Courses for Lifetime Employability

The Economist says that Stanford university’s Graduate School of Business prides itself on offering the world’s most selective MBA program. Its class of 420 students is less than half the size of that of its arch-rival, Harvard Business School – and represents just 6% of applicants, compared with 10% or so for HBS.

The school’s three most popular facultative courses are:

“Paths to Power” – designed for the budding Machiavellian. The opening line of the course syllabus laments that “insufficient sensitivity to, and skill in, coping with power dynamics” have cost many talented people promotions and even their jobs. The objective of the course is to make sure “you never have to leave a position involuntarily”.

If “Paths to Power” trains future leaders to conquer external opposition, “Touchy Feely” directs them to turn their gaze to their own public image. The course, perhaps the GSB’s most famous, has been running for half a century. Its aim is to help students assess whether the way they come across to others is the way they want to be perceived.

The third popular course, “Managing Growing Enterprises”, is not about small-business accounting. Rather, the focus is on how to deal tactfully in sensitive situations, when many aspiring managers are tripped up by an inability to find the right words. How do you lay someone off? How do you decline unsolicited and unhelpful advice from a big investor? How do you respond to a nosy journalist?

These courses are not just for MBA students!

I’ve seen enough assholes who fuck up their lives big time because they are not politically astute, are not self-aware and are insensitive.

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Sobering Thoughts

One statistic that is often used to demonstrate the challenge of aging populations is the OADR – Old Age Dependency Ratio.

It describes the relationship between the number of people who are “economically active” and the number who are not, and is usually calculated by dividing the total number of people aged under twenty plus those aged over sixty-five or more by the sum of the population aged between twenty and sixty-four.

It is a far from perfect metric, not least because it assumes that everyone in the latter age group is employed and paying taxes, ignores tax income derived through other means, such as wealth tax, and overlooks the role of monetary policy in public spending. But it can nonetheless give an indication of the scale of demographic change within a country.

In Sweden, the OADR has steadily climbed since the early 20008, with some estimates suggesting that due to the aging population, it is expected to rise to 0.92 by 2060. In other words, there will be almost as many people of working age as there are out of work. Compounding Sweden’s growing older population is the declining fertility rate in the country.

In Singapore, the number of centenarians doubled from 2010 to 2020. 1,500 people are above 100 years old. Two in three of these are women, as they generally live longer.

In 2021, the life expectancy at birth here was 81.1 years for men and 85.9 years for women, according to the Department of Statistics. Its data shows that there are currently also about 21,500 nonagenarians, or people in their 90s, in Singapore. Of these, around 14,900 are women and roughly 6,500 are men.

With government initiatives like Healthier SG, which aims to get people to live healthier for longer, there may be even more in the future who live full, rich 100-year-long lives.

The United Nations estimates that there are 573,000 centenarians globally. The United States has the most, at almost 97,000, and Japan has the highest proportion at 0.6 per cent of its population.

With higher life expectancy, it therefore becomes necessary to rethink our approach to education, work, and retirement. These three key stages in life will increasingly not be linear any more.

We must avoid becoming another Japan, where productivity and GDP have sagged as the elderly make up an ever larger share of the population, placing tremendous stress on the country’s coffers.

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I would never personally consider having myself injected with anything except life-saving medicine, but in recent times, I’ve been hearing of people “doing” Semaglutide.

The drug – sold under brand names such as  Ozempic, Wegovy and Rybelsus – has become the subject of public (and private) discourse as people debate the ethics and efficacy of its use, or rather, misuse.

This “miracle” drug designed for type-2 diabetes and controversially embraced by people seeking dramatic and near-immediate weight loss, works by mimicking the action of a naturally occurring hormone, GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide 1), to delay the digestion process, and thereby manage hunger.

But I have heard that people who have been prescribed Semaglutide, have eventually regained most of the weight they’ve lost.

Not only that, they put themselves at risk. There is a whole list of scary side effects including nausea, the risk of developing gallstones, etc, and other long-term harm to the body.

The US National Library of Medicine warns that the drug “may increase the risk that you will develop tumors of the thyroid gland, including medullary thyroid carcinoma which is a type of thyroid cancer.”

In addition, with everyone grabbing the medicine off the shelves, users are depriving those who need the medicine to stay alive, the diabetics for which the medicine was originally intended for.

Speaking from personal experience, there is NO shortcut to weight loss.

The science is simple: consume less calories and burn more calories than you have consumed.

In plain language: eat less and move more.

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Why the French are Dumb Schlubs


I try hard to understand some people.

They fly first-class to UNESCO World Heritage sites and live in super-luxurious hotels there or get driven by limos to rain forests to indulge in glamping – yes, glamorous camping, meaning, they live in an air-conditioned “tent” equipped with microwave ovens, refrigerators, multiple TV sets, even Netflix.

I am 66, maybe half my brain is dead and I am already one foot in the coffin but I try, trust me, I really try very very hard to understand why entire families jetset to Maldives or Mauritius to try to get skin cancer when they already live in Singapore, an island, with more than enough sun to cancerize their entire clan many times over.

The behavior of the rich and famous?

I also do my utmost to understand those retards who make a beeline to expensive private hospitals when they get as much as a mossie bite on the arm or a little bruise when they stub a toe. “Oh help, I need an X-ray!”

In my household, we self-medicate. That’s the first rule of thumb. We only go to the doctors when we are in our death throes.

The behavior of the rich and famous? And the stupid?

As stupid as the French?

For years, Miller High Life, an American beer, has used the “Champagne of Beers” slogan. In April, that appropriation became impossible for the French to swallow.

The slogan was first used in 1906 and has been printed on Miller High Life beer packaging for decades.

But it was deemed an “infringement” of France’s protected designation of origin for Champagne, the French wine region known for its sparkling wine.

At the request of the trade body defending the interests of French champagne makers, Belgian customs crushed more than 2,000 cans of Miller High Life in April.

The French are too petty. Come on, no one will mistaken beer for champagne. Miller referring to its beer as the champagne of beer is simply an expression, a figure of speech, a metaphor. It’s like us saying Harley Davidson is the Rolls Royce of motorbikes. No one will mistaken a motorbike for a car, just like no one will mistaken tabac 101 for, or Singapore Pipe Club to Singapore Pipe and Cigar Smokers, a legit entity, the only one of its kind in Singapore accorded recognition by CIPC. (By the way, we have a great relationship with the founder of Singapore Pipe Club.) Surely the French, thick and dense as they are, must understand that a metaphor is a comparison between two things that are otherwise unrelated, though with metaphor, the qualities of one thing are usually figuratively carried over to another. Miller is actually paying homage to the French. The French should bask in that glory accorded by Miller and not become so litigious.

Incidentally even the village of Champagne in Switzerland, which had traditionally been producing wine labelled as “Champagne” was stopped from using their own name on their wine 15 years ago. It didn’t matter that they were producing long before Dom Pérignon started with the production of wines in the Champagne region of France in 1668. The Swiss production dated back to 1657 and the name related to the village itself rather than the wine.

Not only are the French petty, they are big bullies too. In 2008, Marc-André Cornu was told he could no longer use the brand name his family had used since the 1930s. Three generations, beginning with his grandfather, had labeled their breadsticks and cookies – yes, breadsticks and cookies – “de Champagne,” after their Swiss village, nestled among the vineyards that creep north from the shores of Lake Neuchâtel.

Does that mean that French toast is next, or French fries? Or what about Belgian waffles and English muffins? And pad Thai? And Muay Thai? Or Sarawak laksa? Or Welsh rarebit? Or Parma ham?

And when I say to my grand-daughter that she is the apple of my eye, will Tim Cook sue my pants off because Siri listens to everything, right?

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Macron’s Faux Pas

“Got you by the scrotum ha ha!”

Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frédéric Macron is an idiot who is now the French president.

He fucked up international relations on a visit to China in April by declaring that it was not Europe’s business “getting caught up in crisis that are not ours.” In the name of “strategic autonomy”, he said, Europe should be not be “followers” of America on a crisis like Taiwan.

In one fell swoop, he undermined allied support for Taiwan, and helped China to further Emperor Xi’s ambition to divide Europeans and decouple Europe from America.

During a university campus tour in Guangzhou, Macron got the movie star treatment, with shouts of “We love you!” and rapturous applause from screaming student fans, a far cry from the verbal abuse he has been getting from angry protesters back home.

Not only that, he committed a major social faux pas by ignoring Chinese diplomatic protocol by inviting along Ursula Gertrud von der Leyen, a German politician who is serving as the president of the European Commission.

Macron spent no fewer than six hours in private, one-on-one discussions with the Emperor, including over tea in Guangzhou. von der Leyen got the cold shoulder treatment – her voice was largely unheard and she was treated with the bare minimum of courtesy. She was received by lowly officials at the airport and went through the regular passenger terminal rather than the VIP arrival facilities. She took no part in state dinners and played only a walk-on part in the discussions with the Emperor.

I am no high profile politician but Macron’s inviting von der Leyen reminded me of a birthday party organized for me some years back. Someone on the guest list came with two friends – uninvited guests, people I don’t know, they are his friends. I found it a horrible breach of social etiquette (not just because three of them came empty-handed) but what was even more unacceptable was the person left five minutes after arriving, leaving his friends at the party to stuff their faces with caviar and champagne, among other food and drinks.

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Even Hokkien Bengs have a sense of humor!

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Hardcore Porn Statue

What me obscene?

Last month, a principal of a Florida school was forced to resign after a parent complained that sixth-grade students were exposed to pornography.

The complaint arose from a Renaissance art lesson where students were shown Michelangelo’s statue of David.

The iconic statue is one of the most famous in Western history.

The 5.17m (17ft) statue depicts an entirely naked David, the Biblical figure who kills the giant Goliath.

The sculpture was completed by Michelangelo between 1501 and 1504. It was instantly hailed as a masterpiece, with Renaissance artist Giorgio Vasari saying David “surpassed” any statue that had ever existed before.

But one retarded parent complained the material was pornographic.

The lesson, given to 11 and 12-year-olds, also included references to Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam painting and Botticelli’s Birth of Venus.

Principal Hope Carrasquilla of Tallahassee Classical School said she resigned after she was given an ultimatum by the school board to resign or be fired.

Local media reported that Carrasquilla did not know the reason she was asked to resign, but believed it was related to the complaints over the lesson.

Also late last month, Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, a moron of the highest order, moved to expand a law that banned public schools from teaching sexual education and gender identity.

This is from an extremely fucked-up country where some of most hardcore, sickest, perverted porn – including childporn, and those featuring coprophilia and bestiality – in the world originates.

Yes, America, a great country where Pornhub alone gets more visits a month than either Netflix or TikTok.

Please, we don’t take our kids to watch Fast and Furious, and expect them to drive like Vin Diesel.

Nuff said.

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The Vanished


William smoked my cigars, drank my booze, ate meals I treated him to and even went for vacation I paid for. (At one time, I was a joint-owner of a small private jet.)

Then William met with a terrible personal crisis in his life involving his family. I helped him out to the tune of a hundred thousand US dollars. Yup, just gave him cold, hard greenbacks and not expecting him to pay me back. That’s just me. If a problem can be solved with money, then it’s not a problem. And money gone can always be earned back.

William was thankful.

But he disappeared from my life.

I’m not surprised though. I’ve had other people whom I’ve helped vanished on me too.

I remind them of the hell they went through so they cancel me cognitively.

Still, I am only human and it would be great if you tell me why you have decided not to stay in touch anymore.

It’s also about good manners and about being grateful.

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Obnoxious Upgraders

More than 80% of Singaporeans live in Housing & Development Board flats, ie government-built housing.

Mind you, we’re not talking about slums. We’re talking about safe, well-planned estates, with lush landscaping and excellent amenities.

Public housing in Singapore is nothing like public housing in most other countries.

Take a look at Northshore StraitsView, one of the government-built public housing precincts located in Punggol Northshore.

After living in a brand-new flat – very reasonably priced within the reach of every working Singaporean – bought from the government, you are permitted to sell it off. The government imposes a 5-year five-year MOP (Minimum Occupation Period) before you can sell.

Many people make huge profits by selling the moment they have completed the MOP. Flats being sold for over a million bucks are not unheard of. Last month a six-year-old 4-room flat was sold for record S$1.069 million.

Recently, Prime Minister Lee, speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony for Chong Pang City, a ginormous new integrated development in Yishun, said “This is the PAP government’s promise to all Singaporeans: that your HDB flat will be both a good home for you and your family, and a valuable nest egg for your retirement.”

People buy so-called “re-sale” flats because it takes a bit of a wait to buy a brand-new flat from the government. At the peak of the pandemic, the waiting time was around four to five years, up from the pre-pandemic norm of three to four years.

Other restrictions – like income ceiling – also result in government-built housing becoming out of reach to some.

So the re-sale market is hot and thriving!

Flushed with money, those who sell, usually quickly move to a privately-built condominium.

They feel it is more “prestigious.”

Living in a condo, driving a BM, carrying a Louis Vuitton and skiing in Austria; to many retarded Singaporeans, this means they have made it.

Yeah, pathetic, I know.

Below is a picture of a small private condo, with just 18 units. Usually, if it’s a hive of new upgraders, small condos tend to become shit-dumps and toxic nests of venomous vipers, where occupancy does not require a pass in any civility test.

Yup, some humans get to adult size quickly but their brains lag way behind.

They don’t know that the universe doesn’t really care about us anyway.

So what if you live in a condo and drive a BM?

Nobody really cares a fuck, to be honest.

Imagine! Hillbillies moving one level up. In their minds, they are now one up over and above the other 80% still in public housing.

So they behave like assholes most of time. The first affectation they acquire is a swagger. Yes, their body language changes. The males walk like they are suffering from Orchitis and their wives walk as if their cooches have been rimmed by elephants.

Amazing what money can do to people!

And when their condo appreciates in price, they upgrade to a landed property, usually a terrace/link house, so-called “entry-level” landed housing.

That’s when their assholerism also reaches a whole new level.

Not only that, they transform into narcissistic, vainglorious, megalomaniac sleaze bags and braggarts who think they are better than everyone else.

I’m 66, I’ve seen it all. I’ve met them all. I can spot a retarded asshole upgrader a mile off.

They need to beat the fuck out of their overly-swollen pus-filled heads, yes, hammer their fucking bloated heads back to their original size.

I am independently wealthy not because I flip houses.

You are no genius if you are rich because you have been flipping houses all your fucking life.

I know a moron who moves house every few years. That’s not how I want to live, sorry.

My brains, intellect and abilities earned me the gazillions I now have in my private bank accounts parked in offshore tax havens like Papua New Guinea and Lai Châu.

So, upgraders, suck my dick!

NOTE: Dear brainless upgraders, Papua New Guinea and Lai Châu are two most  impoverished shitholes in this part of the world, not tax havens. That bit was meant to be satirical, geddit?!

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Obnoxious Family Members

On a panel discussion I was chairing, I asked medical professionals what they find to be their biggest hindrance to their work.

Is it the heavy patient load, the inadequate rest facilities or insufficient nursing staff?

All doctors said that the number one hindrance to their work and also the most annoying is: family members of patients who phone them incessantly to ask for updates, even giving advice to the doctors.

“One woman identified herself as a ‘doctor’ and proceeded to tell me what to do,” said a doctor. He later found out that the woman was a PhD in Buddhist Studies from Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya!

“I once had two siblings making no less than 20 phone calls in a 12-hour period,” said another doctor, “the calls ranged from requests to move their father to a better ward, to telling the nursing staff what temperature to set for the air-conditioning to asking for their father’s latest blood pressure readings to instructing us what medicine to dispense, and worse, sometimes they contradicted each other!”

“Oh, try topping this,” countered an endodontist, “one man even attempted to ‘teach’ me how to carry out root canal treatment for his wife!”

“One angry teenager spat on me, kicked up a fuss and threatened to file a complaint to the health ministry when I refused to let her Reiki ‘master’ into the emergency ward to ‘lay hands’ on her dying grandma,” shared a neurologist, “this, when the whole world knows that Reiki is pseudo science. She should check the Wikipedia entry on Reiki. She’ll find that all scholarly texts and academic journals use Reiki as an illustrative example of pseudoscience, yet she swears by it.”

So, how then should family members behave?

“Excessive concern shown by family members troubles me more than it buoys me,” shared a surgeon, “this may not sound acceptable to our hashtag-woke world, but I live in the bullring, not you. Your wife, or husband, or brother or sister or son or daughter means nothing to me; my number one priority is not you, sorry, my number one priority is to treat my patient and save his or life. You messing with my job with your stupid and frequent phone calls will only do harm!”

One exasperated rheumatologist summed it up best: “We are trained, Singapore’s health care expertise and facilities are world class, patients from all over the world flock here for treatment, so let us do our work, your unceasing interference may even result in your relative’s death. Just because you have access to Google doesn’t make you smarter than us.”

Great advice indeed!

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