Next Vacation & Spartan Race: Taiwan!

You read it correctly. Your main man, who goes by the name of Arsenio Buck, is reentering Spartan after a bit of a hiatus.

When I was trekking through the foothills in Hua Hin, sucking in dust particles like it was oxygen, I told myself: “man, FUCK THIS!” I said I would never do it again. However, after listening to my body and feeling how strong I’ve become, my body is craving that immense pain once again!

I made an oath to myself at the beginning of the year that I was going to take a year off from Spartan races because the Beast in Hua Hin last year was just so unbelievably demoralizing. However, after sorting out my visa situation here in Thailand, micro trips to Malaysia and Singapore are NO MORE!

I can’t let just a few assholes at Immigration in Hong Kong determine the outcome of me traveling everywhere. Yes, Taiwan will be another very difficult country I need to acclimate with, but because I will be be the “not-so-thumb-sticking-out,” that means I won’t have a problem recording and documenting my stories. Will the Spartan Super go as planned? I have no idea. I will need to adapt very quickly and once I land in Taoyuan International Airport, I’ll know what I’m up against.

The Ramble of Positivity: Episode 031 – Singapore, I’m COMING!

Excited, jubilated, in harmony, bliss, serenity. Baby, I’m going to Singapore. Cathay Pacific right into the new Terminal 4 which houses that new magnificent Jewel? Oh, I’m definitely NOT complaining.

Excited, jubilated, in harmony, bliss, serenity. Baby, I’m going to Singapore. Cathay Pacific right into the new Terminal 4 which houses that new magnificent Jewel? Oh, I’m definitely NOT complaining.

Land, catch the magnificent train to my hotel, check in, and have my friend pick me up for some Malay/Singaporean food? CHECK! Friend to meet for drinks after? Aquarium on Saturday?

I’m grateful. I’m excited. This is my first “real” holiday since last August. I had Laos in November of last year, topping off the most FORGETTABLE trip of the last 10 years. Malaysia, which was just below average, continued the soar trend.

So I’m going to buck this trend by heading to my favorite country in Southeast Asia.

Heavy Breathing In The Morning

Anytime I go to the airport, I always think worse case scenario, which is probably not a good thing to entertain in terms of having a though. After getting on an always-crowded-skytrain (in the morning — rush hour), I got to the airport link, had my ticket at hand already and got to the airport.

I followed a couple of students up the escalators before finally reaching Cathay Pacific. The guy at the counter looked new, and Chinese. not that the nationality mattered, but there was a guy overseeing what he was doing and of course, he kinda didn’t know what he was doing. After 4 minutes and without any questions, I received my ticket, went through an always-easy security check, and then to passport control.

This is the place I dread because the could be nasty….however, out of all the times I ever left this country, it was one foolish, old, racist lady that put her glasses on and went through my pages before I started laughing at her bigotry. New passport and guy? 1 minute, stamp, done. EASY!

So, all the heavy breathing, again, for NOTHING.

Going into the airport…some questions may come, but last time I came, there weren’t any. If they ask (and they don’t do so often), it’s because I write something ridiculous on my paper that raises a question. So, now I’m sitting here at the airport and waiting for my departure to an ultra-efficient country!

Podcast

The Disruption of Industries Are Coming (longread) Part I

By Content Writer Jiun Ting Yong

We are living in the 21st century and it is the post-Internet and Information Age. Now we are living in an age of exponential growth where disruptions are the normal thing to happen. It is hard to predict how many disruptions can happen in the next 5 years! We are living in an age of uncertainty due to exponential growth and technological advancement that can bring us so much.  So prepare yourself for the next decade of disruption where your job can be eliminated  by automation and artificial intelligence. An Oxford University research showed that about 47% of jobs will disappear for the next 25 years!

According to my research on the internet where you can easily dig into a handful of information at your own discretion, the next decades will be tough times for mankind as many people will be put out of jobs as long as your job is a high one with operational cost and higher salary cost.  However, all these disruptions are nothing new as if you look back into the history of technology that goes back to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Industrial Revolutions; disruptions happened, especially in the 3rd Industrial Revolution since the desktop publishing that started the personal computing mania after the 1st Macintosh was put on the market in 1984! It had disrupted the traditional job market that was once dominated by men! Furthermore, since the internet boomed back in the 1990s, it allowed giant firms to outsource firms to the developing world like Apple Inc to China for assembling their iPhones and iPads; as well as IBM outsourced their IT work to India with just the clicks of a mouse!

Since the recession in 2008, Silicon Valley started a technological boom, it allowed startup companies to be very innovative like Airbnb and Uber, which allowed their services to be productised which then led them to start a revolution known as the sharing economy that has been a frenzy till now. This is the beginning of the age of exponential where it disrupted the hotel industry and the traditional taxi drivers by Airbnb and Uber.

Now these disruptions are only the beginning and it happened at a fast pace due to technological innovation  and advancement. Here is a list of industries that are about to face disruption sooner than you might think.

Travel websites such as Expedia and Kayak have eliminated the need for human travel agents to book travel packages.

Tax software such as mobile applications like Wave Business where it allows users to automate their tax filing, can eliminate tens of thousands of jobs for tax accountants.

Newspapers, magazines and books have seen their circulative numbers decline steadily and traditional bookstores already shrank in size, having been replaced by online media or digital publishing companies. Blogs and digital subscriptions like Amazon Prime and Zinio Magazines also allow customers to subscribe with an affordable price. Self – publishing like Wattpads, Google Playbooks and Amazon Kindle allow indie bloggers and writers to publish and sell their materials. In addition to that, computer software and the latest technology like machine learning and AI are writing news stories, especially local news and sporting event results.

Just within the last couple of years, Borders bookstore in America (or barnes and Noble) had gone out of business and shut their doors (not sure if it’s all).  Magazine subscriptions have plummeted significantly; meanwhile, websites like LasVegasSun.com are charging users to a monthly subscription to read news that’s actually given FREE. – Arsenio Buck

Language translation is becoming more and more accurate, with simple software which the same thing it goes for dictation and proof-reading. It has allowed the automation of translators and interpreters by installing software.

Financial professionals such as stock brokers, wealth planners and advisors will lose their business to online trading websites like eTrade and M4 Traders. Also, robo-advisors like Smartly and Robinhood. Robinhood is a free online brokerage service that was eating the market share of traditional human stockbrokers and wealth planners by automating tasks like selling and buying. Many banks are offering customers mobile apps or ATMs to make it more convenient for customers to make payments, bank transfers or deposit checks. Also, the boom of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology has allowed some financial technology to adopt and expand the technology which would disrupt the traditional banking industry because the world populations aren’t still unbanked and relying on a higher cost of money transfer. Moreover, the financial technology companies like Transferwise, which offered cheaper transfer fees, would disrupt the market share of banks.

Payment systems like Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, Payonner and PayPal — physical cash will become obsolete. Other forms of payment like credit and debit cards as well as traveller cheques, although these channels are old school, have started the disruption of traditional payment systems.

I had my content writer write a blog in terms of this because I do believe that very interesting times are lying ahead of us.

Stay tuned for more disruptions in the next blog!