Friday, February 27, 2009

Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth

Last Sunday (February 22, 2009) Joo Hock, a Bucky enthusiast from Singapore, was in KL to share with us his thoughts and insights on the works and writings of R. Buckminster Fuller. Arising out of that session, a few of us decided to form a Bucky reading group and our first session is scheduled for Saturday, March 7, 2009.

We propose to start with Bucky's "Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth".

March 7, 2009 (Saturday)


10.00 a.m. till 12.00 noon


Globe Success Learning Centre
17-3A, Level 3A, 3rd Mile Square
Old Klang Road
(behind Old Town White Coffee)

The following is a Chapter Synopsis from for your reading pleasure and to entice you to join us at the above venue.

Comprehensive propensities

Describe how people perceive his prognostications, and the conclusion that fairly reasonable forecasts can be made of approx 25 years.

The idea that specialization is society's vehicle, but perhaps unnatural.

The concept of the Great Pirate also emerges as the first peoples to undertake sea vessels and first sea traders.

Origins of specialization

The Great Pirate concept is explained in depth, and the source of their power is that they are masters of information in a time where people are focused locally. Specifically, the Great Pirates are aware that resources are not evenly distributed around the world, so that items which are abundant in one area are scarce in another. This gives rise to trade.

Power struggles for waterways ensue, requiring people like Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo to design better defenses for the Great Pirates. The Pirates establish governments in various areas and support leaders who will defend their trade routes.

As engineers become involved with Great Pirates many new concepts appear, but the main one was of the Navy. As the size of the people in the Great Pirates' employment grow, training becomes a necessity, and the beginnings of schools and colleges ensue. Monarchs are encouraged to develop civil service systems to provide secure employment for their brightest subjects, which prevents them from competing with the Great Pirates in their lucrative trading.

Comprehensively commanded automation

World War I emerges as the struggle between the 'out-pirates' (electronic and chemical warfare) and the 'in-pirates' (electromagnetics). This change from the visible to the invisible forced the Great Pirates to rely on experts, which causes the end of the Great Pirates (who previously had been the only ones that were truly multi-disciplined).

The public is unaware that Great Pirates have been ruling the earth, and the role falls back to kings and politicians, though the frameworks of trade, rating and accounting remain.

Spaceship earth

This chapter sets up the idea that the earth is a spaceship, with the sun as our energy supplier.

The idea of the earth is as a mechanical vehicle that requires maintenance, and that if you do not keep it in good order it will cease to function.

General systems theory

Likens humanity to a chick that has just broken out of its shell and is now ready to enter the next phase of its existence. Suggests "How big can we think?"


Where the whole of a system is greater than the sum of its parts. "Ergo, only complete world desovereignization can permit the realization of an all humanity high standard support."

Integral Functions

Wealth is expanded by the development of tools which go beyond what was integral to man. States that the highest priority need of world society is a realistic accounting system, instead of one where a top toolmaker in India gets paid in a month what he would make in a day in Detroit.

The regenerative landscape

Defines tools as either craft tools that can be invented by one man such as bows and arrows and industrial tools that can not be produced by one man such as the S.S. Queen Mary. Finds language to be the first industrial tool. States that craft tools were used to create industrial tools. States that to take advantage of potential wealth we must give life fellowships to each person who is or becomes unemployed, and states that for every 100,000 fellowships given out one person will come up with something so valuable that it will pay for the remaining 99,999 fellowships. Predicts that soon the great office buildings will be turned into residences and that all the work that had been done in them will be done in the basements of a few buildings. States that we "must operate exclusively on our vast daily energy income from the powers of wind, tide, water, and the direct Sun radiation energy".

Ends with anecdotal comments about his travels using three watches to keep track of time, at the office, where he is, and where he is going next, and an admonition "So, planners, architects, and engineers take the initiative".

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Greatest Things

The best day, today.

The greatest puzzle, life.

The best policy, honesty.

The greatest thought, God.

The greatest mystery, death.

The best work, work you like.

The greatest mistake, giving up.

The most ridiculous asset, pride.

The greatest need, common sense.

The most dangerous person, a liar.

The best advice, use good manners.

The wisest short-cut, develop mentors.

The greatest fault, to be aware of none.

The greatest truth, we reap what we sow.

The most expensive indulgence, self-pity.

The greatest deceiver, one who deceives self.

The best habit, making good on all commitments.

~ thanks Sam.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Leadership and Self-Deception

The book was recommended by Dominic Lyon, Lead Instructor for Money & You & Business School for Entrepreneurs. The recommendation just remained that until recently when Nora Jusoh send me an email that Izam and a group of friends had decided to bring the program to Kuala Lumpur.

That's when I decided to get myself a copy. It turned out to be one of those 'cannot put down' books.

If you have not read the book, please get one from the nearest bookshop & read it. It will blow your mind (Izam's words, not mine).

If you are interested the workshop will be held at Holiday Villa, Subang Jaya on 11-12 April 2009. For further details, contact Izam Yusof at 019-386 3388.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Little Patience

Received in my M&Y group email. Thanks Sam.

A little patience can save you a lot of frustration and regret. Have patience with others, with yourself, with the way your life moves forward, and reap the benefits that patience can bring.

Many times, it can be far more effective to practice patience than to react in anger.

Many times,
patience will move you forward when frenzied effort will not. When you lash out at every turn of events, you spiral downward into a victim of your own circumstances. Yet when you make patience a part of your response, it keeps you in positive control.

Patience is not complicated or difficult to achieve. Simply step back, and take a few deep, relaxing breaths. Calmly know that you're far better off being patiently in control than you are if you're excitedly out of control. Reason, rather than scream.

Think, investigate and consider, rather than jump to conclusions.

Have a little patience, and see that it can make all the difference in the world.
~ author unknown

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

How to ask Quality Questions

You know how they say "The quality of your questions determine the quality of your life." You think you know what that is about until someone asks you what it means. Then you're lost for words.

I found this as a note in one of my friends Facebook page (he had got it from which I thought appropriate to share with you here.

Re-framing questions to maximize our power:

Original question: “Who am I?”
Revised powerful question: “What do I stand-up for?”

Original question: “What are my goals?”
Revised powerful question: “How can I just BE and yet be complete?”

Original question: “What is my life purpose?”
Revised powerful question: “What can I do where I maximize my life, my love, my happiness, and my burning desire to contribute?”

Original question: “How can I attract more love?”
Revised powerful question: “How much love can I give out and to whom do I want to give it to?”

Original question: “What am I getting out of this?”
Revised powerful question: “Who am I becoming from doing this?”

Original question: “Why is this happening to me?”
Revised powerful question: “How am I growing and learning from this situation?”

Original question: “Why did they hurt me?”
Revised powerful question: “How can I rise above the hurt to grow?”

Original question: “What else is there?”
Revised powerful question: “How can I be open to discover more?”

Original question: “How can I get more money?”
Revised powerful question: “How can I add more value to other’s lives?”

Original question: “How can I stay looking young and beautiful?”
Revised powerful question: “How can I share in the beauty in all things?”

Original question: “What will I do with my time?”
Revised powerful question: “What matters the most in this moment?”

Original question: “What do I want now?”
Revised powerful question: “What can I do to just be and not want or need anything?”

Original question: “How can I become more secure and protect my family?”
Revised powerful question: “How can I imagine the lives of those I love as “secure” in a way where nothing can harm us?”

Original question: “How come I feel out of control?”
Revised powerful question: “What can I do in this moment that is true to my self?”

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Warren Buffet's Advice for 2009

Above: Evening sun near Batu Berendam, Malacca (Feb 7, 2009).

Mail received in my M&Y group which I thought appropriate to share here.

We begin this New Year with dampened enthusiasm and dented optimism. Our happiness is diluted and our peace is threatened by the financial illness that has infected our families, organizations and nations. Everyone is desperate to find a remedy that will cure their financial illness and help them recover their financial health. They expect the financial experts to provide them with remedies, forgetting the fact that it is these experts who created this financial mess.

Every new year, I adopt a couple of old maxims as my beacons to guide my future. This self-prescribed therapy has ensured that with each passing year, I grow wiser and not older. This year, I invite you to tap into the financial wisdom of our elders along with me, and become financially wiser.

* Hard work
All hard work bring a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.

* Laziness
A sleeping lobster is carried away by the water current.

* Earnings
Never depend on a single source of income. [At least make your Investments get you second earnings)

* Spending
If you buy things you don't need, you'll soon sell things you need.

* Savings
Don't save what is left after spending; spend what is left after saving.

* Borrowings
The borrower becomes the lender's slave.

* Accounting
It's no use carrying an umbrella, if your shoes are leaking.

* Auditing
Beware of little expenses; A small leak can sink a large ship.

* Risk-taking
Never test the depth of the river with both feet. [Have an alternate plan ready]

* Investment
Don't put all your eggs in one basket.

I'm certain that those who have already been practicing these principles remain financially healthy. I'm equally confident that those who resolve to start practicing these principles will quickly regain their financial health.

Let us become wiser and lead a happy, healthy, prosperous and peaceful life.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Invite to join MLM

Recently I was invited to attend a recruitment talk for an MLM business. I’m not that into MLM, but then I’m not entirely against it either. Anyway, if I can come away with one or two new lessons, it wouldn’t be a waste of time for me.

As usual, the talk began about our desire to be successful. You cannot talk about success without mentioning the barriers to success first. Among the major obstacles, according to the speaker, was our concentrating on the ABC’s of life instead of the AOC’s.

By ABC, he meant the Areas Beyond Control. Take for example, getting caught in a traffic jam. We curse and swear, and blame the authorities and what not. But what it amounts to is, we really have no control over the traffic, traffic jams happen.

What if instead of looking at the ABC, we look at what we can control, our Area Of Control or AOC. We can travel earlier or later, we can take another route, we can reschedule the appointment. (I don’t know about achieving success doing this, but it sure makes for a less stressful and healthier lifestyle.)

Another problem he mentioned was AIDS. It may not be as life-threatening as the disease caused by the HIV virus, but it’s just as fatal to success.

By ‘A’ he meant that we are always quick to Attack Others. This can be by back-biting, gossip, spreading rumors or just laying blame on others for our own short-comings.

‘I’ is for Ill Feelings. Take the case of the recent Bukit Antarabangsa landslide tragedy. There are actually people who say ‘serve them right’ for being such ‘show offs’ staying in that place ‘want to feel higher than everyone else’.

Then if anybody gives us feedback we turn to ‘D’ i.e. become Defensive instead of weighing the merits or otherwise of the feedback and taking the appropriate action.

And finally we come to ‘S’ being Self Centered. (This probably stems from our competitive upbringing. It may have been the norm in the past, but I think, today success is more about co-operation and collaboration then it is about competition.)

After looking at the obstacles, he said that success is about having the right skills. Skills can be learned, but it only contributes about 15% to success. More importantly, and contributing the remaining 85% is RMA i.e. having the Right Mental Attitude. To develop RMA, we must read more positive self-help books, listen to motivational cassettes and CDs, and cultivate the right company i.e. surround yourself with like minded, positive, empowering people.

In conclusion, the speaker mentioned that to get the success you want, you must create the change in your life that you want.

(Actually if I were to summarize the above using just one word, I would choose Responsibility as that word.)