Friday Random Thoughts 1 | Week 3, 2018

Friday Random Thoughts, Jan 19, 2018
Random thoughts for week of Jan 15, 2018.

First post for a new series on random thoughts. In this series, I I rant about thing I’m too lazy to write full posts for.

1. We Are Brothers When It Comes to the Olympics

I’ll brag and say I wasn’t surprised by this. How North and South Korea stunningly went from potential nuclear catastrophe, and inspiration for apocalyptic survival videos games, to sports parading and camaraderie. (Within weeks!)

Not exactly a spring chicken, I’ve lived through enough tragedies to know real ones are birthed by incidences no one pays attention to. In fact, I’d say the more attention a crisis receives, the less likely the worst outcome is going to happen.

But … I’m nonetheless glad that people are talking and shaking hands instead of hurling threats. Let’s just hope that a certain deranged man a Hwasong missile range away doesn’t sabotage everything, by firing yet another of those appalling tweets.

2. Anti-Fake News Committee

There’s a lot of debate over this within certain spheres of Singaporeans. My own thoughts are these.

I feel there’s currently so much deliberate confusion over what’s news, what’s an opinion, and what’s a rant. (I’m doing a rant here) Naturally, when politicians are involved with such committees, there should also be concern over whether imposed regulations could be manipulated for political survival. Most importantly, whether ambitious individuals could leech the powers of such regulation for private gain.



Feels more sensible to me, thus, to strengthen institutions against sabotages by fake news. Rather than attempt to stop it. With a flashy committee.

3. A Humble Person

This happened the previous week. A certain Singaporean figurehead was spotted buying cheap stuffs somewhere. In reaction, some Singaporeans were aghast or scornful, while a handful was impressed. Among the more positive comments I read was the observation that the figurehead was “a humble person.” Simply because she was buying cheap stuff.


Humble … Written as a praise. An acknowledgment. Homage. Whatever.

I’d be blunt. I will never understand why so many Singaporeans equate humility with political suitability. Does it mean that if a politician is willing to go around bowing and shaking hands, or dressed in drab attire, or serving tea, he or she is assuredly a capable leader?

Were I to fully embrace my Cantonese heritage, I’d go as far as to say being “humble” is often counterproductive to strong leadership.

A leader needs to have 格 and 霸气. I.E., he or she needs to be outspoken, assertive, authoritative, and if necessary, aggressive, in order to be able to control the many types of people he or she would be in charge of, some of whom are bound to be troublemakers and shit-stirrers.

On the other hand, a “yes-yes-yes,” “let me take a picture with you,” “I live to be your servant” kind of leader? Very flattering to be with, yes. A great, if sycophantic friend too. But capability? *snort*


4. Singapore’s Ministry of Finance Pays Influencers to Promote Discussion on the Forthcoming Budget

Years ago, online PRC friends taught me one wisdom. 君子不挡他人财路.

A gentleman doesn’t obstruct the wealth building of others.

Well, I don’t think this should be the case when illegal things are involved. But questionable ventures? Lame duck undertakings? Hmm.

Oh, what the heck? I’d just say it. This is hilarious. This is, in many ways, also bound to backfire. I think whoever conceptualised the campaign is obviously uninformed about the importance of advertiser credibility. He or she is likely also hopelessly, irredeemably romantic.

So you lure (younger) people to partake in national discussions by promoting it as cool and hip. You use net celebrities whose fame are constructed on the, err, fluffier aspects of life. Would any good emerge from this? What happens when you build a house on the wrong soil?

Not to mention, the scripts of those who were paid … (Read them for a good laugh) But, 君子不挡他人财路. I ought to practice this. I will remind myself that at the very least, some beautiful people benefited financially.

5. Singapore’s Brief Winter

I have only one thing to say. Oh Gosh! If only this recurs every year! The joy of stepping out of the house and feeling, brrrrrr!

Trivia for you too. On the chilliest nights, I was actually a little creeped out by how quiet it was. Then I realised the silence was the result of no households switching on their air-cons. The amount of noise pollution going on throughout usual Singaporean nights …

6. YouTube’s Appalling Changes to Monetization Policy for Partners

This one hit me hard, sort of. My channel is one of many that do not, remotely, hit the new requirements of 4000 hours/per year and 1000 subscribers. After Feb 20th, I can kiss my few dollars of performance revenue every month GOODBYE.

I have very mixed feelings about this. On one hand, it’s terrible for the ego. What’s more, YouTube was the one who invited me to participate back in 2014. Now, so unceremoniously, I’m dumped. There’s not even any form of apology.

On the other hand, I have to agree this might be a necessary business move. Sad reality is, there are just too many channels with lacklustre content, and in the long run, what do these do except drive down advertisers’ expenditure?

And ugly as it is to say, I think when money is involved, people are often encouraged to shun creativity and embrace mass popularity. This outcome in turn generates a lot of unproductive suspicion and accusations when certain videos are not permitted ads.

Yet, everything considered, certain things still scream in my head.

  • For the life of me, I do not see how this move will prevent future Logan Paul incidences from happening. Don’t you think this might actually encourage more creators to resort to such gimmicks in the grab for views and subscribers?
  • On (1), shouldn’t it be YouTube’s responsibility to prevent future Logan Paul incidences? That is, if this was indeed the reason behind the change.
  • If terrible content by monetized creators is the main concern, then my question is, how did these creators receive approval to begin with? Why not just de-monetize these creators instead of hitting everyone?
  • The subscription quota has already set off a worldwide sub4sub fever. What is YouTube doing to counter this? Would it actually end up spending MORE money restraining sub4sub, compared to the administrative cost of paying us small creators a few dollars a month? (Which we can’t collect, anyway, till long, because of AdSense withdrawal quotas)
  • Would YouTube quickly become the playground of the rich and famous? Would previous small-creators stop uploading videos, because unless you throw in 12 hours a day and spend thousands of dollars on promotion and equipment, you aren’t even going to recover your electricity expenditure, till years down the road?
  • What’s going to happen with people who, you know, earned an amount just, just … … below the AdSense withdrawal amount? And then they got de-monetized …
  • What about creators like me? I cater to a tiny niche. Even some of the top players in my niche do not enjoy that kind of viewing traffic. So monetization on YouTube is impossible for us?

My wish is this. YouTube needs to revise its monetization policy, I agree with that. But perhaps less stringent new criteria? Say, a thousand hours? 500 subscribers?

Or maybe monetization shouldn’t have been possible to begin with. I hate to say this but I can live without my few performance dollars every month. I spend more on food (ciggies) each day.

It’s the sting of it. The way I was “invited,” then booted. That really sucks.

Sucks, big time.


I like to end on a happy note. So here’s a picture.

Kenner Boba Fett Toy Figurine.
My 37 year old Kenner Boba Fett figurine

On Monday, I read that this Kenner figure from the 80s is worth a mini fortune. That is, if the rocket pack is capable of shooting and blinding eyes. Mine doesn’t. (Rats…..)

But maybe I could figure something out. After cleaning, he also looks as if he just emerged the Sarlacc Pit!


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