Moving My Blog

I have thought about this for a very long time and I have now decided to move my blog to another host. I have used this host and blogged for more then 3 years now but I have always found the features of this host wanting. The nes host,, has excellent features that let me add unlimited links, has search capacity and allows me to have different tabs/sections. As such, I can now combine a website and blog all in one place without the trouble of having to update both sites. Plus wordpress is really easy to use and also lets me upload files and photos without additional charges. So, my blog is now moved to the following address. Please re-bookmark. Thanks.

My New Blog


Please change your bookmarks and hope to see you there!

Kantian Morality

In the light of all the dumb things that are happening in the Malaysian political scene right now, from murder, to black mail, to sodomy, one wonders whether there is still any sense of morality around these days. Perhaps as the world advance, the sense of morality becomes more and more lax, as we can see around us but this is probably also a sign of human progress, where rules cast on stones in old times is no longer relevant to the enlightened individual, whose personal freedom and choices come as priority against everything else. Perhaps, after all, Nietzsche is not too far wrong to say that God is dead.

But one sometimes wonder if this is really true, if this should be the way of life of our so-called "enlightened" human beings. Is religion still relevant? For a lot of people, it does. Perhaps it is not really because one really believes that one can go to Heaven after one is dead and enjoy eternal life there or one can have access to 72 virgins or such but the religion provides a system where a moral society can work, where mankind treats mankind morally according to the laws of the Creator. These laws are absolute and unchanging, and is universally applicable, what Kant called the categorical imperative.

Kant is very interesting, in many aspects. His categorical imperative is just this: "Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law". For example, Do not kill, is such a maxim because it should become a universal law. If you kill, and everyone else follows you and start to kill, this cannot be good. Do you like to be killed?

Kant's moral philosophy is akin to the religious view of morality, that is there are absolute things that mankind should and should not do. It is absolute inasmuch as it cannot be changed according to mankind's whims and desire to "suit" the situation, which is really an excuse to escape from the moral laws and from one's duty, whether duty as a Man, or as a father, or as a husband, or as a Prime Minister. When the principles of morality are derived from such sense of desire instead of absolute moral laws, the society can easily plunge into a mode of self destruction.

The difference, however, between Kant and the religious people is this, as is very significant. Kant's morality is derived solely from reason, practical reason, and not blindly from what God tells us to do and not to do. Although the final outcome of some of the maxims could be the same, this distinction is significant as Kant rest the responsibility on us humans as rational and intelligent being, to ask us to verify the maxims ourselves and not to just follow maxims blindly. This reminds me of the Buddha as he said in the Dhammapada, that we should verify what he said based on our own experience and reasoning, and we should not just believe what he said just because he said it. This is also important because as we have now experienced, religion can be badly exploited by irresponsible people and masses of people die or live a terrible life just because of this, whether it is a real mistake in interpretation of what God said or purposeful misinterpretation of what God said to suit their own selfish agenda.

It is important that one uses his or her intelligence, common sense and reason to derive at his or her own conclusion of events and actions instead of just follow blindly what other people said. Only then could a person be really free and be really moral.

Sweet Silent Thought

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste:
Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,
For precious friends hid in death's dateless night,
And weep afresh love's long since cancell'd woe,
And moan the expense of many a vanish'd sight:
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before.
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restored and sorrows end.

~ William Shakespeare

1000 Times Intensity

It is time now to put away all other weiqi/go books and study this book and do all the questions in it with 1,000 times intensity. Hopefully at the end of this, I will understand this more and stop doing really silly mistakes for the rest of my games.

This is one of the best books that emerged from this series and when I first got this book in 2004, I really didn't appreciate it. At that time, I was only a lowly Kyu player and a lot of what is in the book is beyond me at that time. Now, revisiting it, I found it to be such a huge treasure trove.

Chinese 5 Dan

There was once a guy who came from China to KL to study and his weiqi/go strength is 5dan China. 5 dan China is really very, very strong, unlike the Japanese dan. A Chinese 5dan can probably give a Japanese 5dan 2-3 handicap stones, i.e probably 2-3 stones stronger. While he was here, we all had the benefit of playing with him and learning from him. It was very fun.

There was one time when asked, he said that weiqi is really only about 2 things:

1. Judgment
2. Reading

By reading, he did not mean reading as in reading books but rather reading the moves. Reading skill is very important because it is the source of tactical strength.

Judgment is strategic. It involves issues like what direction to play, judging the strength and weaknesses of stone groups and how to profit from it, judging territorial areas to make sure that the territory points are at least balanced, etc.

In short, reading supports judgment. Strategy needs tactical implementation. Without sound tactical implementation, strategy will fail, despite how brilliant it is conceived. However, one is probably tempted to put more importance on reading, and I know many players do. They use all their spare time solving life and death problems, tesuji problems. But without a solid strategy, a better strategist with slightly inferior reading ability will win the game.

Strategy, whether in weiqi or in war or in business, cannot escape certain principles and as such, books like Sun Tzu's Art of War is still very popular. In the meantime, books that pay importance on tactical implementation such as The Book of Five Rings are also still very popular. There was once I was told that there are three books that anyone aspiring to be great should read.

1. Sun Tzu's Art of War
2. Musashi's The Book of Five Rings
3. Machiavelli's The Prince

Recently, one of my bosses said that one needs three books too, number 1 and 2 above plus a Marketing 101 book. Perhaps The Prince is too dark for him. But I believe we must be aware of it. If The Prince is dark, try the Thick Black Theory as explained in the book Thick Face, Black Heart.

Ok, back to the game of weiqi. There are certain principles that I always try to follow when I play. This is from reading books and also understanding gained from the hard knock of fighting in the games.

1. Do not play in an area where the enemy is strong.

2. If you need to play there, play lightly, always with an escape route in mind. Sacrifice some stones is very often necessary.

3. Attack where the enemy is the weakest.

4. Always ensure that the stones have a base, put the stones in an undefeatable position.

5. When your stones are strong, attack invaders in the strongest possible way, head-on with brute force, often include the use of strong handed tesuji.

6. Play at a place that has greatest potential. The best strategy to win is to win without the need to fight. The most profitable market are blue ocean markets.

Tactically, I make sure that I follow the following when I play:

1. When reading, always read at least 10 sequence ahead with at least 3 variations, not including branches. It is ok to take my time.

2. When doing 1 above, always have a strategy in mind - what do I want to achieve? Building a wall? Creating territorial potential? Spoiling opponent's shape? Split attacking? Pretending to attack east but intention is to attack west? etc.

3. Always assess the relative strength and weaknesses of stones. If the stones are weak, settle them as soon as possible. Strength and weakness is always relative.

4. Always play moves that can achieve two or more objectives.

5 Begin with the end in mind. Visualise the end result. If you like the end result, play it. If you don't, play another strategy.

6. Don't play blindly and follow opponent's moves and let him/her push you around the board. Always seize the initiative.

7. Always be aware of territorial balance.

Real Baby

This is a real baby, man.... will someone buy this for me as a present??? I can't afford it ;-)

This company really makes quality products.

I will seriously consider awarding myself with this set once I reach 5dan in strength. That is probably 5-10 years from now ;-)

Increase: Above Wind, Below Thunder

above Sun The Gentle, Wind
below Chen The Arousing, Thunder

The Judgement

Increase. It furthers one
To undertake something.
It furthers one to cross the great water.

The Image

Wind and thunder: the image of Increase.
Thus the superior man:
If he sees good, he imitates it;
If he has faults, he rids himself of them.

The tide of fortune is flowing in your favour. Problems can now be resolved. Relationships and projects florish. New opportunities beckon. Considerable change is possible. Even difficult tasks can be tackled successfully. But it is up to you to make the most of this favourable period. It will not last indefinitely. Now is the time to take whatever action is need to move matters forward. IHave the courage to make a leap in the dark if necessary. The outcome will be successful.Think in terms of what you can contribute to the situation rather than what you can get out of it.

Real Movie on Love and Loneliness

Can't help it but wants to share it here. A scene from ASHES OF TIME. Can't wait to watch the Redux!


Muyong Yin (played by Brigitte Lin): Who are you anyway?

Ouyang Feng (played by Leslie Cheung): Don’t you remember me?

Yin turns around and looked at Feng, mistaken him for her “lover”.

Yin: You once promised to marry me. Of course I remember you.

Feng: Did I really say that?

Yin: You passed by Gusu City the other day. We drank together under the peach tree. You touched my face…. And said you’d marry my sister if I had one. You know I am a woman in disguise. Why did you still say that?

Feng: A man can’t be serious when he is drunk.

Yin: Because of your promise, I’ve been waiting for you until today. I once asked you to take me with you…. But you refused. You said you cannot love two persons at the same time. Surely you love Yin! Why did you fall in love with another woman? Do you know I went to look for that woman? Because someone said that you love her most. I had wanted to kill her. But I didn’t in the end. Because I didn’t want to prove that she is the one you most love.

Yin: I once asked myself... whether I am the woman you love most… but now I don’t want to know the answer anymore. If ever I ask you the same question..… please don’t tell me the truth! No matter how unwilling it is for you to say it, please don’t tell me that the person you love most is not me!

Superb soundtrack. Superb cinematography. Superb acting from Brigitte.

"Ouyang Feng: I once heard someone say, if you have to lose something, the best way to keep it is to keep it in your memory."