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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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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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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

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“Paddington” – Calypso London in Christmas (2Jan2015)

(Written by Conrad Ko, Edited by Margaret Jarvis)

paddington-poster1

Score Card:

Unique Feature:

  • The first CG animated Paddington
  • Calypso Music in Christmas (Right Trinidad Music in London in Christmas)

Comments:

“Paddington”  is the first feature film about the iconic bear. Paul King has done a wonderful job in letting kids enjoy the film without torturing adults. The plot is basically one of self reflection,  a self discovery process for Paddington and his guardian.

There’s nothing new in the plot or any fancy new computer graphics. However

I should note that the film use of music has been excellent, if they had used typical music as a an accompaniment, the movie will be very monotone or a pretentious repetitive piece. Yet its breakthrough in using South American Music (Calypso or Trinidad Music to be exact) is pivotal. It blends in so well, infusing the Peruvian Paddigton into London in no time.

One could also expect this piece to be an artistic impression of London, England. I guarantee you this will be one of the best looking cities in the movies. The selection of distinctively British items, habits and slang in the film also draw the audience into the scene very effectively.

To cut it short, Paddington’s story is as old as bricks are, but the clever use of music and the artistic portrayal of London wins my heart in this one. C+ Plot A+ Music and Scenes.

London is the Place for Me

This is the theme song of the movie, please check it out, simply brilliant!

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“Women Who Flirt” – Wasabi Coated with Chocolate (1Jan2015)

(Written by Conrad Ko, Edited by Margaret Jarvis)

womenwhoflirt

Score Card:

Unique Feature:

  • The first time Pang Ho Cheung work with no Hong Kong Cast
  • Another Zhou Xun – Huang Xiaoming Movie
  • A play on gender stereo type.

Comments:

“Women Who Flirt” (撒嬌女人最好命) is Pang Ho-Cheungs’s latest romantic Comedy. It’s the first time Pang has worked with a Hong Kong Free Cast. I was expecting to see Pang fail without his usual Hong Kong wit, but the movie proved me wrong. “Women Who Flirt” is very enjoyable for Hongkies and Chinese alike. “Women Who Flirt” is a play on gender stereotypes and a typical Rom-Com, so one could expect the movie to be female oriented. The dilemma of Zhou Xun’s advances and retreats towards Huang Xiaoming were depicted actively and carefully by the director,and are reminiscent of 00s Hollywood Rom Coms like “Hitch”.

The bright spot in my view is choosing Zhon Xun as the protagonist. Zhon Xun is not an instant stunner, but she has one of those faces that grows on you. At times, her sassy moves in the movie are as realistic as it can get. Huang Xiaoming’s poor acting is to be expected; luckily his role in “Women Who Flirt” is of someone who lacks emotion and portrays insensitivity to his surroundings, which is enjoyable at times. To conclude, “Women Who Flirt” is wasabi coated with chocolate wafer. Sweet and easy on the outside, tear inducing on the inside and retaining a slightly sweet aftertaste.

Trailer: