First thing in the morning

I’ve been waking up at 5:30am every weekday for so long that I can’t remember when I first set that ungodly hour on my iPhone. Just in case my body decides to stage a rebellion, I have a backup alarm at 5:45am, ensuring I don’t miss the joys of early morning consciousness.

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An empirical approach to being nice (but not a pushover) in the workplace

In life, many of us grapple with the balance between being kind or assertive to advance ourselves, whether in personal interactions or professional pursuits. We’re constantly faced with choices: to cooperate for mutual benefit or to compete to gain advantage over others.

We are often caught in a dilemma because advice from management experts and life coaches often fluctuates between extremes, urging us to either always be accommodating or to adopt a fiercely competitive stance. 

In 1984, Dr. Robert Axelrod of the University of Michigan devised an ingenious empirical experiment to tackle this dilemma, based on an iterative version of the classic game theory experiment known as the Prisoner’s Dilemma.

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The End of Civilisation?

Classic liberalism is credited with ushering in the Enlightenment in Europe, a period that led to profound transformations in European society. This era, spanning from the late 17th to the early 18th century, witnessed significant changes in European politics, science, and philosophy.

These changes gave rise to societies that prioritized the pursuit of knowledge, the dispersion of political power, and the establishment of rational thinking as a formalized norm. This upheaval effectively rendered the old hierarchical power structures, rooted in divine authority, obsolete. Instead, a new hierarchy emerged, with individuals possessing knowledge and reason as the key constituents.

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Specialized Roubaix with carbon rims and saddle

I love cycling in the early morn. There’s nothing like the calming sensation of a cool breeze on your face as you barrel through the gentle morning mist along a quiet dimly lit road. The peaking rays of the morning sun, while not fully formed, warms the heart with a sense of renewal and hope.

I’ve been cycling since my youth. It was the only form of transport that kids of my generation use to get around. In that sense, I’ve been cycling for decades now but only dabbled into “serious” cycling around a decade ago. In that time period, I’ve chewed up 2 bikes and is currently on my third (and most beloved) bike, a Specialized Roubaix.

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Reflections on 2020

It’s that time of the year, when things quiet down, for a reflection of the year that was 2020. It is truly a unique and memorable year in many ways one for the history books. Generations from now, books (and documentaries) will be produced to try and figure this year out. Academicians and storytellers will try to dissect this year to distill its lessons and meanings for the future of humanity.

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Is 2020 going to be the year of the COVID?

This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 —previously known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19. Credit: NIAID-RML

It has been only 2 and a half months into 2020 and the world is already in turmoil. The new year started literally with a bonfire that ravaged through large swathes of Australia in January. Just before fresh images of singed cute koalas fade from our minds, Malaysia’s barely 24-months old liberal government was toppled by a rebellion within their own ranks. And before the cursed Sheraton Move fade from the people’s minds, the most consequential once-in-a-generation global pandemic broke out in March.

Suddenly, everyone who is not from China just woke up to the fact that a deadly novel coronavirus has been spreading within their borders and infecting large numbers of their population. Now, I have a lot to say about all of these events. But it is the last one that just boils my blood.

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