#First world problems




Since arriving in Australia two years ago, I think I’ve been shut off from the world, without direct information on news in my home country it gets me annoyed sometimes. As much as I love Australia, I find myself seeking online platforms for worldwide news and looking out for what goes on around the world.


I’m in a bubble, so big I can’t seem to be able to pop it.


Alas, comes the help of the internet. But it didn’t help that I just moved into my new apartment and didn’t have any internet connection set up till a month in. We were gasping in desperation to be connected once again to society. We drove to Maccas for free wireless and got excited each and every time we saw a sign that reads “free-wifi” outside the store.


What has become of us? Are we really that desperate for the internet? Do we really feel that desperation to be connected to the world via an online network? We’ve become to dependent on the internet and I don’t know if that’s really a good thing.


Maybe because we’re so far from home or facing the computer screen has developed into a habit. A bad habit at that. It’s scary that there are even counselling services for those with computer games or internet addiction. No one had problems going about their everyday life before the internet came about. But we must not forget that the internet brought about a smaller world. Before the existence, the world seemed huge, everyone was literally trapped in their own bubble, in their own towns and  everyone knew everyone.


But now, as far away as Australia is from the other continents I still have my internet to keep up with times and what goes on in other cities. I want to know that my friends who are overseas are safe and that the economy isn’t affecting my family’s business back home. As much as I hate to admit my “addiction” it is the only way I am connected and networked to the world.


What blogging has taught me



Doing creative work every single day, over and over and over again, is tough work. Sometimes it feels great, like when dozens of ideas start knocking at your mind’s closed door, waiting to be sent out on a secret mission. Whilst on other days, you just want to quit, bang your big head against a wall or do both while you cry, watch tonnes of chick flicks, and eat tubs and tubs of any type of ice cream.


Blogging has taught me many lessons. First of all, I don’t really like to eat that much ice cream or watch continuous episodes of chick flicks all that much. Second thing to note, is that habits are most definitely the key to success in life. Most of us complain about not having sufficient amount time. The truth is, we do have enough time to do whatever we want, but we’re just not willing to make the sacrifices to do get it done.


Like I said, the discipline of blogging constantly has taught me many lessons. Here are five habits that blogging has taught me about being creative:

1. Do not underestimate the importance of a routine


Creative people can struggle to get work done up. In order to put in the time necessary for my own blog, I’ve had to wake up earlier than I am used to. This has done so much more for me than just simply improving on my blogging. The early hours in the morning seem to be of the most productive for most people.


I also love how Tim Sanders describes the constant need to feed your own mind a good “breakfast.” in the morning.  During these early hours I try to write, read, and try to set up the course for my day.


2. There’s so much more inside of you that’s capable than you think


Sometimes people will ask, how the hell do I keep coming up with solid based material to write or work on. To be plain honest, the more you strive to write, the more creative you will definitely become. Constantly writing on something which you are passionate about or concerns you, and somehow you’ll be taking your writing to a new level as you do it.


You’ll start to see things and opinions from a new perspective as you do it. So, believe me when I say, that there is more inside of you that’s capable than you think. There are many years of creativity in you that will only get deeper through the passage of time.


3. See and seize every moment as it is an opportunity to learn something new


I used to just only live — or rather sort of let life go along while I had a good time. But when you blog constantly, it forces you to look for inspiration all the time and everywhere. Every minor conversation, every movie you watch, even every song, every book, and every damn meal you eat.


The list goes on and on. Learn everywhere and do not forget to keep track of all your different inspirations and ideas. Pen them down on papers or draw them out.


4. Always be open to positive re-enforcements or aka Criticisms


I used to dislike publishing my blog because I was afraid of the negative criticism people think about my blog.  I also feared that people would judge me, think I may too young to voice out an opinion, shallow,naive, or even too simple.


You must never ever allow criticism to defeat you. Otherwise, your ideas will only live in your own mind for yourself.


5. Try not to waste time


If you blog constantly, you realise you will have to be able to sacrifice good things for greater things. I don’t watch TV much because there’s usually a blog post that is pending or needs to be drafted. An idea that needs to be developed.


Blogging trades mindless boring entertainment for creativity and also vision. I’m also able to make a small difference in people’s lives through my writing and that’s what keeps me going.


What lessons has blogging taught you?


My love hate relationship


So here you are standing at the crossroad junction – Which path do you take? What are the endings and outcome you are seeking for? You settle down to think, maybe a good ending would be nice.. but then a different ending would seem more interesting. Hmm should the star crossed lovers die together? Or maybe kill one of them and have the other alone and always finding hope in the stars. You then get frustrated and throws the book away to a corner.


What kind of book is that? You thought to yourself. Who would buy a stupid book with no proper structure to the story and no definite ending? It does gets frustrating when you have to think of how the story goes on your own. Isn’t that why we buy books for? Because we await and anticipate the unknown. We look and explore through the mind and imaginations of the author.


Stories are structured and made linear for a reason, probably because we are taught that or maybe it is just a human’s need for structure in our lives. You need to flow through a book from the start and it needs to make sense and tie the entire story back together in the end. Maybe i’m just conventional. But it doesn’t mean I’m not open to a different way or writing or bringing stories together.


If you’ve watch Christopher Nolan’s production titled, Inception. Let me just tell you that I was literally mindfu*ked and blown away. Pardon the language. But leaving the ending to our imagination and thoughts was pure genius. At the end of the movie we all found ourselves questioning the movie. Was everything just a dream, or did the main lead manage to finish his task and get back to reality to be with his children? I literally had to watch the movie 4 times to somehow convince myself that my own conclusion was the right one.


Changing the structure in texts is a love hate thing. We love something different, something raw and new, yet on the other hand we hate the change. Too much of it makes us uncomfortable and frustrated. There are so many theories to text and writing, and it does prose questions to possiblity of getting things done in different ways. Better ways to encourage creativity and thinking. But is the world ready for that much change? I doubt so. Theories will just be theories, it is something that is required in a educational instituition but not something that currently society will accept just yet.


So, thank you for the suggestions. But i’m going to have turn you down. It’s now time for me to sit down, have a cup of tea while I continue reading my favourite selection of conventionally structured books written and explored by my favourite authors.  😉


Writing about Thought Catalog is extremely hard for me because every time I go to check something on the site I end up reading content for the next hour, or until someone jostles me with a text message. But I will do it, because it’s elegant marketing strategy is intriguing and deserves medal.


If you must know, Thoughtcatalog.com is “a place for relevant and relatable non-fiction and thoughts” according to their own ‘about’ section. The premise is that the contributing writers to Thought Catalog are diverse and self-selecting. It’s writers range from students to established writers, and the written pieces are unlike anything you’ll find in mainstream media.


Thought Catalog is very popular among a mostly young adult age group. The content is relevant to twenty somethings because it is commentary on the underside of indie or hipster culture, and often focuses on twists and qualms relevant to young adults in transition. This is substantiated by the search referrals and hypertexts to the site, which mostly consist of topics like “how do I know I’m crushing on the right person” and “things that drunk people say”. It is most definitely fun, edgy, and as the Huffington Post puts it “illuminating.”



It is a venue for anyone to explore their creativity and writing and also to gain insight into the life of other people. It is through thought catalog that many are inspired and will soon write their own stories to inspire other. It is technically  a form of blogging, except that the blog isn’t yours. Many people pour out stories, dreams, aspirations and advises. That is what makes Though Catalog so beautiful, the fact that so many people are able to talk about anything and everything without boundaries.



Thought catalog helps us to see our lives through the lives of other, and also to help us realise that we are not going through life alone. These are nothing that you can ever get from a magazine or a book. It is a form of expression, the voices of millions of young people around the world. What is Social Media? What are facebook statuses and tweets when there are soulful and inspiring posts up on thought catalog.


Blogging may be something that has already started years ago, but with the decline of social media in recent years, we are able to see where the next trend is heading towards. Give it a shot, Just hop onto the thought catalog site and trust me, you’ll find yourself going posts after posts reading up on and feeling inspired about whimsical tales and the realities of life. All in one simple yet beautiful site and maybe one day you’ll soon write in and inspire others as well.


Data Smog


I recently read an article from a Singaporean blog on how data smog is now slowly consuming the internet. What is data smog you may ask. Data smog is a term coined by Journalist David Shenk.  It deals with the author’s idea of how the technology revolution would shape the world at large and how the incredible amount of data available on the internet would make it more difficult for the average individual to sift through and separate fact from fiction.


According to David,” with the advance of technologu, we have been able to progress in terms of society, economy, and even health. Communication is instantaneous, knowledge is abundant, and as humans we try to keep up with this expansion of data that continues to accumulate from around the world.


However, it is this overwhelming amount of information that is defined as data smog; “this unexpected, unwelcome part of our atmosphere, an expression for the noxious muck and druck of the information age.


The wealth of information that is so beneficial for us is harming some because of the sheer amount of it at such a fast rate, “The sheer volume of information which many of us are exposed to every day may actually impair our performance and add stress to our lives.

We may be unaware of this but each time we get onto the internet we are overwhelmed by too much information and date, accessing too many different opinions and having too many choice. This brings me back to hypertext for a little bit. Hyperlink has helped us run though internet pages more proficiently but because it connects us so quickly to so many pages and information is that beneficial to our health? Not many people are made aware of data smog. Because we are so unaware of the health issues that it may cause many people fall in, maybe not physically but fall into a state of bad mental health. I’ve done a quick research on data smog and found out that there are a few ways to avoid being overwhelmed by all the information we get online.

Ways in which to ‘beat the smog’:

  • Spend some time each week without your pager or cell phone.
  • Resist advertising – never buy a product based on unsolicited email (spam).
  • Go on periodic “data fasts.” A weekend in the country away from the telephone can rejuvenate a smogged-in brain.
  • Write clearly and succinctly. Verbose writing is wasteful and difficult to read.
  • Skim newsletters and magazines and rip out a copy of an article or two that you really want to read and digest.
  • Filter your email. Many email programs allow you to set “filters” which send unwanted email directly to the trash. It is worth taking the time to do this.
  • Do not forward chain letters, urgent messages about email viruses, or claims that Someone will send everyone thousands of dollars. These things clog up everybody’s inbox with worthless stuff.
  • Organize your Web bookmarks or favourites. Keeping these in meaningful folders will go a long way toward helping you really find that site you are looking for.

Reading and Symposium 2.2


Through my readings and understanding, I know that Hypertext is text displayed on a computer display or other electronic device with references or hyperlinks to other text which the reader can immediately access, or where the text can be revealed progressively at multiple levels of detail.


Hypertext also allows the reader’s own freedom of association, being able to decide for themselves where they choose to click next. It allows for easy revisiting of older or previously read material, and facilitates the sharing of knowledge through associative indexing, rather than a system of alphabetical or numerical filing. It makes life a lot easier for everyone using the internet.

But where did Hypertext arrive from?

It is good to learn that the concept of the memex influenced the development of early hypertext systems (eventually leading to the creation of the internet and personal knowledge based software. However, the memex system used a form of document bookmark list, of static microfilm pages, rather than a true hypertext system where parts of pages would have internal structure beyond the common textual format.


In our reading “As We May Think,” Bush describes a memex as an electromechanical device enabling individuals to develop and read a large self-contained research library, create and follow associative trails of links and personal annotations, and recall these trails at any time to share them with other researchers. This device would closely mimic the associative processes of the human mind, but it would be gifted with permanent recollection. As Bush writes, “Thus science may implement the ways in which man produces, stores, and consults the record of the race”.


The technology used would have been a combination of electromechanical controls, microfilm cameras and readers, all integrated into a large desk. Most of the microfilm library would have been contained within the desk, but the user could add or remove microfilm reels at will and many more intricate words and information that we were required to understand were just hard to comprehend.


All in all, these technology terms and jargons of words only tells us that in the end these technology are there to aid us in our daily lives, help us improve our future in the field of medicine, science and of course technology. I still do not really comprehend the readings that well but I do know that hyperlinks made things a lot easier for me in terms of my daily usage of the internet and also school work. I look forward to future readings and symposium sessions on hypertext to get a deeper understanding of it, with elliot discussing and breaking the readings down so i understand it a little better.


Geert who?


Today we got into our groups and got started on our NIKI pages. I was obviously crossing my fingers and hoping Elliot would be kind on me but he threw us a topic no one know, understood and could fathom. Our topic was to write up a interview on some dutch profession who had a passion for media activism and wrote a book on networks. or at least that was what I got out from a 5 minutes read off his wikipedia page.


As a group we started gathering more concise information and deets on this guy and with 4 brains combined we managed to understand that Geert, formally adressed as Professor Geert Lovink is a research professor in Interactive media . He is also the founding director of the Institute of Network Cultures, whose goals are to explore, document and feed the potential for socio-economical change of the new media field through events, publications and open dialogue.


Well yada yada so on and so forth. But what I would like to talk about is his latest book titled “Networks without a cause” where he explores the social impact of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, LinkedIn, Google, and so on. What I find interesting is that book takes the specific question of what the social is in social media as its starting point, providing a sociological understanding of the dominant role that centralized media platforms play – that is how they rule the Internet from the inside, and hence a good part of our daily lives. His insight revolves around the statement that “Once the Internet changed the world; now the world is changing the Internet.”



Completely unaware, users of social networks have fallen into a trap laid by the politics of terror. Social networks are chains of complete strangers, who are not permitted to voice any true debate on any topic whatsoever. All that’s allowed is a simple ‘Like,’ watering down any chance for critical exchange, doing even more than television to flatten out people’s lives, and offering no tool that could have any real impact on everyday life, let alone political life.


Lovink stresses the point that social networks are socially useless as they lack a common cause. He looks at the total waste of time of using what he calls news industry tools — media that enable real-time updates of no specific value, such as Twitter, which has created a constant flow of journalistic headlines without any depth of analysis or investigation, and which we no longer pay any attention to as we have become so blasé to it all.


Word after word, I couldn’t help nodding my head in agreement as I kept on reading. It was the sudden realisation that the once raved season of social media, is now slowly dying off. It made the world smaller and I guess more connected but It made us lazy, less intellectual and everything that old media taught us to do. Old media brings us back to basic and teaches us to go the long horrendous path and not liking a comment but not having anything to say about it.


Because we have all been so engulfed in this wave of social media, we grew dependent and forget about writing critical comments, giving honest opinions on things and most importantly opinions that are valued and not just something we write and  within the span of 100 words and try to squeeze them together with short lingos just to get messages across. I’m sure we’ve all benefitted from the use of social media however we have to agree that It’s not what it used to be anymore.


We are looking for clearer, better more efficient ways to get the world connected, and get messages acrossed. We, the users of the internet are changing it slowly, we are shaping it to what we want and need. Now that social media is dying, I am excited for what the future brings and new upcoming technology that will further change and enhance our lives like the google glass. We are always changing and so will technology.


Week 1.2 workshop

With prior experience in bloggings, I’ve learnt how to start up my own blog and change my themes, layouts and other settings according to what I want. There are many advantages to knowing HTML, and believe it or not, you don’t really need to know much, and once you get the logic of it, it’s actually pretty easy to learn. Here are a few examples of what HTML looks like:


  • Images: <img src="http://yourimageurl.com" alt="cool image"/></img>
  • Links: <a href="http://yourblog.com" target="_blank"/>Awesome Blog</a>
  • Font size: <font size="6">Look at the size of the text!</font>
  • Font color:<font color="red">Look at the color of the text!</font>
Nowadays, when I need to do something in HTML and don’t know the code, I use Google. There are plenty of great resources, for instance w3schools.com has everything you need to know about HTML.
Another way to learn HTML is to look at your posts in HTML mode in your blog editor. I used this a lot when I wanted to have special text treatment or was learning how to imbed an image, or make a bulleted list. Trust me, I’m a slow learner, and this helped a lot.

Finally… practice, practice, practice. Code doesn’t stick in my head easily, but after blogging for the past almost five years, I can make an image with a link that opens a new page in my sleep. Which comes in handy because a lot of times code puts me to sleep. Anyway, learning HTML will really help you get started on being more independent and help you get a good start to pushing your blog to the next level.




Readings week 1

This weeks readings talk about various methods of learning and observation situations. I learnt that through the purpose of noticing we are able to be impartial in situations and when the time comes to make decisions we won’t be swayed. It is said that in the readings that during discussions or decision making we tend to be more clouded in our choices and thoughts when we already have a structured ideology in mind. It is through noticing,evaluating and reflecting on our ideas that the chances of us making a more appropriate thought or action would seem clearer and make more sense. Now, when we take what we’ve read in the previous reading and then apply it to blogging we realise that what we put out onto the internet is clearly noticed and seen by many worldwide. And this is something that is not within our control. What we can control is, the contents that we put out there onto the world wide web and maybe setting up our spam filter. However, evaluating the contents written before posting it would be a wise option, it is something clearly within our control and can contain.

Keyboard Warriors

Everyone who uses the internet is a keyboard warrior, we all have different personas and have the ability to create a new image of ourselves on the internet. Why do I use the term keyboard warrior?  “The Keyboard Warrior seeks to use the power imbued in his ‘weapon’ to effect death and destruction (in a strictly-metaphorical sense) upon his foes (other virtual identities he has encountered on the internet). In essence, the keyboard (ie. text input ability) allows the keyboard warrior to manifest his true warrior nature in a safe and removed environment, from which no real-life repercussions .” Via the world wide web all of us are safely tucked behind our computer screens and spinning images and tales of ourselves. What we want other to see is not necessarily what goes on in reality. Yet, it provides us an alternative route. Another form of redemption, to save ourselves from showing everyone the realities of what goes on in our actually very mundane life. This is what the internet has made of us – Keyboard warriors.