Kenapa Saya Takde FACEBOOKS

31 October 2009

(From Aidan Blog, 30 October 2009)

typewriter

  1. 100% daripada orang yang membaca entri ini mempunyai FACEBOOKS. Anda semua adalah pencacai FACEBOOKS.
  2. Saya takde FACEBOOKS.
  3. Ramai orang tanya saya, “Bal kenapa tak guna FACEBOOKS” dan tidak kurang yang mencakap “Bal ni ketinggalan zamanla” atau “Bal ni tak ikut perkembangan teknologi la”. Itu adalah tidak betul. Saya graduate dari Institute of Technology sedangkan mereka graduate dari University sahaja.
  4. FACEBOOKS tidak mendatangkan apa-apa faedah buat saya. Bukan sahaja FACEBOOKS malahan saya tidak pernah mempunyai “frenster”, myspace, dan etc. Saya cuma guna Internat untuk e-mal dan surfing semata-mata, dan juga untuk mengemaskini laman web peribadi saya.
  5. Cuba beritahu saya apa ruginya saya tak ada FACEBOOKS.
  6. Main flash game? Tak berminat.
  7. Buat online quiz? Tak berminat.
  8. Cari awek FACEBOOKS? Tak berminat.
  9. Keep in touch dengan kawan lama? Saya lebih suka guna cara lama: e-mal, telefon dan surat-menyurat. Ya, saya masih lagi menulis surat kertas. Semalam saya telah terima dua pucuk surat dari kawan saya di Melaka (orang yang sama tulis dua surat), dan saya baru membalasnya sebentar tadi. Lidah saya masih terasa setem.
  10. Pagi tadi juga saya menerima satu poskad dari bekas pelajar saya yang baru memulakan pelajaran di luar negara. Beliau tahu saya lebih menghargai penulisan yang pendek di atas poskad tersebut berbanding penulisan yang panjang di dalam e-mal.
  11. Walaupun saya takde FACEBOOKS saya lebih banyak keep in touch dengan kawan-kawan lama berbanding anda pencacai FACEBOOKS sekalian.
  12. Apa lagi?
  13. “Bal, ko kan buat bisnes. FACEBOOKS ni boleh guna sebagai marketing tool”.  Baiklah. Sila jawab soalan ini untuk saya: bilakah kali terakhir anda membelanjakan wang ringgit anda untuk membeli produk atau membayar perkhidmatan yang pertama kali anda menjumpainya di FACEBOOKS?
  14. Saya tau jawapannya, iaitu “tak pernah sekali pun”.
  15. Lagi?
  16. “Kat FACEBOOS boleh plan macam-macam events”. Untuk organize events tidak perlu FACEBOOKS, boleh dibuat melalui e-mal dan telefon sahaja.
  17. “Kat FACEBOOKS boleh post video, gambar, link, notes, chat, etc”. Semua itu tak perlu FACEBOOKS. Saya boleh post semua itu di laman web wordpress, dan chatting boleh dibuat di meebo.
  18. Siapa lagi boleh beri sebab kenapa saya rugi bila tak ada FACEBOOKS? Tiada siapa. Ini kerana FACEBOOKS adalah membuang masa jua.
  19. Selain membuang masa, ianya (FACEBOOKS) tidak mempunyai faedah yang nyata samada dari aspek sosial, ekonomi mahupun kehidupan seharian.
  20. Oleh itu, jangan lah ajak saya buat FAECBOOKS. Saya lebih rela melakukan self-castration daripada buat FACEBOOKS. Sekian, Wassalam.

Linkdump Friday 2

30 October 2009

Now for another installment of Dinklump Friday, where I share random links from my bookmarks.

(Disclaimer: I do not advocate the content of these sites nor the viewpoints expressed therein.)

Linkdump commence!

  • Ecce Libano. An erudite blogger from Lebanon. http://eccelibano.blogspot.com/
  • Failure Magazine. A magazine about failure. http://www.failuremag.com/
  • Perez Hilton. A Hollywood gossip blog. http://www.perezhilton.com/
  • Stephen Wolfram: A New Kind of Science. Stephen Wolfram is the founder of Wolfram, the company that made the Mathematica software and Wolfram Alpha search engine. ANKOS is his magnum opus, in which he elaborates a novel, finitistic approach to science. Wolfram is a brilliant scientist (in addition to a successful businessman), but some scientists are of the opinion that he’s a little bit of a crank due to his highly unorthodox methodology and some grandiose claims he had made in the past.  http://www.wolframscience.com/nksonline/toc.html
  • McSweeney’s. My favorite online literary journal. http://www.mcsweeneys.net/

 


WTF?

30 October 2009

(From Aidan Blog, 29 October 2009)

Somebody forwarded this email to me earlier today (subject: “untuk menceriakan hari anda”). This email is supposed to be written by a high-ranking government officer in charge of international protocol in an unspecified ministry.

————————————————————

Dear [redacted],

With refer to the above mention.

2.  For your information, [redacted] is making preparation on receiving your delegation from [redacted]. It would be grateful if you could insist me on providing the following information:

i)  Confirmed delegation name that will be arriving in Malaysia;

ii)  Any special dietary among the delegation so we could make special arrangement on food and beverages;

iii) Contact person of the secretariat that could be reach in Malaysia; and

iv)  Car/ MPV plate number for parking purposes.

3.  Kindly revert back to me by today for immediate action and if there’s any inquiries, please do not hesitate to call the below signage.

Thank you & Salam mesra

————————————————————

Oh my god. I don’t even know where to start.

“With refer to the above mention” ??????? mana belajar English ni? Nigeria ke?

“It would be grateful if you could insist me on providing the following information”. It would be great, not “grateful”, if you could string words together better than a four year old. “if you could insist me…”???? Damn…”assist” lah bahlul

Confirmed delegation name…”. The name of the delegation or the names of the members of the delegation? Sounds like the first one, since “name” is in singular.

Any special dietary among the delegation…”. A minor point, but i would put “requirements” after “dietary”.

Car/ MPV plate number”. Again, no big deal, but it is better to use “registration number” when referring to the number on the car plate, especially for international correspondence.

please do not hesitate to call the below signage MUAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA…this, i tell you, is a great MONEY SHOT. Just when you think it couldn’t be worse, then along comes “below signage“….HADUII WAKAKAKKAKAA apsal tak signpost atau signboard, ke alang2 tu sign language terus…MAK AIII WEKEKEKKEKEKEE…what a glorious ending to an epic failure.

I know it’s lowbrow to pick on grammar, but seriously people, if you are representing the GOVERNMENT OF MALAYSIA and you are in charge of INTERNATIONAL PROTOCOL, writing an official letter to a FOREIGN GOVERNMENT, at least try to write a fucking letter that doesn’t look like it is written by an idiot.

Adeh….camne la boleh jadi in charge international protocol nih…mesti kuat kipas udang buntut bos nih. Hadui takkan la basic competency in English dah tak jadi requirement untuk berurusan dengan kerajaan luar. Buat malu jer, hishhh…

I hereby offer my service to representatives of ministries, government agencies, and statutory bodies in Malaysia: to proofread and edit your letters for international correspondence, before you seal the envelope or click “Send” and further embarass the Malaysian Government. It would take me 10 minutes, 15 minutes tops, to read your letter and suggest changes.  I won’t guarantee the letter will be perfect, but at least it won’t sound retarded. Price negotiable. If interested, please contact the BELOW SIGNAGE, or if you prefer, the undersigned.

Signed,

-suhaimi-


On Giving Advice (Part 1)

29 October 2009

Today I will write about giving advice. This topic is close to me, because somehow, for reasons beyond my comprehension, people always feel fit to ask me for advice. I regularly get emails or phone calls from friends and strangers asking for my advice and opinions about some matter.

Before we go further, let me get two things straight. First,

I HATE GIVING ADVICE.

Second,

IN 99% OF THE CASES, I AM NOT QUALIFIED TO GIVE ANY ADVICE.

During my ride back from office today, I thought about this issue at length. In particular, I dwelled on three questions: 1) why do I hate giving advice? 2) what do I hope to gain if I am the one asking for advice? 3) why do people come to me for advice?

The answers are 1) read on, 2) read on, 3) no idea. For no particular reason I get more than my fair share of requests for advice. Maybe I came across as some one to turn to for advice. Entah ler.

Why Do I Hate Giving Advice?

Ok, move on to the first question: why do I hate giving advice? There were two answers I managed to come up with during the short commute.

First, because I am not qualified to give advice 99% of the time I was asked to. This is clear enough, and need no explanation.

Second, because I have heard terrible advice given so many times masquerading as wise and thoughtful counsel. And I have seen so many people fall for bad advice it pisses me off to no end. That’s why I’m getting out of this advice-giving business.

Let me elaborate. When you give advice, you are shouldering a huge responsibility. It is not a soapbox where you can portray yourself as The Great Sage of the Mountain or Dewa Pencerahan Agung and talk endlessly about how wise you are and how experienced you are and how others should be like me, me, ME! When people ask for advice, they are actually asking you to help solve their problems, not to give a lecture about “the Great Me”.

Let me stop you before you say “hey, it’s just an advice. It’s up to the person to actually carry it out or not.” This is where people get it wrong. When people ask for advice, they are desperate about their problems. People would not just stop you on the street one day and ask you for advice about how to live a better life. Most of the time, when people ask for advice, they are already in deep shit. When someone asks your advice about money, it means that his financial situation is terrible (otherwise, why bother?). When someone is “considering a career change” and asks for your advice, it means that she hates her job and her asshole boss. Nobody would swallow their ego and ask others for advice unless they absolutely have to.

And what they hear from you, more often than not, is what they’re gonna do. Do you seriously believe that people will actually ask fifty people for advice, and then weigh the pros and cons of each individual advice, do a logical analysis and synthesis, and make an informed choice based on evidence and logic? If so, you are irreparably stupid. People who ask for advice will often act on the advice they receive, for the simple reason that they are desperate, and having a lone voice of support is enough to make them agree with whatever advice you’re dispensing.

So remember that, when people ask for advice, usually they will do whatever you tell them especially if the advice confirms what the person believes in. This is called confirmation bias – people listen to what they want to hear. The people giving the advice should take it as a grave responsibility, for their mere wag of the tongue can affect the well-being of another person. So do not give out advice easily.

The average person asks only one person for advice before they make a big decision. Very few people actually take the trouble to get a second opinion, much less a third or a fourth. They usually go to their most trusted confidante for advice and what the said confidante says becomes action. This is another reason why advices are not to be dispensed so easily.

I apologize if I sound a bit alarmist, but please for the love of God don’t give out advice so easily. It pisses me off when people who are unqualified to give advice, especially in matters of great importance (religion, family, jobs), give out advice with great confidence and cockiness as if they know what they are talking. Try reading a blog written by a 19 year-old girl (you know, the one with blinking texts and 73 images of teddy bear on the front page), and then imagine that this 19-year old girl is somewhere giving an advice about life and love and the secret of everlasting happiness to her best friend. You’d say that her advice is cute, but laughable. That is what your advice amounts to. You are unqualified to talk big, so keep your advice-giving to small things which you know something about, like what brand of laptop computer to buy.

I cannot emphasize this enough: don’t give advice about the big, important things. You are not qualified. All readers of this blog are in the 18-30 age range, no pakcik, makcik, datuk or nenek visits this site as far as I’m concerned. This is my message for you young people. When people ask you for advice about the important matters like marriage, family, life, jobs, etc., ask them to get their advice from older people. Don’t simply blurt out smart-sounding potato mush just for the sake of giving advice. Be humble and admit you know nothing about the matter. Even if it’s your best friend to whom you swore your loyalty and cannot refuse any favour, REFUSE IT. Young people like me are naïve and we simply do not know much.

This entry is getting too long, so I’ll stop here for now.

I will write more in the next entry, to answer question 2: What do I hope to gain if I am the one asking for advice? Also, I am going to write an entry called “5 Reasons Why Your Advice is Poor”.


Olimpiad Matematik Kebangsaan 2009

28 October 2009

Keputusan Olimpiad Matematik Kebangsaan 2009 (OMK 2009) sudah siap diproses. Insya Allah keputusan tersebut akan diterbitkan di laman web PERSAMA (http://www.persama.org.my/) pada akhir minggu ini atau awal minggu hadapan. Tahniah kepada para peserta dan sekolah yang menang.

logopersama

Para peserta terbaik dari OMK akan disenaraipendek dan dijemput untuk menghadiri kem latihan International Mathematical Olympiad 2010 (IMO 2010), bertempat di UiTM Shah Alam, Selangor. IMO merupakan pertandingan matematik paling berprestij di dunia, membabitkan pelajar-pelajar terpilih dari lebih 100 buah negara. Pertandingan IMO diadakan secara tahunan di bandar-bandar terpilih. IMO 2010 akan diadakan di Astana, Kazakhstan pada 2-15 Julai 2010. Para pelajar yang disenaraipendek ke kem tersebut akan melalui beberapa sesi ujian tapisan daripada bulan Januari hingga April untuk memilih enam peserta terbaik yang akan mewakili negara ke IMO 2010. Insya Allah, jika tiada halangan, saya akan mengetuai kontinjen IMO 2010 kelak.

Lawati laman web rasmi IMO di http://www.imo-official.org/ dan laman web rasmi IMO 2010 (belum siap sepenuhnya) di http://www.imo2010org.kz/ .

Ini adalah contoh soalan IMO sebenar:

In a mathematical competition some competitors are friends. Friendship is always mutual. Call a group of competitors a clique if each two of them are friends. The number of members of a clique is called its size.

In this competition, the largest size of a clique is even. Prove that the competitors can be arranged in two rooms A and B such that the largest size of a clique contained in room A is the same as the largest size of a clique contained in room B.

Soalan ini diambil daripada IMO 2007 yang berlangsung di Hanoi, Vietnam.

ADDENDUM: Official Solution to IMO 2007


Old Website

27 October 2009

logobal(Logo taken from BAL Adhesives and Grouts — http://www.bal-adhesives.co.uk/ )

I used to maintain a website at http://bal.mit.edu (don’t bother going there, it was closed down in 2005). I ran apache server on my machine, which was on the MIT network.

I started writing on the website in 2001, after my roommate Waseem taught me how to download apache server. I was a techno-dumb at that time (still is), so he did all the setting up, and then he showed me how to publish text online using Notepad. Until I closed the site in 2005, I wrote all the contents on Notepad. There were no graphics, the whole site was just text file with occasional links and jpeg files. Simply black text on white background.

Initially I planned to maintain the site as a diary, where I collect my random thoughts so I can later read them to my family after I finish my study. I lived alone most of my college years, so I guessed it would be interesting later to rediscover what was on my mind during the time. But I decided to publish my site online so my close friends could read what I wrote.

I did not link to any site from my site, nor did I solicit links from others. However, I was surprised to learn that in the first year, I got about 500 unique visitors daily (not that much, I know, but it was surprising nonetheless). I did not put any personal information on the site, even my name and email, because I did not feel comfortable when strangers emailed me or requested me to add my contact to their IM. However, I slipped one day and posted a link to my Amazon Wishlist page (which has my email on it) a few days before my birthday.

It ended well, though. I received many items from the wishlist — I remember Awin bought me a math history book by Dirk Struik, and JaeBot purchased a graduate math text (thanks!). I received a few more anonymous gifts, including a novel (The Godfather), a book about Rube Goldberg apparatus, and the most expensive of all, a Sherlock Holmes full-series DVD (the one with Jeremy Brett). Until today I do not know who bought the stuff, but I thank them sincerely.

(I would be glad to learn of your identities, dear anonymous Santa Clauses, so I can thank each of you personally.)

The thought that there were strangers out there who bought me expensive birthday gifts was creepy at first, but later on I justified it by telling myself that I probably wrote something they enjoyed, so these are their tokens of gratitude.

And then I realized that I had really overreached. My “personal thoughts” had became anything but. From that day on, I decided to use my website as my bully pulpit. Some people liked my writing, but many people were disgusted by it (for those of you who had never been to that site, it was nothing like this one). It was great — I had the audience and the freedom to say whatever I like, in any way I like. I brushed off suggestions to “tone down a bit” and to be “bersopan” and to “make your undoubtedly good points in a less obnoxious manner”. I could write the most disgusting thought I had and my loyal readers were ever ready to lap it up. It felt good.

Before I graduated, rather than migrating all the content to another site like blogspot,  I decided to destroy everything. I deleted all entries from my hard drive. I felt so unreal to delete everything you worked on for the last four years, but I’d rather it vanish sooner than to prolong an inevitable death (lol hyperbole).  So in the summer of 2005, bal.mit.edu was given a proper burial before it was sent to the Internet graveyard — also known as the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.


Ebonics

26 October 2009

ebonics

what be Ebonics?


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