28
June
2008

LTA Strikes again0

Article from 2 weeks back.

http://www.asiaone.com/Business/My%2BMoney/Property/Story/A1Story20080618-71573.html

No it’s not the rise in ERP again. It used to be that they penalise people for driving into town, now it seems like they are penalising people for trying to leave town as well.

What strikes me is not the lack of notification on the aquisition of the property. But the fact that they actually will acquire private property and not even attempt to pay the rightful owners anything. Hoping for fair market value might be a little beyond the LTA. But you would think that there would be some token theoretical (read lower) value that would be compensated.

Talk about robbery.

I guess what we can imply from this is that, there is no such thing as property rights here.

Oh an I’m pretty sure we will not hear about the case again in the news.

 

11
June
2008

0

Just occurred to me that globally we now have an Oil Shock, a Credit Crunch, a Housing Meltdown and a Commodity Price Inflation. Historically any one of the above would be enough to cause a recession. Now we have all 4 at the same time. Hmmm……..

6
June
2008

Left vs Right0

In recent weeks, I’ve tried figuring out how I stand on the political spectrum. While I can firmly say that I’m socially a liberal, strongly support free trade, lean heavily in favour of green policies and favour a small government. I cannot quite figure out if that puts me more  in the left or the right wing. I’m referring to the more orthodox sense of left and right, not the American reference of it ( but who can blame them, when they can’t even drive on the correct side of the road)

Coming from Asia, I cannnot pretend to understand fully the implications of living in a US style democracy. Nor have I experienced European style social support and welfare. In most parts of Asia, the political focus is predominantly on the economy, issues of social conservatism or liberalism or even nationalistic sentiments really rarely come into the picture.

The fact of the matter is, Asia is unlike Europe or the US socially and politically. It doesn’t mean that it’s better or worse, or that we should aspire to be like one or the other, just that we’re different, having come from a very different place historically.

In an attempt to not chicken out, and take Tony Blair’s “The Third Way”, I pressed on, but the harder I tried, the more hopeless the exercise.

The fact of the matter I think is that a linear scale, such as a classification like left vs right, is no longer applicable today when everywhere views and social norms are fragmenting. Even European politicians are tripping over themselves trying to get to ” the middle”

Socially what do we consider to be liberal or consavertive in Asia? I think no where else is the contrast more stark than in Japan, where I’m currently writing this post. Stop by Shinjuku or Harajuku train station, on the western side of Tokyo, and the extend of social freedom is clearly on display. Yet just a  minute’s walk from Harajuku station, will bring you into the Meiji shrine that families visit weekly in their traditional costumes.

 Why should someone who is pro freetrade have to be anti social welfare? Why can’t someone support both an active foreign policy and liberal social practises?

In a sense, I think the pundits are right, in that Asia will change the world. Not just it’s economic balance, but also it’s social and political landscape. The left vs right argument that most grew up listening to, and that is still being hotly debated in the current US election, is rapidly becoming irrelevant to the rest of the world. That does imply that most of the convenient mental markers that we we taught in school are also fast becoming obsolete, as Asia’s impact on the rest of the world grows. It’s no longer about capitalist vs socialist or conversative vs liberal.

A lot of Asian countries have shown that they can blend them effectively, and in ways that defies classifications. Take for example, China and Japan, one is a communist country with a vibrant capitalistic economy, the other a paper democracy with a monopolistic like economy.

Most of us grew up with western news reports and analysis, thanks to the success of the BBC, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal and the Economist (or you grew up on lousy TV serials, in which case you are not really concerned about the rest of the world). And they have conditioned us to think of the world in the traditional framework.

What this might mean is that we have to relearn the way we look at the world, and how we look at the governments and policies around us, and maybe make judgements based on very different rules.

5
June
2008

0

Came across this online:

In C, you merely shoot yourself in the foot.
In C++, you accidentally create a dozen instances of yourself and shoot them all in the foot. Providing emergency medical care is impossible, because you can’t tell which are bitwise copies and which are just pointing at others and saying, “That’s me, over there.”