Thursday, October 27, 2005

Innate Honesty

Innate Honesty

When my computer crashed more than a month ago, I consumed my free hours reading books and watching programs on TV and cable. One of the best books I read was Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt. As I mentioned in my previous entry, it is a book by a rogue economist who explores the hidden side of everything. There was even a warning by the author of the Tipping Point and Blink, Malcolm Caldwell: “Prepare to be dazzled.” And yes I was really dazzled.

Based on the data he presented, schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have one thing in common and that they all cheat. Of course it would be very difficult to accept especially if you are also a teacher like me. But then, the writer presented his explanation so intelligently that you’ll be convinced of his thinking what with his presentation and analyses of the data on the Chicago Public Schools. The analyses on Chicago cheating resulted in the firing of the cheating teachers.

Levitt’s question that if sumo wrestlers, school teachers and day-care parents all cheat and so are we to assume that mankind is innately and universally corrupt? And how corrupt? His answers impressed me. Imagine, Mr. Levitt explained that the answers lie in bagels and that of a man named Paul Feldman.

Paul Feldman started his business, honor-system commerce, by soliciting customers early in the morning; he would deliver some bagels and a cash basket to a company’s snack room; he would return before lunch to pick up the money and the leftovers. His business worked for within a few years, he was delivering 4,800 bagels a week to 140 companies and earning as much as he had ever made as a research analyst.

Without meaning, Mr. Feldman designed an economic experiment. By measuring the money collected against the bagels taken, he found it possible to tell, down to the penny, just how honest his customers were. Though he expected a 95 percent payment rate when he started his business, in the summer of 2001 the payment rate was 87 percent. This data therefore revealed that though a lot of people steal from Mr. Feldman, there is a vast majority, 87 percent, though no one is watching over them, do not.

The outcome of Feldman’s experiment may have not surprised Adam Smith, as reasoned by Levitt. Why so? Because the theme of Smith’s first book, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, was the innate honesty of mankind. “How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interests him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it, except the pleasure of seeing it.”

The great philosopher Socrates also argued that people are generally good even without enforcement.

Ans so with Socrates, Adam Smith and now Paul Feldman, I am with them also. I do believe that man has innate honesty. How about you?

NOTE: if you can’t get hold of the book Freakonomics, you can visit

Monday, October 24, 2005


I felt so uncomfortable with many issues in my blogging life these past few days. I have many questions but I got no answer.

The first time I started blogging, I was so happy for at last I have this medium where I can express my feelings and my love for writing. The day my daughter introduced me to Blogger, I felt so ecstatic as I met friends along the way. Surely, my intention was to gain friends too.

I was proud and happy when I was chosen to be one of the contestants for Test Drive A Mac as sponsored by Apple Asia. As it was a sort of popularity contest, I just took the fourth prize. But I was contented with that. Though in my heart, I should have won an iMac if only I solicited votes from my friends.

I was honoured when a blogger friend invited me to be part of her community. I did accept her invitation and so I left Blogger and shifted house. In that house I met more friends.

A blogger friend who is a journalist for a Philippine newspaper featured me in her column. Of course, I was so thankful.

But then something happened along the way when I post something about my being upset for the caption published in a local newspaper here. People came to comment and there was this person who suggested about a revolution. I answered back that we should stop from there. They should be sensitive where I live. I don't give a negative concept on the word revolution but I am not the person to discuss it whether it is cultural revolution or what they may have. And for me Singapore, whatever they may say, is still the best country in the world. I am just careful of what I am writing. But this person tagged me and discuss in his entry of what is wrong with that hated word. Another person commented which I answered that she perceived as malicious. What was so malicious with what I wrote when it was just a general concept? She wrote an entry on her blog that obviously pointed at me.

Am I too sensitive? Maybe but, I was really hurt as I considered that person a good friend whom I have high regard not only for the way she write but with her being highly educated and she chose me to be one of her first friends in the blogosphere.

Now, what really makes me so uncomfortable is that I could not access my site. My email haven't been answered.

Wahh! I really don't know what is happening with my blogging life.

I looked at my aquarium and I saw this goldfish. I am positive that she is happy with her life. Why should I not be happy like her?

Though uncomfortable, I think I should try to be comfortable with this site of mine. Yes, I must think positive. I must say, thank you goldfish! You opened my eyes.....

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Wednesday, October 19, 2005


I upgraded my handphone last night. Well, I paid SGD 198.00 for the upgrade. So my handphone now is Nokia 7260. My daughter said it's not the latest model and it's out since last year. It is okay with me if my handphone is not the latest model actually. I am just happy that it has a camera and radio. That's all!

So for my new handphone, may we have a lasting relationship!!!

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Wednesday, October 12, 2005


How I miss the girls now! I feel so lonely. After work, I came home with nobody in. My husband is on overtime same with my youngest daughter. My second is taking her degree at SIM and she'll be home around past 11:00 already. If only the girls are here with me. But this is life!!!

There are many ways to be happy, I know. This feeling is just temporary.

Well, I have to remember always what Phil Bosnans wrote about loneliness:

Here's an excerpt from his book, Give happiness A Chance:

"You can be alone without being lonely.

Loneliness is a moral disease which can't be cured by crowding people together. More than ever people are crammed on top of each other in high rises, in busy streets, trains, supermarkets, cinemas, bingo halls and vacation resorts. And it's precisely in these places that loneliness becomes sharper, still deeper.

This loneliness, which afflicts so many people today, grows from deep spiritual emptiness, from confusion and from insecurity.

These are things of the mind and it is here that people need to cure themselves. It depends on the mind and the heart, and on emotion and security, and by themselves, these are powerless unless they're sorrounded by real love. yet people seem unable to hold onto this love- they have sold their hearts to a pile of materialistic baubles. people are frightened of silence, of surrender to God, of prayer. They search in the darkness, in a stupor. They don't feel at home anywhere. People are standing outside in the cold. And they can't offer security and hospitality to anyone else either.

A return to God, as towards a father who has written your name in the palm of his hand, may work wonders."

Yes, i know this loneliness is just for a while. I always have to think that God is always with me and that my daughter and grandkids are okay.

Sunday, October 09, 2005


Last night I read again the book Heaven In Ordinary by Angela Ashwin. It became my habit to read portions of that book every time I can as I consider it as a guide for me in this busy world.

So I would like to share this excerpt from the book:

Someone hurts us by being sharp and irritable. We snap back and then regret it. The whole incident leaves us dissatisfied and miserable. Yet there is something positive we can do. We can take as our "word friend" the tremendous assertion that both we and the person who hurt us are FORGIVEN. If we are honest, we ourselves are capable of being unkind and thoughtless as well. The other person's sin is ours too; we stand together sinners; yet in Christ, forgiven. By using this word friend, and letting its truth soak into our deepest consciousness, it becomes easier to picture our arms reaching out towards the person we clashed with.

Angela Ashwin wrote that we have to adopt a short word or a "word friend' which can become our companion during the day which we can repeat saying to ourselves. Using this word or phrase enable us to be with God in a deeper level.

Therefore, for today my "word friend" is FORGIVEN.

Friday, October 07, 2005


I think it was two weeks ago when I received an email regarding a survey questionnaire titled Edelman/Technorati Blog Study. I was thinking then that it was just an ordinary spam message. So I answered the survey only the next day. As much as I wanted to answer more and with details, I did not do so as I was thinking that personal informations would be leaked which would give me more spam emails. You know me an internet moron. So I answered the survey questionnaire without that much enthusiasm.

To my surprise, I received another email from Richard Edelman the President & CEO of Edelman thanking me for participating in that blog survey.

And it was only today that I found out that Edelman is one of the biggest PR firm in the world. For them to choose me as one of the respondents is really an honour. Imagine only 8 people were chosen to participate here in Singapore and only 3 were chosen from the Philippines.

So thank you too to Mr. Richard Edelman for lifting up my spirit. Yes, I really feel so happy. It means I still have a place in the blogosphere inspite of what I felt before.

And for those who have no idea why this study was conducted, here's the purpose of the study:

* to better understand bloggers' attitudes towards corporations and PR firms.

*help clients understand how and why they should engage the blogosphere.

Now I really believe that there is nothing wrong in blogging about firms and other products too. They are also part of our daily life. We may not be financilly rewarded but at least our entries would be appreciated.

So the next time you blog, why not write something about a product you like?

Thursday, October 06, 2005


I am very happy for when I visited Blogger to see if I can post an entry with no hassle, I found out that it returned back to normal. Yipee!! Now I can post entries with relevance and of course with nice published results.

Today, I am also happy for when my supervisor discussed with me my evaluation, it was all very good. One thing, I will go to course for upgrading. But I will be bonded for two years which will take effect after the completion of that two years course. Though I will be bonded, I am confident that there will be no problem as far as my visits to USA is concerned. I hope so.

What made me happy the past few days? A lot.

My student Abel suddenly exclaimed "Teacher, sunny day today!" That was on our way to Kid's Kampong in Pasir Ris. His voice was so loud that almost everybody inside the bus heard. It made me happy for that incident was a manifestation that my children really learn from me considering that Abel is more fluent in his Chinese dialect. I don't know if I look so shallow with this. But really it made my day!

I did shopping or I could say my family went shopping for clothes and toys to be sent to the kids in Virginia. The next day I was able to send the package and in 2 to 4 days they will receive all those items. I am happy and will always be happy to give things to my grandkids.(Those who don't really know me, I am a young grandma, not an old old lady! Am I vain? But really, I am just of same age as Madonna)

My husband and me talked and yes we really love each other. being married for so long, at times, I tend to create problems. But I know at times, a little misunderstanding can spice up our own lives.

And so, I would like to say again that I am back to normal. Happy and with positive outlook on life.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


I admit I am an internet moron. I really don't know the ins and outs of what's hapenning in the blogosphere. What i am only sure of is that I really like to write and to blog.

When I told my daughter that I deleted that blog which was really a labour of love, she scolded me and pointed out that it was a mistake. Blogs need not be deleted. But what. It was a decision that came out due to my feeling for that blogger who I could say killed my standing in the blogosphere. Or it could be my fault also.

I just feel so sad that my former blog's URL has a new owner and that it has, I could say, sexual links and project an entirely different style.

Never mind, it is not my blog. And my conscience is clear.

Though I really don't know if blogger has something on me for my deletion. My daughters just laughed at my thinking.

Well I still want to blog and I hope in due time, I will be given the privelege to have the former style, like font and colours. I really don't know what to do with this publishing...

I am still thankful that at least I can publish my entry.


testing... testing...

how i wish i can really post something....