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Archive for February, 2007

What’s Missing From the 2% GST Hike?

Posted by inspir3d on February 28, 2007

Why are principles, philosophies, constitutions, treaties and “isms” often attached to schools of thought? Isn’t it enough for policy makers to say, “no one will be left behind” or “we will help those who need help.” After all where is the complexity here, they (the policymakers) are even using plain and simple English (presumably for our benefit) to express a clear intention to render assistance to the needy. So what is all the fuss about? Why complicate our already complicated lives by trying to define and delineate the spirit and intention of the recent 2% GST hikes? Besides we all know any attempt to define anything these days is simply an idle, academic pursuit which never amounts to anything of practical value. What do you think really? I am interested to know – but before you rush off to answer this question. Let’s consider why historically man has traditionally seen the need to define schools of thought ranging from welfare, political theories, tools of statecraft, conventions, codes of conduct and even something as trivial as the Japanese tea ceremony. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in B'hood, Economics, Philosophy, Politics | 24 Comments »

Today’s Stories from Blogosphere (Feb 27)

Posted by inspir3d on February 27, 2007

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[Film Review] The Fountain – Babel, Traffic, The Sounds of Music and Other Things.

Posted by inspir3d on February 27, 2007

Three separate motifs form up Darren Aronofsky’s – the fountain. A Spanish conquistador (Hugh Jackman) hacking his way through the Amazonian jungle looking for the mythical tree of life. An astronaut traveling through a gaseous nebula in space again searching (you’d think if they could make a machine that advanced, they could get him a toupee). And finally set in present day, a contemporary Jackman who is a researcher searching for an elixir to heal his wife (Rachel Weisz) who is suffering from terminal brain cancer. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in B'hood, Film | 5 Comments »

P65ers Chingay Hip Hop Video

Posted by inspir3d on February 27, 2007

Got to at least give them some marks for trying… 🙂

From another angle

Posted in Videos | 18 Comments »

Today’s Stories from Blogosphere (Feb 26)

Posted by inspir3d on February 26, 2007

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It’s Time To Stop Feeding The Monkeys

Posted by inspir3d on February 25, 2007

Lately, I have noticed something very strange – people regularly resort to pseudo-science, particularly Darwinism, to make sense of history, culture, politics, arts and even something as mundane as car maintenance. It’s everywhere these days, if only one cares to tune in and seek it out.

Policy makers are the worst, they regularly tell us welfare is bad. And why is it bad? Because it destroys our Asian work ethics by eroding away our Asian values. The key word here isn’t a word as much as it is a mere punctuation, the argument stops there, it doesn’t go on further. That’s the problem. Managers are even worse, they come up with statements like, “If it doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger” (obviously they have never negotiated with a freight train before.) Again we see the finality of the argument, this time in its wonderful completeness. It doesn’t even go on to the next sentence. There in lies the beauty of a circular argument, it’s self explanatory. Even parents who presumably love and care for their kids regularly say, “They just need to learn the hard way.” And everyone looks up and says, “OK.” As if it’s cut and dried. So what’s happening here? Am I like Rip Van Winkle who suddenly wakes up from a marathon slumber only to discover something has suddenly overtaken the human race? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in B'hood, Science, Sociology | 58 Comments »

Weekend Bulletin (Feb 25)

Posted by inspir3d on February 25, 2007

Temasek

Biotech

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Today’s Stories from Blogosphere (Feb 23)

Posted by Slater on February 23, 2007

The Anti Neo-Democracy Theorist ponders about the politics of upgrading of the opposition Potong Pasir constituency, while 1 more Sg Blog criticises the notion of blogosphere as an insurgency, arguing that blogosphere isn’t an enemy for the government to fight but rather, blogosphere is lady to be wooed.

Mollymeek lists down 10 observations about Singapore and the recent Budget that got her all confused, while Singabloodypore is of the opinion that despite the minimum wage call by the Philippines, it is unlikely that there will be any wage increase for Filipino maids working in Singapore.

Zyberzitizen shares a personal experience of how some Singaporeans are left out of Singapore’s economic growth, while e pur si muove takes a critical view of a paper released by the Manpower Ministry that’s titled “A Statistical Profile of Older Workers: Participation and employment of our older males compare favourably with other countries“.

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[Film Review] “Notes on a Scandal” – Why You Should Watch It

Posted by inspir3d on February 22, 2007

It doesn’t happen very often, but on those rare occasions when it does – it’s like finding a rare treasure in a second hand book shop. You know, the feeling that accompanies random discoveries, like a first edition or an out of print collectible, that simply fills one with a warmth of serendipity – I once chanced across a strange inscription in a leather bound book, where someone penned, “To my one and only love, your muse Deb forever more.” – and the bastard sold it off to a second hand bookstore!

Well, enough of musing – this season I am talking about art films – you know, that rare breed of flicks that still relies on a relatable storyline using the lost craft of acting to narrate a story – minus the silicone augmented boobies, computer graphics imagery and migraine inducing MTV music score (yes, I admit, there was a time when I did harbor a liking for all things commercially mainstream, including the secret desire see Janet Jackson naked. But since her body parts started malfunctioning like demented jack in the boxes, the mystery has turned into a reoccurring nightmare. And all I really wish for now is that she wear some curtains with industrial grade Velcro.) Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in B'hood, Film | 7 Comments »

Today’s Stories from Blogosphere (Feb 22)

Posted by Slater on February 22, 2007

Singapore Surf has posted an entry on how a rapidly ageing population would be a problem for Singapore’s long term growth strategy, while the Rambling Librarian wrote about his thoughts on MPs who have taken to blogging.

Coffee and Cigarettes talks about the issue of karma with respect to the modern Singaporean family, while the paradise of flower and fruit expressed surprise at the number of instances of censorship being imposed in the last few years in Singapore.

Over at Die Nuelle Wie, the dichotomy of us versus them in society is explored, while Perspective Unlimited tries to frame the discussions of various topics in Singaporean blogosphere under the theme of economic geography.

Aaron Ng discusses about the nature of blogs and blogging, while 1 more Sg Blog is of the opinion that local newspapers are falling out of favour with Singaporeans.

Singapore Alternatives has written an entry on how Singaporeans are being taxed for life, while Flying Low expresses concern about whether studying should be a matter of interest or pragmatism.

Posted in Digest | Comments Off on Today’s Stories from Blogosphere (Feb 22)

The Right to Privacy in a Brave New World.

Posted by inspir3d on February 20, 2007

“Privacy is under siege,” the new obsession: espoused as the most fundamental of right, marketed as the most needful of commodities, guaranteed to cure all ills including drowning away all your sorrows (if only you could get your good to boot other half to go swimming that is). Going once, going twice and gone on the third strike of the gavel, your privacy and freedom!

What is privacy? And how true is it that freedom is under siege? The claim has been made or implied so often in the Singapore blogosphere, that netizens, no matter how passive they are in their behavior, now remain quite dutiful to echo the same sentiments about lack privacy. If I would have to hazard a guess, our perception of privacy or lack of it, has a lot to do with how we perceive the valence between state control and personal freedom. Freedom of course is relative, a missionary stewing in a pot may suddenly experience the freedom of divine rapture more readily than those who are waiting to eat rubber English clergyman. Ultimately, the question hinges on how we make sense of situations, events and outcomes. You would have imagined in the digital age, the proliferation of information networks has actually increased our capacity to seek out the truth, to make sense of either the dystopian or utopian condition of our “freedom.” But I really wonder whether like me, you too suffer from that sinking feeling whenever you log on to the net, whether perhaps the world has suddenly gone dark amid the doom and gloom that is so often depicted by bloggers in general. “Privacy is in a dreadful state,” “we are under siege, “ “our rights have been eroded,” – trust me, surfing the net these days in Singapore is like taking a stroll in down town Baghdad. It’s a depressing scenery which lends a sardonic gloss to the saying, “being at the bottom of the human pyramid is no fun” (I am of course referring to those naked human pyramids American GI like to build in Abu Ghraib prison.). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in B'hood, Satire, Sociology | 16 Comments »

Today’s Stories from Blogosphere (Feb 20)

Posted by Slater on February 20, 2007

The top story for today is the Thai government possibly buying back the satellite arm of Shin Corp. Yahoo! News reports that Thailand will carry out a nationwide poll on the issue, and will make an offer if more than 75% of the Thai population agrees to the idea.

Meanwhile, on Singapore blogosphere, The Anti Neo-Democracy Theorist examines the underlying socio-political issues of the SIA girl. At Singapore Angle: Perspectives, Hui Chieh takes on a relatively common argument that it is the duty of the state to take care of the elderly.

Mr Wang Says So has written an entry on the foreign talent following the departure of Sentosa Corporation’s CEO, while NMP Siew Kum Hong reviews the written answers he received from his questions that were asked in Parliament.

The Anti Neo-Democracy Theorist has another entry on how views towards globalisation tends to be always from neo-liberal perspective and alternative perspectives on political economy are ignored, and it is suggested that classes in humanities will allow one to see alternative ideas. NofearSingapore has an entry on lifelong learning and examines the unrelenting focus on the paper chase in Singapore.

Regarding Budget 2007, Singapore Life and Times examines the increase in CPF contribution rates and GST, as well as how some people have been left out of the offset package. Aaron Ng has two entries on the Budget, one examining direct versus indirect taxation, while the other takes a critical look at defence spending, which has been rising rapidly since 2005.

News

Comment

Education

Budget

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