Writing


Index

Here are the titles of my writing thus far, in chronological order:


  • Are you free?

    “Are you free?”  If someone were to ask you this question, how would you respond? Of course, how one might answer this question depends very much on its context. However, let’s stay within this indeterminate space and consider the various approaches to answering this question. In common use, the question assumes that the asker is…

  • Essay

    This is the 12th essay in my 30-30 series. Clearly, I have not completed 30 essays within the year that I turned 30. Today, I’m 31 and about 2 months. Not that I’m justifying why I did not manage to achieve that goal – quite a few things happened in 2020. Chief of which is that…

  • Limitations to understanding (pt. 3): Culture

    Writer’s note: this is part three of a three-part essay. Click here for part two. In the previous two parts of the essay, I’ve discussed how our senses and mind could limit our ability to understand the world. I will be concluding this three-part essay by turning my focus to culture. First, a working definition of…

  • Limitations to understanding (pt. 2): Mind

    Writer’s note: this is part two of a three-part essay. Click here for part one. For the second part of this essay, I will be looking at the limitations of the mind in facilitating the processes of knowing and understanding. To narrow the scope of this part, I will be limiting the discussion to mental…

  • Limitations to understanding (pt. 1): Senses

    In 1758, the father of modern taxonomy, Carl Linnaeus gave the name “Homo Sapiens” to our species. The term means “wise man” in Latin. We mostly stuck with the name, although there have been competing ones offered by various people in the years since. Linnaeus purportedly christened us with “wise” because of our ability to…

  • Taking Stock

    Last Friday, over 10,000 recent graduates of junior colleges (JC) and Millennia Institute (MI) gathered at their alma maters to receive their A-Level results. For these teenagers (most of whom are 18 or 19 years old), this event marks the end of a 14-year long journey through general education in Singapore, starting from kindergarten and…

  • Deluge

    We enter the world by gasping for air, almost as if we are being saved from drowning. During gestation, we are flooded by amniotic fluid in our mother’s womb. At birth, the same fluid turns from nourishment to danger, with about 1% of all newborns developing a condition informally known as “wet lung”, which occurs…

  • Myths of inevitability

    In a previous essay, I discussed an individual’s capacity for change. In summary, I posited that while certain aspects of our identity are resistant to change, meaningful change can be enacted through reflection and attention. Within the previous essay, there were also references made to society, with a specific claim that personal changes are often…

  • Labeling (and binaries)

    A unique aspect of human beings is our ability to use abstract and complex language. We can use language not only to communicate ideas but also to think and make sense of the world. For some of us, the latter exists as an internal monologue. Through language, we can name and label tangible objects, intangible…

  • A person’s capacity for change (pt. 2)

    Writer’s note: this is part 2 of this essay, click here for part 1. We have now covered everything in our list except one — belief, which is the thorniest one to deal with. Within cognitive psychology, belief is defined as a “propositional attitude”. The combination of beliefs that one holds forms a worldview (or…