Friday, December 03, 2004

Seeking Roadmaps.

So here you have me. A person who has pretty much grown up in the confines of the Singapore system, with very limited exposure to other cultures and experiences. Limited intelligence with bountiful sloth, how can a such a person adjust to being transplanted to a different culture?

One possible approach lies in the rich heritage of engineering: To copy and modify the solution from others who have done it previously. Study examples of other successful (and unsuccessful) migrants, understand their challenges and truimphs, and attempt to mimic their succesful strategies (if applicable) and avoid the pitfalls documented.

It is indeed a very fragmented roadmap. At least until someone publishes "Migration for Dummies".

Reckon I will need to at the very minimum understand:
* SWOT analysis of source country emigrating from
* SWOT analysis of destination country immigrating into
* comparism between the two to facilitate migration decision

One of the more interesting possible case studies would be Ayn Rand. For those of you who did not deviate too much from the official Singapore National Education curriculum, Rand is definitely worth a read. Like Thoreau, I doubt that the Singapore government would be endorse such subversive dissent. Much easier to distract with the likes of Singapore Idol. Think it is time to go track down a copy and read Rand's works again. (I give away most of my books regularly to reduce the amount of 'stuff' I have to keep.)

Much has been said about Rand's controversial philosophy of Objectivism. However critics often forget that she defined herself as an author first and her 'philosophy" simply the codification of her belief system as expressed in her writings.

If memory serves, in her first book We the Living the main protaganist was a female engineer (or engineering student) with a bright future ahead of her. Kira - yes I think that was the name - tossed it all away in an attempt to leave the country where she was born, grew up and was educated.

Book blurb: Exotic Russian teenage girl sleeps around to survive and get the man she loves. Only to find that her love betrays her, driving her into the arms of a sympathetic patron. She faces a life-changing decision in the her ultimate quest for happiness and fulfillment.
Sorry... just had to do my impression of how the nation-building press could blurb the book.

Why? You will have to read the book to get a feel of the full scope. A hint is that the original working title of the book was "Airtight" - conjuring up the effects on the condition of life under totalitarianism. Be forewarned, this can be quite a depressing book. Rand herself (born Alyssa Rosenbaum) left Soviet Russia permanently in 1926 for a "short trip" to visit relatives in the USA.

Sidenote of interest:
I find it ironic that the same folk would who demonize Ayn Rand and glorify Alan Greenspan do not realise that both individuals share the same philosophical underpinnings.

Seems like my new area of reading is possibly going to be centered around the history of migrants and migration...


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