Saturday, September 9, 2017

Random thoughts: Of Swordplay, Pedagogy and Investment

What does these have in similar? 

They have many forms, but at its core and substance, more will converge, and there is a return to basic.

One of my favourite swordplay movie, 《蕭十三郎的劍》,about 2 top martial art experts, sharing their essence of skill before duet. The essence of one is "flow and change" and the essence of the other is "basic" yet killing moves.

It's a fun and insightful show. The one with basic moves wins. I makes me think a lot about teaching. There is so many pedagogies, ICT-infused lesson, collaborative learning, inquiry-based learning, game-based learning etc. All flavors of the month before. 

Martial Art is to "kill" otherwise it becomes a performance. Pedagogies is to let people "learn better" otherwise it become a "show"

Different pedagogies has different requirements and different entry points and different resources required. But I realise when u go to the basic (pupil) and adapt according their needs (flow and change) a lot of things converge. The essence of ICT- infused lesson, collaborative learning, feedbacks etc, will converge. It is basic and yet effective. 

So where is the similarities to investment, and what should we be concerned with 


  1. Quote : "So where is the similarities to investment, and what should we be concerned with"

    Hmm ... I have given up finding that Manual that promised us to be the best in sword fighting! Those days of silliness in me are over! With AI; any proven methods will be taken over by robots. Can human retail investors still win the Game? If we are still investing DIY; then we indirectly telling ourselves there is no Manual to be best in sword fighting. No?

    1. CW,

      There are many manuals. But manuals are manuals. It is supposed to help us achieve what we want.

      The rules the skills, the flow the change, then the basic, then the understanding of essence, its back to basic. To earn money.

      I see people poking each other, u poke SMOL trading he poke you buy and hold.

      If martial arts is to kill, investment is to make money. Who cares

    2. How do one become great in swordplay? The no. Of times he kill and escape death and improve.

      How do we be better investors. The no. Of times we play with mr market and make money or lose money and improve accordingly. Through manuals, self-reflections or doctrines or sect. Up to what journey.

  2. Sillyinvestor,

    I can't see the differences between investing, trading, speculating, and gambling... If we see them through the lens of the "basics" - entries and exits.

    Yet entries and exits can also be viewed and incorporated into "process and change" - we see what we want to see.

    So was it one person beating another person in combat? Or was it a battle of styles and forms?

    Most people like to focus on the nouns - Labelling.

    I care more about the adjective BEFORE the noun - Profitable or money losing? Competent or fumbling?

    Back to teaching. How many teachers have we looked back and can still remember fondly?

    Those that made an impact on our lives. Not EVERY teacher right?

    Do we remember them because of our human interactions, the time spent together?

    Or do we say I remember and love this teacher because he used "collaborative learning" on me and I profited immensely from it? See, my grades went from C- to A + !!!


    1. Hi SmOl,

      I realise just like CW, u might have seen. Y post in another perspective. Actually that labeling is unnecessary because when the basic is "killing" almost everything converge and every redundancy gone.

      Seriously, lets no push the tsr too far that as long as I care for pupil and interact with it, results no longer matter.

      Whether a kid remember me or not it's inconsequential and sometime depends of the kid character.

      If I kid remember me as caring, understanding but did not bother to try to learn, I flop. I am a teacher, not a love spreader

      At its core, basic when done well. That is killing, the pupils connect with me, understand the learn and has the desire to learn, knowing they can excel, or at least perform better than themselves. The soft TSR the hard pedagogy, it didn't matter. It kills. My student Grow.

      The same as investment, CW think I am talking about a manual, u think I am seeeping all differences under the carpet.

      The differences is clear, of course. Is gambling going to "kill" it's obvious isn't it ? It will kill you instead of Mr Market.

      Are there successful traders? U bet! Are there successful value investors. U bet. If u ask me; there is more similarities than differences, but if I can say it clearer; when we see trough differences, we see similarities, when we see thro similarities, we saw distinctions, when we see thro distinctions, we saw essence, when we see thro essences we find basics

    2. Sillyinvestor,

      Why are you focusing so much on yourself? What's your true role as an educator?

      As you have alluded to, academic success may depend on the child's scholastic aptitude. Some child can fly even without a teacher; some like the penguin will not fly even if you superman teacher...

      Or are you one of those teachers who will insist ostrichs, kiwis, and penguins to fly just because they are in your class? You don't care as MOE and your principal have expectations on you...

      Or are you the few educators who see their role as enablers? You encourage your students to think for themselves and discover what they want to make of their lives?

      Maybe their path is not the JC and University route? Maybe some will do better in trade schools like ITE or Polytechnics? How about the performing arts schools for those who have shown talent in singing, acting, writing?

      Or is it get a degree first (as backup and help secure my KPI) then you can do whatever you want?


      P.S. Ever wonder why so many seek to achieve financial freedom (even youths that have not started working?) to ESCAPE from a job they don't like?

      Someone seeking to ACHIEVE would strive to become a hedge fund manager, top forex trader in a bank, master of the universe bond trader; etc. See the difference?

    3. Smol,

      In the education realm, we seldom converge. Who says I think they need to go JC? I don't even think some can pass.

      I want them to "face up to reality" and do something about it. At primary level, if they face up to reality, learning and progress is obvious.

      The sad thing as u said it is, as a manwhore, even when I saw the "brighten eyes" of the girl, that girl which thought has changed, motivated, learning, willing to help and speak up now, might not still pass.

      But like u say. Don't get me promotion but I happy.

  3. But smol,

    When we are learning, we defintely need to know all the differences and distinctions. Otherwise how to learn?

    But are those differences that important beyond learning to get to where u want.?

    That is the aim of my post

    1. During learning phase; we still have to benchmark or grade ourselves to commonly known standards; otherwise we may think that we are near master level but actually clowning.

    2. Sillyinvestor,

      Have you noticed in documentaries about Master Chefs or Ah Ma's home cooking, the way they cooked is "agar agar" and a bit any-o-how? Fusion this, mix-and-match that?

      But for cooking class programs for beginners, everything is measured in EXACT proportions, French is French, Cantonese is Cantonese, Korean is Korean? Step by step and no short-cuts (even though there are)!

      Similarly, when we see newbie and younger bloggers in our community that are climbing up the mountain, they know exactly what style they belong to, have clear goals, and quite anal on precision up to 2 decimal places.

      How about those older and climbing down the mountain veterans? Noticed most of them are quite "rojak"? More like they don't care whether the cat is white or black, just as long can catch mice? When its hungry eat, tired rest lifestyle, do we need to look at the clock or plan our daily, weekly, monthly itineraries in advance?

      Well, are differences important?

      Of course! While we are learning our craft.

      I am suspicious of "master craftsman" who keep seeing differences.

      Enlightened monks don't care. Junior bei kambing monks care a lot about which school or branch of Buddhism is good, better, best!

    3. Smol,
      When we are learning we see difference and it's ok to "benchmark", otherwise we might be clowning ourselves. I agree.

      I just want to say the same words mean totally different thing at different stage.

      Give feedback. Means a lot more things now than in the feedback (pedagogy)

      "Don't lose money" also mean diff strategy now and he past.

      I am not looking for the best strategy for me to appear in Forbes magazine. Just 1 that works comfortably for me

  4. Hi SI,

    When I began my career, I thought that all that students wanted was to get an A. I get very upset with them when they are not putting in A effort, and not getting A results. After a long while, I realised not ALL students want to get an A, regardless of what they say in their mouths. It could be what the parents want, it could be what the teachers wants of them, but it's not what they want. That's a profound realisation that I'm whipping a fish to climb a tree.

    These days, after knowing a person well, I can roughly tell if they are interested in getting an A or not. The focus has changed to making every student an A student, to getting a student to where they want to go to, be it a pass, or a B. I think it makes everyone happier. It's up to me to manage the parents expectation of course, and afterall it's my job to make them get higher grades. But once I changed my focus, I realised it's all about making students realise their hidden potential. Their potential is not what they say on their lips, it's what I 'see' after knowing them as person, and then helping them fulfill that.

    That, I think, is the ultimate satisfaction that keeps me on my job all day all year long. My pedagogy is thus this: at the end of the day, show love.

    It's not that I'm not concerned with all the different ways of teaching pple, but beneath these methods, the basic driving force is loving the students and wanting them to do better than what they thought capable. This driving motivation makes me adapt whatever methods necessary to reach that goal of bettering them.

    For investment, there was a time I was finding a holy grail, dabbling into FA and TA to find out the best method to make a good return. It was a fool's errand. Once I realised what is actually driving my networth upwards, I stopped focusing so much on investment and focus more on my active work. So, the focus is changed from trying to make as much from investment to trying not to lose anything in investment. That changed everything. I'm just playing around here and there, accumulating capital from my active work, and waiting/training for the day when it matters a lot to put my money into the market at a price I can sleep well, so that I can focus back on my real work again.

  5. Hi LP,

    U are spot on, totally same freq.

    I think not many in the industry dare to say "love" is the success formula. After "love" or "care", I think the next important thing is energy.

    If I care enough, I will thinknof how to help them better, I will cater to their needs and "readiness" as I said it.

    But a successful lesson or one that lose pupils ( sleeping ) is not so much what is "done" (method) by the energy level of teacher.

    Some days I can do chalk and talk and they eyes still bright. Some days I can do ICT but it is not effective

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