of learning


About a million years ago, before I ever knew advertising exists, I stumbled upon an article that analysed Coke and Pepsi as brands and their brand positions and how Pepsi strategically went up against Coke and (kind of) succeeded.

I couldn’t remember the details of the analysis but I’ve got the big picture. And I thought: shit this is sooo smart that it’s actually mind-blowing.

Fast forward to a million years later, I have been working in advertising for 7 years. In my master advertising class earlier this week, the lecturer had a question about Coke and Pepsi. I answered it based on what I read ages ago. And it was the right answer.

Mike asked: so will you be able to answer that question based on the things you’ve learned and known by now? Chance is yes I probably can, but I will need 5 minutes to figure that out or perhaps never if I’m not smart enough.

When I first wrote my literature review last year, I was overwhelmed with the amount of data, research and reports returned by Google and the library portal based on some simple keywords. I thought: this is easier than I thought, I can always find an answer by searching for it.

Thing is, how do we know what we need to know or learn until the moment we actually need that knowledge for a purpose? For example, I would never have known that I would someday use the understanding about Coke and Pepsi from the analysis I read years ago until for some reasons it happened to me this week and I need that piece of knowledge at that very moment.

Secondly, how did all the great grand philosophers and scientists learn without the luxury of available materials and studies from the Internet like what we’ve got today?

This has brought me to realise that we can’t actually depend on the fact that we can always search for something. That is the sort of lazy thinking that Google and many technologies being the convenient tools that help us access information and knowledge quickly, easily, widely and cost-effectively spoil us. They don’t motivate us to pro-actively learn. We think there are always answers to everything somewhere on the Internet and we assume we will get an answer when we need to. So then we only ask questions when we need to. And we don’t ask questions out of curiosity anymore.

Having said that, I think it’s absolutely critical to be learning independently, proactively and consistently. To me, all knowledge is knowledge, doesn’t matter whether it’s general knowledge or specialised knowledge. It will either be utilised some day, or it will make people better knowledgeable ones. So if there are opportunities to learn about anything, just absolutely anything, I will make an effort to go and learn it (when I can).





This orchid looked pretty much about to die when I left home for the holiday. And I was gone for 4 weeks.

Coming back, it appeared to be full blooming.

I should really write to my Sup tomorrow.




meaningless adjectives

Once in a while, there will be press releases announcing the moving of this person and that one in a certain industry. Often times, there will be a few sentences about how excited the newbie or the company is. Typically, they go like this:

The company:
We are excited to have this person because of her wonderful ability to ex and why and zee.

The person who’s just got the job:
I’m excited to be joining an amazing company, working with awesome teams.

Yup, I’ve got the excitement, been there done that, who’s not excited with a new job. But seriously, you have hardly started for a month, sometimes a week, how do you know about the wonderfulness, the amazingness, and the awesomeness?

Then a year later, the person leaves the place. And he/she talks about amazingness and awesomeness in a new company. And it gets me to wonder: so what has happened with the amazingness and awesomeness in the previous place? Have you found out they are not what you thought or they just stop being and deserving such fanciful adjectives once you came?

In an impossibly honest world, I imagine it would go like this:

The company:
We understand he’s a dick based on our reliable source. But for some reasons, he’s got the all the credits and all the awards. It helps, so we don’t mind. 

The person who’s just got the job:
Heard mixed reviews about that company. But I need a job so whatever that floats my boat.

You know, just thinking.


To cover my backside, I need to put ‘No offense intended’ so ‘No offense intended’.

why does Google Hangout give me such a hugeass header picture?

This is what’s seen on my hugeass 23″ monitor. Such a waste of real estate. And I hate scrolling so this is a real big fat turn-off.

do you know where Melody is? #randomthought

I have been frequently asked if I know where certain people are. Most of the time, I get pretty annoyed for the following reasons:

1. I’m not everyone’s mommy. I don’t keep track of where people go and what they do and whom they meet. I have better things to do. (Do people nowadays still tell their mommies where they go to like me?)
2. The people that you are looking for are all adults. Do you think they report to me where they go, what they do and whom they meet? They have better things to do.
3. Why don’t you ask that person you’re looking for directly? Just drop him/her a text asking “where are you?” or something.
4. If I know where the person you’re looking for, what does my answer help you in conveying your message to that person?

Let’s talk about point 4.

You are looking for someone. You call that person, she doesn’t pick up. You leave her a text message. Within 30 minutes, she doesn’t reply. You call again, still cannot get that person. Another 30 minutes passed, you call again and still don’t get her on the line. You drop her a brief email asking where she is because you’d like to talk to her. If you have got an auto-reply from her, you probably know where she has been and when she will be back.

Say, you don’t have an auto-reply, there you go ask Jenny “hey do you know where Melody is?“.

If Jenny says: No I don’t know.
The answer doesn’t help, you will still need to keep calling that person and texting her until you get her. Or wait until she returns your call.

If Jenny says: Oh i think she’s in Malaysia now but I’m not sure.
Doesn’t help either. Repeat calling and texting process until you get her or wait till she calls you.

If Jenny says: Ah, she’s in Malaysia but I don’t know when she will be back
Doesn’t help either. You might want to drop her a full email telling her your problem – which is better as at least she can expect what you’re calling her for. (Personally I always prefer having a heads up via email before anyone calls me up)

If Jenny says: Ah, she’s in Malaysia and she will be back next week.
Now you know where she is and her availability. You should drop her a full email telling her your problem – which is better as at least she can expect what you’re calling her for. (Same as the previous scenario)

If Jenny says: Hey she’s with Rhythm.
And you call Rhythm, to speak to Melody. Errr…

If Jenny says: Yea i know. But she’s avoiding you.
Ouch! Plan an ambush maybe?

So, honestly I don’t think I could help you much when you ask if I know where someone is. In short, just keep calling, sending messages, emailing that person until he/she gets back to you. Or just email that person to tell him/her your problem la…

Similarly, don’t ask me if someone is happy. He/she can be happy to me but not to you and vice versa. More importantly, I’m not a happinessometer 😐

way too often

No biggie. Have a bloody good weekend ahead!

Dove Real Beauty Sketches #randomthought

So Dove has triumphed over the interwebs these few days with the launch of her latest campaign “Dove Real Beauty Sketches”.

Women are their own worst beauty critics. Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful. At Dove, we are committed to creating a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety. So, we decided to conduct a compelling social experiment that explores how women view their own beauty in contrast to what others see.

And don’t forget: YOU are more beautiful than you think!

More about the campaign here: http://realbeautysketches.dove.com/

I won’t deny this is a great effort from Dove in educating women about our ‘own beauty’; telling us that we all are more beautiful than we think we are, which gives us more confidence and bla bla bla … Okay, for all the praises, please go check those out on #wearebeautiful. I do love the video and the stories etc, BUT…

Now, let’s just face the reality! Our lives are not only shaped by people who love us, like us or don’t know about us (aka strangers). I might sound negative but I like to think I’m being practical. There are people who hate us, dislike us, always in conflict with us, extremely critical about us (either about personality or appearance). I am curious how those people view us through the eyes of theirs.

So there was a person who always made me angry. Every time she was around, I turned instantly annoyed. This is the effect rendered from several bad experience we had. What can I say but my defense mechanism works just too well?. And it was not only me, the feelings were mutual. If you ask me to describe her face, I guess all the features would be nothing short of grumpy, mean, arrogant and unhappy. Probably uglier than she could ever think of herself. Again, the feeling is mutual so I’m pretty sure in her head, I could probably appear as a monster or something? So in this case, would the statement “You are more beautiful than you think” be still valid?

The second thing is none of us is an angel. We have things to do, words to say, thoughts to process and practically, in certain circumstances being a.l.i.t.t.l.e ugly (while still legal) can make our lives so much easier. Who disagrees? So I’m curious about is what Dove would say about this other side of beautiful. Should we all be aware that “You are more beautiful than you think, but let’s not forget we all have an ugly side as well unless you are an angel who actually doesn’t exist!

Above all, is it that necessary to know what others think about us?

Anyway, this is not an entry to diss Dove and its effort in pulling off such an successful campaign. Just some random thoughts of a wanderer who gets lost in her own mind 😀