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A Boy and His Voice

Learning.. from you.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Before I even begin to say anything, I would just like to apologise for my stupidity. No really. I forgot to do the simplest thing in order for this blog to be more readable.. and that's paragraphing! Sheesh.. oh yes, and also for not updating. I'm feeling pretty under the weather.. that's why I haven't posted anything new. BUT, I have been reading interesting things, which will probably end up here.. so.. stay tuned. =)
Now.. this entry came about from a conversation with a friend. The interesting thing is, it actually means something because of what a lecturer said in my class about a month again. Oh, did I mention that I was and still am a student? Yeah. That was for the benefit of whoever that might have popped over for whatever reason. Anyways, my lecturer was saying something about Asians being too.. conservative, and they're afraid of sharing information. Interestingly, my lecturer herself is an Asian. She said something along the lines of, Asian companies want to know everything, but doesn't want to disclose anything; and she cannot really do anything to help if she hasn't got anything to start with. Confused? It's really easy, basically, she's saying that she wouldn't know what to feed you, if she doesn't know what won't kill you.
I can relate to what she said, and I'm sure many of you can too. How many times do we think we have a great idea on doing something, but is so afraid to share that we keep it to ourselves? Plenty, if you ask me. An explanation she gave was that we are afraid to share, because we are afraid that our ideas may be copied and we may end up in the losing end. Guilty, as charged. She also said that people can steal our ideas, but they cannot steal our brains (something along these lines I think), and if we're really original, we can always come up with newer and better ideas.
The reason for this behaviour (afraid of sharing), I feel is because of the society that we live. We are living in such a competitve society that we are constantly afraid. Afraid that we might not be able to catch up, afraid of being left behind.. afraid of being redundant.. so much so that whatever good ideas that we think we have, we keep.
Now you guys must be thinking.. what the hell has this got to do with learning? Relax.. I'm getting there. My lecturer, she said that our ideas can only get better, if we share it, and allow it to grow (I'm not quoting.. I think that's what she said.. or at least something like that). I'm beginning to understand what she is trying to say. It's like the guy who invented Linux, Linus Torvalds. He believed that there's a better way to use the computer than relying on Microsoft, so he created Linux. He also knew that there are probably many more brilliant minds out there who can make his program better, so he made it open source. Whoever is capable of making it better, makes it better. It's a win-win situation.
Learning, I feel, is all about that. You learn from me, I learn from you, we all win. My friend said to me, "I'm selfish, I'm all input, no output." That's fine really. He's still my friend and I still love him. But I think that could be a stumbling block. That this mindset is something that is preventing the Asian culture and tradition (e.g. Traditional Chinese Medicine) from really flourishing and becoming great. We all need one another, hence the saying, "No man is an island". I want to learn from all the brilliant minds out there, that's why I set up this blog. To facilitate learning. But I can't do that if you don't tell me your view. But that's alright, you can still learn from me.. I guess I'll just have to learn from someone else.
posted by fuzk, 2:10 am


That is why we are meeting tonight!

I disagree on the contention of plagarism in Asia. Of course, there will be lazy creatives who take the convenient way-out but how much can you replicate when tomorrow's advertising is today's trend? Advertising, as we know it near and dear, evolve all the time. The fundamental of creative ethics is to adopt art direction/copy direction but leave the concept alone. Besides, it will minimise creative clutter. Let old concepts wow and new concepts grow.

But I agree the stem of Asian disclosure (or lack of) is fear, due to the milieu of upbringing - a environment where views and inquiries are swiftly and prematurely torn down without given fair hearing. Local education institutions can wax lyrical about the liberation of the system (and hell, SMU can carry on its advertising on how different the education at SMU is) but at this point in time, we have to content with the repercussions of the state of the education system during our impressionable epoch.
commented by Anonymous Andrea, 10:22 am  
yoz!!! GUESS.
commented by Blogger :: tian ::, 1:09 pm  
This is a very meaningful post. As a scientist, I once had a huge idea stolen by another scientist. I was taught (by my scientific mentor) that "If you know that you will have an endless supply of ideas throughout your career, share your ideas with everyone. If you have only one, keep it closely guarded." I've found that, in sharing ideas, my capacity to come up with others has flourished. I can't comment about whether Asians have a higher proclivity towards safeguarding their ideas, but I do think that being open with your thoughts can only serve yourself and society as a whole far better. Nice post, I'm impressed.
commented by Blogger Vavoom, 5:16 pm  
Andrea: You're right.. people are only supposed to 'borrow' the art/copy direction.. but there are also people who shamelessly copy the concept as well.

Say.. you have a brilliant idea of 'wrapping' a building with an ad (which already has been done http://www.hktrader.net/200311/lead/lead-ftwrap200311.htm), it's one of a kind. Totally creative. Do you then.. share.. or discuss the idea with someone else? I think for most of us, we'll keep it closely guarded.

For me, it is definitely the environment that is causing this fear. Especially since we live in such a small country where there is so much competition. Like I said, I am guilty of not sharing, but I am trying to change that =)
commented by Blogger fuzk, 12:06 am  
tian: haha.. I know who you are, old friend =) Hope to meet up soon for coffee and chit chat! =D
commented by Blogger fuzk, 12:08 am  
vavoom: In my humble opinion, I feel that Asians are more likely to safeguard their ideas and secrets.. or maybe I just have an over idealistic view on the 'western' world.

Like you, I do think we can only benefit from sharing our thoughts and ideas. I AM trying to be more open about it, and my journey can only get easier if more people were like you.

Thank you for your comments! =)
commented by Blogger fuzk, 12:13 am  

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