[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Since it is the term break it is time to add value to my life. It means reading up more and doing that stuff that I do not normally do. I used to take art for "O" levels so when I was asked to do some illustrations, I took up the brush again.

It wasn't easy trying to look for paint. I ransacked my drawers and found a box of watercolour paint. Wanted to use poster colours but I realised that they dried up in the tubes.

My first attempt was bad. The shadows and textures were not right.

Then I tried a second time using the same drawing but a recoat of paint. It looked slightly better.

My second self-enrichment assignment was to catch up on reading. I bought "The World is Flat" last year and did not have time to start reading it. But I picked it up again en-route to Kuala Lumpur and finished the first chapter. It is really interesting especially the part on new media and the Internet. Journalism students would know the power of fourth estate - the media. Thomas L Friedman describes the Internet as the fifth estate.

in Singapore, there is no such power embedded in the fourth estate because of how the media is shaped. Increasingly the fifth estate is booming and there is no way to control the widespread of the Internet.

The book also shares about the changing dynamics of politics - top-down politics is eroding, bottom-up methods are scoring. What strikes me most is the section on outsourcing. The reality is the truth. With India and China booming, jobs are trickling out of the US and other developed countries.

What is important is the value add because human routine work can be easily replaced by machines. There is also a lot about the evolution and the birth of the Internet - some of which I have not read about or chanced upon in the course of my research. That is why self-enrichment is important these days.


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