Thursday, 27 August 2009

Falling Apples

The reports on exploding Apple products are still unceasing. Apple is the prime example of why the free market can't work the way we wish it should because people don't make the best decisions even when given perfect information.

I mean Creative is probably dumb for not channeling more funds into marketing itself better so that its value can be realized by consumers, but still?

Wednesday, 26 August 2009


Here's why economics matters. To me at least, it's not so much the pursuit of a perfect system in which the world can run its resources, because I doubt that there can ever be such a thing, but it's the fact that economics shapes reality because it concerns every layperson. It's the reality of who's getting what part of the pie and how is that part of the pie attained. Am I going to work for it? Am I going to receive it through welfare? Is it going to be taken from me? These questions are going to be answered by the form of politics that my country employs.

Economics, and what kind of economy a tribe, a kingdom or a state is going to have, is the driving force and the legitimacy behind power and politics. Politics is power, because it refers to governance and the legal use of force, and power can only be gained when one controls resources.

The history of man is peppered with battles that have been waged for the attainment of resources. Modern history has seen us shift the basis of power from a physical one to one of economic ideology. The fight between the Democrats and Republicans is essentially due to the difference in economic management - more socialist (and left-wing) or more conservative (and right wing)? The cold war was a battle between capitalism and communism. Americans are dissatisfied with Obama because of the inadequate validity of his economic agenda which have turned out to be rather expensive, ineffective and socialist, which is disappointing in today's world where we are still trying to move on from the Keynesian era of full employment as the goal. Politicians are battling it out every election day to promise better economic packages because this is what matters to the people most - how much less will you be taxed?

Politics exists because power drives the world. Power is about the ability to gain control over people. The control of people is gained through the manipulation of the economy, because people depend on resources.

That's why economics is important, because if everyone knew to some degree the impact that the economy of our state has on our lives, then we would know how to revolt, how to vote and how to decide what kind of country we want to have and live in. We would know the extent of our rights and how to differentiate between a government that is serving us well and a government that is just pulling political bull. We would know if we would rather live in a competitive society or one that redistributes wealth. We would look at the ideologies expounded by our leaders with more enlightened eyes. We would know where on earth we're going.
"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from
somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."

- Dr. Adrian Rogers, 1931 - 2005

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Step Aside Kotler

Every marketing guru will tell tales about how to use SWOT analysis, name a product or pitch a service to do good marketing but nobody ever pinpoints the true reality of marketing so here goes.

Marketing is all about manipulating the supply and demand curve in your favour. As long as prices can be raised without demand falling, that's marketing at work and profitability coming in. And there are tons of ways to exploit the psychology of consumers in order to keep both demand and prices high. It all boils down to who is the most creative, scheming and manipulative bugger there is out there to discover these supply-demand mechanism loopholes.

Friday, 21 August 2009

The Playing Field Dynamic Of Love

If there was ever an ideal kind of relationship, I would reckon it is one that thrives on ideas (and wants), not needs, with both parties in it of enough egotism and self-esteem to be self-interested but not selfish, and spared from the chains of emotional dependence.

In psychology, there are two types of relationships that work - the secure-secure relationship and the anxious/ambivalent-avoidant relationship. For the uninitiated, secure people are those who are trusting, socially comfortable and form typically healthy relationships with people, be they friends, significant others or kin. Anxious/ambivalent and avoidant people are people who have trusting issues. Anxious/ambivalent people manifest it by being neurotic, clingy and possessive because they are afraid to lose those they finally dare to allow into their lives. Avoidant people manifest the difficulty to trust by being anti-social, reclusive and introverted, keeping to themselves most of the time.

Anxious/ambivalent-avoidant relationships often comprise of the female taking on the emotional possessive role and the male taking on the avoidant, silent role, and it works because these are socially accepted gender roles. It also works because both parties are a good fit when they can provide what each other needs. The anxious/ambivalent person thrives on the uncertainty and ambiguity of the avoidant person's reclusiveness, while the avoidant person thrives on the possessiveness and persistence of the anxious/ambivalent partner.

When a relationship sustains itself through needs more than desires, I would doubt its synergy. It is like Maslow's hierarchy of needs - if you're still grappling with the basal necessities of food and water, you will never get to the higher levels of satisfaction.

That's where a healthy dose of self-esteem and egotism comes in. It is unfair to say that everyone should be like secure people, because secure people don't happen overnight, and people are who they are because of their life experiences. But the reality of the situation is that secure people, with their healthy doses of self-esteem, have enough pride in them for them to believe that they deserve a certain level of return when they invest in a relationship.

What then happens in a secure-secure relationship, where both parties behave in this seemingly economic, self interested way, is that they know what they're worth. At this point, there may be those who say that this just seems heartless, results in people being non-committal and leaves room for people to dump their loved ones in the presence of better alternatives. But instead of looking at it so negatively (which also only happens because people who criticize this are probably anxious, neurotic and afraid of loss), the result is that both parties actually know their value because they have made it into each other's lives, and this is strongly reaffirming of each person's self worth. I made it into your life, and you made it into mine, and this is the strongest endorsement of your quality to me and my quality to yours.

Once needs can be put aside because they are thus fulfilled, there is so much else to look forward to and achieve together. When you don't spend half or more of your time worrying about losing someone, you're trading your emotional chains for freedom. That is why egotism works, and is good. If you know what you're worth, there's always a safety catch that stops you from being too suckered into liking somebody. If he or she falls short of your expectations, can't make up their mind or does other silly things, then your pride will tell you that you're just wasting your time and you deserve better than settling down with this.

The desire to trade up always happens whether you're a secure person or not. But by the time people in anxious/ambivalent-avoidant relationships realize they feel too jaded and yet too comfortable where they are, it gets harder to understand the reality of their predicament. So if one person starts to feel shortchanged by his/her situation, the result is often a fling with someone else, in order to trade up (even just for a moment) and to satisfy unfulfilled desires that echo in hearts that have lost their fires.

In the end, it's the synergy that becomes the indicator. At the heart of it all, are you looking forward to meeting your loved one to create and discuss ideas, or are you just looking forward to meeting your loved one because you're afraid he/she might leave you?

Whether self-esteem breeds the ability to believe that one always has options (so that one is never at the losing end), or one's options gives him/her confidence and hence self-esteem, a little bit of self belief and egotism always goes a long way. At the end of it all, always remember what you're worth and don't sell yourself short. What can you offer to the person you're gonna chain up anyway, if you're not completely happy?

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

But Something Makes Me Carry On

It's difficult to understand
Why I always wanna fly

I do it for the drugs
I do it just to feel alive
I do it for the love
That I get from the bottom of a bottle

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Man Who Walk Through Airport Door Sideways Is Going Bangkok

The reports are not conclusive yet, but it is estimated that a thousand punctual people were decimated by this morning's train fault.

Two more days and I'm fucking off from and hopefully never going back to Boon Lay.

"Are you happy your internship is ending?"
"I'm damn happy that I won't have to come to Boon Lay anymore. I hate Boon Lay. It is damn smelly. And the phone reception is shit."
"Hahaha. It's like Bangkok right."
"What the hell? Bangkok is infinitely better than Boon Lay."

Wednesday, 5 August 2009