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. I managed to snag jaffry
Jaffry is a designer 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 transpersonal self. He was a big fan of the reticent Ultra Magnus in the ’80s. Jaffry ought to stop this pseudo out-of-body frame of reference and get back to a more authentic, old-fashioned first person singular.)
I dislike the taste of papayas, don’t leave home without a pen, and count up to the first eight digits of π.
(I also count Timothy Dalton as my favourite Bond.
When I grow up, daydreamed eleven-year-old me while watching The Living Daylights,
I want to be a spy who can transform into Ultra Magnus. No career counsellor could help me with the cyborg espionage industry. So yeah, I didn’t go down that career path.)
I currently serve at Singapore Polytechnic where I coach people to create things.
For the past 17.11 years, I have worked as a creative in the guise of an art director, UX lead, and frontend code monkey.¹
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@
(I figured jaffry
(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. Also, you may be having trouble deciding whether I am kidding. Or not. Henceforth, I will tell you when I’m kidding.)
(I try to listen more than talk. So I spend a lot of time in my own head. (You may have figured that out from all these (sometimes overly nested) parenthetical interludes, eh?) As a teen, I kept a journal which wanted to be like Anne Frank but turned out just awful. As a young designer, I maintained a chronological visual reference journal, before everyone else and Stacey’s Mom started terming it a ’blog’. It wanted to be the offspring of K10k and Anil Dash but became a random hoard of links, images and notes.)
(If you’ve reached here, then it may be that you thought my blog was awful. [Yeah M8 it has no organic growth potentiality] Or that you are a loveless, soulless, headless program designed to exploit and extract very specific RFC 5322 conformant information.)
(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.)
(And 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.)
(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 ̡yo͟ur eye͢s̸ ̛l̕ik͏e of ]]c̶̮omes he ᵒh f⊥⊂k no NO NOO̼ comes Not rè̑ͧ̌aͨl̘̝̙̃ͤ͂̾̆ ZA̡͊͠͝L ISͮ̂҉̯͈͕̹̘̱ T -}O͇̹̺ͅƝ̴ȳ̳S̨̿̔̀ͅ…
(I gave up sleeping 7 hours a day. I was grumpy, lost all my friends, and fresh breakfast was hard to come by. So I went back to sleeping 7 hours at night. Fixed 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 or watching movie trailers. 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.)
(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…
(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+ 600+ music CDs into accurately ripped and tagged FLAC files without manually having to use XLD/RubyRipper and Picard.)
Current music rotation:
(Have I told you about that time when I got sucked into a black hole the size of my hand-held device because I felt like I needed to immediately know everything that I did not? To get to the root of this desire, I wanted to deeply self-inquire. Turns out there was an app for that.)
My favourite apps that don’t exist:
(Messaging apps—unlike SMSes which had a financial disincentive for overuse—are horrible at the workplace; like open-plan offices, they can 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 you exist. But I don’t get offended. I get nostalgic.)
(I have never really been comfortable with 90’s phrased in the decade-apostrophe-possessive format because it isn’t …you know… possessive. Furthermore, the lack of an apostrophe in front of the decade is slightly alarming because we’re not talking about the first century but the 20th. Thusly ’90s looks more accurate. I spent the noughties thinking about this. Those were good times.)
(Yeah, yeah… I know that the past is always well-remembered. Caused by the distortion of peak experiences. Which prevents you from being in the present. Like really smelling the air. Or attentively tasting a raisin. Or two. Instead of checking Facetube and missing out on human contact. Reading a book may be better — it makes the avoiding humans thing far more deliberate and obvious.)
I recently finished reading .
And yet, I am always almost 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’ [I thought it was a Dutch dude actually named ‘CLARK VON INVISION’], Dave Pell’s excellent Next Draft, and a mutual fund factsheet from my bank that my inner bourgeois-self wants to know about.)
(Economies go bust. Companies fold. People die. Rivers run dry. But everything that ends has a beginning. There are booms, bubbles, babies, and bodies of water that connect our world. Because happiness is energy, suffering is also energy. That was my takeaway from a slightly hokey chakra re-balancing meditation pamphlet I saw at a Chiang Mai pizza joint.)
Maybe we can understand more by reading what others may have figured out.
(Non-fiction is a way to learn without actually getting hands-on experience. But if you don’t experience it, did you learn anything? But would you invest your money blindly without even some research? But money isn’t everything. But you should read your Kindleberger. But a Kindle Burger would be a flat cake of grilled meat—usually beef—placed between two Amazon Kindles like a sandwich. But it’d be mostly inedible. But obviously.)
(My grandfather once told me a similarly structured cautionary tale about Muslim scholars and apostasy. That story did not end too happily. Anyway, it’s nice you’re still here but you need to go. 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.)