Jerome's incomprehensible but improving...
Saturday, September 13, 2003

From "A Man for All Seasons", from Slashdot:

Margaret: "Father, the man is bad."
More: "There's no law against that."
Roper: "There is a law against it. God's law."
More: "Then God can arrest him."
Roper: "Sophistication upon sophistication!"
More: "No. Sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal, but I don't always know what's right. And I'm sticking with what's legal."
Roper: "Then you set man's law against God's?"
More: "No. Far below. But let me draw your attention to a fact. I am not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of the law, there I am a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God."
Alice: "While you talk, he is gone."
More: "And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law."
Roper: "So now you'd give the Devil the benefit of law!"
More: "Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get to the Devil?"
Roper: "I'd cut down every law in England to do that!"
More: "Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you -- where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat. This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast -- man's laws, not God's -- and if you cut them down -- and you're just the man to do it -- do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of the law, for my own safety's sake."
Friday, September 12, 2003

I had dinner with Sach at a pasta place along Katipunan. I commented about how the food was so-so, though the decor was quite good. This led to some thinking and realizing that a lot of the "improvement" in how we live our lives is more refined "experience" and packaging. Like, we eat packaged junkfood now instead of sweetened fruits, roasted peanuts, banana-cue and whatnot. How movies are so expensive nowadays.

Just realized now that every major town now has to have a Jollibee nowadays. People even in the provinces just have to have air-conditioned malls. Things like that. Reminds me of the Center-Periphery economic theory -- something like the rich in Manila aping the developed world, the people in the provinces aping the trappings of living in Manila.

So is this how we really improved our lives? More concrete, more plastic wrapping, more lights and garish colors on our jeepneys. More colorful concrete monuments in provincial town plazas and town borders ("You are now entering/leaving ____"). More imported fruits. More "continental" ambiance in our restaurants and shopping places. This is where our peso votes go.

Notwithstanding the fact that we have improved economically quite modestly to say the least, and that the rich are enjoying the big portion of that growth, and the poor still mired in poverty, is the middle class in the Philippines really spending the rest of our resources on honest, innovative businesses, investing in education, promoting culture, values, devoting time to socially-oriented causes etc.? Or are they patronizing the malls, buying the latest cellphones and clothes; obsessed with decorating their houses with all sorts of vases, candles, lights, aquarium fish, flowers; hanging out in all the cool places, partying, singing karaoke; generally trying to live like our counterparts in the developed world who earn way more than we do? (And they don't have household help.) Not to be a killjoy, but I wonder how our leisure+consumerism/income ratio compares to that of other countries.

Not that I or my family are not guilty of the above. Something to think about.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Had lunch today at KFC with Lito and George.

Our interesting discussion:

System for Web templating (ASP, ASP.NET)
In-house vs. Web dev company development
The marshmallow test
(On the other hand) Dropouts do better than topnotchers
Working hours (complete flex time, flex range but still 8 hours, strict 8 hour period)
Whether you can play games
Balance between Creativity and Control (I discussed the Rise and Fall of Companies comparing them to empires, as I read in "Barbarians to Bureaucrats")
Dress code
- At Lito's work: Formal Mondays
- Some places I know like Accenture: Casual Fridays

Had lunch with Lito and George at World Cafe. Lito is our MS CMS Consultant from Stag Philippines. He mentioned to us he used to be a civil engineer.

I asked him about the MRT station at Ortigas.

The dug-up construction site across the POEA building -- though he/she had right of way to construct a building (over the MRT station) the owner ran out of funds and so the MRT station was eventually built.

Lito said it wasn't some structural reason why the station is so far from the malls. He didn't give a reason. It still think it's probably a compromise between Galleria and Megamall (commercial traffic reasons.)

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