"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Thursday, September 02, 2004


The fifth floor of AS3. Ah, and there's a nice young lady named Belle behind a mysteriously thick glass shield. They remade our office and it looks like a bank. I don't know why anyone thinks they would want to hold up a philosophy office, we don't have anything there. We have nothing of value, I don't know why anyone would want to rob us.

You can argue with people whether it's a heresy or not, but most things have.

Socrates: we know this guy by now, he's a joker.

That's what sophists do. They make you pay money to hang around with them and listen to them talk. It's nice work if you can get it.

That is: 'Gosh, I'm dumb. Hur hur hur.' Socrates is playing his dummy role the way he always does, just trying to get the other to lead with his, fist and knock him down (on and then use his fist)

[On his younger days at Taekwondo] His name was Master Lee, I think all Taekwondo Masters are [so named]

[On the Greek 'arete'] If you say things like: be excellent to each other, then that's like Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.

You can modular it (modulus)

I was forgetting all my physics for a moment; I've got a cold in my head.

Nominalism. You seem to have nominalist instincts. Unfortunately, I assigned you to read Plato.

How much time do we have? Probably none... I've made a big mess... Every week will be me spiralling into the mysteries of the universe.

[On holding the mic instead of clipping it to his shirt] I'll be a pop star instead. [When] You get closer to the mic, you get the 'real' feeling.

[On the Maldives] You can ge a daytrip around the Donis [traditional boats], which sounds very good.

[On Rajiv Gandhi in Sri lanka] One of the members of the Guard of Honour does something that Guards of Honour aren't supposed to do. He picks up his rifle and hits the Indian Prime Minister.

When I was doing my doctoral work... Changes in ritual behavior during funerals. I went to the highlands of Sulawesi... and I went to a lot of funerals. Not my own.

[On a sociological study] He was a reporter. There was a devil-worshipping cult in California - where else?... He was so successful [in infiltrating it] that they made him vice-devil.

[On breaking the law while doing sociological studies] If I get any more phone calls from the neighbourhood police precinct: 'Oh, this student is in your class...' 'I don't know him'

[On the Zimbardo Prison and Milgram Shock Experiments] Because of this, we don't do experiments anymore. Wouldn't it be fun to do this?

[On Sociological Experiments] We could take a bunch of babies, and leave them on a desert island, and see what happens.

[On Sociological Experiments] If you have a set place at the table, sit where your father sits.

[On Sociological Experiments] If you get on an elevator, and there's only one other person, you stand in opposite corners... Go and stand next to them. Be careful, if it's late at night they may think you're a masher (?)

[Deep, booming voice] Alright. I;ll use the voice if you're not quiet.

A few years ago, my mother-in-law, a very sweet lady from Oregon... went to a seafood restaurant, and all they had were squat toilets. It was a good experience for her. Cultural highlights. She still talks about that.

We found this plethoria of fishing objects (plethora)

Look: my ten dollar bill. It says 'ten dollars', has red ink... 'this note is legal tender'... Unfortunately no one agrees that the bills issued by the Monetary Authority of Todd have value.

A few years ago, many people in Singapore would have been offented by the thought of having sex before marriage. A lot of you probably do, looking at the Durex sales down at 7-11.

When I'm in Malaysia, my Singaporean friends will go: 'Those Malaysians are so lazy. All they know how to do is relax in their cam'poh'ng.' When I'm in Malaysia, my Malaysian friends will go: 'Those Singaporeans. They work work work work work.' (Kampongs)

[On out of date practice papers] Some day, when I'm locked in a room with nothing but a computer, maybe I'll take the time to correct all this, but it's just too boring for me to do it.

There are a lot of practice questions on my site. You can do them till your eyeballs fall off... Of course, they're not very fun to do, just between you and me, really.

[On encountering the right MCQ answer] Ah, that sounds really good. We'll put a little happy face by that one and go on and see whether any, ah, other happy faces compete with it.

Well. That's just a meaningless [answer]. I obviously get... answers like 'e' are nonsense because I get bored by the time I get to 'e'. And I'm so bored by my own question that I just come up with something like that, so.

[On MCQs on the consistency of statements with the passage] Socrates is gay. Good, that's consistent. That's just the sort of thing I might do, to upset people.

[On his cold] I'm really getting a low voice. Wow.

[On Greek comedy] There's really nothing in them but fart jokes.

Human beings like to collect action figures. It's a cultural universal.

[On not being able to find something if you don't know what it looks like] Like if I ask you to look for the Agabagga in this room.

The Pythagoreans... the strangest religion ecer to exist in the world. They were people who worshipped numbers. They were like people in a Star Trek episode.

[On a character in Ted Chiang's 'Division by Zero' who proves that 0 = 1] She goes a little bit mad at the end of the story.

You've all done so much maths that you can't possibly be astonished anymore... Cast your mind back to when you were a child, and might have been astonished by it.

You could figure out the number of inches to the sun... I knew how many miles it was. I learnt to multiply... I didn't know about significant digits at the time, so I got the wrong answer.

I'm actually doing my best to recreate the wonder of mathematics because we've all lost if after so many years.

Suppose you were siting there playing a chess game, and someone looked over your shoulder. 'Hey, you've just created a better DVD player'. Maths is like that. It's scribbles on paper.

The simple version is that the Pythagoreans believed that they were living in the Matrix. I love saying this.

[On the Meno] Socrates gives Euthyphro a theory of perception (Meno)

[On Gorgias] It's such a cool word... I'll give a speech and use 'effluvium' and people will think I'm smart.

I'm going to divide the class into groups of 3. 8 people per group. (3)

[On South Asia] Did you read the readings? No... Yes right? So how come everyone is like 'mujar', 'boogar'?

You all don't remember [what state seceded from Bangladesh in a 1971 civil war]. Someone said [the videos viewed during lectures were] 'heart-wrenching'. You only remember the woman singing [the song of sorrow].

[On Yaodong] He has the reputation of being the only one to masturbate in the open, in the college toilet.

[On a wizened RJ teacher] She's very amusing. You don't laugh with her, you laugh at her

When you get to a certain stage, most girls can't cook. Unless they're from *airy voice* MGS

Cherie as in Gabriel's friend? I have my own identity. Cherie as in your RJ schoolmate.

[On someone more unpopular than me] You're just freaky. He's freaky freaky.

[On her homework] Are you majoring in physics? [Me: Nice try, nice try]

[On South Asia] I took this module because I have no choice, and it's been quite fun because I've only gone for one lecture.

[On South Asia] I took this module because I like Bhangra music.

Mountbeaten (Mountbatten)

I was amazed because I was at a lingerie shop. Some of the boyfriends stayed outside... Was I supposed to stay outside?... No I went [there] alone.

[On an online publication] You can't put frivoloous stuff there, like poetry.

I haven't done maths for so long. I can't add, I can't multiply. [Someone: Are you in Arts?] Yeah [Someone: Good, then you have an excuse.]

I don't do my tutorials, so I have a lot of time.

[On audible screaming as we were walking across the Esplanade Bridge] Somebody just got raped on the boat or something.

As long as you have money you can get into SMU
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