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The suiting thread


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The 21 micron designation seems to be a cheeky, contrarian naming by VBC to counter the Supers war waged by the likes of Zegna with their "14 milmil". Parisian Gentleman has a writeup:


Not very enlightening, that writeup. Jacomet does not approach writing about tailoring the way technicians would, but does so in a romantic, liberal-arts sort of way. I find Crompton to be more exact and factual.

If you haven't felt the Superbio 21 micron range, just imagine a soft and refined cloth that has great body and density, but is not cardboardy or carpet-like. it is flowing.

Tomorrow is the last day of freedom for many in KL before the total lockdown. I was wondering if I should perhaps be locked down in PJ instead of being in Bukit Tinggi. But nah, I just cannot live in PJ. Besides, Bukit Tinggi being in Pahang is subject to CMCO not MCO, this means much more freedom for me. 

I am much better prepared for this MCO than the previous one. I have long transferred my PC from the shop to my house. I also have two hifi setups in my house this time instead of getting sound through old earphones of mediocre quality or through bluetooth speakers (which are also lousy). If you're not into hifi, I highly recommend you try it out. It's magic. I listen to youtube through hifi systems! 

Tomorrow, I shall move all my coffee-making equipment from the shop to my house. The previous MCO I had to drink pre-ground coffee by Starbucks (Vienna roast) sold at Speedmart 99 because my grinder and even aeropress were in the shop. It was as grim as it sounds. This time around, I will be at home in glorious Bukit Tinggi with Belantara beans and a Eureka grinder.

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Keep your spirits up during the lockdown gents! 

@Jeremy- Wow the world of hifi can easily exceed prices of sky dwellers / pateks. Have you gone to gold wire yet? 

During the 4-5 month lockdown in Victoria around July last year, I also installed a basic and modest 5.1 system with faux Dolby Atmos 7.1 capability (my front has some upward angled drivers, but I dont have any ceiling speakers).

I’m thoroughly enjoyjng listening to music almost every evening. I’m also rewatching my favourite films just to experience them again with a competent sound system. I love sci-fi, which is super enjoyable to watch in surround. Bladerunner, Tron Legacy, Alita, Star Wars. 

LOtR is also a great watch with proper sound (Balrog scene!). 

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My banana plugs are red diamond studded for the +ve and black diamond studded for the -ve.

I never thought I'd enjoy hifi so much. Headphones simply aren't the same. There seems to be a threshold for performance when something goes from serviceable to magic.


Swelled edges. It has been difficult to implement this feature with previous coatmakers because of their cognitive limitations. I realise now that dumb people, when confronted with information they do not understand, equate the new with something they already know. Ah, they think to themselves, I have already done this many times. Except they haven't. They don't dig for confirmation that they have in fact understood you because that requires too much mental activity. What if they discover that they haven't, in fact, understood you? That means they have to learn something new. And nothing is more work than that for dumb people. Getting them to learn anything new is so ardous.

I thought it is possible, over time, to help them overcome their limitations. Now that I'm older, I have found a better way: I just fire them and find a smarter replacement. I overcome their limitation by being more sophisticated at finding their replacements.


Even with my current coatmaker, who is the smartest I've worked with, I have to be very careful to manage his mind when communicating a new technique. He tends to equate it with something he already knows. I have to first shock him into a state where he realises he doesn't, in fact, know. Now is the time to explore something new.


Learning and adopting something new is much easier when the person knows he doesn't know. This is how the Malay boy managed to learn to make such world-class buttonholes.


Dumb people also completely underestimate what smart people can do. For instance, Employee #1 resigned in a recession thinking that I would feel vulnerable with so much know-how leaving, and would be forced to make her a better offer to keep her. Unfortunately for her, the know-how has always been on my side. I can take a complete newbie and bring him up to serviceable levels in a few months. I have developed the recruiting know-how to get the right people, and a certain way of training that makes them learn quickly.

Resigning in a recession is also something only dumb people would think of doing. Such poor strategists.

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Yes, one keeps hearing of Tidal in this hifi milieu. I'm currently streaming via Bluetooth to a variety of amplifiers and receivers through Logitech Bluetooth Audio adapters. It works really well. An upgrade to wireless streaming would be the next step (I suppose). The RM70 Bluetooth dongle brings any old amp into the modern age.

The interest in hifi came about when I wanted to upgrade the Mi Bluetooth speaker that I use in the shop for casual Spotify listening. It adds some ambiance while we work. I looked at the Sonys, which have all a very questionable styling. I looked at the Marshalls---much more to my taste! After a while of exploring Bluetooth speaker options, a realisation dawned in: They are all in mono! That's when I set my sights higher...and saw the Sonus Fabers and ProAcs. Which I currently cannot afford/justify. But very happy with my Missions and Dalis. Maybe I'll try a Wharfedale and an Elac someday.

I even bought an enormous 30 kg active subwoofer. It was listed on FB marketplace. I went to pick it up---the seller is the CEO of a business consulting firm that some of you may have heard of. Jajaja. He imported it from Denmark, that subwoofer.

I was thinking I would not be able to cross state borders, but 2 hours spent on the MITI website yielded a MITI letter. Which gets me through every roadblock. What magic.

If 2020 was the year that would never end, 2021 might top it still.

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While I was at the business consulting firm's CEO house to collect the subwoofer, I checked out his gear. 

His only speakers are these ancient and decrepit Italian made Diapason bookshelves. He drives them with state-of-the-art electronics: a stack of Naim components. 

When listening to music, he is perched upon his throne, in this case an Ogawa massage chair. 

Right next to the throne is a Samsung refrigerator. Why is there a fridge in the living room? The fridge was opened and its contents revealed to me. Bottles upon bottles of hard liquor. 

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In talking to the Malay boy, I realise he has different expectations of the government than I have. 

He is very dissatisfied with the government. He thinks it has failed him. He never got any real money from the government. It suddenly occurred to me that many people think this way. 

I have never been disappointed in the government because all governments ever do is to tax you in many, many ways. In exchange for all the money they take from you either directly or indirectly, they provide some infrastructure and services. Which, despite all the money they take from you and the monopolies on natural resources they have, they still have to go borrow. They borrow it from you, BTW. Through EPF, etc. 

So I've never seen the government as something I can get money from. In fact, the more you have to deal with the government, the less money you end up having. 

In actual truth, the government gets most of its money from you. 

If more people see things this way, there will be more rational behaviour. And self reliance. You are wealthy to the extent you create value. Looking to the government to save you is like looking to a burglar to guard your house. 

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The government is very much like Mastercard in its business model. It takes a cut on every transaction. But it tries to hide that fact from the general population, to avoid being unpopular. Just like Mastercard, which prohibits vendors from stating the credit card fees, or providing discounts if payment is by cash. 

The government is not your friend. It doesn't matter which party is in government. It still operates like Mastercard. 

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Of course, I had to ask myself why so few people realise this. Why does everyone expect the government to do things for them? 

Partly, it's because the government wants to foster the image of being patriarchal /matriarchal. Partly, because they have no incentive to reveal their real business model. 

And as I've said repeatedly, unless you are of a certain IQ level, you have almost no ability to figure things out on your own. You have to be explicitly taught, repeatedly. That, the government won't do. 

The government is not patriarchal. It is parasitic. But that's OK! You just have to know it. By knowing that, you orient your attention and energies differently. You no longer walk around in perpetual disappointment with the government. 

In fact, when you know it, you lose most of your interest in daily political developments. 

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It looks like we'll all be sitting at home for quite a while. I totally do not believe MCO 2.0 will end in four weeks. If anything, this may be longer than the first MCO, since we now have more than 10X the daily new cases compared to last year.

Quite a few things are different this time around. The first MCO sapped the cash of many companies; this time around, companies are even less liquid. RM600 subsidi upah is no encouragement for them to keep staff around. Notice how Saravanan doesn't even bother to tell companies to not lay off, the way he did the first time around. Companies ignored him then; they care even less now. 

Once a B40 person is laid off, his/her options to generate a living wage are almost nil. The likelihood of sudden mass demonstrations is much higher this time around.

This is something Zahid, Najib & Co are praying for. They are looking for instability, because in fluid situations opportunities present themselves for them to create a new constellation. If nothing changes, it looks grim for them. Without some change, their fate is certain.

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As a student, back when youtube was just a place for people to upload home videos, and when the internet was so slow that you had to download a movie before you watched it because streaming was an exercise in frustration, the university library had a considerable CD inventory that one could borrow.

I discovered Guenter Wand's complete Beethoven symphonies there. I thought it was the most amazing thing ever recorded. Wand recorded Beethoven a few times; those were his final recordings. They were with the NDR orchestra. I ripped those CDs onto my laptop. A few years after I discovered him, news of his passing appeared on German media.

Over subsequent years, I would compare Wand's recordings with those of other conductors. Nobody came close to Wand's sense of scale, refinement, or perfection. Not Karajan, not Barenboim, maybe Furtwaengler but the ancient recording was so low tech you could barely hear anything. Lesser known conductors completely butchered Beethoven when compared to Wand. Kleiber the Second recorded my favourite 5th & 7th, but my benchmark was always the 9th.

Yesterday, youtube's algorithms thought I might be interested in the above video. it shows how Wand went about crafting his music. I think it may have been Sir Simon Rattle who said that his work with an orchestra is an exercise in "collective music-making". I thought that was how conductors directed an orchestra. After all, every single member of the orchestra is also a music teacher. Many of them are quite accomplished musicians on their own. The conductor, I thought, sort of facilitated the music. He drew the best out of the members of the orchestra. Only Karajan, I thought, would have the Berliner Filharmoniker be terrified of him.

Well, Wand is as dictatorial and as micromanaging as they come. Look at how he manages the orchestra. "At the beginning it was too much, then at the end it was too little!" he complained to a musician at the beginning of the video. Shortly after, he addressed the first violins, and SANG the tune he wanted them to play. He talked to them like they were little children who barely knew how to play.

In the interview within the video, he complained at length about the musicians---how many can't even play a note properly. He went into some detail as to what he meant by playing a note properly, and why musicians failed to understand the note.

Later, shaking his head vehemently, he said to the orchestra, "No, this is supposed to be an eigth of a note, not one sixteenth! One cannot play it like this!"

Right after he said, "Within the tempo! Stay within the tempo! No private excursions please!"

This is the guy who conducted the best Beethoven symphonies I have heard. This is his method for achieving those superlative results.

I think from now on, I need to be dictatorial and micromanaging too.

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