Chia Ti Lik’s Blog

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The cost [cause] and effect of taking up positions :)

Previously, I gave up all my extremely exotic and capable Krell amplifiers, Onkyo and Sony CD players in my switch to Naim Electronics. I chose Naim because it made music and its designs suited my lifestyle. I declared Naim to be the world’s finest and I dived headlong into Naimophilia.

I have a 700-CD collection which I thought I would listen to till i grow old and with that I allowed my Naim obsession to get out of hand – ending up with a stable of 3 Naim CD Players, a myriad of Naim amplifiers, 2 pairs [at one stage i had 4 pairs] of Naim speakers amongst others. 🙂

Then something happened recently which led me to conclude that my dream system of Active Six-Pack Naim Nap135s into DBLs would never materialise, I then was forced to decide what to do with an electronic crossover and 6 amplifiers and other surplus equipment of varying value and purposes lying idle and gathering dust.

As the elections were drawing nearer, I toyed with the idea of selling my surplus and idle equipment for spare cash. I started first with my Naim CD Players. They were chosen to go first because I knew that they were sought after and were likely to find quick buyers. Indeed, the buyers came and went very quickly before i realised, i had committed to sell all my 3 players. I had kept my CD players without expecting to sell them. however, strangely when I had committed to sell them, I began to think of selling almost everything else.

This was because Naim equipment uses proprietary connectors and cables and I took positions when I acquired them. Things were markedly different when i decided to sell off my front end which was akin to cutting off the rose at the bud or taking one wheel out of a 2 wheel cart. Though I could have substituted a replacement, the situation would not have been ideal.

I then realised that when things are so intimately connected, any decision made would have a certain domino effect. As I take make changes with my equipment front end, the limitations of a new combination forces further consequential changes and I am forced to relinquishing of equipment and find a new position and balance. The positions and steps which i took earlier led me to have to take the current positions now. 🙂 Alot poorer in fact.

Interestingly, inasmuch as I thought I would have loved to hold on to my beloved equipment, I felt a certain liberation from being relieved of their ownership and possession. This itself also proves that taking positions itself is not a bad thing. 🙂 even though sometimes I may sound as if I am coerced to do so and losing money in the process  –  it is actually part of growth. 🙂

When we take a position in politics, it means that we take a stand. Doing so connotes the idea that you wish to communicate a message. This must not be confused with the idea of being principled [which is also good] with regards to one’s position, which stems more from having an ideological standpoint.

In short, taking a position is taking a stand as a matter of choice at a certain point of time irregardless of circumstances, conditions and beliefs.

Taking positions allows others to know my stand and whom I am supportive of. 🙂

There are two schools of thought here.

Some believe that fence-sitting in life and politics may be the way to go – of being here and also being there, of not being here and also not being there.

Some others believe that standpoints and positions cannot be compromised and therefore simply they choose to make their stand.

To the first group, the second group may seem opinionated but the latter’s position is clear and good because at least it helps others know where they stand.

The only drawback of taking positions will be that it forces your opponents to react, and from the reaction of your opponents, there would be consequences (which is neither good or bad) flowing from the position that one is taking.

Position taking also has a place in military jargon. Taking positions mean assuming tactical, strategic, logistical or geographical and even political positions. The concept of taking a position militarily connotes determination and will. Since young, I have always been drawn and inspired by the displays of military determination [as opposed to military strength] to take/hold a position the images conjured by the call to “dig in” and “fix bayonets” or “charge”. The steely determination conveyed by such jargon perfectly epitomises the concept of taking up positions.

Back to my own life, another reason for the disappearance of fixation on equipment is due to SNSD. For the benefit of the readers who did not follow my earlier posts, SNSD is the acronym for So Nyuh Shi Dae / Girls’ Generation. In my view, they are the best girl band to have ever walked the face of this earth. SNSD is also made up of nine members: TaeYeon, Jessica, Tiffany, SeoHyun, HyoYeon, Yuri, Sunny, SooYoung and Yoona.

My SNSD obsession started when i seriously simplified my life recently. Inherent in simplification is actually letting go. Letting go of many things allowed me to better appreciate life and things in life for what they are.

For the first time in many many years, SNSD allowed me to take my attention away from the details of the reproduction. I stopped wondering whether the kickdrum sounded real and whether the trumpet sounded natural. I simply found myself sitting down to enjoy the music.

It was also around this time that I also took another stand. I managed to conclude that the equipment should help you enjoy and not detract you from the music.

This occurred around the time of my birthday. It was also coincidental that during this time, tensions on the Korean Peninsula were raised. With the sinking of the corvette Cheonan still fresh in people’s minds, North Korean artillery shelled YeonPyeong Island in yet another unprovoked attack. South Korean artillery returned fire in an exchange that would likely go down in history to be the 3rd battle of YeonPyeong. [Anyone can Wiki the 1st and 2nd Battles of YeonPyeong]

From various reports, both military and civilians in South Korea seem united in their determination to have their government show a firmer response to the North. Retired / Veteran special forces personnel demonstrated asking for firmer action. The ROK’s generals have also expressed support for firm action. Public sentiment seems to be supportive of war with the North if required. It is clear that the South Korean people want their government to take a firm stand against North Korea.

South Korea was forced to take a stand in 1950. The Americans sided them and even went to war. I recall watching one movie depicting the lives of pilots in a USAF fighter Wing serving in Korea flying F-86 Sabres battling Soviet / North Korean Mig-15s over the skies of Korea in a tale of courage and sacrifice.

This time round, though the United States deployed CVN-73 USS George Washington for joint military drills with the South Korea, it remains to be seen whether the USA with all its internal problems would take a firm position in the possible impending Korean conflict or did it merely rattle its sabre.

South Korea, after completing the joint exercises with US, continued with its own military exercises and deployments to the front line. South Korean President Lee Myung Bak has warned of serious consequences for the North Koreans and that reunification is near. This hints of South Korea’s intention to go the war alone if need be.

Pundits differ on whether or not an all out war will break out on the Korean Peninsula. My evaluation is that an all out war started by the North is unlikely. I would even go to say that an all out war is unlikely but if it occurs would be started by the South [by massive retaliation for further provocations] and this would only happen when certain indications appear.

Firstly, North Korea’s intent in the unprovoked shelling is obviously intended to raise tensions and rhetoric aimed at propping up a collapsing regime in the run up to the Father to Son succession.

Secondly, North Korea does not have the ability to mount a full scale invasion across the DMZ. North Korea does not have potent air power. Unless a surprise attack is made via succesful tunneling under the demilitarized zone, North Korean infantry crossing the DMZ will be cut down like grass before a grass-cutter’s blade and if they do get to the South Korean side of the DMZ they have to face and overcome elite South Korean Border Guards, each a black belter in Taekwondo.

Thirdly, South Korea is peace loving and tends towards restraint and would certainly not be the one to fire the first shot.

Therefore, the scenario likely cause for war would be when the North, sensing the South’s reluctance to foot the heavy cost of human lives of an all out war, might choose to push its luck with further provocations. An all out war will only come when the South decides to punish the North in retaliation for such further provocations.

However, South Korea will not go to war as yet because certain elements which indicate galvanising of national resolve to fight are not apparent yet. This is because despite all the rhetoric there has not yet been any clear call for war.

To me, the clear sign for imminent war would be when SNSD’s concerts are cancelled [for no apparent reason whatsover as opposed to reasons like Tiffany’s ligament injury or Taiwan’s spat with Korea over the Taekwondo refereeing] and SNSD begins to make appearances in ROK’s military bases to cheer and encourage their servicemen.  🙂 If and when that happens, Kim Jong Il will have reason to be afraid, be very afraid. 🙂 🙂

In the event a Korean conflict breaks out. My stand is firmly for South Korea, ROK.

In my view, the South Koreans deserve a pat on the back and support for punching well above their weight as a nation, be it in sports, economically, technologically, socially, politically and culturally they have excelled against many other countries in stark contrast with the North simply on the very reason that theirs is a society that thrives because it is a democracy. AND Democracy did not come to South Koreans simply served on a platter, they as a society and a nation paid a price for it [An example was the Kwangju Uprising – wiki this].

Inasmuch as democracy should be sought despite the costs involved, democracy when achieved must be defended at all costs.

In fact, if I had any say, I would even despatch our F-15s to South Korea to see action if need be. Interestingly, this is also a politically correct position since our current ruling party is friendly with the North Koreans and I am in the opposition so I have to be friendly with the South. 🙂

Taking up clear positions is in line with being transparent and on top of being true to yourself. I will take positions when the situation calls for it irrespective of the costs and consequences of doing so as the satisfaction, growth and lessons learnt will in any event be priceless.

However, war mongering and belligerence aside, despite the positions I have communicated, I would venture to suggest a more intelligent way to break up North Korea.

North Korea despite its reclusion, has its cracks and weaknesses. A recent report revealed that North Korea has imprisoned more than a thousand of its own people for possessing or imitating South Korean pop culture.

South Korean pop culture is the fruit of a free society which is a by-product of a true democracy.

The actions of the Kim Jong Il regime in imprisoning their people for admiring the South betray their fears that South Korean pop culture is indeed an undesireable influence and a threat to their continued hold on power.

To break the Kim Jong Il regime from within, you need to bring democracy to North Korea.

To bring democracy to North Korea, you need to bring a thirst for democracy to the North Koreans.

To bring a thirst for democracy to North Koreans, the best weapon to do so is not with bullets and shells.

What the South needs to deliver to the North is to show to the North Koreans that their political and economic set up and their ruling party will never be able to facilitate or produce i.e. a culture worth being proud of.

If i were Lee Myung Bak, I would make the following orders for the counterstrike:

1. Request American assistance in the form of adequate Patriot Missile Defence Systems to be deployed;

2. Request American assistance in the form of a Tomahawk cruise missile strike package to be deployed;

3. Take out North Korean long range artillery, air power, air defences, nuclear facilities and sites in conjunction with several rounds of precision air strikes by Tomahawks, Stealth fighters and bombers;

4. Air drop Korean Pop culture [especially SNSD] vcds all over North Korea.

5. Beef up defences all around but Broadcast Korean Pop culture [especially SNSD] songs over to the North Korean border guards at the demilitarised zone. 🙂 🙂

How the North Koreans will react to the invasion by South Korean pop culture is anybody’s guess but what I am certain is that the delivery of a glimpse of what a free society may bring will precipitate very quickly the cause and effect of the actions of a regime that has closed off a society for decades with their warped ideas.

Seeding North Korea on such a scale would cost millions of dollars or billions of won. This, however, pales in comparison with the cost of human lives and infrastructure damage should an all out war occur. Therefore, the cost [cause] and effect of such a move will definitely be promising. 🙂 🙂


December 12, 2010 - Posted by | audiophilia, Life, Politics, So Nyuh Shi Dae - Girls' Generation

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