2019 mid-way

Although we are only about halfway through 2019, this is already shaping up to be a eventful – both in the happy and sad sense – year for me.

With the birth of my daughter, passing of my dog, and having been in the same job for 5 years, and the need for a long-term abode… there are really quite a few things I need to sort out. Perhaps there are equivalents of Marie Kondo’s decluttering, but for the mind, that I need to do!?

Halt and catch fire

Just finished watching Halt and Catch Fire on Netflix, which I think is brilliant by the way. Apparently the show won’t be returning for a fifth season, so here is a nice review from Wired since I can’t write as eloquently.

(source)

When I first heard of the show, I had the impression that it was simply dramatising the events leading to the birth of Compaq (Silicon Cowboys is the documentary of this story that I thoroughly enjoyed too), but the series went on to explore online gaming, e-commerce (think early days of eBay), community (bulletin boards?), telco networking, birth of internet, browser wars and search (Yahoo-type versus Google?). In parallel it was also a show about the human relationships between the protagonists, the start-up culture and the do-or-die fearlessness of entrepreneurship; you can have great idea or even be on the cusp of victory, everything can still crash and burn. The key is to be able to take failure in its own stride, move on and reboot.

I really like this ending phrase “They’re (computers) the thing that gets you to the thing.” New technologies that appears at breakneck speed (even more so than the period when the show was set in) are tools which allow us to achieve goals but more importantly connect us to people that matter the most.

Reboot

Since about mid-2016, my life has been turned upside down, life changes, job changes, everything coming all at once. Now that the dust has more or less settled, it seems a good time as any to reboot this blog.

A new chapter, begun mid-2017, is slowly taking shape.

Revisiting Citizen of the Galaxy

Just purchased Robert Heinlein’s Citizen of the Galaxy to read on my Kindle.

Having first read this novel over 2 decades ago during my undergrad, I can still recall vividly identifying with the plight of the central character, the feeling of being lost and the drive to find meaning amidst the chaos in his universe. As a matter of fact I also just found out this was part of Heinlein’s “Juveniles” (teens) series, which is quite incredible since I seemed to resonate with the story all those years ago. This is still the only book I have read from Heinlein by the way.

Will I still feel the same sense of empathy? The longing for a purpose, fear of uncertainty? I suppose I will find out shortly.

Point of origin

Been sitting in Draft mode since 3/2/2011 so I figured I should let it loose finally!

People often say that you need to know where you are from before you know where you are going to.

Now, because of my Australian accent and, strangely, not-so-genuinely-Chinese looks*, I am often asked where I was from? This happens even right here in Singapore, a place I have been living and working in for close to 9 years.

For a period of time while I was overseas, since my point of departure was Singapore and the fact that I have been in Singapore for more than a decade by now, it was actually natural to answer “Singapore” when asked where I came from. However, being rather pedantic about such things, I know deep down that this is not the whole truth. There is the matter of Vietnam, Taiwan and Australia.

Sometimes, I do wonder a little: where is my home?

There are certain allegiances that I feel compelled to follow: my cultural heritage (Chinese), place of my upbringing and whose values I uphold (Australia) or a place of convenience (Singapore)?

* This is in spite of the 100% Chinese pedigree for, well, at least the past 4-5 generations!? However, after 30-odd years, I do have a plausible explanation for this conundrum.