The future is faster than you think

Read this book authored by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler recently. Basically, the book talks about some of the known things of what we can foresee in the coming months or years, such as the rise of electric cars, autonomous driving, reduction in reliance on coal energy and so on. however, at the same time the book also uncovered some of the not-well-known things on emerging technology that are brewing underneath, yet to be publicised, and soon-to-be disruptive enough to change the world. The authors also talked about how individual technologies are going to converge and merge together to bring greater benefits and advancement to all sorts of fields such as computing, energy, advertising and so on.

There are quite a number of key technology advancements that were discussed in the book, one that stood out and mentioned often was related to AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning. Both of these has changed the landscape of computing, which has spill over impact to other field and industries as well. Medicines and vaccines can be developed at a much faster pace, accurate prediction allows for better healthcare, just to name a few examples.

During the COVID-19 lockdown period, I have enrolled myself to an introductory course on AI dubbed as “AI for Industry”. The online course provides a taste of what AI can do, how to use python programming, crunch through data to find meaningful correlation, the basics of machine learning and so on. It took me way past the lockdown period to complete the course as I struggle through especially on programming part. I’m a sucker in programming ever since university. The only programming I have done “successfully” was to use html code to write my own website a good 10+ years ago. Then, which ever programming language that I learn along the way, I just couldn’t really master them.

“Oh boy, am I outdated and left behind by the world?” At times I will ask myself while going through the course. It’s a scary thought, imagine you are no longer relevant to the world around you, how are you going to survive? That is perhaps why life long learning and continuous up-skilling yourself is so important. Anyway, with the help from GitHub and fellow course members… somehow I made it through the course. Am I an expert for AI now? Hell no. I still sucks in AI, python, and everything else. But it did gave me a good context of this field. Hopefully this will give me an idea to explore more on what to learn next. Till then.

Good enough is probably good enough

Stumbled upon this video on YouTube. I must say it is indeed true and resonates well with what I believe in. There’s no need to own the best, one just need to evaluate on your requirement, needs and budget and make your purchase decision accordingly. Of course everyone’s need and budget is different, some really need to own the latest and greatest plus have unlimited budget… so… yeah.

For me as example, I use my phone a lot, hence I’m willing to spend on the higher end iPhone 11 Pro, both for work related matters and for it’s camera. For earphones, I’m willing to spend on something with good sound quality and noise cancellation, as these are again, have higher prioirities in my needs.

When it comes to other stuffs, I’m willing to skim. I don’t own the latest and the best camera, I’m still wearing Apple Watch Series 3 (and loving it), I don’t wear luxury branded clothing… and the list goes on. Sadly, I have limited budget, so I have to make do with my priorities and work around it. Sometimes may even need to hunt for bargains or look for alternative products from China.

Do I envy those who owns the best? Do I feel incomplete without the best of the best? Well, not really. At the end of the day, you will realize that there will always be something better out there, and it is impossible for you to own them all. Spend within your means and buy what you need.

This reminds me of another scenario. Often people asked me when I’m buying my own house the next time, am I looking for a 3 or 4 bedroom units and so on. And my answer will always surprise them, as I’m good with even studio, maximum I would go for is just 2 bedroom and nothing larger than that. Why? There’s no need for a huge house, and I rather spend the money renovating to have a comfortable and lovely home. Smaller house, less maintenance… it’s a win to me for sure.

Anyway, different folks different strokes. There’s no one size fits all solution here. This is just my thought. Till then.

Just shoot it

The Missing Link

There are times when people questioned why are we taking so many pictures, pictures of streets, pictures of the environment, pictures of our surrounding and so on. I confess that I do question myself occasionally when I look at the pictures I took.

“Just shoot it” was the answer given by one fellow photographer I knew of. “Things are changing at such a rapid pace, everyday an old building got torn down, new building was built, lifestyle was changed, people has changed. My picture will provide a context of this instance for people to look back in years later.”

Of course it doesn’t imply that we have the social responsibility to document this moment of time, but if you are in doubt whether or not to take a picture of what’s in front of your eyes, perhaps this little reason can give you a push to press the shutter.

Come to think of it, it is especially true for a country like Singapore, where development pace was so rapid and things are changing on daily basis. Documenting moments like these will create memories of our own, and perhaps recalling memories of others.

It’s been awhile for me to just wander off the streets and shoot, perhaps it’s good to start picking up that habit again. Till then.

The end is coming, or perhaps its already here

The photography industry is approaching its end… everyone sees it coming, but perhaps most choose not to “see” it and still trying hard to crunch out as many camera models as possible every year. Having worked closely with the printing and photography industry in my current job for the past year, I get to see some data and forecast that pretty much shows the same as what you read from photography sites and forums. Sales declined, loss making, market shrunk, people are no longer buying cameras, the list goes on.

We’ve seen giants like Canon and Nikon struggling, we’ve seen long time camera makers like Olympus selling off its camera division. Even though we are living in a world where more and more video contents are flooding our screen, less and less of them were shot from a traditional camera. Smartphone has killed compact digital camera, and it will soon be killing entry level and amateur grade cameras as well. In the very near future, only serious hobbyist and professional photographer/videographer will remain as consumer of camera gears, while the rest would probably have moved on shooting with their smartphone.

Most companies are trying their best to diversify their products and portfolio. Fujifilm has a separate medical arm and cosmetic division, while Sony is making a fortune by selling its camera sensor to smartphone makers. It remains to be seen who will be the last few survivors in the end. How do you see the future would unfold? Who will you be placing your bet on? For me… I better start distancing myself from the dying industry before its too late 😛 Anyone hiring???

Some updates moving forward

Funny Bunny Logo 2018 3

I have spent some time thinking about what’s next for this site. Ultimately, this is just a place for me to journal my journey in life, in photography and in this ever changing world. I have zero intention to monetise the site, or to transform it into something like a side hustle. With that said, I have made some decision to make some changes here moving forward.

First of all, the domain name will be gone, will cease to exist by early 2021 when the domain subscription expires. It will revert back to the old URL. It’s been a great few years holding on to the domain. The reason for dropping the domain? Well, this is part of my digital minimalism exercise for now. It’s okay, even if the domain got taken away in the future, I’m totally fine with it.

Next, regarding the content of this site. The more personal posts and posts that are written in Chinese will be gone. I have decided to host those on a separate page instead. Yes, I know, I was the one who merged them earlier but in the end, it doesn’t really work well in my opinion. Therefore, is time to make the split. For those who want to read on those contents, kindly follow this link to my new personal site which will be fully in Chinese.

What will happen here? I will still continue to post on weekly basis until the end of this year. That’s my commitment to myself. Next year onwards, I will continue to post here, but it will not be on weekly basis for sure. Thoughts, sharing, photography and so on will still continue to pour in, and I will keep this place alive.

That’s about it for now. Will keep everyone posted if there’s any other new changes in my plan. Till then, stay safe and take care.