Thursday, October 29, 2009

Updating device drivers and Globe Tattoo

I can't really blame Globe. It just happens to the best of us, what more with a choppy network that's undergoing servicing? Besides, I was downloading a 110MB file.

I was trying to update the device drivers for my video card. Seeing that it is having problems running some programs (i.e. Left 4 dead), I decided to update the drivers. Lo and behold I had to update Java too, that took me 20 minutes (because of the disconnecting, reconnecting wasting 5 pesos-ing). After updating my Java Runtime environment I had to do the scan with Nvidia. It told me to download this 186 file so okay I downloaded it. Wonder of wonders it's 110MB big!

110MB in the age of DSL and Cable and what have you is a minuscule file. You can download that in a few minutes. Unfortunately, for a wireless broadband user like myself I have to bear with the frequent disconnections that occur and the slow speed. So I decided to wait for an hour and a half. 50 minutes into the download firefox tells me that the source file cannot be read. What the hell does that mean? I'm 58% done with the damn thing! So I have to close the download and just blog about another experience with wireless. :(

On top of all that, I'm using tattoo prepaid. So every time I connect I automatically spend 5 Pesos for 15 minutes. I stay connected for an hour or more that's 20 pesos already. I only have 70 pesos left.

I had written two paragraphs worth of text before posting this. Globe decided to disconnect as I was posting it. No draft was saved... Wonderful. I love it!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I'm done with school! Hopefully not dead done. Just done until the next semester comes done.

I'm going to write about big government and why it's so scary with what's currently going around.

Public Office is a Public Trust as the 1987 Constitution puts it. Government is there to serve the people and be accountable to the people. There would be no government were it not for the people's will.
I recently had my car registered in one of the LTO branches. Though, the current service is not something I could pick on, there was still a palpable air of corruption hanging around. The LTO was ranked as one of the least corrupt government agencies, as it so states in LTO TV. I spent just an hour in the LTO. You just have to have the complete set of papers at hand.
Government can work efficiently if it chooses to. However, as I mentioned there was still a stink of corruption hanging about. In one of my classes, it was said that corruption is good because it means progress. There are people who can pay the officials off to facilitate things. In my opinion this is generally true, but if the government will be more pervasive then I think that progress will be restricted.

As I was exiting the office along with my aunt the stencil guy came over and was asking something. I didn't pay any attention to him knowing that he'll just be seeking a reward. It is his job to go on the ground and stencil my car's body number. Why should I pay him more for services he'll already be paid for.

It would be okay to pay if you got some additional benefit from his services. If for example you're assured of a 30-1 hour waiting time for the release of your registration why pay more when you can wait it out? The release time will be the same anyway. The attitude of the stencil guy is what makes me afraid of Philippine government getting bigger. If I'm supposed to pay all the government officials or employees I encounter for something that they're supposed to do, then I might as well not register any vehicle, any business or any property. If I do register with them and I have to pay off each and every employee at every step of the way then what'll be left for me?

I have no qualms about Big Government. The main problem right now as espoused by my father is the fractured system brought about by the Local Government Code. Instead of the LGUs coordinating with each other, each one is trying to do something they're not good at and end up stunting the whole region. Every barangay, municipality, city and province will be trying to outdo each other, instead of coordinating their development plans and goals each will be competing with one another and each will be implementing their own ordinances that would cause great confusion with transients and residents alike. There must be some form of central plan that will not leave the LGUs room to be at odds with each other. One LGU must be a residential area and it must maintain roads and railways on its end, at the other side of the border another LGU must maintain the roads and railways on its end matching the effort by the other LGU.

Take a look at all the infrastructure laid out in communist countries. The streets are wide, the parks spacious and green and the landmarks imposing. Look at our roads, railways, parks and landmarks? Ours are pockmarked with neglect.

Another drawback with big government will be the time it takes to get things done. If with the current system you find that it's taking too long, imagine if you have to centralize everything. Again if you're going to have to pay people off, having a centralized system means that fewer people to go through although it will take longer because not everyone might get a piece of the pie they feel they deserve. Further government intrusion and regulation into the daily lives of the public will expose the people to more chances of being extorted.

Big government will be inefficient and clumsy. The current system was meant to meet the needs of the citizens in a given locality. Having a central body responding to the needs of the people even in far flung areas will greatly increase reaction time. Having to project their presence through several thousand kilometers where they might not have enough resources ready will slow down a government agencies ability to react to contingencies. A possible solution to this would be putting people on the ground.

Which leads to my last point (hopefully not) on the matter. A quote I keep hearing whenever I play civilization IV is "The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy". It means that as government involvement expands so too must the mechanisms that government employs. If an agency will employ an additional 10000 people then that additional 10000 people will have 10000 people's worth of files in the CSC, GSIS and other agencies that they will be forced to go through before being able to work for the government. It would create a very unwieldy apparatus for running the country. It will strain government resources that could have been diverted to other projects.

Going small and fractured versus going big and clumsy will each have its concomitant pros and cons. Though there is no pending legislation or action anywhere to change the system I think it would be best to give a second to the idea of changing the apparatus.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Finisihed well not quite

I'm almost done with my most punishing semester to date!

23 Units!

Thesis Proposal and Outline and Adviser Form!

I'm almost done just have to print out the thesis hopefully the printer downstairs will work! :)

Congratulations to those who deserve it!

Noteworthy mentions!

Algaventures winners of the Cartier Women's Initiative Awards

who is elyoo


Friday, October 23, 2009

Thesis Writing is for the Dogs!

I'm having a horrible time writing a thesis proposal. It's due on Monday. Today is Saturday. I have to look for a thesis adviser who can read it on Sunday and sign off on Monday. Damn it!

I never really made a thesis. Back in college all I ever did was do business plans, proposals, case studies etc. But nothing as exhaustive as a thesis. Business plans required a huge information gathering effort but most of the sources you'd need are current sources from the internet. In a thesis I have to hit the library, look for old laws and what not. All my prior works have been more on the side of breadth instead of depth. Thesis writing might involve both!

Thesis writing is for the dogs!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

For the whole of September...

I didn't post anything for the entire month of September. Maybe that's why I've been going stir-crazy at home.

Anyway, I'm trying out the Globe Tattoo prepaid. The promo is it comes free with a laptop and a printer. So there I know have one too many printers at home and an expensive internet account (Php5 for 15 minutes). The amount, incrementally may seem cheap but with how I like to go on the net every few minutes it will pile up.
Also you can't reload the damn thing via laptop, you have to use the SIM (that's already in your USB) to call the 223 number and follow the voiceprompt. :( Stupid, stupid.

I heard Sun's wireless is good! I mean wireless broadband. It's reliable and fast. The Globe one that I have is kind of slow at times. At least it's free :)

I wonder what program will improve my productivity next? (Note: it's 0 at the time of writing)

School's out but I'm still in!

The semester has officially ended, for most at least. I'm still stuck at home, forced to study more than 100+ pages of international law readings. On top of that I have to make a thesis proposal in 5 days.

I don't feel the out of schoolness yet. In fact, I don't want to feel out-of-school.

I also saw one of my older friends a few days ago. He told us how it was to practice outside of a law firm. Sounds kind of adventurous but I don't think that'll be for me. He's ended up in so many places because of being his own man when it comes to the practice. I'll get there someday soon!