Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Singapore and music player

Singapore residents seem to have quite a romance with MP3 players. This morning I took an opportunity to count how many people actually hearing songs while waiting for the train. Out of 33 people waiting for the train in a single door, I notice 22 people wearing either ear phones or head phones! That is 67% of them. No wonder mobile phones in Singapore seems to have audio player as a default feature. Too bad it does not seem that any company is taking a significant market share in it although iPhone seems to be very popular, held by students, teenagers and young adults.

Some people even use their music player to entertain others, kind of anyway. They enjoy blasting their music on their tiny ears. At times the music sounds even louder than if I were to use my own music player. When the music is what I enjoy, it is not that bad but most of the times, it's a pure ear splitting drums, heavy metals or alternative music that are blasting off. So it is quite annoying. This morning was not that bad though. There was only one (a Secondary School boy) out of the 22 people with music player who was blasting his music. It strikes me that with such a number of music player user and a small number of people who over estimate their ears, the business of hearing aid should be good in 20-30 years down the road. Surely they would have problem with their ears after subjecting their ears to daily loud music. Some scientific studies have outlined the danger of amplified music regularly:

It would be interesting to understand whether the hearing aid companies actually know this case before venturing to Singapore. Quite a number of advertisements in the train actually.

Sometimes I have even thought of producing a T-Shirt with wordings "Listen less to music, Protect your ear" or "Keep your music to yourself" kind of T-shirt to wear in the train every morning. Haha... There are two big players in sarcasm T-shirt in Indonesia but none in Singapore. Anyone wants to join me?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Curriculum in NTU

I studied in Nanyang Technological University for a total of 7 years ins the School of Mechanical and Aerospace engineering. So I have a good idea of what was taught. However, my several working years clearly indicate the insufficiency of what was taught suring the undergraduate study. I feel that they should have taught taguchi method and project management as core subjects. Plenty of engineer's work would need taguchi method and most of the time, engineer runs project so a good understanding of project management surely help. However, I do understand that there has been plenty of comments on how busy he study life is.I would think that simple weighting prioritization scorwe wilhelp determine which subject would need to bw compulsory. Subject such as human resource management is hard yo argue for its usefulness. When project management is in the curriculum, project team management would be inside anyway.

There are plenty of ways to reinvigorate the life of engineer in NTU and I believe the change is necessary for survival and to ensure survivabity and relevant to the world today. I don't think that would be other ways to do.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Singapore taxi driver

I am continuously amazed by the taxi driver in Singapore every single time I take taxi. Most are generally quite talkative. They all offer unique perspectives of their lives and do not shy away from dishing some advices of how to lead one's life.

I can however put them into three baskets generally speaking:
1. Super rich taxi driver. They are some sort of high level executives in their previous jobs before deciding to retire and instead of spending time doing nothing, they drive taxi. Simply as filling up their time. These drivers are generally of full praise of the government.
2. Normal taxi driver. They are simply driving taxi to earn a living. Nothing like the type in no.1. Perhaps since generally they are in the middle income range or slightly below middle income that they are the complaining type. Most rant about how the Government doesn't care about the people, how Singapore is terrible place to live, how things has become quite expensive.
3. The silent one. They are simply ignoring you and aim to put you where to go with the slightest conversation as possible. They just want to make their ends' meet.

I think the drivers embodies typical Singaporeans. It is quite interesting to see how diverse the view that people have of the governance in Singapore. It is also a good description and wake up call that nothing is perfect in this world.