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Friday, June 21, 2019 - 23:13 SGT
Posted By: Gilbert

Cab Chat

My biggest indulgence these days is probably hitching Grab rides somewhat more often, instead of the MRT (whose head honcho's departure had been prematurely disclosed by The State's Times, but eh, it's transfer muppet season!). This occasionally results in a conversation when the driver's up for it, which can be all the more refreshing for the transience of the relationship - the jawboning's done when the destination is reached, usually within twenty minutes, with no expectation of anything more. Might not be a bad way to pass the time someday - one of my grandparents was a taxi driver - were it not for the fact that I fully expect vehicles to be automated by the time I'm retired.

This particular session involved some of the usual jibing at academic research, particularly the practical outcomes thereof ("wah, if project doesn't work, also nevermind one"); granted, the drive for internationally-recognized pure research has been critiqued by no less than the Minister of Education, which I'd say pierces right to the core mission of our universities. Can they be Ivies in the making, or are they doomed to be fallbacks for top scholars (related: EJMR discussion on economics)?

There was common ground to be found in movies at least, with the topic shifting easily from A.I. to Fast & Furious and Terminator (which seriously might not be too far off). The highlight however came when the Grabbie brought up cryptocurrency by himself, the first time this had happened. It wasn't a laudatory mention, rather more on how the price movements were "crazy" because they were "backed by nothing"... unlike the US dollar and Japanese yen etc.

Well, correcting misperceptions on what the current dollar and yen actually are backed by would have taken too long, and thus I merely smiled and nodded. By the way, Facebook has just announced its own Libra stablecoin-expy, which I'd gather will be rather more acceptable to the layman (oh, backed by Facebook lah!); not that the big B requires much help, given how it's advancing back to five figures, almost completely under the radar until very recently.

Yes, the good times are a-rollin', with Donald Doppelgänger slated to be Britain's last great hope, as foreshadowed in the Brexit analysis (in all honesty, they're very alike in behaviour and mannerism, disregarding protestations by the knockoff). But really, just rip the bandage off and leave already - it won't be that painful, and anyway, your closest pals are always ready to accommodate you, from across the Atlantic.

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