Behind the flag
The small things count
There is more here than meets the eye.
Have you ever wondered when watching movies featuring American soldiers, why the flag on their uniform appears backwards?
It’s done for symbolic reasons.
During the American Civil War, some soldiers would be appointed as flag bearers. And when their military units advanced against their enemy, the flag bearers would look something like the picture below.
So in keeping spirit with that idea of always advancing and never retreating, the US flag appears reversed when patched on American soldiers.
In fact, it has been termed as “Assaulting Forward” by US combat troops.1
I also like to think that the reason for putting the US flag reversed on the right arm, instead of having it pictured normally on the left arm, is because of more symbolism.
Statistically speaking, the right arm is the stronger and the dominant arm for most people. Therefore, by putting the US flag on the right arm, you are also symbolizing that the US military is the dominant fighting force in the area.
To me, it’s these small and symbolic things that mean the most.
Over & Under
Here, I bring up things that are over or undervalued (in my opinion of course).
Overvalued - The actual educational content in universities
Universities are great. Generally, they widen your job prospects, bolster your earning potential, and prevent your parents from questioning their life choices.2
But the actual educational content given through lectures (maybe on Zoom) are overvalued. That content is likely outdated or going to be outdated soon, especially in rapidly changing environments like fintech.
No wonder it’s a stereotype for newly hired graduates to warn their juniors “to get ready for the real world”.
Undervalued - Listening to music and doing nothing else
When we listen to music, we are almost always doing something else. Cleaning, working, driving.
But the best way to enjoy music and maybe the forgotten way, is to just listen and do nothing else.
So pick that song that’s been stuck in your head, press play, and take it all in.
We’re at the brink of several irreversible and major technological leaps. Digital currency, machine learning, and gene editing. But writing a letter to our future selves is probably as close as we are going to get to time travel.
Take a look at what others have wrote too; these letters from strangers can evoke incredibly warm feelings.
And if all these technological advancements are scaring you, take comfort in DIY physical mixtapes sourced from your Spotify playlists.
That’s all from Incandescent. See you next week!
— Guan Jie