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Saturday, October 02, 2010

Debit Card Economics - "Multitude" by POSB

"The function of socialism is to raise suffering to a higher level." - Norman Mailer


Even the poor man's plastic - the POSB Debit Card - is being overhauled.

Its new incarnation is the "Multitude" card (now also rebranded for Youth - so maybe it won't work for Age Verification on sites with Adult Content* anymore), which comes with a seemingly attractive 0.3% cashback on all non-PIN Mastercard transactions (and a $500 credit limit, thus making it an oxymoron)

However, it didn't take me long to discover the catch - the $24 annual fee is waived for the first year only (the old card waived the fee if you made 18 signed transactions in a year).

So with 0.3% cashback, you'll only get your money's worth if you charge a whopping $8,000 in Mastercard transactions in a year to it.

* - This is an extra-Singapore definition of "Adult Content". The Singaporean definition is more restrictive (not to mention rather disappointing).

Friday, October 01, 2010

National Day in Singapore


Thursday, September 30, 2010

A little slice of FAIL for the day

"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility, there are so few of us left." - Oscar Levant


: Singapore has free elections, but not fair elections.

A: What's defined as fair,or rather who defines it.What's free elections supposed to mean?I'm happy with the current state that Singapore is in,its clearly its not perfect.But the important matter is the reason for its imperfection,has it reached a stage where to alter one aspect of the nation will lead to a trade off,a reduction in quality in other areas or is it the government not doing enough or they don't have the know how to do it.

Me: http://www.commonborders.org/free_and_fair.htm
*quotes from the URL*

to alter one aspect of the nation will lead to a trade off

You have to show that there is indeed a tradeoff, rather than accept self-serving governmental rhetoric

A: I see. so your free and fair elections definition is for that website which states for election in latin america.

I thought you be quoting from some UN definition or something.But any definition is arbitrary in the sense that 'ought' can't be inferred from 'is' as suggests.

Me: ???

For one, the words of the UN are not gospel. For another there is no arbitrariness as this arises from certain principles that elections should follow to best embody both the letter and spirit of democracy. Lastly I have no idea where the naturalistic fallacy comes in as you say.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dogbert's Reality Distortion Field

"I am a creative individual who does as he is told"

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sarcastic book reviews are even better heard than read

"If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little." - George Carlin


Understanding the universe: Order of creation | The Economist

(on The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow)

"“A Brief History of Time”... was renowned for being bought by everyone and understood by few. Twenty-two years later... once more we are told that we are on the brink of understanding everything.

The authors may be in this enviable state of enlightenment, but most readers will not have a clue what they are on about... The problem is not that the book is technically rigorous... but because whenever the going threatens to get tough, the authors retreat into hand-waving, and move briskly on to the next awe-inspiring notion. Anyone who can follow their closing paragraphs on the relation between negative gravitational energy and the creation of the universe probably knows it all already. This is physics by sound-bite...

The book is peppered with quips, presumably to remind the reader that he is not studying for an exam but is supposed to be having fun. These attempted jokes usually fuse the weighty with the quotidian, in the manner of Woody Allen, only without the laughs. (“While perhaps offering great tanning opportunities, any solar system with multiple suns would probably never allow life to develop”)...

Given what the authors have to say about Aristotle, one can only hope that they are more reliable about what happened billions of years ago at the birth of the universe than they are about what happened in Greece in the fourth century BC. Their account appears to be based on unreliable popularisations, and they cannot even get right the number of elements in Aristotle’s universe (it is five, not four)...

The authors rather fancy themselves as philosophers, though they would presumably balk at the description, since they confidently assert on their first page that “philosophy is dead”...

It is hard to evaluate their case against recent philosophy, because [there is] only [one] subsequent mention of it, after the announcement of its death... Professor Hawking and Mr Mlodinow regard a philosophical problem as something you knock off over a quick cup of tea after you have run out of Sudoku puzzles...

Once upon a time it was the province of philosophy to propose ambitious and outlandish theories in advance of any concrete evidence for them. Perhaps science, as Professor Hawking and Mr Mlodinow practice it in their airier moments, has indeed changed places with philosophy, though probably not quite in the way that they think."

Venice and its "lesson" for Singapore

"Blame someone else and get on with your life." - Alan Woods


One of the case studies students learn in Propaganda (Social Studies) classes is Venice.

Supposedly its Golden Age was in the 15th century, and it lost its position due to "complacency". The intended moral of the story, naturally, is that Singapore cannot afford to be "complacent".

However, not only is putting Venice's decline down to "complacency" typically simplistic in the extreme and self-serving (there were many historical factors resulting in Venice losing its lucrative position), one reason Venice lost its power was that it was abusing it - leading the Spanish and the Portuguese to find alternative trade routes to the East Indies (which resulted in their colonial empires).

So ironically we have a very non-National Education moral for this case study.

Addendum: In other words, Singapore should not be arrogant and bully/look down on other countries.

Comparative gender relations

"On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog." - Peter Steiner


'In Singapore the woman of the house gives the orders and the man obeys and keeps his mouth shut' (Boeing Boeing, Singaporean adaptation)

Original play:

GLORIA: You know, people wonder why America is such a great country.

ROBERT: Yes, people do wonder.

GLORIA: Well, it’s quite simply because American men stay babies all their

ROBERT: As long as that?

GLORIA: The Kinsey report proved it.

ROBERT: Did it?

GLORIA: In my country the woman is stronger than the man because he always says yes to her. And so by demanding more everyday, she can make the man work his way to total exhaustion.

ROBERT: They don’t mind?

GLORIA: Oh, they mind. But one little mutiny and we’re off to Reno. You can get a divorce in six weeks- for me ntal cruelty. And that means alimony.

ROBERT: What happens if they don’t pay it?



GLORIA: So to avoid going to jail, they pay up and to pay up, they have to work. They have to produce. This ensures a stable economy. And that’s why America is such a great country.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Observations - 26th September 2010

"Being a woman is a terribly difficult task since it consists principally in dealing with men." - Joseph Conrad

My version: The worst bit about being a woman is dealing with other women


I was at Goodwood Park Hotel. Car A blocked the road for 3 minutes. Driver B took a picture of Car A and its driver. So driver A took a picture of Car B and its driver. They can go argue it out on STOMP.

On the SIA interview: "at her group interview, the candidate that spoke quite intelligently on the subjects they asked her to talk about didn't get called back. Don't know if it's something else though."

Interestingly, if you have pre- but not post-marital sex, your Singaporean marriage can be annuled (or at least I'm told that this has happened).

I am amused that PLMGS doesn't let its female teachers wear pants - while other schools ban skirts (to prevent the upskirt problem).

The Third Generation SAF: new technology, new systems - same fucked up attitude.

The fact that written and spoken German are identical confirms my theory about French; French is so long winded, people need to speak it as fast as possible and contract it as much as possible

If you send me an email with the subject "Goodbye", I'll think it's a suicide note.

It's not surprising that it's as easy to find a man who isn't horny as it is to find a woman who doesn't want to be pretty, as both phenomena have the same root cause.

Interesting counter-example for those who decry polyamory as unworkable: multiple children.

Facebook cons you by claiming particular friend have used Friend Finder to find their friends - and telling those particular friends the same thing about you.

I am amused that Wikipedia has a "Massacres in Turkey" category. Hope no one cites the Ottoman Empire as an example of Muslim tolerance.

American lives may be worth more than others, but the exchange rate for American sins is also heavily weighted in the other direction (for Koran burning, among other things).

RT @PeterGriffinn: Girls are magic. They can get wet without water, bleed without injury, and make boneless things hard.

RT @msvindicta Sis: "Your dress is too short." Me: "I don't care." Sis: "What if it flies up?" Me: "Then it does. I'm wearing nice underwear."

RT @julianpo "NDP poster beside an Inception poster. The former: Live Our Dreams, Fly Our Flag. The latter: Wake Up to Reality."

RT @jongolia The only As and Bs you see in JC are those on girls.

RT @vixlew [Malaysian condoms are] no good, will only get you knocked up. Proof? My sister who is 12 years younger than I.
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