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Letter to Nam Kee (南記) (14/6/2015)

魏遠謀

20150611_205945 20150611_205948

本人在二零一五年六月十一日經過,於西洋菜南街,發現南記粉麵的西洋菜街138號福苑1樓的分店的裝飾並沒有留意到燈光以及位置問題,沒有照顧到食客私隱的需要,令食客有走光的危機。

希望南記粉麵能在儘快處理這個問題。在不大幅增加成本的情況下,建議南記粉麵可以加裝磨砂玻璃紙就能處理這個問題。

此外,本人曾擔任多家中小企業的顧問,如需獨立意見,可以聯絡本人詳談!

 

高子昂

二零一五年六月十四日

電話: 93475637

 

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How to crack the “literate illiterate”? (14/4/2015)

In my ordinary course of business, a lot of people are what I called functional dyslexic or literate illiterate (識字文盲).

illiteracy

Literate illiterate are people who are socially functional human beings, which means they have no problems in day to day task. However, when it comes to reading, they perform very poorly.

In most cases, they have the following problems:

  • Bad memory: If a sentence is broken up into two parts, once they get to the second part of the sentence, they cannot recall the first part, thus is unable to form a coherent idea.
  • Poor Reasoning: They know the meanings of words in a sentence but they are not able to form a functional idea of what the sentence is about because they are not accustomed to logic.
  • Laziness: They just don’t spend enough time and attention reading the sentence word by word, they claim they do, but honestly they don’t.

These problems can be solved by having a graphical representation.

  • By having a graphical representation, a 100 word description can be shrank down to one single image, thus saving space and memory, they do not need to memorize what has happened. They just need to look at a single image and find connections in between. Thus, solving the problem of bad memory.
  • By having an image, the reader does not have to know the meaning of the words, they can just see the picture, it will be so easy even a child can do it.
  • By having pictures, its much easier to motivate individuals into reading your materials, who like to read words when there’s a picture right.

In our modern day society, most of the individual I know are literate illiterate, they spend 15 years in school but they can’t perform basic reading tasks. So to take advantage of this situation and do good to the society. I believe a lot of academic material can be better conveyed if they are in graphical format. Due to academic inflation, I believe its much easier to provide graphical illustration to academic materials like HKSI, IIQE, CFA, FRM if they are in graphical format.

A study by the National Academy of Sciences also resonate my view, pictures are assuming more power in the learning process, especially with younger people. The dominance of visual media in everything from computer games to Instagram has given words a more subservient status.

The most successful illustrator I believe would be Tsai Chih Chung (Chinese: 蔡志忠), what he does was that he comicfy the Chinese classics teachings into a comical manner. Who the fuck wants to read “Kongzi” 孔子。

Choi

confucian

Do you know any comify artist

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Visiting Algorithmic Trading Group (ATG) (8/3/2015)

I was visiting the Algorithmic Trading Group (ATG) on 4/3/2015. ATG is a rarity in Hong Kong in a sense that they welcome new trades to join them and trade their house money. Traders are expected to build models which can trade stocks globally to generate profit for the firm and himself. Most financial shops in Hong Kong are looking for sales to increase their AUM rather than trading profitably.

The ATG office is a very hip and the trading floor is more like an internet cafe. Yet the atmosphere was tense like any trading floor, with the commander in chief – Tom Voute standing at the cockpit. They even have a pinball machine in the office, and dont be mistaken, its not for show and tell. It actually looks like a playground. If you are interested in seeing the trading floor, you can check out their website, they have a live camera showing you the actual trading floor.

They are currently planning to trade in

  • MIL
  • BATS
  • OMX
  • OSX
  • Warsaw
  • JSE

Basically, Tom is looking for programmers with

  • C# Programming Skills
  • Java

Interns and talented youngsters are also welcome, should you are interested to meet with Tom. They do not value financial abilities, rather they are looking for math majors or CS individuals.

They are currently running

  • Delta 0 Strategies
  • HFT Strategies

They don’t conduct directional trades.

I met Tom Voute, the founder of ATF on Google+ https://plus.google.com/+TomVoute, Tom is quite a character with a cynical sense of humor. You should follow him if you like cynical jokes about Hong Kong and the Netherlands.

 

Links:

 

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I hate it but I am grateful for it (22Feb2015)

The following is a list of 10 things I don’t like but I am grateful grateful for, this is writing in response to Claudia Azula Altucher’s book “Become an Idea Machine”. She suggested we do a little exercise everyday to train our “idea muscle”, so I did it. This is a response to her first exercise “Solve 10 Hard Gratitude Problems”.

I-am-grateful-for-sentence

  1. I hate the noise outside of my room but I am grateful for that because they wake me up more naturally than an alarm clock in the morning.
  2. I hate the lack of privacy of my room but I am grateful for that because the big windows also provide me with a lot of sun light during the day to motivate me.
  3. I hate the lack of transportation in where I live but I am grateful for that because it makes driving more pleasurable than a busy area.
  4. I hate the lack of transportation in where I live but I am grateful that it forces me to walk when I have no other option, great free exercise.
  5. I hate rude customers of my business but I am grateful that sometimes they are the only social interaction I have for the day outside of my family.
  6. I hate students that are lazy and unmotivated but I am grateful for that because I know how important motivation is and how hard it is to become a good teacher.
  7. I hate the low tech orientation of Hong Kong but I am grateful for that because it allows me to expand my business with not so strong competitors, so I can flex our muscle and have immediate gratifications.
  8. I hate low quality food from chained  chinese  restaurant outlets but I am grateful for that because they successfully deter me from consuming the unnecessary calories.
  9. I hate electronics with low battery capacity but I am grateful for that because I can allocate time more efficiently and lessen the strains on my eyeball.
  10. I hate managing mess because its time consuming and physically challenging, however managing it stimulates the brain and promotes “ideas sex” thus

 

 

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Workplace Romance in Asia? (16Feb2015)

(Written by Justin Castro and Conrad Ko)

So you eye Aiah across the hall, your eyes interlocking every time they meet. You know you want it, you want it so bad. It’s not like it’s the first time you asked someone out (unless you’re really socially awkward, then all I can say is I’m so so verily sorry) but this time it’s different; this time, you’re in the office together. The little voice inside your head says it’s a bad idea; it’s going to create a conflict between your work life and your play/”real life” life, you won’t know how to interact with her: should you be professional because she’s your colleague or be flirty because you want her sooo bad.

fig1

Figure 1 Workplace Romances are generally like this, with less attractive people. Source: Thomas Northcut/Getty Images

Workplace romance is well, workplace romance. It’s when there’s romance in the workplace. I don’t think there’s any need to explain that further. There’s no specific account as to when it originated, but if I’d have to guess it started way way way back, with emperors falling in love with their slaves or concubines. I’m pretty sure there’s a dozen television shows out there with a subplot involving someone trying to conquer some country while having an affair, all the while their wife plots her spouse in secret while developing her own side romance with a conspirator. But I digress, in today’s hectic work environment where people are almost always expected to go overtime; it isn’t surprising to see workplace romances pop up. I’m pretty sure most water cooler discussions in the office revolve around who’s dating who in the office.

And don’t think it’s just the day-in day-out workforce that gets to have these romances. The leader of the free world, US President Barack Obama, met his other half while interning in his first law firm. Bill and Melinda gates met at a press event, and got married six years later with a marriage that involved a private jet, another philanthropist-billionaire (Warren Buffet) and probably the most expensive engagement ring of that time. And of course, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. They met while filming “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” and eventually ended up as Mr. and Mrs. Pitt.

fig2

Figure 2 Brangelina. There’s no other couple as beautiful as this. We should probably just give up. Source: fanpop.com

According to a Workplace Option survey, nearly 85% from those aged 18-29 would consider having a workplace romance. That percentage decreases as the age increases, but it would be wise to assume it’s because some of those past the age of 30 have already married and settled down. As to why people partake in office romances, there’s a good variety of reasons.

The first and foremost are personal, that is the office romances are born out of the characteristics and personality of the people involved. This might be because certain jobs tend to attract people with the same interests. Anyone working in a startup would be well acquainted with technology, which makes it easier to start a conversation, which would hopefully lead to the start of a relationship.

fig3

Figure 3 Neckties were invented for stupid, sexy reasons. Source: Jonathan Ross

This is basically the standard romance, with the only difference being that the romance takes place in the workplace. The positives of having a workplace romance isn’t really considered, but it helps that it feels good to go to the office every day to see her, doesn’t it?

Then there are those that seek a romance for work-related reasons. Having a workplace romance increases job performance, or to improve job satisfaction or to have another reason to go to work…aside from work. There are also those that seek to improve their career, using such relationships to get themselves up the corporate ladder faster. And there are those that have one for the thrill of it as some people get a sexual kick from having a workplace romance, not to mention one that is extramarital in nature.

fig4

Figure 4 He’s definitely married. Just look at that grin. Source: askmen.com

However, don’t think it’s the same across the world. People in Asia tend to avoid such relationships as there is too much reverence between the boss and the worker. Singapore has around half of its workforce against workplaces romances, according to an online survey. This seems to be common amongst the Asian societies as they tend to be more collectivist in nature, as having workplace romances might damage the image of the company as one that isn’t serious about its work.

But if you’re not part of that statistic, then you should be able to reap in the rewards of having one.  People who have a workplace romance are generally more outgoing, have better productivity, have higher job satisfaction scores and are just better people to be around with overall (that’s the power of dopamine, strong stuff that is). But it’s not always rainbows and butterflies. As our early school lives have taught us, not all loves are meant to last. Once a relationship ends, animosity might develop and how the other officemates might see the couple might change. There’s also the threat of getting fired, if the relationship was a vertical one (that is, between someone in authority and someone who is a subordinate).

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Figure 5All these photos have white people. Where we asians at? Source: Huffingtonpost.com

So after all these pros and cons, you’ve decided to get a workplace romance. How, do you ask? Well, just go get one. It’s no different from asking else out, just be prepared for whatever consequences that might entail, be that from straight on rejection to, gasp, a potential partner for marriage. There’s also culture to consider. People in Hong Kong are generally more cosmopolitan and globalized but those that come from more conservative countries might not like the idea of it. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to try. The worst that could happen is she slaps you in front of the office for daring to suggest a thing. But hey, you don’t get to be Michelle Obama if you don’t take any risk in dating that odd guy who just asked you out. Just be sure that you’re prepared for the fallout if things go south, which might probably happens depending on how bad of a human being you are.

Oh, and if you do get married because of this piece, please do invite me. Weddings are nice, besides the happy bride and groom there’s usually the open bar for all of us cynical people who just want to drink our problems out.

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Figure 6 to be honest, I just made this post so I can show this picture

 

 

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Startup Postmortem – Startup Faliure (14Feb2015)

Since 2010s, the start-up scene in Hong Kong has grown substantially, however, the phrase start-up is common used as an excuse for failure. I have always criticized people for saying “it has failed because this is a start up.” “we failed because we are in Hong Kong”, in my opinion, the only reason you fail is that your business is not fit for the environment, no one  is interested in your product for the price you are charging, period.

When I was searching for start up failures in Hong Kong out of curiosity, I come across Startup Postmortem  (Postmortem.hk) when it was over. Startup Postmortem  is a gathering and sharing event dedicated for failed start-up founders and owners alike, or what they called a start-up failure conference

http://postmortem.hk/

Startup Postmortem has come up with a list of Youtube Videos and I think anyone interested in the subject should take a look at.

 

 

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Viral Youtube (13Feb2015)

This video is a demonstration of world famous penile artist- Tim Patch (a.k.a Pricasso). We bought his paint in Dec 2013. I took this video back in the adult expo in Macau in 2013. I posted this video on Youtube in Aug 2014, and after half a year, this suddenly popups and went viral. Amazing Youtube, you should never give up.

You never know when your video will become viral, probably a week, a month or a year. This is the internet, you will never know.

Pricasso in Macau [20_Dec_2013] - YouTube Pricasso in Macau [20_Dec_2013] - YouTube (1)

 

 

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Steal Like an Artist (12Feb2015)

Steal Like an Artist_ 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative_ Austin Kleon_ 9780761169253_ Amazon.com_ Books

I bought this book on 10Feb2015 and finish it the night I bought it.
“Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon.
http://www.amazon.com/Steal-Like-Artist-Things-Creative/dp/0761169253/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_yI

I must confess I bought the book solely because of the Title. Since I was fasinated by the idea of stealing and the status symbol of being an artist, I bought it without second thought.

Steal Like an artist is a short and easy read, I finished the whole book in less than 2 hours and did some notes in the process. Anyone with reasonable reading skills should be able to finish the book in less than an afternoon.

The primary objective of the book is to persuade you to reverse engineer the work of others and improvised it into your own model. Start a Phony and become a real artist is the premise of the whole book. Austin defines copying as the act to absorb and reverse engineer the word of others and immersing oneself into a space where one can blend multiple ideas into a complete set of idea and create something out of it, be it a piece of art, a product or a business.

Austin Kleon also suggest the readers to find out who to copy, what to copy and the reason of copying, since the world is a GIGO (Garbage In and Garbage Out).

Another interesting point he point out is that humans are more able to create content on paper or by physical actions rather than hitting the keypad. He believe that is because the muscle actions will stimulate the brain more thoroughly, thus unleashing the power of creativity. This view resonante by another book I read “The Anti Education Era” written by James Paul Gee. In this book, James Paul Gee also recommends the use of multi sensory input. The more sense involve, the better the memory will register. So I guess as a writer, I will try to include more sensory input to entice the audience to a higher level of engagement.

As of now I am pretty obscure, that could be an Advantage according to Austin Kleon. Because I am in obscurity, I can afford to experiment and be focused on doing good work instead of handling social task. And the readers can feel more engaged in my works since its imperfect. The readers can discover and find the bits and piece by themselves, by filling the gaps between it, the audience can feel more engaged. That’s why incubation and obscure artist always sells better than a fully developed piece and a highly recognized artist.

In the book Austin also stresses the ability to remain stably euphoric. He suggest any artist to keep some praises from readers and audiences and reviewing them when one is having a struggle.

Last but not least, Creativity is subtraction, and creativity is the struggle against limitation. That’s why when you are facing a writer block, entrepreneur block or artist block, try to slash some elements and create something out of a lot of restrictions.

He validated this idea by actions quite well by finishing a poem book called “Newspaper Blackout”.

Steal1 Steal2 Steal3 tumblr_ng4je2rdi01qafoq6o9_500

You can check it out on this link
http://www.amazon.com/Newspaper-Blackout-Austin-Kleon/dp/0061732974