Daily SG: 16 Apr 2008

Free Tibet
– The Lionheart: Thoughts on Tibet, China and the Olympics
– Readings From A Political Duo-ble: Nothing Benign About Chinese Authoritarianism

Internet 101
– Mr Wang Says So: Online Election Campaigning Leads to Corruption. Huh?
– Sgpolitics.net: PM Lee on Internet lessons

Freedom, Choice, a place for my Voice
– the(new)mediaslut: MDA’s game rating system out of byte?
– The Void Deck: What Others Are Saying: Game Classification (Finally)
– Yawning Bread: Ban-happy Singapore [PNSWF]

Singaporeans Bailing Out Troubled Bankers
– Hard Hitting in the Lion City: The Great Singapore Fire-sale

PM V1.3. Search for the next Prime Minstar
– The Online Citizen: 5 Minutes With…. Choo Zheng Xi on PM Lee’s interview

Singaporeans are fed, up with progress!
– Diary of A Singaporean Mind: Singapore – Rising Opulence, Rising Poverty….
– Nomed Letters: The Uncle Scrouge Mentality

Soaring Prices? U-S t r e t c h
– Simply Jean: First hungrygowhere.com, now…cheapestfoodgowhere.com?

– Enblocing Singapore: Three Perspectives on Land Acquisition

Re education
– the boy who knew too much: The Best Student in the Class
– Simply Jean: Be hip. Say no to exam paper piracy!

Free Enterprise vs Government
– A long and arduous road of an entrepreneur: SLA’s map.gov.sg vs StreetDirectory.com

Daily Discourse
– Alice Cheong in Wonderland: One can get away with assaulting stranger in Singapore
– Mr Brown: Dear NETS
– My Very Own Glob {Curiosa Felicitas}: Secret blog of a P65 MP: Part 3

Life, the universe and everything
– Rambling Librarian: Three new NLB websites
– Warblings Of A Little Bird: The little bird – no it’s the little bride…argh my eyes, my eyes!

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3 Responses to Daily SG: 16 Apr 2008

  1. NEW ARTICLE 16-4-08/BP says:



    This is a follow up interview based on an earlier paper https://singaporedaily.wordpress.com/2008/04/12/sgdaily-roundup-week-15/#comment-1739 that attempted to address the following issues: Is there a need for Singapore blogosphere to define an internet identity? What are the elements of this shared identity? How will it be constructed? What will it look like? And what function will it perform? Following the release of Part 1 & 2, the readers reaction judging from our intranet bulletin board has been a mixed – this follow up interview is designed to tease out some of the issues raised and to elaborate on them further


    Q: [Harphoon]: Vollairaine in the last interview we conducted on this subject some people have mentioned that you are advancing the idea the internet should be subject to certain controls, restrictions and regulations – can you please elaborate further on what you mean by the term internet identity and why is it relevant to the whole idea of social / political growth?

    A: [Vollariane]: Certainly Harphoon, I may have rushed through some of these issues without first laying down the ground on why we, the ASDF believe crafting an internet identity should be pursued as a matter of strategic priority – allow me to just go back to the A,B and C’s of this whole discussion concerning ‘internet identity.’ And how we may correlate it to the broader construct of growth in the social and political sphere.

    Now when we speak regularly of ‘identity,’ in the online context what do we actually mean? Now chew on this for a while and think about it. As this is the part where I need to recruit the readers understanding of the world to make the explanation possible – the first thing that hits anyone is there’s considerable ambiguity here; no sooner do we begin, we suddenly find ourselves in a hall of mirrors. Why? Simple; identity here can mean varying things to different people – it’s very elastic, malleable even. But no matter how amenable it is to manipulation it cannot run away from its history. These endless vignettes and disquisitions more or less shapes our understanding of what we term as our internet identity. The problem occurs when one’s understanding of identity is so radically different from what is substantively real that these two concepts remain mutually exclusive; that’s to say logic gives way to confusion.

    Q: Can you give us a real life example how this ‘substantive reality’ decouples into a ‘false reality?’ I feel if our readers had a handle based on a actual case study, they would be able to understand this whole idea of internet identity clearer.

    A: Certainly Harphoon, let me give you an real case study of how this disconnect between reality and identity can occur with tragic consequences; Question: what is the identity of the US with regard to middle east policy? You could of course say it’s a loaded question as it dependant on so many variable, locality, values and even what you ate for breakfast – let foreclose on these variables for one moment and consider one facet of US identity; the big bully who goes around invading peaceful countries and locking up people for no reason in the name of some fantasy called the war against terror – now we can argue in the lobby of the security council till we both turn purple as to what should be the gold standard of US policy in the middle east, but one thing remains relevant in whatever theatre here, if we don’t consider for one moment how prevalent this ‘identity’ is and how entrenched it is in the minds of most Arabs in the ME, then this may have catastrophic consequences – plans cannot pass smoothly with relief from theory to reality – now if you say this is nothing other than a philosophical discourse that has no bearing on foreign relations, risk mitigation and theater strategic planning, then you are naïve; as I can very well say, this negative ‘identity’ of the US can and will not only color relations in the middle east, but it may in certain cases even throw up conundrums to continue challenging US hegemony – my main point is; in the absence of a clear and unambiguous identity – there can be no such thing as common ground or even shared understanding – the neocons in Capitol hill made this fundamental miscalculation when they decided to invade Iraq; though its universally given; everyone, including Arabs gravitate towards freedom; what they did not count on was while that remains broadly true, the (Arabs) certainly don’t want the US variant of freedom. In fact their (Arabs) understanding of freedom is closer to an Iranian sort theocracy – which also happens to be the sum of fears for every US planner – this is what happens when the whole idea of identity is skewered, it usually leads to lousy results. So flowing from this logical thread, for there to be anything resembling ‘coherent and rational’ progress there first needs to be a clear identity that can effectively harmonize shared vision, roles and goals – you could just as well seek out these ties which bind in firms, community or even something as complex as the internet – I can see no compelling reason how progress can even be made without first addressing this as a strategic priori.

    To Con’t

    [Harphoon & Jasta 1 / Vollairaine – The Interview Series – The Brotherhood Press]

  2. NEW ARTICLE 16-4-08/BP says:


    Q: [Harphoon]; OK so you’re saying that a shared identity harmonizes the collective visions, goals and roles. I am fine with that, it makes perfect sense, but how does one reconcile this with the net, as its bound to have long tail only because reading remains largely self selecting? So how do you manage to reconcile this long tailed diversity with the idea of having a internet identity?

    A; [Vollairaine]; Let me just spent sometime fleshing out the whole idea of what is really the internet identity; I am not even asking why is it so important here? Let’s just gut out those sort of questions for the time being and focus on the what-is-it or wachamikcalit first. Well first of all, something doesn’t come from nothing – if had to compress it into one word; history will do just as well to adequately capture all the elements of what we usually consider to be synonymous with identity – on another level of detail, the chronological phases of how our internet has developed will be even better as it brings into focus the key drivers which led to the make up of what we call identity; if we go another level deeper into the sub-atomic level this is where it really gets complicated, but stay with me as its really easy to understand; at this microscopic level; we are not really looking at the make up of identity as much as we are studying the agents who fashion this reality; by agents I mean, the stakeholders i.e oligarchies who usually have a vested interest such as the govt, the MSM and even academics who have promulgated certain stereotypical assumptions concerning how our internet; now if you ask Darkness what is the sum total of our internet, don’t be surprised, if he proclaims with lashings of levity, “Xiaxue, Mr Brown and probably the NLB.” I believe he refers to them as the three stooges – of course, this provokes the usual round of laughter. However there is a very serious under current that runs through this seemingly harmless categorization – because no matter how you want to nit pick on his vulgarization of his depiction of the status quo; you cannot deny (darkness idea i.e how did he form such a lowly opinion about our net) he has made that reference based on his understanding of past events (i.e our brief internet history). Here what important for our learning outcome is the context of identity i.e the past is not some distant country, spread out behind us, which we could visit leisurely if we had a time machine; this is naïve. On a contrary the past operates by exacting its hold directly on the present and future. By this I mean; if we interrogate darkness by putting electric wires around his well endowed bodily parts (his brain, what were you thinking?) and asked him why he believes the sum of our internet can be summarized in the metaphor of the three stooges; he will probably tell you; did the MSM not astudiously promote the cult of Mr Brown and the glorification of Xiaxue all these years? Why? Because in their relentless zeal to legitimize their mandate on our collective consciousness i.e for their own identity to continue retain meaning; they need to assassinate the counter narrative and this requires the systematic dumbing down of the internet.

    The irony is what they have (MSM and policy makers) really created in spite their zeal to seek a justificatory premise to base their own oligarchies on; that’s to say the price of pursuing a systematic policy of dumbing down the net and ascribing it the personality of a dunce with an IQ of 5 below idiot all these years is – they have inadvertently fashioned the very means that guarantees their own extinction – what many fail to register is what we are seeing today in our net; isn’t so different from one of the distinct phases the Malaysian internet went through probably 5 or 6 years ago – the question; we really need to ask ourselves is not whether an internet identity should be purchased; against the back drop of the extinction equation, the question acquires a renewed urgency and it should be paraphrase along the line; can we even afford not to craft an internet identity, if we don’t want to evolve in the same trajectory as the Malaysian internet. My feel is although much can be said about the Malaysian internet – it’s still premature to give it the seal of approval and to wax lyrical no end about it – if I may use an analogy, the internet as a force for good is really still at its infancy. In the time line of our comparative understanding its maybe as old as only 2 minutes after the Eleanor Gay dropped exploded the first atomic bomb over Hiroshima. Everyone is celebrating – but the real nightmare is yet to unfold, the nuclear arms race, 3 mile island, the Chernobyl disaster etc.

    My gut feel is we need to control it, before it controls us, if we are genuinely sincere to build a better tomorrow, that is.

    To be Con’t

    [Harphoon & Jasta 1 / Vollairaine – The Interview Series – The Brotherhood Press]

  3. kkp says:

    Actually the idea of crafting an internet identity makes a whole lot of common sense. However, I believe. The central problem is WHOSE visions, roles and goals SHOULD BE incorporated into this new identity you are talking about? (do correct me, if you think, I am wrong here).

    That appears to be the main problem, not only in Singapore but with Tibet, Iraq, Darfur and probably every trouble spot in the world.

    As you rightly pointed out Vollariane, “for one narrative to take hold, it must be able to assasinate the counter narrative.”

    The problem is the newspapers have been trying to kill the internet for so long using so many ways, they dont realize, they are starting to come across as biase and so irrational that they can no longer be taken seriously any more.

    Great write up and I will certainly look forward to the next instalment of this read.

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