Happy 53 Birthday Singapore!! 

Five Stars and a Cresent Moon

Happy 53 Birthday Singapore!! 🍰🎂🍡🍨🎁🎈🎉🎊

… past 50 already, gotta stop thinking just about earning more and more money. Time to think about larger things than money. Think for the citizens, for other countries. Do something for the larger earth village. For humanity.

May Singapore not just be a model for city town planning and financial services. Look forward to the day when Singapore is a place where others come and say

“We’ve heard about you and wanted to see for ourselves. How the country and people care for each other and live in harmony, without rife or fear, without harm or want.

Heard that Killing has stopped for the past 50 years, Stealing too, and Sexual misconduct, No more lies … oh and alcohol business just collapsed without a need for legislation.”

“How did you do that? We want to come visit and see for ourselves.”

Will this ever happen? Or will we ever even dream this way? Or will we spend the next 47 years chasing after yet more GDP?

May Singapore enjoy safety, peace and harmony.
May Singapore be a haven of safety for others, be peaceful and in harmony with others.
May Singapore be free of ill-will, enmity or harm towards others and itself.

May all countries enjoy safety, peace and harmony.
May all countries be haven of safety for others, be peaceful and in harmony with others.
May all countries be free of ill-will, enmity or harm towards others and itself.

Of catch-ups, past, future … and present?

When we meet up with friends, we would catch up and talk.

Talking about where we’ve been, what we’ve been doing … talking about the past.

Talking about where we are going, what we would be doing … talking about the future.

Nobody ever meet up to talk about their meetup … … the present!

And even when we talk about the present, like the food we are eating, it is what we have just seen or tasted. Or the scene of the movie we’ve just watched.

 

Because the present … there’s no words to describe it. No thoughts. No labels. No concepts.

Of Teleportation and Self-Driving Cars

When we read about teleportation, we think “Beam me up, Scotty!” ala Star Trek.  Teleportation is no easy task, some would say it is rocket science or more.  Well, it is at up till recently pure sci-fi, until scientists were able to teleport a quantum of data.

Most recently, in July 2017, Chinese scientists set the Record for the Farthest Quantum Teleportation.

Chinese scientists have just shattered a record in teleportation. No, they haven’t beamed anyone up to a spaceship. Rather, they sent a packet of information from Tibet to a satellite in orbit, up to 870 miles (1,400 kilometers) above the Earth’s surface.

https://www.space.com/37506-quantum-teleportation-record-shattered.html

While teleportation of living organism, especially sentient ones, is still some way to go, teleportation of material objects maybe in the foreseeable future.  A few key pieces of technology still need to be invented though, like a way to digitise every quantum bits of material, and do it fast enough such that we can use it effectively as a form of transport technology.  The first breakthrough is how to digitise one quantum of any material, the remaining part is improving the process.

A little like how the first digital camera takes 23 seconds to create one photo that is 0.01 megapixel

The World’s First Digital Camera by Kodak and Steve Sasson

Ok, so if all that is done, then what?  I say, go for the low lying fruit.  If Teleportation of Inanimate Object (TIO) is possible and is commercialised, supply chain, logistics and its line of support industries will go through massive shake out.

Imagine, ordering from Taobao and not waiting for a week or two for delivery, but a few minutes for them to teleport the item to your home or nearest TIO kiosk.

Groceries?  Done.  Shopping?  Done.  Travelling?  Check in your luggage and it will be shipped via the TIO terminal.  Your luggage will be waiting for you at your destination.

What has this to do with cars?

Imagine driving to work or shopping and not have to find parking?  Reached your destination and check in your car to the TIO parking station.  Your car will be teleported to some remote part of Singapore or the world.  Perhaps some offshore floating TIO barges or something.  Maybe a TIO warehouse in some off-world planet?  Costs more to transport, but cheaper to store.

No more parking lots needed throughout CDB or residential areas.  When you are done, just collect your car from the TIO parking station and drive off.

Just imagine.

But wait, what about self-driving cars?

While teleportation of macro objects is still some years or decades away, self-driving cars (SDCs) are already a reality.  With Tesla, BMW, Volvo and practically most major car manufacturers clamouring to have a hand in this new area, self-driving technology is experiencing a boost like never before.

https://www.theverge.com/2016/9/22/13019688/singapore-self-driving-car-nutonomy-grab-ride-hail-test

https://www.smartnation.sg/initiatives/Mobility/self-driving-vehicles-sdvs–future-of-mobility-in-singapore

While tesla has been receiving flak for its self-driving horror stories, it is a question of when and not if, self-driving technology can be solved.  It is here and will only get better.

TESLA NOW HAS another fatality to hang on its semi-autonomous driving system. The company just revealed that its Autopilot feature was turned on when a Model X SUV slammed into a concrete highway lane divider and burst into flames on the morning of Friday, March 23. The driver, Wei Huang, died shortly afterwards at the hospital.

https://www.wired.com/story/tesla-autopilot-self-driving-crash-california/

While it is all fun and cool to have the car drive itself, we should know that between take off and landing, commercial planes have been flying and navigating by themselves for decades already, with pilots monitoring and on alert.

Beyond the fanfare of self-driving cars, what does it do for us?

Solving Parking

Compared to teleportation, self-driving becomes a lot more down-to-earth.  With self-driving car, one could instruct our cars to park at other areas that are cheaper and not in the city area (CDB).  Or better still, what about a grab-mode for cars?  When you arrive at work, why not get your car to work for you?  Activate grab-mode and your car can go out and make some bucks for you while you work, instead of bleeding parking fees.

Think about all the cars that are sitting in parking lots every single day.  This would be a thing of the past.  Parking lots might well become a page in city planning history.  Why have parking lots when perhaps cars do not need to ever park except perhaps after 12am?  Would we all need to own a car to begin with?  What we are concerned about is transport, getting from point A to point B.  It’s like buying groceries.  We don’t really need to experience the going through aisle and queuing up at the cashier counters.  In fact, we would rather choose not to have that.  Now, I do know a friend or two who enjoy the NTUC experience and it is therapeutic for them.  And so they do not use redmart or honestbee.

With SDCs, we solve transport without the hassle of driving, parking and car ownership.  Perhaps this can then mean that we really keep car population to a reasonable cap while making cars available to most Singaporeans at an affordable price.

There will be those who still want to get their hands dirty and want to drive themselves around, feel the wind in their hair and breathe in the smog … haha

So there could be multi-tiers of car users

Tier #1 – Conventional car owners.  Buys a car and is still subject to COE.
Tier #2 – SDCs that open for Grab services, and can be owned by individuals, state-owned or by companies like Grab or cooperatives by grassroots or communities.

Cars under Tier #1 can be charged a premium while Tier #2 should be made much more affordable as it becomes more like public transport.  This can reduce ownership of cars.

Car owners under Tier #2 would own cars but would contribute their cars to a Grab pool for other users’ usage but have priority access to their cars.  Not everyone will buy this idea, and there could be a potential loss in revenue from COE, but it can potentially improve the overall transport experience.

After all what we need is transport, not cars.

Think about it.

 

Birthday Wishes

So last month, my best friend asked me to share my birthday wishes.  This is what I shared.

Best Friend Moi
Whats your birthday wishlist
mmmmmm
I dun really have much of a birthday wish … ‘cos it was not a thing for us at home in the past … to celebrate our birthdays
Ah so cute
hehe
So honestly if you ask me
So how do y’all sleeve your birthday?
Today if you ask me
Spend
Mmhm
If there is something that can really come true
from my birthday wish
If there is no limit to it
Mmhmm
I would wish for all beings to be completely free of defilements and suffering
But
Knowing that my birthday wish may have limited power
lol
Haha
I would then wish for all beings to be at least free of suffering for one day
It might misfired to be materialized for all beings from some other planet
But perhaps that may still be a lil bit of a stretch
Mmhm
? THAT WOULD BRING ME MUCH JOY ❤ (misfiring to be materialised for all beings from some other planet)
I would wish for all beings to cease any harmful actions … even if just for one day
Imagine for a day, where all guns cease to fire
THE PROCESS IS PROLLY ALREADY HAPPENING 😀
? Where all knives do not meet the throat of trembling beings
Somewhere kalpas later you see that the seeds were already rooting now
Where claws and fangs do not sink into the flesh of another
Where perhaps, even hurtful words are not uttered
Where people live free of fear and anxiety nod nod
Only the joyful melody of truth is heard
And beings have thoughts of care and love for all their eyes met
Joyful melody of truth (((:
With their heart at ease and in contentment with each moment,
no longing, wanting or craving arising
☺☺☺
It can begin with today
This moment
All complete and whole and at the same time, beyond complete and whole, where complete and whole do not exist either.
For if there is still complete and whole, then there is incompleteness and non-whole-ness

 

Relationships are like a garden

Had a counselling session this morning.  Shared a bit about relations.

Sometimes relationships are described to be like a pot of plant.  How well the pot of plant grow and bloom depends on the active participation of all or both parties.  If only one party is actively contributing, the other party will feel neglected or unwanted.  In the long run, it feels like a one-person ride.

I think relationships can be further described to be a garden, with multiple pots of plants contributed by the parties involved.  In the picture above, person A has an ordinary pot of plant (ok looks bare!) and person B has a pot of cactus.  Each person visits the garden to enjoy the plants and eventual flower in it and participate in water the plants.

The type of plants can represent the personality type or the needs-type at that point in time.  So for an ordinary pot of plant, daily watering and tending may be needed while the pot of cactus from person B may only require weekly watering.

Can you spot the problems that may arise?

If person A start watering both pots with equal regularity, pot A will thrive while the cactus may well rot.

Whereas if person B were to water pot A only weekly like the way the cactus only require limited watering on a weekly or monthly basis, then pot A will wither over time.

Similarly, if there is a disparity between the needs of individuals in a relationship, it can lead to miscommunications, anxiety, uncertainty and fear.  Unfortunately, without communications and understanding, then person A may start watering even more and person B even lesser or even resort to draining both pots of water.

This may lead to a vicious cycle that is unnecessary and can well be avoided.

Where the disparity is mild, most couples can deal with it.  If the needs disparity has widen and both party must swiftly communicate and very importantly take simple but active steps to work towards mutual trust and understanding.

Granted, if the pots in the garden have already withered or rotted, then a choice has to be made.  To replace the potted plants with new ones and start afresh together or to find a new garden.

In this day and age, sadly, fewer and fewer people are into repairing things when they are broken.  Most people prefer to just throw them away and get new ones.

So will you simply throw away your pots and find a new garden or work together with your partner to bring in new pots and start afresh?

Helping Others with Our Heart and Wisdom

So one day I was at lower pierce and saw some insects skimming along the surface of the water.  All was fine until I saw an insect struggling in the water.  Being kind and selfless, I reach out to save it.  Ok, it was probably not so heroic.  I just thought it was drowning and merely tried to fish it out … hehe

Photo I took of the mayfly scuttling around in the water.

I’ve dished out plenty of ants, houseflies, bees, tiny wasps from basins, toilet bowls, and yes mugs of water, so I was no stranger to insect rescue operations.  As I waited for the insect to recover, do some cleanup, I looked at it closely.

A picture from the internet of the insect that was resting on my finger.  Not taken by me … hahaha … This is more or less how it looked like, except that it’s wings was slum over my fingers and it didn’t look like it was in a rush to do cleanup.

Hmmm … … after a few seconds, something struck me.  It was like one of those Hollywood movies where the main character has a suddenly realisation of what actually happened!

I was not rescuing the fly.  It was quite happy cruising along, and as I discovered, it being a mayfly, it would breed in the water.  It was not drowning and didn’t require any rescue from me.  -.-“

That morning I learn something.  I learnt that we can sometimes make mistakes in our assessment of a situation and conclude wrongly that people need help.

Just as on the surface, the insect really looked like it was struggling, sometimes we may think that others have a problem and we have or are the solution.  The truth cannot be further from it.

When it struck me what was happening, I quickly put the mayfly back into the water and it didn’t drown.  I continued to buzz along, in the world of its own.

Sometimes when we go overseas to do humanitarian work, we hear of projects to build a modern toilet, to build this and that.  Is this an example of us looking at others as struggling in the water, when in fact they are doing just fine?

I’m not suggesting that we should stop our humanitarian works, but instead we should continue doing them, just to give more thought to them and not presume that we always have all the answer, or as a friend commented “What makes us think that transplanting our system to their country will help them when we ourselves are not necessarily happier?”.

Reminds me of the saying “A mud Bodhisattva crossing the stream cannot save oneself” … much less others.

泥菩薩過江,自身難保。