Devotions, when balanced with a healthy dose of intellectualism, can be a light in the darkness. But without intellectualism, it can be the flame that sets the whole house on fire.

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A Worrying Trend Arising Among Religions in Singapore

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Allow me to share something that has been bothering me for some time now. If you’ve been visiting Christian or Buddhist bookshops here in Singapore, and if you’ve been paying attention, you’d notice that over the past few years, there’s been a drop in the selection of intellectual books and a sharp rise in devotional materials. Here are two examples: Novena …


Good Bye 2015, Hello 2016 – Part 1: Thoughts on my Academic Career

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Well, what do you know? It’s already 2016. Here’s my wrap-up of 2015 and some comments about the new year. I’ll start by discussing my career first. I’ll discuss other issues like marriage and personal stuff in another blog post. 2015 has been incredible. I’ve had the opportunity to teach philosophy in a few schools. It was an interesting and fun …

A Song Dynasty (medieval) clock that made use of water/mercury and wheels to track the time. More information about this clock can be found here: (image above taken from this website too)

Classical Chinese Conceptions of Time

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Time is a fundamental aspect of human life. The experience of time itself influences the way cultures understand time. This understanding of time, in turn, influences the way people distinguish and relate past, present, and future. (Yes that’s right, there are people of different cultures and societies that perceive the relationship of past, present and future differently from the understanding …

WWXD: What would Xunzi do?

What does Xunzi have to say about rituals and social justice?

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This post will be a follow up to my previous post (see Investigating the Relationship between Ritual Propriety and Social Justice in the Early Confucian Tradition), where I will explore the relationship between li (ritual/ritual propriety) and social justice as found in the works of Xunzi, another pre-Qin Confucian philosopher. WWXD: What would Xunzi do? Or rather, WWXS: What would …

A scanned page of the Book of Rites

The Lofty Vision of Ritual Propriety in The Book of Rites (禮記 Liji), “Summary of the Rules of Propriety (曲禮 Qu Li), Part 1”

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[This is an exploratory post as part of my research] In this exploratory post, I will focus on the lofty ideals of rituals and its claims of bringing about a harmonious society as expounded in the first chapter of The Book of Rites (禮記 Liji). In approaching the ancient texts, it is important to bear in mind that many of …

Chinese Emperor

A Proposal on the Study of Ancient Chinese Rituals and its Relationship with Management

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This is a draft proposal for a paper I wish to write. It’s still very raw, but I like how this project will allow me to engage in the study of Chinese philosophy, Chinese history (and maybe even archaeology), and learn to apply philosophy to some practical area, like resource and operational management. Image Source: In the Analects, li …

FT ACI Smarter World Summit

A Year and a Half in Academia

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Today marks the first day of the academic calendar for universities here in Singapore. Well, for me, it marks my 18th month here in Nanyang Technological University (NTU). That’s a year and a half! It’s amazing how fast time flies. When I first joined NTU, I was, at that point, unsure whether or not to take on academia as a …

Technology and the Human Problems that Come Along with it

Technology and the human problems that come along with it

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The biggest problems of technology are not technical problems but human problems. While it is indeed true that technology is designed to solve a problem, thereby improving our lives in a certain way, what we don’t often realise is that at the same time, we introduce an array of changes, sometimes anticipated, but more often than not, unanticipated changes that negatively …

Rethinking the Application of Complexity Theory on Education Management and Leadership – A Proposal

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This is a dissertation proposal that I submitted recently for my application to do a masters. It is an attempt at branching out beyond philosophy into the area of policy and leadership/management theory, as well as complexity science. An ambitious attempt at doing a multidisciplinary topic while still revolving around philosophy. I personally am quite excited about it.   Dissertation …

"Study or die!"

Perhaps We Have a Wrong Perception of “Naughty” Students

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Some time ago, I was asked to conduct a series of two lectures to a group of secondary school students. This was an after-school activity to enrich the kids. The teacher-in-charge informed me that he had made it mandatory for students to attend the first lecture. The lecture hall was packed. Yet, despite the large numbers, you could easily identify …

Illustration of the relation between the Five Phases. (Image source: Wikipedia, )

Using Classical Chinese Concepts of Pattern Identification and Action to Study and Manage Complex Adaptive Systems?

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In this post, I’d like to explore the Chinese concepts of Yin-Yang and correlative cosmology, and attempt to apply it to the context of the study of complex adaptive systems. [Here’s some background for those who aren’t familiar with complex adaptive systems: Complex adaptive systems are one of two broad categories of complex systems, where the constituents (commonly referred to …

Needing Contemplation

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Recently, a philosophy professor mentioned that philosophy only advances when one engages in three things: reading, discussing, and writing. This is so true. Sadly, ever since I graduated, I rarely had the time to write. As you can see from this blog, I don’t write that often. But the actual root of the problem is this: in order to have …