Thursday, December 29, 2011

Blogs. Your Blogs, My Blogs, Our Blogs. Start Blogging Today!

As much as this blog space asserts so much subjectivity, I do not in any way mean to come off as pretentious. The effort in spewing this much opinion makes it seem like I fancy myself as a know-it-all, which I humbly beg to say is absolutely not true. I only hope that by sharing these insights people find some useful concept or "way of viewing and filtering" things that they may find affinity to and reciprocally deem to be sensible enough to believe in.

What are opinions after all? When one goes through the comments sections of so many online articles, he is overwhelmed by a myriad opinions and insights. I refer to these as the conflict of the existence of wills. As free-willed individuals, we assert our existence with what we do, say, create, and leave behind, no matter how fleeting, temporary, and temporal the results and consequences seem to be. Opinions are but extensions of the assertion of the existence of wills, are they not? That's why, I think we ignore what we "feel and think" are not worth our attention and discard what does not "fit" our paradigm on how we would like to view the world (whether we believe it to be the right thing to do or simply because it was how we were trained to filter information, experiences, and empirical data).

As my mentor Mr. Pedro Benedicto once told me, the enlightened state of consciousness is key to enable us to transform our paradigm to something else, for the better if we realize how valuable the world's and other people's insights and experiences are. Of course there are poisonous insights that can corrupt one's paradigm and it is always a challenge to sift through so much on a daily basis. There are golden lessons and there is bull crap. Sometimes, we can be drowned by so
much viewpoints and opinions that we lose ourselves and lose track of what our original paradigm had molded us into. Our understanding of the world and the years we've looked at the world through these spectacles turn out to be all for naught. We look for a wall to lean to, a benchmark, a reference point, a guide, that we can establish our identity with or against.

That's why opinions matter so much because it reflects one way of how we assert the existence of our wills. Come to think of it, in the end, do we ever really know anything at all? Whatever paradigm we've developed for ourselves is ultimately a consequence of how it was built-up by so many influences around us. Science is indeed factual and based on experimentation, hypotheses tested continuously to reveal repeating patterns - truths - but with limits that are merely based on the extent of our own empirical senses. Some species have less than 5 senses to contend with and that's how they filter their reality, notwithstanding the fact that they also have a relatively limited intellect than what we homo-sapiens have.

So why even put IT out there, right? What could possibly be my motivation? I would be hard-pressed to persuade anyone to believe that all this effort isn't just for show or to impress passers-by of this URL. I can't even claim that this endeavor was in fact all-together conceptualized to be altruistic from the start, as a medium to dispense interpreted knowledge, as I've seen things through my eyes. Just the same, anyone would find it easy to speculate, yet hard to prove that the stuff I'm spewing out are motivated by presumptuous big-talk and pride.

Following the things I've mentioned earlier, however, these are assertions of my will; if not for anyone else who cares to read and reciprocate the sharing of insights, at the very least it is a celebration of the existence of my own will. And this applies to anyone else who gives the time and effort to his or her little corner of the web, i.e. the blog!

We have been trained by the educational system to trust and rely on the pundits, the academicians, the experts, and the professionals when it comes to accepting facts and even opinions. I think it still remains to be the safest way by which to build on the human database of knowledge. The legacy of the past can be built on by the younger generation. It would be disastrous if anyone and everyone claimed to be the best and most credible reference point for information, knowledge, and even wisdom, and yet people do this all the time. And so I must plead to people like these who have a tendency to tell other people off to open their eyes, read more, learn more, gain insights from other people, process information, and interpret them properly.

We all have a "say" on things and I would think that, unavoidably, it's only proper to honor these simple liberties. If we look at the situation, however, we're caught in a quagmire. We can't just allow people to force feed ideas onto others, especially when some of the "facts" and opinions they dispense are clearly against common sense, yet we have to honor these people's rights to say what they think. It's the right thing to do, the freedom of expression, the assertion of the existence of the will.

It's always like this on Yahoo comment threads that involve science or religion; it's the atheists against the non-atheists bashing each other. Hence, we find ourselves in a state of constant conflict, although non-physical, the battle of wills is evident. Would you tolerate someone telling your kids that the Earth had a second moon? Clearly, if in jest, it would be fine, but what if it was asserted as scientific fact? We, of course, are lucky to have our human knowledge database to refer to.

As Warren Buffett would say:

I'm very suspect of the person who is very good at one business—it also could be a good athlete or a good entertainer—who starts thinking they should tell the world how to behave on everything. For us to think that just because we made a lot of money, we're going to be better at giving advice on every subject—well, it's just crazy.

Source: http://www.edbagleyblog.com/FamousQuotes-TheFirst1,500.html

It also goes to the obnoxious folly of the rich assuming that money makes you intelligent on all things.

Source: The Tao of Warren Buffett

I am very much finding myself fascinated with these concepts of perceptions and paradigms thanks to Mr. Benedicto (2011). Here are some excerpts from his awesome book Reflections of an Underwriter:

A paradigm is our belief system (p. 84)

A fine example about paradigms he gave and I'm sure has been used many times over is how the Church and its constituents once resisted transforming their paradigm wherein the Sun was the center of the Solar System (heliocentrism) instead of the Earth (geocentrism). Our reality is only manifested to the extent that we give our beliefs regarding it (i.e., reality) the power and credibility to make it so. An otherwise false fact will remain as the truth unless the intended audience rejects it in favor of another truth. That's the convenience in all this, I think.

Based on the paradigm that was dominant at that time, contrary beliefs were discouraged and even punished. This is the power of paradigm. It will influence the way we live our everyday lives (p. 89).

A paradigm is a world view. We all look at the world around us in accordance with a certain paradigm. The paradigm we use depends on what we believe is reliable and true
(pp. 96-97).

A paradigm shift (or revolutionary science), according to Thomas Kuhn in his influential book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), is a change in the basic assumptions, or paradigms, within the ruling theory of science (p. 97).

Social scientists have adopted the Kuhnian phrase paradigm shift to denote a change in how a given society goes about organizing and understanding reality (p. 98).

Dominant paradigms are shaped both by the community's cultural background and by the context of the historical moment (p. 98).

In the same context, from an individual person's perspective, our paradigm - our belief system - cannot be changed immediately because this will require us to function outside of our comfort zone... (pp. 110-111).

Benedicto, J. (2011). Reflections of an Underwriter: Underwriting Your Life
Laying Down the Predicate.
Philippines: Pedro P. Benedicto, Jr.

I look forward to reading more insights all over the world. Hopefully, I'm transforming my paradigm for the better.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Yahoo PH Article -> Commentary: Is It Rational to Believe in God

I read this interesting article, wherein the author contended that there was a double self-contradiction to Stephen Hawking's conclusions in the book The Grand Design.

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/12/22/is-it-rational-believe-god.html

I read this book a year ago and I must admit that I overlooked this so called double self-contradiction myself. As what the author had called a case of, "...the illogicality of certain statements is obscured by the authority of those who make such statements and the general public often fails to see this."

I consider myself a man of faith or what you could poshly refer to as a non-atheist these days. Despite, what ultimately would have meant utter surrender to superior logic and extensive knowledge in theoretical physics, I resisted what Stephen Hawking eventually concluded in his book about the "un-necessity" of God (superior force of all existence AND non-existence, wtf, screwy logic lol). I clung on to it despite my tendencies to prize logic and reason because I felt that it was right.

I really recommend you guys to read it if you have the time, including these: A Brief History of Time, A Briefer History of Time, and A Stubbornly Persistent Illusion: The Essential Scientific Works of Albert Einstein.


I still believe in free will. Faith and free will are exquisite. I don't mean to know or assume any more beyond my spectrum of empirical senses. The database of human knowledge is based on our empirical senses and how we processed them through our personal paradigm (interpretative and cognitive abilities). That's precisely why it's called faith.

My mentor, Mr. Pedro Benedicto hasn't massed produced his book yet, but I have found it to be a very revealing piece of literature that helps us understand ourselves. I specially liked the role of paradigms in how we perceive our reality, his thoughts on frequencies and dimensions, and his efforts to link reason with spirituality.

All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2011. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Please Donate to Wikipedia

I believe that shared knowledge and wisdom are the means to freedom from the malicious and divisive inclinations of ignorance. Wikipedia has always been an instrument of understanding, about humanity, ourselves, our history, our beliefs, and the Universe around us. Knowledge attained through channels like Wikipedia facilitate our efforts in molding the future. While a donation to another charitable institution to feed the hungry (among many other humanitarian and compassionate activities) is undoubtedly admirable, knowledge in the hands of people capable of responsibly wielding it is exponentially beneficial to the world. I would like to think that a donation to Wikipedia isn't merely for the sake of one organization's vision and objectives, but it is a gesture of belief in a legacy for the sake of future generations.

All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2011. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Arroyo Escapo, Are Filipinos Just Paranoid?

Laws are merely created by men. If I may so rephrase what Justice Pompeyo Diaz once said, the law is the instrument by which one is able to find truth and justice. Furthermore, the law is created for the benefit and protection of a sovereignty's citizenry (whether infractions and offenses had been done then - with considerations for retroactivity; are being done; or will be done). It's unfortunate that given the circumstances, people are constrained and have no recourse but to abide by the rules and mechanisms of the judicial institution, even though a "seeming" majority (I have no statistical evidence) are in agreement that the Arroyos are a "flight risk". In any case, however, the law is the law, and it must be complied with. Independent of my opinions that the Arroyos will do a Marcos self-exile (escape, let things cool down, and eventually return to political power after a few years or decades - I mean, really? They got re-elected to political offices? Wow.) and that they are traveling abroad in bad faith (a Php2 million cash bond is pretty cheap to get out of the country before any charges could be filed against them). With these in mind, the only recourse would be to change our laws/constitution in view of what has happened and is going to happen. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2011. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The "Corrupted" Image of Insurance

I came across a rather interesting question on how come the insurance industry is often portrayed as corrupt. I was indeed compelled to try my hand on writing a sensible explanation to this commonly perceived "curse" on insurance business. I had to make a top-of-mind justification and I was hoping my exposure and experience to both the major fields of the financial industry (i.e., banking and insurance), would prove helpful in my attempt to do a "pseudo-trance writing" session.

The business model of insurance is based on a promise to indemnify someone for a contingent loss on a future date. The product itself is merely a piece of paper, which is basically a contract. The "utility" or satisfaction from the consumption, i.e. payment of premium for the insurance policy, can either be attributed to the "peace of mind" acquired by the Assured when he thinks he is covered upon the purchase of the policy or the relief that the policy grants upon the filing and payment of the insurance claim. The business is also based on proper pricing for statistical events. Ultimately, it is a "bet" by the insurer (with his money/capital) that after pooling all the premiums, the company will reap a profit margin after netting expenses including claims payments. Rates increase as the shareholders/capitalists demand a higher return for the money they are "betting" with against the possibility that premiums AND capital will be wiped out. If the return on investments aren't enough, the owners of the money would simply pull-out and invest in another business (a Starbucks or a McDonald's, whatever would make money). On the other side of the fence, stiff competition among different insurance companies for the premiums of consumers pull down the rates charged. Underwriters make final decisions on the pricing and the offer for cover. Underwriters evaluate whether or not the coverage would in the end be a loss or if the price (fractional portion of the entire pool of premiums) is enough in view of the risks involved. During claims processing, insurers are stringent about paying-out because there have been agreed-upon rules and stipulations on the "contract"/the insurance policy (even the fine print, so always read EVERYTHING on the policy - prepositions in, on, at among other terms in the wordings of the policy can make or break your case for a claim). The insurer will naturally try to find a way to say that the claim cannot be granted and the Assured meanwhile would naturally insist that the claim can be made. Questionable claims may be presented upon the regulators and the Courts and it would be a waste of resources, time, and effort for insurance companies to deny claims through formal legal proceedings if in the end they knew all along that the Assured would be favored by the Commissioner/Judge. Insurers will often grant claims payments to airtight claims cases since this also adds to their company's image and industry reputation as reasonable organizations. When it comes to a point when an insurer always tries to deny all claims by Assureds, the industry and customers would get word of this and ultimately no matter how low the premium/rate quotation is, people will not simply buy the coverage/policy because it will be tantamount to just throwing away money. Premiums are a fractional amount of what could be a large monetary claim so Insurers are careful about easily granting claims because it will also attract mafia-type insurance claims fraud. It is of course hard to pinpoint and prove who is lying and who is telling the truth. The process of granting relief isn't easy, just as forensics and detective work for law enforcement means having to sift through a lot of dirt, noise, and evidences. Unlike the banking industry, where pricing and the cashflow are influenced by interest rates and economic factors (that are mostly interdependent anyway), insurance business is anchored on "events based probability", which is practically saying insurers have to contend with the universal confluence of natural phenomena (i.e., anything and everything possible under the sun). The insurance policy sets the parameters by which the coverage shall operate and it shall be the reference point for insurance claims adjusters/investigators in order to establish indemnity obligations and liabilities to the Assured. The insurance company is also a fiduciary trust, answerable to all policyholders who paid the premium that make-up the pool. The expectation is basically a fractional loss (e.g. 10 out of 100 people will experience a loss) and it's the truly and authentically unfortunate ones who should be indemnified. The insurance company can't just give away other people's premiums to claimants who say they should be paid, when in fact based on the agreed upon contract (which ALL policyholders agreed to) he shouldn't be deserving of a single dime.

All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2011. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

An Incredible Unofficial Screenplay of the Matrix 4 (?)

I've always been enthralled by the feeling of escapism and the thought of unlimited possibilities that the Matrix Universe had to offer. Although the screenplay I stumbled upon is unofficial, I couldn't help but smirk and chuckle with admiration at the dedication by the writer to his project and his fan base. I still look forward to an expansion of the Matrix Universe in the near future. Without further ado, I hope you enjoy the script as much as I did:

http://www.thesupermatrix.com/
http://thesupermatrix.com/files/94207-86967/Mtrx_Ressrctd_Finl_Rev4.pdf

All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2010. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

More EU Drachma

Greece, a poor nation of rich people. This is a prime example of the blame game taking the whole ship down. Is it cultural? Is the principle of not supporting a "corrupt" government justified, when clearly democracy points to the will of the people extending to those put in power? If the leaders were dictators then it would be a different matter all together, but come on, clearly the cradle of democracy has devolved to apathy and the "washing of hands" of the situation they are in. While the citizens of other EU countries faithfully pay their taxes, the Greek populace sees itself as "principled" in insisting that the politicians will just take advantage of the taxpayer's money. These guys better fix their mess. Reading through user comments on articles online, I got a sense of what I should be looking for. After a simple Google search, putting together "Greece", "EU", "cooks" and "books", I stumbled upon these sites:

http://whatdoiknow.typepad.com/what_do_i_know/

http://www.somersoft.com/forums/showthread.php?t=71224&page=2
http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2056438515&page=2
http://www.theweek.co.uk/business/16599/evidence-mounts-greece-cooked-books
http://www.presseurop.eu/en/content/news-brief-cover/190571-goldman-helped-greece-cook-books
http://thecitizens.blogspot.com/2011/06/how-did-greece-get-here.html

Well, that's how the cookie crumbles. I suppose it was a tragedy that had a trajectory already set years ago, but what do I know, it all sounds Greek to me.

All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2010. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs Passes Away

Today Steve Jobs moves on. Here's something I really appreciate from his beliefs:

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. - Steve Jobs 2005 Stanford Commencement Address

Here's the URL of the complete speech:

http://news.stanford.edu/news/2005/june15/jobs-061505.html

While he lived a fruitful life, a lot of things had been said and written about him and to be as fair as possible I'm posting some URL's (not to tarnish anything, but to take a peek on how he lived as a human being - with all his faults and gifts).

http://bobsutton.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/03/fortune-story-o.html

http://www.wired.com/gadgets/mac/news/2003/09/60441

http://news.stanford.edu/news/2005/june15/jobs-061505.html

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2011-05/10/steve-jobs-magic?page=all

http://money.cnn.com/2008/03/02/news/companies/elkind_jobs.fortune/index.htm

Rest in Peace. Leaving a loved legacy truly immortalizes you and washes out everything else.

All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2010. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Can the Philippines Ever Move On?

Isipin na lang natin ang mga buhay na maisasalba sa mga hanay ng sandatahang lakas natin kung wala nang nanggugulo na "private army" ng mga komunista. Idagdag pa natin dito yung matitipid natin sa defense budget ng Pilipinas para naman mapondohan natin ng maayos yung kagamitan ng mga sundalo natin laban sa paninindak ng ibang mga bansa tulad ng Tsina. Paano ba naman tayo maituturing na "developing economy" kung sa sarili nating lupa hindi pa buo ang pamamayani ng pamahaalaan nating siyang itinakda ng konstitusyon, dahil nga nanggugulo pa ang mga sagarang tiga-kaliwa. Hindi nga raw tayo "emerging market", "frontier market" pa rin ang klasipikasyon natin dahil laging may nakaabang na manggugulo sa kaayusan ng pamamahala. Ano nga bang "utopian society" ang pinaglalaban ng mga komunista? Kahit nga yung Tsina, ang huwarang kabisera ng Komunismo eh mina-obra yung ekonomiya nila para maging kapitalista. At ang pagkapagitan ng mga mayayaman at mahihirap na mga mamamayan ng Tsina ay lumalawak na din, pero itinuturing pa rin silang progresibo at lumalagong ekonomiya. Sadyang ganun talaga ang ekonomiks. Dahil nga limitado ang kayamanan sa mundo at dapat lang ibahagi ito sa pinakamaayos at nararapat na paraan. Sabi nga ni Hesus, The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. (Matthew 26:11). Dapat lang naman na maging makatao at mapagmalasakit ang lipunan natin pero hindi ito mangyayari kung nahahati ang mga Pilipino sa tipo ng pulitika o sistema na dapat pairalin sa bansa natin. Ang lagay nito ay mag-iikutan na lang tayo sa habang panahon. Wala tayong Hesus na siyang magiging tagapamagitan sa nagbabanggaang mga panig pag dating sa mga paniniwalang pulitikal at ideyalismo. Ano nga ba talaga ang ipinaglalaban ng tropang Komunista dito? Ito ba ay ang para sa ikabubuti ng mga mahihirap sa lipunan (na alam naman nating hindi mauubusan kahit ilang henerasyon pa ang makaraan) o ang kapangyarihan na mamuno tulad ni Mao Zedong na siyang nagsulong ng "cultural revolution" sa Tsina na siyang nagpabigat lamang sa kaunlarang pang-ekonomiya ng bansa niya noong mga dekadang 1960's hanggang 70's? Dahil nga ba maliit na ang tsansa na mahimok nila ang mga Pilipino na paboran ang Komunismo ay pilit nila na lang sinasabotahe at ginagawang miserable ang kaayusan at katahimikan ng ating bansa? Bagama't maraming mga magugulang at elitista sa ating lipunan, na siyang rason kaya nakakalamang sila sa mga mahihirap, marami ring nagsusumikap. Sa katotohanan tayu-tayo rin lang naman ang humuhubog sa klase ng lipunan na ating kinamumulatan. Mula sa mga tagilid na mga police, hukom, mga kongresistang mahilig mamera hanggang sa mga masisiba at walang paki-alam na tsuper ng jeep na padura dura pa at tapon lang ng tapon ng sigarilyo at basura sa kalye, mga padyak boys na counter-flow ng counter flow sa mga kalsada, mga taxi driver na walang paki-alam sa stoplight at mga guhit ng kalsada, mga rapist na pari, mga mayayabang at insekyur na mga tao, mga magnanakaw, holdaper, mansasalisi, mga dugo-dugo at karnaper. Sino nga ba inosente dito?

All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2010. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Politics, Society, and Entrepreneurship

The recent sovereign debt ceiling crisis faced by the United States had been a revealing spectacle for the world to see. Political pundits had characterized the delays, the lobbying, the bickering, the negotiating, the arguments, the rallying, the compromises, the handshakes, the handslaps and all the other motions that politicians go through as the democratic process. As financial markets and other governments watched in growing anticipation and anxiety, it was clear that both the Democrats and the Republicans were going to take the resolution of the issues to the brink. Beyond analyzing the political aspect of what had been going on in Washington, however, it was the mindset borne by both contending sides that got me interested. While the Democrats, which Obama is a part of, argue for expanded spending and economic stimulus with fiscal policies in the nature of Keynesian economics, conservatives have labeled their socialist/”communist” leanings (including entitlements) as ridiculous. After all, in a household, whenever your budget is running on a deficit, common sense tells you that you cut back on spending. What further highlights the seemingly growing frustration of Republican-citizens, which I have observed based on their comments on Yahoo news threads is the “leeches” of society sucking the government coffers dry. The US being a very advanced form of democracy has transformed itself into a loophole ridden socio-economy thanks to political maneuverings and lobbying. They have illegal immigrants who get federal benefits from taxpayer paid programs and seemingly ridiculous entitlements programs that condone the thriving of unproductive communities and sub-societies. Now, I am no one to label or cast a stereotype on certain groups of people, but a Fox News Channel documentary (I know, I know, I had to use the bastion of right-wing journalists to get a sense of the picture, lol) showed how American Indian society has now ended up thanks to decades of federal government handouts. It’s John Stossel’s documentary “Freeloaders”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OQjlzh279E

Now it is very understandable, being a taxpayer myself, that a diligent American taxpayer would find it offensive to support a government through tax payments in view of a crumbling economy, while his taxes are seeping to the hands of those he deems undeserving. Welfare has become such a contentious issue now. To what extent should people help those in “need”, do we give until we are bled dry (which is what is literally happening in the US)? Aside from legitimate budget items, the money the US government borrows also goes to entitlements and other welfare programs. Is there indeed a limit to charity? I would think that it’s a dilemma of cutting the arm before you lose the patient.

As for the Republicans, they have been against calls for taxing the richer tiers of society. While they call for less spending, they reject the notion that revenues could be propped up by taxing the rich. Increasing revenues, however, does indeed make sense. Actually, both sides make good points when they call to reduce spending and ask to raise revenues. These are salient points of sound management and common sense. Warren Buffett, however, just threw a monkey wrench at the political posturings of the GOP when he stated that Congress should stop coddling the billionaires:

http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/buffett-blasts-low-taxes-billionaires-says-congress-must-142239366.html

In any case, it's not even about new taxes. It's about ending the tax cuts/tax holiday. No one's introducing an additional burden that shouldn't be there, it's just reinstating what should have been there all along

In my opinion, being the well-off people in society has its obvious perks, but also bares a duty (if not patriotic at least altruistic) for general society. In a slowing economy, you can’t expect the low and middle classes to shoulder the burden of keeping the economy afloat. Leadership or at least the responsibility of taking steps forward has to emerge from the higher-ups, from those who can afford it and those who are in a position to do so. It’s interesting to note that elitists seem to be always above it all, but when the society, which they always seem to be domineering on, suffers, they wash their hands of its problems. Well, there’s no point impressing if there’s no one left to impress, or a country/place to impress others for that matter. I would think that it’s the same for any economically-downtrodden country. Anything that’s meant to impress just becomes obnoxious, irritating, insensitive, insulting and out of touch. Just imagine a Maybach cruising through the slums. The disparity is obvious and the image plain shameless.

And so we come to this point, after you putting up with my literary meanderings, what’s the whole idea of me narrating issues which are already abound on the net? To be concise, it’s about entrepreneurship. While the Federal Reserve keeps on buying fixed income and bloating its balance sheet (printing money), it’s implying something to the general public as well. Of course it can’t say it directly because that’s just tantamount to solicitation and dictating what people should do. Free markets remain free because people are left to decide how they can maneuver in a given economic scenario. Within what is seemingly a bloated equity market, thanks to the historic low interest rates permeating in a credit-based economy, are the consumers who keep the revenue streams of companies continuous whenever they spend for goods and services. Companies, meanwhile, are able to balance their toplines with their bottomlines by cutting back on expenses, which means lay-offs and less demand for G&A expense items that could have provided more jobs in the economy. There is irony in financial and economic optimization, because indeed, the allocation of scarce resources becomes stingier. So the lives of people go on amid the economic churnings and walkabouts of decision makers and capitalists. Ultimately, a new generation of entrepreneurs have to emerge. Those who are armed with creativity, ingenuity, and guts to take risks have to be the ones to start providing more relevant jobs beyond temporal manual labor and directionless economic enterprises.

It's time to encourage entrepreneurship and risk taking and end the drone-employee mentality. That's just the same as waiting for hand-outs, waiting for the rich folks to give someone something to do. It’s already the case here in the Philippines, the employment-mentality is so ingrained that the spirit of entrepreneurship seems to be an embarrassing occupation and role in society. The Filipino-Chinese have earned the respectable image of being a community of business advocates and captains of industry, but how come there are so few Filipinos who venture into job-generating endeavors? Why can’t most people here see beyond high-paying jobs? Does society make it shameful to run one’s own business? Is there no grandeur or fulfillment when one is able to give other people jobs? Is it really much desirable to have other people judge their economic-value amid corporate-ladder competition? Should the employee-evaluation sheet’s ratings contents encapsulate and dictate the future of one’s career? Why is it so important that we have other people judge and determine the direction of our career, if we know fully well what we can be capable of? The domestic psyche of course is a challenge to analyze, but if we are indeed in the same mentality-boat as the Americans, then entrepreneurship should be cast in a new light. Trade and industry represent the spirit of democracy and freedom. Creativity, ingenuity, and innovation are cornerstones of an advancing society and risk-taking, which characterizes entrepreneurs, is the key step to providing other people the proper platform to collaborate and create something new (whether these be systems, processes, devices, products, services, technological or pharmaceutical breakthroughs, etc.). Organizations provide the place and the channel to develop new ideas/things and rarely can a man single-handedly create and deliver what society would be willing to pay for.



All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2010. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Facilitators of Corruption, Witnesses or Snitches

Everyone who has had first-hand knowledge of the misdeeds of the previous administration are starting to come out, which is probably the best decision for these "facilitators" of questionable and corrupt activities. When the floodgates break, the deluge is unstoppable and these people would rather be publicly known as the turncoats who snitched than become randomly murdered strangers who met "unfortunate accidents". The funny thing is, with the details coming out, when should we expect legal action to be taken? Again we circle back to how quickly Philippine society forgets of atrocities and crimes, regardless if petty or grave. Is this a function of the Catholic mindset? I'm a Catholic myself, but the intermingling of religious beliefs and the Filipino culture baffles me. Has this always been ingrained in the Filipino DNA? After reading pre-history texts in elementary, I was taught that pre-colonial Filipino society had oddities in penalizing crimes and even in investigating who the erring party was. Tying a guy up to a tree and letting the ants eat him alive would certainly be an interesting spectacle to these people who are wading on the taxes I pay to the Bureau of Internal Revenue. If only I could decide at what percentage the Philippine government deserves to get from my earnings, unfortunately if that happened, it'd probably be in the 1% to 5% range and nothing more, after finding out that 3 out of the top 5 executive agencies that get these are 1) the Department of Education, 2) the Department of Public Works and Highways and 3) the Department of Defense. Why should I even support these budget allocations when all I see are crappy (overpriced) facilities for the young Filipino students and how crappy their knowledge and use of English (pronunciation and grammar) is. Really? Filipinos online keep on BRAGGING about how good we are in English, but really, come on, these braggarts can't even type one sensible error-free sentence. And don't even get me started with the DPWH, shitty roads period. They can't even lay the cheap ass, low-grade asphalt (so contractors can churn the maintenance and get paid after every rainy season) flat on the road. The asphalt bulges up and becomes the speed bumps on the road. Wow, look at me, I'm driving on EDSA, a pothole to my left and asphalt speed bumps to my right. How about our pitiful military forces? For a supposedly free country, our soldiers still have to contend with communist insurgents and Muslim separatists. How free is that? Maybe we're a bit too liberal as a society to allow extreme divisiveness. Instead of spending and focusing on potential external threats, our military forces keep on getting distracted by skirmishes inside our country. Okay, maybe I'll just have to make the Department of National Defense an exception to my list, it might indeed be deserving of some funding. There's only so much one individual can do to transform things. Even a single witness can tempt fate and confess away, but we all know actions have consequences. It takes guts to tell all, especially when the deeds were designed to remain as secrets. The workers of monumental tombs were supposed to get buried with their overlord. No matter how much of the truth we try to tell to the public, the ultimate question is, do they pay attention?

http://ph.news.yahoo.com/supplier-says-pnp-choppers-owned-mike-arrroyo-020706935.html#mwpphu-container

All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2010. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Harry Markowitz Interviews

Look what I stumbled onto, a series of interviews with Harry Markowitz:



http://www.researchaffiliates.com/ideas/mpt.php?video=markowitz-2c

Credit is given to researchaffiliates.com

Enjoy.

All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2010. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Government Regulation and Laissez Faire

I came across an interesting request for anyone's thoughts on government regulation/intervention and business autonomy. Indeed, this has been one of the most relevant questions in 2008 and 2009. Yeah, it's at least two years old, but the issue I suppose will persist. Remember all the planning and media discourse by monetary officials and financial pundits in the US, about how dismantling the 'too big to fail' firms would be done just as long as they get the QE/bail out plans approved? Well, too big to fail I suppose is still too big to meddle in.

I personally don't think there's a set of immovable rules regarding the balance of regulation and free-hand business conduct. The "churning" of the economic system and of the entrepreneurial spirit relies on constant adjustments (initiating plans and strategies, executing them, controlling the operations, monitoring the results, conducting feedback operations). This is what defines "economic life" in a given economic setting, where the premise is "the efficient allocation of scarce resources." It's only natural that people are going to compete and "fight over" the scarce resources (whether these are raw materials, money, manpower, etc.). Lobbying, under the table and behind closed door dealings are also a part of this reality. Let's not be naive about these conducts whether they are improper or not is dependent on interpretation. Again, the basic premise is the desire to rake in as much of the scarce resources as possible. Economic systems and countries around the world have various situations and circumstances. Everyone is just trying to get by. Regulation is healthy when it promotes the welfare of the general public/the health and interest of the local economy, but it will be strenuous if it will result to cronyism that will only favor those close to those in power. Too much autonomy may leave consumers overwhelmed by those in the position to control an industry, on the other hand. Think about oil oligopolies and corporations that stand as food empires, whatever they deem fit to price for their products cannot be overturned by the public especially if they are staples/necessities. The struggle to gain a foothold of the "ideal balance" is always present.

All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2010. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Why Does Mayweather Keep On Dodging Pacquiao?!

I think Mayweather knows it would be extremely hard to beat Pacquiao. His reluctance to sign a fight against Manny is simply given the benefit of a doubt because his demands for Olympic style blood testing (which clearly isn't the default SOP for PRO boxing) and his requirement of a $100 million share, among other things, couldn't be given to him. You can add the legal suits he is currently facing as well. If a guy - the challenger - like Mayweather doesn't even consider a 60-40 share (more for him) to sign a fight, then it's pretty clear he would like to preserve his illusion of supremacy. I don't even think Mayweather will ever consider fighting Manny (although I'm still hoping he does). Manny has already secured his legacy in history and he is clearly satisfied with his achievements. I think Mayweather understands that and his only chance for immortality in boxing history is to hitch a ride with Pacquiao's reputation (as the what-if factor). This also means that many years from now, when people talk about who was the greatest prize fighter ever and Pacquiao's name comes into the discussion, Mayweather will always be there like a monkeywrench. He will always be the irritant monkeywrench for Pacquiao, even though we all know that Pacquiao has always wanted to test his mettle against Mayweather. That, unfortunately, is the by-product of a man (Mayweather) who is afraid to lose and achieve immortality for himself. He has opted to hitch on the laurels of Pacquiao like a leech, a free-riding monkeywrench leech. Okay, maybe labeling him like that is too much, since he's earned his undefeated card, but that's the irony of being unblemished. You just can't afford to fall because the sensation of heaven is too much to bear losing. Pilipinas!


Image from this site: http://pacquiao-vs-margarito-fight-2010.blogspot.com/2010/11/world-awaits-for-pacquiao-vs-mayweather.html

All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2010. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

On Pet Peeves in Pinoy Society

I have been meaning to write an extensive piece of opinionated article on this published article before


http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/relationships/relationships/view/20100620-276490/Pasensya-na-po

and again the opportunity had presented itself in the form of another blog


http://definitelyfilipino.com/blog/index.php/archives/1538#comment-10841

that I decided to write a concise piece on them just so I can puff out the ideas before they fade into garbled eureka moments.

On tinkling in public, it's about the type of crowd you are exposed to I suppose. If the environment condones it as the norm, then tinkling anywhere is acceptable. If I were to be asked what can be done to change the mindset, that's easy, I would ask the assistance of the media. You can always change the mindset by making the act branded as shameful. The thing about the Philippines is, and mind you this is just a hypothesis at best, it's because of Catholicism in general (and I am not religion hating by the way, there have been comparative studies on the economic progress of Catholic countries and Protestant countries), that Filipinos are forgiving (the pwede na yan mindset, the compassion, and the understanding we extend to other people who have done us wrong) that we allow some atrocities/misdeeds to fade away into the annals of our short-termed memories. I think, and this is just my opinion, Filipinos are indeed peace loving people. We hate the conflict and the confrontation. We are not as vindictive as some other races, *Middle East* *cough* *West* *cough* *centuries ago* *cough*. For the suffering we have endured during the Spanish era, the Filipino-American war (numerous rules of war violations against civilians), and the Japanese occupation, we have moved on. Even the Marcoses have found new places in government today, wow, I mean wow. In any case, back to the tinkling issue, this violation is clearly a minor pet peeve to our sensibilities when compared to the cultural collective psyche that's working in the background.

All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2010. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Safety Pins!

Safety pins with the locker keys at the gym are uncool. Haven't these guys ever heard of blood borne communicable diseases!?

All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2010. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

To The Know It All

Expressing an opinion is cool, telling people you know something is acceptable because I appreciate what you let us gain, but expressing to me that you're right and that I deserve a dejecting response sprinkled with 'one-up-manship' is not cool. Feigning humility by asking questions still reeks of your condescending inclinations by the way. Have a nice day =)!


All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2010. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Matrix 4 & 5? Awesome!

Maybe, just maybe, the reason why some people thought Matrix 2 & 3 sucked was because (without making this hunch sound like a condescending or derogatory analysis) they didn't understand it; they had to watch it multiple times to get it or had some website/forum explain the plot to them? Here's to giving a franchise that changed pop culture forever another chance!


All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2010. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.