Monday, May 18, 2009


Sunday saw us evaluating a number of juniors. In particular, Chris had his work cut out for him. I couldn't quite believe it myself - he was put through the paces of an evaluation that would possibly have tested a Scholar, and he acquited himself reasonably well. Well done.

I'm also quite astounded that Greg is relying more and more on the seniors to evaluate and teach. I suppose that is a natural evolution of things but it's heartening to see that there are -enough- seniors in attendance to teach things (and teach them somewhat correctly I might add).

There is one thing I do want to say to the juniors in the class though.

If I could go back and do everything again, I wouldn't go back to practice my guards, cutting and positioning. I would go back and re-master my footwork.

Abrazare may be the foundation of swordsmanship, but footwork is the foundation of everything. Footwork is responsible for stability, measure, timing and power generation - just about everything important for swordsmanship.

Too often these days, I notice an acressare that comes just a little bit late robbing a cover of its stability and power, or a stance that's insufficiently deep, robbing an intial attack of inches, or a turn not executed from the hips.

Work on the feet. The feet are important. Everything starts from the contact with the ground.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Josie and the DBS Credit Card Boycott

I've been chewing over the morality of the DBS Card Boycott for a while.

I think this video will probably do a better job of summarising my thoughts than anything else.

The mistake that many (including myself) make is treating big organisations like DBS as individual organisms. I especially have that problem because I've had the seperate legal entity doctrine drilled into me since 3rd year of law school.

This is a fiction. The operational reality is that a company is defined by its people. Furthermore, the higher up you go, the greater the influence this person has on thoughts and philosophy of the company.

In many senses, an organisation (or subset of an organisation) takes on the identity of its leader. Think Bill Gates, and the Evil Microsoft Empire. On a more local note, think TSMP. I'm willing to wager that all of the senior management of the company have cell group and prayer meetings at lunch time, and those who don't never make it to senior management.

Let's add another thought into the equation - the role of large organisations in society, and what it really means when a consumer buys a product. It's fairly undeniable that large organisations exert a large footprint in society. In many ways, the consumer's choice of which large organisation to support reflects on which message they want to support too.

Let's take an example - when I support Gloria Jean coffee, I would be supporting the fact that Gloria Jean Coffee uses my dollars to support some dubious Christian practices. That's a clear cut example. A less clear cut example would be the support of Apple over IBM - for the longest time, the choice of using Mac's was intimately connected to the objection over Microsoft's OS dominance.

Putting these thoughts together, I think it's pretty legitimate for someone to boycott DBS Credit Cards based on Josie's actions. Rejecting the product would be a pretty good way of saying that (1) you don't condone DBS putting Josie in a leadership position where she can influence the "personality" of DBS marketing and (2) you don't condone Josie's individual actions, and want to stick it where it hurts - her job performance review.

Think of what I've written, and then think of that Argentinian Transexual applying for a bank loan in a department run by Josie. Think of the reaction that she would be getting, and think whether you want to condone such a message.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The Authoritarians - AWARE Edition

To those who have been following the AWARE saga, please read this netbook by Professor Bob Altemeyer, called "The Authoritarians". It's pretty good describing some of the behaviour that went on during the AWARE EGM by the New Guard.

Pretty chilling, if you ask me.