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Saturday, October 07, 2006
25 Under 25 To Watch -vvw

"They are all under the age of 25. And all are on their way to putting Singapore on the world map in eclectic fields..."

- The Straits Times, Saturday, October 7 2006

Usually, I don't bother reading most of the crap in the ST. But today, I notice a familiar face on the cover of the Saturday Special Report section. Someone I know is in the list of 25 people the ST calls "this year's young alternative achievers". In case you are wondering, my friend is the half-naked guy dancing with a spanner. I guess all those years as a signaller in 23SA left a lasting impression.

So I went on reading about the other alternative achievers. And the more I read, the more I think to myself - "What the f**k?!". If this is the best 25 alternative achievers Singapore can come up with, then I am disappointed. It's true that there are some rather interesting and impressive people, the female scout for example. She caught my attention because I used to be a scout until I got sick and tired of going from door to door, begging for donations. But Sudoku championships and Powerpoint expertise? Doesn't that seem a little desperate? Some of the descriptions of achievements are so blown up with smoke, they look eerily similar to my resumé.

The Sudoku Champ. His team of three solved 6 puzzles in 48 minutes, faster than 2 JC math teachers. Wow, faster than JC teachers, the very guys who try to bullshit me when I asked them questions they couldn't answer. First, no matter how good you are at Sudoku, it's not going to put Singapore on the world map and most normal people will not be watching out for your progress through the regional, international, pan-galactic or universal Sudoku championships either. Second, 3 people solving 6 puzzles in 48 mins averages to 1 person solving 1 puzzle in 24 mins. Except that in this case, they are working in a team, which means they can work even faster. If I can solve a puzzle of moderate difficulty in 10 minutes, then spending 24 minutes on even the most difficult puzzle is not fast at all. I can easily name a dozen people of the top of my head, whom if given a week to prepare, can finish the same 6 puzzles and be off to the lobby for refreshments while these guys are still cracking their heads over the empty boxes. If you really want to be a champion puzzle solver, Rubik's Cube would be a much better choice.

PowerPoint whiz and pen-spinner. So this is the best Singapore can offer, a PowerPoint expert. Hey, I'm the only expert in the entire world at using Yiheng's Text Editor, how come I'm not in the list? The software may be lacking in features but I'm sure it has less bugs than Microsoft Office. I'll admit pen-spinning requires hardwork and some talent. But if I really want to watch a display of finger dexterity, a close-up magician will be a lot more entertaining.

Don't even get me started on the intrepid traveller. Since when did it become an achievement to have other people pay for your vacations around the world? (Seducing rich old shit counts as an achievement since that takes talent.)

I have nothing against these people but some of them are really mediocre, officially-approved robots just like the rest of us, so I don't see what's the big deal. Of course, this doesn't apply to my dancing friend because he's been dubbed "God of the Engine". Being a god automatically makes you cool.

I suddenly wonder if someone like Annabel Chong will ever be able to make this list. The selection criteria seems somewhat subjective. I'm not in the list even though I probably rank pretty high in the world when it comes to enthusiasm in killing ants. But that's ok. The reporter did state that this list is by no means exhaustive. You know why? Because everyone is an achiever in some aspects. Everyone is unique, just like everybody else.

-- permalink --
Yiheng made
10:55 AM


Funny that my friends were commenting on that same article last night. If you talk about achievements I thought people of the PSC caliber were more appropriate but i think the press was looking for more 'groovy' stuff to connect with the younger generation. And it does help to know people in the press actually, as I've learnt from this article. Hmm I think it's time for me to get to know a few people for SPH
By Blogger Soqcrates, at 10:43 AM  

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