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Sunday, 8 December 2019

The Path Towards Domestication

Dogs came from wolves.

Yes, its one of those examples where a "new" specie of animal is created by man, not the big guy upstairs.

It probably started with some weak, docile, or outcast wolves living off the scraps of man outside the camp fire. Over time, these wolves became so dependant on man that they willingly became man's best friend.

That's the marketing spin.

The reality is one is master, one is servant.

Go to our hawker centres and HDB estates. See the number of pigeons and mynahs living off our scraps?

Notice one thing?

Instead of soaring freely with their gift of flight, what do they do? 

There are no visible chains or shackles tied to their necks, but we know they are fettered.

One of my new evening walking route is the former railway track that has now converted to The GreenWay.

I often see lots of different species of birds living off the land here. Quite fun. From people watching to bird watching! 

Even the mynahs over here don't look the same as the ones that loiter around our hawker centres. Their plumage are in better condition. They chirp merrily.

Success is what you have to sacrifice to achieve it.

I guess some are willing to sacrifice their freedom and independence for it.

How to spot you have a pet mentality?


I hope daddy and mommy will take care of me...

I believe the company will take care of me...

I rely on big daddy to take care of me...

Its always others doing the work and thinking for you, while you passive passive just reap the benefits. Look ma! No brains needed!

When the time comes, I'll take as much out as legally possible. 

Just putting it in writing so I can poke myself silly if and when I finally "capitulates".

And grandiose words like independence or freedom will be forever banned from my dictionary...



  1. Hi SMOL,

    If you are a mynah hatched in the concrete jungle, hawker centre could well be the only forest you recognise. What living off scraps? That's hunting, you silly! Got skill involved one ok. Need to know which one got hiam jio and which no have. Anyhow jiak will get the runs! LOL.

    What capitulate? If interest rate remains low and goes down some more, you won't let your spare cash sit inside and just eat big daddy meh?

    1. Endrene,

      Ah! You reminded me of what my cat loving promoter friend told me:

      1. There are house cats.

      2. There are outdoor cats.

      3. Then there are hybrids that can roam outside and stay indoors.

      You are right.

      Good intentions give "freedom" and release house cats from their owners may do more harm than good...

      Similarly, see outdoor cats so poor thing so bring them home to give tender living care may only bring misery to the cat who misses the freedom beyond the gilded walls...

      I know. With the low interest rates, people are now jumping onto big daddy's lap?

      I remember there was a time when the "same" big daddy was worried CPF interest returns were too low for retirement so introduced schemes to "encourage" more CPF bei kambings to INVEST (instead of just SAVING) to EARN MORE.

      Just like the cat analogy, so much for good intentions...

      I not smart.

      I just know low interest rates punish savers but reward speculators.

      Nope. Will take out as much as possible when my time comes.

      Unless I bust out my trading account and decimated my investment portfolio...

  2. Those mynahs have no issue eating hiam jio.

    1. CW,

      Its easy to spot these hiam jio eating mynahs.

      Their feathers have frayed and some even become "botak"!

  3. Hi SmOl,

    And the dog laugh at the wolf for hunting and not having the food at a platter.

    To me, even dogs there are different types. I am talking about pet dogs...

    We have wolf who aspire to be dogs and dogs wannabe wolf.

    1. Wolf is active income. Dog is passive income?

    2. Sillyinvestor,

      I'll stick with the cat analogy as its easier to offend people if we compare them to dogs... Especially us Chinese! LOL!

      1. Some are house cats. Its good, better, best to have someone take care of them. Hence working for MNCs or big daddy is a big draw to them. Stability and security first!

      Even smarter ones just focus on marrying well :)

      2. Some just prefer the outdoors. Despite the many risks and low chance of success, they'll jump right into entrepreneurship.

      Do first, ask questions later. Crash got sound!

      3. Then there are the hybrids. Have a well paying job and dabble with rental/investment properties or equities on the side.

      Lost job but got investment yields as cushion ;)

      Investment busted lucky got steady job to slowly lick wounds and recover back.

      That's why mediocre investors/traders have a side teaching business to plug investment/trading losses. Anyone knows any famous investors/traders teaching on the side?

      I only know there are some famous traders who started teaching when they have lost their touch and pretty much blew their accounts... The most famous one is Jessie Livermore.

    3. CW,

      I wouldn't go there....

      I do like to poke yield hogs and the passive bei kambings, but even I know when NOT to poke the hornets nest ;)

      Dog lovers would probably object, but in our Chinese culture, all our references to dogs are not exactly complimentary:






  4. Hi SMOL,

    Actually the master/slave relationship is kind of complicated and it goes both ways too. My mum in law likes cats, and she will buy food for them. Every evening she will go down to feed them and the cats know the timing too. So when it's near feeding time, they congregate, waiting for her. Who's the master and the slave? Master is my mum-in-law, cats are the slave right?

    But my mum-in-law always feeds the cats without fail. During CNY, everyone has to wait for her while she feeds the cats. She has to cut appointment short to feed the cats. She can't go for long holidays because she has to feed the cats. Who's the master and who's the slave now?

    I think the path for domestication works for both parties in a master/slave relationship. If you're the slave, it's not only good to recognise it, but also good to know which part of the relationship is your master your slave.

    1. LP,

      The first expat boss who hired me got married to our local Singapore girl whom he met in a club.

      Not the ah lian type, but those A'level havoc SPG types that can speak good england ;)

      Now she is living the expat's wife life hopping from one city to another every 5-10 years.

      No need to worry or bitching about office politics, job security, or even investing for financial freedom!?

      If he treats her bad, divorce and squeeze that bastard dry for every penny; and if he treats her well, he'll buy lots of insurance policies or have assets under her name.

      Heads she wins; tails she also wins :)

      Who is the master? Who is the servant?


      Life is not so black and white like in chess.

      You smart but others not stupid.

      Its moves and counter moves ;)

    2. Hi SMOL,

      Hmm, not to say bad things about your boss and boss's wife, but just an illustration.

      I think not all is good about the wife, even though it seems very thing works out well. She will become a slave to a certain lifestyle, so if the husband didn't do as well in career or suffer some losses financially, she might have to scale down painfully.

      I guess that's one of the sacrifices she had to take for her success haha! Not saying it will happen, but it's best to know ahead.

    3. LP,

      Of course life is not black and white like in chess.

      The same goes for you and me ;)

      Someone new to the community reading your reflections for 2019 may go green with envy on your networth gain, and the current lifestyle you have.

      Only you knew the sacrifices you had to give up to achieve it ;)

      Just as long we don't lie to ourselves, go in with eyes wide open, then its better to pick our own poison and drink from it!

      Better this than to drink what others are drinking, die also no idea why????

  5. Hi SMOL,

    This reminds me of Nietzsche's concept of the will to power and the difference between a master and a slave morality.

    What makes a slave a slave? Someone resigned to obscurity because their ego could not take to the facts of reality? Or someone who is contented to know enough is enough (which people possessing a master morality not get it)?

    1. Unintelligent Nerd,

      Ah! That Nietzsche that gave us, "That which does not kill us, makes us stronger."

      The Master/Slave morality concept is not exactly "easy to swallow" to believers who need to be told what is us good or bad ;)


      I neither need nor desire to be shepherd ;)


  6. It is not easy to let go of "the pet mentality". Why suffer when can get free food with very minimal effort / risk? As time goes by, people with this mentality get complacent and just want to stay in their comfort zone, they have no idea how to take risks or fend for themselves.

    Slave / servant on the other hand may be kind of a different concept. There's a notion of effort and suffering and often seen as something 'negative' to be. Slaves and servants may inspire to break free one day from their masters.

    1. I d rather be a pet cat, not a slave dog nor stray dog. Lol

    2. That why many want to pursue FI to break free from wage slave. :-)

    3. Rainbow girl,

      This post is a poke to what I see in the community - FIRE seekers yet their strategy is still same old same old:

      1) My "shepherd" will lead me to riches...

      2) I can parrot what every famous gurus have said, I'm therefore just as competent as them!

      3) The company will surely reward me as loyal shareholder if I hold long enough...

      4) Big daddy will always be there to bail me out just as long I invest with listed companies sponsored by big daddy :)

      5) See long queues I just follow and queue. You buy what, I buy what can't go wrong one lah!

      The Mind or psychology part of investing/trading is something we have to figure out on our own ;)

    4. CW,

      Financial freedom is just one aspect of our lives.

      We can be financially free yet still be "slave" to toxic relationships; substance abuses; political/social/religious ideologies that we know deep down are false; and so on...

      How often have we said "yes" when we should be saying "no"?

      Investing/trading can be super addictive. If I let the markets dictate my emotions and physical well being, how different am I from a gambling addict?

      The same applies to blogging ;)

    5. Kudos to the contrarian bloggers!

  7. There are servants who are actually masters.

    A person may choose to be servant because it made good sense in his context. He found a good employer who pays a good salary with job security, gives him opportunity to fulfill his aspirations in a protected environment. If the employer mis-treats him unfairly or doesn't give him the opportunity that he yearns, he will quit. Such a person is not really a servant because he will exercise his choice to leave when it doesn't make sense to stay. He is master of his own fate.

    Some married well and become tai-tais. Looks like she's servant to outsiders when in reality, she's actually master over the master.

    Then there are servants who are genuinely servants. Many of them are doing fine as they can take care of themselves and fulfill their family responsibilities. Maybe it's better they stay as servants and not try to get cute doing risky things.

    A few outstanding and lucky people took risks, became successful Masters and created a better environment for the majority who are servants. Good for them, good for the rest too.

    Whether masters or servants, they all play a useful role as long as they can take care of themselves and their families. I think one should know himself and choose to be a master or servant accordingly. Don't try to be what he is not, get into trouble, then transfer his problems to people around him. I know of entrepreneurs who fail to the grave. Who cried for them? Only close family members know their sad story.

    1. hyom,

      Its recognising who we are, what roles we are playing currently, and knowing when to take charge and when to let others take the lead -

      Situational Leadership ;)

      The rest is we see what we want to see.

      Some focus on the "failures" of entrepreneurs as the grand "excuse" not to try.

      Some intoxicate themselves with the inspirational stories of "successful" entrepreneurs, fuelling fantasy dreams despite the reality of the reflection in the mirror looking back...

    2. I aways have this believe, it is not the upbringing but what FATE and DESTINY has for you that forces you to experience and become what you must.
      Imagine, what is going to happen is unpredictable, exciting right? Some people are destined to be master because circumstance makes for it to happen.
      My opinion only. LOL DON’t hit the face.

      A favourite quote of mine-

      “I have to remind myself that some birds aren't meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice. Still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they're gone. I guess I just miss my friend.”

    3. WolfT,

      Ah! A fatalist you ;)

      I on the other hand take the view who we are today is the sum of all the decisions we have, or have not, made.

      Its still my choice whether I want to float like the leaf in the wind, or be the immovable mountain come what may ;)

      Fate and destiny can be quite comforting - provided its you who is spinning your own version of the story.

      Once upon a time, some smarter group of men extrapolated fate and destiny into this big scam called Mandate of Heaven ;)

  8. Hi Smol,

    Nothing beats better than be an individual of free-rein mind. Peace of mind is the way to go as per my perspective.



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