Sunday, September 26, 2010

Chance Favours the Connected Mind

This is a brilliant lecture by Steven Johnson about where ideas come from: "the architecture of space where ideas can have sex"

Our offices should be designed based on this fundamental philosophy! :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Generation Plasticine in Singapore

So the Flying Dutchman and his co-host were discussing on CNA Blog TV tonight whether Generation Plasticine has arrived in Singapore.

Generation plasticine is used to describe the new generation of youth that have emerged completely jaded, without passion and no drive to live life, be creative and pursue their dreams.

I have to say it was a little painful listening to the four youths they brought on set to debate for and against this notion. Granted, they are young - one still in uni, one just started working for the government barely 6 months ago, and the other two young entrepreneurs of sorts - and hence a little idealistic, but they clearly have no idea about the realities of pursuing one's passion in life and pursuing "dreams".

Living with passion sounds noble, courageous and romantic. But the reality of it is pursuing ones passion in life means lots of sacrifice; it means disappointing your parents because you won't settle for a "respectable job", buy a house and settle down; it means you will never have a stable relationship and possibly never find a life partner willing to share your nomadic life, much less your passion in life; it means you will lose friends along the way; and it means, most of all, that at the end of the day, you may fail and realise that your passion has been misled by romanticised notions of what your dream was suppose to be.

It is a lonely journey and the stories of people living out their passions in the media tell only 10 percent of the whole story where the success happens. It doesn't illustrate the full extent of struggle to get there. And the thing is, you're never really there either. Cos' by the time you do get there, you become a changed person. And when you do achieve some measure of success, you realise how far short you are of really achieving your dream in its true sense.

To pursue your passion means to abandon other things that you hold dear - your family, your friends (though new ones will come along), financial stability, physical comforts etc. Not everyone will respect you for what you do or the sacrifices you make. Some will even mock you or question you. It is not glamourous like Angelina Jolie going to Africa or Bono in Ethiopia.

It is a whole lot of hard work and lonely work. Many will come up to you, pat you on the back and say "you're doing great work. Let me know if you ever need anything." and never deliver on that promise. But out of the 10 people who do that, there will be the one who will keep their promise and go to Helms Deep to get you the help that you need. And those are the people that keep you going. At the end of the day, it may not even be the passion that drives life, but these people - people who give you as much hope as you give them - that drives life.

I read somewhere that the ancient Greeks will ask when a person dies if he lived with passion.

Passion is no driver for life because the goal gets rather hazy along the way. I only hope that when I die, I would have touched more lives than I have hurt; that I will be remembered for the little good that I have contributed to this world and forgiven the bad that I have done.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hey World (Don't Give Up)

What a lovely song by Michael Franti...Like his style!