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25 December 2009

Idea: 5 Stages of Ideology

Stage 1 - Seizing Power: A man seizes power. He finds that the only way to remain in power is to Promulgate rules, laws and behaviour, on pain of fearsome punishment, that entrench his power.

Stage 2 - Ideology Invented: However, he finds that rules and laws alone are one-time, stopgap, temporary and ineffective to consolidate his power so he integrates all his rules, laws and required behaviours into a cloak of Belief Systems or Ideology which are more permanent, more comprehensive, more readily embraced and subscribed to, by his people.

Stage 3 - Ideology Pervades Whole Society: This Ideology is usually effective and works its way into every facet of society and effectively controls all behaviours thus consolidating his power.

Stage 4 - Ideology Grips Even Ideologer: But once the Ideology takes root and informs every behaviour, the Promulgator finds that he himself, even though he originated every single rule or law and ordained every behaviour, becomes bound by it AND CANNOT EVEN BREAK IT HIMSELF because then his people would be horrified or broken from his spell.

Stage 5 - Ideology Fails, Destroys Society: Society is now fixated by its Ideology. Everyone, without exception, including the Promulgator, must obey. Even after the Promulgator dies and whether or not his son takes over power, the new ruler is also bound rigidly to the Ideology. Thus, this is how ideologies develop a life of its own and quickly becomes independent of its Promulgator and continues long after he is dead. Since the Ideology cannot be changed, otherwise it is not ideology and cannot work, everyone from the Promulgator to the lowest citizen are trapped in rigid, unchangeable, replays of old responses and mindsets even as the world and society change increasingly faster and more dramatically. Thus, all ideologies fail. Almost all societies thus come to be ruled by, and worship, false gods. In a sense, the Ideology becomes the power and the ruler. So be very careful what you create because you will quickly be bound by it. Perhaps Man cannot live -- and certainly rulers cannot rule -- without Ideology but it always convulses, even destroys, the societies it has in its grip, eventually.













20 December 2009

Ideas: Creating a Cycling CityState

1. In a tiny, unhilly islet of 46km x 23km, cycling to work like Amsterdamers is truly feasible. It is much faster than the current procedure of walking to the bus stop, wait for a shuttle bus to take you to the bus interchange, then wait again for a crowded bus or train, only to reach some distance short of your final destination, thus requiring you to walk again or take another shuttle bus to your final destination. If you were cycling, you would mount your bicycle from below your block and cycle directly to your destination -- and be on your way the moment you mount your bicycle -- arriving directly at your final destination without any need for walking, waiting or shuttle bus, etc. Thus, on a bicycle, you bypass the entire current Hub&Spoke system of Shuttle and Main buses/trains imposed by our geniuses who stupidly copied this Hub&Spoke system from large cities. What's more, you cycle DIRECT to your destination, not take a meandering route that buses and trains take to maximise profits. You are also assured of a seat on your bicycle. If cycling works in Singapore, there will be less bus/train passenger congestion, reduced road traffic congestion and less vehicular pollution of the air.

2. However, there are a few drawbacks to cycling including Safety, Sweating, Parking, Exertion.

3. For Safety, cyclists should be given preferably, their own lane. Cyclists will include battery-powered bicycles, usually about the same top speed as a fast cyclist. Cyclist Helmets should probably be mandatory. Bike bags, front wire-mesh basket and panniers will solve the problems of carrying one's briefcases, laptops, handbags, etc. Some are lockable, like those on motorbikes, and if free public bicycles are used, most cyclists can carry their own small lock with key or number combination lock. If pavements are allowed for cyclists, this will be safer for Them, though maybe not for Pedestrians! But experience and experiment can solve this. There are ways for both to use pavements rightfully. There may be a need to Type-Approve certain models to ensure safety and roadworthiness -- for example, every bicycle must have fixed Reflectors, removable battery-operated Flashers, Headlamp [S$2 at Daiso stores], Reflective Vests/Helmets/Armbands?, Bell, etc, for cycling after dark. If the free sponsored bicycles are available, any advertising signs must be Type-Approved for safety and not impede the free and convenient use of the bicycle. Their material, size and fixing positions on the bicycle should be studied for safety and non-inconvenient use of the bicycle.

4. Sweating is a big drawback in our hot climate. However, if offices can cheaply modify toilets/install hotwater showers and changing rooms for personal make up and grooming after showers, this is solved. A govt tax incentive could encourage every building to install hotwater showers and changing/grooming rooms, [with Lockers]. Even as standalone public facilities built by govt. Maybe a small fee may be charged for use, to encourage building owners to build/maintain them. There is need for shampoo and shower cream dispensers, though most will bring their own. There is a Chicken and Egg problem as people will not cycle to work until there are showers but if they don't, building owners and govt won't build them.

5. Physical Exertion pedalling a bicycle is no problem because modern bicycles are cheap, light, [even battery powered], multi-geared, for easy pedalling. The Exercise will be beneficial.

6. Parking could be unsightly but fairly easy to solve by designating/building Cycle Stands, maybe easily by modifying current Roadside Barriers which currently serve only to separate/control pedestrian vs vehicular traffic. A simple steel fixture or attachment to the top of these roadside barriers or fences could hold a bicycle at ~60 degrees to the horizontal to save space and for a smaller footprint. There is a huge number of designs for Bicycle Stands as you can see from this Google Image search :

7. Thus, there are no unsolvable problems to promoting cycling to work. Just some commonsense initiatives needed.

8. I suggest that those below Sec 3, that is, about 14 years old, be disallowed from cycling, to ensure nobody is too young to physically and safely handle all the requirements for safe commuting by bicycle, given that they also have heavy school bags plus need to know and understand traffic rules and conditions and be sufficiently 'mature' so as not to endanger themselves with playful behaviour on the roads. But I don't think a Cycling Licence is needed!

9. The reason why cycling is faster than public transport is that cyclists can take the shortest cut direct to and fro plus not have to wait or walk far to catch a bus or train. They can pedal down alleys or narrowly down side streets between buildings, even against the flow of traffic, etc, thus always able to take the shortest cut almost like pedestrians would walk, only much faster.

10. The easiest, quickest and cheapest way to create instant Bicycle Lanes all over Singapore is to simply pass a law or make a rule: that on every road, which currently almost all have pedestrian footpaths on both sides of the roads, THAT THE LEFT PEDESTRIAN FOOTPATH BE MAINLY USED OR RESERVED FOR USE BY BICYCLES WHILE THE RIGHT FOOTPATHS BE STRICTLY RESERVED FOR USE BY PEDESTRIANS ONLY.

11. Thus, at one stroke, overnight or instantly, we create a dedicated [mostly] Cycle Path that is much safer for cycling than on roads used by all the other heavier vehicles. At the same time, by requiring that pedestrians use the Right Footpath [no bicycles allowed], we separate pedestrians from bicycles making it safer and more convenient for both parties -- true, the pedestrian loses the use [mostly] of the Left Footpath but gains the exclusive use of the Right Footpath -- important for children, the old, handicapped or infirm, which is currently sometimes infringed by bicycles who currently use both sides, both footpaths. However, while the left Cycle Path is mostly designated for bicycles, the rules or laws must not exclude pedestrians since they will sometimes need to use these Left Footpaths to get to their blocks, houses or shops, etc, so no exclusivity for bicycles like the Right Footpath for pedestrians. Motorised wheelchairs need some consideration but probably will use the Right Footpath since they are [still] very slow, practically walking pace.

12. I have noted that the price of a brand new adult 26" bicycle at Giant Hypermarket is about ~S$80 [or ~S$60 when on sale], which can probably be reduced to about ~S$50 if bought in large quantity by companies who wish to advertise their products and services over the long lifetime of the bicycle, probably a decade or so. Thus, a big company can fix one or more permanent advertising sign/s to the bicycles it buys and simply let these bicycles be used by anybody for free, wherever one finds one that is unused and unlocked. It costs ~S$30,000 for a basic fullpage colour ad in the Straits Times for 1 day [without loading for choice positions], which can buy ~300 bicycles including the advertising signages, that will last a decade. Further, the goodwill accruing from sponsoring free bicycles for the people is enormous. However, the govt or Town Councils can insist that for every bicycle a company or rich individual philantropist sponsors, he must also sponsor 1 free parking stand so that number of bicycle stands = number of bicycles, at least. Bicycle stands can also carry ads for the sponsors. An example of an advertising sign could be "Ride free with DBS Bank".

13. Some users who take a free bicycle, ride it to a destination to run an errand or work may want to ensure this bicycle is still available after their errand or work and so use a lock to lock it for their personal re-use after. We cannot stop this, so may as well allow it. Simply have many, many, free bicycles so there will be enough. A good number to start with would be a target of a quarter million free bicycles, with the corresponding bicycle stands -- Singapore's population is now 5m. Small fines may be needed to ensure users don't simply abandon their bicycles to the obstruction or annoyance of other users of the public space. Since it is difficult to wait to catch the offender, it may be easier to simply remove the bicycle on a pick up truck, cut any locks, and maybe put it a short distance away for others to use -- or simply cut the lock so someone else can ride it away -- thus somewhat punishing the offender while also removing a public obstacle or nuisance. In London, crews with wheel locks or wheel clamps drive around to lock illegally parked cars or even tow them away so this is not new and is well tested -- at least for cars. These Bicycle Wardens could also check bicycles routinely for damage or non-useability and either repair them or scrap them if unrepairable. Every rider should have the habit to test both front and rear brakes to ensure safe riding before mounting. Users who find a defective bicycle may want to either physically lock it at a designated Defective Bicycles Return centre at central high-traffic locations or simply call or SMS a Defective Bicycles Reporting telephone number, giving a short description of the Defect/s and the Location of the defective bicycle. You may want to number all or your sponsored bicycles for easier identification.

14. Free bicycles are rugged and lasts for even a decade but the tyres, if like current air-inflated tyres, may need air pumping once in a while. Bicycle hand-pumps are small and cheap, at S$2 each at Daiso, and most bicycle users would carry a small one and inflate their bicycles themselves. Better still, companies and offices could also buy several for loan to their employees, visitors or the public. Even better still, public bicycle pumps could be fixed by a chain to most public places such as at bicycle stands for more convenience. Or, someone could invent solid tyres or permanently sealed constant pressure tyres, not very difficult. Cars already have tubeless tyres so the modest requirements of a bicycle would need only a onetime inflating of air and permanently sealed thereafter for the lifetime of the bicycle.

15. Of course, many regular riders will buy their own bicycles, even motorised ones, preferably with removeable batteries that can then be recharged in the office while they work. Many tourists will find that exploring Singapore by bicycle is a great way to see and experience the City since taxis, buses or trains are too enclosed and restricted in views as well as being too fast and travel only on roads. Since bicycles can be picked up from almost anywhere and dumped almost anywhere, this will be a boon for tourists as well as locals. GPS devices are very cheap nowadays, at about S$150 for a basic one with a Singapore map so these can be rented to tourists to affix onto their bicycle handlebars, etc. GPS satellite navigation works as well on foot or bicycle as on cars. Singapore Tourist Board can draw up many Bicycle Tours routes to maximise tourist enjoyment of the islet. Tourists can also hire electric bicycles instead of manual cycling. Tourist groups should be led by a Tour Leader and for bigger groups, an additional Tour Assistant, to maximise safety and convenience as well as the benefits of a knowledgeable Tour Leader who can give commentary and help to make the Bicycle Tour a great way to experience Singapore. For tourist and resident alike, there should be more Recreational Cycling Routes like that of the current East Coast Park and these can be quickly and cheaply built around reservoirs, nature trails, scenic spots, etc. These should be safe and easy enough for young bikers on small bicycles accompanying parents.

16. Currently, all roads and footpaths on both sides of the road are well-lit at night but all users should also carry a bright headlamp that can be fixed to the handlebar for night riding for additional safety. 2 or 3 velcro strips can make fixing on and removing easy. Currently, the Left Cycle Path is raised as a pedestrian path or pavement although with easy slopes or ramps designed for wheelchair friendly access but once the authorities find which routes are heavily used, they may want to level these pavements and asphalt them for easier and faster riding.

17. A small plaque should be affixed prominently to the handlebar or some other very visible part of every bicycle. The plaque should read: "User use this bicycle at own risk. To read more about your rights, visit for full terms and conditions." This is necessary because there are many thousands of tourists in Singapore each day and many will use the bicycles, so need a reminder of the Terms & Conditions [T&C] which most residents will know already.

18. Besides the above, which is mainly cycling as transportation, there can be recreational cycling. Recreational cycling can be learning to ride a unicycle, low-wire [safe] riding on a wire, two or more persons balanced on a bicycle, mountain bike riding through rough countryside, formation cycling of mass cyclists riding in formation like in National Day Parades, perhaps weaving in and out in patterns, trick cycling, etc. Fashionwear for cycling can be a project for Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and the polytechnics. They can also develop and invent wearables and bags, holders and other gadgets to make cycling more convenient, fun and safer, in rain or sun. A small kit that holds a tiny airpump, bell, headlamp, flashers, reflective self-curling armbands [S$2 at Daiso], raincoat, etc, will sell well and be very convenient.

19. Thus, Singapore can become a Cycling City, with hardly any govt expenditure or work.

Footnote: In 2007, there were 551 cyclists accidents with 22 deaths; in 2008, 604 with 22 deaths; in 2009, 583 with 19 deaths. If we implement just some of the safety ideas in my article above, there need not be any deaths at all.

NOTHING is important

RH: "If you do nothing, nothing can go wrong. If nothing goes wrong, you won't lose face or job. So, the best option is, ALWAYS DO NOTHING. Because nothing is more important than your face or job."


Dear Presidents and Principals of universities and polytechnics,

a. Sorry to address you all in one email rather than individually, but I wanted to be fair, so that you all receive this on the same day, so that if and when you decide to implement some of my cycling ideas below, you will all start at the same starting line in seeking sponsors to donate free bicycles and their corresponding bicycle stands. Naturally, the earlier tertiary institutions will get the more prestigious sponsors.

b. My ideas on Creating A Cycling City, the subject of my blog post [below], are designed to be implemented island-wide in Singapore but there are some road bumps along the way. For one, implementing it means some loss of revenue by the govt bus, train and even taxi companies. Two, the govt loses some control over the physical meanderings of each Singaporean -- instead of being predictably and sheep-like being herded in buses and trains, those who choose to cycle will climb on a bicycle and ride off anywhere he wants! A no-no. Three is Newton's First Law, or Inertia, which opposes change of any sort, no matter how beneficial. Four is timidity of those in charge.

c. Casting around, I noticed that your universities like NUS, NTU, and the half dozen Polytechnics or so, have huge [relatively] campuses -- many blocks spread over an unwalkable distance. Ah, perhaps, here, you can implement my ideas. Your campuses also suffer from inadequate public transport, so my solutions will be a godsend for staff and students alike -- also, the govt bus, train and taxi monopolies lose no money! Everything to gain and nothing to lose. All the students and staff are adult and there is little vehicular traffic within campus. Ideal.

d. In addition, each of your campuses are directly under your management, so you can implement my ideas without need to check with higher authority -- you ARE the higher authority and the only authority needed to implement the project.

e. Having control over your campuses means you can simply make a speech, email all your staff and students, informing them to avoid walking on the Left Footpath, and that's about it. It's done! Your students and staff, being of higher intelligence than the general population, are the easiest group to ride away with my ideas without any further instruction or policing. Everything is easy.

f. How do you start? Here, the race for the most prestigious sponsors begins. Choose your target. SIA? DBS Bank? Keppel? Citibank? SingTel? There are so many. Remember that, to these big advertising spenders, sponsoring a few thousand bicycles and stands is peanuts. In paragraph 12, I wrote that a fullpage colour advertisement in the Straits Times for one day, costs ~S$30,000 [several times more if published in a choice position in the paper]. This one day advertisement can buy several hundred bicycles for your campus that will last a decade. So, advertisers will be only too happy to sponsor free bicycles for your campus.

g. In addition, these advertisers are very aware of the fact that your staff and students are the creme de la creme of Singapore and future leaders, professionals, movers and shakers, not to mention what they love best, High Net Worth Individuals who will have the monies to spend on their products and services. These advertisers will also want to create goodwill in your students so as to get some of your best students as future employees. So catch them young, here in your campus. With bicycles that they will love to jump on, ride to their lectures, and park almost anywhere nearby. Walking is so last century. Soon, all campuses will be run this way.

h. For your campus bicycles, there probably needs to be a tag that reads "Property of NUS for use within campus only." Or some such. Do forward and discuss these ideas with your colleagues and subordinates and even peer review the ideas for originality and flaws. If you have a Cycling Club, please also forward to them, thanks. Well, that's about it. Very simple ideas to implement. Imagine the benefit. Everyone on campus will simply pick up the nearest bicycle, ride to wherever, then park it and do his business. Some day, all campuses will be run this way. By the way, my ideas are not protected by Intellectual Property laws so feel free to use, abuse, adapt, plagiarise, forward, all without need for attribution. Regards and good day.

i. Unlike a national cycling plan, whose riders will primarily be men, campuses will have ~50% female riders. This means that all bicycles should be 'female' bicycles for easy mounting and female decorum.

j. You may want to consider spending ~50 cents per user per year [students, staff and small number of Others] for a group insurance policy covering all bicycle use within campus. In an injury arising from, say, a defective bicycle, the user will be paid from this group insurance policy. This policy can also cover 3rd Party like say, a pedestrian injured by a student/staff cyclist, who will then be paid by the policy. Shop around for the best insurance rates.

k. Sponsors/donors of the bicycles may want to consult their advertising agency to design their livery on the bicycles for more effective branding of their bicycles. Donors need not be big advertisers, can be an individual philantropist, etc.

l. There are many big bicycle manufacturers in Taiwan who can easily adapt models for your campus use. Google for them.

m. If you want a bit of levity, humour and even whimsy on your campus, you could erect small 'traffic signs' that read, say, "You are entering a Bicycle Town/Campus"; "Give way to Bicycles"; "Bicycles have right of way"; "2 Wheels good, 4 Wheels bad"; etc. Design-wise, these signs could incorporate the Bicycle graphic Symbol in place of the word.

Footnote: Cycling developments around the world: China switches to e-bikes
at Asia Times Online url













18 October 2009

Why Singapore has no economy


Published: Tuesday, April 12, 2005

SINGAPORE — Singapore's economy shrank at an annual rate of 5.8 percent in the first quarter, according to figures released on Monday, exceeding the most pessimistic forecast by economists, as makers of pharmaceuticals cut production.

The decline in gross domestic product, reported by the Trade Ministry, was the first in almost two years. It compared with growth of 7.9 percent in the fourth quarter.

The economic report added to speculation that the central bank would seek to stimulate growth by abandoning its policy of a "modest and gradual appreciation" in the currency at a twice-yearly review on Tuesday.

The government forecasts that Singapore's growth may fall to as little as 3 percent this year from 8.4 percent last year, as exports of electronics slow.

A rebound in production of drugs may soften the slump, said Chua Hak Bin, an economist at DBS Group.

"This report tells us that the economy is slowing down, but I think it is slowing down at a moderate pace," he said. "The decline was largely due to the volatility in pharmaceuticals."

Pharmaceutical output fell because manufacturers switched to producing different chemicals and shut plants for cleaning, said Song Seng Wun, an economist at G.K. Goh.

Shutdowns and expansions cause swings in output because of the small number of factories in Singapore.

Some analysts said the vital electronics industry, accounting for nearly a third of manufacturing output and about half of non-oil exports, could post stronger output in the second quarter as global demand picks up. That would allow Singapore to avoid a recession, which occurs when an economy contracts for two consecutive quarters.

"The first quarter's contraction was driven mostly by volatility in the pharmaceuticals industry," said Euben Paracuelles, economist at DBS Bank.

"Electronics indicators show there is a likely upturn in the electronics cycle. Going forward we don't think there is a risk of recession."

Last Wednesday, the Asian Development Bank forecast that economic growth in Asia's developing nations will slow to 6.5 percent this year from a seven-year high of 7.3 percent in 2004. Growth in Singapore may slow to 4.1 percent from 8.4 percent.

Last Tuesday, Homi Kharas, the top regional economist at the World Bank, said it was planning to cut the 2005 economic growth forecast for Asia excluding Japan and the Indian subcontinent because it expected oil record prices to curb demand in Europe and Japan.

In Singapore, manufacturing, which accounts for a quarter of the economy, rose 3 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, slowing from an expansion of 14.1 percent in the previous three months. In 2004, manufacturing grew by 14 percent.

"The first quarter was soft for business machines like printers and servers," said J.R. Ong, managing director of First Engineering, which supplies parts to Hewlett-Packard and Seagate Technology.

Singapore has offered tax breaks to lure drug makers to the island to reduce its reliance on electronics.

"For Singapore it's a double whammy from electronics and pharmaceuticals," said Nizam Idris, an economist at IDEAglobal in Singapore.

"Other Asian countries probably won't see such a sharp slowdown because they are largely affected by weaker electronics demand."
1. Over the years, I have often read Singapore news like this one above in which the GDP drops several percent due to the pharmaceutical sector 'pills factory closed for cleaning'.

2. Now, I know that LIE KY LHL have spent billions to lure pharmaceutical companies to set up factories in Singapore BUT THE TOTAL NUMBER IS VERY SMALL, PROBABLY NO MORE THAN HALF A DOZEN. So, how is it that when 1 or 2 such pills factories close for cleaning, which they have to do now and then, THIS AFFECTS THE GDP TO THE TUNE OF SEVERAL PERCENT?

3. This means that the whole so-called pharmaceutical industry is so small it shouldn't even be called a sector. The case is exactly the same in the 'electronics sector', another grandiose term for a couple of Seagate disk drive factories. When 1 or 2 factories slow production, the effect is a couple of percent drop in the 'sector'. Thus, like every Look Good operation mounted by the LIEs, all the so-called "sectors" in Singapore's "economy" are pretty fake, false. Truth is, we don't really have an "economy", only a few factories making different products -- like pills or disk drives.

4. Thus, we have no economy, really. Only a couple of factories here and there. Everything is miniscule in scale. This means that our "GDP" is also not real GDP but a simple-to-manipulate number that very quickly and responsively responds to any incentive -- simply lure a few factories to set up in Singapore and voila! you have another "economic sector" boosting GDP several percent. And because there are so few factories, you can easily manipulate their production higher [or lower] at will, by giving incentives, etc.

5. Conclusion: Singapore has no economy. It is too miniscule an islet of 700 sq km [270 sq miles]. Singapore is not a country although it has every trapping of a country like President, Cabinet, Parliament, Ministries and even a very expensive military -- again, too miniscule. Its GDP is not real GDP but a simple sum total of a few hundreds of factory and office productions, mostly foreign. That is why, when LIE KY LHL pull out all the stops, 'GDP growth' can seem miraculous -- just a few factories increasing output. And based on these seemingly impressive GDP growth numbers, they award themselves even more millions in bonuses. Miracle workers? The most successful 'economy' and 'country'? No, more like David Copperfield illusionists.

6. How is this Great Illusion created? Here is the Secret: first, take the British-started CPF and enormously increase it to 40% of every employee's pay and bonus, the highest forced savings in the world. In just ~2 decades, you have billions and billions in govt coffers to play with, which you use to buy personal clout for yourself and big welcomes everywhere you visit, and to get Advisor positions on unscrupulous company boards who covet some of those billions invested in their companies.

7. However, CPF nominally belongs to the people, so to permanently take most of these monies, you make the British-started HDB [then called the SIT] the monopoly for 85% of all housing, then sell enormously overpriced flats at humongous profits paid for by the victims/people using their CPF monies, so they officially hand over most of their CPF monies to you. Also, to ensure they cannot take back what little is left of their CPF monies, you set rules to practically prevent any lump sum withdrawals, only small monthly sums upon reaching a very advanced age -- this is a classic pyramid scheme, with new workers CPF paying off the retired ones withdrawing their small monthly sums, so the bulk is yours to keep.

8. To further your billions, OverTax & UnderSpend on everything, from schools to hospitals, giving the moronic excuse of 'Deliberate UnderSupply For More Efficient Use of resources'. Make the people pay for everything. They cannot protest because you make it illegal to hold even a 1-man protest. You also repeatedly rig elections so need not fear being voted out. You blackmail voters into voting you or else their flats, blocks and neighbourhoods will be deliberately left to "degenerate into slums" meaning their flats' value will drop.

9. Control every mass media so that every single word or image is fawning and favourable to you. Over decades, there isn't a single negative word or image of you. Extend this papaganda to schools from kindergartens which you also build and control, to the 3 universities. Make even academics fear to criticise any of your policies by sacking some, like former lecturer Dr CHEE Soon Juan, now permanently unemployed and a bankrupt.

10. Prosecute and sue political opponents so that at every election, you are returned to power on Nomination Day itself, there being too few opposition candidates who dare contest. To ensure judges convict and find for your lawsuits, sack some like former Justice Michael KHOO. Also promote some like retired Justice Sinnathuray all the way to the Supreme Court for verdicting what you want. Promote to Chief Justice, CHAN Sek Keong when, as AG, he ridiculously refused to prosecute your son then-DPM LEE Hsien Loong together with PM GOH Chok Tong, DPM Tony TAN and PAP MP S VASOO for breaking your own law on illegal entry into polling stations as unauthorised persons.

11. Refuse to hold official commissions of inquiry when caught accepting illegal 15% discounts on purchases of luxury condos, totalling >S$1m in all for the famiLEE. Instead, hold a fake 'hearing' in Parliament and start by threatening the 2 Opposition MPs that you will sue if they dare say anything, so they kept quiet throughout. Then have every word and image airbrushed to appear innocent, cleared and angelic, by your tightly controlled media.

12. With your billions and billions, spend enough to make your little islet clean and green, very cheaply using huge hordes of cheap foreign workers, who live in exploited wretched conditions with squat toilet holes overflowing with faeces, living quarters so cramped they often catch diseases from one another such as chicken pox, etc, living in modified ship containers in secluded forest so the world cannot see the wretchedness. Spend enough on public buildings to look First World.

13. But the key to looking First World is luring the >26,000 foreign companies to locate in Singapore. This is done by giving generous incentives such as tax holidays, grants and free monies -- for example, the ~half dozen pills factories got billions in incentives. Never mind if you lose money on luring these >26,000 foreign companies, and never make money from them, they make your little islet look like the Hubs which you constantly boast of, a Hub of Hubs, etc. They are important because they do things your small little domestic rubber-slippers and plastic-pails-making companies cannot even begin to do and can never master the kind of skills needed for these truly First World foreign companies. These >26,000 foreign companies are what truly make your little islet First World. The Singaporeans they employ get good wages and learn First World skills and do First World kind of work in First World swank offices, gleaming office towers and modern factories. So, these >26,000 foreign companies are the key reasons you look First World, not anything local which you have, which are pathetically Second World at best.

14. To sum up, the real money is obtained by screwing the people, from the CPF-HDB nexus, which billions are what you see in the GIC which you make sure you and your son control. These hundreds of billions, together with more hundreds of billions in Temasek Holdings, which your daughter in law controls, give the impression of success. After all, what bigger symbol of success and First Worldness than billions? But these are all borrowed billions, which, when the tide turns and all the Bubbles burst, will have to be returned to the people one way or another, unless you let them starve and sleep in the streets. The other major component of First Worldness are the >26,000 foreign companies, lured here at great losses and expense, but which Look Good. Yes, if you use every dirty trick in the book to Look Good, you do succeed. At least, for some time until someone comes along and exposes your Secret.

Note 1: For the LIEs most recent cheap trick -- their 3rd Wave of Labour -- done as usual, to excess in the last decade or so, I highly recommend you read "ICONOCLASSING Pt 2": . The point is that, since Singapore is too miniscule to be a real economy, importing just a few thousands of foreign workers pushes up the GDP by several percent, just like luring half a dozen pills factories. Hence, the addiction to importing relatively huge numbers of foreigners. When you have no ideas or understanding of how the economy works, you are a rat pressing Green Levers and thinking you are a great success, when all you are doing is distorting the entire little, miniscule islet's education, social, economic, housing, even cultural lives into one stupendously STUPID meaningless pressing of green levers to make more marbles drop into your cage. The unthinking, meaninglessness of lab rats.

Note 2 [29 Oct 2010]: 70% of Singapore's economy is made up by government monopolies or Govt Linked Companies [GLCs]. These rapacious govt monopolies raise prices every year, for example, the bus monopoly raised bus fares 7 times in 8 years. Since the increased prices = increased 'economic' activity = increase in GDP, at least 3-4% of Singapore's annual GDP 'growth' is thus assured. The rest of GDP growth is produced by the mostly MNCs and some local companies. THESE THUS BECOME DISPROPORTIONATELY HUGE 'SWING FACTORS'. This is why whenever a couple of pills factories close for their regular cleanings, the GDP fluctuates violently, due to their being Swing Factors to the steady, assured 3-4% GDP 'growth' that comes from GLCs raising prices every year. The people are too cowed to protest or complain. This is also why the nepot famiLEE of LIE KY, 2A1B and WKS and their fellow robbers, give themselves millions in 'GDP bonuses' according to a secret formula, rewarding themselves for any GDP growth, which, as I have explained, are practically assured to the tune of 3-4% annually, simply by the GLC monopolies constantly raising prices. Thus, LIE KY pays himself >half a million dollars a MONTH, and even more for GDP 'growth'!

RH: "It's like a certain Mr LEE who pays big money to a classy, well-dressed, well-groomed lady doctor driving a Lexus to rent a room in his HDB flat and then claims he and his flat are First Class because of the lady doctor."

RH: "Another Look Good sector is Chartered SemiConductor, started with enormous billions which were all lost. But never mind, LIE KY LHL got to boast of a "high tech computer chip wafer fab sector" which boosted GDP a few percent. Also, whenever Channel NewsAsia mentions the 'economy' in a telecast, they get to show a clip of clean room technicians garbed in dustless coveralls operating robotic arms handling wafer chips. Looks Good."

RH: "Basically, the >26,000 foreign companies in Singapore are First World; the LIEgime govt and all its local industries are Second World at best; while the low income and cheap foreign workers are Third World. Generally, you cannot go from Third World to First, especially by luring high tech foreign companies and hoping their First World skills and technologies will trickle down to Singaporeans and local companies. But they do Look Good and give your little islet a First World appearance."













29 September 2009

Idea: YouTube News on demand

ComScore: Google Sites Surpass 10B Video Views In Aug
Wall Street Journal - ‎5 hours ago‎
Google Inc.'s (GOOG) sites continued to dominate online-video viewing statistics in August, as the company surpassed the 10 billion mark and took in 40% of all viewership, according to comScore Inc. The search-engine giant's popular video site YouTube ...
Labels and studios could have access to your YouTube metrics BetaNews
ComScore: YouTube Tops 10 Billion Videos Viewed in August Home Media Magazine - - xchange Magazine - TechCrunch (blog)
all 53 news articles »
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1. I think the idea of a YouTube Current News or Hot News -- or just, News -- will work because, for a little money and work, the benefits -- and profits to Google -- can be huge. For example, currently, all the tv news channels create their news reports, then air them and maybe repeat some segments later, but soon all these are gone for good, overtaken by new news.

2. A YouTube News section would effectively be a re-run of these quite-latest news videos, thus giving each news segment a new lease of life, a kind of recycling and re-use -- easily searchable and dowloadable at will with just a search. This means that all the tv news channels will only be too happy to give away their news stories videos for free or a small share of the profits.

3. For example, if a news video from CNN or BBC is aired then 'discarded' or lapsed, the editor could quickly and easily take the news story, say, about Zimbabwe's Z$100 trillion dollar note, convert it to YouTube video format and upload it to a pre-defined YouTube channel, say, a CNN or BBC News channel -- thus without any work from Google. The editor would also type out all the tags for this video, to make searching easy. This takes only seconds and any news editor would do this really easily and well. Since every word read by the tv news reader would be first typed and edited in digital form, it is possible to take the entire text of news copy and put all this into the tag, probably automatically omitting all the useless words. [However, off the cuff remarks from the news reader or 'live' quotes from a speaker would not be in digital form, so a little work is needed to type out enough of these 'live' spoken words as tags].

4. Also, Google would have to decide if a news story on the Z$100t note for example, should be pure news story or could include an ad or commercial within it. There is a money making possibility to insert a 2-second silent Slide advertisement into every YouTube News channel video. 2 seconds are enough because that's how long we look at an ad in a newspaper or online. Besides, if the viewer is interested, he can pause the video at the Slide for a longer look, even note down the url to visit the webpage. Inserting the ad Slide can even be done automatically, say, at the exact halfway point of the newscast or its approximate -- with slight adjustment to find a silence, 'nobody speaking' point lasting probably ~0.5 second at the end of a complete sentence, to insert the 2-second slide. All in all, it will be just a blip and then the newscast resumes. This ad would be cheap and simple to create, not be too irritating and can generate huge revenues. However, this is a policy and profit matter for Google and participating news channels like CNN, BBC, etc. Of course, Google may initially need an editor to review each news story to set editorial policies, etc, but once these policies are determined and agreed to by the participating tv news channels like CNN, BBC, etc, even this Google editor may not be needed, since all the big tv news channels operate under far more restrictions than YouTube in general.

5. The result of this idea would be to create a vast bank or repertory of video news stories that anyone can search for and watch. Currently, there is no way we can get hold of a 'discarded' or 'lapsed' news video, so this idea actually creates a new form or genre of watching tv news -- or watching YouTube videos, if you like. This is like news videos On Demand, only shortly after it has been telecast on regular tv news channels. This will benefit many people who cannot watch a news telecast at a certain time but now can watch it on demand, at a time and place of their convenience. If you missed a Bloomberg news telecast, now you can watch it on YouTube. If you want to watch all the news telecasts on say, the latest G20 meeting, you could now, on demand, watch every news video on this on YouTube, in all the languages and as reported by all the news telecasts in the world. Thus, the world is better off. There is now a back up copy of most news stories telecast, a permanent video record of what is happening in the world, available for future historians and lay researchers.

6. It also means you are not tied to telecast times. Since there is likely to be a YouTube back-up copy of the tv news telecast, you can now watch it at your choice of time and place. This is a great advance in tv news watching. It also effectively lengthens the lifespan of every news telecast, way into the indefinite future, forever.

7. For Google, not much work. Just ensure you double and quadruple your YouTube servers and bandwidth because YouTube content will really multiply and re-multiply -- literally explode. Just ensure that tagging is comprehensive, for easy searching and cross-searching. For the world, now, news videos on demand, from anywhere, in every language, without need for a tv or cable news subscription, just your pc and a broadband connection -- and a good Chrome OS and good Chrome browser optimised for this kind of YouTube video watching because many will now get their daily news fix from YouTube. A new world of news and information without borders or restrictions.

8. This idea will be good news for telcos, too, because once people start watching their newscasts on computers via the Internet YouTube, they will also do so from smartphones, which can already access the Internet. Here, a good cellphone OS and browser optimised for video watching will further this development. There will be many smartphone apps to quickly and easily bookmark Favourite YouTube News channels for regular watching. Ideally, these apps should make it easy to go to a desired YouTube News channel, stream the first news video so that the user can start watching in seconds, and while he is watching the first video, the next video should stream in the background, so a continuous video watching experience almost like watching a telecast. All these are easily do-able with current technology already.

9. Many young people do not watch the news much. This idea may bring back this lost generation because they grew up with the computer and the cellphone, and this idea puts the News right into computers and cellphones.













18 September 2009

Ideas: Inertia Theory and Similarising Effect Theory


1. Newton's First Law, Inertia, may be stated: "An object at rest tends to remain at rest while an object in motion tends to remain in motion in a straight line unless acted on by an external force."

2. I believe that Newton's First Law applies not only to celestial bodies and smaller everyday masses, but even more so to Govt and all Human affairs.

3. In other words, INERTIA is the great human condition and it explains much of our successes and failures and anyone who seeks to change the world or his country -- like Hatoyama -- will more likely succeed if he takes into account this very human Inertia.

4. Some examples of Inertia:

a. In 1965, LIE KY wept on tv announcing that Singapore was kicked out of Malaysia. He knew Singapore was finished, will collapse. But to his amazement, weeks and months followed and life went on business as usual. The big British trading houses in Malaysia, and the numerous Chinese businesses, continued to send their goods to Singapore for export. Slowly, LIE realised that Singapore would not collapse. So Singapore, like Hongkong, continued to thrive and prosper, to this day. Lesson? States, govts and humans tend to continue doing the same things day after day unless acted on by an external force big enough to change that. A trajectory, once set, is almost impossible to change, which is why hated dictators like LIE can continue indefinitely and Singapore can continue to prosper on the trajectory [including British administration, law, port hub commerce, etc] set by the British, as in Hongkong.

b. Recent US disasters like 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina did not collapse New York and New Orleans. Life went on business as usual and people did not lay down and gave up hope but instead turned up for work within days.

c. Zimbabwe has printed Z$100t notes but life still goes on business as usual and Mugabe remains in power.

d. Millions starved to death in China and North Korea not long ago but life went on business as usual and the govts remained entrenched.

5. All these show, not so much the resilence of humans, but their lack of imagination and creativity, and inability to think of alternatives to their predicaments, so thus quietly accepting their fate whatever that may be, even starving to death. In other words, continuing in a straight line until acted on by a big enough external force.

6. Yet it is this inertia that saved mankind and humans and while we should understand it, we should not eradicate or reform it to such an extent we do the human race in, or our countries and communities in. For example, it takes a pretty plodding, uncreative, unimaginative kind of man to wake early every morning, carry pails of water from the river to water his crops and keep doing this every day until he can harvest and eat. A less unimaginative and less uncreative man would refuse to daily toil and resort to killing and robbery to get the other man's harvest. Hence, you have the 2 classic types of people, the primary food producers and those who prey on what they produce. Today, nothing has changed. There are those who produce and those who live off that produce while they themselves produce little or nothing. Marx described them as the capitalists vs the workers, or bourgeoisie vs the proletariat. Today, politicians, even those in govt, are the bourgeoisie, too, living off their people. Politicians, including govts, not only serve their own interests and agendas, but have become the problem, not the solution. If we could somehow govern ourselves without politicians, we'd all be better off. Today, a kind of Govt By Referendum is already possible but it will not happen unless 'acted on by an external force', thanks to Inertia. Without an external force, people will continue to remain in inertia, unimaginative and uncreative in a straight line trajectory.

7. What if people are NOT unimaginative and uncreative? Look at the most imaginative and creative country in history -- the US -- and the most unimaginative and most uncreative -- China -- and choose which you would want to create, assuming you can conjure up enough 'external force' to overcome the inertia.

8. The US has given the world the internet, computers, MNCs, earth-destroying military technologies, most of its popular culture from rap and moonwalk to blockbuster 3D movies; but also drugs, serial killers, random drive-by shootings, Woodstock hippie-ism, schoolkids who attend school only for fun and to organise parties, workers so switched off and uncontrollable they produce shoddy goods they themselves won't buy, etc.

9. On the other hand, China has 1b more people than the US but produces far less ideas and inventions. It is so plodding its students routinely practise 100 sums a day and score near full marks in universities overseas. If Chinese were to suddenly become like Americans, China would fracture in less than a decade.

10. Happily or unhappily, nothing much will happen, thanks to inertia. This inertia explains why the "OBAMA first term is turning out to be a Bush third term". Why the US is still in Afghanistan and pursuing pretty much the same anti-Russia policies following the straight line trajectory from the Cold War, especially in Central Asia. Inertia also explains why China, which could easily squeeze the US simply by dumping some or all US$, cannot. Not that it cannot, but more because China doesn't have the imagination or creativity to imagine what would or could be the result, so better to do nothing -- inertia.

11. Inertia is so much the, not just a, human condition, that it applies to individual humans as well as their govts and societies. Many Americans have become unconventional and taken to drugs, free sex, school shooting sprees, even kidnap and murder, and dropped out of 'mainstream' life, but they are a tiny minority and the vast majority still work 9-5, Mon-Fri, with 3 weeks annual leave, and keep at it year after year.

12. The American trajectory was set in the last 230 years or so while the China trajectory was set in the last 5,000 years or so, which implies that probably, the American trajectory is easier to change than China's. This probably explains the greater experimentation in lifestyle, culture, business organisation and methods in the US, and the overall greater imagination and creativity, not forgetting this could be bad.

13. OBAMA won his Presidency on the promise of Change, but it looks like he cannot create enough of the kind of 'force' that could change trajectories. He needs a 9/11 kind of force that helped BUSH change trajectory and invade Iraq. OBAMA himself has to understand why he is also following a trajectory before he can change it. Similarly for Hatoyama. He not only has to understand what is and why Japan is following a trajectory, like everybody else, but why the economic trajectory has remained unchanged for a dozen years -- if he wishes to change it. Then, he has to find a 9/11 force to succeed. It will not be easy and I wish him all the luck in the world.


14. The above 13 paras more or less conclude my theory on Newton's First Law in Govt and Human Affairs, or my Inertia Theory. It stands by itself regardless of my second theory below on Imagination and Creativity even if this be discredited.

15. I call this second theory the "Similarising Effect".

16. I have noticed that many, if not most, geniuses work alone or even are loners. Throughout history, the wise men of the tribe was often alone, exempted from the normal hundrum work of producing food, tending animals, the usual 'drawers of water and hewers of wood', etc. Often, when the wise men needed inspiration or insights, they would go alone to the holy mountain to get inspired. The question is, why alone? Can't they think great thoughts and insights while bustling around their community actively involved in all the daily affairs? It seems not. Not only are they alone or loners in habit and temperament, from a practical standpoint, they obviously cannot think unusual thoughts, and therefore potentially great thoughts, if they need to hew wood and draw water. In short, they have to be alone.

17. I would go further and postulate that these geniuses or wise men cannot think different if they are surrounded by too much sameness. In other words, if they allow themselves to be surrounded by too many people, too much sameness, they BECOME just like them, like their surroundings, and lose their genius or wisdom. They have to go alone to the mountain. Even in the midst of their community, they have to be alone, to gain their great insights and wisdom.

18. This could be because of the Similarising Effect. I believe that all human beings, and maybe animals and even plants, too, tend to become more and more like one another with constant interaction and over time. I say this because all 6.8b of us here on earth now are almost exactly the same, AND THIS IS ASTOUNDING! Why should we all, all 6.8b of us, have 2 eyes, a nose, 2 ears, etc, and even more astoundingly, our eyes see exactly the same subtle shades of colour when our retinas absorb the same wavelengths of light! Our nose perceive the same subtle perfume, our tongues taste the same pepper or lime tastes. All of us and our traits, fall into the Bell Curve with only a tiny few at both ends of the bell. This is astounding, or should be. How come there aren't many dwarfs and giants, people with 3 eyes, 10 hands, etc, when we are all busily evolving and mutating? Thus, there must be a powerful, physical, force that makes us more and more similar to one another, when we are close and interact enough in community.

19. There is an obvious evolutionary benefit to sameness. The more same we all are, the less different and therefore, less conflicts there are, and we all get along fine. Even babies instinctively notice people who are different. This is inborn and being the same, or rather, NOT being different, means being accepted by others and the community, and therefore important for survival. To be different, like a gay, usually means ostracism, even hatred and physical attacks. Thus, my Similarising Effect helps explain xenophobia, too.

20. Note that community members are very alike but different communities are different. For example, all 1.3b Chinese are so similar we instantly recognise them as Chinese but can instantly tell them apart from Whites or Blacks, by several traits including height and body size, etc. This can be explained by assuming that the Similarising Effect 'makes people living and interacting closely, more and more alike', while across communities, they are all different because they are not close enough or interact enough, over time.

21. We know the terms 'herd mentality' and 'groupthink'. These are well understood but the explanation is my Similarising Effect. When you are close enough and interact enough, over time, you become like those you are close to. EVEN THINK THE SAME, TOO. This is why people who are alone, or loners, are able to think different. They are free from the powerful Similarising Effect.

22. I cannot end without a practical advice. If you want to think different thoughts and thereby potentially great thoughts, the last thing you want to do is convene a meeting or committee. You'd do better to ask everybody to go into isolation and think, before meeting to discuss. Long term, you should always go into retreat, preferably alone, for as much time as possible. This way, you are more likely to think different, free from the Similarising Effect. That said, thinking is a skill and the more you do it, the better you are at it. Sadly, most people don't think so they cannot think. Once you have started, it gets easier and easier. This is why geniuses can think such astoundingly different thoughts and keep doing it at will. Be alone and gain the world of understanding.













05 August 2009

Idea: Made FOR China business strategy


1. This new essay is a rambling mashup and a further development of 3 earlier emails of mine:

A. an article "Homegrown CBHD discs outsell Blu-ray by 3-1 margin in China" at

B. my earlier email on my "Poptimum Effect" which states "If there is such a thing as an optimum pop for industrial success, Japan's 127m pop may be it. It is just big enough for economies of scale and customer size for R&D, product development and improvements, to produce world-beating products, yet small enough to force companies to aggressively market and sell to the rest of the world. America, with 300m, may be too big, being a big enough, often the biggest, market all by itself, to bother exporting and customising its products to sell outside the US. We can call this the Poptimum Effect."

C. the article "For Mozilla and Google, Group Hugs Get Tricky" at

which include my following comments:
a. From this article, it seems that while Mozilla and its Firefox will not soon lose Google's funding and shared aims, here is a "In Case Of Fire, Break Glass" idea that may provide Mozilla with alternative funding, programmers and code-writers, and even a new purpose in life should Google's Chrome and other browsers reduce Firefox's current popularity.

b. The idea is simple and in a word : China.

c. China today is beginning to feel confident about its place among the top countries in the world after a successful Olympics, next year's likely successful World Expo in Shanghai, the passing of the crucial 300m internet users mark so now China has more internet users than America has people, some US$2t in the bank, a desire to obtain the latest tech esp IT, and growing use of pcs and the internet in China govt and businesses.

d. All these means a China govt that may be interested in acquiring some ownership and say in a high tech company. Currently, the US has forbidden transfer of high tech to China, essentially regarding China as a potential enemy but Mozilla is not really the kind of sensitive high tech that the US govt may want to restrict. Besides, with >300m internet users, all of whom need a browser, what is more logical than to target and focus more on Chinese users?

e. With regards to funding, if Mozilla ever needs funds, it could approach the China govt and offer some kind of a deal. In return for funding, Mozilla could give China some kind of a seat on the board, some kind of ownership and some kind of say. Here, the China govt is likely to be reasonable and not really want to take over and dictate how the company is run or change policies. Everything will more likely be largely symbolic. Only Mozilla can offer this kind of a deal because the other browser makers are purely American companies, from Microsoft, Google to Apple. So, only Mozilla has a diffused ownership and corporate structure that will arouse no special anti-China sentiments on the part of the US govt or people, while China obtains a seat in a largely diffused company.

f. Also, since Mozilla is open source, there is no transfer of tech. In fact, the bigger problem is that since Mozilla's core techs are open source, what would the China govt get out of it? Here, Mozilla could start looking into the China market for browsers and Chinese users of browsers and see if there are opportunities to produce a Chinese version of Mozilla more suited to China than your current multi-lingual browsers. Here, you can be cunning. You know that the China govt is trying to clamp down on online porn and certain sensitive political websites and search engine results. If you can customise or tweak a China version of Mozilla to achieve these, you could have a deal. There are also peculiarities of the China govt that you can cater to. In short, customise, tweak or create a China version of Firefox for Chinese users. You could, for example, use baidu as the default search engine for this version.

g. Language translation is also important. It would be nice if your browser can translate websites and websearches from English, etc, to Chinese, on the fly. If you are the best in doing this, you should have a deal.

h. China has 55 ethnic minorities numbering >100m or ~10% of the pop. If you can cater to these minority languages, you would also have a strong case, since official China govt policy favours its minorities.

i. The China govt and businesses are using and increasing their number of websites. If Mozilla can create good, open standards for creating websites of various kinds, from news webpages to online retailing, and propagate these to the Chinese, this will also spur adoption of Firefox. Like everywhere, there will be increasing use of videos and audios, including animations, and all these can make Mozilla even more valuable to Chinese users.

j. In short, China is not exactly like a Chinese language version of America. There are distinct differences, in need for control of porn and some political websites and even searches, as well as vast ethnic minorities who need, and can be, catered to, esp language-wise.

k. Once China comes onboard, and Mozilla commits to a Chinese version of say, Firefox, not only would the China govt provide some funds, but also probably encourage China programmers and code-writers to join in the effort. This will be mutually beneficial. The Chinese programmers know better than anybody else what China is and isn't. Or what kind of features are most likely to succeed in China.

l. You probably don't need all this for some time but you never know. In the meantime, start looking at China as a growing market of >300m internet users, and growing, growing, growing...

2. From para 1 above, taking the article on the stunning success of CBHD, then allowing for some Poptimum Effect, and then taking my comments for Mozilla, what would be the way forward for both China and those orgs like Mozilla that may learn to do business with China such that both win-win?

3. To illustrate what I am trying to say, we all know that Toshiba developed the rival to Sony's Blu-Ray DVD [BD] that was known as HD-DVD. It lost to BD and prob lost much money. Whereas now it seems that CBHD, which the article says used some tech from HD-DVD, may well succeed and maybe even dethrone BD ultimately. Or force Sony to reduce prices so much that it will be little profitable. Is there a lesson to be learned? What if Toshiba had gone in with the China developers of CBHD from the very start? Would Toshiba then have won and beaten Sony? Here, we may see the Poptimum Effect having a very big effect. China is so huge that it can create any standard or format it wants and it will have enough users to make it viable and even profitable. I remember buying a cheap little Chinese mp3 player that also played video -- not in any popular format but its own Chinese format. A video-playing watch I bought online from China played mp3 and videos in the China .mtv format, not any of the popular formats used in the West. An American who also bought a China player also asked in a forum about getting a converter program to convert videos to .mtv to play on his player. In other words, given China's huge Poptimum Effect and its still-growing mass of users of everything, companies like Toshiba may well find success BY DEVELOPING FOR THE CHINA MARKET FIRST BEFORE TAKING IT WORLDWIDE. If Toshiba had done that for its HD-DVD, it may have beaten Sony today.

4. In other words, whatever you are thinking of developing, you had better consider developing it FOR and maybe also IN China. This is not new, in a way. For the last few decades, The Market was the US. Every product was designed with the US in mind. It was not only the biggest market but also the richest, able to afford the best. If Jeffrey Sachs on CCTV-9 last night is correct, that free-spending American market is gone, at least for years, maybe forever. Another sign that free-spending, 'money is no object', kind of American buying of all manner of goods is at an end is the low [~8%] penetration rate of Sony's BD players in the US. That is now threatened by China's CBHD, which seems likely to succeed and even displace BD. Of course, developing a product FOR China and maybe IN China means being price-conscious, since the Chinese buyers are not the free-spending Americans but it means that IF YOUR PRODUCT CAN SELL IN CHINA, IT CAN SELL EVERYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD. Even in the US and other rich countries. We are seeing a huge economy of scale never seen before in history, that can take even a technically inferior standard like .mtv and still make it a success. Just like prob CBHD is inferior to BD but may still triumph in the end. This huge economy of scale will increasingly dictate how companies develop and sell their products. If companies continue to focus on the free-spending American consumer like before, they may well find that their new products, while technically superior, may still lose in the end to cheaper China products, developed either by Chinese companies or in joint ventures with foreign companies. This happened before, to Sony, when its Betamax lost to VHS. In other words, it is not enough to develop something that is technically better, to win. It has to be a hybrid of price-features that may not be the best technically but at such a price point that products sell furiously. If Sony's BD loses out to CBHD, it will be the Betamax war all over again. This time, the decider will be the 1.3b people in China. And the hungry Chinese companies that are furiously developing everything for them and the rest of the world.

5. There is another phenomenon that bears on my essay : many new products are far better than they have to be or need to be. Every week or so, I walk into Best Denki and the most eye-catching displays are the huge flat tvs. Every few months, their specs get better and better and once in a while, noticeably sharper and more brilliant picture. Yet I don't buy. Why? My few years old 37" flat panel plasma tv is good enough. Besides, the tv channels I watch are not HD anyway. So the phenomenon is that new products are far too good. True, they start off expensive but get cheaper quickly, especially when the even newer, even better replacements come on stream. Unless you are an increasingly extinct American 'money no object' kind of spender, everybody else needs to calculate price-features equations and would settle for something not as sharp and brilliant, not as elegantly thin, but much cheaper tv. This is where China will make most of its breakthroughs.

6. This Made FOR China business thinking will soon be alongside the Made In China business thinking, which is already so well established it needs no elaboration. Made For China business thinking is prob best exemplified by the success story of CBHD. I had in a dim way, anticipated this with my essay on how Mozilla can produce a custom version for China's >300m internet users. Mozilla, like every other maker of hardware or software in every field from blue ray laser disc players to Linux operating system, can profit from a focussed and deliberate Made For China business strategy. For example, Linux has languished behind Windows. What if Linux were to develop a version specially targetted at China's >300m users? It could take off like a rocket. And because China is quite like Taiwan, Hongkong, Japan and Korea in language and culture, and further, to most of Asia, a Linux success in China could mean success in the whole of Asia. Thus, a Made For China success could be extended to Taiwan, Hongkong, Japan, Korea and the rest of Asia. This implies somewhat that its present failure, if it can be called that, is due to its focus on Made For USA or at least, Made For The West. That could be the limiting factor that has denied Linux the explosive success of sheer numbers, which could in turn translate into bigger successes in features and usage.

7. To ramble on, suppose Linux and FireFox were to adopt the strategy of Made For China. It could start by customising a version for Chinese users, cunningly tailoring features for the China internet and its peculiarities. When customised enough, Linux and FireFox could consider going [backwards?] from open source to proprietary. In other words, Linux and FireFox's China version could very well be sold to a China company or the China govt, which will then develop it further to whatever they want. The advantage for the China company or govt is that it doesn't have to develop from scratch, which is not only difficult but almost impossible to catch up with the leaders as even the mighty Google will find with its Chrome operating system when it appears, just like its Chrome browser is lagging far behind the leaders. When the leaders are not standing still, but running hard, and you start from scratch, it is almost impossible to catch up. Thus, for the China company or govt, to develop a China Linux and FireFox version from scratch will be difficult but to buy over a version together with the key people involved, will be far easier. There are legal implications of who should get the money since many developers contribute code to open source softwares but nothing that cannot be thrashed out. All those who contributed code should get some money; more for the bigger contributors. If the practice is established of open source being bought over to become proprietary, and all those who contributed getting some money, the open source movement will benefit because then, more people will be willing to contribute, in the hope that if it goes proprietary one day, they might get paid.

8. I would hesitate to call this Made For China strategy new. It is already prob practised by many firms operating in China, from foreign firms to of course, domestic firms producing for their local market. What I hope to do is to crystallise the thought that firstly, most big firms have consciously or unconsciously, declared or undeclared, had a policy of Made For America as their core business strategy. This now has to change to Made For China AS A CONSCIOUS, DECLARED STRATEGY. If you believe my arguments above, and your own further thinking, then you will profit from this new business strategy, whether you are an American firm like Mozilla, a Japanese firm like Toshiba, or from any other part of the world. China, on the other hand, has to think through all the ramifications if many companies adopt this strategy, in other to encourage and support it if it is considered beneficial to China and its companies. There is much work to be done but most of it thinking. I have merely fired the starter's gun.












25 July 2009


1. Now that you earthlings seem to have given up the fight against H1N1, some temporary and permanent changes to the way we live, work and do business seem necessary :

a. develop a cheap and effective vaccine so that enough at-risk people can be vaccinated
b. H1N1 can either be regarded like dengue fever etc, which is sometimes fatal, or like the fearsome SARS which is more fatal
c. H1N1 may be between the 2, that is, between dengue which we don't do much about, and SARS, which causes too much economic and social losses for society to accept
d. H1N1 is probably here to stay like dengue and there may be more of such unfightable flus, H1N1 v. 2.0, etc, coming along, given earthlings' now greatly increased travel, overcrowding, and the increased and enhanced abilities of bugs to mutate and develop into threatening forms

2. What then are possible solutions, given that solutions must be cheap, reasonably effective, easy to implement, for universal application in rich and poor countries and areas alike?

3. Probably the first of these would be a powerful liquid or gas bactericide sprayed from a cheap, simple sprayer. Such are probably already available so it is a simple implementation measure to ensure that all walls and floors, and preferably ceilings, doors and door handles, too, are sprayed regularly to kill any bugs that may be floating in the air or touched by infected persons who may have transferred their bugs onto their hands. Thus, doors and especially door handles must be sprayed. Long-term, you may want to design doors and door handles to be opened with the foot, which is not difficult, so get your designers and inventors going. If the bactericide for all the walls, etc, is long-lasting, you'd only need to spray once in a long while, preferably no more than once a month in high-risk areas like hospitals.

4. In almost every office or govt counter where counter staff have to interact with the public, it is unfair to subject them to exposure to an unregulated public that may not be as diligent or conscientious in keeping hygienic enough not to pass on flus and bugs they may have, so glass barriers are needed to prevent direct droplets of bug-laden coughing to infect the counter staff. These glass screens should also, like the walls, floor and ceiling, and especially doors and door handles, be sprayed with the bactericide -- both sides, in case it is the counter staff that have the flus, not the public. This is good for psychological reassurance and reduces resignation or not taking jobs as counter staff when epidemics break out.

5. For poorer countries and areas which cannot define, print and publicise tenders, and pay the successful contractor to construct such glass screens, you can use thin strips of cheap, clear plastic sheets sprayed with bactericide or better still, impregnated with the bactericide at the factory. These strips work like flypaper, but will be clear and transparent for glass-like maximum visibility, and, depending on the seriousness of the risk of infection, either overlap each other to form a continuous barrier, or form spaced-out or gapped type barrier with 2 or more barrier screens one behind the other like this _-_-_-_-_-_, or even be spaced slightly apart in a single barrier screen to give a non-barrier feel or effect. This last method of spacing or gaps will let through some germs but this may be OK depending on the estimated risk. Balance between looks and appearance and the risk of infection. These bugstrips, like flypaper, will be suspended from the ceiling onto the counter or even to the floor depending on need. To fix, you can even simply tape the plastic strips to the ceiling. Some light designs are possible on the strips, unlike with glass, which is harder to print onto. So it is possible to have bright, pleasant designs on the bugstrips. You can have these bright designs [changing to festive designs and motifs for Chinese New Year, for example] pre-printed at the factory or print designs yourself on standard plastic sheets on an ordinary inkjet printer and then scissored and fixed, glued or taped onto the bugstrips. However, this will cover any bactericide already impregnated into the bugstrip at the factory so must be sprayed again. Since the bugstrips will hang from the ceiling while the maximum visibility need only be around the eye level over the counter, there is ample space to print [and affix] any custom designs or letterings you may print on an inkjet printer. For a neater look, you can manufacture a bugstrip holder that is about 50cm to about 100cm, easily cut with a knife or small saw to length, bendable into curved or straight lines to fit around the counter for best looks. This bugstrip holder will be easily screwed or fixed to the ceiling or ceiling boards and allow quick and easy clip-on changes of the bugstrips, like for festive occasions or when torn and tattered. Each bugstrip can be about 5cm to 20cm wide and as thin as possible for maximum clarity but thick enough to hang down nicely, and to be made of the clearest plastic. If you choose a very thin plastic, you could weigh down the bottom with some decorative weights.

6. If a place is in heavy danger of bugs, such as hospitals and some clinics, these bugstrips may even be hung all over a room or corridor or walkway. You would have to estimate how much surface area you want [coated with bug-killing bactericide] for how much risk of bugs floating in the air. This could require people to walk into and brush past such strips, if these are hung below their face/head. Not very elegant but possible.

7. H1N1 is not easily detectable by human-temperature scanning since, I believe, it takes some time for the temperature to rise and an infected person could already be spreading the germs before any detectable temperature rise. But there are no easier way to detect fevers except through temperature rise, so this must continue to be one of the main solutions. However, until such thermal scanners can be cheap enough and tiny enough to incorporate into such as cellphones, as one forumer suggested, the most practical way could be for all or most of the cctvs, which are always located in public places, to incorporate such thermal scanners, with an automated alarm system to trigger a highlighted recording for playback later, any person who came into view in the scanner and found to have a high temperature. The alarm, if noted in realtime by such as security officer, police, or even residents in a block since some cctvs display their feeds into the tv sets of residents in a block, could lead to further actions to determine if the scanned person is infectious.

8. Almost all pcs have a webcam nowadays and pcs are ideal for processing information, including from a thermal scanner built into the webcam, which may be included quite cheaply, with the corresponding appropriate software or application. If pc webcams are used, then, given the ease and quickness with which digital processes are done, almost every pc webcam user can be required to turn it on, scan themselves, and the result, daily or so, can be easily captured in a database for managers to note and act on if necessary. Many pc users will not hassle to take thermometer readings of themselves but will quite happily switch on an app on their pc especially if that app is fun, entertaining or required by their office manager. With laptop webcams fitted with thermal scanners, every laptop becomes a thermal scanner or fever detector, so can be taken to any function or gathering or a classroom or kindergarten and everybody scanned. A gps chip now costs only US$5 so if the thermal chip is incorporated into every laptop and pc, its price could be as low. Software to go with the thermal chip could be open source and free.

9. Now we come to the regulation of infected people. In Hongkong, people who have a cough do wear medical masks to protect others. This should be encouraged with public campaigns, then maybe also made compulsory. In short, anyone with a cough should/must wear a medical mask. This means that all crowded public places should have individually-sealed masks available free. People should take one only if they put it on and not take them away for sale or others to use. On buses and metro trains, there should be such masks available and public opinion should encourage any cougher to take one and put it on. Make coughing in public as obnoxious as smoking in public. There are many similarities and thus amenable to similar public campaigns. However, I suggest that such masks also be impregnated with bactericide at the factory, to kill the germs at source. Otherwise, when such masks are thrown away, usually into rubbish bins, they are a biological hazard to cleaners who clear the rubbish bins or even to people who breathe near the [open design] bins because masks coughed into may release their germs, either right from the moment they are thrown away, or when the coughed up droplets dry up thus releasing the germs to float into the air. Any such bactericide should be non-irritating to the face areas covered, such as the mouth and nose.

10. Finally, keeping the hands clean is important. This means that handwashing taps, sinks and basins should be everywhere, especially at eating places. Wet tissues impregnated with bactericide in handy packs should be encouraged to be on sale everywhere so that everyone would carry a pack and wet-wipe their hands as often as desired. Shops, supermarkets and vending machines should make these widely available. However, every pack of such bactericide tissues should carry warnings whether they can be used to wipe eyes, nose, mouth and other sensitive parts.

11. The above are mostly passive measures. For a slightly more active measure, you could develop cheap and simple Air Cleaning Machines. These machines would look much like one of the currently available rollable or portable aircon machines that are simply rolled to any part of the room near a window, and it would suck in air, cool it and pump it back into the room while expelling the hot air though a plastic flexible hose of about 5cm diameter out the window. In our case, the Air Cleaning Machine would simply suck in air from a room, pass the air through a bactericide solution, thereby killing all the germs, then expel the cleaned air back into the room -- even warm or cool the expelled air depending on whether heating or cooling is needed for the room. You would need several of these machines for a big room. Somewhat like this idea here : .

12. In para 10a of this essay [ ], I have discussed thermal imaging of passengers aboard a plane. This still holds good, I believe. Airlines may also want to consider using some Air Cleaning Machines aboard their planes, preferably built into the airconditioning system, if they do not want to reduce the amount of recycled air, which is about 50% for most airplanes. If a liquid bactericide solution is impractical, as would be the case in airplanes, HEPA filters can be used. These filter out almost 100% of airborne particles. Here, costs and practicality would determine which is used. You could also impregnate HEPA filters with bactericide to help kill germs.

13. Finally, here is a general idea not only for H1N1 but all epidemic diseases that may come along in future, which is a certainty. If the new epidemic causes too many fatalities to ignore, then, once recognised as a new strain of dangerous epidemic,

a. complete a detailed questionnaire for each and every infected patient, ESPECIALLY NOTING WHAT ILLNESSES HE/SHE HAD SUFFERED IN THE PAST FEW MONTHS OR UP TO SAY, A YEAR
b. forward this questionnaire, which should preferably be fairly standardised, to a central database, such as that of the World Health Org of the UN, which would then make all the data totally accessible to all countries' medical orgs who want to query the database and preferably continually updated and put on the internet
d. note that there is an illogic here because we should be looking, not just for any previous illness that confers some protection but that people who are thus protected MAY NOT EVEN CATCH THE EPIDEMIC IN THE FIRST PLACE AND THEREFORE WILL REMAIN UNKNOWN AND WILL NOT BE FILLING OUT THE QUESTIONNAIRE. I do not know how unsick people can be asked to fill out such a questionnaire or be examined by doctors for their immunity, so I will just give up and let you people think of a solution to this illogic
e. suppose from the database, we discover that most of those who had suffered from Illness A in the past few months suffer less fatality than those who did not, then we have a basis for another solution
f. which is to deliberately infect at-risk people with Illness A so that if they catch the current epidemic, they will not die
g. this is actually the purpose of developing a vaccine for the current epidemic but vaccines take a huge effort in time and money to develop, and costs even more to inject enough people because vaccination needs expensive manufacturing of the vaccine, plus the medical facilities and staff to inject people in costly and troublesome mass exercises
h. so I propose a far more radical idea, which is to cultivate the germs of Illness A and spread it to the wider population as a cheap, effective and convenient method of 'vaccination'
i. this presumes that the Illness A is so mild that nobody, even vulnerable young or old, will die or be very sick from it
j. however, lawsuits and moral outrage could still ensue if even a few die from Illness A, so it is better to infect only those who want to be infected, in a controlled room filled with Illness A germs, which participants can simply walk through, through airtight double entry and double exit doors to keep the germs in and from escaping out. This will be cheap and easy. A participant would get a letter from his GP doctor, go to one of these centralised Infection Rooms, and simply walk through

14. Para 13d above is so important I must stress it again here. The key to fighting a new epidemic is not to study the sick but those who are unaffected even in an already-infected community, preferably with the epidemic still raging strongly. It is hard to study people who are not sick because they have no reason to present themselves for examination but they are precisely the key to why the epidemic failed to sicken them. If health authorities can devise a way to haul in large numbers of these unsick people who are likely to have been exposed to the epidemic yet remained healthy, we could find the key to defeat the epidemic, or ways to stay healthy even in the face of epidemics, that is, what are their common characteristics -- diet, exercise, lifestyle, etc?

15. On the other hand, after having surveyed large numbers of unsick people, if and when some of these do fall sick to the epidemic, it is possible that their recent past medical history may point to common characteristics THAT MADE THEM MORE VULNERABLE TO THE EPIDEMIC. This is as important as discovering what common characteristics they have for NOT falling sick. Thus, in both ways, we can better fight epidemics. Since we are going to see more and more epidemics, this surveying of large numbers of unsick people must become a standard procedure in fighting epidemics.

16. So, earthlings, some changes are needed because H1N1 and its cousins are here to stay. With these measures and a diligent public health regime, hopefully, as few people will be sickened or killed as say, dengue or some other diseases we have all learned to live with. Amen.


Idea: SOLVING BIRD FLU [late Jan 2011]

1. Quite recently, I was doing some 'solo crowdsourcing', meaning not that I went around asking many to contribute their ideas, etc, but simply googling. I googled Avian Flu and soon saw a map of avian flu outbreaks that, in addition to some Middle East or northern Africa outbreak spots, were mostly, in direction and coverage, what I thought looked suspiciously like the Northeast and Southwest monsoon area I live in.

2. This is confirmed today when I read this para:
"In 1997 an H5N1 virus surfaced in Southeast Asia, traditionally thought of as the epicenter of new flu viruses. The initial outbreak, in Hong Kong, was contained after the city ordered a cull of all poultry within its territory. By late 2003, however, the virus had returned and was rampaging through poultry flocks in China, Vietnam and Thailand and later beyond. Untold millions of birds have died from infection or been culled to stop its spread, and more than 300 people have died."

3. A bit more googling found me a more accurate Avian Flu outbreaks map, which I put on the internet as: . If you look at the map, the areas with the most red dots stretch from China-Japan-Korea down to Indonesia, that is, the exact path of the NE and SW monsoons. Not coincidentally, South Korea and Japan are now currently experiencing the most outbreaks, as indicated in the map, which by default, shows the most recent 100 KNOWN outbreaks, as stated in the preface to the map:
"Avian Influenza Map:
The NWHC Avian Influenza Map shows highly pathogenic (HPAI) low and low pathogenic (LPAI) avian influenza events from around the world and when possible links to more information about the event. By default the map shows the 100 most recent events. Each event or point is listed below the controls by date, clicking on a point in the sidebar will show the point on the map. View Instructions"

4. A bit more googling revealed more about the monsoon coverage areas and some facts, from this webpage: . It is important that you read this entire webpage because I will use several facts from it.

5. The monsoons indeed originate from pressure systems in the landmass of Siberia pushing southwest all the way down to Indonesia, and even a bit to Australia. This happens in winter due to the cooling of the Asiatic landmass covering Siberia, China, etc, creating winds blowing southwest down to Indonesia, in early Nov to early Mar. In summer, the reverse happens, so the winds blow from Indonesia, etc, to China, in May to Sep.

6. Since the winds can reach up to 40 knots, IT IS REASONABLE TO ASSUME THAT BIRDS WILL NOT FLY AGAINST THE WINDS, THAT IS, THEY WILL MIGRATE WITH THE WINDS [another theory? That birds migrate along strong prevailing winds?]. Additional logic says that birds migrate to warmer climes in winter, that is, with the Northeast Monsoon, that is, from wintry Siberia-China, etc, down to the tropical Indonesian islands, in the winter months of early Nov to early Mar, thereby flying from say, Siberia to Indonesia. And reverse in summer.

7. If this theory is right, which is that avian flu mostly happens along the monsoon path, we need to ask why. For example, do these monsoonal paths determine RIGIDLY the spread of known and reported avian flu? We know many species of birds fly all over the world, even to Europe and North America, but the indications seem to suggest bigger concentrations along the monsoon paths, in fact, more than that, from my skimpy research and evidence, it seems to bunch up at the ENDS of the monsoon paths, that is, at one end in Siberia-China and the other in Indonesia.

8. If so, this suggests that the reservoir of avian flu viruses are at the ENDS, that is, Siberia-China and Indonesia. Are there reports of say, big groups of birds found dead in Siberia-China or Indonesia and tested as being dead from avian flu/s? Where are the bird populations usually living in Siberia-China and Indonesia -- presumably, these bird species find it unconducive to live in areas in between because these are so dense with human populations -- so we are looking for huge flocks of bird lifes, not small flocks that can well live among men. Huge flocks probably also allow many avian flu viruses to stay alive from generation to generation undetected and there are indeed, strains of avian flu that have reappeared after being absent for decades. If there are huge numbers of birds living close together, this explains why some flus that kill off their bird hosts nevertheless can continue to survive and passed on from bird to bird [before the infected bird dies], and from generation to generation. Are there ways to test birds at both these ENDS to see if indeed, they are the reservoirs of avian flu viruses that find it congenial to stay alive and even mutate into various other mutations? Which species of birds seem to be most receptive to these flu viruses? Indonesia is tropical while Siberia-China is temperate. Which is more likely to be the reservoir breeding grounds? The islands of Indonesia are many while the area of Siberia-China is huge, but can satellite tracking be used, now that we may have narrowed down to a reasonably worthwhile research area, to locate the major nesting grounds of birds and so locate the main reservoirs of avian flu viruses?

9. If I have to choose between Siberia-China and Indonesia, I will choose Siberia, because from my first research, I read that some migratory species of birds do fly from Siberia west to Europe and we know Europe has had avian flu outbreaks, too. Thus, Siberia is the likely location of the huge flocks of birds that also house the huge reservoirs of avian flu viruses, some dating from decades back and even thought extinct. Siberia is also uninhabited, and so, ideal for huge flocks of birds to live undisturbed. Indonesia is comprised of 17,508 islands in a tropical climate and birds probably do not migrate from such tropical abundance to Europe. Also, there are no prevailing winds that may help bird migration from Indonesia to Europe, so this again points to Siberia as the origin, not Indonesia. As soon as possible, can someone or some agency do satellite imagery photos of Siberia bird sanctuaries followed by virus-testing sampling of these birds? With a view to either culling all those flocks likely to host the dreaded viruses or some other methods.

10. A good website to start this Avian Flu Containment Project is:

In the above website are details of the more famous or known bird nesting sites in Siberia. We are looking for bird nesting sites that are home to MANY THOUSANDS of birds, this being the most probable reservoir for avian flu viruses. If samples do indeed prove that many of the birds in these Siberian nesting grounds test positive for avian flu viruses, then some containment methods include:

a. breaking all the eggs thus culling entire flocks after one generation [this may not work if the birds lay eggs in Indonesia and not Siberia]
b. taking away all the eggs after accurately labelling each, by species, area taken from, etc, and only incubating those found to be virus-free [when samples from this group test negative]
c. destroying the birds' habitats so they cannot gather in huge numbers thereby allowing viruses to freely pass from bird to bird. This assumes that when the birds congregate in smaller groups, they are less likely to become hosts to viruses. Thus, this breaking up of huge flocks into small flocks can be a good containment strategy. Destroying these big bird habitats can be done easily using bombs or missiles or simply bulldozers. This will not wipe out the birds, only force them into small groups which, hopefully, are unconducive to passing viruses to each other, and down to new generations.
d. poisoning the waters
e. capturing and culling the birds. There is no need to fear the extinction of any species because birds, like all lifeforms, can continue their species even if 90% of them are culled. Life is tenacious and will continue, and since birds live naturally, have evolved to survive naturally, so culling even 90% will not extinct them. Thus, by destroying their big bird habitats, thereby forcing them into small flocks, there is less likelihood of them being hosts to viruses. This breaking up of big flocks into small flocks will probably have to done regularly, since a one-time bombing, etc, will not prevent them from regrouping. This idea is probably proven when we look at bird species that live in cities or among Man. These small flocks usually do not host viruses -- I may be wrong, so please check this assumption.

11. In Siberia, we are looking for bird nesting grounds, almost certainly with water nearby, that are home to many thousands of birds. Since birds do not have big lungs and probably do not cough even when infected with avian flu, respiratory spreading from bird to bird is unlikely. Droppings and water are therefore the main means of infection from bird to bird. Avian flu can survive 32 days in water and 3 months in bird droppings in low temperatures. Thus, in a flock of many thousands of birds, near water, these 2 methods ensure a continuous cycle of infection and cross infections. With these in mind, it is critical that we break up these huge flocks into small flocks, to reduce such cross-infections by water, and bird droppings. FARMERS WHO USE NETS TO PREVENT CONTACT FROM WILD BIRDS THAT MAY BE INFECTED WITH AVIAN FLU NEED TO REMEMBER THESE 2 METHODS OF INFECTION THAT MAY GET THROUGH TO THEIR CHICKENS AND DUCKS, etc.

11 Assumptions in Avian Flu Solution

Assumption 1: The NE and SW monsoons blow from Siberia-Indonesia and vv. The start and end points are important
Assumption 2: That migratory birds fly WITH the monsoon winds and not AGAINST
Assumption 3: That monsoon winds blow fairly continuously, fairly strongly and in the same prevailing direction thus giving migratory birds no choice but to fly WITH these monsoons
Assumption 4: That birds migrate mostly from the cold northern hemisphere to the warmer tropical regions and not vv
Assumption 5: That the various avian flus survive and even mutate in reservoirs and not in small flocks, or individual birds
Assumption 6: That these reservoirs are in huge flocks of many thousands of birds congregating densely in certain areas, and not in small flocks
Assumption 7: That these reservoirs are in Siberia and northern China rather than Indonesia or lands in between
Assumption 8: That small flocks of say, hundreds of birds, do not form a suitable reservoir and thus unlikely to perpetuate and allow for the mutation and recombining of avian flu viruses
Assumption 9: That small flocks living in cities or among Man thus do not pose any flu dangers to Man or his livestocks, because small flocks are not good reservoirs
Assumption 10: That the non-migratory birds do not pose a danger because they don't spread the viruses all over, although they may carry the viruses and can spread to other birds
Assumption 11: That Assumption 8 is correct and that a strategy of breaking huge flocks of many thousands of birds, if proven to be reservoirs, into small flocks of hundreds of birds, WILL NOT MAKE THINGS WORSE BY SPREADING THESE SMALL FLOCKS OVER GREATER AREAS AND THUS POTENTIALLY SPREADING ANY VIRUSES THEY CARRY OVER EVEN GREATER AREAS.

12. Further to para 10a, which is on destroying birds' eggs, it is much easier to capture and breed hundreds of snakes. Snakes do eat birds' eggs when they find them, and they are skilled in finding them. So, after you have hundreds of snakes, train them a bit by feeding them intact birds' eggs, then use a helicopter to deposit the snakes at the nesting sites of the the huge birds flocks, thereby eating up many of the eggs. You will have to repeat this because most of the snakes will eventually be killed and eaten by the thousands of birds. This assumes that the huge nesting sites in Siberia and northern China are the reservoirs of flu viruses and not spread out over 17,508 islands in Indonesia.

13. If you want the snakes to continue eating the birds eggs for a very long time, then have both male and female snakes [of the same specie] so they continue breeding more snakes to eat up more eggs. If you only want a one-time egg-eating operation, then have all-male snakes or all-female snakes, so they will die out after some time. You can also have all-male snakes at first, then introduce a calculated number of females snakes to breed with the males, if you find that the birds are producing more eggs all the time even after the snakes have been introduced into their nesting grounds. It is better to use non-poisonous snakes because humans may need to go into the birds nesting grounds for research.


Ideas: CURBING FOOT & MOUTH DISEASES [late Jan 2011]

1. In solving avian flu, I probably found the magic bullet in that I deduced that Siberia and/or northern China are the source of the reservoir incubating and mutating flu viruses; and that breaking up this reservoir residing in thousands of birds, into small flocks, will eliminate infections. For Foot & Mouth Diseases [FMD], I did not find a magic bullet, so will use many small buckshots.

2. FMD is highly contagious and although of little danger to Man, causes thousands of animals to be culled in each outbreak thereby costing huge financial and economic losses. [A beef cattle weighs 400-1,200 pounds thereby costing US$400-1,200]. Viruses in droplets can survive several hours and can be blown by winds some 250km over water but shorter distances over land. Worse, viruses can survive >2.5 years in carrier cattle showing little or no symptoms; 1 year in premises and hides; 2 months in carrier deer; 15 weeks on wood, hay, straw; 10-12 weeks on feed or clothing; 8 weeks in skin fragments in winter; 4 weeks on hair and soil particles.

3. Since the virus is insensitive to cold but dies from heat, a first strategy can be to remove all animals and humans from the barns or animal stalls and irradiate the entire premises with ultra-violet light, the switch for this UV light being located on the outside of the barn/animal premises for safety to humans. The advantages of UV germicidal irradiation is that it will kill viruses easily and conveniently, whether these viruses are in the air [like in droplets], or on barn surfaces, and do it quickly and comprehensively without leaving many surfaces untreated -- and even disinfect the surfaces of irregular items like hay, straw, etc. Germicidal lamps are already widely sold and cost as little as US$100. Vets and experts can advise farmers on how often to use these UV sterilisations and this may vary depending on the level of infection risks in the country, province, district -- or even neighbouring farms, which are a direct threat. If needed only infrequently, several farmers may share a germicidal lamp. Or a farmer may lend his lamp for a small fee. Or a travelling vet may offer a disinfectant service using such a lamp, moving from farm to farm. He will likely be able to operate it best and can even be a govt service for farmers.

4. For the animals moved out from the barn, the usual spray germicides using acids or alkalis can be sprayed on their hides and limbs, even feet, then washed off with water. Acids can be 0.2% citric acid solution while alkali can be 4% sodium carbonate. Iodophore disinfectants containing acid can also be used, as can formaldehyde. Do not mix acid with alkali because they neutralise each other so become ineffective.

5. Farmer education is important so booklets, posters, and DVDs should be made carrying text, audio and visual instructions to farmers on how to keep their herds healthy. These instructions and information should also be put on the internet and farmers informed of these internet pages and what they contain, through regular reminders by post and SMS. This means that farmers' email addresses and cellphone numbers must be collected, which is useful in emergencies and outbreaks of diseases, when an SMS can quickly alert farmers and inform them what to do. Mass or broadcast SMS messages are quick, cheap and easy to send out.

6. Farmers who have access to the internet should also be encouraged to take part in Farmers' Forums, so they can communicate with each other and tell each other tips and information, as well as any outbreaks of diseases or any happenings and symptoms they don't understand. They will be more likely to participate if some govt vets and experts also participate, to answer questions from forum participants. An FAQ can be set up quickly as ready answers to Frequently Asked Questions. The govt vets and experts on the Forums can give answers and information but a HotLine that is manned 24/7 should also be set up for farmers to get instant responses to any emergencies.

7. There will be times when a farmer suspects that an animal/s may be infected, when he notices some symptoms. These suspect animals should be immediately quarantined. A cheap and easy way is to buy used ship containers which come in 20 foot or 40 foot sizes. A used container with simple modifications for the farmer, costs about US$1,200. Thus, the farmer locks these suspect animals in the container, which should be almost airtight to prevent viruses from escaping outside. UV lamps may be used here, too. An alternative is to use air purifiers that can kill germs, costing about US$160 [also using UV radiation].

8. Test kits for FMD have been developed but probably none so easy that farmers can do it themselves. This should be a goal for scientists nevertheless. Infected cattle and pigs excrete huge amounts of the FMD virus and also breathe out big amounts of it in aerosol or droplet form. So a probable goal of a Farmer DIY Kit would target faecal sample and swabs taken from the animal's mouth. If a DIY kit is available, farmers can be trained to do regular health checks on their animals. Currently, the most obvious symptom is when an animal starts limping or goes lame. Farmers must be constantly reminded that an animal/s with this symptom must be immediately isolated in the container.

9. This isolation strategy should be enlarged to neighbouring farms. Upon any farm reporting or confirming an infection, all neighbouring farms within a specified and predetermined radius must be isolated, with all people and vehicle movements in and out controlled and sterilised. This is currently being done, using sprays of germicides on vehicles entering or leaving isolation zones. It would be good to have pre-prepared signs that can be quickly placed on roads and paths leading into such Isolation Zones. Each sign will clearly state the suspected infections, in this case, FMD, with the cellphone numbers of at least 2 people in each of the isolated farms, for the visitor to call or SMS. These signs will be lit at night for better visibility and readability. The signs may be colour coded for different levels of seriousness. Thus, they will need to be updated when the threat level rises or drops. These signs can avoid unnecessary visits.

10. These Isolation Zones comprising of several farms within a specified radius will be set up only in emergencies. You may want to consider making them permanent Zones or Cells. Meaning that you would group a number of farms into a Cell, then re-make the roads and paths for easier control of, and to limit access by humans, animals or vehicles, into each Cell. This permanent measure will result in some inconvenience but will be a permanent control over paths and roads, even grazing walkways for animals. You may want to build fences or even walls to delineate each Cell. This permanent measure will help to permanently control all entry and exits by humans, animals or vehicles. Almost like a high-security place.

11. If such Cells are made, then it is possible to make such Cells self-contained, each with its own abattoirs and meat processing factory, so that animal, human and vehicle movements are reduced even further. If the Cells are big enough, and contain enough animals, this may be feasible. Thus, instead of driving the animals all over the country, movements of animals, their farmers and vehicles, will be reduced. With each Cell self-contained, infections are also reduced.

12. For tracking, record-keeping and forensics when infections occur, it may be good to have Animal Passports. This will be a thumbdrive or flash drive of 2 Gigabytes, with a tight cap so that no dirt or water can get into the drive. This drive will be dangled from an unbreakable string through a small hole in the ear of the animal [no more painful than a woman's ear-rings piercing but same precautions when piercing, namely swab with an antiseptic first and after piercing]. Farmers currently also ear-tag their animals, so this merely adds a flash drive onto the usual ear tag.

13. With a flash drive on the ear, [rather than around the neck where the drive will be subject to the animal's feeding, drinking, rolling in the mud, etc], the farmer can use his cellphone to load photos, texts, even scanned images, videos, etc, into the drive. This allows him to take photos or videos of the animal with his cellphone, then use a wire to connect his cellphone [probably micro-usb or mini-usb] to the flash drive [full usb] and transfer the photos into the drive. He can also type in notes and records into his cellphone and transfer these into the drive. Thus, he can record everything he wants, from photos at different ages of the animal, to records of the animal's movements such as being driven to a vet for tests or treatments, etc. He can even record the licence plate numbers of all the trucks used to carry the animal. Or any symptoms the animal may display, and the vet's report, etc. These vet reports can all be scanned and transferred into the drive. Thus, it can be a complete record. As complete as the farmer feels like recording. If the app for creating text and image files and transferring into the flash drive is not available, it can easily and quickly be made and downloaded into the farmer's smartphone. Reminder: make the usb plug in and out hot-swappable so the farmer can simply plug and unplug. Thus, on each animal is his entire life history, as complete as the farmer wants. If an animal is infected, his record will help forensics to find out how and where it likely got infected. And when the animal is sold or exported, the buyer can easily read the animal's entire record on HIS cellphone or a pc, using Google Translate if necessary. Since these are digital records, they can be backed up on the farmer's cellphone or pc.

14. Since FMD is so contagious, when an animal dies or is culled, it should be sealed in a body bag, to reduce spread of viruses. These body bags should be made cheap and easily available, to fit different animal sizes. Each body bag may need a wooden pole to help lever the body into the bag before zipping or sealing.

15. If the Cell idea is implemented, then, as part of being as self-sufficient as possible, a small lab with qualified personnel can also be part of the abattoir or meat processing factory. This personnel will do cheap or subsidised tests for FMD [no need for subsidy for other tests, since FMD is the main risk for causing big financial and economic losses].

16. Different countries and govts probably have different policies regarding FMD financial losses. If farmers need insurance against losses due to FMD, then insurance should be given them, from the govt if necessary. The payout should not be too high in case this discourages farmers from trying harder to reduce risks of infection.

17. Govts may want to consider mandatory check ups for animals, with fines for non-compliance. This is because FMD is not just a single-farm disaster but usually a district- or province-wide catastrophe, so may be treated like a Communicable Diseases Act for humans.

18. Govts may want to consider banning imports of live animals and allow only imports of processed meats. This may mean stricter border checks, surveillance and controls to reduce animal smugglings.

19. If imports of live animals are necessary, then perhaps limiting the imports to a few allowed countries will make for easier control. However, if one or more of these allowed countries suddenly suffer FMD infections, switching to other countries may then be harder, meaning that there should always be a B List of alternative countries in addition to the A List. All these A and B List countries should be monitored for any sign of infections. Bull semen and other fluids or parts should also be screened for infections before being released to farmers. Good Luck!

20. Further to para 6 on the Farmers' Forums, the forum webpage design should allow for members to upload photos and even videos, in addition to discussions in text form. Thus, a farmer who notices a growth or symptom or unusual physical feature on his animal can take a photo of the growth and upload it together with his comment. Other farmers or vets experts can then identify from the photo what the animal is suffering from. This is cheap and easy and allows farmers to learn from each other as well as from the vets or experts. If photos are not clear enough, a short video clip of the animal say, limping, can be uploaded for other farmers or the vets to identify what the symptom means.

21. Further to paras 12 and 13 on Animal Passports, which are just digital diaries of the animals, it is possible to make this idea even more useful as a database, with all the possibilities that databases offer, such as mining the database for informations and trends. Even though we cannot control how and whether each farmer will record enough or accurate details into the database, the sheer numbers of animals in a district or province or country are so big that valuable information can be mined from such a database, even if each farmer gives only partial and incomplete records.

22. With a database compiled from most of the digital records recorded by farmers, database analysts can obtain information such as:
"Which farm or district has the most outbreaks of animal diseases?"
"Do vaccinated animals grow more slowly?"
"Did a change in animal feed cause animals to grow faster?"
"Did adding mineral supplements to animal feed help resist infections to animal diseases?"
"Did animal diseases spread along the main roads from farm to farm?"
etc, etc, etc.

23. This database will be based on only partial and incomplete records recorded by the farmers but because there are so many animals in a district or province or country, this database will be big enough to draw many useful informations.

24. To save work compiling this database, it will be helpful if the app that the farmer downloads and installs into his cellphone is in a suitable format for later extraction into a database. For example, this app can work like this:
a. farmer downloads and installs the app into his cellphone
b. once a flash drive is connected to his cellphone for the first time, the app automatically installs a copy of the app into the flash drive
c. the app creates a sync between the farmer's cellphone and the animal's flash drive and always syncs automatically whenever the 2 devices are connected
d. when a farmer wants to write a note into the animal's flash drive, he opens the app, opens the calendar, and clicks on Today's Date, which will then record the date and time of this entry
e. once the date and time are done, the app opens options such as:
Date and Time
Symptom of Animal -- Text -- Photo -- Video
Weight of Animal
Travel of Animal by vehicle licence number
From where to where
Scanned report of vet or expert
Any change in Animal's feed
Any Other Notes
etc, etc, etc.

25. Even with incomplete records, a useful database can be compiled from which analysts can mine many useful informations that may be useful in many forensics or epidemiological uses. In addition, information so obtained may also help farmers and the livestock industries to keep healthier animals and improve methods of animal farming.