Wednesday, February 17, 2010

An Extremely Moving Story....

Dr. Cai is Singapore's most famous taxi driver at least among netizens many of whom read his blog to learn about his life as a taxi driver. Dr. Cai is also probably the most educated taxi driver in Singapore . He has a Phd from Stanford.

"Identification of novel recognition motifs and regulatory targets for the yeast actin-regulating kinase Prk1p".Molecular biology of the cell 2003;14(12):4871-84.2003: Huang Bo; Zeng Guisheng; Ng Alvin Y J; Cai Mingjie [Link]
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As a researcher, satisfaction comes from getting your papers accepted by reputable journals. You publish a few every year and at the end of the year, you list these publications as your accomplishments to your boss e.g dept head. If they are any good, they will be cited by other researchers in the same area - the productivity and quality of a researcher is sometimes measured by the h-index[Link] based on number of citations received for your publications. Your research work may or may not be worth much, may or may not be discovered by others had you not done it, may or may not lead to a breakthrough and so on. Much of the research work goes into a huge pile and only a very small handful find their way into products that benefits anyone. I ought to know because I read about 50-100 papers every week to find solutions for various complex problems. There is almost nothing more different from research work in molecular biology than driving a taxi. In taxi driving, you take a passenger from point A to point B - the usefulness of your work is clear, immediate and measurable.
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Very few of us will know what "yeast actin-regulating kinase Prk1p" is but many of us have been touched by Dr. Cai's stories as a taxi driver[his blog]. His stories tell us something about people, life, happiness, sadness, .....
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I was very moved by this story.....one about a true Singapore tragedy....
-----------------------------------

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

July 22, 2009. Wednesday: The unbearable heaviness of being

Forty minutes into the evening peak hours, I was waiting at the Bukit Merah Central taxi stand.

Despite its proximity to Chinatown and the financial district, and its long history as the epicenter of one of the earliest housing estates in Singapore, Bukit Merah Central is far less glamorous than other regional centers. There are no modern attractions such as shopping malls, cinemas, restaurants, or disco pubs to draw the crowds. There used to be a public swimming complex next to the bus terminal, but it had been shut for many years. The only saving grace was an NTUC Fairprice supermarket, one of the largest in town.

I noticed an Indian woman walking slowly in my direction. She lumbered along, carrying several Fairprice grocery bags, her body tilting from side to side with each heavy step.

She finally reached my taxi and motioned me to open the trunk so she could place her bags inside. Then she came in, sat in the front seat and told me to go to Telok Blangah Way, a five to eight minutes drive depending on the traffic lights.

Although the short distance of the trip was a disappointment to me, it was expected. Most people taking taxis from here were residents of the neighboring HDB estates with too many grocery bags to go home by bus. My mind was occupied by something else. I glanced at her and asked, “What do you have in your bags?”

“What do you mean?” She looked at me as if she found my question rudely intrusive.

“Oh, nothing,” I quickly explained. “I just want to say that if you have seafood in there, I’d like to put some newspaper underneath your bags, since I had some troublesome experience before...”

“No seafood.” She cut me off. “Only fruits and vegetables.”

I apologized for asking the question. She said it was okay, she understood my concern.

From close up, I realized she was younger than I thought when I saw her from a distance. She was probably in her late forties, and wore an oversized brown dress.

She turned to me and asked, “What about durian? You mind if I have durian?”

“No. Durian is ok,” I said with a smile. “The smell of durian doesn’t stay long.”

“Yeah,” she said. “Otherwise, how am I supposed to carry it? Buses don’t allow it. MRT don’t allow it. If taxis also don’t allow it...”

“I am sure most taxis will allow it,” I said.

Looking for something to say, I asked, “You are not working today?”

She gave me an “are you making fun of me?” kind of look and said, “You find me a job and I will work.”

I felt stupid. I was quiet for a moment, trying to imagine what other good-natured taxi uncles would do in this case. I then told her that if she was looking for a job she could look in the newspapers, talk to friends, or ask her MPs for help.

We were reaching her stop, which was in a carpark next to an HDB block. She took out her wallet, held it in her hand, and said slowly, “Yeah. But I have this arthritis for many years. I have never been in a working condition.”

That was what caused her heavy steps, I realized.

I tried to cheer her up. “That’s okay. You don’t have to work then. At least you have your husband to support you.”

“My husband passed away,” she said under her breath. Her hands stopped opening her wallet.

I stuttered, “I…I’m sorry.”


She looked at me, her eyes two ice cubes melting under the sun. “You know a month and half ago, in the news, a husband and a son jumped off a building...”

As if struck by lightning, I felt a current bolt from my scalp to my feet. “My god. That’s your…” I froze in shock.


“Yes. That’s my…husband and…my boy.” Her tears finally overran the dam and streamed down her cheeks.

I read the news after I came back from the trip to China. This was one of the most heartbreaking family tragedies I had heard of in Singapore. I was extremely saddened by the realization that human lives were so fragile, and could be shattered at the most unexpected moments.

According to the reports, the sequence of events on June 6, 2009, were as follows:

That evening, twenty-five year old Raja was meeting with some of his friends near his residence. They had some drinks. He had been unhappy lately as he lost his job about a month ago. During the gathering, his younger brother called and asked him to go somewhere else together, but Raja said he was tired and didn’t want to go.

Around 10:30pm, he was back home in his apartment on the ninth floor, but not for long. He told his mother that he was going out again. His mother was worried about him as he looked a little tipsy and asked him to stay at home. But he was in no mood to listen to her.

On his way out his father came to speak to him, saying he should listen to his mother and not go out at this hour. They got into a heated argument. His father said he should worry about finding a job rather than hanging out aimlessly. Raja was further upset by the remarks. He stepped out of the house and locked the front gate from the outside with a padlock.

He then walked to the edge of the corridor, said he was not a worthy son to his parents and jumped over the parapet in front of his family.

The family was locked inside and could do nothing to stop him. They witnessed the tragedy in horror, and immediately called their relatives and the police for help.

The police came and had to call the civil defense personnel to cut the lock to free the family, who came out to see Raja lying dead on the ground nine floors below.

The family collapsed in grief on the ground floor, accompanied by their relatives and the police. They were then led to a nearby bench to sit and calm down. After a while, the father left and before anyone became aware of his movements, he took the lift to the tenth floor. He jumped off the building crying “my son!” and landed on the ground next to his son’s body.

Both father and son were pronounced dead at the scene.

“My boy,” the woman wiped some tears and said, “I loved him. I loved him so much. Every time he couldn’t sleep at night he asked me, mama, come here. I came to sit by him, put my hand here, where his heart was beating. He would fall asleep right away.” She put her hand over her heart to demonstrate.

She slowly turned her head, and pointed to the cement ground along the side of the building. “That’s where my son was, and that’s where my husband was.”

I stared at the ground. Cold, hard cement, only a few steps away from my car. On the surface, any trace of blood from the two people she loved most had long been washed away. But I was certain, deep in the heart of the soil, their blood was still there, and would stay there forever.

“Sometimes I tell myself,” she said, her eyes staring blankly ahead, “at least they are together up there, taking care of each other.”

I looked at the woman. Her face was still covered with tears. Could anybody in this world possibly know what she had gone through? Only a short while ago, I was worried about her bags contaminating my taxi... I bit my lip and struggled to contain my own tears.

“I have to go on with my life. I have two other children to take care of,” she said as she opened her wallet. I pressed my hand on hers and said in a shivering voice, “I can’t take money from you.”

“You can. Business is business,” she insisted.

“No. I really can’t.” That was the only thing I could say.

“Please. Even if just a little bit,” she said as she took out some money from her wallet. “It will make me feel better.”

Her wallet was thin and empty. I could see there were only three or four $2 notes inside. She took out two of them and put them in my hand. She looked into my eyes and said, “You understand me?”

The $4 she gave me was not “just a little bit”. It was almost the full fare, but I couldn’t speak. I just nodded.

She got out, took the bags, and walked slowly towards the building, shifting her weight from side to side, passing by the spots where her son and husband landed a month and a half ago.

With her heavy steps…

A note of explanation: It has been a general rule that my stories do not contain information which would allow the identification of persons involved in the events described. This story is an exception as it was about a tragic event that had already been made public by the news media.

60 comments:

Anonymous said...

My gosh... dunno what to say... Thanks for sharing.

Localize said...

Dr Cai manage to tell a very sad story that reflect what is happening in Singapore daily.

And how do we treat the talents we have?

Seelan Palay said...

The tragic reality of Singaporean life that the people in power will never realize, and even if they do, they wouldn't give a damn.

Lim Leng Hiong said...

Sometimes there are people who carry a hidden burden that lies just below the surface.

This is why I advocate giving people the benefit of the doubt, especially in a densely populated country like ours.

Anonymous said...

Singapore may be small but there are much about daily life of lesser or greater mortals and events here which are a rich material source for good and interesting writings, both fiction and non fiction.

The problem is we are short of good writers like Dr Cai who can write from first hand observations and write well too.

But sometimes given the political climate and compactness here, one have to be careful too, lest one get carried away by one's writing and got sued. There is such a thing as inference, meaning although names may not be explicitly mentioned it can be inferred.

Onlooker said...

Localize:
Yes it is sad how we treat our real Stanford graduate Foreign talent who took up citizenship in Singapore.

His book is coming up,I going to add it to my collection of Books that tell the true stories of Singapore.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, $ingapore is an unforgiving place, garmen and most people.

Anonymous said...

You think your job is being taken over by cheap PRC??
Minority race singaporeans have it twice as hard finding a job...

Clear eyed said...

If only the policy makers in their ivory tower are moved as we are by the tragedies and struggles that are taking place daily throughout the island. Only then can we hope that the policies that they implement will benefit the people, including the poor, the old and the marginalised. Only then will Singapore be a truly kinder, gentler and more inclusive society.

Anonymous said...

You think your job is being taken over by cheap PRC??
Minority race singaporeans have it twice as hard finding a job...

you deserve to be jobless.Even courts had gone to Malaysia to employ Malaysian Chinese and Indians to work in their Shop.

That is because you singaporeans aren't hard striving and hard driving enough.

What minority race? Singapore is a chinese country that openly discriminate Indians and Malay.Deepavali and Hari raya is not as celerated as your Chinese new year.

Confucianism countries have no place in modern society that is why India is an open society.

Anonymous said...

that idiot is a cunning PRC who can't do his job properly. he drive a taxi to get the fame he seek. you stupid fool call it a moving story.

your story must also be moving since you kanna booted by PAP and can only criticise them here.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many of our unemployed and unemployed "freelancers" were becos of the foreigners, as if any would care.

Lim Leng Hiong said...

Lucky, have you heard this latest news?

http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_491285.html

Man stole after casino losses (ST Feb 17, 2010 )

Excerpt:

"AN INDONESIAN man who lost all his money at the Resorts World Sentosa casino stole a mobile phone from an undergraduate at Changi Airport...

...A court heard that he came here from Malaysia last Tuesday with the intention of patronising the newly-opened casino at RWS. As he lost all his money gambling at the casino on Monday, the second day of its opening, he decided to steal from passengers at Changi Airport."

Anonymous said...

Mr Lucky

This kind of story is actually very common in SG.
For years.
Esp among the minority races.
U should be aware rite?

Hey perhaps u could help setup a selfless non-religious NGO to help them?

I am sure plenty of your diehard fans would be glad to help.

Anonymous said...

To anon17/2/10 19:29:

Just like your masters, u r heartless and souless.
No much better than a machine.

Anonymous said...

Lucky Tan,
you might want to know the true account and the picture of the deceased

http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking%2BNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_424497.html

AN UNEMPLOYED man returned home drunk and leapt to his death shortly after a dispute with his parents, a coroner's court heard on Wednesday.

Not long after Selvaraja Suppiah's fall from the ninth-floor corridor of Block 33 Telok Blangah Way, his distraught father, Nadeson Suppiah, 55, also followed suit by jumping from the 10th floor of the block in the early hours on June 7.

At a joint coroner's inquiry, State Coroner Eddy Tham recorded a verdict of suicide on the 25-year-old's death as well as Nadeson's.

The court heard that Selvaraja had financial and relationship problems. He had broken up with his girlfriend four to five months earlier, and lost his job as a safety supervisor about a month before the incident.

He had also borrowed money from a loanshark.

Selvaraja also told a cousin and a friend his intentions to end his life on many occasions.

On June 6 at about 10.30pm, he returned home tipsy. When he told his mother, Madam Maliga Veerapan, 49, he was going out again, she tried to stop him. The father also intervened. The scene turned sour.

Selvaraja locked the gate and moments before he leapt from the corridor, his father had scolded him and called him a 'lousy son''.

The family was stuck in the flat as the keys could not be found.

After civil defence officers had cut the padlock, Nadeson went to the corridor and reacted emotionally. Police officers and relatives had to physically restrain him from the cement railing.

At the ground floor after viewing his son's body from outside a police cordon, he was led by relatives and friends to a stone bench at the void deck. He slipped away, took a lift to the 10th floor and jumped down.

None of the family members was in court for the inquiry.

Anonymous said...

The minute anyone takes up citizenship, he/she stops being a talent in the eyes of the PAP govt. That's the brutal truth hahaha!

Anonymous said...

An UNEMPLOYED man returned home drunk and leapt to his death shortly

Anonymous said...

This is how FT policy had made
sinkies families shattered....bcoz of unemployment.

Thanks to PAP.

Curious said...

Lucky,

I've already read this story, but it's your beginning that I find interesting. You've made me VERY curious as to what you work as? 50-100 papers a week? Can give any clue to your job?

Anonymous said...

A calculus teacher?

runroad said...

I too was deeply touched by Dr. Cai's account of his encounter with the bereaved lady who lost not one but two of her closest kin within a matter of a few moments. It simply doesn't bear thinking about what it must be like to witness two terrible blows like that in quick succession. That awful scene will replay in the poor lady's mind for the rest of her days.

As for Anonymous, @ 17/2/10 19:29, I do not know why you felt it necessary to launch your churlish and spiteful attack upon Dr. Cai but I found it, and you, distasteful. Your assertion that 'he drive a taxi to get the fame he seek' is as preposterous as you are ungracious and crude.

Kyaw Tun said...

Very touching moment

Anonymous said...

kenna conned lol

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon 15:10,

Who are you infering about? You must be half an idiot to think that none of the Singaporeans know what you are talking about. Silent fear is an OPEN SECRET in our public and abroad lah. It is no longer a secret. We all know that LKY will sue as long as he is not MADE RIGHT. Nothing new about that. OBAMA and the world knows it. It is such an OPEN SECRET that the younger generation are talking about it. Haven't you see that NTU MEDIA ARTS grad youtube clip in front of our most expensive president Nathan during a convocation? Today's PAP is in fear of losing control.

Anonymous said...

Anon 15:16,

Your words are so true. It is an unforgiving place. This is because elitism and extreme meritocracy makes a few people think it's not their problem when others are in tough times. Why do we have a government again? Erm...what IS a government suppose to do again?

Anonymous said...

Anon 15:16,

Your words are so true. It is an unforgiving place. This is because elitism and extreme meritocracy makes a few people think it's not their problem when others are in tough times. Why do we have a government again? Erm...what IS a government suppose to do again?

Anonymous said...

"If only the policy makers in their ivory tower are moved as we are by the tragedies and struggles that are taking place daily throughout the island."

PAP has forgotten how much 1kg of rice costs.

District 10 said...

Please look at the dramatized account from another perspective. it is the natural orders of evolution at work. the weak are being filtered off.

By living in a competitive society is the only guaranteed way of survivial for our species. such weaklings that leaped off are no victims, they are simply being taken off the system. while tragic it may seems, we must learn to accept that if we who have the resource, interfere with the order, we are simply doing a disservice to our species.

let me remind you that populist bloggers such as taxi cai and loser tan are nothing more than people with their own agenda gaining popularity for their own benefits.

On a good note, when the hang seng return from it's holidays, i did make 10 years the salary of the deceased had he been employed at 2.5k/mth. its not that hard isnt it. if only he could catch up, he wouldnt be filtered by the system.

Remember save your sympathies, helping them will only make their pain last longer. do the right thing and let them figure it out.

District 10

Anonymous said...

Hi District 10,

I know I know. Not helping them is for their own good! Sounds like that Wee Shu Min elite.

This place is not only unforgiving, it's uncaring too!

Anybody (local and FT) with a right mind wants to call this place home? Or just want to make your pot of gold and bye bye?

Lim Leng Hiong said...

"Please look at the dramatized account from another perspective. it is the natural orders of evolution at work. the weak are being filtered off.

By living in a competitive society is the only guaranteed way of survivial for our species. such weaklings that leaped off are no victims, they are simply being taken off the system. while tragic it may seems, we must learn to accept that if we who have the resource, interfere with the order, we are simply doing a disservice to our species."

District 10, what you are saying does not reflect the reality of either biological or social evolution.

Competition is NOT the "only guaranteed way" of survival, even if we focus on natural selection alone, mutualism is also an important survival strategy.

To put it bluntly, if competition were the "only guaranteed way" to survive, then the evolution of multicellular organisms, including yourself, would be impossible.

Your view is an extreme version of Social Darwinism that should not be passed off as the "natural orders of evolution".

Anonymous said...

But LLH,

LKY has admitted to being a social darwinist. That's the whole fucking problem that we're facing today.

Anonymous said...

To District 10:

People of your kind will surely meet with a sad ending. Sad thing is due to the policies and attitudes of the papist leegime many rich and successful in Singapore are behaving just like u. How ignorant and silly of little frogs like u to behave as such. The cycle of life is real. Today u may be on top, who knows what is in store tomorrow. Low life like u surely does no know that all living creatures come from the same source - cosmic consciousness. Only those who have seen thru the story of life are wise to such reality. The story of
Maddox is still very fresh and there are millions like him suffering away silently. Ever heard of the saying the higher u go the more painful the fall ? Let this be a warning to change your heartless way.

A non y mouse said...

Instead of lynching the troll.

Why not share what is it that strike a resonant chord in us.

I will start.
The Dignity and the sense of responsibility of the Mrs Veerapan who want to take care of her 2 other children.

There are a lot of Singaporeans with silent strengths in us yet we must break that silence.Dr Cai ,I'm proud to call you a fellow Singaporean.

The responsibility of the country's government is always to it's country's citizen.
Structural Joblessness due to a over liberal policy is damaging to our nation in the long run.

Both on the macroscopic overall economy and microscopic familial level.

District 10 said...

My words are harsh but my gospel will bring you light.

Of course there is a possibility that everyone will have an opportunity to fall but it is us who will stop it from happening or recover from it. If one fail to do so, Alas! the system had filtered one off.

For those who cannot accept the truth and mask your excuse with mindless gibberish, i say a prayer in your name to send you on your way.

Anonymous said...

To District 10:

U r nothing but a small heartless fry. U think u have arrived but what u see is emptiness. The fast cars, the big house don't bring u joy. U r addicted and want more and more. The more u have the more u want. Where will it end but in misery. 5 out of 100 lost in market speculation. Even the 5 who win end in misery. What u discarded are precious gems which will bring u joy of happiness and fulfillment. U fate is damned. U r doomed.

moe gan thai said...

Dr Cai should stand for election and help to build up oppositions.

Lim Leng Hiong said...

District 10: "My words are harsh but my gospel will bring you light... For those who cannot accept the truth and mask your excuse with mindless gibberish, i say a prayer in your name to send you on your way."

Nonsense.

Your view is untrue; harsh words or not doesn't even enter into it.

Competition is NOT the only survival strategy.

Take for instance the human infant - one of the most helpless in the animal kingdom, due to relative paucity of species-specific survival instincts.

A baby giraffe is up on its own feet within half an hour of birth. In stark contrast a baby human takes about year, often longer.

Human babies can only survive with social support. Not just from parents, but often from grandparents, siblings, other relatives and friends etc.

In your fantasy scenario where individual competition is the ONLY guaranteed survival strategy, the human species would have gone extinct a long time ago.

Indeed, unchecked vicious competition can become a contributing factor in the collapse of a society.

A real world example of this is the competition between the clans on Easter Island to built bigger and bigger stone statues, hastening the destruction of their environment and ultimately resulting in the demise of their society.

Anonymous said...

Correction: 95 out of 100 lost in stocks, financials, commodities and futures markets speculations.

Anonymous said...

You Die Your Business.

NS for Sinkapooreans, Jobs & Scholarships for PRs and Foreigners.

Time for Change. Vote Opposition.

Anonymous said...

pursue of more growth, productivity and profit do come at an expense. we work to live not live to work. i think people here should immigrate when they still can. this place is getting more and more hopeless. let go and be free.

Anonymous said...

a society without any sympathy for the poor, weak and disabled just like the society whereby hyenas roam the africa safari. are we humans or hyenas?

Anonymous said...

All of you guys need a wake-up call. Seriously, we have an LKY who is an extreme social darwinist. He believes in competition. If you follow his logic, you will go crazy. And many are crazy in this tiny part of the world. Somebody has a beautiful nose than you. Somebody has a proportionate body than you, someone is a better painter than you, somebody has a beautiful face than you, somebody is more intelligent than you...ALL THESE and just you. How are you going to compete? You will drive yourself nuts. And that's what is happening to humanity. Competition has led to a depletion of the earth's resources, global pollution and a sick planet. Thousands of diseases and viruses (SARS, mad cow, H1N1, etc.) are abound. Wake up, people! It's no longer about competition. It's about a worldwide collaboration. We are all earthlings! And unless we start seeing ourselves as one humanrace, we're fucked. BIGTIME!

Anonymous said...

Seelan Palay,

You're a cheap ass, aren't you? I wrote some thoughts on the comments section of your blog and you block out my remarks. Shame on you, man! You spoke out for freedom of speech and yet you practise unreasonable censorship on your own. I stopped visiting your blog. Learn something from Lucky, please.

Anonymous said...

I think LKY has double standards - competition for everyone, protectionism only for himself and his clan. For forecasting abilities, I'm better off consulting a fortune teller. The guy may be more accurate even. The highly paid (by protectionism) slef-appointed fortune teller in the world.

Anonymous said...

Mr Lim

According to your fellow atheist darwinist friend Mr Skeptic ... 97% of all species are already extinct due to evolution. More will follow suit with or without our interference.

And individual competition starts the moment u were a sperm...

Your idea of Mutualism (civilization?) is really a unnatural behavior brought by religion which you are against. Starting from shamans (small individual tribes) to the organized type of the sumerians(1st known urban center). If one is a true atheist evolutionist then there is really no logical reason to help the weak outside of family (gene pool).

Lucky will agree that all religions are not logical. Surely u agree with Lucky?

Its all about self-interest.
Worldwide collaboration will only occur if it serves everybody's interest more or less equally. But there will always be rent seekers.

Even in the Singaporean context. we all know that PAP is evil and Lucky is good. But we also know that going against PAP is painful. So does Lucky. we want some one else (like Lucky) to bear the pain while we enjoy the fruits (freedom). But unfortunately, even Lucky is not so noble to sacrifice himself for the good of all. But he is willing to entertain us with nice stories (usually lifted from somewhere else). We should be grateful.


PS: Mr District 10 ... can u stop embarrassing us proper PAP trolls...

Anonymous said...

Quote:
Lucky will agree that all religions are not logical. Surely u agree with Lucky?
Unquote.

Aha. What is your knowledge level of Buddhism. More than half of the Noble Price Winners in Science are Buddhists.
Some Western and highly qualified Buddhist monks even claimed that Buddhism is more emphirical than current Science.

Anonymous said...

Competition is the inherent nature of human beings.
That is why it is important for us humans to make an effort to care for one another so that we don't retrogress to behave like animals.
I am sure most of us don't want to go back to the stone age when we killed each other to stay alive. As it is we can see that subjecting Singaporeans to the full competitive forces of the free market on everything except political power has produced so many ugly and selfish Stinkaporeans like District 10 and Moron ministers

Anonymous said...

at the end of the day, there is an inner circle and there is an outer circle. this is a natural evolution. the sooner you recognize it, the better you will be at managing it.

Lim Leng Hiong said...

"According to your fellow atheist darwinist friend Mr Skeptic ... 97% of all species are already extinct due to evolution. More will follow suit with or without our interference." - Anon 19/2/10 22:32

I was trained in evolutionary biology, but I am neither an atheist nor a "darwinist". My philosophy tends towards dystheism and my view of evolution is pluralist, in the tradition of Morgan, Kimura and others.

"Your idea of Mutualism (civilization?) is really a unnatural behavior brought by religion which you are against. Starting from shamans (small individual tribes) to the organized type of the sumerians(1st known urban center). If one is a true atheist evolutionist then there is really no logical reason to help the weak outside of family (gene pool)."

I won't go into the details here but suffice to say that mutualism applies to more than human beings and social group dynamics apply to more than religions.

You are right that self-interest plays an important role but the benefits of component-level competition is not necessarily scaleable to large populations or higher organization levels.

A vivid example of this is when cancer cells divide rapidly and invade surrounding tissues. If left unchecked the cancer cells easily outcompete normal cells and disrupt the physiology at the whole organism level.

If they continue to grow, spreading out and invading into more and more subsystems, they will eventually kill the entire animal, which of course includes the cancer cells themselves.

It is easy to see that cooperation has a cost.

But competition also has a cost.

Anonymous said...

I hope to be a toilet cleaner with a PHD and my book is `Diary of a toilet cleaner.' Got it.

Anonymous said...

It makes me so angry that society has made us so and we in turn are weak enough to be herded into that direction.
1)Our self worth being measured by type of job, got job or jobless, got car or carless,2nd hand or brand new, district 9 or 29
2)Our current social economic state only perpetuates such self esteem issues.Society slips down this narrow definition of Progress, GDP growth, 8 A1s etc.Things will get much worth.
3)Religion might help some only if we don,t go to the church,temple,mosque etc to compare clothes.
4)It is so ingrained into our society through the media hollywood, peer group, teachers and even our own parents that its hold over almost everyone is unshakable.....

Anonymous said...

"The problem is we are short of good writers like Dr Cai who can write from first hand observations and write well too."
"If only the policy makers in their ivory tower are moved as we are by the tragedies and struggles that are taking place daily throughout the island. Only then can we hope that the policies that they implement will benefit the people, including the poor, the old and the marginalised. Only then will Singapore be a truly kinder, gentler and more inclusive society."
............i think if you observe singaporeans and people all over the world, u will realise that we as a society is decaying. All the religious education n civic classes and even the most conciencious parenting will most likely be overshadowed by the bombardment of society's unseen subliminal conditioning of consumerism, materialism , to each his own, to top your class, your cohort , your village,to measure self worth in warp ways is a deep source of The Problem.
As such even if a person is moved by a truly sad real life well written story, our current behaviour is that most of us myself included, our elected leaders and policy makers, neighbours and people with good intentions will very quickly forget these poor characters in this tragic story and get back to our predominant preCONDITIONED priorities of getting by or getting ahead in our little lives.
Just my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Be Grateful, "nice story to entertain.." proper Pappy Troll????
Social darwinism ????
Natural selection Mr D10???

Have a heart...its a real story of a lady who just lost two loved ones in a day , written and blogged by a Dr TaxiDriver.

Give her a break.

Some of you trolls write as if some pompousass enlish potato or english professor got stuck up your you know where. Either one and either way you sound silly if you are trying to make us Lucky fans look thru the dictionary while reading your 2 or 3 short paragraphs of bs.
Why don't you kiss ass somewhere else where your other brownose-ing talents may be recognized and duely rewarded .
As a result of your species's callous rationalizing n greedy hoarding , someday your end may come and you and your kind might be the first to be "Filtered Off" by a lynch mob from D20 or lorong 28...know what i mean....
By the way , lets see whether the smirk on your face for making a killing on the "Hang" Seng is gonna still "Hang" on that elitist face of yours.
See if your stock market profits which is"ten times" the poor dead man's 2.5k mthly salary is gonna save your skin D10.

Anonymous said...

Yeah District 10. You with your overdeveloped frontal lobe and oversize ego may think you are king of th world or top of the food chain now, but very quickly as boom becomes bust or in another social context you will be very likely buggered by the masses .

Anonymous said...

For those who worry for my lynching, i got a few homes in Australia and Vancouver. While i do not own a private jet, i do have a jet club membership that will be ready to fly in an hour time.

so in time of society collapse, i will be jetting out in comfort but i worry for the poor who have to bear the brunt of a collapsing economy. My chums, again this scenario shows the fittest will survive again because it is he who have the resources for a exit plan.

Imagine the 3 roomers will be barricading themself in thier hdb flats and hoping for the best, if natural selction dun get them first.

Anonymous said...

i don't own a jet plane.however, i have built a mini rocket in my backyard for the purpose of ejaculating from planet earth in the year 2012.
i hope to repopulate a new planet with my superior genes and create a utopia.
membership will be considered before the eventful day.

Anonymous said...

This clip is dedicated to Dr Lim Hock Siew. May the younger generation be politically more aware.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSdgBse1o7Q

Amused said...

One wonders why a such highly successful and wealthy person like District 10 would even bother to post at Lucky's puny blog eh?

Don't he have better things to do like, maybe, make yet more money for himself?

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