"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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Monday, February 05, 2007

"Idealism is what precedes experience; cynicism is what follows." - David T. Wolf


Due to a lack of time (horror, imagine that) I will not blog about the SPI field trip, but in summary we heard a lot of dodgy theories (the guide claimed the reason why schools and army camps have lots of ghost stories is because the congregation of positive energies from people in the day attracts the spirits but they're too afraid of these energies to manifest, but when people go home they appear - someone pointed out that if that's the case shopping centres would be very haunted) and questionable stories (my favourite is how a lamp post fell on someone the day after he kicked and mounted the 2 stone lions outside this dilapidated red house in Pasir Ris - I wanted to abuse the lions with a fellow skeptic but he chickened out) but didn't see anything (supposedly because the positive energies from big groups drive them away, but really it's just a psychological phenomenon).

On the ground floor, I went into a lift where the buttons for level 4 and 6 were already pressed. I then pressed the button for level 3. A girl came in and pressed the buttons for levels 2, 5 and 7, which meant that all buttons from 2-7 were pressed. When the lift stopped at level 2, all the buttons reset. It must be some system to protect against idiots. They really need to install this in other lifts - I have been in a lift where the buttons for levels 2-24 were all pressed. It was assuredly an un-fun experience.

We had an ingenious introduction to Rawls where we took the identity of various people who would either support or be discriminated against by HDB policies, and then we shed our prior identities and debated on the assumption that we could be any of the identities formerly assumed by anyone.

The PGP waffle shop had a stall at a bazaar, so I got to try it. I was suspicious of the so-called maple syrup waffle selling for $1.40 (it's almost impossible to get maple syrup here), so I asked to look at the bottle of maple syrup. Sure enough, it was maple flavoured syrup. Nonetheless, I bought one, but the syrup flowed to the bottom of the paper bag. Gah. I don't know why the SACSALs flocked to the lousy waffle stall upstairs set up by the same culprits who sold the worst waffles in the world in the Arts Canteen (and still sell it at their temporary stall), ignoring this stall. Maybe they like their waffles limp and soggy (Clarification: They are soggy even when fresh. Wth). And now they're even smaller (the batter not even filling the whole pan), and someone bought one which was undercooked.

Since Economics in NUS is a pseudo-Science, it's a good group to look at when investigating questions about the Arts/Science student divide. Among other things, it nullifies the dress code theory of differences.

I think I learnt more about Economics in JC than I have so far or will in the next 2 1/2 semesters in University. Having done F Maths is much more helpful for doing Economics here than having done A level Economics. In part this is because we're very theoretical, but more importantly Economics at the post-graduate level is Applied Mathematics, and here at the Premier Institution of Social Engineering we take pride in teaching undergraduates post-graduate material (both the textbooks I'm using for my Honours core modules are post-graduate textbooks; a friend who did Graduate Macroeconomics said it was easier than Honours Macro, since many of them hadn't done our type of Honours Macro before).

Chris Lydgate's Lee's Law is in the Singapore-Malaysia collection, heh. Maybe the presence of such seditious books in there is why none of the material is supposed to be brought outside the room.

I got an idea for a business plan - summarise readings for people. Unfortunately, the problem of copyright infringement comes up, but maybe seminars on said readings can also be conducted to add value (and we can also trust in the honesty of NUS students, hurr hurr).

A Year 1 friend commented that people in NUS judge you by your vital statistic.
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