Monthly Archives: April 2006

All Dinners Must Come To End

Green mountains range beyond the northern wall.
White water rushes round the eastern town.
Right here is where, alone and restless, he
Begins a journey of a thousand miles.

While travelers’ intents are fleeting clouds,
A friend’s affection is a setting sun.
He waves good-bye, and as he goes from here,
His dappled horse lets out a lonely neigh.

-Li Po, 701-762

Ah, finally the day has come. As the Chinese says it, “Under the sky, there are no feasts that will go on forever”. I take with me the fondest memories of many great people whom I can proudly call my friend. I shall miss them and the film business so very much.

Tomorrow shall see me on my way to London and Paris for a short holiday before starting work in Hyderabad and I am looking forward to the holiday so very much, the music (Haitink conducting Beethoven at the Barbican Рbut no Mahler!!!), the musical (Les Mis̩rables at The Queens Theatre), and especially to re-trace the locations where Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy walked in the film Before Sunset, one of our favourite films.

I shall update this blog as often as I can, on the travel and also on India. It is all so exciting. I hope and pray everything turns out well.

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Paris London

Some photos from the trip:

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Don't Be Evil

I have been a Yahoo! user since the very first time I use the internet, which is coming to 10 years now. I am still a Yahoo! user now and except for my company e-mail, I use the Yahoo! e-mail exclusively. Some time back, I have been invited and have subsequently signed on to Google’s Gmail but the idea that they can go through my mails deterred me from using the service. However, just yesterday, a friend waxed lyrical on the chat function that comes within the Gmail service.

This came about when this friend asked for an Instant Messaging session to discuss about our plans today but the fact that our company blocks IMs made that impossible, and thus he suggested the above. It worked perfectly well.

Reflecting on this Google business, it becomes really intriguing the genius behind this bunch of people. Google’s mission is very simple, being:

“Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

Who would have thought this will be so powerful. And while in Gmail, it got me thinking for a while. Why would Google require a system of recommendation for application of new Gmails accounts? Maybe the Six Degrees of Separation thing really works. Yeah, it really may work.

Imagine that you are a Googler (i.e. those hip and chic that uses all of the services that Google offers), Google would have gone through all your e-mails, have indexed and gone through your personal computer via Google Desktop, knows what you are searching for on the web and also your computer, knows what you write in your blogs via Blogger, knows the online communities that you join, knows who your friends are, knows what you buy, knows what kind of photos you post, where you have been recently, where on earth are you looking at, knows what you chat about with your friends, knows what kind of books you are reading, knows what financial information that you are interested in, etc. etc. Imagine the amount and the kind of personal information that Google is collecting and before long, Google will know more about you now than your mom.

Here’s a list of services that Google offers:

And here’s the link to the very attractive Google Pack:

So, by collecting all the above information plus knowing who your friends are and all the above mentioned information about your friend, then multiply all that using the Six Degrees of Separation principle mentioned above, whoa!!!!

But as a netizen, would I want to let Google have that kind of information about me? Afterall, once we step into this cyberspace thing, we cease to be come private. I run my name by Google search and all my public activities on the internet comes up top in the search results. Imagine if someone wants to check me out, e.g. a potential new employer or a sweet new potential friend, and runs a search of my name and I surely would not want them to know things about me that I don’t want them to know. But in this cyberspace, one cannot really delete our past, unless this whole cyberspace thingy collapses, an unlikely thing to happen.

So, if you are already freaking out by the time you read this, then think twice before you sign up for any of those “free” services and watch what you say on the web. Afterall, signing up is really easy, just a click away, and the reward is so tempting.

Participating too much can be dangerous, but not participating at all can also be dangerous. Why? Because if someone runs a search about you and finds zero search results, then you are not really that happening and interesting a person. No?

The New Monolith

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Sessions of Sweet Silent Thought…..

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste;
Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,
For precious friends hid in death’s dateless night,
And weep afresh love’s long-since-cancelled woe,
And moan th’ expense of many a vanished sight;
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o’er
The sad account of fore-bemoanèd moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before.

But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restored and sorrows end.

Ah, I am getting sentimental again. Everytime I begin to look back to the past, this sonnet will pop up in my mind. It has been coming to 2 months now that I have decided to leave my current company and there is only one more week left before I sign in the attendance book for the last time. When I first handed in my resignation letter, I didn’t feel a pinch but now that the day is getting nearer and after some farewell sessions, I begin to look back at the past 6 years that I have been with this company, the people, the things that we have done, the movies that we have made, the suspense of an opening weekend, the joy of our movies making it big at the box office, the faces, the fights, etc. A full 6 years of fulfilling movie experience. Indeed it is like in the movies, so surreal and sometimes bombastic. Not to mention also getting to know some really great people who has added so much to my life, enriching it beyond anything that I can reasonably expect. No business compares to the film business. This is probably why the film industry still exist despite losing so much money every year. It is simply extraordinary.

Before I leave for Hyderabad, I shall go on a short trip to London and Paris. This will happen towards the end of April and we are looking forward to it very much, especially to “Les Miserables”. We have wanted to go there for the longest time but each time, something will come up and we had to postpone it. It also dawned on me that it is the tulip season at the Keukenhof but we are unsure if there is enough time for a trip there. We sure look forward to this trip.

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Tewari & Efficiency

Baduk can sometimes teach us a thing or two about life if we think about it properly. Of course, if you ask a golfer, she will also tell you that golf equals life. This could even be true if you ask anyone who is a major fan of anything, say anime or playing checkers or listening to Bach etc., and they will tell you that the object of their passion equals life itself and all the wisdom of the universe can be found in that obscure object. Let me then do my part to promote Baduk a little bit.

How often do you find yourself saying lines similar this (or having someone say this to your face): “Ah, I should have done it this way. It would have saved me so much time and money!”. Of course, all the wisdom in the world can be found in hindsight, or put in another way, what the Chinese often refer to as “Horse behind the Canon”. One of the key idea in process re-engineering is to layout all the steps in the process and identify which steps are worthless and do not add value. By eliminating these steps, the process becomes more efficient.

This concept is nothing new in Baduk. When evaluating moves, strong Baduk players often perform “tewari” analysis. Tewari analysis can be defined as “Breaking down a position by eliminating an equal number of stones in order to analyze the efficiency of the moves”. By doing this, players get to analyse on how to make better and more efficient moves, why some variations are better than the others etc.

This can be applied to any daily chores that you do. Try to think of something that you do, step by step, and map it out on a piece of paper. Then systematically look at each step, backward, forward, and think of the steps that can be eliminated and the steps that can be combined and after eliminating and/or combining them, you still achieve the same objective of that chore. It is like how John Travolta suddenly clicked in the movie “Phenomenon”. Suddenly, he seemed to be an expert in tewari analysis and found better ways of doing things. In real life, by simply putting some thoughts in how we do things, we become significantly more efficient, more lean, more productive.

Ok, here’s an example from the Baduk tewari analysis. Remember that in my earlier entry (featuring the diagram above), I have posted on a variation of the Hoshi joseki? In one of the variations, it was mentioned that a certain variation played by Ma Xiaochun against Lee Changho was deemed to be not really good based on a tewari analysis. I did not include that tewari analysis performed by Cho Hunhyun in the file earlier and am making it good in this post. If you are interested in this tewari analysis, you can download the .sgf file here:

Hope that you will like it. This is a transcript of the same lesson presented by Wang Yuan 8p.

Yes John, Tewari is your answer

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Filed under Strategy, Weiqi/Go/Baduk