THE INTELLIGENT SINGAPOREAN

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Archive for January, 2007

Daily Reads Jan 31

Posted by inspir3d on January 31, 2007

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In The Mood For Love – The Art of Stopping and Smelling the Roses

Posted by inspir3d on January 30, 2007

No one really knows when poems started appearing in the metro, underground and train stations all around the world. Some cognoscenti’s swear the first poems surfaced in Moscow during the mid eighties in the Electrozavodskaya in the Moscow underground. Others credit the British who once ran a crazy project simply called Poems in the London underground.

The idea was simple enough. Over a few experimental months, the London Arts Council and two poetry publishers would support some posters with poems to be read by commuters and exhausted shoppers, alongside adverts for duty free cigarettes, cars or holidays in Spain. The commentators were pretty vitriolic,

“Far-fetched if not preposterous….” said one.

“The exposure of an obscure and esoteric passion” wrote another.

But curiously, the public loved it. Now, the scattering of poetry about in public places has been adopted by mass transport systems in New York, Paris, Dublin, Tokyo, Shanghai, Moscow, and in capital cities in Scandinavia. Poems on the underground are now assumed to be part of the urban landscape, a model for primary school projects and a subject for Ph.Ds in media studies and semiology. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Arts, B'hood, Culture | 13 Comments »

Daily Reads Jan 30

Posted by inspir3d on January 30, 2007

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Early Morning Jan 29

Posted by inspir3d on January 29, 2007

Death Penalty

Thailand

Other

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Daily Reads Jan 27

Posted by inspir3d on January 27, 2007

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Fahrenheit 451 – Intellectuals, We Dam Well Need Them So Singapore!

Posted by inspir3d on January 27, 2007

In Fahrenheit 451, a 1966 film, based on Ray Bradbury’s classic, director Francois Truffaut paints a frightening vision of a dystopian future, where firemen don’t put out fires – they start them to burn books. In this world books are evil. In this future scope, society holds up the appearance of happiness as the highest goal – a place where trivial information is good, and knowledge and ideas are bad and anything resembling intellectualism and philosophy is simply corruption.

Fire Captain Beatty (the main protagonist boss) explains it this way, “Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs…. Don’t give them slippery stuff like philosophy or sociology to tie things up with. That way lies melancholy.”

The main character, Guy Montag, bears the number 451 on his helmet. Coincidentally, this is also the temperature at which books ignite. Montag seems to be a robot of sorts, a machine simply following orders.  His mission to destroy homes contaminated with books is mandated by the government. Though he initially seems moderately content with his job and his life, Montag’s mind reflects the condition of his futuristic society: empty. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in B'hood, Culture, Philosophy, Politics | 14 Comments »

Reply to Soci regarding Tochi

Posted by inspir3d on January 27, 2007

Serious allegations have been made against this website. Specifically, Soci of Singabloodypore has made the following statements:

Singabloodypore Allegation

(Click for full image, see here for entire post)

While this is not the kind of post i enjoy writing, it is necessary that I deal with these allegations as these comments malign the integrity and reputation of the IS. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Announcements | 45 Comments »

Evening Reads Jan 26

Posted by inspir3d on January 26, 2007

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Daily Reads Jan 26

Posted by inspir3d on January 26, 2007

Offbeat

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The Great Divide – Hopes and Fears in a Brave New World.

Posted by inspir3d on January 25, 2007

The great divide in my life isn’t about whether computers are going to take over the world, or whether globalization is going to dumb us all down into faceless nuts and bolts. It’s about my relationship with my 20-year-old TV.

Manufactured at an age when TV’s still had the courtesy to pretend to be furniture, it’s encased in real wood veneer and shutters which slide shut and lock with a tiny brass key. Quaint, you may say, only because you never had to hold a coat hanger in one hand and a co-axial cable in another while massaging them furiously to figure out the final score on a football match into the 60th minute – that’s the only way to get a picture from my TV when she goes on the blink. She lives by her own rules, she has a mind of her own.

Recently I have been toying with the illicit idea of getting a new TV – you know, one of those sexy ultra thin ones that don’t even see the need to pass off as furniture because through the years, they have sashayed their way into the privacy of our living rooms and claimed their right to intrude upon our lives. That, at least, is what the technocrats keep telling me, “you can’t stand in the way of progress,” even though anthrax, bird flu, SARS and Polonium didn’t look much like progress when you got real close to them. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in B'hood, Culture, Economics | 6 Comments »

The Great Experiment Called City Living

Posted by inspir3d on January 25, 2007

If you are wondering why the word “Urban” doesn’t sound English, it’s because it has everything to do with an ancient city called Ur. Located in Southern Mesopotamia, present day Iraq – at its zenith 4,000 years ago, over 30,000 people clumped together to work, live and play in Ur.

Today Ur is universally recognized as the first urban experiment in city living and very successful was Urland. Ever since then, our species has continually defined cultural, economic, political and technology diversity through their cities. Think Paris – the image of the impressionists and the fin-de-siecle which fills the senses with evocative smells of freshly baked baguettes – and you will get an idea of what I am trying to convey. It’s a linchpin – a peg – a capstone of how we make sense of who we are in relation to an ever changing world.

Cities have always fascinated me – I remember with fondness during my university days, building 1/142 scale model skyscrapers out of card board and subjecting them to wind tunnel tests to simulate the effects of 100 mph tornadoes. It was part of my thesis on wind dynamics; the whole idea of lower Manhattan spreading out on my table jostling for real estate next to my half eaten pizza simply blew my mind away. Read the rest of this entry »

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Daily Reads Jan 25

Posted by inspir3d on January 24, 2007

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