the cat will never sit on a hot stove again. The problem is, the cat will never sit on a cold stove, either. The cat just won't sit on stoves, because every time he sees a stove, he sees a burning failure. Abraham Lincoln wisely stated, 'my great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.'
By John C Maxwell

A few points to note:

* People celebrate failure. Most unabashedly proclaim their inabilities, perhaps to seek comfort in others' pity or to draw attention to themselves or simply, just to whine too while others were whining.

* Failing is akin to fulfilling self-prophecies. If you think you'd fail, the likelihood of you failing is drastically enhanced.

* Every failure is a seed for greater fears. Like the cat, we may be afraid to try, because repeated failures may be too devastating to cope with.

* It doesn't matter if we fail or succeed, what matters is what we learn from those success and failures.

Are you building a monument to worship your failures?
Source credit: Ohio State University



October 10, 2010 0 Comments

Not really comfortable with how individuals define themselves as the grades they attain.

Being unable to score that coveted distinction for one midterm paper is sufficient to qualify one as stupid; an overworked brain that resists information is equivalent to being lazy; mugging mindlessly through stacks of information instead of enjoying the panoramic landscapes of knowledge.

Surely, each person is more than the aggregate of their grades. Surely, each person is greater than the sum of 2-d numerals. Really, is there any need to define one by one's grades?

P.S. probably won't be sharing this thought with anyone any time soon. Was woefully treated as a two-headed alien whenever I voiced this thought.


On aspects of life and living

October 08, 2010 0 Comments


On resilience:
'We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.'
(2 Cor. 4: 8 - 9)

On defining the cultural Other:
'If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us.'
(Herman Hesse)

On skepticism:
'The skeptics are people who have not suffered a great deal themselves, but who have been in the observation towers watching others suffer. They're the ones who ask why. They're the ones who become callused.'
(John C Maxwell)


Discomforting comfort

October 06, 2010 , 0 Comments

'We live in a culture that worships comfort. During this century we have seen the greatest assault on discomfort in the history of human race. We have learned to control our environment with central heating and air conditioning. We have reduced drudgery with machines and computers. And we have learned to control pain, depression and stress. We even provide electronic antidotes to boredom with television and video games. Most of this is to the good, but unfortunately it has created an impression that the purpose of life is to attain a blissful state of nirvana, a total absence of struggle or strain. The emphasis is on consuming not producing; on short term hedonism rather than long term satisfaction. We seek immediate gratification of our desires, with no penalties' - Edwin C. Bliss (Scribners)

Was thinking of the nihilists and whiners around me as I read this quote. Perhaps, there are things in life worth striving for, things worthy of our precious time and attention.

Perhaps life isn't as bad as imagined, perhaps there's no need to complain over every minor injustice and compare project loads and deadlines and career prospects.

Perhaps, we think that life is meaningless because it is too comfortable or because we grow lazy from the omnipresent comfort. Really, really, I believe and shall continue to believe that there is more to life than what there is now.


7 things to be happy for/about

October 03, 2010 0 Comments

To be thankful for:

1) Finding an extra 10 cents in the washing machine
2) The nice uncle who gave me a chicken wing and extra rice for free
3) Realisation that I can collect rebates with both the Passion ez card and UOB debit card
(The first three make me feel seriously uncle-ish)
4) Friends who treasure me
5) Friends whom I treasure
6) Family who treasure me
7) Family whom I treasure

Bless be.