Daily SG: 18 Apr 2008

Prison Break, My Fault
– Siew Kum Hong: Mas Selamat

Freedom, Choice and a place for my Voice
– Princess from the Planet of Venupitarius: Speakers Cornered has been approved with a rating of NC-16

Singaporeans are fed, up with progress!
– My Singapore News: PAP Kindergarten fee up

Re Education
– The Anti Neo-Democracy Theorist: Home School Education and The Reach of the State
– inferno’s pensieve: My response to “The Singaporean obsession with A grades” [Thanks Yixuan]

Singaporeans Bailing Out Troubled Bankers
– Mr Wang Says So: Temasek And A Black Hole Named Merrill

– quachee’s blog: No Matchbox Please – We Want Fresh Air

Daily Discourse
– The Online Citizen: “Submit your boldest work to the censors.” – Martyn See
– Angry Doctor: Simple Solutions, Hard Decisions

Life, the universe and everything
– The Extra Scoop: Singapore journalism in stasis
– Simply Jean: The dragon is waking up… Singaporeans will need visa to go to China
– The eOK .network: Social media case study: Andrew Teo vs taxi driver
– The Boy who knew too much: Of curiosity and criminality

– JB Jeyaretnam’s Blog: Reform Party Press Conference By Mr JBJ
– Anak Melayu Boleh Blog: Comparison of grocery prices

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20 Responses to Daily SG: 18 Apr 2008

  1. NEW ARTICLE 18-4-08/BP says:


    [This is a summary interview of the ‘identity series.’ In this session, the issues that will be explored is; who actually killed the Malaysian dream? What role does intellectualism play in nation building? And finally what are the learning outcomes that we may learn in the Singaporean context]

    Q: Harphoon; Could you just flesh out how identity links with the whole idea of supporting an oligarchy?

    A: Vollariane: Certainly. In the absence of a real identity then the linkages which makes possible a clear and unambiguous raison diminishes and that oligarchy; be it the patriarch in a family, firm, political party or even the broader society will simply collapse; what I am going to say next may sound elitist but there is really no way to negotiate around it; you see harphoon its simply not possible to sustain the idea of citizen, state and identity without the class of intellectuals, both Greece and Rome did not collapse because of external factors, the rot precipitated directly from the demise of the intellectual class and once that linchpin gave way, the vital linkages which used to tension the rest of the empire building culture simply crumbled.

    Q: So what you are saying is it crumbles away for good, if the identity isn’t firmly fixed?

    A: Yes and no, what usually happens is a sort of half way house – this bears out when we examine the American press and ask ourselves how was it possible that such a paragon of free speech was able to be so easily bullied into acquiescing into the designs of the neocons that it eventually became nothing more than an extension of the presidential propaganda machinery which facilitated the invasion of Iraq. We could of course advance all sorts of arguments; the institution of the press has lost too much respect and credibility with the advent of the internet. It doesn’t possess the requisite entrepreneurial imagination needed to prosper or reinvent itself in the digital age etc, but in the final analysis of the anatomy of disaster one thing remains very certain; somewhere along the story of the great American press, it’s identity as a reliable all weather purveyor of the truth simply put on a pair of gym shoes and ran away leaving an empty shell. That’s one example of a limbo or half way house and usually it assumes this model.

    Q: Can you give us an example of this disconnection between intellectualism and identity that’s closer to home – this I believe would really allow our readers to draw a strong analogy on the key issues? I believe intensive work was done on this area by your team in Malaysia. Perhaps you can share with us some of your findings and learning outcomes in this specific area of national identity.

    A: Certainly Harphoon, I need to correct you here our team didn’t study this area, it was undertaken by the guilds, only they have planners and core competencies to crack this nut (LOL). Let me arrange for a teleconference…I think its best, if they sit in for this interview, that way you can get it directly from the horse that ran the race.

    [This answer is provided by a senior planner from the Mercantile Interspacing Guild]

    Super Puma / Guild representative: It’s a bit complicated Harphoon. We discovered this anomaly concerning the issue of national identity by sheer chance when we were asked by Vollariane to look into a logic issue – that’s the nifty feature about using game simulators for the purposes of strategic analysis, it’s a bit like using a wash machine as a concrete mixer – because its not designed for that operational purpose, its highly sensitive and doesn’t do a good job so even microscopic aberrations can dramatically skewer the outcome – that just means problems regularly surface. During one of these booh booh’s quite early on during the strategic analysis stage – we found ourselves grappling with one question; where was the exact point in Malaysian history when the BN actually started its downward curve – it’s a question that we humans don’t ever need to ask, but in machine language it’s a term of reference which is required otherwise data cannot be practically input as parameter lacks a definable zero start date.

    The reason why I am giving you the background story here is so that you understand why we needed to revisit Malaysia’s early intellectual history. This was what Vollariane’s team failed to do, that’s why they were having so much problem booting the simulation. Here, you need to understand that what we are really trying to do here is very similar to investigating an ancient who dunnit like was King Tutankhamen murdered? Only in this case we are asking ourselves questions like where was the first intellectual break with policy makers? What were the catalysts that precipitated the polarization which finally culminated in the complete systematic failure of BN as a political oligarchy? We are not asking whether money politics featured; that’s already given; what we are interested to know is what were the conditions that spawned such a corrosive culture? What are the conditions that allowed it to root so preconociously? To facilitate your understanding Harphoon; all these questions can be said to be the finer points of the analysis, but one can just as well summarize it into one question: where did all the intellectuals go in Malaysia? I would seriously recommend further reading on the subject published works such as B K Cheah’s, “Making Of A Nation” and K.Khong, “Merdeka! British Rule And The Struggle For Independence In Malaya 1945-1957,” offer excellent viewpoints on this area. In summary both Cheah’s and Khong’s work documents chronologically the important milestones in Malaysian politics along with the distinctive styles of each successive administration. Though both scholars differ contrapuntally on a few key issues concerning politics and economic growth – what’s important for us in this learning outcome is they were unanimous in their assessment that the Mahathir era had the most profound social effect on the wider context of the nation’s history i.e it had the effect of revolutionizing even the whole idea of the Malaysian identity.

    [Vollairaine / Super Puma – Mercantile Interspacing Guild / Harphoon – The Brotherhood Press 2008]

  2. NEW ARTICLE 18-4-08/BP says:


    Vollaraine con’t

    > Here we need to take a closer look at Mahathirism as a elevated practice of theory and decouple it from the personality of Mahathir, the politician – our goal here is not to appraise his prime ministerialship but rather to trace out the tenuous links between the political theory which was operable and to what degree was it influenced by the intellectualism of the time – once again I must stress this is academically heretical, because we are trying to compress an abstraction into a quantitative setting but as I said, the gaming computer imposes this sort of funny disciplines on the work flow – in broad outlines the idea is premised on the understanding that for any social system to progress coherently, then it cannot be a wholly accidental process and what we are trying to seek out is the ratio; between policy makers and intellectuals. – this is hardly a new theory, both Andreski and Malthus have written extensively on the happy ratio between intellectualism and social/political growth – the former coined the Military Participation Ratio (MPR) and the former, promulgated the idea of geometrics i.e optimum resource allocation (ORA) – both are predicated on the assumption intellectual activity not only takes place in groups, networks with traceable linkages, but more importantly for our purposes that this activity may even conform to certain fixed laws which will shape their numbers and even dynamics – this is a compelling thesis that seems to be confirmed by history itself; Harphoon, if you look at any period of history stretching all the way back to Sumerian irrigation society to modern 20th century history; a few lexicons hold robustly true; in every case, there are at least three but usually no more than six schools of though in mutual contention, the numbers being dictated partly by a mix of Darwinian and resource optimizing logic which drives intellectual development vis-à-vis: the rationale in machine can be expressed in the following terms: fewer than two schools of thoughts yields no conflict but no measurable advancement in logic either; more than six leads to an unstable squabble that rapid degenerates into armed conflict; somewhere in between lies the happy number that allows squabbles to effectively resolve themselves yet being able to produce intellectual progress – that in a nutshell how we re-scoped the argument for Vollariane and his team to enable them to successfully run the RN-1 simulation.

    Harphoon once we were able to put this on a quantitative footing – then we primed the simulation to search for these intellectual linkages.

    Q: What did you find?

    {Vollariane] A: Nothing. The search results yielded absolutely nothing. In real terms that’s not possible and let me give you an imagery why; it’s a bit like a severing the spinal cord that connects the body with the brain – somewhere in the Malaysian narrative Mahathirism as a political theory rendered the intellectual linkages which once successfully nourished the Malaysian identity ineffective.

    I understand this is a radical theory Harphoon. As pundits would have us believe Mahathir’s belligerent stance against the West merely constitutes the same political fall out as Khrushchev using his shoe to make a theatrical point in the UN – this however is not what the simulated results are telling us; it pointed conclusively to some fracture that had severed the brain from the body, so this is where we began our search at an anecdotal level to verify the outline of our model. What we discovered was Mahathirism as an ideology did not only influence the Malaysians identity? Vis-à-vis how Malaysians saw themselves in relation to the world? But it also redefined many of these established intellectual linkages; let me just give you a few critical milestones that we classified as fracture points; the first we tagged as F-1004 this occurred during the early 80’s when Mahathir’s compulsion to put Malaysia on the global map lead promotion of the ideal of Asian values as a civilizational linchpin – this colored his domestic policy in a few ways only did it entail throwing out everything to do with the West, but it also refocused the national optic from its historical reference point of the west to the east. This was pursued in the form of the “look East Policy.” Another fracture was the ill conceived decision to to relegate English and re- introduce Bahasa Malaysia as the language of instruction in teaching, civil administration and even the judiciary – despite its serious limits in being able to capture the fidelity of meaning – it proved not only untenable in the long run in the judiciary and the sciences, but what you need to understand here is English till then had always been the unifying culture that binds that elite intellectuals, there was no real substitute, no even religion as Malaysia is a multi-faith culture – so in the absence of a secular means to unify thoughts these effectively cut off the intellectuals from a common quorum – its noteworthy here to emphasize this was also the stage when Islamic fundamentalism began to proliferate in the absence of an cohesive intellectual retaining wall. Now we encountered so many fractures, we even had to call in our logisticians to help us to track these linkages. I can really go on 30 to 40 pages just on this topic alone, but for our learning outcome, let me very quickly summarize what were the cumulative effects of all these fractures were; firstly, if you want to understand why intellectualism is so important to nation building as a theoretical construct; then it doesn’t pay to nourish the idea that intellectuals are people who just spend their time crafting art films, writing story books and generally doing stuff that doesn’t pique the interest of the taxman; neither are we talking about scholars, they’re just basically space monkeys trained to press red or blue button; and although they were the first species to be blasted off into space, no one is expecting to build a space ship to Mars – they’re just technocrats – when I use the term intellectuals, it isn’t people as much as networks, linkages and public squares very much like what blogosphere is like today; it refers to social structures, in the form of networks of people transmitting as R. Collins wrote, “emotional energy and cultural capital’ through linkages and chains. It could even be said, intellectual capital isn’t vested in oligarchies as it resides within these tacit linkages and chains – and what you really need to ask yourself here Harphoon is the $61 million question: what happens when these intellectual linkages and chains get bypassed?

    Because that was essentially what Mahathirism did so well, it cut them off and set them adrift; his obssession with the whole idea of creating a formalistic Malay technocratic middle class – all this was elevated to theory and even science under his administration, but where the disconnect between intellectualism and national identity occurs is where the ideological context of progress took precedence over intellectualism to such a degree that it could no longer instill with content into the form that modern day Malaysia assumed. A side effect of all these initiatives is although Malaysia is outwardly a country with the twin Petronas towers and has a beautiful airport and even the odd bullet train, its still a third world country – and when you consider how Mahathirism subsequently detached the whole of the Malaysian psyche from the realities of intellectualism in not only the regional and global sphere, but along with it since it provisioned no space for the intellectuals to play a meaningful role in this new technocratic architecture – how could it possibly sustain the drive?

    Under those conditions of acute attrition i.e intellectual capital, it would only be a matter of time before the Malaysian dream gave way to a dystopian nightmare that’s so delusional that the Malay elites even harbored the belief they could actually play hard ball with the big boys with out the real elites, the intellectuals – this proved not only socially and economically unsustainable but in real economic terms, its perhaps the most catastrophic event to ever occur in the history of Malaysia – and my fear is while everyone out there in the streets is celebrating the results of the recent Malaysian GE as the arrival of the new dawn my gut feel still tells me – it may pays dividends to bring along an umbrella.

    Q: Vollariane, there have been rumors circulating in the strangelands that the ASDF has done a similar report on the social political scene in Singapore – could you elaborate on this? Before we go can you tell us what does the RN-1 acronym stand for, my feel is whenever we use these terms, it pays to explain a bit to our readers.

    A: I understand Harphoon, but I am not in a position to confirm or deny that for the moment. What does RN-1 stands for? Rapa Nui aka Easter Island, in the gaming world, we just call it the ultimate game of sudden death – the extinction game.

    [Vollairaine / Super Puma – Mercantile Interspacing Guild / Harphoon – The Brotherhood Press 2008]


    see related article:


  3. Chronicler says:

    This was posted in the online citizen.

    Darkness Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    April 18, 2008 at 7:44 pm
    We weren’t even consulted.

    Darkness 2008

    If you censor this, we can more or less consider it a declaration of war. Dont say I never bothered to inform you.

    Darkness Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    April 18, 2008 at 7:45 pm
    I hope this will not take 10 days to be posted.


    The Chronicler

  4. Chronicler says:


    At Primus Time @ 9374/04 – earth time: 1635 hr GMT / The Fist of God successfully folded space with our allies the Free French, Ottomans, Germania, Sardinia and the Immortals – the first of these carrier vessels will be penetrating the virtual world of Beijing around the local of the Forbidden City in China @ ETA 1735 hr. The Brotherhood has dispatched the 130th and the Totenkopft forward signal units to facilitate these mega landings. We come in the name of peace, remember this – and bring with us new technology for the broadcast of the Olympics – we have plenty of enemies, so you must all listen to our agents who have been forwarded there as advisors, they will know how to hide us. You must listen to them. That will be all for the time being.

    The Chronicler.

    [This message has been broadcasted to the Strangelands and beyond]


  5. scholarboy says:

    Why weren’t we even consulted Chronicler?

    Let’s wait for the TOC reply.

    I say we give them a reasonable time to come back to us, Darkness IMHO has asked a very reasonable question.

    The ball is on their court.

  6. Volarianne says:


    Perhaps its best if we let them be – the way I see it, there are serious holes in their proposal on virtually every front, it cannot be even considered seriously. Not even for one moment.

    My feel is that, it has less than a 1% chance of succeeding, so it will definitely have to make the return trip to the drawing board again.

    Perhaps when it comes around, then and only then do we consider projecting.

    It’s best if we dont get involved and mind our own business for the time being, let the matter run it’s course for the moment – I feel this may be the wiser course.

    Have you ever considered Darkness, how would we look like, if we backed a lousy plan?

    Have you considered. What would ppl say of us?


  7. 3rd Stage Navigator says:

    Vollariane is spot on Darkness, there’s no basis to even consider their proposal seriously – it even makes the charge of the light brigade look like a sound military enterprise – they will be cut down even bfr they know it – that’s certain – we should just watch on in the shadows and not even get involved or make any comments.

    I think it’s best if we don’t get involved at all, what would happen if ppl think we are frivolous? They will not be able to take us seriously and if that happens we will not be able to influence events, have you considered that, Darkness?

  8. Many Teddies says:

    Or are you referring to how other peeps ain’t telling you anything before they roll the dough for leavening?


    Always a big prob to be and feel small… Yikes!

    You can always stand up for something but you must shout a lot louder. And then if you must shout a lot louder, you must think about the effects on other peeps when you shout a lot louder.

    If you don’t turn up to a romantic meeting, then the host will think you stood them up—from the outright view, not very good for PUBLIC relations if you depend on them somehow… The risks must be calculated, no?


    Good luck!

  9. Harphoon says:

    Dear all,

    We’ve all going cycling this afternoon right? Why don’t we find a tree and settle it there like we always do?

    As com leader, I think using this thread for discussing ideas may not be such a good idea.

    Not everyone who reads the BP is allied to us.



  10. Harphoon says:


    Are you there?

    I would really appreciate it, if you boys can link all our interviews / articles published this week and into your weekly summary [if it is not too much trouble ;)] / this will facilitate navigation immensely.

    As for the rest of you, understand this com leader has final say on this matter.



  11. Cerebus says:

    Vollariane and the Navigation Guild have spoken wisely. My cosca goes with them. Do you hear me Darkness? Are you listening to all of us?

    Their plan is not sound. Why would mica negotiate themselves into a straight jacket? Doesn’t even make one molecule of sense. Anything framed in a statutory provision or an enabling act will simply mean it would be subject to interpretation and possible review, that may bring increased clarity but at the expense of flexibility and more importantly the opportunity cost to enable them to experiment incrementally and mitigate any possible errors in calculation, that sort of legal mechanistic approach is only possible if we are dealing with quantitative linear styled models like town planning, traffic management or how many toilets should be ideally constructed in a bus interchange, where its possible not only to make a straight line calculation with zero margin for error, but since its linear risk mitigation can be effectively built into the ambit of the enabling act – but for something as wet glass slippery as the internet, even their third class planners would have realized, even this baseline cannot be confidently determined if it is couched legally in an enabling act – neither is it predictable or even linear or quantifiable – the history of the net itself is an affrontery to logic; a military communication system that was first designed to withstand a full scale nuclear attack, only to morph into what it is today! Tell me which part of that is even linear or predictable? My bro’s there is too much variability.

    Before we all decide to discuss this matter beneath the famous tree, all of you would do well to consider; what planner in his right mind would even commit himself to such a ludicrous undertaking? Even if he were confident of the task, who in their right mind would sign off on such an impossible undertaking? This is infanticide – Vollariane and the Guilds are right.

    Whatever you want to say, I believe their planners cannot be so different from our planners – if we can see the giant sink holes in this plan, its conceivable so can they. This is something to consider before we met Harpoon only because most of the time when we sit underneath the tree we usually have to go through this forming stage along with talking about football and fixing broken wheels etc – I don’t mean to sound disrespectful to the com leader, but it would benefit the discussion immeasurably if all of us did some thinking first and discussed the matter with our respective cosca’s, rather than seek answers from Darkness – knowing him, he would pull out a rabbit from the hat and tell us all manner of fantasies – then where will we be, I wonder? None the wiser, I think. However, whatever you want to say about Darkness out burst, in principle, I happen to stand with him. We should at least have been consulted, otherwise how can it even be remotely representative and all inclusive? But I am not surprised this has happened yet again, my bro’s we have to simply get used to being regularly marginalized, sidelined and even pushed to one side – if nothing else, it will make us stronger and more resilient. I wouldn’t have it any other way, but this way.

    See you all underneath the tree.



    PS: Sorry Harpoon for being such a wind bag.

  12. Chronicler says:

    For the record what Darkness wrote in


    was subsequently only approved and posted by TOC @ 14: 34 / 35 @ 19-4-08.

    He has just posted another reply to a question posed to him by a forummer there; here it is:

    Darkness Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    April 19, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    You know what FG, you’re 100% right. You know what? I am going to take your recommendation and retract everything I just said, stick a dummy sign on my back and get back in my car and drive back where I came from. How’s that?

    You ppl can do what you like.

    [There’s no way I can possibly have a decent conversation here; it takes over 12 hours for what I write to be posted here. You go and ask the folk in TOC why? – bye bye]

    Darkness 2008

    Foot note: from the Chronicler / again you all need to check whether it is published yet in TOC / dont be surprised if another 24 hours needs to pass by / TOC claims to be a proponent of anti censorship but when it comes to practising what they preach, its obviously just something they only talk about, especially if ppl ask them difficult questions.

    You all have to decide whether this is a form of passive censorship? Of course, TOC will maintain otherwise, but we will give you the facts so that you as the reader can make up your own mind concerning this matter. Yet we are all supposed to believe these ppl will defend your rights and mine in blogoland?


  13. NEW ARTICLE 19-04-08 BP says:


    Good Afternoon my friends,

    As you know by now http://aaron-ng.info/blog/a-real-grassroots-initiative-by-bloggers.html, a ‘few’ bloggers decided to met up in long john silver and after polishing off their fish fingers they have decided to propose something monumentally important to our govt – indeed this is laudable, truly they have my utmost respect and admiration and I have no doubt they genuinely have your interest and mine at heart. Really, I am not trying to be sarcastic here.

    However, before we uncork the Champagne lets put on our thinking caps for one moment and ask ourselves – who are these people actually representing? Before we go down this road, let’s just ask ourselves what’s the composition of blogosphere? Did you know that nearly 93.4% of the make of blogosphere comprises of anon bloggers, posters and probably readers / that out of the content produced based on word count alone / anonymous posters account for nearly 85-88.3% of what typically features in blogosphere on a 12 day cycle / and this figure appears to be growing at a rate of nearly 12.4% per 12 day cycle.

    So one more time please. Who are they actually representing? Now when we speak of specific rights no one can deny everyone is entitled to the right to privacy. You can even say it’s an elemental right, but tell me why weren’t the anon statistical significant in this case even given an opportunity to participate in this proposal? I want you all to think about this very carefully, not only the anon bloggers, but also those who may also blog openly, as what we are talking about here, isn’t really about the issue of whether these blogger are justified, right or wrong or even whether they are true to the spirit of blogging; we are talking here about something very fundamental that goes into the heart of the issue of what it means to participate in an all inclusive process; the right to be consulted, the right to be informed and a corollary of this even includes, the right to even participate meaningfully in this process. All of you need to ask yourself why wasn’t this proposal even discussed in a public forum in the internet? Why didn’t these bloggers who were responsible for crafting this proposal to our government, see the need to consult you or me? Tell me, who is actually representing the statistical significant community of 93.4%?

    Now this is the part where I will share with you what should have been done, this proposal should have be layed out pasar malam style before everyone in and outside blogosphere – whether you choose to be engaged or switched off is another matter, but that’s the gold standard of what it takes to be a real consultative trilogue between named bloggers, anon bloggers and govt. This way there would be ample provision and scope for all interest and views to be taken on board. This is where, you the perceptive reader need to ask yourself why wasn’t this done? Now at this point, you need to recruit a sense of urgency here, if you aspire to understand my point that is; what we are talking about here is a very fundamental right; so why wasn’t there any provision for either you or me to even get involved? Think about it.

    Let’s move on the next point; what are these people really trying to accomplish? I am not asking you what is their motivation? That’s given. I am told they want a better tomorrow for all bloggers, but how are they working towards the realization of that goal? Can that be practically accomplished given the way they are going about it? Again I am not asking you whether they’re a valiant lot or whether all of them should be conferred the pour le merit, as I said earlier, I understand they are trying to work towards a better tomorrow; I am simply asking an operational question; how sensible is their approach? Will it manage to deliver a new dawn for all of us? Again this turns on how inclusive the process is? Does it successfully harmonize the respective goals, roles and vision of all the stake holders? Or are the views on representative of a handful of bloggers. Now I have to be very clear here; whatever instrument is used to solicit common ground, it must also be able to solicit a high level of understanding with MICA. It cannot just turn on a few hallowed ideas of a few people who are making films only because they want to run foul of the censorship laws (as strange as that may be the reason to make films in Singapore, there are actually people who are driven by such motivations) or even the views of a few parochial few who have a gender crusade – we are not talking about morality, equity or even fairness here as much as dwelling on the practical question of how intelligent and reasonable people go about the business of craving out common ground. Again you, the perceptive reader needs to weight these competing claims.

    You see I don’t believe the government sees the internet differently from us – and there is one compelling reason why I believe that to the true; its really very simple, they simply can’t afford too; if they don’t manage to make it turn on its linchpin, its bad for business. So I am not one of those who readily subscribe to the belief, they are out to retard intellectualism, innovation or creativity here; as not only does it make lousy case from a nation building but it simply sets into motion the extinction event for any society who aspires to stake a claim in this globalised age stand point; no one can make a meal out the case to kill and cook the goose that lays the golden egg – not in this age at least, the net in my view qualifies eminently to be considered a protected species, hence the light touch policy – my feel is where there might be a problem is one that afflicts every oligarchy; that’s to say it conceivable even within a ministry and the broader sphere of the party political machinery; they are radicals as they might exist intelligent and stupid people, moderates and radicals etc this dichotomy can be extended even further to include even progressives and regressive thinkers; why is this observation important? What bearing does it have on our discussion?

    You see my dear friends, if a new dawn in the internet is to purchased, then it will have to emerge directly from the class of these moderates, progressives and far sighted thinkers; it stands the test of reason as it can never emerge from the ranks of the parochial, insular and illiberal minded; this hardly requires any elaboration; when we consider how middle aged spinsters who still stay with their mummies beyond the age of emancipation regularly spout unmitigated cat puking diatribe whenever they speak on subjects concerning the collective good; but bear in mind these progressives, moderates and far thinking people cant do it all alone: it conceivable, if we bloggers argue no end for freedom to regularly inure what we regularly write with more panache and élan, then by the same token the same the latitude of widget space and flexibility to permit experimentation with incremental improvements must also feature with these technocrats who regularly policy plan and strategize. Understand this, I am not excusing the numerous of instances of ineptitude and inadvertence and even lack of creative imagination when they fail to deliver the goods of higher freedom in the net or elsewhere; only one cannot put the horse before the cart and expect to make any meaningful progress.

    Neither can these enlightened bloggers expect to crave out anything resembling common ground, if all they do is to nurse the ideal as to what they consider to be fair or unfair, just or unjust, constitutional or unconstitutional and yet not appreciate the full sweep of the constraints which usually confront these policy planners – we would of course like to delude ourselves, these policy makers have all the answers readily at hand. Nothing can be further from the truth. If the truth be known, they’re have data streaming right out of every orifice, but they don’t have the means to make sense of it – like this site all they have is one IP, what happens in between is a just smoke and mirrors and they are none the wiser, trust me. So we need to give them free play, but how might codifying our rights into laws help the case? Again you have to think hard about this, as they are practical issues here.

    I understand when some of you wax lyrical and proclaim prima donna style, in a world where it behooves everyone to know what is good and bad; we could just as well entrust ours intellect with the business of picking out the good from the bad like cherries and simply declaring, “here it is! Take it or leave it!” That’s naïve and as it provisions no basis to even crave common ground. You see how we always come back to this issue, time and again?

    Yet this may be what these bloggers have done, theirs is not an attempt to fashion a better tomorrow as much as it remains a declaration of false faith, which makes free use of certain excesses committed by the radicals and regressive by omitting, bending, exaggerating, inventing and embellishing the truth in the name of the greater good; fact remains no such universal good or right ever existed and these bloggers might as well be ruminating over the affairs of some country in fairytale land – in truth, by any practical interpretation of the word, good has to be an elastic term; and what does this mean in this specific context? It means your good may not be my good or even the good that seeks to solicit deep understanding with the broader collective good. And if we can entertain that even the simple good as an idea, a school of thought or even a philosophy is capable of harboring a multitude of meanings depending on where we choose to look at it; then where may I ask is the profit in codifying the means of interpreting even this idea into black letter law? How does this make the life of the moderates within any oligarchy easier? Would that idea inure their acts and omissions with a higher degree of flexibility? Or would it calcify the whole idea of initiatives so completely leaving the whole idea of progress impossible?

    Let me press my final point home. Do these bloggers who claim to represent us all even understand what is; the broader implications when one codifies practices into the black letter law? Yes, I am not doubting for one moment it may even prove amenable to clarify your position and mine against the legal accounts, but what actually happens when something is codified? Where does that power to decide upon this or that eventually shift too? How it continue to reside within the ranks of those who may be best position to make those sort of decisions? Or is it relocated to another governing body, where it could be said, they neither have the skill or imagination to decide beyond the dictionary meaning of words imposed upon them by the discipline of black letter law?

    What would all this mean for all of us? I am reserving comment for the moment as I don’t want to be accused of unduly influencing any of you on such a matter of such urgency, but to the perceptive reader note this; someone here wrote this proposal makes the charge of the light brigade look like a sensible military enterprise; you all need to consider whether that’s really an apt summary of the situation. Whatever your decision one thing remains patently certain to me, as even those within my ranks fail to understand where I am coming from, we shall be none the wiser my friends, if all the decision concerning this matter resides in only the hands of a few men who claim to see the world clearer than everyone else.

    Do have a pleasant weekend. Now you must all excuse me, I need to gear up to touch base with a few monkeys underneath a tree to teach them how to pick coconuts.

    Darkness 2008

    There is a good article / interview related to this post / check it out; here


  14. Cecilia Cheung says:

    Hi Everyone,

    What has happened to all the brotherhood articles tags mr Chronicler, we can no longer access them on the bulletin board, the icons are all there, but when we click on it, nothing happens and all we get is a message like pls contact so and so who never seems to be there and keeps telling us to leave him alone…have you ppl have shifted again????????????????

    Where is the weekly summary Singapore Daily???????????????????????????????

    Why happened to darkness??????????????????????????

    hello is anyone at home??????????????????????

    Is that what all of you were [563838, standing by…] for???????????????????????

    You have all taken off again haven’t you??????????????????????????????

  15. dentist jan says:

    [563838, standing by…] = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Vc4X4hKuAc&feature=related

    Now I know.

  16. xinyuan says:

    where’s the summary? =/ summary recommendations are cool.

  17. shoestring says:

    Aiyoh, don’t go because of that lah. As far as I am concerned, those proposals can’t be taken seriously. I’ve read the proposals a couple of times and still do not know what they meant by regulating the Internet. Or whether it was only blogging they were talking about. Too general and ambiguous, no specifics.

    Also don’t agree with the platform-independent idea. The Internet is much bigger and a totally more formidable animal than things like films and online news bulletins. Imposing ‘minimal’ standards or even the ‘lowest common denominator’ on the Internet is akin to telling an adult to behave like a child.

    The only saving grace is from Gerald who clarified they spoke only for themselves, not the whole Internet community.

    But if you insist, then go lah.

  18. The Singapore Daily says:

    Sorry guys, was away for the weekend. Will put up week 16 tomorrow morning. I need to sleep.

    Lights out

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