essays

The Utility of Art

It’s often difficult to have a conversation about art because we’re almost always talking past each other. I once

Talking Past Each Other

When I was younger, I was very passionate about the idea that conversations are basically the answer to everything. That’

The Pendulum Between Strong Feelings And Zen Calm

When I was a teenager – playing in a rock band, writing angry blogposts railing against the government and media – I thoug

Singapore Skyline

I want to write a quick blogpost about the Singapore skyline. I’m not an architect, or architecture student, or even any

Marina Bay Sands

What’s Singapore’s single most identifiable landmark? It’s changed over the years, and that’s the subj

Mariamman Temple and Capital Tower

The oldest Hindu temple in Singapore is Sri Mariamman Temple. It was founded in 1827 by Naraina Pillai, eight years after the

Top

He’s a list of some of the best things I’ve written. An analysis of power in Mean Girls One must imagine Sisyphus

How To Bullshit Everybody With An Inspirational Success Story, Sans Facts

I used a procrastinating underachiever. Then I decided to Follow My Dream and play in a rock band, <s>sell t-shirts<

Is Ya Kun Kaya Toast “Authentic”?

Originally posted on Poached Mag in 2013. I was having kopi with some friends at Ya Kun Kaya Toast. A friendly auntie spoke to

constraints

-1- Constraints can be cruel, arbitrary, stupid, unfair, unkind, damaging, crushing, painful, horrifying. The idea of wishing

Safe spaces

I have an essay swirling around in my mind about ‘safe spaces’ and I need to get it out of my system, but I can

Modern Capitalism

This post is a work in progress about how we seem to distract ourselves from the realities of modern capitalism. Sort of, R

The Human Game

Essay WIP. I find myself thinking about an Alan Watts lecture, that you can find on YouTube titled The Human Game. And he talk

Deeper Consciousness

I’ve had this recurring conversation with a friend about how there’s a deeper consciousness in each of us, that w

religion

Thought I’d write about my thoughts about religion, and how my perspective on it has changed from my childhood to the presen

Tripping through time on the information superhighway

Originally posted on 1000wordvomits. I wanted to write about “tripping through time”. I was telling another friend about t

Parents, peers and other benevolent plagues

Originally posted on visakanv.com/1000/ I’ve been reflecting on how people get into drinking and smoking and drugs. And by e

Beating yourself up is egotistic

When I was a kid, I was stuck in a very silly cycle. I’d get home from school every day and I’d avoid doing my homework fo

The Folly Of The Plunge

There’s an overly romanticized idea in both business and romance (and probably in many other fields as well) – tha

Perspective

Thought: Words and phrases like “perspective” and “point-of-view” don’t adequately convey how ra

Essays

Published: An Analysis of Power in Mean Girls How To Bullshit Everybody With An Inspirational Success Story, Sans Facts Ponder

Modern Civilization

1 To be born into modern human civilization is both a great privilege (for the safety and opportunities it provides) and a rat

An Analysis of Power And Social Dynamics In ‘Mean Girls’

Theory: The movie has such enduring power and is quoted so much because it sheds some incredible light on real sociological ph

learnings

work in progress Basics Cause and effect Human beings live in the same universe as electrons and galaxies, and are all governe

Moral Failing Fallacy

SELF-LOVE AND THE “MORAL FAILING” FALLACY: Here’s something that’s taken me a long time to be able to

Death

I believe that it’s important to properly come to terms with death in order to live well. This is something that’s

Mind-expanding stuff

https://www.buzzfeed.com/daves4/the-universe-is-scary  Wait but why Neil Tyson’s the universe is in us, we stopped dre

Advertising

David Ogilvy’s Confessions of an Advertising Man is one of my favorite books. He wrote clearly, with humor and taste. On

10 traits of successful entrepreneurs

I originally posted this as an answer on Quora, and it got picked up by Inc. What are ten signs that you might have what it ta

What’s up with yoga?

I think there’s something interesting about how yoga went from being a spiritual way of being to becoming a commodified

Quora

my best quora answers: https://www.quora.com/Would-modern-day-Singapore-as-a-nation-cease-to-exist-if-a-megaton-nuclear-bomb-w

precise

The Philosophy of Logical Atomism (1918-19) Lecture 1: Facts and Propositions By Bertrand Russell (The following articles ar

Baby abandonment

People are usually quick to demonize the mother in these situations. It’s interesting (and sad) to me. There’s a v

Politics and the English language [2016]

The following is my attempt to update George Orwell’s essay Politics and the English Language [1946] for modern reading.

One must imagine Sisyphus LOL-ing

Life, particularly in modern civilization, is an absurd circus. We’re all clowns living in boxes trying to amuse ourselves w

Pondering the heat death of the universe

(I wrote this in 2013 in a a conversation with a friend, and decided to tidy it up a little and publish it for future referenc

Are men with large penises happier than others?

Penis enlargement ads are all over the Internet. Men with small penises are often stereotyped to be unhappy, insecure, mocked,

Why are some accents sexier than others?

It’s Official: Survey Confirms Southern Accents Are the Sexiest Why are some accents more attractive? http://www.persona

why do hard things

I’m somewhat intellectually convinced that it’s worth doing hard things in life, but I don’t always live as

questions

Questions to answer / stuff to write about 30 – what should I do about the fact that I tend to continue where I left off

internet arguments

I have a habit of arguing with people on the Internet. There are pros and cons to this. Pro 1: is that I typically refine my o

school

Schools are outdated and obsolete. I will trumpet this over and over again, because for schools to adapt and change, or for ne

What are the principles of authenticity?

The goal here is to explore what we mean when we say something is ‘authentic’, ask who gets to decide, and how we

Writing

Stuff  I’ve written about writing: Minimum Viable Content Copywriting Content Anxiety “Do you have any writing ad

“So, what are you passionate about?”

A younger friend told me that he gets asked this question a lot, and that he doesn’t know how to answer. So he asked me how

The difference between good and bad tutorials

Tutorials are interesting. They’re supposed to teach you how to act in a particular context. I find myself thinking abou

7 Important Things I’ve Learnt (Really Basic Stuff)

During my 2 years of National Service, I began what I called the 90 Week Project. I had heard many horror stories from men wis

The God Amidst The Swarm

Have you ever observed an ant colony, and noticed that there appears to be a greater intelligence guiding the ants’ coll

My MBTI Journey

MBTI: I remember when I first encountered MBTI. It was introduced to me over beer, by a friend of a friend. He was a self-prof

Editing ‘Rambles for progress’

Oct. 30th, 2011 at 7:05 PM Big changes happen because of the accumulation of small changes (which happen through honest conver

Work hard? Me? But I’m Gifted!

2014 summary: Used to be a minimum-effort student who was proud of how little effort I needed to get by. Now wish I had learn

The likely tragedy of Justin Bieber

2014 Update: He just got arrested. Lol. Original post here. The cap, the hand sign and the facial expression- worrying signs o