Monday, October 20, 2014

Dumpster Divers: Yay or Nay?

Dumpster Divers are people who rummage through garbage to find wasted food that might not be perfect, but is comfortably safe to be consumed.  You could say it's a culture, a way of life for some, and few for art sake - the perfect way to demonstrate how much wastage is going through in urban areas.

Watch this:



This video was shared by a fellow Human-Design coursemate as we were discussing about the issue of food wastage.  While I think there is merit to the idea of scourging dumpsters to look for perfectly safe and edible foods (not to mention incurring absolutely zero cost for 3 meals a day!), but I'm not really convinced on the concept of 'freeganism'.  Hmm.

I remember my dad once told me that it's okay to study religion.  Or be religious.  The danger is being TOO religious.  Why?  Yah, one of the reasons could be obvious - we don't want no ISIS beheading no people.  But really, if you think about it... what kind of economic value would this individual be putting in the society?  Sure, Freeganism is sustainable for them. But, what about the rest of the society?  How is Freeganism sustainable for everyone?

That's an interesting albeit very touchy subject.  And for fear I attract haters/stalkers, I shall not delve further.  Except to leave you with this very thought.  As an individual that functions as a whole in the society, is it or is it not important for you to be able to add value to the system?  Freeganism sounds like takers.  But if it's done right, it could very well be like a much needed organic support system for many living on the streets.  Just like how an acquaintance rightly put - if only hipsters act like REAL hipsters.

I don't know, what do you think?

Monday, October 13, 2014

IKEA is sexist.

Yup. The everybody-loves-cheap-and-good furniture and home decor giant from Sweden who also holds a gigantic prejudice against the fairer and frail-ier gender.  Women.  Muscle-less women.  Women who don't do crossfit and can't lift a 10kg flat pack on her own.

Have you ever thought why is it SO jam-packed in IKEA?  Two weeks ago, I sent a private message to the IKEA team on Facebook (I'm being ignored already due to my persistent questioning of gender equality, but oh well, what's not to be expected).  To be honest, my inquiry was gently masqueraded as a genuine honest query on why IKEA with every resource prepared, does not have e-commerce?

Here's IKEA's answer: Thanks for being a major fan! We would love to cater to to requests from our fans for online shopping, however we don't have the resources for this service just yet! We do appreciate fans who brave the jam to come visit us - isn't shopping in store (being able to see, touch and possibly, sniff) our items better than shopping online?

Well, IKEA, here's my answer to your question: NO.

I'm your major fan, but I can see that you're not mine.  In this age of personalization, easy access and #lifehacks (sorry, it didn't seem complete without the hashtag), does anyone think they can escape from providing products and services that don't consider consumer needs first?

Isn't it peculiar?  Women who are the growing economic power and a strong draft in social change, can't perform a simple task such as buying a big wardrobe from IKEA on her own, simply because we couldn't.  Fullstop.  Our arms and legs just won't let us carry an 8-ft, god-knows-how-many-kgs flat pack on our own.  I'm PRETTY sure some guys have problems too.  Which is why, if you take a drive to IKEA at anytime, you'll pretty much see the Woman scouring for stuff, while the Man stands at the side with his giant trolley and tries not to be too much in everyone's way and only acts when he's bidded by Her Royal Highness.

Now let's pause here.

Dear IKEA.  If you are reading this, wouldn't it be MUCH simpler if you did away with greed (we will buy your stuff even if we're not there seeing, touching and possibly sniffing them. Yes, WITH impulse, and YES to even your smallest stuff!) and just build an e-commerce platform?  You'll be everybody's major fan. Instantly, I promise.  I'll even throw in payment for your service.  Ok?

Online shopping is a woman's game. Okay, we have stats to prove what they do when they're online.  But seriously, forget about indulgence but really consider the very practicality of a woman's lifestyle.  If she's born frail, do you expect her to carry a 1kg bottle of cooking oil, 1 pack of toilet roll, 3kg worth of rice and tonnes of other fresh foods and cleaning detergent, etc, all entirely on her own?

Okay, so maybe she should learn to build up a little bit, I mean who asked her to be stay frail right?  Okay, let's try something else then.  What if that woman was your 60 year old mother?  Who by the way need to fend off unscrupulous snatch thieves and what not while carrying all I've mentioned above.  And you tell me there's NO market for e-commerce?  YOU are not ready?

Tsk tsk.  Really? 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The world is changing and so is beauty.

Gone is the last century of beauty of porcelain smooth baby's-bottom skin, or has it?  Look at today's beauty ads - same same but different: good looking lady, very feminine, with all the right curves and almost spotless.  We kept touting that beauty has change or at least, Dove has been trying really hard to convince the society at large (or reflect?) that beauty is all in the mind.  It has nothing to do with products.  You use products because you only care about how others perceive you.  But really, beauty is about confidence and if you think you've got it, you've got it.

Is that what the world has come to?  If so, then why are we still seeing 99% of beauty commercials talking about the same old thing?

Why do women want to be beautiful?  Because they want to be accepted.  They feel that beauty is a passport for them to gain access to meaningful interpersonal relationships.  To not miss out or be left out in the society, they must at the very least groom themselves because it's the 'social norm'.  So, nobody's born ugly.  Everyone's born beautiful to the beholder, the question is what does society accept and reject?  That caused women all over the world to scramble to look 'right'.

Let's talk about hair.  Does being hairy make a woman feel unattractive?  But if we follow the argument above, isn't her 'unattractiveness' a result of a miss in social expectations?  So WHO decides these expectations?  Men?  Or media?  Or beautiful women?  Or all of the above?

So if I want to tell a woman that she deserves is beautiful, what must I say in order to convince her?  With a clause that she must must must use our product?  Whatever noble message that comes from the commercial, I guess it's sort of cheating.  It's a grey area and a very fine line.

I think all women are beautiful.  At different points of their lives, they experiment with different solutions - make up, clothes, hair removal, etc.  When they drop the school uniform, they'll start to realize the need for hairless armpits and legs to be socially accepted when wearing clothes that might reveal those area.  I suppose this isn't called 'beauty', it's simply about being respectable.  Like not wearing your underwear out in public.  Or your birthday suit.  Or having BO.  Can a beauty service then sell itself by unpositioning itself in the beauty area?  Frankly, it's such a sensitive area, it's pretty much like the discussion of a Brazilian wax.  There're two extremely different school of thoughts regarding that X zone.

Strong women are not beautiful?  Wrong.  Strong women are the most beautiful.  Because they stand for something.  I've got my train of thoughts back now, thank you very much.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Happy New Year.

Wow, it's been almost 6 months since I last posted anything.  Happy New Year to all.

I did not lose my voice nor vocabulary.  Nope.  I was just really busy.  Busy with preparing a new life and 2014.

I wish to continue my point-of-view but alas, sometimes this space scares me.  And that's because of you guys really.  Those whom I know and those I don't.  I never intended to garner attention as much as any other witty whimsical writers did.  It's nice to have some attention but not too much.  Limelight scares me and I'm afraid of this unknown invasion that's slowly but surely creeping into my space.  I wanna talk.  I want some people to listen but to be honest, I'm really worried about who's listening.  Because I don't function alone right now, I have people in my life and I want to keep their space private.

Till then, I'll learn to self-censor.

If you want to keep reading this, then be my friend.  Learn with me, teach me, lend me your empathy, let us exchange counsel.  But don't.  Don't share my blog.  I really don't think this circle should grow any bigger than it is right now.

Till the next time we speak, happy new year once again.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Quality-of-life Index.

Just read about The Economist's Quality-of-life Index and it's scored based on these criteria:

"The survey uses nine quality of life factors to determine a nation's score.[1] They are listed below including the indicators used to represent these factors:

Health: Life expectancy at birth (in years). Source: US Census Bureau
Family life: Divorce rate (per 1,000 population), converted into index of 1 (lowest divorce rates) to 5 (highest). Sources: UN; Euromonitor
Community life: Variable taking value 1 if country has either high rate of church attendance or trade-union membership; zero otherwise. Source: World Values Survey
Material well being: GDP per person, at PPP in $. Source: Economist Intelligence Unit
Political stability and security: Political stability and security ratings. Source: Economist Intelligence Unit
Climate and geography: Latitude, to distinguish between warmer and colder climates. Source: CIA World Factbook
Job security: Unemployment rate (%.) Source: Economist Intelligence Unit
Political freedom: Average of indexes of political and civil liberties. Scale of 1 (completely free) to 7 (unfree). Source: Freedom House
Gender equality: Measured using ratio of average male and female earnings. Source: UNDP Human Development Report"

Wikipedia

Good to know.  Last I checked in 2005, Malaysia is ranked 36.  But with all these political fiasco, rampant corruption and crime and latest gun shooting incidents, how do you think we are scoring?  

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

From government controlled currency to branded economy.

If loyalty is essentially a currency to the brand, then maybe it’s time to rethink if money is absolutely the only currency for consumers to purchase products.



There is a restaurant which you could eat at even if you don't money.  You could pay by helping out in the restaurant - cleaning, washing, serving - where the currency that matters is your time.

Our ancestors might have gotten it right long time ago, bartering could be a viable option before money was centralized by federal governments.  And if the accumulation of money and domination of wealth by 1% of the world population is creating a lopsided economy and tonnes of other social problems, then wouldn't it make sense for the other 99% to start consider creating their own micro-economy, especially in countries which are hard hit by poverty?  So what is so bad about exchanging some cabbage for a free ride to work?  Or like Nike - some sweat for new kicks?  Or cleaning for rice?

I call this innovative economy - where brands are as big as some governments, this idea is really not so far-fetched after all.


Monday, July 29, 2013

The best city in the world.

A liveable city has low crime rates, decent weather, good education, superb healthcare, reliable transport and an airport with a host of international destination. It’s the sort of place where you can be gay or Muslim, or gay and Muslim, and no one cares. Its art galleries open late and museums are free. It takes recycling seriously and encourages independent shops.

Monocle - Steve Bloomfield & Michael Booth

I cannot agree more.

At least it provides the fundamental basics of a safe and thriving community for us to consider when choosing where to live, or how to live.  Or even, dare I add, how to plan for a liveable city.

Hello.  I'm back :)