To be honest

It’s a very strange saying, the “tbh” that has become so popularized in texting and colloquial lingo. People will use this to convey seriousness, to get people to put away their phones for a second and really listen to what they’re about to say. But it doesn’t make sense!

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Strategy, tactics and Elon Musk

Elon Musk said something interesting once about why he does what he does: “I’m just trying to think about the future and not be sad.” This is his strategy. But what are his tactics?

There’s a difference between the two words, despite many using them interchangeably. Strategy refers to the big picture plan, the overarching method for how to proceed. Tactics involve the specific actions that need to be taken to implement the strategy. Besides clearing up the semantics, I think there’s value in knowing how the two apply to everyday life.

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Now that’s a view

It’s one of the most serene views I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing. Sitting on the beach during the sunset, waves lapping quietly against the shoreline, with not a thing to do except kick back and relax. My mom captured the perfect moment, when my little brother just stood on the sand gazing out at the setting sun, staring off into the distance and admiring the beauty. It was simple, peaceful; a fitting end to a day away from studying and work.

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Third person view

It was 4:30 AM, pitch black outside save the yellowish glow from the street lights. I cycled up the final bend before seeing the corner of the block my house was on, exhausted from the five odd hours I’d just spent playing volleyball. I could feel my my legs aching, my left hand throbbing from the bruise I’d acquired and my throat parched once again.

Then I blinked, and snapped to a third person view of myself.

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Progressive shock

I couldn’t believe the grade that I was seeing for my finance exam.

Slowly, results of my finals trickled in my inbox, and while they weren’t as high as the grades from last semester, they were high enough for my GPA to be more or less unaffected. I wasn’t particularly happy nor upset. Finally, more than a month after the exam took place, the grades for corporate finance were published.

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Light weapons

When playing video games, you often have the choice to customize your character’s base attributes to be more suited to feats of strength, speed, subtlety and the like. As much as I admired overwhelming power and brute force, I was never really one to choose this kind of approach. What appealed to me from a very young age was agility.

If I had a giant weapons rack in front of me, with all manner of instruments of death ranging from broadswords to hammers to daggers, I’d almost always favor lighter weapons. There’s a kind of elegance when you watch a pair of scimitars dance in the hands of an expert, a mesmerizing whirlwind of action in the thrusts of a spear that’s less evident with heavier weapons.

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The ethics of exploitation

Taxation, business deals, government legislation and government legislation are what spring to mind when it comes to contracts and loopholes. Ideally, contracts would be ironclad, free of ambiguity and able to predict every possible future circumstance. This would eradicate the opportunity for exploitation that tempts so many. Unfortunately, unless you’re a god, Euler’s identity or Anna Kendrick, it’s impossible for you to be that perfect. Thus, we are left with loopholes.

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People watching

People watching is the act of observing people and their interactions, usually without their knowledge. It involves picking up on idiosyncrasies to try to guess at another person’s story. This includes speech in action, relationship interactions, body language, expressions, clothing and activities.

It’s like a little game I play while eating lunch alone in the large food court on campus. People are surprisingly free with their conversations, believing that the general buzz of noise that accompanies lots of people talking at once will mask whatever secrets they’re unveiling. I suppose eavesdropping isn’t really ethical, but sometimes it can’t be helped when kids are nigh on shouting stories of drunken escapades and experiences as scorned lovers right next to you. From this, it’s not really difficult to guess at their motives and stories. This, however, isn’t the real fun part.

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