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Jaffry Jalal Hi. My name is Jaffry Jalal.

(Yes, pronounced like ‘Jeffrey’ but spelt with an ‘a’ and without ‘e’. Not Jefrey with one ‘f’ though. Lots of people get my name wrong and it used to be a big deal when I was younger. Everything that is not a big deal was somehow a big deal when I was younger. I managed to snag jaffry@hotmail.com back in the day before I concluded it was not a big deal. But I still don’t like seeing myself in photographs.)

Jaffry is a UX designer, art director, and educator who plays at the intersections of insight, creativity, and discovery.

(From time to time, he sometimes speaks in the third person, which can be somewhat disorienting or sound like something really momentous is going to show itself. But invariably does not. Most likely a coping mechanism to deflect attention from his true self. He was a big fan of the reticent Ultra Magnus in the 80s. And also the nerdy Willow in the 90s. Jaffry ought to stop this pseudo out-of-body frame of reference and get back to the old-fashioned first person singular.)

I am currently serving at Singapore Polytechnic’s Design School where I coach people to make stuff.

(Admittedly, ‘make stuff’ may sound pompous and deliberately enigmatic. It is, however, a lot more economical than saying that I create, facilitate, and teach in the areas of inter­action, inter­face and visual design, frontend proto­typing with HTML, CSS & JavaScript, art direction, and user research methods. So there.)

Previously, I was in advertising for 17.11 years as a digital art director, visual UX lead, and the occasional code monkey.

(Once, at a job interview at an agency, I was asked what the greatest goals in my life were, to which I replied, “Almost any­thing by Robbie Fowler.” The Creative Director didn’t laugh. Maybe I should have used ‘from’ instead of ‘by’? Anyway, I wasn’t laughing after that either. That weekend, I had the best iced coffee in my life. Must’ve been the non-soy, gluten-full, no-fats-removed-whatsoever milk.)

To fight the tyranny of routine, I enjoy taking little detours and brief excursions in search of coffee.

(If you pinched your nose and drank coffee, the taste will be bitterly disappointing. [EDITOR’S NOTE: YOU WILL LOOK LIKE AN IDIOT DOING IT SO DON’T] Without the olfaction, coffee gustation lacks gusto. Coffee joints—here I exclude hawkers of coffee flavoured milks—transmit wonderful aromas that keep out the chatter of hipsters enthusing loudly about buying rope-dyed pants handsewn by anti-capitalist cool dudes living in a farming village where the aforementioned dilettantes also grow a special strain of salvia hispanica in limited quantities for their associates. As it were.)

If you want to talk about pants, suggest a coffee detour, or just say hello, I can be reached at jaffry@dullneon.com.

(I figured jaffry@hotmail.com wasn’t so hot when I could get my own domain name in 1998. Which I then did. I can’t always do local coffeeshop kopi; my body fights back with gut wrenching reflux. I’ll have ginger tea. It's fantastic. I actually know someone who knows someone who has this friend whose ex-colleague’s third cousin, twice removed, makes a mean ginger tea for a living.)

If email isn’t your thing, you can find me on LinkedIn.

(Hey, that kinda rhymed! You can also find me on Instagram where I am cultivating an exclusive online-only image as a stand-offish, insufferable, browbeating know-it-all. I’d say it is working really well as I have no friends. Also, you may be having trouble deciding whether I am kidding. Or not. Henceforth, I will tell you when I’m kidding.)

(Despite the current landscape, social media can be a force for good. But the current iterations are nothing more than global stock exchanges of posts, likes, hearts, streaks, tweets, retweets, and how many connections you have. If anything, there should be a federated social network of messaging platforms, so we can reach anyone on any network with any brand of telephone an interoperable messaging app. A possibility as unlikely as Richard Stallman using a pay toilet.)

Most of the time, I don’t talk much.

(I spend a lot of time in my own head. You may have figured that out from all these parenthetical interludes, eh? As a kid growing up in the late 80s/early 90s, I kept a diary. It wanted to be like Anne Frank but turned out just awful. In the early noughties, I—along with everyone else and their dog—started a blog. It wanted to be like the offspring of K10k and Anil Dash but became a random hoard of links, images and random notes.)

The damned dancing baby gif from the 90sPlease welcome to my homepage
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(If you’ve reached here, then it may be that you thought my blog was awful. [YEAH, YOUR BLOG SUX M8] Or that you are a loveless, soulless, headless program designed to exploit and extract very specific information that conforms to RFC 5322. If you are the latter, what you seek resides below.)

For unsolicited messages regarding copulatory medication, unbeatable loan packages, or money from Nigerian royalty, the email address you need is honeypot@dullneon.com.

(Once upon a memory, I used to have a pen pal, who, one day, asked me, quite forcefully, to halt my correspondence. Was it because I was as vile as a spammer? Possibly, as in my letters to my erstwhile pen pal, I didn’t provide an unsubscribe link. As a wise fox once said, what is essential is invisible to the eye. And with that, I bid you adieu.)

(Aaaaaaaaaaaand you’re still here.)

(Well, guess what? Despite the pinball chaos of speeding asteroids in space, we are all still here and quite alive on Earth, whose rotation is slowing slightly with time.)

The time in Singapore is now 11:55pm. .¹

(With less than 7 continuous hours of sleep, my logic gates become foggy, instructions get processed far slower, and decision trees recursively devour themselves ßy br≡aching 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔤𝔦͡𝔩𝔡𝔢𝔡 ¢hasm between this wΘrld ùnd the previouš whích devours the peštifœroús hΦwl oƒ other lifeforms ǝɹǝɥʍ sı ǝɥʇ ɹǝuoɔןɐɟ, the <center> cannot hold. ░/ⁱᵗ ᵈᵒᵉˢ ░n░o░t░ ░c░o░m░e░ ጎክ የቿልርቿ dᴅᴇꜱᴛʀᴏyɪɴɢ ᴀʟʟ ɪɴ ᴜɴʜᴏʟy ȺđɨȺŧɨvɇ đɇsŧɍᵾȼŧɨøn with pain lea͠ki̧n͘g fr̶ǫm ̡yo​͟ur eye͢s̸ ̛l̕ik͏e of ]]c̶̮omes he ᵒh f⊥⊂k no NO NOO̼ comes N​ot rè̑ͧ̌aͨl̘̝̙̃ͤ͂̾̆ ZA̡͊͠͝L ISͮ̂҉̯͈͕̹̘̱ T -}O͇̹̺ͅƝ̴ȳ̳S̨̿̔̀ͅ…

(A good 8-hour sleep the following night, followed by breakfast, fixes everything.)

Breakfast is probably my favourite meal.

(The morning meal is an excellent way to celebrate that one has awoken from what turned out to be an impermanent rest. Lunch is better utilised for naps so screw that. Breakfast for dinner is exciting because it feels like a transgression and yet no one gets hurt. I wish I could have a roti prata with fish curry every day. But because frequent fried food could induce a permanent rest, I save it for special occasions. Like weekends.)

So that I can eat whatever I want on weekends, I subscribe to a pescetarian diet on weekdays.

(Highly scientific, I know. People ask why I don’t just say “a diet that's mostly vegetarian but also includes fish and seafood” instead of using a big word like pescetarian. To which I ask “Why use eleven words to describe something when one would do?” It’s like using a HEX code instead of waffling around trying express a colour.)

Currently, I am quite infatuated with the colour #af95d2, overuse the word inconformable, and find myself listening to on repeat.

(I have fixations over small things that change across points in time. The objects of fixation change, not the objects themselves, of course. However, if we are talking about transmuting stuff, I’d like to snap my fingers to convert my 800+ music CDs into accurately ripped and tagged FLAC files without manually having to use XLD and Picard.)

Mostly because I prefer the FLAC audio format, I usually buy my music from bleep.com or Bandcamp.

(I’m not into Spotify and cloudy music rental services. I prefer buying music outright if only to avoid the bifurcation of my existing collection. I don’t have a lot of money to pass down to my kid so my music, organised in intricately named folders, will have to do.)

My current playlist:

(My listening habits have been on Last.fm since 2005. If my reading habits were up online, it’d consist almost entirely of Wikipedia searches via Google for whatever fatuous thought or fact void in my head. That’s what everybody with a smartphone and stupid fast data plan does, right? Right?)

My favourite smartphone apps:
  • Switch to NotsApp Messenger to not send and receive messages, calls, photos, videos, documents, and Voice Messages.
  • Telegrump is the grumpiest app on the market, unconnecting people via a unique, distributed network of data centers around the globe to keep them cantankerously overloaded with information.
  • WontChat is a messaging and calling app that won’t allow you to easily connect with family and friends across countries.
  • With Unstagram Direct, you will be unable to send text messages and posts from your feed to groups and friends, allowing you to do what you do best: taking shitty photos.

(Messaging apps are horrible at the workplace; like open-plan offices, they foster a culture of interruptions and hypertasking. Porlockian distractions aren’t any good for doing good work; you never stay in the zone for long. However, the luxury of not being on Whatsapp has social consequences; non-work friends can forget to invite you to parties. I don’t get offended; I get nostalgic.)

This sucks

(Sometimes I miss the 90s. Yes, I know. That the past is always well-remembered. Caused by the distortion of peak experiences. Which prevents you from being in the present. Blah, blah, and blah. But back then, because there wasn’t much to do if your parents insisted TV was evil, you just went to the library and read a lot. And sulked a lot, too. Nowadays, I read less. I also sulk less.)

I recently finished reading .

(I borrow/buy more books than I probably should. Every time I return home from the library or with an Amazon package, the unread books on my shelf always laugh at me. My e-books are much more polite and don’t do such things. Because I don’t even know they’re there.)

And yet, I am always compulsively acquiring more things to read.

(I’m also a sucker for mailing lists. Probably in my inbox right now: LinkedIn baiting me with broems of plasticised optimism, cool stuff from ‘Clark from InVision[NO, HE IS NOT A DUTCH DUDE NAMED ‘CLARK VON INVISION’], Anjali Ramachandran’s excellent Other Valleys, and a mutual fund factsheet from my bank that my inner bourgeois-self wants to know about.)

Reading widely can perhaps prevent the ossification of one’s opinions.

([YOU’RE NOT LISTENING TO ME – YOU DON’T USE 'OSSIFICATION' UNLESS YOU’RE AN ORTHOPEDIST OR A POMPOUS JACKASS])

(When our mind is open and fertile, we don’t just read words but experience waves of impulses from a text. This could emerge from a sensitive word choice, a new combination of words, a visual metaphor, a thoughtful typeface, meaning­ful punctuation or even the lack thereof. When the idea breaks through, pushing the voltage through the filament. The mutual fund factsheet didn’t break through because the expense ratio was too damn high.)

Maybe we can get smarter by reading what others may have figured out.

(Nonfiction is a great way to learn without actually getting hands-on experience. But if you don’t experience it, did you learn anything? But here’s a thought: would you invest your money blindly without doing your research? But money isn’t everything. But you should read your Kindleberger. But a Kindle Burger would be a flat cake of ground or minced meat—usually beef—that is fried or grilled and placed between two Amazon Kindles like a sandwich. But it’d be mostly inedible. But obviously.)

(OK… well, I’ve got to run along and do stuff. [LIKE FIND A NEW COPY EDITOR COS THIS ONE JUST QUIT] There’s so much out there waiting to be discovered. Let’s shoo start you off with an all-time classic: A random article on Wikipedia.)

Goodbye.