Daily SG: 22 Feb 2008


Official Site: Singapore2010

Singapore Wins 2010 Youth Olympics Bid
– Culture Shiok! Singapore OFW: Youth Olympic Games 2010 in Singapore
– Sophie’s World: Slow off the mark?
– eastcoastlife: Yahoo!! Singapore wins bid to host Youth Olympic Games 2010!!
– utopia: Youth Olympics – faking enthu
– Singapore Youth Olympic Games 2010: An Open Letter to Our Supporters

re Education
– Next Stop Wonderland: ST Forum: Help grads who do as well as foreign talent

Relief Teacher Ridicules Students in Blog – Sacked
– Sam’s thoughts: Trial by media
– Singapore Life and Times: Gag Order

Pink Issues
– Yawning Bread: Media silence and the cultivators of hate
– i have succumbed to peer pressure.: ‘Gay uncles’ and the assimilation of dominant discourse

CPF & Annuities
– Coffee Shop Talk: CPF Life – 1st update by sgpolitics [Thanks shoestring]

Budget 2008
– Young PAP Blog: A Great Budget, But Does It Service?

Not that we love Caesar less…
– Mr Wang Says So: Things You’ll Never Catch Lee Kuan Yew Saying

The Phantom Menace. PAP mole in the mist?
– Chemical Generation Singapore: An Apology Goes a Long Way

Freedom, Choice and a place for my Voice
– Random Rants: What can you do?

ERPains, Trains & Automobiles
– My Singapore News: ERP, pay according to usage

Housing
– Alice Cheong in Wonderland: HDB lift upgrading and malfunction woes

Daily Discourse
– The Void Deck: Making Cents Out of the New Diesel Tax for Private Cars
– The Legal Janitor: Whoring for the BSA
– nofearSingapore: Beware MSM editor’s creative scissors-you read what they want you to read
– Looking For LaLaLand..: Singapore needs a Wee Kim Wee in politics
– Reality of Kai: Superficial
– Bad News on the Doorstep: Wrong move
– Balderdash: ethical basis for vegetarianism.. [Thanks Agagooga]
– Hard Hitting in the Lion City: Not happy about Kosovo

Life, the universe and everything
– Sg_Ljers: A message from the local music scene

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54 Responses to Daily SG: 22 Feb 2008

  1. Darkness says:

    There are some good reads here, the admin of SG Daily have been doing a good job in my view pls land here – chronicler open SLF 6 and 7 to this site ASAP.

  2. Agagooga says:

    Re: The idiocy of biocentrists and ecocentrists.

    Actually the post was about the ethical bases for vegetarianism.

    Biocentrists and ecocentrists are even more whack :P

    [Ahh.. ok, I changed it to “ethical basis for vegetarianism”. Wicked avatar btw]

  3. :) says:

    Darkness of the Brotherhood of the Bicycle Lovers,

    We know most of you are pissed off about Raju’s NLB decision etc, can I ask whether there are any plans to broadcast the Youth Olympics 2010?

    I also want to ask where is the new brotherhood site? I believe when all of you go underground like this, it makes many ppl nervous. Just my POV, thanks for the talk Darkness as always it is nice to see you spread it open

    :0

  4. Darkness says:

    MY THOUGHTS ON CHERIAN’S WRITE UP – WHY THE ARTIFICIAL DISTINCTION?

    This is a con’t from this thread; https://singaporedaily.wordpress.com/2008/02/18/daily-sg-18-feb-2008/#comment-1179

    Folks, I feel this debate has more or less turned the last leg of the race – it may well be, we are just peeling onions, it seems so. As each post seems to be opening up endless frontiers – I want to explore them, I do, but I feel they may actually take us to the realm of ever decreasing circles.

    Let’s try to smooth out the tangled sheets and gather up the loose ends – Question; why do I believe it’s facile to draw an artificial distinction between the MSM and blogosphere?

    A good place to start is to examine the basis of maintaining such a distinction, where does it come from? I don’t doubt it makes it easier, more amenable even the process to write academic papers, but that is not my question. Allow me paraphrase; can such a distinction even be relied upon not to produce aberrations and inaccuracies? To me it’s a bit like asking the question; do Chinese and dogs have a right to promenade in a park in colonial Shanghai? – the question has to be offensive, only because it entails power and politics. Now I happen to know this area well, only because I have frequently seen first hand; how disciplines manage to box themselves up – we would like to believe this has something to do with being narrow minded and even failing to regularly take our vitamins, but nothing can be further from the truth! Even the best of us can find ourselves barricaded in an ivory tower or a corporate bunker, if we are not mindful. I am reminded the study of anthropology and to a certain extent my field of expertise production science has got itself into a similar situation where explanations of how societies remained stable and self –sustaining dominated all other ways of looking at them. Anthropologist knew that disputes over women were the chief cause of trouble among primitives; they refused, however, to apply themselves to the study of its consequences, which was war. Why? Because they insist this is a discipline that their field of study should rightly stay well clear of – military science. This you might say is perverse but it serves to illustrate my point; how even schools of thoughts whether it’s origami or even something closer to urination techniques like holding oneself out to be a media expert can impose artificial restrictions very much in the way we draw longitudinal lines that don’t actually exist except to facilitate the whole course of navigation, but what’s corrosive about this template of approaching issue is it’s bound to have the effect of collectively refusing to recognize the importance of X,Y or Z for no other reason because form has somehow managed to take precedence over function. In my experience, I have found this condition to “build artificial walls” quite prevalent and even being smart doesn’t insulate one from falling into this ‘mental trap.’ You could even say that in my vocation, 80% of my energy is spent either breaking, climbing or going over walls – so this is one area that I have gained considerable proficiency in – most recently (as some of you will know) it came when Bernard Leong said that the BP was not a blog that’s why it was not mentioned in their social political blogosphere review – Question; was Bernard right? Yes, if ONLY we define blogs very much like we do cars requiring them to have an axle four tires, an internal combustion etc, but where is the provision to accommodate an electric vehicle in this narrow definition? It cannot and so what we see here is how a definition fails to compress, consolidate and capture meaning. My feel is form can never take priority over function – similarly, if we consider what Cherian George is doing, it would at first appear my primary intention is to cause intellectual offence – nothing can be further from the truth! All I ask here is why is there a need to delineate the MSM and blogs? Question; does that sort of artificial distinction add or subtract from our understanding? Does it postpone or promote the salient? Is it even intellectually responsible in the way I have described when I shared with all of you the artificial line which accounts for why anthropologist don’t feel the need to study war only because it encroaches on another field of study?

    Again this I leave to you.

    My feel is this, news is news, information is information, writing is writing and reading is reading – and here we must ask ourselves whether readers are necessarily beholden to one medium of information? I do not believe they are only because readers can migrate not only physically but also intellectually, a blog reader may for example be a person who reads newspapers, magazines and even books, is that so unusual? Which one takes primacy when it comes to forging his worldview? Which one is demoted when he has to make a decision to either buy into a 20 year endowment plan? That to me is a very apt representation of the real world.

    So again you need to ask yourself the question whether Cherian’s distinction manages to successfully compress all these complexities?

    It’s a representation that’s fast gaining currency when we consider that even establish newspapers in the West are migrating online, instead of maintaining the dichotomy between blogs and MSM, what we see here is a universal acceptance that’s very much reflected in the business process and so you must ask why is it a cry that many on the other side of the fence choose not to heed?

    Again this is something you all need to consider when you read Cherian’s write up. Thank You. Darkness 2008.

  5. shoestring says:

    I think ignorance, presumptions, accepting what we are being told at face value without investigating for ourselves and unwillingness to explore unfamiliar ground (because we are used to being spoon-fed?) are some of the obstacles to the “merger” of the two worlds. We think they are separate but in fact, they are two facets of one world. We need to expel the myths about the Internet, propagated by various individuals and entities, in order for people to realize that they are missing out on a huge chunk of the world.

    The mindset of a typical Internet-shy person goes something like this:

    Shy guy: Ar? You mean you earn money online? Isn’t it very dangerous? There are hackers right?
    Netizen: But our government and big corporations carry out transactions online too.
    Shy guy: But, but, I don’t like it. It’s full of porn.
    Netizen: That’s only one tiny corner of cyberspace.
    Shy guy: But still, the porn is there.
    Netizen: We have Geylang too.
    Shy guy: I can avoid Geylang what. Singapore is so big.
    Netizen: You can avoid porn sites too.
    Shy guy: I can read the ST. There is no need to go online for news. There is lots of trash and untruths in there.
    Netizen: ST has Asiaone, Mediacorp has Channelnewsasia. So do universities and not-for-profit organizations.
    Shy guy: Still, why do I need to go online? I can live without going online.

    So how? Shoud we reinforce the myths or dispel them?

  6. Darkness says:

    MY THOUGHTS ON CHERIAN’S WRITE UP – WHY THE ARTIFICIAL DISTINCTION? (PART 2)

    How true is it that a free and independent press is the only means to bring about positive social changes? Why is the internet so feral and vapid? Is it really an accretion of not having a free and independent press? Will the free press restore the missing balance in blogosphere? Now this dance along well worn paths of ‘origins’ and ‘functions’ might have continued quiet happily if not for certain uncomfortable ‘truths’ forwarded by a few of you.I want to begin by thanking you all. You see I wish to be candid about my ignorance concerning this subject. In the beginning when I first read about it, it never occurred to me to question the assumption between free press = civil liberties; you could even say, till then I accepted this as a matter of anecdotal truth since by definition every memory I could summon of a country that enjoyed a high level of civil liberty awareness had a free press (that could have been due to my mother accidentally dropping me as a baby). You could even say, I saw no rhyme or reason to even question this hallowed assumption, I just figured it must have been written on stone somewhere.

    Till of course Vollariane highlighted the complexities associated with moving from ‘closed’ to ‘open.’ Now the key word here is ‘moving’ till then it could be said my understanding was simplistic enough to even assume it was akin to magnetic levitation or getting abducted by aliens, a magical process i.e foreclosing on ‘closed’ automatically leads to ‘open.’ Not true. You could say that I never even once questioned the validity this assumption. The double whammy came when Cerebus asked me, “who is going to drive this train called enlightenment?” For while in my minds eye, I picture Sumiko standing ramrod holding up a cast iron torch, but that gave way to comic relief only because we all know Miss Liberty is a big boned gal built like a soviet tank – she’s like a timex, can take plenty of licking and still keep ticking. Sumiko is not, blow hard enough and she will come tumbling down like a pack of cards. The following day, Iron Horse dropped another bombshell on me when he said that, even a free press is no guarantee to preserve civil liberties! This was followed by others like Jan and today shoestring etc who more or less went on to flesh out the remainder of the points, each leveraging on their world view, thus helping to shape and form our understanding.

    Now it would appear this article is; the confessions of a dumbo being happily reunited with his brain, but what we may be witnessing here is something that may actually hold out the promise of a vibrant society that even cherian george wax lyrical abt!

    I understand some may choose to believe I fell off my bicycle and hit my head on something really hard just then, but even they cannot detract from the indelible belief, the answer did come – in time. Granted it waffled its way here and there, but come it did.

    Here in the net, from mainly people who I have never ever seen before – now that’s telling because for lack of a better word, let us just for serendipity sake term it a ‘process,’ (as I am yet to develop a word for it) and if we may choose to examine how it works, it could be said, the pressure of events even forced an outcome in the form of an answer to many of our questions, even to the extent of not exclusively regarding a free and independent press as the only means of guaranteeing civil liberties. That’s progress – I want you to hold on to this as highlight a few salient points to what we actually trying to grapple with; the idea of a society that’s able to coherently make sense of events – from because my main point is all this know-how to beacon out the murk emerged here in the internet. Why?

    Well I suspect that it has a lot to do with having multiple lines of information assembly, you need to consider can wisdom really reside in a oligarchy as big as the press? I am reminded at this point, being big is a form of government.

    The net however is small but in cumulative terms its large only because it’s an ecology driven by multiple and endless streams of disciplines, dentist, lawyers, call girls, dog shooters and even disenchanted journalist but what marks out it out as suitably qualified to successfully beacon out the murk is it’s not scripted, not trained even and as such it doesn’t even value the ideal of conformity, it’s the direct opposite of a bureaucracy , that’s what makes it so powerful and because it taps into wide range of vocational expertise it able to craft out first hand views – that’s to say, I know for a fact Vollariane is a strategic planner who usually visits firms when they want to raise the dead, now granted he like me or you may fall short on diction, sentencing construction and probably knock every traffic cone on how to write well, but you can’t foreclose on his vocational experience, that’s my point – the internet is a biggest informational repository that ever existed in the history of mankind! In fact, it’s such a big brain muscle that whenever, I am stuck in a rut that’s the first place I go to inoculate myself from brain freeze. For me it isn’t so much a place to while away time as it is a diverse resource that is able to allow me to do the things that would not have been possible in let’s say the age of sail – to speedily import and export information – to mash ideas, see them convalesce and take shapes and forms that were not previously envisaged.

    So if I really have to put my money on a spot and say, “where is the great hope that will bring real and meaningful change? It has to be here and not some pie-in-the-sky sisterhood of perpetual hesitation (sph) free press.” The net wins only because it’s very powerful.

    You see I am one of those who is accustomed to viewing our world in prosaic terms, that simply means denying absolutes; in this world view very much like our understanding of the net, something can even be feral, vapid and represent the height of moral turpitude yet at the same time, it can ironically hold out the promise of a better tomorrow; New York is such a place, resented for its rudeness, its arrogance, its crowds and dirt and unceasing grind. Yet I am reminded resentment on even a national or global scale even one as gigantic as it guarantees a steady stream ambitious and experimental thinkers who believe, “If I can make it here, I can make any where” attitude – these will be the movers and shakers of tomorrow, never the experts who can only follow the yellow brick road of the trite and tested.

    This is not a panacea, I have seen kids develop programs just so they can wolf whistle and eyeball girls in the virtual only to be pasted up on computing boards in MIT and Carnegie – Mellon, where everyone including me says, “why the hell, didn’t we think of dat?”

    The problem here; I suspect not many have seen this Jerusalem, otherwise what else can account for their zeal to deny it even something as small as a voice? That remains a source of profound sadness for me and my colleagues. Thank you once again, with your kind permission, I declare this debate closed, but pls feel free to defy me, we are after in the net, the land of the free and brave. Time to go cycling. – Darkness 2008

  7. KKP says:

    say it’s me you are adore…

  8. Pingback: When service levels DO NOT justify price hikes - Is Singapore ready?

  9. yui shen says:

    I have never seen a man been thrown around like a ragged doll like this before, this I feel must come very close to it. It is not such a bad thing to take something apart and put it back again even if it generates alot of sparks, it just means things cannot be so simple any longer, you speak, I listen, but now I think and if I do not agree, I will tell you so, that imo has to be a form of improvement, as before I may have skipped one or two steps.

    I agree with what shoestring said, many of us are spoon fed, so when we are told to stand up, sit down, turn right so and so forth, we will do it, but things are changing, slowly but surely and its due to the internet.

    I just want to ask why is the brotherhood suddenly going underground in the virtual and even the real world, all location sites in sg has been shut down and moved to hong kong, does it have something to do with the recent nlb recording of history? I do not know why you ppl have to take it personally.

  10. Darkness says:

    Yui Seng,

    Let me put it this way. I care very little about what NLB considers history, but that’s me, there are others here, who may not choose buy into my indifference. I feel in this case, it’s best to let things run its course.

    I understand what NLB is trying to do, it’s laudable, but what confounds me and many is why the decision makers decided to adopt such an imperial attitude? They are behaving as if they are the Nobel prize committee – why?

    Sure one can proclaim Augustus Caesar style, this or that is or is not ‘worthy’ history! But you have to ask what does that really do? Does it add or subtract from understanding?

    If it was my call, I would just create a virtual wall and leave a few crayons and say, you tell me your story, no conditions and anyone is free to scrall on this wall, just make sure you clean up your shit after you’re done! – Of course lah, they will say that cannot be done! Give me $2.2 million then and I will do it for you, BOT style, build, operate and even transfer – that I feel would have gone a long way towards respecting people along with the whole idea of history and I am very confident that would have been a wise decision for all.

    Unfortunately, this was not considered. I leave the decision to you as to who wins and lose here.

    I see no winners.

    Let me just return to the issue of why I don’t care. You see, Yui Seng, I realized at a very young age the importance of having good role models.

    You could say, I am not a very imaginative chap so having good role models is a very effective way to make sure one doesn’t eventually develop into a person who is impossible to live, work and play with and dies an unnatural death before 40 – so even at that early age, I considered it vital that I sought out good role models to mold my life upon and a figure who played a very big role in shaping my views was this man.

    I believe its best if you watch it and decide for yourself,

    I have no comment on the Olympics and I cannot confirm or deny that we have gone underground. Thank You –Darkness 2008.

  11. Darkness says:

    Divide and rule is a very effective strategy, but it’s also the oldest and that simply means through the course of history man has developed at least 50 ways to go around it – do you understand YS?

    But it all starts from first seeing it.

    Life cannot be that simple – Darkness 2008

  12. tinkerbell29 says:

    Thanks for the fish Darkness and Singapore Daily! We enjoyed it tremendously, it’s not everyday that we get to read something really edifying about blogging. Most of the time its net bashing like Shoestring said, there should be more of this to break down the barriers and kill ignorance. This goes some way to make some really meaningful inroads.

    I do however have my doubts why the Bro is on stand-by mode in the virtual. Care to share? If not, its fine, I just dropped by so many thanks and keep blogging!

  13. Darkness says:

    Good Evening Tinkerbell,

    I wish I am able to feel a sense of satisfaction from your words of encouragement. But there is no way of dodging the truth, fact of the matter is unlike Cherian, I do not believe (correction: I know) there is even such a thing as a demand for an open press and even less justification for nurturing a cadre of oppositional writers not in the MSM at least, this may seem impossibly hard for some to academics and even socio-political bloggers to comprehend and I suspect it’s probably a function that has something to do with regularly framing the debate without regard to statistical appreciation.

    This I have always insisted is a serious omission as it can only skewer ANY assessment of reality which ANY theory refers too.

    Consequently, it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing in the cloudy idea that there’s actually a large eclectic pool of decently educated readers who can be induced by strong enough social-political reviews, that I am afraid may actually be closer to myth.

    Question: How do I know this Tinkerbell as a matter of fact and not conjecture?

    I happen to blog on a regular basis but more importantly through the years I have developed a set of algorithms that allows me to pin down exactly the reading habits of these so called ‘eclectic pool’ of readers – now follow me back stage to the devils workshop because this is a sneak preview that will probably blow your socks off. I guarantee you, you will never get this from the likes of Bernard, Cherian, MDA or even the feed back unit.

    I don’t have any hang up’s in sharing it as it manages to scale the argument succinctly.

    On average, a socio-political article scores about 1,000 hits, that’s all, there’s no more, out of 1,000 hits, half you can more or less throw into the bin as a tourist readers i.e journalist trawling the net to cure themselves from writer’s block, call girls pursuing PHd’s blog surfing on their off days etc, out of the remaining 500, maybe 300 form the core of what I term the modeled habit social political reader, there’s no more don’t even try looking for them, that’s all there is (so if you are a socio-political blogger and you score the same figure, you’re maxed the curve and good on you).

    Now compare and contrast this with sappy love stories that I regularly churn out; each episode or chapter gets a minimum of 30,000! Now out of that 30,000, 95% are willing to pay virtual money to read it?

    What I have just shared with you effectively demolishes the myth of the general audience. As one of the posters wrote, ‘reading is essentially self selecting process’ – the corollary of that proposition requires you to ask whether it’s even justifiable to reinventing the leviathan wheel in the MSM, given the paltry number of social-political readers?

    Now you see why I say, it make more sense to cultivate this cache of eclectic readers HERE in blogosphere?

    Ultimately, my feel is, it has to be a question rooted economics / strategic planning rather than social philosophy – Thank you, Tinkerbell – Darkness 2008

    PS: Tinkerbell, I want to entertain questions concerning the virtual (strangelands) here, but I feel it may be out of place as it may not be all together fair to the webmaster or the readers here – do you mind if I answer you on the other side? Thank you)

  14. Garuda says:

    30,000 vs 300! Aiyoh, that explains why Sumiko is paid 5 figures to whine!

    [btw / I am having trouble with the SLF 2 so I need to use this line – is that OK?]

  15. Gelly says:

    Firstly, I wish to thank the Singapore Daily for bringing us this discussion. I’ve seen they have even taken the problem to remove some off point post by Darkness and his gang. Well done.

    Allow me to take issue with Darkness on the following points with regard to his reference to Dr Cherian Geroge’s recent article on investing in the professionalism of the press.

    1.1 Firstly, we are never precisely not in detail, how the internet might replace the MSM as a source of information. This is never ever explained by those who assure us this will happen. How can it? Since Darkness has a liking for stats, chew on this! At present abt 90% of all news on the net originates from newspapers. No internet firm has the resources needed to gather and edit news, not even the Google, Yahoo or Lycos, who have all made clear they have no aspirations in dabbling in serious journalism.

    If I may say, at present the net is basically a digital version of a man stranded in an island, writing his thoughts, inserting it in a bottle and throwing it out into the wide expanse; an ingenious circulation device it is, but to equate this to having anything remotely to do with the whole idea a press, let alone a free and independent press is laughable.

    1.2 Contrary to popular myth, journalist these days are not divorced from the reality of the net to the extent that they even see the MSM and the net as two mutually exclusive entities. I agree when one reads Dr George’s recent articles there is this general feel. However, my belief is the distinction exist solely to facilitate the task of clarification, if one reads carefully what he has written, no where does he suggest that the internet is a lawless and unruly domain as Darkness asserts.

    Is blogging useful to the whole discourse of freedom of speech. Yes, blogging has to be more interesting it seems, perhaps because bloggers are so passionate abt it. I for one, do not deny it serves as a valuable restraint on careless and sloppy journalism, for the vigilance of a blogging community also means an engaged society that ensures that not the slightest will be missed out, otherwise the fury of their rage will be terrible to bear. However, I feel it is vital to stress the distinction between blogging and journalism. Committed bloggers insist they are practicing journalism, are they really? Darkness stressed the relative importance of what he termed, “vocational expertise,” he goes on to mention that it would be a great mistake to foreclose on this as it remains a resource. So may I ask what is the vocational utility of journalism, then? Has he even considered? I think not.

    1.3 Finally, he claims a flabby and lackdaiscal press corps was mainly responsible for the invasion of Iraq, no one on denies, including journalist, that the press may have discharge its role as vanguard and ombudsman with more dilligence, but whether a superb job would have defeated the neocons is another question, regrettably, this was a question, Darkness never considered.

    Thank You Singapore Daily

  16. Mediawhore says:

    These are stressful times indeed.

    How about a little soft-pr0n comedy?

  17. KKP says:

    Capital idea Mediawhore, I am releasing some Edison Chen styled material on the brotherhood troupe – watch out for the one doing the thingy with the leg, that’s Darkness boy…snuggling up to the tall and very sexy….enjoy all.

  18. gambit says:

    cum on guys, stick to the point :)

  19. Darkness says:

    A FREE AND INDEPENDENT PRESS – REALLY AH?

    Hello Gelly,

    ‘How the internet might replace the MSM as a source of information?’ I made no such assertion. Kindly supply the quote and I will gladly bow out.

    I merely highlighted certain systematic limitations within our press which questioned the whole idea of whether they have the requisite intellectual capital to effectively play the role of a fourth estate. Now I understand when we talk of the idea of why there is no such thing as a free and independent press, it’s a sine quo non for both academics and pundits to regularly use the term, ‘whittle’ – ‘fritter’ – ‘erosion’ etc, that may be palpably true for the likes of the Herald Tribune and even the WSJ or the London Times, but there is no allowance where such terminology can rightly be applied to the ST without violence, as all these adjectives assume a priori that something intrinsic first existed for the process the erosion to take effect – in the case of the ST there was never such a thing as a golden age of enlightenment or even anything resembling a Renaissance, that I agree with Cherian (as I stated) has a lot to do with the govt dumbing down the press to serve it’s national agenda, I never disagreed with that proposition.

    I am merely highlighting that we are starting from the assumption everything begins from point zero. This is key.

    Where I feel Cherian’s observation is worthy of closer re-examination is how he seems to equate the whole idea of ‘closing’ with ‘opening’ without regard to the issue of re-constituting the intellectual deficit needed to sustain a free and independent press. If you can buy into his idea that we have a ‘crippled press,’ then you must also accept that what makes up its attribution must be so riven, that they must be so complacent and supine that they are incapable of stepping up to the role demanded of them.

    It gives me no pleasure to say this, but I don’t believe they possess the requisite core competence, only because judging from his write up, he has seen fit to elide almost 200 years of press history that accounts for how these core competencies came about! We can certainly fool ourselves that these competencies remain latent and perhaps even exist somewhere in the structural like water vapor, but that’s like saying a tornado can tear through a junkyard and magically assemble a 747 jetliner! – when one considers, satire for instance took nearly 100 years to evolve in Europe beginning with Karl Krauss before it was recognized as part of an oppositional genre! The same can be said about the idea of what we term as a free and independent press today – the discussion cannot be complete with considering the oppositional writer, reader and everything in between.

    Where I feel we may be able to gain a deeper intimacy into the whole idea of a free and independent press is dwelling deeper into how it came about.

    The WSJ, NYT and The Washington Post were originally owned by high minded long island patriarchs – who subscribed to the lofty belief their papers were quasi- public institutions – this sheltered all three newspapers allowing them to do high quality and high cost journalism, more importantly what made possible the notion of a free and independent press had absolutely nothing to do with communitarian or even the civil rights movement, that may have been an adjunct, but it was the amblivance of their founders to making money that accounted for their formation.

    Fast forward today. There is no Da Vinci code here, things have changed, even these once proud pillars have to the face a new dawn, as the advent of the internet age brings a new calculus, where money is everything – and its not only them, the Atlantic Monthly, the New York Book review and my fav the American Scholar published by Phi Beta Kappa are all dying – these days, if one reads the editor’s note, it reads like a swan gurgling crie de couer, they all hemorrhaging to varying degrees – where then is the economic logic that even makes possible the whole idea of a free and independent press?

    If the truth be known and the sites we read are a geographical reflection, Xiaxue and Mr Brown are large tracts of continents spanning across the steppes of the Urals right to the upper reaches of the Himalaya’s – the sites which make up those who are even remotely appreciative of the free and independent press must surely look like isolated dots like Easter island – how did we press the extinction button you ask? Who was the one that kept promoting Mr Brown and Xiaxue? Who was the one that kept promoting the false dichotomy between the MSM and blogosphere?

    If you want to arrest the rot, I have a few ideas – I have even modeled it out in the virtual and even mathematically and have even put the best minds on a trial project to be launched in second life this December, but I want $2.2 million, waiver for all parking offences for the next 10 years (with an option to renew on 5 years) and the right to ride my bicycle on the pavement in perpetuity. I am not kidding – Darkness 2008

    I wrote this fast so the English is not very good.

  20. Mediawhore says:

    cum where?

  21. Mediawhore says:

    Oh yes KKP, in the interest of the public for more information on such a smart aleck, do you also have information on Darkness’ fav position?

    As well, dear Darkness #19: Does this all mean we’ll have to keep chatting within the same read club? It’s a question of good (and funny) company.

  22. Mediawhore says:

    p.s. I keep to different books.

    The BP’s a bit too chim for me.

  23. Gelly says:

    Dear Darkness,

    I have asked 3 questions and you have skilfully avoided all of them. Instead you shoot off on a nostalgic rant about the history of newspapers. Let that be as it may.

    I only wish to say since you seem completely baffled, I can only assume, you cannot produce a satisfactory answer. Otherwise, why go around the world? What I resent most about you Sir is that you have used this disagreement with Dr Cherian to define yourself as an original thinker. Unfortunately your understanding of what constitutes a liberal and open press is defective, and this accounts for why, your descriptions of the principles and arguments of those who you have criticized is persistently inaccurate.

    1.1 Allow me to give you very specific eg’s Sir, otherwise you will once again accuse me of being a presentist who generalises. You claim the press neither has the intellectual capital or core competence to effectively play the role demanded of it by the Fourth Estate. Sir may I ask you how then did the press come about playing such a role in the first place? Were they imbued with some special knowledge? Or maybe someone believed there has to be a start some where and not withstanding they may have lacked the skill sets, what was important was there was a means to create, nurture and grow this skill sets.

    Darkness, I resent your bile, caricaturing the press corps can be a polemic strategy, but I believe in your case it is due primarily to the philosophical weakness in your inability to understand the subject you are writing about.

    1.2 You make capital of open and close or close or open. Allow me to equate open with liberalism to illustrate a point. Do you agree Sir, there may be differing gradations to what we term as liberal? This even applies to a wide range of political positions from libertarianism of the Laissez Faire policy to the democratic egalitarianims of the welfare state. In the usage that Dr Cherian applied the term, he may or may not have referred to a slight opening, granted? Why then do you assume that it should be the extreme case of open to the point of decamping on closed?

    1.3 My final point Sir, refers to one relating to constitutional law. Do you agree Sir, that all liberal theories even the idea of a free press have one thing in common; they hold that the sovereign power of the state over the individual is bounded by a requirement that individuals remains involiable in certain respects, and that they must be treated equally, The state sir is therefore a human creation, and it is should be subject to some form of moral constraints that limit the subordination of the individual to the collective will and interest. Where then Sir may I ask will this embodiment of assorted freedoms to speech, religion etc reside?

    The press perhaps Sir? Or are we to believe in your absurd assumption since our press doesnt have the skill sets to play this role, then we should pursue these ends in another body and pray tell wouldn’t this body be just as inept as your denigrating description of our ‘crippled press?’

    Dear Sir, I have invested time in engaging you and I hope that you will answer my questions. Thank you Singapore Daily.

  24. Mediawhore says:

    *sits patiently on the couch, grabbing popcorn along the way*

    Darkness, hurry, I’m bored!

  25. Dentist Jan says:

    The Brotherhood are not what they used to be. It’s true. My younger brother told me, in the old days when they cycle and they come across people who fall, they will always be the first to help. However these days, they just ride by pretending not to see anything, pick up speed some more, this is what it means by living in the 2.2 million man age. *sigh*

  26. Mediawhore says:

    Hmm… Maybe it’s because they last time ride bicycle one.

    Then now you see, all earn a lot, so got BMW bikes. So now they dont even see, but it’s all just a blur.

    Dentist sir, is that a model answer?

  27. Mediawhore says:

    Btw, does eating chewing gum frequently to promote salivation really help dental health?

  28. Mediawhore says:

    As in, when you eat and then… I suppose to get the actual taste of food, you need to have proper dental care?

    Does eating more means you need to take more care?

  29. Weaver says:

    Actually, I’d like to ask why Jan thinks that Darkness will only do his modeling for 2.2 million?

    I don’t think he’ll ever want to do modeling again.

  30. Weaver says:

    Jan should know.

    Only a pawn in the game.

  31. Darkness says:

    Hello Gelly,

    Let me be clear here, I am not trying to undermine anyone here Gelly, I do not even know who Cherian is. I know abt him, but that is all. I am professional. I do not need to name drop like some people. People who regularly read the Brotherhood Press, I feel have the ability to fashion out the man themselves. If anything, I feel that I added significantly to the discussion by widening the scope of the debate. You can ask anyone if you don’t believe me.

    I will leave it to others to judge for themselves, everything that I have said here can be verified.

    Returning to the issue of undermining people Gelly, I happen to know who you are; surprise, surprise. I also know you and your group have been circulating mail privately to other bloggers telling them not to host us; you know something that is very strange about the internet, when you send something, there is always a danger that it will boomerang back. We know about this dirty campaign to isolate, marginalize and even set aside the Brotherhood Press to one side.

    While you and your gang have sent hundreds of mailers and flyers out encouraging others to boycott us. We on the other hand have NOT even sent a single private mail out to even a single blogger to that effect, not even one!

    Everything I have to say concerning anyone in blogosphere, I do so in a public domain, like here, because I am a staunch believer in the concept of fair play and a large part of that means ‘never going behind your opponents back’ – you can say many things, but you cannot say of me that those who I take issue with do not have a right to reply, if they choose not to exercise it for any reason known only to themselves, that is their prerogative, but they can never claim the defense no opportunity was ever afforded to them.

    You on the other hand DO NOT have the privilege to that SAME claim. This debate is closed. I wish to keep certain findings to myself as my colleagues have worked hard to eek out many of the findings we have shared with you here, we are not a university, neither are we considered experts. However, I feel there is wisdom in holding back knowledge – otherwise who knows, it may end up in some book or something.

    Before I leave, I want you to consider this carefully Gelly, who is the one undermining who? Thank you Gelly and may we wish you the very best in life – trust me, people like you will need it! Darkness 2008

    (if you and your assoc are still interested in my ‘solution’ go to project Entropia, you will find a bar it’s called Itacha – leave a message with the bartender, his name is ‘Sammy Davies,’ tell him you are interested to see the man who passed through the eye of the needle, but I want 300,000 Imperiums first in untraceable bearer bonds. leave the bag with him!

    Remember I am not Jasper, I am a professional. This conversation is over. I have given you a way, take it!)

  32. Debbie says:

    Hello Darkness,

    May I just say that I have nothing to do with Gelly and her gang. I have been reading BP for over 3 years and I find it most stimulating, till most recently, when you, Dr Darkness noted rather casually, there are only 300 socio-political observers in Singapore! I am sorry, I dont doubt your ability to seek this kernel out, but let us just say you are right Dr, then what is the bloody point of it all!

    The second general point I wish to make can also be made by example. One of the canonical topics of modern intellectual history has been the development of the means to monopolize political discourses, I believe this was why the whole idea of the first, second, third and fourth estate was promulgated, it was a means of introducing discipline and order into the main fields of science, social, cultural and religious.

    I wonder could this be the reason why the LKY school headed by our debonair Dr Kishore Mubani allowed Cat Lim to rant no end? My main point Dr is wouldnt it serve the cause of the bro-hood and the collective good, if all of you just came out of the open and went into some real room, instead of cross dressing as period knights etc.

    I just feel very strongly this may be the real way forward. As it is with only a force of 300, I see very little prospects for soliciting any form of real and effective change.

    Debbie.

    PS; I do hope my question meets with approval

  33. Mediawhore says:

    *still with popcorn in lap*

    Dance, Darkness, dance!!

  34. Global Gossip says:

    I think it’s Mahbubani.

    I’m not from Singapore, but I can try to spell.

  35. Global Gossip says:

    p.s. You can write better and with chim-chim discourse lah, but we don’t care one.

  36. Global Gossip says:

    We’re apprenticing as sports commentators, in case you don’t get it.

  37. Mediawhore says:

    GG!!

    Don’t be a spoilsport!

    Didn’t you say you love me? Couldn’t you stroke the animals with me and make them happy?

  38. Global Gossip says:

    Damn whore!

    Don’t ya geddit?!

    We’re a parallel narrative with content that should not touch the original!

    It’s TV and audience in the same space, understand??!

  39. Mediawhore says:

    You mean… you mean they don’t give a damn about us?!

  40. Global Gossip says:

    You mean you didn’t know?

    Your mother lied to you.

  41. Global Gossip says:

    That’s why we’ve to be lovers.

  42. Mediawhore says:

    But, what about my friends, too?!

  43. Global Gossip says:

    It’s the same bunch.

  44. Mediawhore says:

    But… If what you say is true…

    Why did KKP answer me??

  45. Global Gossip says:

    He’s a minion of theirs.

    And they all laugh at you for having such a mother. And they all laugh at your life and think you weird, as though you don’t deserve to live.

    They won’t ever say it of course, but that’s just what they feel inside.

    They’re not us.

  46. Global Gossip says:

    That’s why I often tell you that “for or against” matters little.

    Because the starting sentiment they had towards you, was incompatible right from the start.

  47. Global Gossip says:

    It doesn’t matter what you say or do.

    Once their starting sentiment towards you is wrong, it’s quite useless to discuss matters of “respect” or even “sportsmanship”.

    That’s why neither you nor them can assuage one another.

  48. Global Gossip says:

    That is, “beneath contempt” is, vice-versa.

  49. Global Gossip says:

    Though I’m told that “beneath contempt” is not their way.

  50. Mediawhore says:

    You mean… They can’t understand me?!

  51. Global Gossip says:

    Yes.

  52. Mediawhore says:

    But… I never thought of their parents that way.

  53. Global Gossip says:

    That’s why we’re different.

    That’s why “sportsmanship” so-called sounded so hollow.

    Yet you chose to believe because of your internal conflict.

    And then, because they lacked utter empathy in such matters, they continued their tryst.

  54. Darkness says:

    Hello Debbie #32 / @ 27 February 2008 at 12:22 pm.

    This is a very interesting question; is there an attempt by the ‘establishment’ to impose discipline, structure and order in political discourse? What do I think abt Catherine Lim recent talk in the LKY school? Is there are co-relation that suggest there is a link between modulating ‘control’ dissent?

    I need to come back to you on this one. I am in a marathon conference call.

    Thank You Debbie – Darkness 2007

    To the Internationale & all channel partners,

    I have heard that many of you are feeling demoralized by the work load demanded for broadcasting the Beijing Olympics in the HK net.

    A few teams have hit snags and some have even given up completely.

    I wish to say only this; keep your heads up lads, if anyone can do it is always the rubber band brigade. I have faith in all of you.

    I have just informed the Interspacing Guild of the brotherhood to land in HK to see what we can do to help you guys – our space fleet along with our best technocrats will be arriving very soon.

    I have also sent out a international SOS requesting for volunteer developers and scientist to assist all of you.

    Keep the faith my friends, I know it is tough and remember to smile,

    Help is on the way, we see you, we hear you and we are coming.

    Forgive me all that I have been distant, I shall make the extra effort.

    My thoughts are always with you guys.

    Smile!

    Darkness-2007

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