A Great Simian or just a Monkey

Fredrik Stenbeck Page 1 of 13

MOLYBARON

Lite som Muse, fast funkigare och hårdare. Riktigt bra från det fransk / irländska bandet MOLYBARON.

Singapore Hawkers added to the UNESCO Heritage list

One thing that few have not loved while living or visiting Singapore are the Hawkers. If you have not visited or know what a Hawker is, it is simply put a Food Court. Since Singapore is true multicultural, Hawkers have foodstalls from all corners Asia. Now Hawkers have been added to the UNESCO Heritage list, which is a welcomed addition to the list. Visiting a Hawker is an experience, not only for the food, but also for the mix of people, the energy and all the smells and noice.

What is a Hawker

I am not a historian or an expert in the area, so let me just cut / paste from Wikipedia, for the brief description.

A hawker centre or cooked food centre are a variety of food courts originating from Singapore. Housing many stalls that sell a variety of local and other Asian cuisines, they are typically found throughout the city-state, located near public housing estates or transport hubs (such as bus interchanges or train stations).

Hawker centres were set up by the Singapore government as a more sanitary option to street-side outdoor alfresco hawker dining places. Instead of mobile food carts, permanent stalls in open air buildings are provided for the hawkers with either commonly shared or stall dedicated tables and chairs provided for patrons. This phenomenon is also helped by hawker licensing laws, and totally eliminated street hawkers in Singapore.

Wikipedia

For us, who moved back to Sweden in 2015, Hawkers is one of the things we miss most about Singapore. …… hmmm, but when I think about it, we miss Singapore for so many other things as well.

To put the importance of hawkers into perspective: If we move back to Singapore, the proximity to a hawker will be a pre–requisite when we decide on location for housing.

Fantastic food for a few dollars

I am not exaggeration if I say I ate at a Hawker 5 out of 7 days a week while living in Singapore. Most lunches and occasionally dinner. The amount of visits I made to Tori Q (Japanese Yakitori) in Takashimaya for lunch is uncountable. The classic Hawkers are often located in housing blocks or at strategic places like close to public transport junctions. Nowadays Hawkers are also in shoppingmalls and in the more touristic areas. One of the bigger ones in Singapore is located in the dead center of the financial district (CBD) and named Lau Pa Sat, this one is famous for its weekend and evening outdoor satay stalls.

Another famous one is the slightly more touristic one at Newton Circus. It is slightly more touristic and suited for expats. We often ended up on Newton Circus since we lived quite close.

The best ones are probably a local one in a housing complex you never herd of. There are hawkers everywhere and most are great. Since it is Singapore, all are inspected by authorities so they comply with health and environment regulations.

For most meals you pay something like S$2-6 which is equivalent of 12-40SEK or 1.5-4.50USD.

Which one is the best one then? The one with a stall that has a Michelin Star maybe?

I am not the one to judge here and everyone has their own favourite.

Some hawkers stand out, like the one where you can have a S$2 Peking Duck from a stall that earned a Guide Michelin Star in 2016. Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle in Chinatown Food Complex is the place. We never tried it though, since none in the family is especially fond of Peking Duck.

The big ones are easy to find, but the small hyperlocal ones are definitely as good in most cases.

Kopi Tiam or Hawker, what is the difference?

To some extent it is pure semantics since they originate from different backgrounds, Kopi Tiam has a Malay / Hokkien background and Hawkers are a pure Singaporean phenomenon. Besides that, the difference is that Kopi Tiams is a kind of coffeshop that also serve some dishes, mainly malay food, while Hawkers is a full fledged food court with many stalls from many different asian countries.

The smell of Kaya toast in the morning

For most the Kopi Tiams are famous for its local coffee and its Kaya Toasts. The kaya smell hangs like a thick fog every morning in Singapore and the smell is very prominent and unique. It is a very very Singaporean smell.
Kaya is a sweet coconut jam.

The Kopi Tiam coffee

As a start, Kopi means coffee, so now when that is out of the way, how is the coffee?

As a coffee nerd I was a bit hesitant to the Kopi Tiam coffee in the beginning. It is a very raw way of brewing or should I maybe say filtering. Let’s start with the beans. It is in no way any high quality bean or quality roasted beans (still with tradition and proudness amongst the roasters). It is a very buttery and sweat roast, that mainly is done locally in Singapore.

The thing with the brewing is that you boil the coffee and then filter it through a fabric filter, almost like filtering it through a sock.

Most locals drink the kopi with condensed milk and a lot of sugar. I found that “drink” to be completely awful. I usually drank Kopi O Kosong which was half coffee and halv boiled water. It is the strongest version of Kopi, but it suited my need for strong coffee. I usually ordered one Kopi O Kosong as a morning coffee when going to the office.

Below video shows both kaya and kopi, it also gives a glimps of how a hawker looks and feels (even though not as crowded as it usually is).

The debate about apps collecting your data & how you can see what data is collected

In a recent update to Apple App Store, they made it a lot easier to understand and see what data apps like TikTok, WhatsApp and Facebook collects. Just go into Apples App store, find your app and scroll / swipe down to App Privacy. For many of the apps, the space given by Apple is not enough to contain all the categories of data that is collected, so you need to click the “See Details”-button to see the full list. If you have not given much thought about the recent news about change in policy for WhatsApp or what data Facebook Messenger really is collecting about you, I might suggest you take a look at App Stores App Privacy to check it out, always better to know what you give up for being a user of the app. See below screenshot on collected private data from Signal, iMessage, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. A good way to get an understanding of how much data is collected in the different apps. In my view Signal and iMessage are OK.

Photo from Forbes, since they had already done the screenshot and stitching, thanks.

It is all about the metadata

Many might reason that you do not have anything to hide, so you do not care what information these companies are collecting. That is plain stupid, you should care, simple as that.

Companies that collect data do not care about what you write or post, they only care about the data connected to each thing you post, the metadata. Why is that? To put it a bit blunt, they do not care about you, they care about clusters and signals. It is the same method US NSA, UK GCHQ and Swedish FRA uses. They look for signals in behaviour to take action on and create a more “personal” service. For us as users that means they publish ads that are personalised for us based on part of town you live in, search-history (from your ordinary browser), age, gender, political views, music you like, purchases made etc etc, but more importantly it also means that the content these services push to us, are very customised based on our metadata. This is also something that political players and foreign nations use to push users in certain directions.

What about TikTok then?

The thing that makes TikTok special is not only that it collects a lot of data, but that all content is driven by an algorithm, so when parts of the world realizes that TikTok has ties to the Chinese Government they get scared, but to be honest it is not that different from what Facebook does in most ways, but Facebook is an american company, so they get a softer treatment.

For the fun of it, here is the data collected by TikTok and below Facebook.

TikTok

Facebook

Pain of Salvation – Panther

När jag tittar på mina mest lyssnade låtar från 2020 så ligger Panther från Pain Of Salvation i de högre regionerna. Inte ett band jag lyssnar mycket på generellt, men just Panther har något som fastnade hos mig, tror det framför allt trummorna i den senare delen av låten som gjort att jag fastnat.

The Breeders – Cannonball

Få låtar är så ikoniska som Cannonball och den dyker upp på de mest konstiga ställen. Helt unik och fantastiskt.

The Breeders låten S.O.S är även samplad i The Prodigys Firestarter, vilket The Breeders Kim Deal även fått credit för som låtskrivare. Det är gitarr-riffet som är loopat i Firestarter.

Feedback-loops in collaboration software

Is it really success when people spend as much time as possible in a collaboration tool? …or is a post a success if a lot of people gives it a clap, like, heart or whatever emoji is available?

I would argue that there is nothing in above that is a valid measurement or KPI for a corporate collaboration tool. I think you should spend as little time as possible in a collaboration tool, but when you do you should have as short stretch to getting the answer / info / expertise as possible. If you capture that, it would be a great KPI.

A KPI would be when you get a swift and great answer to a question or gives information that helps making better decisions etc.

The real problem is that there are today no tool that can measure productivity gains, faster problem solving etc.

What about Microsofts Productivity Score then?

When I read about it and saw the launch video, I was very positive. Finally a company that makes productivity KPIs etc. It is a well delivered first step, with one huge flaw. It is perceived as a surveillance tool and not a way to help you become more productive. It gives managers a way to see how much you collaborate and use different tools etc. Not good. With that said, I think it can be a great productivity-dashboard if it is tweaked so it removes the “big-brother-sees-you”-feeling. An addition that would be valuable if companies could add their own KPIs. This given that most organisations value different data-point in different ways, Microsoft should not control that metrics on its own.

A note on Salesforce rumoured acquisition of Slack

In my humble opinion this, if true, is a financial trick. By purchasing Slack for $XB the share price of Salesforce will most probably rise and the purchase amount will disappear within the margins of the increased share-price. Operationally Salesforce already have the tools similar to Slack in Chatter (which is way better for collaboration btw). I do honestly not see the value for Salesforce customers in the addition of Slack to the product portfolio.

My opinion of Slack is well documented in the “Cutting the Slack“-post from 2016.

King 810

Det är alltid kul när man dyker på ett band som funnits ett tag, men som man missat. King 810 är ett sådant för mig. King 810 är idag David Gunn and Eugene Gill där de spelar samtliga instrument, men har mellan 2007 och 2017 / 2018 varit 4 medlemmar. David Gunn skriver det mesta!

Jag fastnade för bandet när jag hörde A Million Dollars första gången. Efter det har låtar som Vendetta, Alpha & Omega och Killem All spelats frekvent.

13 November 2020 släpptes senaste albumet “AK Concerto No. 47, 11th Movement in G Major” som är lite mer experimentellt än tidigare kan jag tycka och inte riktigt lika “stökigt”, vilket iofs är typiskt för King 810. Dukes är riktigt skön och har del country / blues rock riff. Hellhounds är svår att inte sjunga med i (även om texten är rå).

Miss Li – Kaffe och en cigarett

Som musik-intresserad går det ju inte att låta bli Så Mycket Bättre. Kanske en av de bästa tolkningarna som gjorts i programmet är Miss Li när hon tolkar Olle Ljungströms “Kaffe och en cigarett”. Som vanligt med Så Mycket Bättre är live framträdandena bättre än de låtarna som sen ges ut.

Just Miss Li framträdande var det ju extra mycket känslor då Olle gått bort efter att säsongen med honom spelades in.

Miss Lis version är en av de mest spelade låtarna hos mig det senaste året.

Lägger även in framträdandet från programmet nedan, lite synd att försnacket inte är med, det berörde.

Technology is Power

UPDATE: I wrote this post in 2017, three years ago. For some reason it was never published. Now when I am re-starting this blog I went through my drafts and found it. When reading, it is hard not to relate to what is currently going on in the US with a president that refuses to concede and continues to spread misinformation and lies. I post it as is, so it is not a polished post in any way, just thought it was interesting to see how things have evolved in 3-years…..not in a good way.


Knowledge is king, information is power and technology is a shift of power. Over centuries different things have been considered “power” and in recent years we have shifted towards technology as the ultimate power. To be successful in gaining power, we need to have great technology. Technology is power.

What has happened over the years is that we now have shifted in our way of reading information. Traditionally journalists have been considered as a filter for the rest of us, this so we could ingest our news in a daily-digest from our preferred news outlet. That is no longer the case (since many years), to a large extent we consume information in tid-bits pushed to us by algorithms.

Information Power has shifted with technology

  1. Information IS power.
  2. It does not matter if it is true as long as it makes us more powerful.
  3. Truth does not matter, instead it is more important that it is written in a way that makes us more powerful.
  4. Disinformation that takes us closer to our goal is also information.

Now, read the above bullets again and then reflect over the impact this can have if powerful entities backs outlets with their own very specific agenda.

We all need to be aware of this development and really consider the context of everything we read today, no matter where in the world you live.

Bringing back the blog

The personal blog has for years had a decreasing impact. Many have moved to other platforms or simply only publishing on Facebook / LinkedIn et al. It is time to bring back the blog. …and sorry for the meta post.

I started my first blog 2002 as a personal blog with reflection from me moving from Stockholm to a small island. Ran that one a few years, but shut it down after it got a life of its own. Since then I have mainly blogged about internet and online communication / collaboration with sparkles of startups, ai and angel-investing. Recently I have found it fun to write again and I sense the frequency will increase.

Dopamine vs Appreciation

I also believe that when a blog post you write get appreciation it is the same as when you have a presentation at work, in school or a speech at a dinner. Something you have put energy and effort into gets appreciated and you become happy when others like it. Even if the attention sometimes is not always in a a positive manner it is still a verification that your posts are of interest and are engaging, not engagement in the same way as on social-media platforms (a like or share in your echo-chamber / filter-bubble), but engagement that sparks others to use their brain. Please note that I am referring to blogs that write content with a message or around a specific subject, not influencer blogs or celebrity blogs.

I think the blog is equally important today, if not even more so. Blogging is not only for celebrities / influencers and companies to sell its products, it is a platform for everyone to write things they care about with a personal voice. It is also “your place”, a place that you control. Today it is harder to find a persons blog compared to finding the person on Facebook or Intagram etc, but information on those platforms tend to sink rather quickly and the life of a post in social media is very short, but a blogpost can live for years. The success of a blog post is also more often dependent on the actual content than a social media post that is more often dependent on the right people sharing and algorithms etc.

I decided that for me the classic blog is the tool I like the most, so I thought why not bring back the classic design as well. Full posts on homepage and a classic sidebar with archives, search and latest posts.

I have also decided to start publishing more personal stuff and some random findings.

Menem

Menem is my random findings that I simply document and share. It is most of the time a link with an excerpt, mainly long-reads that I like. They will be shared as either an Aside (without headline) or as an ordinary post, but shorter.

The word Menem comes from Little F as a mispronunciation for the Swedish word “Nämen” from when she was a kid. “Nämen” is a surprised “really?” or “I did not know that”. I thought it could be a suitable name for this section.

Music

This is a category I have wanted to start for ages, but never found the right way to do it. Now I simply decided to do it, even if it is not implemented in a perfect way. Music will be a Swedish category, even if most music I listen to is in english, some is in Swedish and I do not want to leave that out. Maybe this will change over time, who knows.

Music will not be on the homepage, but found in the sidebar as a playlist and also as a separate category. The very first post was in english though (and therefore also in the Personal category, but the rest will be in Swedish.

Swedish Posts

I will also occasionally start writing regular posts in Swedish. These will be categorised separately and not shown in the homepage, but solely in the specific category in the menu.

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