"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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Sunday, April 13, 2008

"Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do don't need to be done." - Andy Rooney



Sourpuss. I can't forget that face.

[On laying waste the earth for future generations] The majority of them are economists. Do I have any evidence of that? In fact, I do... Typically, economists do not worry about people living 2, 3,000 years from now.

[On the deteriorating Singapore environment] I first came to this country 8 years ago. I never saw a fly. I never saw a mosquito - you cannot say that it is the Singapore environment... At least from my observation.

[On drawing a psychological connection with our ancestors to draw one with our descendents to preserve the environment for them] Whether Confucius lived in Beijing or not, I don't know - whether the air in Beijing then was cleaner than now, I don't know... I think it's a dangerous thing to abandom rationality for sentimentality.

[On speculations about future generations' preferences] Blue skies give them a headache, and they prefer cloudy, polluted skies like what we have in Beijing now.

When he was appointed to an honourable position in Princeton University (honorary)

[Me: What would Singer say?] I don't know, I don't have his number.

I bought some meat the other day. It was very expensive. $36 a kilo. [Me: Aren't you a part-time vegetarian?] I am a part-time vegetarian. My wife is not.

[On theoreotical counters to Singer's utilitarianism argument for vegetarianism] You can construct an even wilder scensrio.. An animal that doesn't require any water... The living conditions are so luxurious that the animals are laughing each day.

The term 'discrimination' is tricky. You should think carefully about it. It sounds wrong to 'discriminate' but there are cases where it's morally permissible to discriminate... Being discriminating is not the same as being discriminatory.

[On mental states and anti-materialism] The word that philosophers use is not 'emergent' but it means the same thing. Philosophers like to use big words when simpler words will do. The word they use is 'supervalent'.

Business Finance teaches you how to press the calculator. Quantitative Finance teaches you how to program the calculator.

In the 1960s, multinationals were regarded as exploiters... So developing countries should develop some rules to control them. That was the perception in developing countries. [Me: *sotto voce* That's still the perception among many social scientsts]

Now the Singapore model has become a model for many developing countries... Why? I respect Lee Kuan Yew and Singapore leaders, and I think they were very intelligent. But I don't think they were more intelligent than Latin American leaders, on average. I don't believe they had more foresight.

inclave development (enclave)

[On land acquisition rules] This is also why the Singapore government can pay such high salariesto its officials.

[On population growth between 1980 and 2000] Singapore increased its population by 100,000 a year. This is not equals Singapore mothers giving birth (due to)

In Singapore, if you stay here for more than a year, you are considered part of the population. I have been here 8 years, so I am part of the 4 million.

Korea, legendary: it had 5,000 years of history, but I doubt that claim. (according to legend)

Taiwanese people still have quite good feelings against Japan (for)

[On martial law in Taiwan] Even in South Korea when the military government came into power in 1961 they have elections in 1 year. Even if the elections are a little manipulative. (had, within, were)

Good evening. You know normally when people say a speaker needs no introduction, they go ahead and give a long list of achievements. I'm not going to make that mistake.

[On a woman who says yes being no woman] That's a politically incorrect joke, by the way... I also speak in American universities. You can't tell politically incorrect jokes. In Asia it's still okay.

In America, when you begin a speech, it's traditional to make a joke. In Asia, when you begin a speech, it's traditional to make an apology. So I'm going to combine the 2 and apologise for my bad joke.

I can assure you there are 'Asian values'. If [an] Asian has values, then there are 'Asian values'

[On a local in Saigon during the war] Her house got bombed, she could only run out of her house with one thing... She ran out of her house with her homework.

[On India] 'Are you worried about a brain drain?' His answer was that better a brain drain than a brain in the drain.

If the West handed over the Middle Eastern conflict to us, we'd do a much better job... The West has failed.

[On infanticide] The economic price of an Asian woman is going to rise dramatically. So if you want to invest in a rising stock, invest in Asian women.

I wasn't trained in economics. I had the most practical training. I was trained in philosophy. *laughs from audience* It's very helpful, because when there's a crisis, you can be philosophical in the middle of it.

The other day I had dinner with an Indian billionaire. Not millionaire, you know, billionaire.

I want to give you back your ***, so during your student feedback you can tick the box 'Gives timely feedback'... [Student: We want to tick the box 'gives good grades'] Unfortunately there's no such box.

[On a talk] Any of you registered for it? Because I failed to register for it. So if any of you registered but are not going, I'll try to disguise myself as you.

Your grade comes in the form of a tick, or a tick plus plus. [Student: What's a tick?]... Actually all you need to worry about is the ranking.

A tick plus plus is an A or A+. A tick plus is an A- or a[n] A. A tick is a B+ or a B. [Student: What's a cross?] There's no cross.

In the less developed countries, if you don't pay your workers a high enough wage, the workers are malnutritioned (malnourished)

In the textbook by Eh'b'rer and Ber'narky (Abel and Bernanke)

If you look at the paper, the algebraic expressions are quite horrible.

All payments including grad'tyou'were'tees (gratuities)

A conscientious person is able to think before you think (he acts)

[On kids, cookies and temptation] Whenever I think about Michele's test, I think about the Jedi test - don't fall to the dark side. They should use the cookie test to tell the potential Jedis from the rest.

[On panadol being cheaper than condoms] People don't eat panadol everyday. [Me: People have sex everyday ah? Maybe you.]

[On preferences of people 2000 years ago being similar to ours'] I don't think they had cars then, so everyone wanted to ride a big chariot - whatever.

The father, or, to use politically correct language so as not to offend the eco-feminists, the founder.

The people who are starving in Darfur, they have a right to life. Does that mean I shouldn donate 90% of my income, I only need 10% to live... 10%. Don't think I earn so much... Does that mean I should have to forego my car, my *** leather shoes? I only have a negative obligation. Not to get on a plane and go to Darfur to shoot them... Rights and obligations are not 2 sides of the same coin.
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