Monday, December 14, 2009

Economics @ Home © Volume 1 Issue 16

Methods of Madness - Part 2

In Part 1, we talked about the first role of the Lean and Mean Machine, which is to publish a newsletter that serves as a public resource for the eager minds from all walks of life. To add further to the goal of the newsletter, if you refer to the panel on the right, you will see the following:

Your everyday dose of Economic thought conditioning that emphasizes accessibility, honesty and accountability. Economics @ Home seeks to address our everyday problems with brutal honesty that is aligned with a sense of humility with aspirations of achieving the greater good.

It may first appear to be fancy and extravagant, but I have revised the wording several times to make the vision as concise and accurate as possible. Economics @ Home is an avenue for thought conditioning, which means that it provides, sometimes unique view on issues to provoke thoughts and emotions that encourage us to see the bigger picture as well as think outside the box.

Furthermore, as you can see, Economics @ Home is meant to be accessible to any person who has sufficiently competent literacy. The views expressed here honest opinions, albeit sometimes controversial, but with no hidden agenda and I am willing to be held accountable for all the opinions expressed here.

But what is Economics @ Home about? All this talk about the greater good, but what does it really do? Well, as a human being, I can certainly say that I face myriads of problems every single day of my life. Some of these problems are more difficult to tackle than others. I also believe that some of the problems that I face happen to be very much in common with the problems that are faced by many other people.

So, armed with an economist's analytical mind, I hope to address these issues with logic, reason, and perhaps with some evidence in hopes of making other people's lives just a little bit better, even if it is through humor, rather than actual solutions. That said, with all the huff and puff about making the world a better place, I strive to maintain whatever ounce of humility I can muster so as to not suffer from any delusions of grandiose (pronounced gran-dua for those who seek to accumulate style points when speaking, or to impress your lady friends by sounding slightly more romantic by busting out a funky French word or two).

In closing, we have covered all the fuss about Economics @ Home and hopefully I have sufficiently enticed you to regularly revisit this site. If you are not yet convinced, don't worry, as there will be more sneak previews on the better things that will come in Volume 2 of Economics @ Home.

It will be an honor if you could share your ideas with me. For those of you who are a little bit shy to contribute, may you indulge me by clicking on the advertisement on the far right to keep this project sufficiently funded. You may say that so far, other than employing the abilities of the author, everything else is "free". In some ways that is true. Discounting the internet fees that I currently subsidize, there are many other projects that are simultaneously ongoing with the publishing of this newsletter which I will continue to elaborate on in the Part 3 of this series of my Methods of Madness.

Nonetheless, it is not the monetary issues that matter but every click will be a morale booster for me to keep churning out what I hope to be significantly novel ideas to discuss in future issues.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Economics @ Home © Volume 1 Issue 15

Methods of Madness – Part 1

I owe all you faithful readers a proper explanation for my lapse in regularity in publishing a supposedly weekly newsletter. While creating a timeline in our planning is important to help us prioritize, it is of even more immense necessity that we keep to the timeline.

Publishing a newsletter is a serious issue, and I assure you that I have never taken this lightly. It is with very deep regret that I have fallen behind and failed to keep my promises. Every week that I fail to publish Economics @ Home is a broken promise to myself and more importantly, to all my readers.

One of the obvious reasons or excuses that I can give you is because of the lack of time. Nonetheless, it is a common fact that everyone has 24 hours in a day (a very good approximation). So, how can I say I lack time when I have just as much time as everyone else on this planet? My failure was in my inability to use that time effectively towards publishing. While I had intense work commitments, I am fairly certain that there could have been circumstances that I could squeeze out a few hours to do my publishing.

So for that, I regret, but will stop short of an apology. The reason is that I believe apologies mean nothing when there is no actual remorse. It is not the case that I have no remorse. I strongly believe in walking the talk and thus, I will end this folly with my sincere expression of regret and move on to strive my hardest in making it up to all you readers.

I first start by explaining the role of the Lean and Mean Machine so that you can perhaps understand why this newsletter exists in the first place and why I will take it extremely seriously. The Lean and Mean Machine Pte Ltd was set up a few months ago with three main roles. The first and most prominent role, as of today, is to publish a newsletter that is fit for public consumption. The goals of the newsletter are:

[1] to create an awareness regarding the importance of economics in our everyday lives;
[2] to analyze everyday happenings from an economics standpoint to provide what are hopefully better solutions;
[3] to maximize the potential of everyone through the sharing of experiences and knowledge.

Then the next obvious question would be, why these goals? The first role of the Lean and Mean Machine is just a part of a grand scheme of objectives. The ultimate goal of the Lean and Mean Machine is to establish an educational institution that enables and assists people who are willing to try, to maximize their potential. You could call it, a university of life. This idea stems from my experience as an Asian student. This experience has led me through an educational journey that was focused heavily on academic concentration that was meant to help me find a comfortable, high-paying job, with good benefits.

While these are noble and well-meaning objectives, it is probably more relevant for societies of the past, when knowledge and information transfers at a much slower rate. In our world today, because information, knowledge and experience can be passed on rapidly, more opportunities are available for people to be successful. Because of the abundance of opportunities, people are less restricted by their social origin to be all they can be. Imagine, the social constrictions for a peasant in the 800 BC who wanted to be a court official. With limited access to books, internet and everything else that even a seven year-old has access to these days, how does one move up the social and economic ladder? Thus, with so many obstacles, obtaining a high-paying job with benefits would be like a dream come true.

However, that does not apply in the world today. Social and economic mobility is commonplace. We hear more and more rags to riches stories these days. Thus, it is the goal of the Lean and Mean Machine to perhaps be a tiny pebble in people’s building blocks in their path towards greatness. The great ambition of the Lean and Mean Machine is to start a university that inspires people towards maximizing their potential as human beings as opposed to your typical university that awards you a shiny piece of paper that certifies your specialty in the field of Arts, Sciences or whatever you trained yourself to be good at.

Thus, Economics @ Home is a a means to an end, rather, a modest vehicle at the starting point of a long journey of aspirations. Economics @ Home should be seen as a well of knowledge and experience for all students of life, hoping to contribute their part in making this world a better place.

This concludes Part 1 of the Lean and Mean Machines Methods of Madness. I will elaborate further on the other roles and functions as well as projects of the Lean and Mean Machine towards achieving this grand scheme.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Economics @ Home © Volume 1 Issue 14


Those of you who frequent this site should know two very obvious things. First, my posts have been less frequent of late. Second, the layout and the look has changed tremendously.

There are several reasons for this change. As 2009 is drawing to a close, I am looking to end Volume 1 of Economics @ Home. With the new year, Volume 2 will begin with, hopefully, a vengeance.

Also, I am testing out this new look for the new year. I will also be changing my site name to So far, nothing is ready yet. Please don't get overexcited. The reason for the name change is so that I don't mix business with pleasure. A Walk to Remember will be reverted back to its old use, which is for personal blogging.

Economics @ Home will start anew on 1 Jan 2010. Why the need for such a change? On one hand, many things have changed in my life, and changed significantly they have. I have been working on several other projects as well, and this will be discussed further on another more auspicious day. Nonetheless, with so much going on, I have found it much harder to post regularly.

I read somewhere that the reason for the lack of performance is usually not because of the lack of motivation. Usually, it is due to the inability to remove the obstacles that are in the way. 24 hours a day can sometimes be too little. But now, I have readjusted my path and hopefully I will be able to sidestep whatever obstacles that I was facing before.

Going forward, there may be a few changes to Economics @ Home other than the outlook and the volume number. What started out to be an ambitious weekly newsletter has proved to be somewhat unrealistic at this point in time with my work commitments. If the earning potential of Economics @ Home has the ability to keep me fed, there would be no doubt that I will focus more energy on it instead. However, this is clearly not the case, and so, my work commitments still come first. So, for 2010, I intend to reduce the frequency of the posts to once every fortnight, still on Sunday. This comes as a very difficult decision because my honour, pride, and everything good is at stake when I lower my standards for myself. Trust me, it is still my goal to produce a weekly newsletter. I am in the midst of searching for a part-time author to fill in the gaps when I run into time hurdles. If you are interested in applying for he co-author position, please drop a comment or your contact in my C-box and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

I also intend to continue updating the Lean and Mean Machine. To keep the long story short, the Lean and Mean Machine is still very much alive. It has been somewhat dormant for the past two months because its sole client, i.e. me, temporarily ceased to use the services of L&M, so there was zero monetary activity for the company.

There has also been no change in terms of the stock portfolio of the company. You can bet that I will release a full disclosure for the year ending 31 Dec 2009 by the end of January. Hopefully I can get it done sooner, but of course, I like my margins of safety.

So with that said, I urge you readers to stay patient, and look forward to the new issues of Economics @ Home in Volume 2. Remember that the site will change from 1 Jan 2010. You will only be able to access the old issues from the new site.

More sneak previews will be provided as I finalize some of the finer details of the launch of Volume 2. Until then, I thank you for your continued support and I hope that you continue to follow Economics @ Home.