Democracy – Winston Churchill 1947

No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time…

                                     Deceased British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (1947)


About / Disclaimer

This following in italics is the wording found in the ‘About Page’, which somehow I cannot seem to find right now.

This predominantly is a blog to share knowledge, ways to expand or research on it; and life experiences.

Nevertheless, prior to taking any action based information/material from this blog for any important matter, users should carefully evaluate its accuracy, currency, completeness and relevance for their purposes, and should obtain any appropriate professional advice relevant to their particular circumstances. Reasonable effort is made to ensure the information provided is accurate and up to date. However, we can accept no liability for any loss, damage or inconvenience which may be caused by relying on any such information.


Social Studies: Case Study – Northern Ireland

I guess I first read about the Irish Troubles from Ian Rankin’s novels on Inspector Rebus. He was a Scottish police office who previously served in the Paras (I think Paramilitary or Parachute Regiment) during the period of civil unrest. Works on the topic (to the extent of my research) is rather limited. Below are three: (shortest from the University of Texas at Austin) (visually the most entertaining) (possibly the most comprehensive for its length) (there has been a past year question set on military involvement in the earlier O Level Social Studies syllabus)

The final 2 are timelines. They are important in that they provide reference points for actions taken; and because I have come to rely on the phrase ‘Action speaks louder than words.’ These actions would for example prove (with greater accuracy) what were the intentions of the participants and also allow us to ascertain the spillover effects, however unintended they may have been…



I am very grateful towards the National Library Board (Singapore) for the information that is found on their site. Those that I use the most often are the eDatabase(s) for brief and information packed pieces. Hope you would enjoy using them too! Click on the above!


Primary Sources

I have come to view primary sources more favourably. After all it came from the horse’s mouth. This washes away the interpretation by others.

Karl Popper, George Soro’s lecturer at the London School of Economics, gave me some interesting insights into 20th century communism. He had joined the Communist Party in Austria for a very short period around 1919. From his recorded interview, he recounted that Moscow’s direction was quite simply to be obeyed. This form of influence was evident even in the French and Italian Communist parties until the 1940s at least. This in some sense enables us to understand why the West (French, British and Americans) were so fearful of exported revolution especially in view of the Russian Revolution and slogan to unite the workers of the world.

The past as someone said was indeed a different country…

See Karl Popper interviewed by Giancarlo Bosetti: The Lesson of this Century with two talks on freedom and the democratic state (Translated by Patrick Camiller). 1997. London. Routledge.


Index Investing

There is nothing much to say here really. There are people who believe they can be like Warren Buffett (stock whiz), I used to be one. Two major waves hit me however. Reading John Bogle’s and Bill Shultheis’ works; and learning about the London Inter-bank Lending Rate scandal – these made me realise that it was too costly in terms of time and too difficult to pick the right company since interest rate manipulation and insider trading would have made useless my judgment and analysis. Even Buffett’s mentor Benjamin Graham suggested that picking a stock winner requires a full time job i.e. it would have to be your day job.

Buffett himself encourages the average investor and his offspring to buy index funds instead while restricting other costs such as credit card bills. Index funds in general tend to have lower management costs since it is passively managed. Essentially, it is buying the stocks and holding them there.

See the arguments and evidence for yourself (as below). You would notice a certain consistency in the citations – the farming analogy.