Malaysian political oddities

on Tuesday, 23 September 2008
I can't even begin to list all the obviously politically-motivated issues that's been hogging the headlines lately. It's really tiring to keep hearing stupid statements and silly explanations being offered daily.

RPK is now being forced to serve a 2-year sentence under ISA for allegedly insulting Islam in his blog, where he mostly laments the current state of affairs of the Muslim world from his perspective. Inflammatory perhaps, but I wouldn't call it insulting or threatening national security. That article states that cabinet ministers were "shocked" at seeing the contents of the blog. Strange that no one reported them being "shocked" at seeing Teresa Kok being arrested under the ISA for having allegedly told mosque officials in Kota Damansara, Sri Serdang and Puchong Jaya to tone down the call to prayer. What's really funny about that is that the mosque's involved had actually come out and stated that nothing of that sort had happened. Apparently, according to the "wise" Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar, she was arrested for her protection. I've really never even thought that a law like the ISA, which was concepted for tackling communism, can be used for protection of an individual against an accusation that was based on a blog post and a newspaper article based on that blog post. Wow.

Oh, and what about that reporter who reported the infamous "penumpang" statement by the now-infamous Ahmad Ismail? Apparently, reporting (and being a journalist, her job) about an incendiary and insulting remark is immensely more dangerous than actually making the incendiary and insulting remark. It's like saying the reporter of a murder is more than dangerous than the murderer. I wonder why Teresa Kok was arrested for "her protection" about something she was not proven of doing but this Ahmad Ismail was not arrested for doing something he was reported to have done... confusing eh? And after Teresa Kok got released? Some are more concerned with her claims of "dog food" being served than her wrongful detention in the first place. Sad.

And there's so much more I can go about that it's depressing. Hollywood can get a lot of ideas from our politics.

Tags are difficult

Lately, I've been trying to get all my Flickr photos organised but I can't even get well underway. I confess that I can be a real stickler when it comes to data or information organisation, so much so that I have "systems" for organising the books and ebooks that I possess, informal though they may be. I've also put off trying to organise all my videos, CDs, DVDs, but sooner or later, I'll probably do it.

I'm trying to get the photos and video clips all organised but I'm stuck at tagging. Here's Flickr's help on tags. I can get collections and sets mostly figured out on what I want, but tags is really elusive. I think the primary reason is because it's the nature of folksonomy to defy rules. Trying to put in "rules" for how I tag stuff is driving me nuts. Everytime I record down some guidelines for myself, as I work it in, something comes up and puts a damper on my guidelines, forcing me to review again. Argh!!

I suppose having board guidelines is more than enough for tagging and just forget about the specifics and the resultant disorganisation, but I can't help wanting to put in some order. Chaotic alignment I'm not. I really have to settle for guidelines so I can actually finish organising my backlog of "photos to organise"...

Free Teresa Kok, Abolish ISA

on Wednesday, 17 September 2008
To all Malaysians concerned about our freedom and future, and friends of other countries, please join our petition:

UPDATE: Good news, she has been released.

Want To, Have To

on Friday, 12 September 2008
Things you want to do and things you have to do. It would be ideal if your to-dos can fit into both. Our present society makes it a fact of life that you have to put aside things you want to do for things that you have to do.

Lucky are those who managed to find a large intersection between things they want to do and things they have to do. Blessed are those who find satisfaction and reconciliation with themselves for doing things they have to do instead of things they want to do. These people will find less frustration in life each time they look at the clock at night.

Are these people in better control of their time? Could they possibly have more time to spend? Do these people simply require less to feel content and satisfied? Perhaps the things they want to do are quickly accomplished? Or do they simply have less things they want to do? Perhaps it is a measure of selfishness. To be selfish is to want more for yourself. To be unselfish is to want less for yourself. A person is satisfied by getting what one wants. In that light, a selfish person is harder to satisfy, simply because it takes more to satisfy them. It is rather ironic that unselfish people are satisfied because they want others to have more. But are they really satisfied by the thought of others getting more? Or are they satisfied because their feelings of want are more easily quelled?

How do you make yourself want less? How do you make yourself happy by wanting less? The proper answer is that you should not want in the first place; and to be happy of what you have, not envious of what you don't. Sound advice indeed, but I cannot help asking: Are you happy because, deep down, you already have what you want and want what you already have?