Saturday, May 15, 2004

Nails in the Fence

This is also a piece sent to me during the dotcom era. It was sent to me and all my colleagues by a manager who wanted to apologize for how she treated us.

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.

The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.

The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there. “A verbal wound is as bas as a physical one. Friends are very rare jewels, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share words of praise and they always want to open their hearts to us.”

Friday, May 07, 2004


This is a joke sent to me by a friend during the dot com era...

What follows is a transcript of the speech delivered by LarryEllison, CEO of ORACLE (2nd Richest Man on the Planet) at the Yale University last month:

"Graduates of Yale University, I apologize if you have endured this type of prologue before, but I want you to do something for me. Please, take a good look around you. Look at the classmate on your left. Look at the classmate on your right. Now, consider this:

Five years from now, 10 years from now, even 30 thirty years from now, odds are the person on your left is
going to be a loser. The person on your right, meanwhile, will also be a loser. And you, in the middle? What can you expect? Loser. Loserhood. Loser Cum Laude.

"In fact, as I look out before me today, I don't see a thousand hopes for a bright tomorrow. I don't see a thousand future leaders in a thousand industries. I see a thousand losers.

"You're upset. That's understandable. After all, how can I, Lawrence 'Larry' Ellison, college dropout, have the audacity to spout such heresy to the graduating class of one of the nation's most prestigious institutions? I'll tell you why. Because I, Lawrence "Larry" Ellison, second richest man on the planet, am a college dropout, and you are not.

"Because Bill Gates, richest man on the planet -- for now, anyway -- is a college dropout, and you are not.

"Because Paul Allen, the third richest man on the planet, dropped out of college, and you did not.

"And for good measure, because Michael Dell, No. 9 on the list and moving up fast, is a college dropout, and you, yet again, are not."

"Hmm... you're very upset. That's understandable. So let me stroke your egos for a moment by pointing out, quite sincerely, that your diplomas were not attained in vain. Most of you, I imagine, have spent four to five years here, and in many ways what you've learned and endured will serve you well in the years ahead. You've established good work habits. You've established a network of people that will help you down the road. And you've established what will be lifelong relationships with the word 'therapy.' All that of is good. For in truth, you will need that network. You will need those strong work habits. You will need that therapy.

"You will need them because you didn't drop out, and so you will never be among the richest people in the world. Oh sure, you may, perhaps, work your way up to No. 10 or No. 11, like Steve Ballmer. But then, I don't have to tell you who he really works for, do I? And for the record, he dropped out of grad school. Bit of a late bloomer.

"Finally, I realize that many of you, and hopefully by now most of you, are wondering, 'Is there anything I can do? Is there any hope for me at all?' Actually, no. It's too late. You've absorbed too much, think you know too much. You're not 19 anymore. You have a built-in cap, and I'm not referring to the mortar boards on your heads."

"Hmm... you're really very upset. That's understandable. So perhaps this would be a good time to bring up the silver lining. Not for you, Class of '00. You are a write-off, so I'll let you slink off to your pathetic $200,000-a-year jobs, where your checks will be signed by former classmates who dropped out two years ago."

"Instead, I want to give hope to any underclassmen here today. I say to you, and I can't stress this enough: leave. Pack your things and your ideas and don't come back. Drop out. Start up.

"For I can tell you that a cap and gown will keep you down just as surely as these security guards dragging me off this stage are keeping me dow..."

Monday, May 03, 2004

Peak Oil

I recently stumbled upon something known as Peak Oil. Peak Oil is an industry term used when oil production is at the top of curve. All oil production follows a bell curve, whether in an individual field or on the planet as a whole. On the up slope of the curve, production costs are significantly lower than on the down slope when extra effort (expense) is required to extract oil from reservoirs that are emptying out.

This is not something new but average people like you and me will not know or even bother with. However, according to what I read regarding Peak Oil is that it could already be happening now. The implication of Peak Oil is very far reaching as today everything depends on oil. Basically, the worlds economy is oil driven. When oil prices continue to rise, everything will be affected. So, expect that the cost of petrol to continue to rise.

Although the world oil reserve could last us for another 20 years or so (it could be less because OPEC could be lying in the way they present their oil reserves), some extremely pessimistic people are already crying that dooms day is near. Some site like Life After the Oil Crash and The End of the Road presents some very pessimistic view. Most of these site focuses the impact from the perpective of the U.S. That's because the U.S. is the largest consumer of Oil, so if Peak Oil happens it will impact them the most and will cause a ripple effect to the worlds economies. Although, what they present is very true regarding the energy crisis, I disagree with their view on alternate energy.

Iceland today is at the forefront of alternate energy usage. They are ahead of the rest of the world on alternate energy usage. They plan to totally eliminate dependence on oil in another 20-30 years and transformed their economy into a Hydrogen Economy. They have recently open the worlds first hydrogen station. They could also be a major exporter of hydrogen in the future making Iceland the Kuwait of the north.

Lets just pray!