Confucius on Fame

Confucius said: “Don’t be concerned if you don’t have an official position; be concerned if you don’t deserve such a position. Don’t be concerned if you’re not famous; be concerned if you don’t deserve to be famous.”

Somehow, I don’t think that Confucius would be a fan of today’s celebrity-obsessed culture. Recognition is something that might come when you do something to deserve it, but even then it should never be actively sought after.


Confucius said: “If a ruler is able to govern a state by observing the rites and showing deference, what difficulties will he encounter? If a ruler is unable to govern a state by observing the rites and showing deference, what use are the rites to him?”

The rites are the customs and conventions – the cultural glue, if you like – that bind a country, institution, or even family together. They are not implemented by coercion or force, but by deference (讓/rang): a two-way process in which people at all levels of society from the ruler to a humble farmer showed mutual respect for each other and the contribution they make to its smooth functioning. Continue reading Deference

TIIC National Undergraduate IoT Design Contest


In October last year, Gartner forecast that by 2017 50% of IoT solutions will originate in startups less than three-years old – pointing out: “Individuals and small companies that span the globe are developing IoT solutions to real-world, often niche problems. They are taking advantage of low-cost electronics, traditional manufacturing and 3D printing tools, and open- and closed-source hardware and software to create IoT devices that improve processes and lives.”

Continue reading TIIC National Undergraduate IoT Design Contest

Unbiased leadership

Confucius said: “In dealing with the world, a leader has no prejudice or bias: he takes the side of what is right.”

Confucius said: “A leader cherishes virtue; a small-minded man cherishes land. A leader cherishes respect for the law; a small-minded man cherishes exemptions from it.”

A leader makes decisions based on the objective facts of a given situation: “he takes the side of what is right” rather than allowing his judgment to be swayed by relationships or preconceptions. Continue reading Unbiased leadership

Die happy


Confucius said: “Know the Way in the morning; die without regret in the evening.”

Confucius said: “A scholar-official who sets his heart on the Way but is ashamed of his threadbare clothes and coarse food is not worth listening to.”

The concept of the Way (道/dào) predates Confucius and Laozi by thousands of years. Even though they had different approaches to following and implementing the Way, they both began from the same starting points and shared the same set of core values. Continue reading Die happy

The ugly truth

Confucius said: “People define themselves by their faults. By observing their faults, you will understand the true extent of their goodness.”

There are a number of different interpretations of this passage due to the ambiguity of the text. I take it to mean that people only reveal their true nature in unguarded moments. Continue reading The ugly truth