Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Truth About Goliath

Malcolm Gladwell retells the classic underdog tale in a TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) talk: David, a young shepherd boy armed only with a sling, beats Goliath, the mighty warrior. The story has transcended its biblical origins to become a common shorthand for improbable victory.

Gladwell suggests that Goliath was disadvantaged. His height was clue that he suffered from acromegaly, a form of gigantism with manifestations which include benign tumours, tall stature, and impaired vision. And probably a superego to match. Goliath never realised that David did not intend to engage him in hand to hand combat. All he had was a leather pouch attached to a cord, but Gladwell calculates that the stopping power of the rock projectile was equivalent to a bullet from a 45mm handgun. The lumbering Goliath, weighted down by heavy armour, never stood a chance. The bigger they come, the harder the fall. Gravity's a bitch.

Anyway, that's one view for the optimists. When a sledge hammer is let fly on a mosquito, it's difficult to root for the heavy weight.

When Michelangelo sculpted the statue of David, he broke with all traditional images. Instead of showing Goliath's defeat, Michelangelo chose to depict the young shepherd boy at the exact moment of decision. His look is of concern, but also of conviction. Goliath is nowhere to be seen.


  1. TT Durai thought he could be a Goliath until he met with his bigger opponent later. Only bullies like that old man will do this of despicable act of bullying others to silence them.

    History now repeats itself.

    1. The truth is - Ah Long's kindness pales in comparison to Kong Hee now. It mades CHC pastor look like a saint.

      No wonder they need an NMP like William Wan in the parliament for more kindness movement. If somewan can give a forgiveness speech to foreigner like Anton Casey, surely somewan can give a forgiveness speech to local like Roy who is merely passionate about his country's governance, accountability and transparency.

  2. Once the tree is chopped down, the monkeys will scatter.
    It is only a matter of time.
    The hearttruths prevail.

    1. The banyan tree's canopy provides shade.
      It also prevents anything from growing under its shade.

      "You either die a hero.
      Or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain."
      Just like Julius Caeser

    2. The banyan tree you guys are talking about has only one leaf left and even then, it is in decay.

  3. Credit Suisse escapes worst as it pleads guilty to U.S. charges


    Do we have shares in Credit Suisse ???

  4. They are tightening the screw because they are now feeling the heat. If Democracy is to exist in Singapore, it won't be long before PAP is voted out. Dominant one-party governments in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and India are now history.

  5. #hearttruths

  6. http://www.baldingsworld.com/

    Yes, let's see the PM go after credible foreign academics who are also defaming and speaking untruths.? He has no balls, only targeting singaporeans. Like father like son. LKY went after oppositions leaders. His son goes after citizen bloggers. Both are cowards.

    1. Lye Khuen Way5/21/2014 7:07 AM

      Now, at least LKY went after Real Opposition Parliamentarians most times. The PM is so uptight, he just bring out his Thor like sledgehammer and threw it at a young heroic man. The show goes on....

    2. LKY and son taking on their political opponents and critics reminds me of Goliath vs David, except there was no kangaroo court acting as referee for that famous encounter blatantly favouring Goliath.
      Despicable, shameless, disgraceful, cowardly, etc, will never be enough to describe the father and son. What do you think ?

  7. Interesting subject on suppressing of political dissent among Asian authoritarian regimes discussed in a recent column of Banyan (The Economist, which itself suffered the PAP's k-court treatment in 2004). It reserved its last word of course for the PAP-way of bankrupting opposition leaders and critics using the k-courts. It seems that the despotic Hun Sen, after having perfected another PAP tactic of "miraculously" turning a certain electoral defeat into victory in their last election, is again emulating the "PAP way" of using a kangaroo court to bankrupt Cambodia's opposition. Like they say, imitation is the perfect form of flattery. For fugly folks to be imitated, they must be enjoying an 'out of this world' orgasmic feeling, even if it was Hun Sen copying them. Right teo?

  8. If this is the way our PM does things, is it any wonder that he cannot see that his policies are screwing up Singapore and its citizens? He has no subtlety at all; its either or, with no idea of anything in between. His math is only -∞ and ∞.

    1. If his policies are screwing up Singapore, when is he willing to give up his seat for a more capable person to take over. His latest legal action shows he has placed more emphasis on his own interests rather than national interests. Similarly his father should give also up his MRT seat to others as he more urgently need a wheelchair instead.

      And it doesn't make sense either that none of his deputies are qualified to take over while they are still hunting for the chosen one to take over ? If these type of useless leader are in power in Japan or US, long time he will have sacked by his own people. And the sad of it all for Singapore, none of his own people even dare to squeak a noise lest their own interests be sacrified to the Gods. Is this not a very dangerous or unhealthy trend for Singapore for someone to overstay their authority for too long to be sensible leader anymore ?

  9. /// ... he cannot see that his policies are screwing up Singapore and its citizens? ///

    Singaporeans may be screwed up.
    But Singapore is doing very well. Look at the GDP.
    Please don't conflate Singapore with Singaporeans.

    "... we want Singapore to do well, so Singaporeans can do well."
    Lee Hsien Loong

    This is trickle down economics.
    When Singapore GDP is good.
    If you wait long time (tan ku ku)
    Maybe the benefits will trickle down to you.
    But in the meantime, please pay your monthly HDB mortgage installments. This one cannot wait. HDB will not tan ku ku.

  10. Sinkies are daft and blind.
    In all progressive nations, homeless are provided with shelters as far as the country could provide. Food and water are supplied in disasters.
    As for national and social developments, every benign and benevolent regime will help the citizens to have housings. Those who are starting a new family will work towards owning a home. And most will work towards owning bigger house or more houses as their families expand and extend. For the more successful, they will acquire more land and property as investment. IN SIN, SINKIES ARE TOLD TO DOWNGRADE, RENT OUT THEIR PROPERTIES AND EXHORT TO LIVE IN PIGEONHOLES AS PRICE OF HOUSING SHOOTS THROUGH THE CLOUD.
    As for working, Universally, retirement starts from as early as 50 to 69/65. Retirement in most countries mean retirees are provided with living expenses or provided subsidies. Many countries also provide their elderlies to enjoy leisures such as free travel on public transport, entry into place of interest. Most regimes provide free medicare or highly subsidize them for their senior citizens. Here in Sin, medicare subsidies up to 100% are given only after means testing with much requirements. Many forgo applying and resort to self medication and alternative medicine, including traditional remedy such as using herbs that could be found or given by friends. The Situation has led to a local Sin Slogan that it is better to die than to be sick.

    The Above Developments description is to me that we Sinkies as a whole, are living in a aging and sick society though Independence is only 50 year old.

    Why is Sin so sickly and worse, why are Sinkies so non-chalance with the Ruler's competency in developing the State and taking care of their subjects?


    1. Correction to 69 in my Comment Above.

      69 should read 60, for retirement.

      My apology.


    2. Thinking too much about 69, eh?

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