What can the culture of Singapore tell us about the future? – Visakan Veerasamy on Crazy Wisdom

Key Takeaways

  • “Every book is a portal into another universe” Visakan Veerasamy
  • If you use Twitter and the internet correctly, you can build relationships with smart people all over the world
  • The fact of the matter is, people are lonely and hungry for deep, passionate conversations
  • One great thing about people from all over the world coming online is that you get to learn about different cultural norms
  • In both off-line and on-line interactions, it’s easier to socialize when you have a common interest
  • Just as traveling expands your mind, reading history will do the same

Intro

  • Visakan Veerasamy (@viasakanv) is a marketing consultant – he’s also someone you all should be following on Twitter
    • For more Visakan, check out the Podcast Notes from his appearance on Venture Stories
  • Host – Stewart Alsop III (@StewartalsopIII)

Books Mentioned

Reading, Writing, and Making Friends on Twitter

  • Visakan has been reading and writing ever since he was a kid
    • “Every book is a portal into another universe” Visakan Veerasamy
    • In a way, the internet as a mega-library that we can all contribute to
  • A while back, Visakan created his own blog and started writing about his life, the news, and other topics
  • People now know Visakan for his in-depth Twitter threads and his openness to making new friends
    • 🎧 If you use Twitter and the internet correctly, you can build relationships with smart people (CEOs, PhDs, etc.) all over the world

Connecting with People

  • Visakan lives in Singapore
    • “The culture in Singapore is not super stranger friendly” – Visakan Veerasamy
      • People make more small talk in the U.S. compared to Singapore; in Singapore, people tend to keep more to themselves
  • When Visakan last visited the U.S., he tried to chat with as many people as possible
    • An invaluable life skill: Try to be naturally friendly without having an agenda of selling something or gaining something from someone
  • The good thing about the internet is that you can screen people for shared values
    • You can also screen people in real life – If you’re into dancing, go to a salsa class; if you’re into working out, join a CrossFit gym
      • In both off-line and on-line interactions, it’s easier to socialize when you have a common interest
  • 🎧 The fact of the matter is, people are lonely and hungry for deep, passionate conversations
  • If you focus on the differences between you and others. you’ll have very few friends
    • So, find ways to bridge the gap between you and others

Tech’s Effect on Culture

  • Global trade and shipping completely transformed Southeast Asia – the same thing is happening around the world because of the internet
    • That said, there are still a ton of people who aren’t online yet
  • One great thing about people from all over the world coming online is that you get to learn about different cultural norms
    • This also sheds light on how your own culture is unique
      • For example, Singapore is still homophobic and refuses to display ads depicting gay males
      • Another example: Cannabis is legal in parts of America, but in Singapore, it’s still very much frowned upon
  • One way change a country’s culture: Build a tech startup
    • Look at how Uber went from nothing to completely transforming how people commute
    • Similarly, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms have completely changed the media landscape

The Importance of Studying History

  • It’s interesting to learn about history and revisit it with our current lens
    • “Look for examples of different times in which similar things were true” – Visakan Veerasamy
  • Visakan also recommends reading about the crazy events of the past
  • 🎧 Just as traveling expands your mind, reading history will do the same
    • Try to empathize with the struggles people faced in the past and remember that if people back then could survive through tough times, you can do the same today
  • Visakan also recommends the book Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastion Junger
    • The book discusses why people build strong bonds during tough times

Additional Notes

  • By most measures, life is better now than ever before
    • Stewart recommends reading Factfulness by Hans Rosling for more on this subject
  • Stewart describes his podcast listeners as people who have one foot in the hippie world and the other in the business world