PART TWO : ENDER’S GAME, NOBODY WANTS TO BE A SERVANT
Does anyone feel that Ender’s Game, the movie, reminds you of the Singapore Gifted Education Programme ?
That was how I felt halfway through the show, anyway.
An overseas friend commented to me recently that she finds Singapore too expensive these days and service standards have deteriorated drastically over the years. And given that she makes about 4 trips a year to Singapore from Perth just to shop and eat, she should be in a position to judge.
I don’t blame anyone at all. AFTERALL, WHO WANTS TO SERVE ? WHO WANTS TO BE A MAID ?
In the past 3 months, the longest I have survived without an ounce of domestic help, I developed this Trigger finger ailment from excessive housework but am feeling all the more fulfilled in my independence. Cleaning up after yourself is empowering but cleaning up after someone else ? is another matter.
(* How to treat Trigger finger and Carpal Tunnel etc syndromes – http://www.healthxchange.com.sg/healthyliving/SpecialFocus/Pages/How-to-Treat-Your-Painful-Hands-Wrists-Fingers.aspx)
What has changed in society ?And the economy ?
A friend who will not be named has this to say (taken from a Whatsapp conversation).
“It is not worth investing in fresh grads these days. After so many years of training people, I have given enough back to Singapore financial system. I see the current grads, I think they have wrong attitude to work. 95% are the Wikipedia give me now attitude. They are Internet savvy and good at presentation and very quick at culling information from the Internet without knowing how to apply it.
They hero worship people like the WhatsApp founder – creating a product, selling it in 6 years to become the 220 th richest person in the world.
Their attitude is from years of cheating on computer games. Basically – what’s the cheat code? I want to beat the game by tomorrow.
When they hear people like you and me talk about hard work, they will roll their eyes and say “you guys are old dinosaurs and don’t know how the new world works.”
That’s why copy trading is popular?”
Copy trading : enables traders in the financial markets to automatically copy positions opened and managed by a selected investor, usually in the context of a social trading network. Source : Wikipedia !
Harsh words with perhaps some truths. I am not in a position to judge. Besides, he has the years of experience in his role as a desk head and treasury manager and the above rant was inspired by another conversation he had with some of his old mates who are academics in the field of sociology.
And thus I did the right thing – tested it out on my 13 year old son to heart breaking results. Yes, he wants to be the Whatsapp and Flapping Bird and Candy Crush guy. And I am grateful for the early diagnosis !
Links to my past posts on these kids :
They are all little Enders’ in the making but there is only 1 Ender in the end, no pun intended. And Ender will not be selling char kway teow in Ghim Moh, who, incidentally, will be retiring in September when the place closes for 2 years of renovation.
We cannot blame them because we bred them in this smart phone, over parenting and positive reinforcement age where it is a jail-able offence to tell a child they are short, fat, ugly or stupid. And thus we can safely conclude that a lot of jobs will be beneath them in the future but it would be easy to blame the government for it and cajole for new and more befitting jobs to be created for all our Enders’.
Our Enders’ will have vastly different lives from us or perhaps the same as some of us. They will travel more, live in the city, delay having children, and enjoy themselves as much as they can, living life the way they choose. I suspect they will rather live a high life for just a day than a lifetime without. It is a new age of Hedonism that we are living in.
But things will not go their way in this economy where underemployment threatens in the face of the commodization of white collar work.
“If Daniel Nadler is right, a generation of college graduates with well-paid positions as junior researchers and analysts in the banking industry should be worried about their jobs. Very worried.
Mr Nadler’s start-up, staffed with ex-Google engineers and backed partly by money from Google’s venture capital arm, is trying to put them out of work.
Its algorithms assess how different securities are likely to react after the release of a market-moving piece of information, such as a monthly employment report. That is the kind of work usually done by well-educated junior analysts, who pull data from terminals, fill in spreadsheets and crunch numbers. “There are several hundred thousand people employed in that capacity. We do it with machines,” says Mr Nadler. “We’re not competing with other [tech] providers. We’re competing with people.”
Bernie wrote a piece on it in February too, with an inevitably dire outcomes of either war or pestilence. https://tradehaven.net/market/ad-hoc-commentary-commoditization-of-white-collar-work-and-the-persistent-rise-of-underemployment-and-unemployment/
It is too speculative for me to divine an outcome but I see broad themes here – populism and entitlement and all these ideas are overflowing out of my head.
To be continued in Part Three – I Am Not Crazy, Do You Watch Movies ? The Investment Ideas