Kapanalig Sa Wala - Literally, one who also have faith in nothing, is a play on words and wasn't really intended to mean something. It was made in jest to call the atheist camp when I was still actively debating god in one of the demised public forums out there. I think walang pananalig (faithless) would have proven to be more precise but I think the intended humor will be lost.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

In search for the lock- and wait-free

I have created a new blog where I will be posting geek stuffs about my current search for lock- and wait-free algorithms.

Test post 1, 2, 3...

This is not a real post. Test 1, 2, 3.... Major Tom, do you copy?

Sunday, August 08, 2010


I have decided to update this blog but with less about atheism and more about some other stuffs. First an update related to my post "Back To Work". I was granted a 90-day temporary visa for "designated activities" with the activity "preparing for departure." On the last day of my visa, I flew back home to the Philippines and after a month, I started a bar in Laguna. I only closed it a little over a month ago as it didn't work as I wanted it to be. It ran a total of 9 months. It was fun and a good learning experience. Here's the post-mortem of what mistakes I committed and my explanation on why it happened. When I started it, I had a very clear picture of what I wanted to do. I wanted to operate a small bar that can be run by at most, 2 people. The four things that should be maintained with high standards are (1) the beer should be ice-cold, (2) the toilets should be very clean, (3) should be air-conditioned, (4) plays great music. My biggest mistake was that I didn't stick to my plan. My plan was to put up a bar in Laguna first not mainly for profit but more for learning the ropes, then I'd close it and move the business to a more profitable location either in Valenzuela City near Fatima University or in Meycauayan, Bulacan near Meycauayan College. Also part of the plan was that there would be no live bands. But things gone out of hand, the next thing I knew, we were hosting live bands regularly which greatly increased our operating expenses (show bands are paid per head, while equipment is rented per piece). It went on for nine months in the red before I finally pulled the plug. Mistake number two is that I let it run indefinitely without a clear time frame of goals. The third mistake I did was that I didn't put everything that's needed to make it succeed like capital infusion was done more like piecemeal rather than right from the beginning. There was a good reason why I shouldn't have put all the capital upfront but now with the benefit of hindsight I am inclined to say that it was not a good reason. The root cause of the issues is that I didn't have a business plan worked out on paper that include the financials and the time-frame for measuring milestones. So next time I do it, I'll write one up so I can have clear guideline on how to execute it. There are other valuable lessons I learned mostly on operations, marketing, and financial analysis but I don't want to go into details here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Reading List

I haven't posted in a looong while so I am updating and so I will have something new to read myself :) . The reason is because I have been away from this space for a year now. I also haven't been reading fiction, science, and philosophy books lately. My list of recent books are very far from what I had been reading until last year. Nowadays, I'm consumed by something else. Here are the last books I have read, most recent first:

Bankable Business Plans - by Edward Rogoff (almost finished now)
The Soul Of The Corporation - by Bouchikhi & Kimberly
Financial Statements, A Step By Step Guide... - by Thomas Ittelson
Financial Intelligence For Entrepreneurs - by Berman & Knight
Fooled By Randomness - by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
The Selfish Gene - by Richard Dawkins (first 3 chapters only)
Inside The Black Box - by Rishi Narang
Optimal Trading Strategies - by Kissel & Glantz
Game Theory, A Very Short Introduction - by Ken Binmore
Value Above Cost - by Donald Sexton

What I noticed is that I haven't slowed down reading - I have read all of them in the last two months - but my interest had changed significantly though I'd like to go back to reading more of the philosophy/fiction/science books. Three of the books above are about things related to my work (Narang, Binmore, Kissel & Glantz), the others except Dawkins (which I dropped for the meantime) are for general financial knowledge or related to business & branding. The Dawkins book is somewhat related to the Binmore book on game theory though they deal in different areas of knowledge. I don't have books on queue so I may finally go back to Dawkins.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Weird Day

Something unusual happened today. Two things really and that made the day unusual as a whole. Well, some things happen that are not usual but recently, nothing much out of the ordinary has been happening because my daily routine has become very predictable, with me being out of work. I got invited by one of my job agents with whom I had been communicating by phone and email a lot, to finally meet in person and have lunch together "to put a face to the name" so to speak. I went to Shibuya to meet him in front of 109. We went to this Italian restaurant since I had been to his first choice of restaurant twice before. (The Tokyo Brights used to meet there which I had attended on a few occasions.) As we were talking about life and the small things we never talk about on business calls, the order seemed to had been forgotten so we followed up with the waitress. I could tell my agent was irritated, he asked for the manager but there was no manager. The waitress was very apologetic and was really trying very hard to speak in English and offered us to take have salad bar for free. When we were paying, they refused our payment so our meal was free and the while staff floor was really very apologetic. I felt sorry for the waitress. I wasn't very hungry. I had breakfast at ten. My pasta turned out to be okay, seafood in basil sauce.

On my way home, I discovered I lost my 10,000 yen bill I put in my back pocket earlier. Something that hasn't happened to me before. I never put bills in my back pocket and I never lost any money since I've been to Tokyo more than nine years ago. I put it in my back pocket because I was in a hurry for my lunch appointment and my wallet was inside my bag. I was in Shibuya Hachiko crossing at exactly 12 noon, the appointed time (the beauty of the train system here), and met up with the agent 5 minutes later. I knew when I put it there that there would be a big chance of losing it but somehow I banished the thought. I was thinking I'd buy a good quality Japan-made, half face, motorcycle helmet with it on my way home - if I can find one within that budget. I guess buying the helmet is postponed for another day.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wanna get rich?

In the past few months, I have encountered quite a few threads in the various forums I participate in including the two mailing lists for Pinoy Atheists and Filipino Freethinkers. These alleged financial coaches/advisers/gurus ask questions like Is a real estate property an asset or a liability? or Is buying and selling of stocks investing? As I see these financial gurus or coaches invade the various online forums making such silly questions, my SCAM meter started to move to the right. Eventually, these guys will make a pitch to find out the answer by going to another website. Or at times, they'd ask you to read Robert Kiyosaki, the inspiration guru himself. Say who? So now I am trying to get hold of one of his book which I found out has been consistently at the top of the NY Times bestseller list. What is this book about? I have heard it a few times already before this whole thing seemed to have suddenly exploded among the Pinoy. 2 million copies sold in the US alone! I checked Amazon to read the 1-star rating and most of the reviewers who gave 1-star are fairly consistent about what think the book is about. I'll write about this more as I gather more information.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Back to Work

I'm back to work at least on this sorry space - my blog needs a lot of love from me. I lost my real job last December the day before I was really supposed to take my annual year-end vacation. So while in Manila, I extended my vacation by a week. It's the busiest Pinas vacation I have had so far, ironically, but for a reason. I have been putting the foundation to my cushion catch-net. Since I came back from that vacation I haven't found a new job yet although I have had interviews. It's as if the job market here has ground to a halt. Officially, my last day on the payroll was three months later after I received my termination. I was told that it is a legal requirement in Japan and I find it very favorable to the workers. So that means, even though I lost my job in December, I really lost it in March. During this time, I have to heed the lesson of free market capitalism to re-tool but I choose to just re-sharpening my skills since I decided to stay within the same job description for my next work, whether it be here or elsewhere. I have been reading books that are mostly technical with the exception of a book on the Enlightenment (I'll write about this later) and a book on marketing. My fallback is that, if within two more months (conditional to my application for temporary visitor visa being granted) and still no job here, I'll be executing my "Exit Japan" and "Hello Laguna" plans simultaneously. The marketing book is for the "Hello Laguna" plan where I'll most likely be spending my time looking after a business I have been putting up, the reason I was always busy on my vacations. Sounds like not finding a job here is the perfect excuse to be in Laguna longer and longer if only I can afford not to have a steady income for a year or so. There is no point staying here longer than six months without a source of income as savings dwindle faster than anywhere else. The only regret I'll have if finally I have to leave is that the things I have spent years accumulating here, things I really like, I may have to throw away as the cost of shipping them to Manila is very prohibitive not to mention how our customs officials do their work. (I have first hand experience on how they can be so makapal ang mukha.) These big item things have only sentimental value for me but they cannot be sold here anymore even at a discount except for a few items and yet throwing them away also entails paying for their disposal. Looking ahead, l have to hurdle one result still pending with the immigration bureau regarding my visa extension. After that, the only remaining issue is the job itself but whether I get one or not doesn't matter much now as I have already prepared for my exit with my parachute. I hope it will work. Its success depends squarely on how much I can commit to it. Needless to say, I am determined and convinced I can make it work within a reasonable time. Let's see.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Atheism is a religion in the guise of science?

Somebody commented in the Darwin Day 2009 post about me supposedly as "really zealous in being a member of the religion called "atheism" in the guise of science" and that he would just pray that blah blah blah. Here is another example of somebody who just doesn't get it. I replied to him that "atheism is not a religion nor is science" and that "everybody, including theists appreciate science." He wants to see atheists who happens to love science as having a religion called science which is actually atheism. At first I thought he was being funny but he was not. He was just being irrational. He has deceived himself with mixing obviously different things. If he can just do an honest inquiry into this reasoning anomaly, he can surely find out what is religion and what is science and what their basic differences are. Religion oftentimes, and this is specially true to the Christian religion with which he is subscribed to, will ignore science if that is what's needed in order to keep its truths. Science on the other hand is concerned about reality and how it operates, (and if I may add just to be in context) REGARDLESS of religious truths. Scientific truths are not absolute and may one day be overturned by new discoveries. They operate quite differently when it comes to finding out the truth. For example, many truths in Christianity usually come from some near absolute if not absolute source of authority like the pope or the bible while truths in science doesn't hold such authorities to high esteem. What is important in science is that these hypotheses be testable/verifiable and falsifiable. So it may be that this indifference of science to religious truths is at the bottom of his assertion? And then there is the atheism being a religion. Well as they said, only if being bald is called a hairstyle. This so very cliche now: atheism is the lack of belief in gods. Although there are religions that are atheistic in that they don't have gods (so I heard but I myself don't know), if by religion he meant believing in something, and making this object of belief an object of worship, then atheism having no belief on gods obviously doesn't have anything to function as an object of worship. So he must be saying that instead of god, I believe in science, and am a devout believer of it to the point of worship? Now, "devout" is a religious word that has no place in science and I think this gives him away. He may be wishing that atheists in general must believe in something in place of their gods, in my case I am devout about atheism or science, only to reassure himself that we, despite of the opposing position about god, are actually in the same boat. That atheists are religionists too. No, sir. Thank you. My atheism is about being free from your religion (of Christianity). I don't wish to replace it with another crap.