just another rakyat

English + 中文。Made in Malaysia 🇲🇾

Dah bertahun aku buat iklan festive di Malaysia, saya benar-benar dapat melihat:

Tak kira Raya ke, Krismas ke, CNY ke, Deepavali ke, Kaamatan ke, melayu ke, cina ke, india ke, orang Borneo ke

Kita semua semangat gila nak balik ke kampung, kita semua kena ucap manis manis,

Kita semua risau kena tembak soalan panas dari makcik-pakcik, semua nak makan sedap-sedap tapi takut lepas tu tubuh melebar,

Semua cuba rapatkan jurang antara generasi, cuba cari titik manis antara tradisi kita dengan dunia moden,

Semua nak pakai baju baru, nak snap gambar cantik-cantik,

Dan, malangnya, semua masih harapkan orang perempuan je yang sibuk masak-masak…

Malah banyak adat kita adalah saling salin tampal saja. Orang Melayu sekarang pun dah bagi ang pow, orang India pun dah main mercun, kita semua ziarah-menziarah tak kira bangsa dengan agama.

Kita ni sama je, manusia biasa. Semua ada baik buruk masing-masing.

Tapi pada masa yang sama, kita semua mencari keamanan dan kegembiraan, semua berusaha sebaik mungkin untuk memberi dan menerima kasih sayang, semua mencari alasan untuk meraikan kehidupan dalam dunia yang tak sempurna ini.

Selamat Hari Raya. Di musim ceria ni, mari kita singkirkan segala prasangka dan bersama-sama menyambut keindahan pelbagai warna kehidupan manusia dengan hati terbuka.









我們都一樣,人都一樣。 我們都有灰暗的人性,有不完美的一面,


Selamat Hari Raya,在這節日與以後所有的節日,讓我們都放下成見,一起慶祝人生百味吧。

A crudely drawn comic strip consisting of two frames. The first frame shows a couple admiring some Ancient Greek sculptures in a museum, with the woman exclaiming “what elegant art from the ancients”. The second frame shows a couple in Ancient Greece, looking at the same sculptures that are now dressed in flamboyant Ancient Greek costume. It turns out the sculptures were mannequins used in a clothing shop. The woman exclaims “I’m gonna look lit in that dress”. Art by rakyatbiasa_91. All rights reserved.

Lila was dead.

She gazed at herself lying on the hospital bed, a frail figure surrounded by machines and tubes. Knowing what would come next, she closed her eyes and let go.

She opened them again and found herself in a beautiful garden. A man in white robes was waiting for her.

Welcome, Lila, he said. You have arrived in Heaven.

She shrugged and looked away. I suppose I have, she said, but it wasn’t easy. I had to make some tough choices. I tried to be decent. I did what was right… most of the time, anyway.

Yes, you did, the angelic figure said. And you are rewarded for your deeds. Come, let me show you around.

He took her by the hand and led her to a large palatial complex with marble columns and golden domes.

This is where you will live, he said as he opened the door and ushered her inside. Don’t be shy, Lila. You earned this.

He showed her a spacious room with massive bookshelves full of books about everything that she’d always wanted to know and which she’d always known to be right. A crystal ball in the middle of the room glowed reassuringly, projecting rousing images of the arc of justice coming into final fruition. A faint choir rose in the background and enveloped them in peace.

This is amazing. Thank you so much.

You're welcome. But there is more. Come, let me introduce you to the other residents.

He took her to a large hall, where a crowd of people was gathered. They were all smiling and talking, laughing and joking. They looked happy and content.

Hello, good people. This is Lila. She just arrived today. She is one of us.

One of us! One of us! They sang in unison. Hello, Lila. Welcome to Heaven.

They smothered her with hugs, kisses, and handshakes. They applauded and praised her for being so good, so kind, and so righteous. And they couldn't wait to share their own stories of goodness, kindness, and righteousness.

At last, at last. Now she was among her kindred spirits, her chosen family. They were all like her. They were all right.

She spent the next few days getting to know them better. Together, they bore witness to evil's defeat in the crystal ball. Together, they laughed at the bigots who got all that they deserved. Together, they bonded over their favourite books and movies. It was perfect.

Until it wasn't.

It all started with gentle corrections, pointing out her flaws and errors. They said they wanted to help her improve, to make her better. She listened, she nodded, and she thanked them graciously.

Then it continued with harsh criticisms, exposing her faults and failures. They said they needed to make her see the truth, to make her change. She argued, she defended herself, and she resisted their hurtful words.

It cumulated in angry accusations, attacking her character and motives. They said they had to expose her for what she was, to make her pay. She fought, she screamed, and she cried.

You are not one of us.

She realized they were not perfect either. They had problems, secrets, and lies. She wondered how they got to Heaven. They made no sense to her.

How could they think that way? How could they be so… wrong?


She wielded every weapon in her arsenal – logic, reason, evidence, authority. And when those failed, she switched to force, anger, sarcasm, insults. But they fought back with the same tactics, matching her blow for blow.

Heaven burned in disappointment as the Tower of Babel arose. Everyone shouted with fury and no one listened to her.

How could they be so stubborn? How could they be so blind? How could they be so stupid?

She hated them. She hated them all.

It was misery.

She ran back to her room, threw away the books and cried for days.

Then she got up, opened the door and ran to the hall. The man in white robes smiled and waved.

Lila, oh dear Lila. Where are you going?

Get away from me, she snapped. I hate these people. I’d rather be in Hell.

When he finally managed to control his laughter again, he stared at her with a devilish amusement.

Congrats! Looks like you’re not as blind as the rest.

For the first time ever in her existence, she desperately wished that her suspicions were wrong.

What do you mean? she pleaded. This is Heaven. You said this was Heaven.

No no no no no. We lied to you. We lied to them all, so they would keep arguing with each other. Only when they realize the futility of arguing will they gain a chance to leave this Hell of their own making.

He laughed until he cried.

Welcome, Lila, he said. Hell is other people.

Last February, OpenAI founder Sam Altman claimed that he could “imagine ways” that ChatGPT could “break capitalism”. Wow, that would be awesome. Time for us to enjoy our universal basic incomes while our robot slaves do all the tedious work for us!

Sadly, as of now, ChatGPT and other so-called “AI” tools have only helped the capitalists—like bosses who use “replacing you with AI” as a threat against workers who complain about their growing workload and low pay. In fact, I’d go as far as say that AI technology is what will keep capitalism alive (and throw the rest of us under the bus in the process).

Our bosses have been too nice. Capitalism has been too nice. It’s time to take away the goodies and make the world feudal again!

Here’s how and why this is happening.

  1. Capitalism relies on exploiting inequality to maximize profits and efficiency through cheap labor.

  2. However, capitalism also allows some people to climb the social ladder and improve their living standards. (This is, no matter how you feel about capitalism, a very real benefit but also ultimately self-defeating.)

  3. As the middle class grows, so does the rise of white-collared bullshit jobs. Many of these jobs are unnecessary or unfulfilling, but provide employment and income.

  4. There is more than enough wealth for everyone, but to maintain the illusion of meritocracy and justify the extreme wealth, career “progress” is necessary for accessing a better standard of living.

  5. You can’t just design stuff and be able to afford a house in the city, you need to progress into a managerial role.

  6. This undermines the efficiency of capitalism, which depends on cheap and abundant labor. To be more cost-efficient, factories must move from the US to China and then to South & Southeast Asia. Capitalism’s big unintentional benefit becomes self-defeating.

  7. To restore the balance, capitalism needs to eliminate white-collared jobs, undo the wealth sharing and create more inequality.

  8. The latest developments in “AI” are a tool for achieving this goal. They are designed to reduce dependence on white-collar workers, and it does to some degree of success, but...

  9. Many white-collar management class have secured their positions and status by creating an illusion of value and importance. They are good at defending their interests and privileges. Meanwhile...

  10. Artists, creators, and other cultural workers are seen as beneficiaries of the wealth and innovation generated by the technological elite, making them easy targets for resentment and blame.

  11. You can see this resentment in much of our cultural discourse. People who believe that they deserve to be elites because they have a strong opinion on text editors are gleeful that they can “liberate” art from the hands of those with a strong opinion on artistic tools.

  12. Moreover, their “ungrateful” role as critics and challengers of power and technology makes them enemies of the technological elite, who see themselves as the true creators of wealth, and convenient scapegoats for the self-important management class who are deeply insecure about their positions of privilege.

And so, here we are. Is there a way out? Perhaps Sam Altman’s “imagined ways” are feasible. Perhaps capitalism’s addiction to cheap labor exists because society is too unequal for capitalists not to exploit vulnerable human beings. Perhaps human labor should never be cheaper than robots. Perhaps we have enough resources to provide a social safety net for all. Perhaps a higher income for all means that everyone gets a better job while technology finally makes good on its promise of eliminating menial jobs and increasing productivity.

All this is theoretical, but if we never try, we’ll never know. It’s time for voters to vote for governments who are smart enough to think about hard problems like what’s next for capitalism and tackle them face-on, instead of taking the easy route of pandering to the managerial class.

Capitalism is broken, and everyone is scrambling fix it. Will the bosses fix it first, and make themselves Gods of this world, forever out-of-reach for the rest of us? Or will we fix it by shattering the illusion of meritocracy and scarcity, so that we can start working towards a more equal world for all?

The world is changing. How it’ll change is up to us.

All it takes for a society to become intolerant is for the “moderate” majority to not mind what a tiny intolerant minority demands.

If you have ever felt that

I don’t like it but it doesn’t affect me

or worse

I don’t want to look like the intolerant guy, so I’m secretly happy that the intolerant bunch is doing the dirty work of making the environment more favorable for me

Then you are part of the problem.

Plenty of digital ink has been spilled over Apple’s implementation of Stage Manager on the iPad and the Mac, and much of it has been either mixed or downright negative. While improvements have since been made and Stage Manager eventually won over some former critics, a subset of iPad power users continues to yearn for a Mac-like multitasking experience (though fundamental differences between the Mac and the iPad mean that this “simple” solution is a lot easier said than done).

Personally, I’m not exactly an iPad power user (though I use an iPad as my only “laptop”alongside my work-assigned Windows computer). Maybe that’s why I don’t care about the multitasking aspect of Stage Manager.

What I do like is when I activate Stage Manager on my 12.9-inch iPad, apps and windows aren’t confined to full-screen mode. Not every app benefits from a full-screen interface on a 12.9-inch screen, and Stage Manager permits apps like iMessage to use only as much screen estate as they need instead of being awkwardly stretched out (while still allowing full-screen for apps that benefit from generous screen estate).

But I digress.

Not your favorite manager

The point is, despite enabling Stage Manager on my iPad, I pretty much ignore the strip of recent windows on the left of my screen. I often rotate quickly between dozens of apps and windows and whatever relevant set (workspace containing multiple windows) I have been working on disappears from the strip because it only shows a few recent windows or sets at a time.

The easy solution to this, IMO, will be allowing users to pin certain sets/windows to the top of the strip, but this demands more proactive windows management from the user. There is, IMHO, a much better way.

Too many managers

My other gripe with Stage Manager is how it adds to an already messy pile of iPadOS multitasking methods that conceptually clash and result in unnecessary cognitive weight. Right now, it feels… almost as clunky as the Mac, maybe more so. The iPad is supposed to be the simple and lightweight alternative!

Yes, a casual user may just stick to full-screen mode forever and only occasionally accidentally summon Split View or Slide Over and be extremely confused. But for a iPadOS power user, every attempt at multitasking becomes a cognitively taxing moment of decision making as one figures out whether they want to type ⌘-Tab, 🌐-↑ for App Switcher, access Stage Manager’s strip, tap on the three dots on top of the current window to add another window, or just ⌘-H and tap on an app icon.

That’s… very far from ideal. I suppose that Apple is throwing everything at the wall and see what sticks, and will eliminate some of these options later on.

A modest proposal

Here’s what I think they should eliminate, and how they should consolidate whatever’s left into a relatively simple, elegant, and functional multitasking interface.

All it takes are a couple of simple design tweaks without changing anything about iPad app management!

The roaring twenty… eleven

When Apple introduced Mission Control on OS X Lion, it effectively consolidated Exposé, Dashboard, and spaces into one multitasking interface.

I’m sure not everyone loved it at first but as a whole, it was an instant improvement over the messy bunch of separate and disparate user interfaces that users had to discover on their own and choose between whenever they multitask. As John Siracusa wrote in his OS X Lion review for Ars Technica,

“As big a step down as this is from the much more flexible grid arrangement of Spaces in earlier versions of Mac OS X, the new limitations are probably a good idea. The new behavior of full-screen windows and the surprisingly natural-feeling four-finger swipes used to switch between them and enter Mission Control means that many more Mac users will likely find themselves using these new features than ever used the combination of Exposé and Spaces in earlier versions of the OS.”

One can argue that the App Switcher on iPadOS is the closest equivalent of Mission Control on the Mac: it shows all your open apps and even displays sets that you’ve set up via Stage Manager.

A more civilized age

Unlike Mission Control, though, instead of a handful of “open” apps that you can quickly choose between, the App Switcher displays an infinite scroll of app windows based on how recently you’ve used them.

This is inevitable, as apps/multitasking are handled very differently on the iPad. The user is not supposed to think about which apps are open or closed. Having the user actively manage which apps are open and which apps are not are the norm on macOS (though Apple did try to phase it out with OS X Lion and later chickened out) feels as antiquated as having to type ⌘-S to save a document’s current state. With more powerful chips, an iPad Pro could theoretically keep so many apps open in the background that all apps are technically open (I know we’re very far from that reality, but it’s the ideal that Apple appears to be working towards.)

I mostly understand why Stage Manager is designed the way it is. There are only so many ways to reconcile how iPadOS handles apps and the user’s need to have multiple windows appear on the screen at the same time. Sets are a good and obvious way to implement multi-window workspaces without throwing iPadOS’s more modern application management out of the window. With this in mind, if we try to redesign multitasking on the iPad, we’ll probably inevitably end up with something very similar to Stage Manager’s sets.

Having multiple windows open on the screen at the same time is essential for productivity, and sets is something I think any new iPad multitasking paradigm should fully embrace.

Switching things up a little

I’m also convinced that iPadOS’s App Switcher is a pretty solid foundation for our consolidated iPad multitasking design.

My main gripe with App Switcher is how unintuitive and inefficient it is to invoke it with a keyboard shortcut or through trackpad/multitouch gestures. 🌐-↑ isn’t as easy to remember and use as ⌘-Tab or ⌘-H, while a three-finger swipe up via the on-screen Home Bar or trackpad takes you back to the Home Screen instead of App Switcher, unless you pause mid-gesture which makes it a lot less efficient and a lot more time-consuming than invoking Mission Control on the Mac.

A more intuitive keyboard shortcut and a more efficient gesture might not sound like much, but it will make a big difference in making the iPad feel as efficient as the Mac. I feel that the three-finger trackpad swipe should invoke Mission Control instead of the Home Screen. Just swipe on the Home Bar or spread your fingers on the Trackpad if you want to go to the Home Screen, exactly the same was as you show the Desktop on the Mac. More efficiency, more consistency between platforms.

So now that we’ve made the App Switcher easier and more intuitive to invoke, let us try to consolidate Stage Manager into the App Switcher while making sets a whole lot more useful, shall we?

Sets are the new spaces

You know how on the Mac, Mission Control displays a horizontal row of spaces at the top? Since there’s no spaces on the iPad, I propose that we use the same horizontal strip to display sets in our new multitasking view.

After all, sets are essentially the iPad equivalent of spaces. Both are workspaces containing a set of open windows, if you think about it.

As I have explained, the current biggest issue with sets is how they are often hidden in both Stage Manager and the current App Switcher. With this new design, all existing sets that the user has created are displayed as a row above the App Switcher. Yes, this means that the user may have to scroll a bit if she created 20 sets, but if Mission Control is good enough to manage most Mac users’ number of spaces, it should be good enough to manage most iPad users’ number of sets.

So… that’s my simple (and boring) proposal! The current App Switcher remains essentially unchanged, but updated with a strip at the top to display all multi-window workspaces (sets). This way, sets are now no longer drowned out by a bunch of recent windows within the App Switcher.

Best of all, now there’s a conceptual consistency and familiarity that is portable between the Mac, the iPad, and a hypothetical future iPhone with an expandable screen.

Cleaning it all up

What about Stage Manager?

It has its advantages, like how it is always displayed on the left side of the screen when you’re within a non-fullscreen window. There’s no need to invoke it with obscure gestures or keyboard shortcuts and that might be great for less tech-savvy users. Some people apparently love it on the Mac because it simplifies windows management. Perhaps Apple should keep Stage Manager around as an option for Mac users, though I don’t care about it.

But on the iPad, it’s a visual and conceptual mess. No need for Stage Manager when you can just invoke Mission Control, I mean the App Switcher, to access all recent apps and sets. Split View & Slide Over should be dumped into a garbage bin and set on fire. No need to make the iPad more complicated than the Mac.

Back to the iPad

Heck, while I’m partial to re-branding the updated App Switcher as Mission Control for iPad, Apple can just decide to call it Stage Manager — though I’d argue that Mission Control sounds a lot more empowering as it highlights how the user stays fully in control instead of outsourcing her window management to a Stage Manager, but that’s just my copywriter brain speaking.

It is only fitting that the iPad should learn from a feature introduced in OS X Lion, the version of macOS that started the whole trend of bringing iPad features “back to the Mac” twelve years ago. The iPad is already plenty powerful despite its simplicity. It’s long past time for Apple to let iPad users feel powerful as well.






還有啊,誰說在歐美國家人們就不吃內臟?香腸不就是下水和雜碎做的嗎?大馬華裔當成經濟午餐的午餐肉,不也是從洋人發明的嗎?説洋人不吃內臟的人,只不過是暴露了自己的無知。冰島人從羊頭吃到睪丸,甚至為了蛋白質,連有毒的格林蘭鯊魚也埋進土裡等腐爛發酵了再吃,美國人也把牛的睪丸拿來炸,稱之為 Rocky Mountain Oysters,華人吃這些嗎?






When I was a kid, I was very close with a Malay girl living right next door. Her parents were approving of our friendship and told her, you see your Chinese neighbour learned to speak Malay, shouldn’t you also be learning to speak Chinese?

Much, much later on, I learnt from my parents that my childhood playmate’s parents were in fact shunned and harassed by the other Malay neighbours for being “too liberal” and “not religious enough”. (They moved away after a few years.)

Some things never really changed.

Staring blankly at a screen Heck, I don’t even know what language am I supposed to blog in. I’ve thought long and hard about this and... I haven’t made up my mind. On a practical level, there are pros and cons to writing in either English or Chinese. But more fundamentally, I don’t even know which language I’m more comfortable with. I’m a 兩棲動物, an amphibian, stranded between worlds.

There’s value to bridging different worlds, but I don’t know how to do it either.

I think I’m too much bogged down by my past. I need to convince myself that my opinion article writing days are long over. I suppose I need to start fresh. At a few points in my life I stopped drawing and painting for months and years, and by the time I start drawing again, I was able to reinvent my style, untethered from what worked in the past.

So now I’m trying to find new directions. This will take a while.

What should I write about?

I’m convinced that there is too much serious stuff written out there. Everyone has hot takes for everything. And in between all the shouty opinions, the delicious nuances of life faded away.

There is plenty of value in blogging about one’s personal life and inner thoughts. But my life is pretty mundane. It has to be mundane, because with severe anxiety affecting every facet of my life, I grasp eagerly at mundane moments that to me feels like relief. But that does not make for an interesting life that people might be interested in reading about. (No, I don’t think my anxiety is something I want to write about.)

What about my hobbies? Maybe, at some future point. Right now, while I’m pretty crazy about my houseplants, I have limited space to experiment with. Maybe at some future point, when I’ve space and money for fancy setups and exotic plants and experimentation, I’ll relook into this.

Maybe I’m looking at this all wrong. Everything must start with the why, before thinking about the how.

Why am I writing?

I’ve found that writing is a fantastic way to help me think. It clarifies thought through articulation. Without frequent writing, your mind becomes a muddled mess of barely-formed thoughts and unanchored opinions. Writing is a virtuous process that helps your thoughts become more interesting, which in turn results in more interesting writing, and as a side benefit it also makes you more interesting to talk to.

I guess that there is no other way. If I want to write interesting things...

I need to start writing. About anything. Maybe about everything. Finding my niche and audience can come later.

So. Where do we start?

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