Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Thoughts on charismatic men.

Recent events in Singapore politics ruined my attempt to blog about the employment space, so I thought it might be better to just talk about current affairs.

More than two decades ago, when I was an Engineering undergraduate, a girl from FASS in my Toastmasters Club consulted me on which major should she pursue. I asked her what her grades were. For Math, she got a B, but she got a D for Sociology. I bluntly told her that she needs to focus on what she was good at and pick Maths. It was not clear that Sociology had better prospects in those days so with the data I had, she should focus on her strengths, pick Maths, and I stuck with that argument.

She attempted to argue with me, but I dismissed her reasoning - It's her data. She needs to live with it.

Also listening to the conversation was the President of the Sociology Society, a dynamic and energetic speaker, he interjected and told the lady undergraduate that she should choose Sociology. He just told her to follow her dreams and let her passion take care of her grades.

Needless to say, the logic of an Engineering student was trumped by Sociology pathos on that day.

She became a Sociology major.

When it was apparent that she would not qualify for Honours year in Year 3, she started talking about not having industrial skills to tackle the workforce and started asking about Java Programming. Obviously, by then, I knew that her mind was made up and just wanted me to validate her decision. She was not hot enough for me to do that, so I just crudely dismissed whatever she had to say.

I was an engineer. 

I will tell you exactly what the numbers mean to make a great decision. 

If you want someone to sayang you, go find the humanities guy. I'm not here to win a popularity contest.

Even today, I loved relating the story of how a little bit of pathos from the Sociology dude totally trashed my calm logical analysis which would have led possibly to a better career. I really did come off looking like an asshole in that conversation, but the President of the Sociology Society oozed Charisma and I marked the lesson as to why pathos matters a lot in life if you want to be persuasive. 

But, maybe if she was hotter, I would position myself in a different way - maybe I'll stroke her hand and offer her my engineering math textbooks.

Coming back to current affairs.

PAP does not have enough charismatic men because PAP politicians actually have the hard business of keeping our nation running. As such, Tan Chuan Jin is a rare breed of politician that is very personable, appeals to emotions, and also has Christian sensitivities. 

He's the equivalent of the "humanities" guy in the PAP.

A very deadly combo.

I met a 1990s actress who admits to a teenage crush on Tan Chuan Jin and complained that every time she wanted to talk to him, she was interdicted by his wife even as they got older and met in reunions. She told me that she does not same the same feelings for the other guy Chan Chun Sing who are from the elite Illuminati class.

Charismatic men are required to shield technocrats, the Gan Kim Yong and the Lim Hng Kiangs, who can science the shit out of the numbers and make Singapore an economic miracle today. Even our founding fathers had visionaries like Goh Keng Swee, who is so severe, maybe even functionally autistic, who might need a charismatic firebrand like Lee Kuan Yew to keep them in power. 

So Tan Chuan Jin is almost indispensable and the same standards that apply to him, cannot well be applied to, say David Ong.

It's like my Aunt who said after reading about a car accident involving a good-looking man, "Wasted, leng zhai die so young." I will jokingly say, "Mmm leng zhou tak sei lah !" (Cantonese: Ugly deserve to die right? )

But Charisma is dangerous. 

With Charisma, there is less urgency to do the hard work and analysis and back things up with persuasive data. There is less need to do operational work, you just need to talk. You can live your life telling folks to just "Follow their Passion", and "Think Win-Win", frame emotional platitudes in Powerpoint slides with a picture of an eagle, use words like "Synergy", phrases like "Start with Why", and people will just forgive you for not really telling them very much. 

In my last course preview, I got slammed by a trader because my Python programme did quantify maximum drawdown. 

If you combine Charisma with virtue signalling, the price is very high if you fall. Because you are positioning yourself at a moral standard above most ordinary men, but you are Charismatic so women will beat a path to your door. I was stunned by RI's attempts to remove his picture from school and some religious groups tried to delete articles related to him.  

I admit that if I were to be subject to the same temptations as Tan Chuan Jin or Leon Perrera, I will also fall.

There is only one story I can share that may be able to prevent the dissolution of my family in such a case where maybe one day, I become really powerful and lady MPs throw themselves at me. 

I have a super-charismatic close friend who played the field before he got married, and had sex with any woman he was attracted to before marriage. Now he is in his 40s, he tells me he regrets having sex with all those women because after he stops the sexual dalliances and moves on, they usually stop being his friend, because they actually really wanted a chance to settle down with him. If he kept their friendship, by just being professional, they would become useful business contacts later in life.

In any line of work, you will encounter really capable women who get things done and are intellectually really sharp. Sometimes, but rarely, all this comes packaged with really good looks. 

Just remember that over time, they can create really good business opportunities for you, and even become great business partners. 


Over time, you will definitely regret acting on your impulses or objectifying them. 

1 comment:

  1. lo u know, as an Engineer, I actually like the way CCS speak and articulate his idea in a clear and straight forward way (on how tackling tangible issue), Its almost like drawing a f**king software architecture diagram and explaining each module in the process flow chan. whether his plan is good or bad is another issue though...