Melissa Chen Profile picture
VP @strategyrisks | Board + co-founder @IdeasB2 | Board @envprogress | 🇸🇬 🇺🇸 🇬🇧 | ✍️ The Spectator & elsewhere | Email:
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Nov 14, 2023 5 tweets 2 min read
Update: I’m on ✈️ from London to Boston

Meanwhile thank you to all who shared and offered advice. No leads yet though some annoying scammers

Here’s what’s been done so far:

Called & reported Harvard, Boston & Cambridge Police

Animal Control Boston/Cambridge & vet clinics - Posted about 43 flyers around the park where he was last seen (will post more)

- Posted online & called MSPCA, Animal Rescue League

- Posted , Nextdoor, Pawboost, PetRadar, LostMyDoggie

Still in problem-solving mode. If you have tips, please share! 🙏
Nov 3, 2023 6 tweets 1 min read
I wonder how different our world would be like if our leaders and intelligentsia weren't so completely divorced from violence - both simulated or real.

Ancient Greek thinkers such as Plato - meaning "broad shoulders," so named because of a physique honed by wrestling - were not merely men who lived their lives in their heads, pontificating in abstraction away from any understanding of savagery and the zero sum nature of conflict. Both Hemingway and Orwell fought in the Spanish Civil War.

Today, the stereotype that characterizes our erudite class is the
Sep 16, 2023 5 tweets 1 min read
Pay attention to what’s happening in Ireland.

@shellenberger says that Irish hate speech bill (soon to be passed) is one of the worst he has seen in decades of policy work.

He commends @FreeSpeechIre and @Ben_Scallan for their work on this issue. Never would I expect that one by one, Western nations would increasingly adopt the draconian censorship laws of the country of my birth (🇸🇬).

The Irish legislation will criminalize any speech - in person or offline -
Jun 30, 2023 7 tweets 4 min read
My latest for @TheSpectator:

Affirmative Action backfires in many ways, failing to help the minority students it purports to help. Blacks feel like they don’t belong; Asians feel resentful.

Singapore rejects AA but has a solution that has seen success…
“Like many of the other ideas pushed during the racial reckoning (see: defund the police), affirmative action appears to be yet another manifestation of what @robkhenderson has so astutely called “luxury beliefs.” Does the actual fate of these students not matter as much as their……

Apr 25, 2023 5 tweets 2 min read
In the early 2000s when I left Singapore for America, most Singaporeans admired the US.

My sense being back here these days is that not only is it no longer true, there's a considerable amount of contempt for America due to its cultural export of woke garbage.

Relatives and high school friends who I never once ever talked politics with my whole life suddenly are eager to engage me on how American politics and how "crazy America has become."

Sometimes it's about crime, sometimes it's about lawlessness or the homeless/drug epidemic, but increasingly
Mar 30, 2023 6 tweets 2 min read
I'm so happy to read this perspective by @Megankstack in the @nytimes.

Of course it took a journalist who reported on China, Russia and Egypt to say this: calling the Lab Leak Theory disinformation, was itself, disinformation.

She brilliantly traces… the formation of the narrative (that lab leak = conspiracy theorist / racist), how it evolved into "consensus," and explains how the folks vested with the authority to create the consensus had huge conflicts of interest.

It's clear to me that the epistemic process is no
Jan 31, 2023 9 tweets 3 min read
One of the greatest casualties of the culture wars is Prof. David Sabitini. What was, in any other time, a complex romantic interplay between grown adults has instead devolved into a public spat, facilitated by the DEI-HR industrial complex.

The costs… to society are not trivial. David's research was pioneering in the field of cancer biology and he was Nobel Prize-bound. He ran a 40-person lab, and all that research was abruptly terminated, resulting in untold loss of medically significant knowledge.

Over his 24 years at the
Jan 1, 2023 8 tweets 3 min read
2022 was such a hell hole for me. If it had a theme at all, it was about loss and mortality.

I still haven’t figured out how to exist in this world without my dad. I don’t know if I have fully processed the fragility of life after almost perishing in a road accident in Cambodia. And then close friends my age are getting diagnosed with cancer. All in the same year.

This kind of devastation takes a toll on the mind and body. There are lines on my face and bags under my eyes now not caused by lack of sleep. They seem to have become permanently
Nov 7, 2022 21 tweets 14 min read
My trip to Erbil, capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, has shattered some previously-held impressions of the region, and inspires a great deal of hope for the Middle East in general.

I couldn't help but think: if only Hitchens were around to see this. The level of development and high quality of life (in some ways it surpasses many US cities) left me speechless. Out of the ashes of Saddam's dictatorship, a string of wars, the rampage of terror groups and sectarian violence, rise a city that is resilient and looking to the future.
Jun 8, 2022 15 tweets 4 min read
I've always abstained from explicitly cheerleading for a particular political party or candidate, until @ShellenbergerMD ran for governor. There are reasons for this.

Firstly, self-interest. I'm one more robbery away from moving out of CA. Second, I saw first-hand the abject state of human misery on the streets of SF which had a profound effect on me back in January 2022.

I was in town to renew my passport and took the opportunity to meet up with my friend, the citizen journalist @JennyChachan. The plan was to meet at "the library," to
Apr 28, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
The student loan debate has brought up this idea that tuition should be based on future salary. Perhaps I'm naive but I still valorize the pursuit of knowledge that ostensibly has no practical value. Humanity's future depends on long-term thinking unguarded by market pressures. This is not to say that education should not have any contact with reality. This is not to say that elite overproduction isn't a problem. What is woke culture if not the wrath of underemployed humanities scholars with fancy degrees and heaps of social capital?

And yes it is
Apr 18, 2022 5 tweets 1 min read
It is crass to speak of a silver lining to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but one of the consequences of this reality is that it makes the Chinese invasion of Taiwan less likely, or at least staves off the timeline of takeover. China has seen the difficulties the Russians are having with what it assumed was a relatively straightforward invasion of Ukraine.

Structurally, Xi has every reason to fear that he too may face the same pitfalls that Putin did when it came to assessing the likelihood of success
Mar 30, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
Now that the WaPo and the NYT have authenticated the contents of Hunter’s laptop, don’t let them memory hole how the story was treated by the media a year ago.

Also, has anyone from @Twitter been held accountable for the “mistake” of banning the story & locking @nypost account? Hot off the press!
Mar 16, 2022 5 tweets 1 min read
Participating in the security kabuki theater here in Singapore is driving me nuts.

Every single time I have to scan the Orwellian-sounding TraceTogether app to enter a mall (and then enter a shop *inside* that mall), a part of my soul dies.

Various restrictions here just really don’t make sense. The limit on groups dining at the same table is… 5. Why? The trains are packed but somehow once you reach the restaurant you have to split your group.

Imagine being stuck at this stage of the pandemic when in the West, it’s business as usual & mandates
Mar 15, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
Nothing is more jarring to processing death than witnessing the cremation of a loved one.

I saw a robot push my dad’s coffin into the furnace. My sister, in between sobs, turned to me and said “um, this is some Squid Games shit.”

They asked what I wanted to do with the ashes. The crematorium offered an option to turn “my dad” into diamonds. I thought about it for a while before realizing that I had just seen the coffin go into the furnace, so exactly how many dad molecules versus coffin molecules would be in there?

I didn’t like the molecular
Mar 11, 2022 25 tweets 6 min read
I'm slowly easing myself back to normal life after the sudden and unexpected death of my father. My world has stopped and it feels surreal that it is going on without me.

Life, if I can even call it that, is simultaneously meaningless and overwhelming. I avoid the news because this is what my dad and I bonded over the most: political banter. Our last conversation lasted an hour on Valentine's Day on Russia-Ukraine.

Today, I can’t read an article without feeling the urge to send it to him and ask him what he thinks. This pattern of behavior is so
Feb 6, 2022 8 tweets 2 min read
Yes, I will die on this hill. You cannot buy authenticity and love. The reason people *love* Joe Rogan is because the conversations he has on his podcast reflect the conversations that people have in real life.

For starters, the format. It's long and searching and not set up in pre-canned segments where guests have at most, minutes to make a soundbite. He chooses who he's interested in - and they really run the gamut - from ex-Navy Seals to political dissidents exiled in Russia to ... literally just nobody, like me.

His questions are free from the
Jan 18, 2022 10 tweets 3 min read
I listened to the entire @theallinpod twice in an attempt to give the short clips that have been circulating online the most charitable interpretation possible, mostly because I like them all and don't think Chamath is a bad person.

Is there more nuance in the longer clip? Maybe But in some ways it's actually worse. Chamath came off as morally callous about ongoing atrocities but was refreshing honesty about the cold hard truth that words and outrage sometimes don't match actual efforts that can actually effect change for the Uighurs.

I get that. But
Jan 18, 2022 5 tweets 2 min read
Capital allocators like us should be talking abt human rights all the time, be familiar with the declaration of human rights and aspire to hit those notes in our country & everywhere else. The equivalency you guys bring up is an intellectual trap.

- @Jason on THAT All-In episode Bravo Jason. It strikes me that if every capital allocator and creator operated like that, our world would be instantly better off. Tyrannical regimes around the world are propped up by wealth.

Hasn't the world since learned that the theory that more economic engagement and more
Jan 17, 2022 9 tweets 2 min read
It's so tragic what happened to Michelle Go, who was killed after being shoved in front of an incoming train in NYC by a deranged man.

My dad warned me about this phenomenon when I first moved to NYC, and he gave me tips on how to avoid it: 1) Don't do anything that decreases situational awareness. Don't listening to music or podcasts when in the station. 2) Stand far far away from the train tracks 3) Where platforms are narrow as in the 14th street station on both sides, stand near a pillar, ready to reach out and hold on to it in the
Jan 7, 2022 5 tweets 1 min read
There couldn't be a more salient parallel to David and Goliath than what's been happening between Lithuania and China.

Small, plucky Lithuania (population 3 mil) with a GDP equivalent to that of Alaska, had the audacity to stand up to China on the issue of Taiwan. The retaliation was swift and heavy-handed.

Ambassadors were recalled, embassies were closed. And the regime ceased all bilateral trade, even pressuring other global corporations to sever ties with Lithuania.

If any company uses "parts and supplies from Lithuania, they will