Wednesday, December 10, 2008

marriage = population control : moving meditations

Josh and I enjoying drinks at AGDA's charity xmas party, Greenroom a sustainable bar at Federation Square, Melbourne, Australia.

What if we as males were allowed to have as many partners as our lust permitted?
Imagine a world like that! I'm thinking that the earth's natural resources could not possibly support that and so I have to hand it to the forefathers, kings, church who had the foresight of using marriage or religion as a tool of control.
So now in an age of having access to birth control, why isn't there a flagrant disregard for the institution of marriage. I guess the divorce statistics can allude to that of having the freedom to revoke it when things go sour.
What is it about being human that causes us to value relationships, the time invested as opposed to animals that have sex for the sake of reproducing? Why aren't we going around promiscuously enjoying sex and not thinking about the consequences?

Or even in the matter of relationships? Why can't we have the best of many short term ones rather than favour a long term one?

What is it about experiencing growth, change together over years that is preferable to a few intense months that you will remember forever, even if it meant it was not to continue?

Is it about building a story or how many stories that each of us were together in? I think it is this opportunity to have as many shared experiences with each other that cements a deep bond that allows us to be less mindful of the imperfections in each other, and to also enjoy the significant moments that are to come.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

emotional rewards and other things for sale : moving meditations

Nicholson St Melbourne at the Hispanic Festival

Fave tune of the moment:

I feel good when I eat, when I buy stuff, when I drink, when I have a nice place to live, maybe even unconsciously when I drink coke...

Do you ever stop to think why you work so hard and long?
Why in each particular culture there are different things that individuals work towards so that they can look around and feel that they have earned what is deemed success in their peers' eyes and garner the respect that comes along with it.

Why we work longer hours, even as we spend less time eating correctly and ballooning from all that easy-to-eat processed food, in the meantime being shown skinny beautiful models so that we can compare ourselves to?

Is this a system of self degradation escapable?

less TV time, shopping time and more moments with family friends doing things that involve interacting with each other instead of escaping and interacting with the plethora of distractions that we create ourselves so that we don't have to deal with the effort of figuring out each other and always being in control of our own snippet of existence.

Is this where it's all headed? our attention divided into devices vs living beings?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Customer Service

The only reason to answer the phone when a customer calls is to make the customer happy.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Outliers: The story of success

Daniel, Me and Anthony checking out the laneways of Brunswick, Melbourne photographed by Nathan, my other nephew.

2 kinds of talented individuals
1. conceptual innovators (rare: express quite quickly, precisely and immediately) Picasso
2. experimental innovator(more common: discover at in the doing - 10000 hours) Cezanne (video of Malcolm's presentation at AIGA)

Malcolm Gladwell's site

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Good Design Great Business summary

"People who make it happen"
"People who watch it happen"
"People who wondered what the hell happened"

Truly successful industries align their ‘wants’ with basic needs (like hunger) and consumers (that’s us) cooperate all day long.

Tribes by Seth Godin

It's about creating the connections for people who share the same beliefs

Friday, November 07, 2008

Of here and now

celebrating with a river BBQ, Germany

some thoughts during my moving meditation:

the urges/desires/discomfort with things repeats itself endlessly in the background even if you manage to ignore it. It needs to be addressed or it will always reside in the unconscious.

Flow comes from the art of focusing your attention on the moment, being aware of every little detail, taking in the visual, physical, aroma, taste and sound of things.
When was the last time you were so involved in an activity that you lost all awareness of time and place? What did it feel like? Was there any emotions? What was the result? Was it something of beauty, crafted with the very essence of being connected to the task? Or was just clearness of thoughts of the future or the past? Where were you, who were you with, what did your surroundings look like? What were you wearing, what was the weather like, the sounds, the aroma, how did you look?

Knowing or being able to zoom in to appreciate the very experience of it -- something that in our youth comes automatically and I feel we become glazed over by all our plans and responsibilities and sometimes actually come back to and really enjoy again.

My thoughts are dominated by the future and the past, and fleetingly of the present, as it doesn't register much excitement. How do I change this? by taking little 3% steps towards what is termed as "a beautiful day" Today I realised that the onus is on me to put the effort in to the relationships I value back where I called home for the last 20 years, as I was the one whole left for the adventure for 2 years. It may mean letting go of some good ones, but when you come back or start afresh it is upto you to build the relationship if you are the stranger. It is with anywhere through you travels, and it is this sequential effort that will bring out the best in your nature and provide a remedy to the inherent complacency that we tend to get into when we are well off enough not to need anyone to our basic needs met and not needing to worry about ending up on the streets.

I guess I agree with the idea that we do become too independent, not needing to ask anyone to fulfill our most basic needs of food /shelter. So that leaves me to ponder my escape mechanisms of reading, movies and TV to live out certain experiences that I yearn for. Of having drama, conflict love, loss and joy saturating my attention, so as to fulfill my emotional fix.

It is like a drug and one that I hope to control as I realise that if I don't put in an effort in to create these experiences in real life, then all I have to look back on is an empty passive comfy life that draws meaning from the stories that others have wrote for me to show what it could be like.

To get to the reality of the thing that stops you, find the payoff you are getting from doing/not doing it. What is the fear and then you can get to the truth where you are left with a choice. Then choose, choose your dream, or choose your past.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Virtual Team notes

source: Mike Bennet of

"Growing a Tribal Software Company with Integrity"

We are a Network, not a Hierarchy: People’s job really was Their Job. I needed to know what was going on and we’d have some meetings – but the initiatives were mostly theirs. This was helped by everyone working from homes all over the UK linked by phone and email.
To encourage unconventional thinking, flexible and continuously changing structures, self-organisation, empowerment
and generally behaving like proper human beings: This helped to provoke people into doing new things. One response to plans I found useful was “It’s a bit boring”. Not telling them what to do – but pushing them to go farther.
To speak the Truth - even if apparently to our disadvantage: Radical!
To take the largest possible view of any situation - including the customer, the patient, society, the environment, the
Universe and ourselves: If you design a business model and software that meets the needs of everyone in the best way, it puts you way ahead.
To understand everything from first principles: It’s often things that we take for granted that obstruct great ideas.
To produce outstanding software that makes customers say “WOW!”: (Thanks, Tom Peters.)
People responded amazingly to all of this. For example, the 5 person self-organising support team were on a demanding 24 / 7 schedule with a guaranteed 30 minute response – and took pride that they were achieving under 5 minute response times. And we could change direction as a company very fast – far faster than our competitors (who were all huge)!

You do need to recruit the right people – they need to be happy working without close supervision and to relish freedom – not be afraid of it. For the right people it was a great environment, and they gave far more to the company than they would have to a normal company. They were committed! Totally.

I found that the role of the MD / tribal leader is coach more than CEO, people development not “The Decider”, values not orders. The Visionary and also the person who keeps it all together by ensuring we’re mostly going in the same direction. You only actually need one person to set it up – provided that they are in charge and don’t have to negotiate with others who are more concerned about the money or have other values (like wanting power for instance).

Part of the background that I brought to this was lots of time in various spiritual groups – and I wanted to use that experience in designing and running the company. What would the company have to look like to attract people trying to live at the highest level of spiritual integrity? Well, we didn’t in fact recruit anyone like that – but it still set a standard of behaviour within the company."

Monday, October 27, 2008

looking into the facade that reflects the illusion

Anthony @ Bonbeach

What does the things we wear and the way we wear it say about us?
How much of it is an accurate reflection of who we or or what we want others to perceive of us?
What is it that we seek to control?
Just thinking upon these questions, makes me wonder if we use clothing, objects and artifacts to create an extra layer or filter of identity to the world.
Akin to a facade, by wearing a luxury brand may signify to the world you are wealthy, you have taste, maybe quality or bring a set of behaviours that may be associated with that brand.
It also gives your peers a shortcut into the set of prescribed rules/behaviours into how they relate to you.
If clothing helps determine what "tribe" you belong to, then what happens when that extra layer of material identity gets stripped away, and we are left but to look at the bare body or our focus may be the eyes of another human being.
What about with the knowledge that everyone else is also looking at you -- how self conscious of the state of your body would you be? or the filters that normally get applied to others, in turn comes realised to the one looking back the mirror? How confronted will you be?
That unconscious desire for physical perfection, to be godlike perpetrated by advertising that floods our visual senses daily. This dream of an impossible beauty by consuming whatever is being sold.
If this is the norm than what is the alternative? to barricade oneself from media or cityscapes and hang out in the mountains?

How can one manage this, or at the very least bring the unconscious conscious? What about children growing up in such a media soaked environment, the advent of a "poser" generation is more likely with access to cheap digital recording tools.

Some of my ideas:
Turn off TV, pack your bags and get out of the city for a bit and find other beauty that nature offers, read a book rather than your gossip magazine, practise conversation rather than wait passively for entertainment to engage your thoughts or just stop thinking so much and be aware of or curious about everything around you

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The circle of credit and "culture of contentment"

Jasmin @Bonbeach, Mornington Pennisula, Melbourne, Australia.

Quick simple summery for myself about the credit crisis

notes from: Fiona Allen ""

1. Deregulation of the mortgage lending market intended to allow more people to have the opportunity to own their own homes

" The subprime mortgage market — lending to people whose income is too low, insecure or risky to qualify for an ordinary mortgage. "

"Selling the most sophisticated of financial products to the most vulnerable households came at the end of two decades of financial deregulation, which was also a period of rapidly rising housing expenditure. Between the 1950s and 1970s in the English-speaking countries, housing overtook food as the largest single expenditure for the average household."

2. Results in people having "The maximum amount a ‘typical couple’ could afford to borrow under standard lending rules jumped from $135 000 in 1992 to $305 000 in 2006."

3. Rising house prices soon overtook rising incomes, borrowing capacity and purchasing power.

Conclusion - Allowing people who cannot really afford to borrow money encourages them to spend that extra cash, inducing a overvaluation of property prices, thus putting them more into a debt that they really can't afford long term and eating into their ability to save and spend.

All this income going into house debt repayments makes Jan unhappy as she doesn't get to spend money as a consumer, which inturn affects retail which affects wholesalers and manufacturers.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Three birthdays in one

celebrating our birthdays (me, Trung and Phong) with my family with a Peking Duck dinner - all ducked out for this month

Monday, October 06, 2008

image unconscious

As she left my side,
a magnificent beauty etched forever into the memories of yesterday,
leaving ripples of loss in her wake,
saddened and breathless,
I am left frail always dreaming of the encounter.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Clarity and other advertisements

Seagulls taking a bath to cool themselves down, Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia.

Just some moments of clarity worth noting for myself during my yoga session.

What I learnt today:

1. You need to ask yourself the right questions.
e.g What would success mean for me? What would I be doing? Who would I be with?
How do I take what I learn and customise it to my unique story?

2. Focusing on one right thing gives you much more power than trying to juggle and be aware of 10 different strategies

3. If you are out of integrity with yourself, how do you expect to have integrity with others?
(e.g if you break little promises to yourself then you drain away confidence, faith and power in your intentions)

Today I had my best practice so far in yoga because of the realisation of how I shaped my thoughts during the postures and the presiding thoughts.

I focused on my breathing and also feeling how fast my heart was beating during rest.

The thought that was going through my mind was "draw strength from each breath" which helped me just focus on that 1 thing, rather than a multitude of distractions such as
- goddamn it's hot in here, I'm losing my balance, when is she gonna tell us to stop, so thirsty...etc

Also having a positive rapport and encouragement from the teacher got me to a good start.

Which brings me back to the main point.... what kind of thoughts get repeated during your times of distress? as opposed to moments of insight?
Can you actually write them down, do they make sense to your life? I think I appreciated these particular moments today because it had me asking the right questions about myself and how I viewed the world.

What does it all meant to mean?
What's the point of discovering truth and insight?
If it has worked for someone else, can it work for me?

If I want to be happy, one of the ways I can do that is meditate on compassion.... what does compassion actually mean to me?
How do I express it within my world? Is it alleviating suffering to those closest to me? Is it doing the dishes?

My point being is that even if we come across prescribed solutions that work and are popular, we need to cater it to our unique story, one's expression of love is anothers' version of hate. Firstly define what it really means to us, and endeavour to get a better picture of those around us so that when we go about doing things with the best intentions, that they are received as such.

Upon being able to focus on that one thought "draw strength form your thought" I realised how noisy my mind is normally. A typical day starts with me
- answering 10 conversations
- following 4 or 5 different tasks
- exposing my self to 20 websites in the search of 20 different topics that I think I might need to know for a rainy day
- working on 6 pieces of software on 2 different operating systems
- figuring out how to do one thing in one program with at least 150 options thanks Adobe can't live without it
- all the while listening to some groovy music and messaging 2 or 3 people

I'm an information junkie and really wonder where all my time goes and why I finish the day tired mentally and sometimes feeling like I've haven't achieved anything worth talking about. I'm collecting information and having conversations that have puts me away from sharing the space and moment with people. It is a daily challenge and one that I hope to get comfortable with somehow.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Creativity and Rationality in business

Father's Day with my sister's kids

Notes from Marcus Powe's talk at the Innovation on Collins St

Innovation is the ability to deliver something (the key being the doing) and draws from a well of 'energy'

- good administration adds 10% to the bottom line profit of a business

- leaders must be at the start, middle and end of change in the workplace, where there is metrics to measure the before and after results.

- one of the hardest thing in being a consultant is the ability to listen, it is easy to prescribe templates, however each business has to create a culture that is a right fit for themselves and not to prescribe to one that may work for a fortune 100 company.

Identifying creativity blockers
Fear, Habit, Prejudice, Blind Acceptance, Stress

Innovation blockers
Poor communication, poor/no time allocation, no recognition, low/morale

more innovation blockers
Politics, tribalism, financial constraints, insecurity, change policy or lack of, no risk taking

Creativity occurs at every level of the workplace, one of the most creative activity happens in the mining industry.

'Ideas are worth nothing' find a way to detach emotion from idea as this has a habit of blocking commonsense and making you suffer.

Try and retain the ability / habit of daydreaming/playing around with ideas and concepts - have time to reflect and think properly.

Under the age of 10 we are more creative, after that we eventually get paid to be/act rational
This is a similar analogy to a young vs an established business, where eventually over-control saps away creativity.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Chop Book Suey - Flip by Peter Sheehan

Nieces celebrating their birthdays

Excerpts I found useful from the book

Points :
Four Forces of change :
1.increasing compression of time and space
2.increasing complexity
3.increasing transparency and accountability
4.increasing expectations on the part of everyone for everything.

Fast Good Cheap pg 37
In today's demanding market of global oversupply, global underdemand and nonstop technological change business need to offer "fast,good,cheap" plus something above these three necessities to have a genuine competitive advantage.

- to sustain a competitive advantage, you must commit to a perpetual cycle of innovation.

Design as a competitive advantage in the case of Samsung which came from a commodity manufacturer 20 years ago to being recognised as a "poster child for using design to increase brand value and market share"

In every category of product and service, the winning providers who have the highest profit margins in their fees and prices, are the ones that create a distinctive mind blowing customer experience e.g Harley Davidson, Apple

Crowds don't create innovation, they validate them.
In the global market place, the crowd will recognise and celebrate the best innovations. However these innovations don't come from the centre of the crowd, they come from the fringe. From bold companies and individuals who are willing to risk doing something different from what competitors are doing and off erring something different from what the crowds are currently embracing.
The best way to differentiate your offerings from the competition is therefore always to take the route least travelled.

Case for lead-user development
BRW article cites that products using the lead-user approach generated returns that were on average eight times greater than products developed the conventional way.
Eric von Hippel from 3M "This is not about traditional market research - asking what customers want. This is identifying what your most advanced users are already doing and understanding what their innovations mean for the future of your business."

Business is personal pg 169
2 things that attract and retain talent
1. the work that you do
2. the relationships that you build with your people

Relationships are simple but not easy:
most important key is to shift your mindset in believing that building great relationships will truly get you the best results.

ensure competence, deliver on what you promise, build trust via three previous steps and also the ability to listen, attentive and tone of voice. Have good manners

Using Wikis to spread useful and up to-date information e.g Geek Squad
Wikinomic: How mass collaboration changes everything by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. William

Action Precedes Clarity pg273
When we delay our action we deny ourselves the intensely valuable feedback that comes from putting the product to the test in front of a real consumer (or employee), who spent real money and is using it in a real-life situation.
Life and business move and change so fast that we put ourselves at a competitive disadvantage the longer we procrastinate.

Your best work does not happen when you are planning. Your best work happens when you are in the flow.
What decision have you been putting off? Make a decision now! Trust your instincts and go with it.

Photography and the opportunity to be a partner and mentor for customers as they capture the memories of their lives. Traditional photography printers offering digital photography lessons, digital photo frames, online services and scrap book design.

pg 293 Ask yourself: what opportunities are open to me, my career, my life, my business that are potential 'if onlys' tomorrow? What path of action do you think is worth taking a bet on now? Take it!

You want to say 'if only' less and less, as you become smarter, more confident and more successful. And the only way to do that is by getting comfortable with risk.

'In the long run, people of every age and in every walk of life seem to regret not having done more things more than regret things that they did'

Look Listen and UnLearn
pg 309
1. Keep moving - look to what your competitors have done that has worked and not worked. Look to other industries for what they have done, can you do something similar.
2. Make up your own mind -
* Decisions leads to action
* Decisions create momentum - The action that follows your decision will give clarity that was preventing you from making another decision in the first place, and now you are off on a positive spiral. Action, clarity, confidence, decision, action, and so on.
* Decisions create confidence - The decision does not only just give you a sense of confidence but also those around you.

To be a flipster you will need some degree of delusional self-confidence, a willingness to believe in your opinions and ideas even if the whole world says you are crazy. An air of certainty must surround a leader.

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcomings, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."
Theodore Roosevelt

further reading "Blue Ocean Strategy"

Monday, September 01, 2008

art of contentment short list

Positive Psychology
3 Types of "Happiness"

1.Pleasant life (as much pleasure/good emotion as you can get)
- extremely social, romantic relationship and rich repertoire of friends

2.Good life (Life of engagement)
- being in "flow" what you do
- crafting your life to enhance your highest strengths

3.The Meaningful life
- contributing to causes greater than yourself

Pleasure Vs Flow (Raw Emotions vs Non-feeling)

Meditating on compassion

1. The mind can be trained
2. Emotions come and go, but your consciousness is deeper

My thoughts

I think it is good to be aware that there are different types of happiness, that it can be cultivated and most importantly, to distinguish pleasure and true happiness.

This seems to come up in both videos, and from experience, causes me the most questions. Not all of us can spend all day meditating on compassion, however it maybe useful for 10mins a day to give your mind a break from all that thinking; just like a car engine may need to sit on idle to prepare for the daily grind and run better.

And when was the last time you expressed gratitude for the most important people in your life?
Do we have time for it in this age of noise and entertainment that distracts us for our attention? I know I haven't and find it hard to open up like that face to face, hidden behind the protective social facades.

Is it necessary for us to share our wealth and skills for the greater good of strangers whom we may never meet?

At the end of the day how can we train the mind on compassion, to infuse it to the point where kindness pervades our thoughts, like an athlete trains his mindy/body to work without too much conscious thought..

the art of contentment

I've been thinking a lot about happiness, and so I happened to come across some web videos that offer what I think are very good summaries of it:

from a Western perspective -

and a Eastern perspective -

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

writing the stories with my eyes

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. The purpose of human life is to serve and to show compassion and the will to help others. Creativity is the ability to introduce order into the randomness of nature. Life is an exciting business and most exciting when it is lived for others. You cannot do much about the length of your life, but you can do a lot about its depth and width."

Saturday, August 09, 2008

@speed of consumption

Swan at Lake Constance, Germany

Just a relay back to the idea of happiness - "I need more to be happy" is sometimes the thought that reverberates as I toil through the day. Being exposed to more and more change, and experiences drives me to seek a release from the mundane.

It is this non-appreciation of how far I have come and fortunate I have been, that sometime used by me to push myself. Though it is a very poor way of motivation, I have to say. Being motivated by dissatisfaction of one's circumstances will only be fulfilled until the next set of wants.

On the flipside, I am also motivated by contributing to somebody else's success, being able to help those in their time of need, or even if things they haven't considered. Why do we come across these emotions/thoughts that either are toxic for our psyche i.e greed, envoy, lust, apathy vs uplifting ie. inspiration, joy, humour?

There must be some self-serving reason for this sins/toxic feelings... is it to protect ourselves/self esteem/ego? Can I increase my happiness by just focusing on the basics...YES! but how can I still do that if I surround myself with material complexity?

Reduce the complexity? have less things to maintain thus, reducing their need to bother you? or just worry about the important things?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Of rainbow skies and starry-eyed facades

I came across a sentence that seems to be pertinent to my feelings, and in a way gives me an awareness of the unsettled thoughts that sometimes pervade my otherwise tranquil and comfortable space.

"I cannot know where I most wish to be because I have not seen all that there is."

Monday, July 14, 2008

Tales from the other end of the leash

My thoughts of contemplation whilst enjoying the simple pleasure of walking my dog...


I've been thinking about fulfillment and how as we grow older, it seems that we require or demand more of the world or of ourselves to feel/be happy. Well it is what I am realising at the moment for me personally, and I am sure it this sentiment echoes for more than a number of people.

When you are young, your experience is limited to your immediate surroundings, learning, navigating and discovering this world both real and imaginary. As you get older, you have several experiences to compare, and it is exactly this comparison which sometimes takes away the simple pleasures that we took for granted as a kid.

E.g When I was a refugee, not yet 4 years old, our family of nine was escaping from the remnants of the defeat of South Vietnam. I recall the only thing that we ate during what would have been quite a tough, long walk from Vietnam to Thailand's refugee camps, was rice and salt.

That's all I can remember eating during that journey, for breakfast or lunch, actually it probably was once a day. Then, as we finally arrived at the camp, I had my first taste of sardines with tomato sauce. Boy, was I was in rapture!! this sweet yet sourly taste, was to me the best thing I ever had in yet my young experience, tasted. As you would have guessed, no more rice and salt to this day, although everytime I occasionally have sardines, I feel a certain sense of contentment to how far I've come since those circumstances.

The ability to seemingly run faster than the wind, the first stolen kiss of your young lovers' lips, and the unforgettable sound of the ocean still resonating in your memory the first time you put your ears to a seashell.

So do I need a nice fancy car, a huge house and expensive clothes to attain my next level of fulfillment? I might if I listen to enough ads.

Although travelling around during the past 3 years, with all of my possesions bundled up in my large heavy back pack (sometimes being poor has its moments ), my wealth wasn't measured by how much I had in my backpack, it came from the people I got to meet and know. True wealth, I realised came from the richness of your relationships.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Web browser statistics

Just some research I'm looking at for trends in internet usage, so it saves you from looking..

As the world’s most popular search engine, Google record the user agent client version data from the billions of web searches made by an estimated 75% of Internet users, and is therefore one of the organisations most likely to be able to provide an assessment of the current state of web browser security (Microsoft’s MSRT also has excellent data, but only for the ~450 million users regularly running Windows Automatic Updates). However, for obvious privacy reasons, this data has not been made available to the public.

An interesting survey was released yesterday by Google Switzerland, IBM ISS and the Computer Engineering and Networks Laboratory of the University of Zurich, which provides the first systematic study of the browser data from around 1.4 billion Google users during the first half of 2008. They analysed Google’s client version data and correlated this with vulnerability data from sources such as Secunia’s PSI, in an attempt to assess how many vulnerable browsers were in circulation at a particular time.

The results are very interesting, with Internet Explorer taking 78% (1.1 billion) of the browser share and Firefox getting 16% (227 million). Drilling down deeper into the IE market share shows roughly half of IE users have now moved to IE7, whilst most FF users run the latest release. More worryingly, less that 50% of IE uses had the most secure version of their browser (rising to 83% in FF). For the month of June 2008, the authors suggest that over 45% web surfers (roughly some 637 million people) accessed Google with a browser that contained unpatched security vulnerabilities.


Sunday, July 06, 2008

within the chaos inside

Sunrise in Schwaebisch Hall Bahnhof

A question of identity, memory and faith

I've spent 2 months back in Australia now, and still trying to adjust to the sense of having my thoughts to being here. Actually, just having the sense of anchoring myself to a place during the travels of the last 3 years has been a new experience that is both exciting and at the same time like cutting yourself from who you were originally, painful and lonely.

It is this sense of belonging that I feel for me; brings meaning to place, the people and your thoughts. What if you don't feel you belong to your past anymore?

That you have been so used to change, adaption, of strangeness, of discovery, knowing that you are a temporary moment that leaves a ripple in the sand, only to be washed away with the coming tide of change.

What if we could replace our memories selectively? because who we are at this very moment comes from the recollection of who we were yesterday, the day before..... ten years ago.

To a degree, this retrieval of identity is circumspect, as who can really say that their recollection of the past is infallible? So in a sense the Buddhist/Zen belief that we are walking around in disreality starts to gain traction. The world we create, contributed by past memories is but one perspective coloured by emotion, exaggeration, and ego amongst things.

So where is the real you hiding?

Random thoughts I had whilst walking my dog Yasmin...

Rules of the simple life

It's not "me me me me" it's "what about you?"
It's not "buy buy buy" it's "I have enough.."
It's not "what's next..." it's "savouring the moment..."

Monday, June 16, 2008

project management 101

Estimating: What and How to Charge

Estimating projects is a developed skill - it will mostly depend on your ability to properly estimate scope (how big is the project really?) and client management (how much time will it take to educate and control the client?).

When to invoice?

Invoicing expectations should be established prior to the start of work. A normal payment schedule is 30% upon approval of the proposal or Project Plan, 30% upon approval of the visual look and feel, and the remainder upon delivery of the final site. Be clear that any additional charges will be clearly identified and approved at any point in the development process where they apply and that those charges will be added to the final invoice.

source: resource:

Friday, June 13, 2008

Stuck in time

The “abstract framework of divided time” became “the point of reference for both action and thought.” --the impact of clocks on human behaviour

In deciding when to eat, to work, to sleep, to rise, we stopped listening to our senses and started obeying the clock.


From the article- Is Google making us dumber?

When the Net absorbs a medium, that medium is re-created in the Net’s image. It injects the medium’s content with hyperlinks, blinking ads, and other digital gewgaws, and it surrounds the content with the content of all the other media it has absorbed. A new e-mail message, for instance, may announce its arrival as we’re glancing over the latest headlines at a newspaper’s site. The result is to scatter our attention and diffuse our concentration.

The Internet is a machine designed for the efficient and automated collection, transmission, and manipulation of information, and its legions of programmers are intent on finding the “one best method”—the perfect algorithm—to carry out every mental movement of what we’ve come to describe as “knowledge work.”

Most of the proprietors of the commercial Internet have a financial stake in collecting the crumbs of data we leave behind as we flit from link to link—the more crumbs, the better. The last thing these companies want is to encourage leisurely reading or slow, concentrated thought. It’s in their economic interest to drive us to distraction.

As we are drained of our “inner repertory of dense cultural inheritance,” Foreman concluded, we risk turning into “‘pancake people’—spread wide and thin as we connect with that vast network of information accessed by the mere touch of a button.”

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Thai in Melbourne, thanks to Rob and his family

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

transpiration of thoughts

I am the moment that has just passed, where eternity and memory collide.
I am the loneliness reaching out and yet reaching in.
I am the weakness between us and the strength that holds us together.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

London's best parks and gardens

View from The Strand, London, duotone
  • The biggest
    Richmond Park
  • with Mazes
    Crystal Palace Park (free)
    Hampton Court (entrance fee)
  • Rollerblading
    Hyde Park
  • Views
    Alexandra Park, Crystal Palace, Greenwich Park, Hamstead Heath, Richmond Park, Waterlow Park
  • Walks
    Princess Diana of Wales Walk, Jubilee Walk, Parkland Walk, Regent's Canal
  • Most Secret
    College Garden, Secret Garden (Regent's Park)
  • Riverside views
    Battlesea Park, Greenwich Park, Marble Hill Park, Richmond Park, Syon Park
  • Coffee
    Battlesea Park, Kennington Park, Thames Barrier Park
  • Budget Cafes
    Chiswick Park, Tooting Bec Common, Weavers Fields
  • Butterflies
    Alexandra Park, Syon Park Butterfly House
  • Bird Watching
    Alexandra Park, Hampstead Heath, Richmond Park, Highgate Wood, Queen's Wood, Regent's Park (waterfowl)
  • Art Galleries
    Battlesea Park, Regent's Park, Kensington Gardens
  • Animals
    Battlesea Park, Regent's Park, Richmond Park (deer)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

London's best museums and galleries

View from our new office at dusk, The Strand, London, UK at

SShort compilation of places to visit in London:

  • British Library
    96 Euston Rd, London
    (Diamond Sutra - earliest printed book in the world China AD 868)
    (Shakespeare's folio, Beowulf, oldest surviving Buddhist scrolls)
  • British Museum
    Great Russell St, London
  • Courtauld Collection
    Somerset House, Strand, London 020 78482526
    (one of the finest collection of Impressionist and Post Impressionist paintings in Britain)
  • Horniman Museum
    100 London road, Forest Hill, London
    (World people, culture and environment)
  • Hunterian Museum, (Royal College of Surgeons)
    34-35 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London
    (medical science advancement)
  • National Portrait Gallery
    St Martin's Place, London
    (portraits of British men and women)
  • Natural History Museum
    Cromewell Road, London
  • Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art
    53 Gordon Square, Bloomsbury, London
    (one of 20th century's greatest collection of chinese ceramics outside of China)
  • Queen's Gallery
    Buckingham Palace, London
    (Royal treasures)
  • Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
    Kew, Richmond, Surrey
    (world's largest seed bank)
  • Tate Britain
    Millbank, London
    (100 years of painting in England)
  • Tate Modern
    Bankside, London
    (international modern art)

    Brett checking out The Crack, Tate Modern 2008
  • Wallace Collection
    Hertford House, Manchester Square, London
    (French painting, porcelain and furniture)

Monday, February 18, 2008

back and forth in time

for the love of beer, Belgo Centraal London

for the moments of friendship, Hong Kong

for the love of a stranger, Trafalgar Square, London

for the wistful moments, National Gallery, London

and the relationships that carries us forth

Been a huge break btw posts as I have been slightly addicted to facebook so less time for introspection, although I have been thinking alot about everything. Must write it down lest it disappears into ether.