writing.

I have a blog that doesn't really adhere to any fixed themes. From philosophy essays to movie reviews to shower thoughts, it really is the wild west. These days, I'm trying to Tweet more instead.

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What the heck is a digital garden?

February 1, 2023

So you’ve landed on my site (or not, that’s okay you can check it out here), and you’re curious about this “digital garden” thing. Or perhaps you’ve heard of digital gardens and you’re wondering if my site really qualifies as one. Well, either way, allow me to explain.

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Everyday it gets a little easier...

April 27, 2022

A couple days ago, I watched the season finale of BoJack Horseman season 2, and the final scene really struck a chord with me. Don’t worry, I wouldn’t really consider this a spoiler. If you haven’t seen BoJack Horseman, it’s a cartoon centred around BoJack, a Hollywood celeb who struggles with issues like insecurity and self-doubt. It’s pretty relatable, except for the fact that he is a horse.

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Not an emo post

April 19, 2022

If there is an experience that is common to all humankind, I would say it is suffering. I wouldn’t go as far as to say “existence is suffering”, but you don’t have to be an anti-natalist to agree that life can be hard sometimes and everyone goes through difficult times every now and then. So yeah, if you’re a human, suffering is kinda unavoidable. But wait, I promise I didn’t bring this up just to depress you. I’d like to explore how the Stoics and Christians respond to suffering and the similarities between them.

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2021 in review

December 31, 2021

Well, here we are again at the end of yet another year. As the year draws to a close, I tend to feel more introspective. So my ideal new year’s eve is really to just chill out at home, have a couple of drinks, dwell on my thoughts and see where the reflection takes me. Free-form reflecting will probably get messy real quick, so what I’ll try to do is to kind of carve out different sections of my life and review each one individually.

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Dune (2021)

November 19, 2021

Ah, Dune. I remember the first time watching it in the cinema (yes, I watched it twice). It was literally a jaw-dropping experience, and I remember so many times during the movie where I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself and shake my head in disbelief and amazement. I absolutely loved it.

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Sanity check

November 17, 2021

It’s been almost 4 months since my last post, and believe me, this was not by choice. This past semester has been an intense and very trying one. It’s actually not over yet, but things are finally easing up and so I figured why not do a quick sanity check.

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Loki and Leibniz

July 23, 2021

Having watched the season finale of Loki, I couldn’t help but notice some parallels with Leibniz’s “best of all possible worlds” theory. Obviously, there are massive spoilers ahead, so turn back now if you’ve yet to catch up on the series. If you have not started, I do recommend giving it a watch. It’s really well produced and has Tom Hiddleston in it. Need I say more?

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Rediscovering boredom

July 2, 2021

No, I am not poking fun at the Rediscover vouchers, and I ought to use them soon really. Instead, I’m wondering if I’ve forgotten what it feels like to be bored. With the internet in our pockets, being preoccupied has become the new default state of being. Doing “nothing”, now feels uncomfortable and strange, and within moments, we feel the pull and gravitate towards whatever can occupy our time in that instant. Anything but doing nothing.

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“I do not dream of labour”

June 15, 2021

There has been a new trend on YouTube recently (and yes, I clearly spend too much time on YouTube). More and more YouTubers are posting videos titled along the lines of “I do not dream of labour” or “I do not have a dream job”, and it has certainly piqued my interest. I took a peek at a couple, and most seem to have a similar narrative. As a very very generalised summary, here’s how the videos usually go:

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On Interracial Marriage

June 8, 2021

I chanced upon this video by Alice Cappelle earlier today on the politics of interracial relationships in Pocahontas, which was an excellent well-researched video as her videos usually are. Her video really got me thinking a little more on the topic, especially with the recent racist incident involving an interracial couple in Singapore, which I’m sure most of us are aware of by now.

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On Authenticity

May 29, 2021

As mentioned in my previous post, I took a philosophy module last semester, Introduction to Continental Philosophy. Sure it was tough trying to wrap my head around some of their concepts, but it was also really interesting to explore the different perspectives that these philosophers had. Since I’ve spent a fair bit of effort and brainpower on them, I figured I might as well pen down some of the more interesting concepts before I completely forget everything.

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Thoughts from the recent semester

May 9, 2021

It’s been a while since my last post. I’ve just completed another semester in school, rounding up my second year of university. This semester was not at all what I’d thought it would be.

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The Financial Advisor Advisor

February 26, 2021

For many of us in our twenties, we might suddenly find ourselves surrounded by insurance agents, or Financial Advisors, as they are more commonly known as today. That’s really no surprise, considering how well it pays, and the flexibility of the job, which makes it a good side hustle for students.

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The Capitalistic Mould

February 6, 2021

Growing up in the 21st century, most of us are no stranger to capitalism. After all, it has been the dominant economic system in many parts of our world for at least the past 200 years. For those unsure what capitalism means, it is an economic system where few people own and control the production and sale of goods. Think about it, in any company, it is the boss that decides how much of a certain item to produce and the price at which it is sold, and not the workers.

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20 lessons from 2020

January 2, 2021

Note: When I say “you” here I’m really just speaking to myself. 1. Make a list of the highlights of every month, and you’ll be amazed at how much you actually do in a year. 2. Habit building is hard, but having an accountability partner makes it much easier. 3. Not all “good” habits work for everyone. Experimenting with a new habit for a month is a great way to find out what works and what doesn’t work for you.

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Tiong Bahru Social Club

December 27, 2020

If like me, you’ve not been a big fan of local movies, Tiong Bahru Social Club might help restore some faith in that area. Given that it’s still out in cinemas, this review will be spoiler-free.

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Knot for want of

December 17, 2020

Thanks to a friend’s recommendation, I’ve recently been rather obsessed with Charlie Lim’s music. Very late to the party, I know. There’s a line in my favourite song, Knots, that really stood out to me and it goes like this:

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Skepticism in the face of Rejection

November 22, 2020

Hello dear reader, look around you, wherever you are. You might be sitting on your couch and reading this blog post now, but can you truly be certain of that? How do you know you’re not actually dreaming of sitting on your couch and reading this blog post? Or how do you know that you’re not simply a brain in a vat, and someone is feeding you false sensory signals, causing you to perceive that you’re sitting on a couch and reading a blog post?

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Sabrina (1995)

November 12, 2020

No, this isn’t a movie review, but yes, there will probably be some mini spoilers, so read on at your own risk. For those who know me, you know that I love a good romance film. And Sabrina was my most recent discovery. Starring Harrison Ford and Julia Ormond, it was a really sweet and classy romance movie. It’s apparently a remake of the original 1954 movie. It’s not a very highly rated movie but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

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The Stoic guide to friendship

November 6, 2020

If you’re wondering who am I to comment on the topic of friendship, I’ll have you know I have a grand total of 5 friends, so you’re in pretty good hands. But you don’t have to take my word for it, for this wisdom comes from the ancient Stoics themselves. And if you’re wondering what the Stoics have to say about friendship, the answer is well, quite a bit actually.

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What online school lacks

October 20, 2020

I’m currently in the 10th week of my fully online semester of school. Studying and taking classes from the comfort of my bedroom has its plus points. From a purely academic standpoint, it might even be better. Everyone is muted so you don’t have to worry about chatty groups sitting near you. Everyone’s camera is off so they can’t distract you and the only possible distraction you have is your computer or your phone, which are also present in physical lectures. It’s easier to ask questions in a lecture because using the Zoom chat is way less intimidating than raising your hand in a room of 200 people. I also save a ton of money because I don’t have to travel or eat out every day. Yet I just can’t help but feel that there’s something missing, and these tradeoffs aren’t worth it.

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Happiness and the Hedonic Treadmill

October 14, 2020

The hedonic treadmill is defined as the observed tendency of humans to quickly return to a relatively stable level of happiness despite major positive or negative events or life changes. It answers the question of why getting a pay raise does not necessarily make you happier. It might initially, but you’ll quickly go back to feeling the same shortly after. Genevan philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau explains it beautifully.

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Gambler’s Fallacy

October 1, 2020

I discovered this today and realised that I too had fallen prey to this line of thinking. So, what is the Gambler’s Fallacy? […] Gambler’s Fallacy occurs when an individual erroneously believes that a certain random event is less likely or more likely, given a previous event or a series of events. This line of thinking is incorrect, since past events do not change the probability that certain events will occur in the future.

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Minimalism: It’s not just about decluttering

September 26, 2020

The minimalism movement has been gaining traction the past couple years and now most of us know or have at least heard about minimalism. I’ve been a self-proclaimed minimalist for about 2 years now. Other than using it as an excuse for my neat-freak habits, I’ve found that minimalism has actually significantly shaped my thinking over time.

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Stoic emotions

August 25, 2020

What an oxymoronic title, you might think. Many often relate the term stoic, to being emotionless or indifferent to emotions, through no fault of their own of course. For that is how the definition of this term has evolved over time in the English language. From an observer’s perspective of the Stoics, this might seem to be an accurate term, but it’s an oversimplification really.

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Meaningful mandatory module

August 20, 2020

I just started my second year of school and this semester I’m taking a module that has been prescribed to me — GEQ1000 Asking Questions. This is a module which is mandatory for the majority of students in my school, regardless of faculty. Not only was this a prescribed module, but it was also a pass-fail module. Which meant that you won’t get a grade that affects your Cumulative Average Point (CAP, or GPA in other schools).

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Product thinking

August 16, 2020

My recent internship at Taskade has got me thinking quite a bit about products, and from rather different perspectives too. There’s a difference between building something for fun as a hobby and when the product is the business.

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Defining success in 2020

August 14, 2020

I guess everyone wants to be successful, myself included. But first I’ll need to define what success means to me. It’s a question that I have not asked myself in awhile. Thinking about it, my answer now is actually rather different from when I last thought about this a couple years ago.

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An overdue reflection

July 15, 2020

I enjoy getting up early. The two or three extra hours is amazing, and I can get so much done! I even have a morning routine to help me spend these extra hours most productively.

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A fine line

July 10, 2020

I’ve often wondered about the fine line between prayer and inaction. Now, don’t get me wrong, prayer is not inaction. In fact, prayer is a very active activity. It requires us to be spiritually present, focused and intentional.

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Rules and highlights

June 26, 2020

It has been a rather unfulfilling 2 weeks. Each day feels the same. I wake up, go through my morning routine, start work and laze about after work. When I’m not working, I’m either re-watching my favourite show, Community, watching YouTube videos or playing games. Yes it does sound rather nice, but I can’t deny this sense of boredom and unfulfillment that has been bugging me for awhile.

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“I’m too busy”

June 21, 2020

I started reading a modern translation of Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations, titled The Emperor’s Handbook. It consists of twelve books (or chapters), and the first book was solely dedicated to thanksgiving and gratitude. He wrote about the people he was grateful for and how each one impacted him through the way they lived their lives or the words of wisdom they provided.

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It’s difficult. Thank God.

June 16, 2020

“If I am a friend of Jesus, I must deliberately and carefully lay down my life for Him. It is a difficult thing to do, and thank God that it is. Salvation is easy for us, because it cost God so much. But the exhibiting of salvation in my life is difficult. God saves a person, fills him with the Holy Spirit, and then says, in effect, “Now you work it out in your life, and be faithful to Me, even though the nature of everything around you is to cause you to be unfaithful.””

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Stoic beginnings

June 14, 2020

I first encountered the philosophy of stoicism a few years back when reading Ryan Holiday’s The Obstacle Is The Way. I didn’t think much of it, until I discovered Captain Sinbad’s YouTube channel in late 2019. He shared openly about stoicism and it piqued my interest greatly.

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On market fluctuations

June 14, 2020

“The true investor scarcely ever is forced to sell his shares, and at all other times he is free to disregard the current price quotation. He need pay attention to it and act upon it only to the extent that it suits his book, and no more. Thus the investor who permits himself to be stampeded or unduly worried by unjustified market declines in his holdings is perversely transforming his basic advantage into a basic disadvantage. That man would be better off if his stocks had no market quotation at all, for he would then be spared the mental anguish caused him by other persons’ mistakes of judgement.”